My Onion Ring Accident

My Onion Ring Accident

My daughter ordered a hamburger and I just ordered some onion rings.

Oh, do I love onion rings! Hot and a slightly crunchy and subtly sweet. Major yum!

And what’s even more majorly yum is hot, crunchy, subtly sweet onion rings followed by a banana milkshake from the shuk. Majorer-yum!

So Hallel and I were walking through the shuk with my banana milkshake in hand, when Hallel said, “Eema, do you think maybe those onion rings were fleishig?”

“No, definitely not, they wouldn’t make fleishig onion rings. They’re parve.”

“But maybe the oil had some meat in it?”

“Oh, you’re right…let’s go make sure” and Hallel and I headed back for the two minute walk towards the hamburger place.

But we had barely walked five paces when I said, “You know, I’m sure they were parve” and we turned back around.

And we had walked barely five paces when I said, “But just in case, you’re right, we should ask.”

And we turned around and headed back to the hamburger place when I said, “But you know what, I already took a sip. Anyway there’s nothing I can do now about it…”

And we turned around and took a few steps when I said, “Actually we should go and check. I shouldn’t drink the rest if I’m fleishig.”

So we walked to the hamburger place and the cook told us that right before he’d made my onion rings he had made a batch of mini schnitzels in that very same oil. And nope, they weren’t veggie.
I spent long hours this week working overtime editing and translating submissions for the “I’m a Hero Too” Chanukah Contest (FYI the final date for submissions is Monday). I really like to post something on every weekday, but I just haven’t had time over the last week or so to work on the regular daily posts. So I’ve been posting a lot of videos. The equivalent to the TV dinners you eat before a big family simcha.

So this Tuesday, I was happy to see that a JewishMOM sent me an awesome video to post. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it was inspirational, taught an important lesson, and in the video a man tells his mother that she is his biggest hero. PERFECT!

Only problem was that the video contains a very explicit reference to an idolatrous religion.

No problem…I wrote up a warning for sensitive viewers and pasted the embed code. And I had my finger ready to left-click on “Publish.”

But then I remembered that just a few months back I had discussed a similarly problematic video with Rabbi Sperling, whom I often consult when I’m not sure whether something is kosher enough to post on And he had just laughed and said “No way!” So I took my hand off the mouse.

But then I thought maybe this time Rabbi Sperling would say it was OK since this video is otherwise so amazing and important and 99% kosher (or at the very least 95%). So maybe I could post it just for a few hours until Rabbi Sperling would be home in the evening and I could ask him? Probably it would only get a few hundred views by then…what’s the big deal? So I put my hand on the mouse again and moved it towards “publish.”

But then I looked up at my annual goals that I keep taped up by my computer (that’s the weird kind of thing you start doing when you join Rabbi Nivin’s chabura) and the very first line read, “My 5774 mission is: Posting content on that comes from my heart and that makes JewishMOMs feel happy, inspired, and proud to be JewishMOMs, and,” uh oh…, “gives nachas to Hashem.”

Hmmm, this video definitely touched my heart and would make JewishMOMs happy and inspired and proud to be JewishMOMs. But Hashem, I’m pretty certain, would NOT be so thrilled with my decision to expose so many holy JewishMOMs to idolatrous beliefs. And I took my hand off the mouse again.

But I still wasn’t sure what to do. I tried to call a different rabbi who has a cellphone, and he didn’t answer. And then I thought Anyway, the idolatrous belief is SO ridiculous that it just makes idolatry look bad!!!

But then I looked back at my goal, and decided to wait to post the video until I could check it out for sure with Rabbi Sperling a few hours later. But in the end I never called him. I was disappointed that instead of posting that incredible video I had to post something lame instead… but I felt OK with it. I knew I had done the right thing.
This morning Efrat and I were supposed to meet for our Netivot Shalom chavruta at 10 AM. But I arrived really late and she had to leave really early. So she said, “Maybe we won’t learn this week?”

“OK,” I said. Anyway I was hungry and wanted to get home to make myself something to eat.

“Then again, maybe we should learn…I’m already late for my meeting, but let’s learn for one minute.”

“OK, one minute.”

“Or maybe we should just learn later, I’ll call you?”

“OK, that’s fine…whatever’s best for you,” I said, but I knew from my five blessed years of Efrat-Chana-Jenny-Chavruta experience that when we procrastinate about learning, it NEVER happens.

“You know what, y’allah, lets do it. Just one minute! Let’s just open up the Netivot Shalom and learn one paragraph.”

So we opened up the sefer Igeros-Kodesh style, and this is what the Slonimer Rebbe zts”l told us:

“If a Jew takes it upon himself to sacrifice his own personal desires to serve Hashem, he is considered as though he gave up his life and died as a holy martyr Al Kiddush Hashem.

“Because through accepting this self-sacrifice he cleaves yet again to the root of all Holiness.”



  1. Judy Lieberman

    wow! very powerful!

  2. I admire your ability to admit/expose/disclose
    Most cannot do what you do, Chana Jenny

  3. Bracha Goetz

    So real – it expresses so beautifully how we all try to rationalize doing wrong things. This very helpful post must be giving a lot of naches to Hashem!

  4. oh hi Bracha!

    speaking of self-exposure and honesty and good writing..

    i’m getting fantastic feedback on your poem “A Hellenist Left Standing” out now in the Kislev issue of N’shei Chabad Newsletter

    like this essay by Chana Jenny, it is so honest, so real, so NOT self-aggrandizing

    if you allow me, i would send it to Chana Jenny for this website

  5. Bracha, we really shouldn’t be meeting this way!

  6. Thank you for saying out loud what most would be terrified to expose. Very brave.

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