Thursday, October 25, 2012

An Important Kosher Conversation


Writing re kosher supervision. There are many things added to foods, that are harmful to health though they have been certified as kosher, GMO is extremely damaging but it is certified as kosher and etc. The question and request is since it is Torah law to not do things that harm health, how can all these harmful additives, GMO etc. be certified kosher, and also animal food products from animals that are badly mistreated, it is not just how they are shechted, it is how they are treated and live their lives before being shechted and the conditions also at the time of shechting… Torah is against cruelty to animals but this is not considered when animal food products are certified as kosher. Please, our people are getting sick unnecessarily because of the food they are eating which is making them sick. People trust that if something is labeled kosher it is healthy and OK to eat, but it is not so. Please, think the requirements for kosher certification need to be changed not for profit, for care of am Yisrael. Thank you for your consideration.


Thank you for your email. You have raised wonderful points.

And the answer is, that kosher is not a HOLISTIC approval of all 613 mitzvot, commandments, but rather a SPECIFIC approval of those mitzvot that apply locally to kosher law. The misconception is that kosher means EVERYTHING is ok, and that is not the truth at all. "Kosher" means that it adheres to those narrow rules that apply. Kosher does not check for all the mitzvot and health concerns. Very fattening or high cholesterol foods can be kosher, but not healthy for you. Therefore, those concerns that you mentioned, although important laws, are not part of the kosher inspection.

It would be similar to going to the doctor and getting a full physical and passing with flying colors and therefore deciding you do not need to go to the dentist or the eye doctor. But the doctor just checked his parameters. He did not check your teeth or eyes. So to be completely healthy you ought to check those things too.

I agree with you that a person should take care of his health and should make sure that the food he eats adheres to all healthy standards and that the people preparing it must be moral.

Perhaps there needs to be another type of certification that checks for those other concerns. And perhaps it should be made clearer that Kosher does not necessarily mean healthy or that all the 613 mitzvot have been checked for. Maybe there should be a checklist of ALL the aspects that one needs to check for before he eats his food.

As far as the shechita goes, and this may sound contradictory, but I have been in a few slaughterhouses and great care is taken not to treat the animal cruelly. Even though the animal is killed, there is a great reverence for the life that is taken.

Thanks again and please let me know if this answer suffices and please feel free to ask any other question you have.

All the best,

Rabbi Zev

1 comment:

  1. Rabbi,
    Please phone me at your earliest opportunity.
    I have a Kashrus query.
    Kind Regards
    Pinchos Woolstone