Culture, Justice, Religion

Less brains… More meat

I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Apparently Kosher Today has now started a war against the Conservative Movement’s not yet even fledgling Tzedek Hechsher. Failed Messiah has been blogging up a storm on their most recent efforts to undermine the possibility of this actually happening. Gotta love it: Kashrut is big business, so hey, who cares that there are a few laws about how one treats workers, too? Those darn Conservative Jews, always looking at social issues.
Fhew.
No sense reinventing the wheel, story here, extensive quoting:
http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2007/01/the_truth_about.html
http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2007/01/how_accurate_is.html
http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2007/01/the_campaign_ag.html

12 thoughts on “Less brains… More meat

  1. this is so typical.
    if God is true (or truth), shouln’t we as jews have more of a respect for that holy virtue???
    but no. the religious right have their own agenda, and they spin it as emet. they pervert the very notion of truth.
    how can they blaspheme so and demean human dignity, which is afforded us by God???
    why can’t people stop caring about where ideas come from and value them on their own terms?

  2. the people from tzedek hechsher could care less about workers rights.
    they just want a piece of the cake.
    they dont want the orthodox to have a monopoly on the multibillion dollar kashrus industry.
    they definitly realize that they cant get in if they dont care about kosher so they make up some other bubeh mayseh about workers rights.
    worry not, the orthodox will polish up on workers rights and so on, and the conservative will remain on the outside until they make up some other crap to sell to the unknowing masses who are just trying to keep kosher.

  3. the people from tzedek hechsher could care less about workers rights.
    they just want a piece of the cake.
    they dont want the orthodox to have a monopoly on the multibillion dollar kashrus industry.

    I’m wiling to believe all kinds of ugly things about my own movement. Lord knows we’re disorganized, often sloppy – as I believe Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg said,
    “It doesn’t matter which movement you belong to, as long as you’re alittle ashamed of them. ” But nevertheless, I must take exception to the above comment.
    Tzedek HEchsher is unlikely to make money for the movement. I highly doubt that anything like the huge moneymaking hashgacha enterprise will come out of this venture (in fact, IMO, it’s more likely to be, like much else, disorganized and haphazard). NO one is doing this for money – it came out of internal pressure, and a lot of internal discussion of the problems that had been arising from the exposed politics of the Rubashkin’s scandal.
    Thoseof our congregants who kept kosher started wondering aloud if they were doing the right thing; those who didn’t started trumpeting their virtue in not keeping kosher (nevermind that the proper response is not to eat treif, but to eat vegetarian). It’s already a struggle, uphill, for Conservative rabbis to advocate values such as kashrut – this is a stab at doing something about maintaining the attempt, and not giving up in despair.
    I suppose it’s nice that in the Orthodox community there’s no question that people will keep kosher no matter what the slaughterhouses do. Still, I can’t help but feel there’s something wrong when no one blinks an eye, as long as the meat is “kosher” according to the rules on food, even to an extra minhag such as glatt, but can’t be bothered to care about the suffering of the animals, or the treatment of the workers.

  4. “the people from tzedek hechsher could care less about workers rights.”
    The people backing this hechsher absolutely care.
    I would just like to point out that this issue is not limited to “social issues” as KRG suggested, as
    1) workers issues are classified under labor and fiscal issues, not social issues. Those of us on the fiscal left are quite concerned about these things, which is why this is enjoying such broad support.
    2) this is affecting our own community, not someone else’s. Hence, quiescent Jews are concerned, not just activist ones. We do not want animals being tortured which we ourselves eat out of ritual.
    3) Kudos for crediting Failed Messiah like this. This was his crusade.

  5. the people from tzedek hechsher could care less about workers rights. they just want a piece of the cake. they dont want the orthodox to have a monopoly on the multibillion dollar kashrus industry..
    Accusing the Tzedek folks of financial motivation while neglecting to crticize the Orthodox response on these grounds … talk about the pot calling the kettle Treif.
    As those of us in the Orthodox community know (sadly), subjects like worker’s rights and other social issues are seen to be (non-Kosher) granola-crunching Godless lefty liberal matters that represent nothing more than the Conservative movement daring to infringe on our perceived hallowed moral high ground.
    Feh!

  6. I don’t get it. Although I agree that the idea of a Hechsher Tzekek is a nice thought, I don’t see how it could actually get companies to change their means of production. It is the US government that regulates the way employers treat their workers, not religious groups. I suppose that a few companies will sign on, but they will probably be the kind that already treat their workers right.

  7. “I suppose that a few companies will sign on, but they will probably be the kind that already treat their workers right.”
    Well, then we’ll know whose who, won’t we?

  8. why are you people mixing the two things together?!
    the kosher certification and symbol that appears on the food content, is to inform you about the food itself (the “cheftzah”) to know its status in terms of production and ingredient makeup.
    nothing to do with a specific faction of jews. (other than to trust the one in charge, the “overseer” with HIS standards in kashruth, a G-d fearing person. )
    so if this new “hekhsher” is worried for the way they treat their workers, they should add their “hekhsher” to the products with an existing one. you find many times, more than one hekhshr on a single product. so what is their true intention?! the business? maybe??

  9. THEIR INTENTION IS TO ENSURE THAT THE PEOPLE WHO PROVIDE US WITH KOSHER MEAT DON’T TREAT THEIR WORKERS AND ANIMALS LIKE SHIT!!!!!
    HOW CLEAR CAN ONE POSSIBLY MAKE IT?

  10. Jabotinsky– there is already widespread use of non-food criteria behing kosher certification (esp in Israel– open on shabbat, christmas tree in lobby of hotel with restaurant, etc, etc). This only extends that tradition to the world of “bein adam l’chaveiro” [interpersonal] halacha.
    And this does not need to belong to a specific subset. Ideally, all the OU and StarK and ChofK guys would say “gee, that’s a great idea! Halachot of not causing pain to animals and treating workers are really important– lets do it too!” and it would become universal.
    I don’t know if they will add this to products with existing hashgacha. I’m assuming they are still working out the practical aspects.
    As for the profit issue, see KRG’s comment above.
    Why are you so skeptical here about motives? These guys have yet to earn our distrust.

  11. Rebecca m-
    Because they’re different, and different is bad.
    Btw, anyone notice the hypocrisy that always results from the equation of MONEY + RELIGION?

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