Jews and Soup


“What is it with Jews and soup?” my friend asked me.

We had barely walked in the door of my parents’ house, and my mom was offering us homemade asparagus soup. My friend looked at me and mouthed the words, “Larry, have some soup.” It was a reference to an episode of Orange is the New Black where one of the main characters, the Jewish son, is seated at the dining room table of his parents’ house. He is asking his father, a lawyer, for advice. His mother is making forays between the kitchen and the dining room.

“Larry, have some soup,” she tells him in a thick, Jewish accent.

When we watched the scene in Orange, we both laughed. “Ok, my mom is not like that.”

After a glimpse into my freezer, I realized that maybe she was. My freezer is regularly packed with homemade mushroom barley soup, chicken and matzo ball soup, onion soup, asparagus soup, and the list goes on.

The difference between these two moms is that mine is real. For this, I am grateful. The food my mom provides is filled with nutrients, the most important being love.

I often wonder if at some point in my life as a woman of Jewish descent, I will wake up one day and speak with the same accent, my transformation complete.

Already, I mimic the accent, feed people, and search for bargain deals wherever I can find them.

Stereotyping? Why yes, I suppose I am. I stereotype mostly in jest, but there is some truth to the banter.

Maybe, being a stereotype is not such a bad thing. I mean, couldn’t this term easily be exchanged for another. I am a product of my own lived experiences, which includes familial, cultural learning.

If only the problems of the world could be solved with soup and love. My family would be certainly be doing its part.


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