J.J Gross

Packing a 24kt gold-plated glatt kosher hamburger for my trip to the Titanic

When you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime $250,000 ride to view the wreckage of the Titanic, what do you pack for your onboard meal? This is no simple question.

A tunafish sandwich simply won’t do. And there is no meal service on board the Titan submersible where I will be one of five lucky passengers; lucky not only to experience this incredible journey. No, I am lucky because I have the spare 250 grand burning a hole in my pocket, and a desperate need for something – anything – that might yield 15 minutes of fame, and a lot of envy from the other parvenus in my shul in Lawrence who failed to beat me to the punch. The glory days of buying Maftir Yonah on Yom Kippur for $5,000 are long gone. That’s just chump change nowadays.

But still, when it comes to onboard dining, it will be each man for himself. And no ordinary meal will do. Even if I will be scrunched in a vertical fetus position, sardine to sardine, with my four other fellow passengers – and perhaps especially because of their proximity – a unique, indeed spectacular, menu is called for. After all, once on board there will be very little to distinguish us from one another. And who doesn’t want to stand out in a capsule loaded with five freshly minted billionaires?

Which is why I was just S-O-O-O- O relived to learn last week that a new glatt kosher restaurant in Manhattan is now offering a 24 karat gold-plated hamburger for a mere $175.

What’s more, this glorious lump of ground beef is served up in a sealed treasure chest that retains the fresh-cooked hot quality of its mouthwatering content. Plus, when opened, the chest will unleash a cloud of savory smoke that rivals the “ray’ach nichocach la-Hashem” – the sweet savory aroma of the sacrifices offered to G-d Himself in the Beit Hamikdash.

I can just picture the salivary glands of my fellow passengers going into high drive as they stare at their meager ham and tuna sandwiches while I, yes I, bite into the purest gold in order to slowly chew a half pouf of beef so rare, it was raised and slaughtered in Uruguay and flown in fresh, not frozen, just for this consummately envy-generating moment. Why, even my fellow nouveau riche passengers, especially they, will realize they have been out-luxuried by someone wearing a large black velvet yarmulke who knew EXACTLY what to get for this submersible picnic.

Finally, Baruch Hashem, I will be able to outdo the two frum couples who took that spectacular helicopter ride in the Gran Canyon, or those three Mirrer yeshiva bochurs who treated themselves to the no-holds-barred, all-out luxury tour of Hungary and Ukraine aboard a private airplane so that they could view the graves of all the tzaddikim while doing barrel rolls at 200 miles per hour.

Yes, I know both of those lucky parties ended up buying the farm, so to speak. But think of it this way, such a Kiddush Hashem — to go up in fiery glory in a totally glatt kosher, ultra luxurious way. Rayach nichoach la-Hashem indeed.

About the Author
J.J Gross is a veteran creative director and copywriter, who made aliyah in 2007 from New York. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a lifelong student of Bible and Talmud. He is also the son of Holocaust survivors from Hungary and Slovakia.
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