Ephy bagged his first deer last night. A doe, looks big but haven’t seen the weight yet. He sat in a tree in our backyard, all by himself since mentor Karl had decided to join Terri and me for a visit to Sabta Stella and dinner out. He used a one shot muzzle loader, because that is all that is allowed in this season. As I write this, Karl and Ephy are dressing and butchering the meat.
Mixed emotions. Not very much a part of Yiddishkeit–you might say more Esau than Yaaqov. Soon Ephy will be going to Israel for a year and he’ll have a chance to absorb more of that culture. It is good to see the world from many viewpoints, and (after all) Jews have been hunters too.
Mixed emotions part 2. How will I appreciate the meat which is a gift in and of itself? We try to keep a kosher home, so most likely the meals will be served cooked in utensils reserved for the odd occasion, served in paper bowls with plastic utensils. But I write this in the aftermath of the Rubashkin scandal which perhaps I will discuss in a different entry. My interest in kashruth in the wake of this episode is at a nadir. Is the meat harvested by my son in an honest hunting expedition inferior to what we have been eating from the Rubashkin’s plant?
In possibly related news, I ate a garden burger for dinner.
I suppose this is how the American ‘melting pot’ happens. Many experiences from different cultural backgrounds eventually bend each culture to new forms and better acceptance of ‘other’. Accepting and making use of the best in each seems the most sensible thing to me — but perhaps that is because I am an American and a Jewish convert.
As to that precious meat: it will be salted and prepared in accordance with kashrut traditions. It is clear that biblical people gathered and ate wild meat, in fact there are strict rules about which kind can be consumed at all. Deer are clearly just fine, the only issue is our relatively modern coniderations about how it should be killed. A little bending toward the past may make sense for some, and not others of us. Interesting that there would be much less concern if he had killed wild birds.