We have some neighbors who are very involved Jewishly, go to an Orthodox when they go (usually just Friday nights), but don’t keep a kosher home. Not too long ago, they invited some kosher-keepers over for a the Friday-night meal, and they enlisted our help making sure that whatever they served would be Kosher. To that end, we lent them a pot to make chicken soup.
That Friday night, I was walking home from shul with my guests, and ran into my neighbor. We wished each other ‘Good Shabbos’ and then he added ‘Oh, and Rabbi, thanks again for the pot’. To make matters worse, these neighbors aren’t particularly prudish, to say the least, and the term ‘pot’ is more often used to refer to marijuana than to a kettle.
The looks on the faces of my guests were precious. Over dinner, we explained the scenario, but I couldn’t help but think that this is how some nasty rumors can get started.