Respectful Insolence

I never saw a vending machine like that before

While wandering through the medical center last week, I came across a rather unusual vending machine, one quite unlike any that I had ever seen before. It definitely hadn’t been there the week before, but there it was now, around the corner from the hospital cafeteria:

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Perfect if you’re on call and feel the need for a potato knish at 3 AM.

I am, however, amused by the “24/6″ label on the machine. Doesn’t it work on the Sabbath?

Comments

  1. #1 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    September 24, 2007

    Well now you know you must try it out this weekend.

  2. #2 Ahistoricality
    September 24, 2007

    Doesn’t it work on the Sabbath?

    Probably not. If they’re serious about it being Kosher, they’d get dinged pretty seriously by the rabbinate for monetary transactions on the Sabbath, not to mention operating machinery and cooking.

  3. #3 Halcyon
    September 24, 2007

    You have to let us know how the food tastes! And why can’t I find one at of the local hospitals near me? :p

  4. #4 Uncle Dave
    September 24, 2007

    Time to test the 24/6 label. See if the vending machine works before sundown on Saturday.

    If it does, there has to be some sort of Kosher specification and integrity board you can call.

  5. #5 Ken Mareld
    September 24, 2007

    I hope its coming soon to a hospital near me (like where I work).

  6. #6 Halcyon
    September 24, 2007

    Well I found their webpage here: http://www.koshervendingindustries.com/

  7. #7 Eric
    September 24, 2007

    Heh, NYT knows what everyone was asking; look near the top:

    The vending machines are called Hot Nosh 24/6. “To make it a little Jewish sounding we called it nosh, and we added the 24/6 to give a little cuteness to it,” said Doron Fetman, who with his partner, Alan Cohnen, created Kosher Vending Industries.

    Although Orthodox and some Conservative Jews do not use electric devices during Sabbath, the creators of Hot Nosh 24/6 will leave that choice to the customer. Despite their name, the machines will be ready to serve 24/7.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/15/dining/15vend.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin

  8. #8 NoAstronomer
    September 24, 2007

    Time to test the 24/6 label. See if the vending machine works before sundown on Saturday.

    Better still, see if it works just after sunset on a Friday.

  9. #9 Ahistoricality
    September 24, 2007

    Better still

    What’s the difference? Sabbath goes Friday sundown to Saturday sundown.

  10. #10 Clare
    September 24, 2007

    And if you’re serious about Shabbat, why are you at work with the vending machine anyway?

  11. #11 Brian X
    September 24, 2007

    Sounds good… there are times I could go for a little kosher somethin-somethin’ at odd hours, if it’s better than the average vending machine food.

    It would be especially nice here on Cape Cod — due to a decidedly small Jewish population on this side of the Canal, there’s a lack of decent Jewish delis. You tend to miss such things when you grow up near a major city with easy access to that sort of thing.

  12. #12 Barry Leiba
    September 24, 2007

    Although Orthodox and some Conservative Jews do not use electric devices during Sabbath

    Actually, that’s not quite it: they will not operate them. The distinction is important: many buildings in NYC (and other places, I’m sure), such as hospitals, have a designated “Sabbath elevator”, which is, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, set up to run continuously and stop at every floor. An observant Jew simply waits for it to arrive, gets in, and then gets out on the desired floor.

    Many observant Jews also use pre-set timers to turn lights and other appliances on and off for them on the Sabbath.

  13. #13 Lepht
    September 25, 2007

    “…they will not operate them.”

    see this is why i mock religion. i mean, honestly. special elevator? technofear by order of Yahweh? this is as stupid as those special Mormon underpants.

    Lepht

  14. #14 Amy Alkon
    September 25, 2007

    Actually, I would point you to J.V. Weinstock’s work on Crohn’s disease — sent into remission in a substantial number of patients with a solution of pig whipworm in Gatorade. It seems keeping kosher may have caused Jews (and Muslims) to be more likely to get Crohn’s. Personally, I suggest an evidence-based approach to life — one of the reasons I love your blog.

