Judaism and maritime

Zebra, lettuce and tomato sandwich.
ZLT; sounds tasty.

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Nice chuckle

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We had a close run with prohibition in 1918 until a canny politician included the votes from soldiers still overseas but the result was liquor outlets closed at 18:00 and were shut on Sundays.
This led to the six o’clock swill. A pub a few miles from my parents house had a bar with a capacity of 2000. Semi trailer tankers full of draft beer filled up the pub ready for the afternoon rush as the male workers downed tools at five and rushed to the pub to down as many beers as possible. There were no seats, just tables one stood at, the beer was served in jugs filled by the the barmen using two guns on hoses. On Saturday the ambience was enhanced by a radio going at full volume broadcasting the horse racing.
Going to Europe was a revelation.

The rugby players in Vancouver resented the early pub closing times. They exploited a loophole by establishing private clubs so they could stay open all night. They had to charge for membership to be legal but they only charged a few dollars and anyone who didn’t mind drinking out of mason jars was welcome.

Did they have wine on the galley table for holidays? I worked with a Bulgarian who said he spent a decade working for an Israeli company with Israeli officers. He said they celebrated a couple of Jewish holidays that required some special Jewish wine on the table for the meal. He said the company prohibited them from drinking the alcohol but by law had to provide it to be on the table. Decoration wine sounds too tempting to me.

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I personally find the whole topic, Bull Shit. I sailed with a Captain well over 15 years who happened to be Jewish. That he may not be observant per @DeckApe’s definition did not make him any less a member of that faith. I could easily use that definition of “observant” or some other pitifully narrow constraint and spout similar crap but substituting Christianity, Islam, or any other religion.

I know an Engineer as well (though didn’t sail with him) and an airline pilot that are Jewish, so what. There are many reasons, and circumstances that lead people to the career they choose. That they didn’t wear their religion on their sleeve’s didn’t make them any less Jewish, Christian, Muslim or whatever. Nor was their religion ever an issue for those guys to be friends of mine.

Referring to the guy who sailed as Captain, his dad was an electrician and worked on the railroad. My friend the Engineer, his dad had a TV repair shop in the town he grew up in. The point being they are like everyone else trying to make a living for their families.


I’ve don’t ever recall sailing with anyone from Iowa, any Cherokee Indians, a person with 6 toes or a ventriloquist. If a mariner made a similar observation I wouldn’t call it bullshit, I would just assume they’re like me & have too much time on their hands & like to discuss their random thoughts on an open forum with other mariners. I definitely wouldn’t call their personal observation & willingness to discuss it bullshit. Why so sensitive @Chief_Seadog? I didn’t see anything offensive by the OP’s personal observation.


To start the conversation off by “guessing” the reason for not knowing any practicing Jewish crew members is the restriction on working Saturday is frankly…stupid. It is using a narrow constraint of that observance to define who is Jewish in a workplace that runs 24/7. That may not have been DeckApe’s intent but that is how it comes across (to me). I have to wonder if that conversation didn’t start until after numerous beers or other alcoholic beverage were consumed.

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My grandfather was Jewish but he wasn’t observant. (He married a non-Jewish woman, my grandmother, and she didn’t convert to Judaism.) So my knowledge of the religion isn’t as good as, say, Protestantism. I appreciate your opinion. Haters suck.

Adding: I’ve worked with many denominations of Christians at various levels of observance. I’ve worked with many followers of Islam of various forms of observance. Any questions I’ve had over the years were answered by these people. Heck, I think I know more about Islam than I do about the religion of my grandfather. I’d ask him but he’s been dead for many years now.

The other side of my family were Buddhists. (The younger ones are agnostic.) But there’s no prohibition on work/rest so it’s not an interesting topic for this forum.

Personally, I didn’t give a shit what religion you were/are… The job description is rather apparent upon application. If you can meet the requirements thats good. If you can’t ,don’t accept the job. We needed all hands every day as crews get lean and leaner. Again, your religion is your choice, but be ready and able for the task at hand, and on call when needed, no matter what day it is.

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Seventh day Adventist’s also strictly observe sabbath on Saturday. I went to school with an observant Jewish cadet, but he ended up transferring to a different college and so never passed license. In my observance, training ships still observe Sunday at sea, pretty much as described in “Two Years Before the Mast”: no MNR activities or class, only the Watch Standers have duties. Full scrub down is the only work done, but after that is satisfied the rest of the day is a BBQ/free time. The mess staff I think also has an easier day in general, and all day workers have off. Usually a non-denominational religious service is arraigned by cadets who practice, or a school staff member who practices.

I don’t have any of tnhese problems at my workplace but, At my wife’s hospital there are Jewish and seventh day Adventist’s among the staff, usually they demand that they be allowed off on Friday and Saturday for religious reasons. I have yet to hear of Catholics or Protestants, or Muslims demanding off at her work place, but I know the staff who get shafted so some can always have every weekend off do complain about whether the situation is fair, especially in regards to holidays. Holidays are the worst because the even the more relaxed observers of any faith, want them off to observe.

Sailed with many Jews. Three specifically comes to mind in the MM&P hall in New Orleans in the 1990s. Two I sailed with in the New York hall on the Sealand ships to Puerto Rico and these are just the ones I sailed with, there were probably more. I sailed with several unlicensed Jews, one I remembered was an electrician with a homemade Star of David tattooed on his right arm. While in Saudi Arabia on a Central Gulf ship he had a band aid covering the Star, several of us were standing around the gangway when one of the cooks said to the electrician " I see you cut yourself again" we all got a good laugh out of that.


I remember this from Australia in the late 1960s/early 1970s. I also remember that the pubs in Brisbane were closed on Sundays, but there were a row of pubs open just outside city limit. (Not too strong DWI rules then)

PS> The UK had their “Time Please”, but at least that was at 10 o’clock.

Sailed with a steward with 2 thumbs on one hand; used to dangle in the soup.

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I realize this topic is about Judaism and maritime but it seems to evolved into discussion of other religions nationalities etc.
So, perhaps someone could answer a question I’ve had for many years. The last part of my career I worked on vessels associated in one way or another with the oil industry. I worked with folks from many countries while in the western hemisphere, US, Scots and people from England. Never ran across anyone from Ireland though they live in the same island as those from Scotland and England. When asked about it I didn’t get much of an answer though on one drillship in 2014 when I asked a Scotsman he said,“You don have many blacks that I can see either.”
Nationalities seemed to be better represented in the eastern hemisphere.

Ermmm… not the same island, and most definitely not the same nationality unless they’re from the occupied counties (which is still debatable depending on their political leanings).

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Also there are a lot less Irish people at sea because they have a very small offshore oil and gas sector compared to the UK.

It’s not going to get much bigger as they banned offshore oil exploration last year with a ban on gas explorations to follow.

Neither zebra more horse is kosher…so I wonder how that expression was started.

I wonder how many people have changed faiths from the one that they were born into ?
In order to better understand other faiths.