New York – When the Conservative and Reform movements weighed in on the recent federal raid on Agriprocessors in Postville IA, it raised a fundamental question of what connection they have with kashrus.
Only a small number of Conservative and virtually no Reform Jews observe kashrus, at least not the kashrus that is in accordance with Torah and halacha. So when the Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism issued an advisory to its members and constituents asking them to evaluate whether it is appropriate to consume Rubashkin products, who exactly were they talking to?
True, that there are many Conservative Jews who buy kosher products because it is so widely available and perhaps they sometimes think about their Jewishness, but it certainly has no connection to the Conservative movement that does not even believe in Torah shebaal peh.
Rabbi Morris Allen of Minneapolis who is the author of a new “tzedek hechsher” that would take into account how animals and workers are treated is himself a vegetarian and manipulating Torah and halacha seems natural for a him as a leader in a movement that has quite a track record of doing so.
They even have the audacity to use the Hebrew words of al pi din, when their ranks are rapidly dwindling and they are directly responsible for an intermarriage rate that has exceeded 50% in the US.
What do they know about Tzedek? Where were they when pioneers like the OU brought kashrus to the masses or when the saintly Satmar Rebbe and many other orthodox rabbis raised the standards of kashrus, including glatt kosher and cholov yisroel? They were most likely eating treife at McDonald’s as most of their members do today because of their misguided leadership.
And going from the ridiculous to the sublime is a suggestion by “Rabbi” Richard Levy, director of the School of Rabbinic Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, to create a Reform kosher certification. He says it actually would be more stringent than traditional kosher laws because ethical considerations would be added to existing dietary prohibitions. “I would like to see it as an extension of halachah,” or Jewish law, he says. “It would expand what dietary practice means in a Jewish setting to include a concern for the people who harvest our food, bring it to market and sell it, a concern with the pain of living creatures, which has led people not to eat veal or foie gras, to look for free-range poultry and beef, or more humane methods of slaughter.” Levy thinks such a system could emerge in the next decade. With whom? With the Jews who will no longer be Jewish? Halacha? How ridiculous when they believe that Torah is man-made and has no link to Sinai!
The Conservative and Reform movements are obviously hanging on to straws. They know fully well that they have lost their youth and are on a steady march to oblivion. Their past is checkered with being destructive on kashrus like when Conservative rabbis were instrumental in striking down the 100-year plus kashrus laws that protected kosher consumers in New York State.
They are only too willing to play that role again, to deny even their own innocent constituents the right to eat kosher whenever they want and to cause prices to go even higher which would further squeeze the middle class and poor Jews for whom kashrus is a way of life, not a manipulative tool to perhaps benefit from the largesse of kashrus and to bash their Orthodox co-religionists for whom there is a bright future.
There should be no mistake that our wrath is not against innocent Conservative and Reform Jews who are simply tinokos shenishbu but against the leadership that has made a mockery of Torah and has suddenly discovered kashrus for altruistic and public relations value. It is high time that we tell them that kashrus without Judaism is none of their business even if they think that there are hidden millions to be made.
If they are so concerned about Kashrut why don’t we see any reform conservative owned Kosher plants anywhere?
This is also a good time to remind our progressive thinking Orthodox Jews or as some call them the “modern Orthodox” that they need not be intimated by the politically correct values of the Conservatives and Reform. The reverse should be true: The Conservative and Reform should learn from those who have done so much for yiddishkeit (i.e. NCSY). Taking on an apologetic mode with our co-religionist leadership, many of which are intermarried and whose children and grandchildren no longer function as Jews, is a perverted way of being proud of what we have accomplished. Any gesture of joining them or boycotting our own just to please these rejectionists of authentic Judaism is a disservice to Torah and Yiddishkeit. Yes, we should choose our ‘mechotonim’ wisely but only those that believe in the eternity of Torah as was handed down at Har Sinai, which we celebrated only yesterday!