Millennial Jews Do an Aboutface: Start Keeping Kosher

“So you’re kosher now?” This is a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately and the answer is always yes. Well, yes, to a certain degree. Earlier this year, at the beginning of May, I made the rash decision to only eat kosher meat. Why do I say rash? Well honestly, because I didn’t give it much thought. There I was almost 21, having eaten non-kosher meat my entire life, and all of a sudden one day I just decided to stop. I didn’t even have a final chick-fil-a sandwich or fajita or anything. I simply made up my mind one night and that was that.

You can imagine my surprise when this turned out to be much easier than I had expected. Of course I still crave a few specific items, however I actually found switching from meat to tofu or fish has been quite easy. Little did I know at the time that I was actually just jumping on the millennial bandwagon. According to this recent NPR article, “a 2013 Pew Research Center study found that nearly a fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher.”

I believe in continuously challenging ourselves to try new things, and I felt that it was time for me to challenge myself by taking another step forward in my Judaism. By being more conscious about the things I can and cannot put in my mouth at all times, I found a new sense of awareness about myself both Jewishly and also generally. We often hear, “you are what you eat”, and for the first time in my life I have started taking this idea more seriously both on a spiritual and practical level.

As Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism, is fast approaching, I am reinvigorated in my commitment to kosher eating and living a fulfilling Jewish life. This is only one step in my continuing Jewish journey.

Wishing everyone a meaningful Yom Kippur!