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InterLunar
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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25 Mar 2013, 7:59 pm

We're currently renting a room from a Jewish couple, and if any of you aren't up-to-date on the holidays, at sundown tonight Passover will begin. This entails a lot of stuff; the only problem for us is the strict diet they're going to be adhering to for eight days straight.

Here's some more info on the matter:
Kosher Foods for Passover

Our issue is being asked to keep kosher during this time. However tolerant and accepting we are, what we aren't, is Jewish!
I'd like to know any personal experiences anyone has had regarding roommates, kosher rules in the household, or anything else that could possibly help us in this confusing situation.


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Tequila
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25 Mar 2013, 8:07 pm

Go out and have a best bacon sandwich. I would, because I don't like religion (and I don't care what form it takes - if they say I can't have it, I will have it, religion be damned, even if I rather like the people - it's part of my cultural heritage, see). If you're eating in your room (and can cook/eat there), it shouldn't be a problem for you. If they object to the smell of bacon, you could always have a bacon substitute that smells and tastes near identical to the real thing but isn't in fact bacon.

If they don't accept that, then they aren't for you.

If it bothers you, you can fairly easily stick to the 'rules'. I wouldn't have a problem doing it. I wouldn't have a problem sticking to halal either - I just wouldn't want to. If you don't want to, rebel without offending your hosts.



Last edited by Tequila on 25 Mar 2013, 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pezar
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25 Mar 2013, 8:09 pm

The problem may be with certain interpretations of the Hebrew Bible. Some Orthodox Jews interpret the ban on "leaven" (bread or anything with yeast in it) as meaning that there can't be ANY leavened items anywhere under a roof where Jews live. That means that if you rent a room from Jews, there can't be any leaven in your room either, since it's under their roof. Jews take this pretty seriously; in Biblical times Jews who had any leaven in their houses during Passover were exiled. Some Jews in Israel (and in the US, although the practice is less common here) will diligently clean their homes top to bottom to make sure any possible crumbs of bread are gone. If this last sentence describes your landlord, it would be best to compromise and simply throw out all your bread simply to keep the peace, it's only eight days and modern bread isn't that great for you anyway. If they're asking you to attend the seder or something like that, that's a different issue. But if it's simply an issue of the Passover ban on leaven, simply go along.



Tequila
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25 Mar 2013, 8:09 pm

Oh, and if they know anything about good kosher wine, can you ask them what I should be drinking? The Barkan stuff was rather nice. Very spicy.



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Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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25 Mar 2013, 8:15 pm

Tequila wrote:
Go out and have a best bacon sandwich. I would, because I don't like religion (and I don't care what form it takes). If you're eating in your room (and can cook/eat there), it shouldn't be a problem for you. If they object to the smell of bacon, you could always have a bacon substitute that smells and tastes near identical to the real thing but isn't in fact bacon.

If they don't accept that, then they aren't for you.


I wish it were that easy! Kosher during Passover is pretty ridiculously intricate and stupid. I don't mean Jews are stupid. Just all the rules about "ownership" and "accessibility;" it's almost like Rabbis wanted to make living with Jewish people nearly impossible.
And, no, we don't want to keep kosher for Passover. Keeping kosher in the house before this was easy, both my boyfriend and I are vegetarian and that pretty much makes us kosher.
But to have to adhere to a holiday we don't acknowledge kinda sucks, especially considering we have our own religious affiliations (or lack thereof).


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Tequila
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25 Mar 2013, 8:19 pm

Have you raised this with them? I'm sorry, but unless they were able to come to some sort of deal with you, I'd be looking at moving out.



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25 Mar 2013, 8:45 pm

Tequila wrote:
Have you raised this with them? I'm sorry, but unless they were able to come to some sort of deal with you, I'd be looking at moving out.


You think so? For eight days worth of crap?

On a somewhat related (but really not) note, we are moving out. But for better reasons. Or worse, depending on how you look at it.


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ruveyn
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26 Mar 2013, 6:10 am

InterLunar wrote:
We're currently renting a room from a Jewish couple, and if any of you aren't up-to-date on the holidays, at sundown tonight Passover will begin. This entails a lot of stuff; the only problem for us is the strict diet they're going to be adhering to for eight days straight.

Here's some more info on the matter:
Kosher Foods for Passover

Our issue is being asked to keep kosher during this time. However tolerant and accepting we are, what we aren't, is Jewish!
I'd like to know any personal experiences anyone has had regarding roommates, kosher rules in the household, or anything else that could possibly help us in this confusing situation.


