Arts & Culture

Jews, Football and Cream Cheese

When my roommate moved in this fall he told me he practiced his religion 18 Sundays a year starting at 1:00pm in front of his 50 inch television, with a couple of beers and maybe some pizza or chicken wings. … Read More

By / January 30, 2009

When my roommate moved in this fall he told me he practiced his religion 18 Sundays a year starting at 1:00pm in front of his 50 inch television, with a couple of beers and maybe some pizza or chicken wings. He is a very devout practitioner. I’ve seen him watch multiple games in a day, frequently swearing and yelling at the TV even occasionally jumping out of his seat in jubilation (or rage). So, with his Highest Holiday coming up this Sunday, we decided to open our apartment to the community of football fans could share in good food and bad beer. We’re doing our part in keeping the Super Bowl the most watched television event of the year. But as our guests started respond to our invitation, I couldn’t help but notice an absence of positive responses from my Jewish friends. But had made me wonder if I had not noticed before, but did Jews not like football? Maybe my Jewish friends, most whom are generally social justice loving, lefty, and nebbish just aren’t into football? But at a peace rally a few weeks back while we shivered in the cold, I noticed one friend keeping warm in a NY Giants hat. So I started to ask around. Turns out some Jews do like football. As one yid who works in a sports marketing firm said, “sure, Jews like football, they like to bet on it and they like to own it.” This was relayed to me during a drunken Shabbat evening, where I was also told that a third of all NFL team owners are Jewish. But do Jews play football? After all my first exposure to football was the Friday night high school football game – an obvious no-no for observant Jews. Even college football is played on Saturdays – again problematic for the same reasons. And there is this issue of touching footballs a/k/a “pigskins.” Can Jews touch the skin of a non-kosher animal? A friend’s mother says the 614th mitzvoth is “Jews don’t play football,” but I haven’t yet gotten a good explanation to why. Although not every Jewish mother got that memo because Alan Veingrad, Ron Mix and a few others play and have played professional ball. So, Jewish or not, if you plan on partaking in the great American tradition of Super Bowl Sunday, here is a super easy, really yummy bean dip recipe you can make for your party.

Cream Cheese Bean Dip 1 package (8 oz) of cream cheese 1 can (15.5 oz) of black beans garlic powder to taste Take the cream cheese out of the package and soften the cream cheese either in the microwave (a minute or two in a microwave safe bowl stirring frequently) or on the stove (on low heat stirring frequently). Stir in the beans and add garlic powder to taste. Serve warm with corn chips.

Recipe by Dena Fleno