Kashrus Agendas

One of my earlier posts was mentioned in my old classmate’s now ubiquitous posts on kashrus. There is a constant refrain to these posts and unless I am not accurately reading between the lines, the theme is:

  • the Rabbis in Melbourne make oodles of money from Kashrus
  • the organisations in Melbourne make oodles of money from Kashrus
  • the standards of Kashrus in Melbourne are too extreme and designed to support a monopoly and those standards cost us money and are unnecessary anyway
  • some kosher good suppliers are making a fortune from profiteering on kashrus.

Enter the proverbial iconoclast, clad in fire-proof armour:

  • I will assume standards of kashrus which are different
  • I will market my standards incessantly across the internet and elsewhere
  • My motive is to bring the price of Kosher food down because I believe (anecdotally) that there are people who eat Treyf because they can’t afford the price of Kosher goods (meat?) that have assumed an OU-like standard
  • My finances and business dealings with partners on these matters are none of anyone’s business
  • My financial books are closed
  • I am answerable to nobody but Hashem
  • London bridge is falling down.

Assuming the motives are earnest and with honourable intent, the line of argument used is rather straw man like. Yes, we would like to see all Kashrus under a central body. Yes, we like to see a collegiate Rabbinate and not isolated breakaways running their own kashrus supervisions/business. Yes, we would like to see the financial aspects of Kashrus provision (where relevant) under the financial supervision of a communal lay body. Yes, we would like to see Rabbis and Chemists and Mashgichim paid properly for their professional hard work. Yes, we would like to see shysters purporting to offer a kashrus service outed.

I assume my erstwhile colleague is serious about his concerns about the price of chickens and more, so I suggest that he invite Rabbis and owners to an independent Dayan. I’d recommend R’ Hershel Schachter.

Vacillating on the internet is okay for musicians like me, but I’d suggest it isn’t a productive path for a Rabbi attempting to convince his colleagues through earnest debate. Some would say it’s a populist agenda like the socialists who put up “Viva La Revolution posters” near my office and all around RMIT. I don’t think they achieve much thereby.

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

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