October 17, 2019

Food For Thought About The Nine Days

It happened recently that I was treated to quite poor service at a kosher restaurant on Pico Boulevard.

I suppose a statement like that doesn’t serve much purpose if I withhold the identity of the restaurant. But I will anyway – chances are, if it wasn’t just a bad day at the restaurant, you probably will have heard about unfriendly waiters and long wait times, or else read about them on one of my crowd-sourced counterparts.

Failed service etiquette isn’t common in Pico-Robertson, but it isn’t uncommon either. You’ll find yourself twenty minutes after you order wondering where the food is. Or you’ll have to search for napkins on your own when the food finally arrives.

Chalk those up to a lack of training—standard fare in a local industry with a tendency to hire from within. But you can’t explain rude.

How can Jews treat other Jews like that? 

It’s a problem because Jews invented hospitality. And because hospitality is a tchelet in the fabric of Jewish tradition. A few weeks ago, when I asked what impressions the word kosher makes – this must be the answer! Service should separate kosher from the chaff.

But it doesn’t. So during a nine-day period when we mourn the derech eretz of our ancestors, examining ourselves today might reveal another Schnitzly