  15. #15 Amy Alkon
    September 25, 2007

    Sorry, early morning idiot, not enough coffee. Muslim prohibitions against eating pork. I read about this recently in a book by nutritional anthropologist Marvin Harris, who talked about how hard pigs were on the land in the Middle East…perhaps the reason behind the prohibition. The book: Good To Eat: Riddles Of Food And Culture.

  16. #16 NoAstronomer
    September 25, 2007

    @Ahistoricality

    Exactly! does the machine use the midnight-to-midnight definition of a day? Or, does it use the Jewish definition: sundown-to-sundown(ish)?

    Anyway, Eric provided the answer to the question.

  17. #17 obscurifer
    September 25, 2007

    Funny. Before I read this post this morning, I was wondering if there was a way to make an Egg McMuffin even less kosher. It already has meat touching dairy, and the meat is ham. I suppose if you added a shrimp and cooked it on Saturday morning, you’d have some kind of kosher implosion.

  18. #18 Alex
    September 25, 2007

    Interesting question; how does the difference between electronics and electricals bear on the question? I understand the prohibition on throwing a switch is because it might create a spark and is therefore equivalent to lighting a fire, but what about routing electrons through the other hole in a transistor? – no sparks there!

  19. #19 Graculus
    September 25, 2007

    It seems keeping kosher may have caused Jews (and Muslims) to be more likely to get Crohn’s.

    That assumes that pigs are more prone to those particular parasites. Cultures that don’t avoid pork didn’t have any notable problems with parasites, so I am very doubtful of that.

    who talked about how hard pigs were on the land in the Middle East…

    The worst offenders are goats and sheep, but they aren’t prohibited.

    There’s some desperatae search to make these taboos seem reality-based. I’m not buying until someone gives me hard evidence.

  20. #20 Melissa G
    September 25, 2007

    “Hot Nosh” is one of the best collection of syllables ever to grace the world of snacks-marketing!

    I may have it tattooed across my large intestine.

  21. #21 Warren
    September 25, 2007

    Is it possible the 24/6 is meant to be an inside joke, something that would cause most Jewish people to chuckle while the goyim scratch their heads in puzzlement?

  22. #22 MyaR
    September 25, 2007

    nutritional anthropologist Marvin Harris

    I guess this means “Cultural Materialism” (explicitly Marxist theory of anthropology, and I use ‘theory’ here in humanities sense of ‘framing device’) continues its decline, if Harris is now called a “nutritional anthropologist” (his training is all cultural, not much biological, and his focus was always cultural). Good to hear. I hope “Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches” is no longer a standard text in anthropology, except history of courses, too. (Hey, did you know Hindus are vegetarian and cows are sacred because of population density? Marvin does. The whole chicken and egg problem that brings up never was addressed by him, much less the huge assumptions necessary to use it as evidence for his particular brand of materialism.)

  23. #23 Jon H
    September 25, 2007

    Clearly the machine would have to be ‘working’ 24/7 – because surely the refrigeration function would count as ‘working’, and if that went off one day a week it’d render the food inedible.

  24. #24 Nussin rodin
    September 26, 2007

    Being a rabbi I will explain a few concepts .There is no problem for the fridge to run on shabbat since the prohibition is only against closing/opening a circuit on the shabbat itself .I think that the 24/6 is just a suggestion ,as well technically shabat begins earlier at dusk and ends only some time after dusk So 24/6 isn’t exact any ways. For more questions you can Ask moses.com for answers. About transistors It may be considered building (closing a circuit or finishing an act of building).

  25. #25 tom
    September 26, 2007

    lol, I love this machine :P

  26. #26 Cam
    September 26, 2007

    And if you’re serious about Shabbat, why are you at work with the vending machine anyway?

    It’s in a medical centre; my impression is that violating the Sabbath is required if someone’s life is in danger, which applies to doctors & other health care workers.

