Last week the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage – or “marriage,” as it can now be known. Brands large and small were quick to show their support for this decision (see an interesting article on that here), with reportedly 3.6 million tweets created using the hashtag #lovewins after Friday’s announcement.
Here at Challah Connection, we were quieter about the big legal news. We simply put this image on our website’s home page, featuring our beloved Rainbow Cookies and stating that their colors had new meaning after the Supreme Court decision.
Here’s another famous cookie making a similar statement:
Honey Maid graham crackers stated that “wholesome has always been at the core of our products” and that it recognizes, “while the makeup and the day-to-day lives of families have evolved, those wholesome family connections remain the same.” Nice sentiment, zero out lash.
Not so for our rainbow cookie statement. We were a bit taken aback by what transpired. If you didn’t hear about it already, you can see this response online.
The website OnlySimchas.com wrote about the displeasure of some of our kosher consumers concerning our “endorsement and support of a lifestyle and activity that is unequivocally condemned and forbidden by Jewish Law.”
I was quoted as responding to criticism of our “stance” on these delicious treats by saying Challah Connection will “stand firm in the Jewish values that implore upon us to show compassion and kindness to all beings”. And that, my friends, IS where I stand!
We believe in freedom. We believe in love, and compassion – for all people, of every faith, everywhere. We are here to help all people gain more access to wonderful items that have sprung from our Jewish faith. Our customers include Jews and non-Jews alike, and that’s one of the things we love about Challah Connection. We are a conduit to Jewish customs, cultural practices, and of course specialty Jewish foods. But anyone can enjoy the special items we sell, regardless of their religious belief. Do you have to be a devout Jew to enjoy a delicious rainbow cookie? To send some rainbow cookies as part of a shiva basket? Certainly not.
This is a big kerfuffle over a cookie. A fabulously delicious cookie. A cookie which is kosher – just like all of the other products at Challah Connection, which are kosher. If we want to have a big Jewish-style debate about rainbow cookies, let’s have it about where their stripes originated, or whether they are more delicious than rugelah. Not about what they mean, or could mean, to people symbolically. Because that is up to each individual person to decipher.
We do not pass judgement on anyone’s lifestyle. We are here because we love our religion, and the many values it teaches: education, compassion, and even questioning our own beliefs among them. No one movement, group or sect “owns” Judaism, it belongs to us all and holds a unique place in history as one of the world’s oldest religions.
It is not up to us to determine what moves people’s spirit, nor judge the direction in which it moves them. But if they are seeking things Jewish – whether that’s rainbow cookies, Sabbath candle sticks, or a mezzuzah to consecrate their new Jewish home – we want to help them connect because Jewish traditions are worth sharing.