Bintel Blog

This Week in the World of Kosher

By Nathaniel Popper

  • Print
  • Share Share

What goes into making food kosher?

The debate over this question has recently raged in America after the poor working conditions at the Agriprocessors kosher slaughterhouse were exposed. The new Magen Tzedek certification has proposed that kosher food follow certain labor and environmental standards, but many Orthodox rabbis have disputed whether kosher certification can encompass anything more than the strict rules of kashrut.

Israelis are having their own version of this debate, looking at whether kosher certification should look at more than how the food is prepared. The chief rabbinate in Israel, which provides most kosher certification in the country, wanted to pull its kosher certification of a bakery owned by a Messianic Jew — a Jew for Jesus. The Israeli Supreme Court said that the chief rabbinate could not hold this baker to a higher standard than any other baker: “The Kashrut Law states clearly that only legal deliberations directly related to what makes the food kosher are relevant, not wider concerns unrelated to food preparation.”

In making its decision, the court cited a famous previous decision about an American-émigré belly dancer. In that decision, the court had ruled that the performances of the belly dancer at a hotel or catering hall could not be used to disqualify the site for kosher supervision.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the debate over kashrut has taken a different form during a European Union session on creating unified standards for animal slaughter. Last month, the British Farm Animal Welfare Council released a report stating that kosher and halal slaughter did cause animals “significant pain and distress.” In the end, though, the European Union passed a regulation protecting kosher slaughter in all EU member states — thus exempting religious slaughter from a requirement that all animals be stunned before they are killed.

No word came from Brussels on the belly dancing issue.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Magen Tzedek, Kosher, Jews for Jesus, European Union

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.


Comments
Jonathan Loring Tue. Jun 30, 2009

I would have thought by now the Magen Tzedek would have given its seal of approval on some product. But to the best of my knowledge the Magen Tzedek is still just a concept. It is not a reality. Why don't you, Mr. Popper, write an article about how long the Magen Tzedek is taking to truly be a part of the marketplace?




Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.