You have been asked not to bring bread crumbs into the owner's house. During passover one must keep chahmetyz (food stuff that ferments and leavens) out of the house. Legally the owners have no standing on this unless your rental/lease agreement specifically prohibits you from bring leavened stuff in the house during passover. If you have a long term lease you have no problem, but if you are in some kind of rental at the owner's pleasure agreement you may find yourself unhoused the month after next.

ruveyn



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26 Mar 2013, 10:18 am

@InterLunar: I would gladly trade places with you, if I could. It's been over 20 years since I last attended seder (or even shabat), and I remember it as both a solemn and a joyous occasion - solemn because of the reasons for Paschel ("The Israelites were oppressed and persecuted..."), and joyous because it is also a celebration ("... they were delivered from bondage ...") with lots of food, wine, and fellowship ("... so let's give thanks and eat!").

You don't have to be a Jew to be observant; and if you are of a Christian religion, then you could look on it as a means of drawing closer you your Lord - after all, the "Last Supper" was a Passover seder, since Jesus was an observant Jew.

And even if you're not, it might do you some good to learn a little something about a culture other than your own.



pezar
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26 Mar 2013, 4:21 pm

Fnord wrote:
@InterLunar: I would gladly trade places with you, if I could. It's been over 20 years since I last attended seder (or even shabat), and I remember it as both a solemn and a joyous occasion - solemn because of the reasons for Paschel ("The Israelites were oppressed and persecuted..."), and joyous because it is also a celebration ("... they were delivered from bondage ...") with lots of food, wine, and fellowship ("... so let's give thanks and eat!").

You don't have to be a Jew to be observant; and if you are of a Christian religion, then you could look on it as a means of drawing closer you your Lord - after all, the "Last Supper" was a Passover seder, since Jesus was an observant Jew.

And even if you're not, it might do you some good to learn a little something about a culture other than your own.


I MIGHT object to being asked to participate in the seder, if I was in her place. I'm not Jewish, but I see no problem with going without leaven for eight days, especially since I don't eat bread anyway (I am allergic to yeast). She hasn't said what she's being asked to do. If it's simply to throw out her leaven, I do think she's being unreasonable. If it's to adhere to ALL the Passover commandments, or to participate in the observances (including the seder), she might have a point. Unfortunately, if her landlord desires renters who are Jews, they can't say so in the ad, because of equal housing laws.



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26 Mar 2013, 6:43 pm

Are you sharing a kitchen?

If not--then I suggest that you should put your foot down. They are in no position to impose observance of Jewish Law on you (have they also prohibited you from working on Sabbath?).

However, if you are sharing a kitchen, then there should be an acknowledgement from them of the burden that they are imposing upon you, and a corresponding compensation to you. If you have to eat out for 8 days in order to comply, then they should be footing the bill for that. If you have to throw out a perfectly good bag of flour, they should be committing to buying you a new one.

They should be offering to ensure that you are saved harmless from any loss during this period.


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26 Mar 2013, 6:49 pm

not to be a jackass but didn't they make you aware of their sensitivities when you accepted their tenancy agreement?

If so, I don't really see how you have any recourse for complaint.


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KaffyJane
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28 Mar 2013, 1:22 pm

It's not that hard . You just eat crackers and other unleavened products and have the bread etc when you're out.

I have a similar issue with a celiac in my house and when there's no wheat products in the house , I just have it when I'm out.



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28 Mar 2013, 2:01 pm

I think it comes down to what sort of agreement you have with them. If it's their house they set the rules - whether that means "no bacon in the house" or "no sharks with lasers in the house" or whatever. However, those rules should be agreed upon at the outset, before you agree to rent the room. Assuming you haven't discussed it before and they're adding a new rule now, I would look at it as a practical relationship issue, rather than a religious, moral or legal one: would you rather be limited in what you eat for 8 days or start arguing over everything? Of course, it's not an ideal situation to be in either way, but you already said you're moving out.



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28 Mar 2013, 4:05 pm

FMX wrote:
I think it comes down to what sort of agreement you have with them. If it's their house they set the rules - whether that means "no bacon in the house" or "no sharks with lasers in the house" or whatever. However, those rules should be agreed upon at the outset, before you agree to rent the room. Assuming you haven't discussed it before and they're adding a new rule now, I would look at it as a practical relationship issue, rather than a religious, moral or legal one: would you rather be limited in what you eat for 8 days or start arguing over everything? Of course, it's not an ideal situation to be in either way, but you already said you're moving out.


Clearly, a parting of the ways, following a parting of the sea is the only reasonable resolution.

If there were a long term lease, rather than a month to month agreement (with some kind of reasonable notice) then the owners would be up a tree. They would have neglected to set the conditions of the lease properly.

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28 Mar 2013, 5:54 pm

if you have lifestyle issues that would conflict with living with someone who was devoutly religious, I do not understand how for the life of me you would get yourself into that position in the first place.

I just got the mental image of the band members from Slipknot moving into a monastery.


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