Big Shoes and Tiny Cars for Passover


With the Holy Week upon us, I found my religious understanding challenged today – though not in the ‘touched by the hand of God’ or ‘crisis of faith’ kind of way that sometimes happens around these times of year.

Walking in my New York neighborhood, I was passed by a non-descript minivan with an advertising decal on it’s rear side window which definitely left me thinking for quite some time. “Koshi the Kosher Clown” it said.

Now, I have my share of Jewish friends and while I am no expert, I do feel like I have some understanding of what kosher laws are all about. And I will be buggered if I can remember any mention of CLOWNS.  Not even a passing mention of the circus.

As best as I can tell, the Kosher laws all relate to eating – and what you can and can not eat, if you are an observant member of the Jewish faith.

I started to wonder exactly how “Koshi” has changed clowning to make it Kosher.  And exactly what atrocious un-Kosher activities of other clowns Koshi is saving New York’s Jewish children from?

Perhaps when Koshi makes balloon animals he only makes animals that both chew their cud and are cloven of hoof? But I can’t find anywhere in Leviticus or Deuteronomy that suggests that an inflated rubber incarnation of a pig is an abomination – and I am sure that if it was, the original authors would have mentioned it.  Then again, little kids do frequently put those things in their mouth, so there is a grey area. I think we need a rabbi to weigh in on that one.

But what else? What is it about regular clowns that necessitates this kosher alternative?  The make-up might be scary to many people. The big shoes are ridiculous in any language (including, presumably, Hebrew). But they are still kosher. What else could it be….?

The Chicken Dance? Nope. Chickens are a-ok (with a capital K in a circle, as it turns out).  Now, if it was “The Ossifrage Dance” or the “Eagle”, or “Cuckow”, or “Cormorant” Dance we may have a grey area, but, chickens are fine.  Cautious party entertainers should also steer clear of “the Raven”, so it’s lucky that not too many six-year-olds dig Edgar Allen Poe. (Personally, I was more into Wordsworth at six.)

The only explanation is that he must be a “full service clown” that also provides the party catering.  That makes sense: Koshi is obviously doing a bit of magic, twisting a few balloons and then whipping out the Hebrew National “Cows in a Blanket”. But when I checked out Koshi’s website, the only food he provides is Cotton Candy (in his most expensive package). Presumably he is making some kind of kosher cotton candy… what do other clowns hand out, bacon & cheeseburger candy?

So, I am not sure which I don’t understand… Judaism or the art of Clowning, but I really don’t get the connection to Kosher here. I guess I will forget about the clown for my party and stick with my usual visit from Vegan Elmo.

— Irish

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2 Responses to “Big Shoes and Tiny Cars for Passover”

  1. hey, i am the kosher clown. i was just searching my name on the web and found your article.
    so here it is
    kosher clown-
    kosher mean proper fit-
    i am the kosher clown
    firstly i dont work on the sabbath
    secoundly some clowns make a fun trick while embaressing a kid. i dont do any tricks that cause other kids to be embarressed.
    although i do parties for everybody.
    alot of times i jewsih schools etc.. ask me to incorporate some jewish themes in my show.
    anyway was a pleasure thank you

  2. clightnirish Says:

    Thanks for reading Clight’n’Irish, Avi – the pleasure was all ours! Thank YOU!

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