So I live in Burton Conner, like some other people, but I happen to live on Burton 2, known primarily for being right below the Burton Third Bombers and for having the largest concentration of Kosher keeping Jews on one floor anywhere, or just the highest concentration of Jews in general, hence our being known as Burton Jew. One suite even has a Kosher oven and such.
I am not Jewish.
I’m from the Midwest- I had a Jewish neighbor. Once. And that pretty much constitutes the entirety of my previous exposure to Judaism prior to MIT. Consequently, it never even occurred to me that I’d be living with Kosher keeping people, much less on a floor with a lot of them. I didn’t even know what being Kosher entailed besides no bacon, which was pretty much all I needed to know to be convinced that I could never be a good Jew in the case I decided to spontaneously convert. (Lack of bacon creates a positive Δ in the reaction of my becoming Jewish? Whoa, okay, it’s offish, I’ve had too much 5.112.)
Why does this have anything to do with Thanksgiving? Well, okay, a few things you should know about Kosher, if you’re like me three months ago and know nothing about it:
1. Meat and dairy can’t be eaten together.
2. Oh, and on top of that, you can’t use the same utensils to cook the two, either.
This isn’t a big deal in normal life- I mean, you just exercise a little more caution with what spoon you’re eating your cereal with in the morning and everyone’s happy.
But let’s think about this. Every year, we have a Burton Jew Thanksgiving for the entire floor- turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, other dishes liable to clog your arteries… and half of these have to be Kosher. The result is a weekend extravaganza of musical ovens in which Kosher things (like Ida, the kosher turkey) are cooked in Kosher ovens while non-kosher things (like Colonel Fitzsimmons, our non-kosher turkey)
are cooked in the other ovens on the floor. (Right, we have kitchens. I probably should have said that three paragraphs ago.)
Musical ovens can be dangerous.
But no worries, here at MIT we take safety first and everyone made it to dinner in one piece, with the notable exceptions of Ida and Colonel Fitzsimmons.
And as the females of the floor nursed our food triplets (wow, no pun intended…)
the dinner was deemed a success. Good food and good friends- there’s not much else to give thanks for. Happy Thanksgiving from MIT!