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Author:  Renee
E-mail:  not available
Date:  10/6/2004 3:36:00 PM
Subject:  Curds and whey and Sephardim shaking hands
Message:  I posted awhile back a little bit about homemade cheese and curds and whey. I realize that this isn't part of most people's everyday reality lately.

I also worked an audit once in a cheese factory and had an opportunity to experience firsthand the by product of the industrial cheese making process, a vat of whey protein which is commonly sold off for other industrial uses such as protein drinks and as a stabilizer. Honestly, I couldn't get the smell out of my clothes, let alone think of digging into the stuff.

Anyway, regarding Miss Muffet:
During the cheese making process, when the milk is heated and the cheese just starts to coagulate, the "curds and whey" (basically cottage cheese), nice and warm, is delicious in a bowl with toast (think warm cottage cheese with kashkaval flavour).

Anyone who ever made cheese (and plenty of Syrian families did when I was growing up) knows that "curds and whey" bare no resemblance to the industrial by-product whey that is a common ingredient in packaged food today.

Little Miss Muffet knew what was good!!! And it sure wasn't "whey" as commonly known today.

Reply: We got many samples and if we were to even think of feeding it to a dog, we'd get bitten by it immediately.

Regarding the custom of men kissing their hands after shaking hands with another Jew, I was taught that we show reverence for any object that we do a mitzvah with. My husband kisses the Shabbat bread that allows him to make Hamotzi, we kiss the Sukkah as we bid it goodbye after Shemini Atzeret, we kiss any object that is used for a mitzvah. The hand that welcomes another Jew into our community, that shows Ahavat Yisrael for a neighbour or wishes a "Kol Hakavod" for one who has just received an aliyah is also doing a mitzvah. We kiss the hand as a sign of love for another Jew and also to show love for Hashem who is allowing us to use our hand to do a mitzvah.

Reply:  Thanks for the info and insight

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