Cold turkey - "Immediate, complete withdrawal from something, especially an addictive substance."
So this week I've gone cold turkey from meat - doesn't quite sound right does it?
The whole custom of not eating meat during the nine days between the 1st and 9th of Av - the day when according to tradition both Temples were destroyed, seems to have lost some of its meaning. Now it seems that keeping the custom is all important whilst the reasons for doing so have become secondary.
During the course of the 9 days, instead of steak or chicken, people show their sadness by gorging themselves on salmon and sushi with restaraunts changing their menus to get in the (un)festive mood.
Although I'd choose a good sirloin over a salmon fillet any time, I have a problem with the concept that eating fish, often more expensive than meat, in luxurious surroundings is a suitable way of showing one's sadness for the destruction. I have therefore decided that just as I won't go out to a concert or the theatre during the 9 days, if I'm going to restrict the foods that I'll eat then it's inappropriate to eat foods which I associate with luxury and Sashimi just doesn't make the cut I'm afraid.
We have still managed to survive the week on pasta, eggplant, squash, lentils and rice and you certainly can't see any of my ribs poking through just yet - still I'm very aware of having changed my diet and it has helped me to appreciate the solemnity of the time - the chicken soup tomorrow night will only taste sweeter because of it!