THORNHILL, ON – With Ontario set to enter another lockdown this week, a local Jewish family is concerned about the pandemic’s potential impact on one of Judaism’s most cherished Christmas customs: eating at a Chinese restaurant.
Rebecca Friedmann, the family matriarch, explained that her family has been patronizing Chinese restaurants on Christmas Day ever since she was little. “Except for that one year I tried dating a gentile, but we don’t talk about that,” she said. “It was my experimental phase.”
Eating at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day is a sacred Jewish tradition, Mrs. Friedmann explained. “It’s in the Torah. Genesis 30:11 – then Leah said, ‘What good fortune cookies!’”
Mrs. Friedmann went on to detail Chinese food’s significance in the Jewish religion. “Our people didn’t cross the Red Sea into Asia just to never be able to eat dim sum,” she said. “What can I say? We walked through the ocean, we developed a taste for shrimp.”
According to Mrs. Friedmann, preventing the chosen people from eating their chosen cuisine is an attack on religious freedoms. “The US Supreme Court just ruled that it’s unconstitutional to prevent people from gathering in houses of worship, and frankly, I think that applies here.”
When asked if takeout could be an alternative, Mrs. Friedmann sighed. “We’re trying to avoid that. How am I supposed to explain to my youngest that Santa doesn’t deliver to our house, but Mr. Chang does? He’s already losing faith in the Mensch on a Bench. Don’t make me ruin this for him, too.”
After such a difficult year, Mrs. Friedmann explained, it’s important for her kids to be able to let loose and enjoy the one day a year she allows them to eat shellfish. “We’ve had to miss out on so much this year,” she said sadly. “My niece Barbara’s bat mitzvah, my cousin Barbara’s wedding, my aunt Barbara’s funeral… we should be allowed to celebrate just this once.”
When asked about the other famous component of Jewish Christmas – going to the movies – Mrs. Friedmann replied, “Oi vey, enough with the kvetching already. We have movies at home.”