An immigration raid at the nation’s largest kosher meatpacking plant has opened a wide rift among Jewish leaders over the company’s ethical conduct and led to new interest in a campaign to create wage and safety standards for workers producing kosher food.
It tells (1) of America’s largest glatt Kosher plant that was shut down by immigration for a series of labor violations including unpaid overtime, underage works, illegal immigrants, dangerous conditions, and the like. (2) It voices the opinion of Rabbi Morris J. Allen who is backing a project in the Conservative movement called Hekhsher Tzedek (that means “justice certification” in Hebrew), and it (3) shares the opinion of major Kashrut authorities that suggest that everything is well now that the problem is fixed.
My issue here is not to say that Morris Allen is right. Arguing that Kashurt requires ethics as well as dietary rules is his position. That’s too obvious for anyone who doesn’t object to evolution being taught in the public schools. But rather, what a great time we live in. Here is a moment when we can teach kashrut as meaningful. When we can talk about ethical kashrut and eco-kashrut. We can make the issue of Kashrut (being fit for Jewish use) a whole new moment. We can’t get the instant lessons out fast enough, but a word to the wise: jump on this moment and start teaching.