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Shabbat Dinner at Wendy’s

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Sep 10, 2018
Shabbat Dinner at Wendy’s

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player, Stitcher, or Apple Podcasts. (And please subscribe!)

Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath. It begins every Friday at sundown, and it starts with a meal – Shabbat dinner. It’s a time honored tradition for sure, but in all the years that Jews have been having Shabbat dinner, there’s no record in the rabbinic texts of it ever happening at the fast food chain Wendy’s.

Still, that’s what one group of seniors has been doing every week for the past eight years. (You might have heard about this group from the documentary, Wendy's Shabbat, directed by Rachel Myers.)

This week on the show, Dan travels to Palm Desert, California, to join these seniors for Shabbat dinner at Wendy’s. The group tells Dan why this ritual is so important to them, how they're evolving it, and how they like their fries.


Roberta Mahler (above center, with the group's founders, Sharon and Mike Goodman), another Wendy's Shabbat regular, talks to Dan about  the importance of ritual.

"I feel that you have to have some sort of a routine so that you don't go floating around...and this is what keeps you going," she says.

And Lou Silberman, who organizes the Shabbat dinner, has a very particular food order.

"I either have a Baconator, and some well done french fries. Other times I'll have a baked potato with some chili because I'm gonna tell you something: Wendy's chili is outstanding," he says.

Plus, Dan teaches the seniors how to download a podcast.

Interstitial music in this episode from Black Label Music:

- "When You're Away" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt

- "Django On A Leash" by Jack Ventimiglia

- "Rogue Apples" by Karla Dietmeyer and Olivia Diercks

- "Burley Cue" by Steve Pierson

- "Happy With You" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt

Photos: Dan Pashman

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