All I Ever Wanted Was a Cheeseburger

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About Dennis Danziger

Dennis Danziger - author of the novel "A Short History of a Tall Jew," working on a memoir, "5 Shows a Day - Dispatches from the War on Education."


  1. Somebody says:

    Actually, I do not think it is possible to be a good person indeed, and eat a piece of a killed animal, sorry. That just does not work like this.

    • Rebecca Dru says:

      I’m sorry…but to place judgement on a human being like Dennis Danziger because he is meat eater is beyond my comprehension…this man touches people’s lives every day. He’s an amazing teacher….a favorite of many of his students and a talented writer. He’s a kind and gentle soul with a terrific sense of humor and for you to place judgement on him because he doesn’t live his life as you do is wrong. Humankind has been eating meat for thousands of years….for some people, they choose not to and that’s their prerogative as it is yours….it’s simply a matter of respect. Dennis Danizer IS a good human being….and I quite enjoyed this article.

      • Thanks Rebecca…and I rare eat meat. Like four times a year. And usually when I’m at a wedding. Whoosh, there are some strict folks out there who really know what’s good and what’s evil. Please don’t invite her to your next salon….

    • What I respect is that somebody who believes in the absolute good or evil of actions writes under the name of Somebody. That’s brave. Sorry, we disagree. Off to eat a late night snack of sausage and peppers.

  2. Shelly Frisch Small says:

    Hi Dennis,
    I’m a classmate of your wife’s from high school.
    I must tell you how much I enjoyed your article, it made me laugh, alot.


    Shelly Frisch Small

  3. Marenamoo says:

    I am Catholic and I like your honesty about separating the rules from the intent. Removing what you find unreasonable and keeping what you find uplifting. I wonder how your parents felt about all of this.

    • Hi Marenmoo, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You’ve said succinctly what I think I was trying to say by telling the story. Re: how my parents felt about all this. They never knew. Or chose not to know. What did actually bother them a great deal, actually drove my mother up the wall, was that I was a strict vegetarian for about 15 years and when I did not eat chicken and roast beef and the world of deli meats in her refrigerator when I came home to visit, it dumbfounded her. Every visit home, at every meal my mom would say, “So are you still vegetarian?”

      • Marenamoo says:

        I find that your mother found your rules about being a vegetarian restrictive slightly ironic and funny. Having said that I am a mother and often think that the rules that I have for more children and my thinking about what they do – hilarious. Things like not sharing a room in my house when they live together etc. Sometimes we just enforce things that are hard to understand even to ourselves but in our gut seems like the right thing. That is why I try not to be harsh about others opinions. We are confusing even to ourselves.

  4. Liz Rueven says:

    I appreciate your telling it as it is and as it happened. Your references to the O.T. Is a great reminder that for ancient laws to be relevant, we need contemporary interpretation. I grew up in the NY area as a gal with 2 stomachs; kosher at home and treif on the outside. It took years of exploring my own comfort points ( including plenty of almost squirming lobsters consumed on the Maine coast) to land on my current , fully committed way of observing the laws of kosher. Plenty of folks are kosher like me, that is kosher at home and vegetarian when eating out. It is precisely the way my grandparents from Poland honored the rules here in our golden medina.

    • Liz, love way you’ve dealt with the kosher situation. Makes a world of sense. Thanks so much for sharing your solution. And by the way, I thought treif was spelled treyfe. Where’s my copy of Leo Rosten when I need it.

  5. Dennis, thanks for tweeting me this post – I’ve always found the stern rules of the Orthodox community hard to comprehend in the modern world, and I could taste that cheeseburger you bit into in rebellion and freedom! I’m a member of the not-observant-but-still-culturally Jewish sect, and agree that Tikkun Olam is the best lesson in the Jewish religion, and one I try to incorporate into my everyday life as much as possible.

    What I want to know is how did two Jewish boys make it onto the basketball team :)

    • Sharon, thanks for your kind note. We seem to be in agreement on a number of counts.

      Now, how did two Jewish boys make the basketball team? Easy, it was Texas in 1965. The schools were segregated. That’s probably the only reason we made the team.

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