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Is it kosher to celebrate Memorial Day?

I don’t recall ever hearing that Memorial Day wasn’t a kosher holiday. It was never considered one of the goyishe holidays and I think I recall that the Rabbis in yeshiva had nice things to say about it. No, they didn’t like the fact that random alcohol checkpoints were flung about the city and everyone decided to play half naked volleyball in their front yards, but it seemed to be a holiday that frum Jews may even have permission to celebrate.

I always wondered about Memorial Day. How do veterans feel about the fact that it has become another excuse for men to brag about grilling skills and women to share tips on coleslaw dressing. How do veterans feel that Memorial Day may inadvertently lead to faster climate change due to the amount of beef consumed and miles driven to consume said beef?

I don’t really know how one is supposed to celebrate Memorial Day. I am going to work and then hit up a bbq/ birthday party in San Francisco, followed by a night ride around the city if I’m in the mood. I wonder if any of the conversations at the barbecue will have anything to do with Memorial Day.

Although, now that I think about it, Memorial Day is celebrating our freedom as Americans to do whatever the hell we want thanks to our veterans who fought for our rights to consume large quantities of meat, beer and condiments. I hope these people have good condiments – there is nothing quite like the average frummy barbecue where all they serve is a slab of meat and rarely do they even have utensils. At the bare minimum, I need some onions. tomato and good sweet barbecue sauce. If we want to get complex, some sliced bread and butter pickles, caramelized onions, garlic aioli and a nice cold Hefeweizen would do me right.

So is Memorial Day kosher?

The only two issues I can think of is the inordinate amount of pritzus at your local park and the likelihood that by celebrating Memorial Day, we are trying to be like the goyim. Well, if you want to get fancy, the fact people may forget to bodek their lettuce may be reason enough to not celebrate with food.

{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Isaac S. May 31, 2010, 4:02 PM

    Noting your concern with the degree of pritzus and the appearance of adopting non-Jewish culture, it would only seem appropriate for Frum people to make BBQs inside their homes, with the windows closed.

  • feivelbenmishael May 31, 2010, 5:24 PM

    LOL @ Isaac

  • Mahlax May 31, 2010, 5:37 PM

    I would imagine that tons of Jews have fought, died and / or been decorated in the course of American history.

    • Chris_B June 2, 2010, 11:15 AM


  • Mordecai May 31, 2010, 7:31 PM

    I would say that many Jews have been a part of American military history. I have to mention Commodore Uriah P. Levy (he abolished flogging in the Navy, back in the day) as well as Admiral Hyman Rickover who built the Navy’s nuclear submarine program from the ground up. Jews is Green is a great resource http://jewsingreen.com

    Happy memorial day from a Navy Jew. Any other military Jews on this blog?

  • bob May 31, 2010, 8:32 PM

    I just finished watching the film Jesus Camp, so the very concept of this post is making me nautious.

    What the F’ is wrong with Memorial Day? Its not Celebrate Christ day. Why must everything be an issue or a possible issue. Just go to shachris, go to a park, bbq with your family and the end.

    • Isaac S. May 31, 2010, 11:32 PM

      Dear bob,
      When I first read this article, I mistakenly took it for a joke. A bit of ‘satire’, if you will.
      After reading your post, I suddenly realized I was wrong. This article is not an innocent jibe, as was first apparent. Clearly, this is just the latest in an outrageous series of hate-mongering posts designed to poison our hearts and minds with loathing and ignorance.
      I thank you for piercing commentary!
      P.S. It is spelled “nauseous”

      • Bob June 1, 2010, 7:48 AM

        I have no problems with Heshy; I typed FrumsSATIRE to reach this website. But this wouldn’t be satire in more central circles. This question has to be in the air to make fun of it.

  • abandoning eden June 1, 2010, 5:47 AM

    my grandfather fought for the US army in world war 2 so memorial day was always a really big deal in our family and we had a big family bbq every year… although eventually my charedi cousins stopped coming cause they didn’t have off from school anymore and then the whole thing kinda fell apart.

    • abandoning eden June 1, 2010, 5:47 AM

      another example of jews bringing jewish families together…o wait

      • Anonymous June 3, 2010, 1:29 PM

        great point, jewish families never get together. Oh right besides yom tov and often on random shabasim

  • Tova June 1, 2010, 9:35 AM

    I love national holidays like this. In a discussion about veterans and life-givers with a friend of mine, I began to cry because this kinda stuff makes me emotional.

  • YochiB June 1, 2010, 1:14 PM

    Grilling brings achdus.
    Halachically if you hold cholov yisroel you shouldn’t eat with plates, utensils, etc from someone keeping choloc stam kosher.
    Sadly, so divisive, though perhaps that was partly the intent.
    But with fleishig and barbeques, there is no problem. Put your chassishe schita steaks and hot dogs on an always kosher but non-glatt grill.
    No halachic problems, right?
    Barbeques are unifying events.
    Even Tofu-Pups and Not-Dogs are allowed on cleaner parts of the grill, if the eaters don’t mind.
    Again, achdus.

  • lighting a candle for a loved one August 2, 2013, 11:05 AM

    Memorial Day is a day when flowers and flags were placed on the graves of those killed in the Civil War. It took years for this day to be embraced by all Americans.

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