When I grow up, I’m going to go into the restaurant business.
I keep kosher–the food that I, along with Jews of the past and future, eat must follow the laws of the Torah. My friend Syema keeps halal–similar laws set out by the Koran that Muslims follow.
So here’s my idea. Why don’t Syema and I create a restaurant that follows both kosher and halal laws?
According to Wikipedia, both kashrut (kosher) and halal forbid pork, have certain rules for slaughtering animals, and forbid the consumption of blood. Our restaurant, naturally, will follow those laws.
The kashrut laws are a bit more strict, regarding which specific animals are kosher. Many kinds of seafood and various animals are allowed under halal laws but are not kosher. Also, halal doesn’t restrict eating milk and meat together, which is prohibited under kashrut. But then again, halal does not allow the consumption of alcohol. Therefore, our store will comply with the strictest of the rules belonging to each religion.
The store will be closed for all Muslim and Jewish holidays that require fasting or rest, including the entire week of Passover. During Ramadan, the restaurant will be open only after sunset, as the Muslims will be fasting all day long.
Cards with prayers for Jewish and Muslim services (including the Jewish grace after meals) will be available.
As for the menu, it will be a best-of-both-worlds kind of place–a sampling of the favorite dishes of Jews and Muslims worldwide. (Suggestions for what you’d like to see on the menu? Let me know.)
It is our hope that Jews and Muslims will use this restaurant as a way to bring peace between the two cultures. While some members of our religions may be fighting elsewhere across the world, there is no reason for us to be at strife here. Our religions have many similarities–why not celebrate them over matzah ball soup and biryani?
Here’s the best part: the name of our restaurant. We’ll call it…drumroll, please…
Coming soon to a location near you!