Taxi Drivers! kashrut vs shabbat


So I had an appointment today and hopped in a cab there and back. My driver on the way back was an Israeli dude of about 60. I was wearing kisui rosh (haircovering) long skirt – the whole 9 yards of being frummi woman. So he could tell I was MOT! (member of the tribe)


We started talking about pesach, and all the preparations. He told me he isn’t religious, but enjoys the holidays when he can get time off from driving his cab.


What is it with cab drivers and philosophical discussions?! He wanted to know what mitzvah I thought was more important – being shomer Shabbat or shomer Kashrut. I told him it’s difficult to compare and contrast the two, because they are both fundamental parts of being a religious Jew.


Here I was in a cab, getting a lecture from a secular Jew. He says, in the 10 commandments it says Zachor et yom Hashabbat Lekadsho – Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. In cab drivers opinion, because it doesn’t say Shmor (keep) et yom Hashabbat – its not as important as Kashrut. Obviously he didn’t give me a source for why kashrut in his opinion is more important. But he felt it is.


He also felt that the reason there is so much evil in the world is that the Jews are not living in Israel. We cannot, according to him, say we are living in the Golah, because we have Israel now. We are transgressing G-ds laws by living in Chutz LaAretz, outside of Israel. Interesting point coming from Israeli who makes his life in Canada, dontcha think?


So, fellow MOTs – lets have your opinion on the subject – what’s more important? Shabbat or Kashrut? Or Taharat Hamishpacha? OR are all 3 are of equal importance? Is there something more important than those?


11 responses to “Taxi Drivers! kashrut vs shabbat

  1. I think its a question better answered by a Rabbi than a cab driver

  2. The reward for shooing a mother bird away when you’re taking her eggs is the same as for honoring your parents; that is a long life.

    I was taught that since both the easiest of mitzvahs to perform (shooing a bird)is equivilated with the hardest to perform (Honoring your parents [Admit it! It’s very hard for a lot of people!]) that *all* mitzvahs are equal in the eyes of Hashem.

  3. Its not possible to separate these miztvot because what would shabbos be while eating pig or a cheese burger? eww. part of the kedusha of shabbos is being “in sync” with your maker, as much as you know to be. its saying yes to him being in charge for a day and letting go of your own agenda.
    on the other hand, i eat to much on shabbos. is it true that calories dont count on shabbas?

  4. Sammy – you are so right, but its amazing how opinionated these guys are!

    Elias – thats what i was taught too.

    Lori – i didn’t think of it in that way. eating traife while keeping shabbat just doesn’t jive. euw exactly! apparently only kosher calories dont count on shabbat 😉 i think that expression came about because you are not supposed to diet or count calories on shabbat.

  5. I’d pick Shabbat. It just makes far more sense to me.

  6. I was always told that the food calories dont count,but what about the “L’chaims?” And the question that was never answered, is on a Shabbos where two Torahs are taken out, can you take 2x the length of Shabbos Nap? And what about those 3 Torah Shabbos’ I hope so !

  7. It’s difficult to say. I was leaning towards Shabbat because from our experience, keeping Shabbat helps children form a connection to Judaism and in forming that connection, you create Jews who love Judaism.

    At the same time, keeping kosher helps remind us daily that we are Jews. So I can see the benefit in that, although, I think there’s also the negative side of those who resent keeping kosher because it makes them “different.”

    There was a time where I had a bit of a crisis of faith, but it was Shabbat that brought me back. At the time, I was newly married and had no children. As I watched someone light Shabbat candles, it occurred to me that if I didn’t follow the path of traditional Judaism, my children would never know that. My husband’s grandparents escaped Nazi Germany. His grandmother lit Shabbat candles in secret in Germany and out in the open in the States once she moved. I felt that she had a right to Jewish grandchildren-to share those candles and my children had a right to their religious traditions. It was Shabbat that brought us back.

  8. I give them both equal weight. We don’t exactly have a pick and choose religion. LOL

  9. His reasoning is flawed! The Decalogue in D’varim DOES use the word “shamor” in connection with Shabbat.

    And there is so much evil in the world when people CHOOSE to do evil things. To blame evil on where Jews reside, misplaces the responsibility by moving it away from those who commit trangressions.

    All mitzvot have kodesh-potential…meaning they bring moments of sacredness into our mundane experiences. While they should not be viewed as an a la carte menu, for those new to ritual observance, God’s expectations can be overwhelming.

    Heck, even for those of us comfortable with the mitzvot, God’s expectations can sometimes be overwhelming!

  10. i think the most important thing is to let the not-so-smart israelis drive the cab and not question Hashem’s commandments

  11. lady lock and load

    The not so smart Israeli doesn’t seem stupid to me at all. Seems to me he just has some Jewish guilt and he is trying to justify his lifestyle.

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