What's Bugging You?

 
Checking for bugs can be quite tedious especially when you're not finding any. In fact I have often felt as if I am an abject failure if I come up bugless in a bag of Romaine Lettuce, a bunch of broccoli or a stalk of celery.  In order to overcome these feelings of inadequacy I have derived a different way of looking at these matters:  I fashion myself as The Great White Hunter embarking on a Bug Hunting Safari.  Instead of Rhinos and Water Buffalo it is thrips and aphids I seek.  I may not find any but I have put up the good hunt and have done my best.  In addition, great solace is gained by knowing that many people go on deep sea fishing excursions and come up with nary a nibble on their line.  As my old friend Tony Baker says: This is why they call it fishing, not catching. 

 This is For the Birds

 Miss Bird Brain was not familiar with Pas Yisroel and informed me that as long as the wraps were Kosher that's all that mattered. Besides, she didn't have time to drive 45 minutes each way to the nearest Kosher Supermarket.
"Come with me my dear" I said in my best paternal voice.  "Please allow me to show you something." I pointed towards the certificate of Kosher Supervision, put my finger next to where Pas Yisroel was written and said that everything that comes out of this restaurant must adhere to this standard.
"What the heck is Pas Yisroel?  I never heard of it,"  questioned Bird Brain
Never one to miss an opportunity to educate another I explained Pas Yisroel in detail:
"Very simply stated, Pas Yisroel means that a Jew must turn on the oven for the baking of any product  This is an ancient concept.  It arose out of the following concern: Let us say that a non-Jewish girl was working at a Kosher bakery. Turning on the oven could lead to interaction with a Jewish boy which could lead to social dancing and everybody knows that the next step is intermarriage.. That's why we have Pas Yisroel."
Miss Bird Brain  proceeded to launch into an expletive laced soliloquoy “Pas Yisroel makes no sense, it’s an outdated custom,  has nothing to do with Kashrut and why am I such a jerk to enforce it."
"Miss Bernstein, I agree with you on all issues except the jerk thing. Nevertheless you must abide by the rules."
  

Whatever You Say!

Most of the kitchen help in the venues I have worked in are either of Haitian or Hispanic origin.  Sometimes this can be detrimental to effective communications.    One day I reported to work at a Restaurant.  My first task was to wash Romaine Lettuce.  One of the sinks in the “washing station”  had been used to wash dishes, pots and pans and needed to be cleaned.  So I asked the dishwasher if he could   wash the sink so I could proceed.  He nodded approval.​​
Shortly thereafter I returned   and found the dishwasher sitting comfortably in a chair beside the sink which had not been cleaned.  I pointed to the sink and said: “So…..nu?”  I’m certain he had no idea what I just said but he could read body language.  “I wash the sink, I wash it” he replied.  “Sure doesn’t look like it” I mumbled under my breath.  Realizing that a 3rd party was required I asked Pierre to help out.  He was informed of my request and spoke to  Jean. Jean replied.  Pierre giggled.
“Rabbi….. Jean said you asked him to WATCH the sink.”
Wash…….watch…….whatever.