A (Jewish) Christmas Tradition

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner

from the  Jewish Forward

Wed. Dec 19, 2007
Judaism is a religion that thrives on rituals. We light candles before the Sabbath, recite special prayers before drinking wine and, most inexplicably, eat Chinese food on Christmas. In her book “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food” (to be published by Twelve in March 2008), New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee seeks out the origin of the chosen people’s chow mein mania. In her quest, she uncovers the truth about Washington, D.C.’s Great Kosher Duck Scandal of 1989, travels to China to meet with the lost Chinese Jews of Kaifeng and learns that Confucius might not have anything at all to say about the matter. Leah Hochbaum Rosner spoke with the author to find out why Jews who don’t light Sabbath candles and who omit the pre-wine blessings still make time for Chinese food – on Jesus’ birthday and throughout the year.

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