Once again, we have reached the celebration of Chanukah, the time when we openly display gratitude to Hashem with menorahs in our windows and doors, in city squares and even atop cars.
As Yidden, it’s the time to show the world that Yiddishkeit can be “mainstream” and that’s not always an easy task. However, every once in a while it seems like Hashem secretly tells the world to help the Yidden out a bit and it becomes fashionable to do what we do and live according to our Torah.
Today, it is becoming more common to see people wearing wigs and growing beards and to find modest clothes in mainstream stores.
Now kosher is becoming trendy as well. Younger Jews are keeping kosher at twice the rate of their baby boomer parents, with 28 percent of 18- to 49-year-olds keeping kosher compared with 16 percent for those aged 50 and older. The kosher diet is becoming popular, supported by millennials’ desire for ethical eating. Their habits have led to success for specialty kosher farms that raise animals sustainably, organically and antibiotic free and process dairy products or meat slaughtered according to the standards of kosher law.
Some of the finest wines are kosher certified and some of the fanciest resorts in the world, from the Bahamas to Switzerland, now have kosher programs.
This increase in kosher observance is very significant. We all know that “you are what you eat” and eating kosher food brings strength and sustenance to the Yiddishe neshama and influences a kosher way of thinking, speaking and acting.
This can be seen as a prelude to the Geulah, when the whole world will follow Hashem’s commandments. But until then let’s be proud of who we are and what we do, not because it’s fashionable, but because it’s the Will of our Creator.
With best wishes for a Freilichen Chanukah,
Rabbi Chaim Fogelman