Friday, January 15, 2016

Whales are Not Kosher - and Other Things I've Learned as a Writer

I think every writer finds themselves researching something for their work at some point, and usually it's helpful stuff like the year of birth of Marie Curie's daughter Irene or the logistics of riding an ostrich, but sometimes we go down the rabbit hole and end up learning something you never intended to learn.

The other day I learned that whales are not kosher; whether you want to call them fish or mammals, they lack the fins and scales or cloven hooves and cud chewing that would make them kosher.

And all because I drew a doodle of a spaceship. It was meant to be a zeppelin with a glass dome at the top but ended up looking more like a whale wearing a yarmulke. My ADHD took over from there.

But someday I may be writing about a seafaring Jewish character and I'll know the basic guidelines of what they would and wouldn't eat. Maybe not. But you never know.

Now, the real question is this: 500 years in the future, with humanity spread across the universe and religion more or less obsolete, would my space travelers have any idea what a whale or a yarmulke is?

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