In July 2011 UPI reported that three diners were evicted by the owner from a Gothenburg, Sweden restaurant because they did not finish their meals. It is heartening to see a restaurateur who takes pride in his culinary art. But from a Jewish perspective, there are two principles at work. While wasting food is considered sinful, Jews are instructed to leave over some food on their plate as a reminder of the destruction of the Temples. While that sad event remains distant in time, it is still painful for Jews today. And that pain is reflected in our dining habits. I don’t think the diners at the Bamboo Mongolian Barbecue were observant Jews, but not finishing what’s on one’s plate is not always an affront.
Rabbi Wayne Allen
After being graduated from New York University with a B.A. in philosophy and Phi Beta Kappa, Rabbi Allen attended the Jewish Theological Seminary of America where he earned a Masters degree in Rabbinics and went on to receive rabbinic ordination. He has served as a congregational rabbi for almost 34 years, taking on postings in New York City, Los Angeles, and Toronto.