September 22, 2019
I am taking a trip down memory lane, literally; except, the lane is a track. Again, I am on the Southwest Chief Amtrak train #4 heading to Chicago. From there to Washington, then to West Palm Beach, Florida. I am sitting in the observation car, watching the desert go past through large paneled windows. I am barely awake, even after drinking an 18.5 bottle of black tea. The brand name is Pure Leaf, made by Lipton. I am mentioning this because this is the only product I know of that has a unique kosher symbol, the letter “K” inside of the Hebrew letter “Hei.” For those who are not accustomed to checking food labels for kosher symbols, any attempt to describe the fascination, on my part, regarding the finding of such a rare kosher symbol, is next to impossible.
Even so, may my words be sufficient enough to render any readers, regardless of prior background knowledge, at least, to become interested enough to notice for themselves, Jew or Gentile, the variety of kosher symbols on everyday supermarket food purchases, for whatever it is worth. Needless to say, some readers will be disinterested at this point to learn of a few of the more common symbols. Hence, here is your opportunity to bail out, before I go into detail.
The top three are the following: 1). Orthodox Union, represented by a “U” inside of an “O” 2). A similar symbol, the letter “K” inside of an “O” 3). The letter “K” inside of the Hebrew letter, Koph. Another symbol, a plain “K” is less esteemed by more observant Jews. Yes, there are levels of kashrut (kosherness, for lack of a better translation); some symbols are not accepted by the more strict Jewish food consumer. Lest any reader lose interest at this point, I will not further pursue this divergence.
Gallup, New Mexico recedes in the distance; the train stopped there for about ten minutes for passengers whose itinerary compelled them to disembark there; the train welcomed about a dozen new passengers at that station. In a few hours, the train will be in Albequerque, New Mexico. An announcement for lunch reservations was presently made; and, still ringing in my ears. 10:30 a.m., only shortly after breakfast was closed, the interminabe monotony of repetitious announcements, pertaining to meals on the train begins. Perhaps, I am inclined to find the constant succession of announcements, calling for breakfast, lunch and dinner slightly annoying because I always bring on board my own food. Why? Because I keep kosher.