Sour cream or apple sauce, that is the question:
Whether ’tis to eat our latkes milchigs* or fleishigs**.
For with applesauce they are parve*** and we may enjoy them
And it matters not what we have alongside,
Then we may have pizza or steak with our latkes,
Although we may not have both of them together.
But when we choose sour cream,
Our die is cast,
Latkes become milchigs,
And we may enjoy steak with them no more.
This question is existential,
And yet it is rarely asked.
We go through the remainder of the year,
Never asking how we will eat our latkes,
For many of us the die is cast by heritage
How to eat our latkes being a tradition spanning generations.
Whether we eat sour cream or apple sauce,
That question was answered by our great-grandparents’ great-grandparents.
We just carry on the traditions,
How best we can,
And we hope to pass those traditions on to future generations.
Tonight, and for the next eight days,
We face that question.
We shall light candles,
We shall sing songs,
We shall spin our dreidels,
We shall eat our gelt,
We shall gorge ourselves on our latkes.
The only question is:
Shall we have sour cream or apple sauce while we do so?
* milchigs = dairy
** fleishigs = meat
*** parve = neither meat nor diary, fish and eggs are also parve
To everyone celebrating along with me, Happy Hanukkah. To those not celebrating, hope you enjoyed some Jewish-themed humor completely ripping off Shakespeare’s most famous line and learned a little something while you’re at it. Personally, I’ll be having my latkes tomorrow night, and I’ll be following family tradition and having them with sour cream. So, it’ll be no steak, or any other meat, with my latkes while I’m enjoying them.