Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Asleep at the switch?

Question: Who at the Times's Dining Section thought it would be a good idea to make their lead story about Vietnamese sandwiches and their off-lead story about pizza on the day that about 20 percent of the city's population will stop eating bread for a week?

I'm speaking (of course) about the Jewish ritual (which is observed by your schlubby correspondent) called "Passover" in which we refrain from anything yeasty for the next 8 days.

And while I would never dream of faulting a venerable institution like the New York Times for not knowing all these pesky details about obscure religious observance, I always thought that there were at least a handful of Jews who work there. Who -- you know -- could explain to the others.

(I guess I shouldn't criticize: My own dear mother, who is of Hebrew persuasion, draws a paycheck from the Times. But she doesn't edit the Dining Section.)

The funny thing was, it occurred to me that this would be the perfect pair of stories to run exactly one week from now.

By day four of Passover, everybody gets nervous and edgy and would kill for a crust of real bread. If I saw this in the Times next week, I would be salivating.