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Do You Have a Fear of Fleish?


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Picture this scene: you’re cooking dinner and realllly want to have that piece of shnitzel that’s dangling off of the whole chicken breast. But you hold off.

Or how about this: your friend offers you a taste of her salami that has been drying in the kitchen for 2 months. She never shares but is willing to give you a bite of this aged delicacy. But you hesitate.

Have you ever heard of the term “FOF?” I recently learned that it means “fear of fleishig”—that condition that drives kosher-observing individuals to double- and triple-question their decision to eat something that is meat, or made with meat.  Once you have that one bite, you’re “banned” from having anything dairy for the next 1, 3 or 6 hours. So it’s easier to say no, so that just in case you want a piece of chocolate in the next 6 hours you can go for it.

I now slap myself silly when I fall prey to the genetic (because being Jewish is in my genes) disease. After all, my family’s custom is to wait 3 hours between meals. And guess what, folks: it takes about 3 hours for your body to finish digesting a meal. So you wouldn’t even reallllly be hungry until then.

In my opinion, a bite of perfectly crispy, hot steak is more satisfactory than a slice of American cheese. When you’re spending all of Friday cooking for Shabbat, allow yourself to sample the food you’re making. Not only is it extremely important to
taste the food you are going to serve to your guests, but you also deserve to try it before anyone else!

From the perspective of a dieter, sneaking in those bites while cooking might actually help your efforts at eating healthy. If you are fleishig, you won’t be able to have dairy snacks and junk lying around your house. There are few dairy treats I really would miss, and in most cases, you won’t want them 3 hours later. Holding back from giving into your cravings can help show you what your dieting weaknesses are.

So steal that bite, and have a few more. In 3 hours, you won’t regret it.

Unless, of course, you really need coffee. That I sort of understand.

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About Jessica Levenson


Jessica is currently a sophomore at Barnard College majoring in religion, and actively involved in Jewish life on campus. She is from West Orange, NJ and attended Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School. Jess aspires to one day be a chef in Israel.




5 Responses to Do You Have a Fear of Fleish?

  1. comments taken from facebook:

    1) Cory doliner: man up and drink your coffee black #likeabossss

    2) Chava Blivaiss: love the shout out… (<–chava is the one who offered me salami!)

    3) Seffi Kogen: [my sister] has long maintained that it's important to always be milchik because there's always a chance someone might offer you free ice cream at any moment…

  2. avatar says: annax456

    Also, it’s the pending chocolate that really gets me.

  3. SO TRUEEE!!!! this is exactly how i feel everytime i want to eat fleishigs. Great points though!!

  4. I know someone that worked in an ice cream store and had a bite of chicken every morning…amazing how we’ll hold out for kosher…we really do have self control after all! :)

    FOF…cute acronym…

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