If Mt. Sinai were in your house…

A friend emailed this set of “Laws Concerning Food and Drink; Household Principles; Lamentations of the Father” today. It’s from The Atlantic in 1997, but I hadn’t seen it. Perhaps you will enjoy this as much as I did.

Laws Pertaining to Dessert
For we judge between the plate that is unclean and the plate that is clean, saying first, if the plate is clean, then you shall have dessert. But of the unclean plate, the laws are these: If you have eaten most of your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite consisting of not less than three peas each, or in total six peas, eaten where I can see, and you have also eaten enough of your potatoes to fill two forks, both forkfuls eaten where I can see, then you shall have dessert. But if you eat a lesser number of peas, and yet you eat the potatoes, still you shall not have dessert; and if you eat the peas, yet leave the potatoes uneaten, you shall not have dessert, no, not even a small portion thereof. And if you try to deceive by moving the potatoes or peas around with a fork, that it may appear you have eaten what you have not, you will fall into iniquity. And I will know, and you shall have no dessert.

Perhaps laws such as these would be the perfect antidote to the increasing lack of civility in our culture. I am tempted to write a similar set of Leviticus-inspired laws for conduct on Sunday mornings at church.

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