Hello friends, and Happy New Year! My name is Tori, and I’m a Shiksa. Welcome to my official Shiksa Blog. Here I will be posting articles, recipes, and cooking tips for people who are interested in Jewish cuisine.
So, what exactly is a Shiksa? More importantly, why is this Shiksa writing a blog?
I’m glad you asked! Most Yiddish dictionaries describe “Shiksa” as simply a “non-Jewish girl.” But it doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out that historically Shiksa has been considered a term of insult. In the past it’s been used with a certain amount of disdain, reminding Gentile women that they don’t belong to the Jewish tribe. Some have even equated the word Shiksa to a “vile abomination” or an “unclean thing.” Not so cute, right? When I first heard that, I took offense. I’m a Shiksa, and I assure you I take showers regularly. Luckily, those definitions aren’t very popular anymore.
Nowadays the word Shiksa is pretty much used with good humor… as it should be! While some might choose to hold on to the checkered past of the word Shiksa, I’m for reinventing the word entirely. After all, there are many Shiksas in the world. Interfaith marriage is becoming increasingly common. And a Shiksa who falls in love with a Jewish person, or Jewish culture, is not an abomination. On the contrary, I believe the word should be endowed with a new meaning—one that is positive and unashamed.
Therefore, I’d like to officially liberate the concept of the Shiksa from its derogatory past. There are too many of us these days to not celebrate our God-given Shiksa-ness. Shiksas unite! :)
I’ve been lovingly referred to in our family as “The Shiksa” for many years now. I began dating my hubby about 8 years ago, and started studying Jewish cooking around the same time. I was surprised to discover that what I had previously understood to be Jewish food (bagels, gefilte fish, matzo ball soup) was actually a tiny part of a larger and more complex international cuisine. I’ve learned that Jewish food can be colorful, healthy, flavorful and inspiring!
I am currently writing my debut cookbook, The Shiksa in the Kitchen. It includes an array of delicious recipes gathered from Jewish family kitchens all over the globe. I am fascinated by the traditions and history associated with Jewish cuisine. Food is a way of communicating; the energy we pass on through our cooking feeds the body as well as the soul. By recording the stories and recipes of Jewish family cooks, I hope to help preserve and celebrate the food traditions of Jewish people.
This blog will follow all my adventures—in the kitchen and in life. It will also offer friendly information for those who are interested in learning more about Jewish cuisine and culture. I look forward to sharing my decidedly Shiksa perspective with you!