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Sopher, R. (2019). Sinful. Psychoanal. Perspect., 16(3):355-356.

(2019). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 16(3):355-356


Rachel Sopher, LCSW

I’d only ever eaten kosher food, and not only that, had only eaten home cooked meals all of my life. We were a religious family, but also a homebound one, the kind that set the table for a sit-down dinner at 5 o’clock every night. This went on for my first twelve years, and it was good in its simplicity.

Then, on one damp school night in late January we pulled into a Red Robin parking lot at the edge of a strip mall in south Seattle—me, my mom, my dad, and my younger brother, Victor. “What are we doing here?” I asked with a bewildered curiosity. This expedition broke so many of my family’s unwritten rules. “Let’s go in and we’ll tell you,” my mom answered. Victor and I stole furtive glances. We were not the kind of family where kids asked a lot of questions. We got out of our beat up Puegot and walked cautiously into the restaurant. Everything seemed so strange, and lively, and exactly like a TV show inside.

I took in the noisy room as my mother asked for a table for four, and then slid easily into the red vinyl booth. “So kids,” my mother started after we had all settled in, “we have decided to stop keeping kosher.” I lost myself deep in the wood grain pattern of the formica table. After a beat she continued, “and, we have actually been eating non-kosher meat for a few months. That’s what we’ve had in the house, and you’ve been eating it too.” My mind wandered to conversations I’d overheard between my parents and their friends with words like “disillusioned” and “hypocritical” repeated in hushed tones.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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