    Except dermatologists, of course.

  27. #27 kai
    September 26, 2007

    I was wondering if there was a way to make an Egg McMuffin even less kosher. It already has meat touching dairy, and the meat is ham. I suppose if you added a shrimp and cooked it on Saturday morning, you’d have some kind of kosher implosion.

    I put my money on black pudding (pig’s blood) boiled in milk–recommended as baby food in one of our parenting books.

  28. #28 Prup aka Jim Benton
    September 26, 2007

    Since I live in a predominantly Orthodox neighborhood, I have to ask if the proprietors have set up a small succah for the users of the machine to make use of for this period.

    And Lepht, I have many criticisms of religion, but I’ve never felt it right to criticize someone for voluntarily placing hardships on him or herself because of their beliefs — if such sacrifices are not dangerous to their health like some medical prohibitions. It’s only when they try and enforce these rules on non-believers that I get angry.

  29. #29 Daily Eats
    September 26, 2007

    This is great. Where is the Kosher vending machine located so that we can try it out. Of course not on the Sabbath.

  30. #30 another
    September 26, 2007

    Melissa G wrote:

    “Hot Nosh” is one of the best collection of syllables ever to grace the world of snacks-marketing!
    I may have it tattooed across my large intestine.

    Well that image has undone the magic of the phrase for me, thank you very much.

  31. #31 Matt the heathen
    September 26, 2007

    @Cam

    Didn’t you watch Seinfeld??

    Skin cancer!!

  32. #32 David Berkowitz
    September 26, 2007

    If only I could stock one of these with my mom’s cooking…

  33. #33 Monado
    September 26, 2007

    With a heading like that, I was hoping for one that dispensed kittens.

  34. #34 Onkel Bob
    September 27, 2007

    hmm, I’ve seen that machine… Probably not in your center but at the sister (brother?) institution… (The frau is a Dev Bio Geneticist at Weill Medical.)

    Anywho, the pig prohibition antedates Hebrew culture. Akhenaten, the “sun king” of Egypt appears to be the one of the stronger influences on this prohibition. Lots of theories abound, everything from rebellion against the Hyksos, through leprosy, to my favorite – water consumption. Pigs are preferred animals for feed efficiency, 100lbs of food yields 35 lbs of pig, other animals usually only yield about 10-16 lbs. However, pigs need 2x the water of a cow, 4x of a goat (pound for pound) so…
    I still like the ones in Tokyo. You can get anything, or nearly everything, a man could want – cigarettes, beer, and pornography! Didn’t see any that dispensed sushi or sashimi.

  35. #35 DuWayne
    September 27, 2007

    And if you’re serious about Shabbat, why are you at work with the vending machine anyway?

    Oy, if your serious about Shabbat, how would you know if it works or not?

  36. #36 Monado
    September 28, 2007

    The way to get your mom’s cooking for lunch is to gather lots of tupperware containers, have a cooking session with her help if possible and with her recipes if not, and freeze individual portions for later use. You supply the ingredients and lots of appreciation.

    I’ve heard of people supplying home-cooked (frozen) meals as a service to busy people who work outside the home. You pay for the ingredients, supply the recipes if you want, and pay for the labour. They do the cooking and portioning and probably the ingredient-buying. Both sides benefit.

    One happy harvest my mother and I bought a bushel of apples and made 12 or 13 apple pies, then froze them unbaked. Once a week all winter I got out a pie and baked it. It was great.

  37. #37 Pharma Market Researcher
    September 30, 2007

    On one of the many adventures with the darling wife I believe we came across with one of this devices. I believe it was at the Woodbury Commons outlet mall. Wifey didn’t like my offer of an ASCO or Wonder Drug company bag so we ended up spending $$$$$ at the TUMI outlet. The knish would have been cheaper

  38. #38 custom
    January 18, 2008

    French fires? lol… I never saw too :D

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