4 thoughts on “On steak and stumbling blocks”

  1. What are your thoughts on the converse situation?: Guy breaks his fast so his friend who isn’t fasting isn’t offended for whatever reason…

    1. +

      It really depends on the situation. Am I breaking fast out of the law of love, or because I just want to break fast? This really requires a person to be very honest with himself. I think an example would be helpful, holler if you got one in mind.

      In general, the “law of Love” requires a person to be consistent and honest. I mean, if I’m visiting someone’s home and there’s lots of non-fasting food but some vegetarian dishes, I can help myself to the foods that are fasting as much as possible. If the host is offended and then says, “oh, you didn’t try this or that”, then depending on your relationship with that person will dictate how you respond. If this person is someone not familiar with the Church etc… and it’s very offensive that one not eat, then that person ought to eat. The person, however, doesn’t need to pig out on the other foods because it’s his only chance to do that! Today, though, a lot of people ask “any dietary considerations?” – because now there are many vegans or people who need gluten-free foods etc…

      If the person who invited you is Orthodox but for some reason didn’t realise it was fasting day (let’s say they don’t fast Wednesday and Friday, as an example), then perhaps it’s best to stay quiet and eat the food, rather than to shame them. If it’s your buddy from Church, however, and he just didn’t feel like fasting and it’s someone you chill with a lot, then it’s not hard for you to say, “Bro, you don’t got anything fasting?” I can’t go through every facet because there are so many, but again, it’s going to depend on your relationship with the other person coupled with internal honesty with self.

      What say ye?

  2. One time I was studying with a friend at his house and it was dinner time with his family who are Muslim. I was fasting and I had my own food, but to my ignorance that was actually culturally offensive (even in our culture too). So I regret the decision to be overly strict of my rules in this specific situation. However the family was kind enough to say next time just let us know your restrictions and we’ll accommodate for you. Nevertheless, I think it’s not right to try to tell them what I can or cannot eat if I’m not allergic to the food. So this is a personal experience where I believe it is okay at this particular moment to break the fast because it is rude not to eat the food that family offers you unless you’ve grown comfortable enough with them that they can accommodate for you. So don’t let “siyami” food offend either 😉

    1. +

      Absolutely! This is a good example. I mean, had they before coming said to you, we’re going to make you dinner, is there anything you can’t eat? It would’ve been easy to explain it to them, especially because they also have a concept of fasting themselves. But if you’re a guest in someone’s home, then I think the proper thing to do is to accept their act of love and not offend them. Even the hermits in the desert broke their fasting rules for the sake of visitors.

      Thanks for sharing this experience! 😀

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