Tag Archives: jewish

Jewish/Asian fusion . . . more questions than answers

My March 4th  post about the Jewish/Asian connection produced 100’s of inquiring emails and exploring minds. Or is it inquiring minds and exploring emails?

While some commented on my blog here, I received more emails and responses from other blogs. Most everyone pointed to several common themes:

  • No one seems to know the why and what about Jewish men and Asian women.
  • There’s no “proof” or “evidence” of the affinity, but many acknowledge it exists.
  • Some people are rankled by the topic. Some downright furious; not with my post, but with the relationship between Jews and Asians in general. I’ll leave this alone because these people always turned their fury into comments based on sexism, racism or anti-Semitism. They don’t deserve my attention, or your time.

But what does earn some interesting attention is the Asian/Jewish food fusion. I’d rather take the connection past the romantic links — since it is what it is, and just exists and who knows why — and elevate the union to something we all know about. Food! fortune-cookie

Specifically, Chinese food and Jews. Or the Chinese and Jewish foods. Now we’re talking “mutty” hybrid action!

This interesting Los Angeles Times article by Ching-Ching Ni shows us something that few know about: China is now the world’s fastest-growing producer of kosher-certified food. More than 500 Chinese factories produce the approved products. So the Chinese have gone Kosher!

My kids know some about that, though, Chinese girls in a Jewish day school. Mutty? Sort of, but then look who they have for a mother. It’s got to be challenging having a mutt for a mother.

You’d be surprised at how many of my daughters’ friends thought we knew Yao Ming when we first attended their school (not that I wouldn’t want to, but yikes…I’m just 5’3″; I’d need a megaphone to talk to the guy.) It was cute: the schoolmates were curious, we were wondering and juggling how to fit in, and in the end, it all worked out. In fact, we’re all the better for the mixities of this particular Asian/Jewish connection.

But knowing Yao Ming? All Chinese know each other, right? And every Jew is related? Yeah, right. Well, the way I look at it, when everything is stripped away, everyone is from one tribe anyway.

Back to the kosher, just to clarify, keeping kosher is following the Jewish dietary laws of kashrut, a way to elevate the act of eating from mundance to holy.

Even Jennifer 8. Lee, in her book The Fortune Cookie Chronicles attests to this intriguing phenomenon of Jews/Chinese and added to that, the food connection.

The Jewish Buddhist dialogue is interesting too. Sylvia Boorstein speaks to the spiritual ties in her book, That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist.

But back to the dating and relationships. If food is really the way to a man’s … and a woman’s heart, then does that offer an answer to my original curiosity on my earlier post about Jewish men/Asian women? Is food the answer to, “What’s with the Jewish man/Asian woman thing?”

I think it’s much more complex. But for now, I like explaining it with the food connection. I’m not the only one thinking this. Genghis Cohen restaurant in New York and Los Angeles is proof that I’m not making this up. The name says it all.

genghis-cohenjpg2

Think . . .

  • Vegetable fried knish (skip pork fried)
  • Sweet and sour matzo ball soup
  • Chopped liver with bean sprouts
  • Teriyaki gefilte fish
  • Pan fried luxion kugel (with cherry sauce)

Not that these are necessarily on their menu, but they’re fun, and in my imagination.

Have any more mutty yummy Jewish Chinese food combos? What about Japanese Jewish food? Drop a comment here.

Thought for the day: If it feels like just when you’ve learned all the answers, someone changed all the questions…you’re right! The axiom, “the more we know, the more we know we don’t know” is true. Live in the question, and don’t get too stubborn about your answers. Sometimes questions are the answers.

A Good Case for Mutts Anonymous

Take this case of mutt anxiety. What do you do if one year the Chinese New Year, which lasts for several weeks and typically falls in February, occurs in the month of March. What are you going to do?

No big deal, you say. Well, it is if you also observe Passover and instead of April, that same year it’s in March and shares the same week with the Chinese New Year. What are you going to do? You have the whole first week of the Chinese New Year booked with festivities. And that’s precisely when the first night of Passover falls and your family gathers for their huge family meal, the Seder, and you’re the only family member with young children and your eight-year-old recites the traditional questions in Hebrew.

You can’t exactly record a CD of her, and have her Hebrew piped in at just the right moment. She’s been practicing for weeks, so what can you do? And she’s so bright, she’s even on her way to knowing her whole Torah portion for her Mutt Mitzvah.

No, what you do is resent the heck out of the situation, that your Jewish mother seduced her Chinese tutor (whose father was a Puerto Rican Swede) and they got married, and all your life both your parents insisted you honor your roots.

chinesenewyear1

All of them.

Thanks a lot.3180426WC014_passover

Thought for the day: Grow to accept, and even like, the ways you are different from your friends and family.

Back at the bar

sushibarBack to the sushi bar… you smile at the guy sitting at the end. It’s a new day, doesn’t matter that he’s white, doesn’t matter he might not take you to meet his mother. You always liked white boys anyway. Jewish boys, even though they never seem to notice you. But that inner voice pops up again. “Does he like me really? Or does he just want some mutt brown sugar mixed with my Asian and the rest?”

You’ll never know until you go for it, and he looks really nice. “Sure,” you say to him, “I’d love to join you for a kappa maki and some sake.”

kappamaki1Even though you quit drinking years ago, you can always let the sake just sit there. You quit shooting up, too, but does he really need to know that part of your mutt-hood?

sake1

Thought for the day: If you want your world to change, start with yourself. Drop the toxic intake — the wrong food, excessive drugs and alcohol, toxic friends and relationships.

P.S. Toxic assets come later in this blog.

What’s with the Jewish man/Asian woman connection, anyway?

You can seduce a man without taking anything off, without even touching him. — Rae Dawn Chong, actress. Daughter of 1970′s Eurasian comedian Tommy Chong. Her mother is Black and Cherokee Indian.


Huh? How does that work? Not even touching? I gotta learn that. Anyway, we all have those inner voices.

Sometimes, and you know you do this, too… Continue reading