The OU’s Double Standard

DovBear notes something I meant to post on, but forgot due to a computer crash and other matters – the OU’s double standard. DovBear notes in a post about the Conservative Movement’s new Tzedek hechsher:

…If the halacha is more demanding then the law (as it, in fact is) don’t companies, in our view, have an obligation to go beyond the law? Who’s the posek that told the OU that companies don’t have to go beyond the secular law when it comes to choshen mishpat? Anyway, if the OU is so certain the government can be relied upon to enforce Jewish law, why do we need the OU’s kashruth division in the first place!?… [We really don’t – see here.]

The real problem, though, is this: R’ Genack’s boneheaded response opens the OU to the charge that they embrace a double standard by considering the government reliable for some questions of Torah law, and not others. Worse, it suggests us that ben adam l’makom laws are more important than the laws that tell us how to treat each other.…

Of course, that charge is true. Orthodoxy is far more concerned about rabbinic minutia and humrot of kashrut law than they are about breaking a biblical command about treatment of workers or cruelty to animals. That’s one major reason why you should not be Orthodox.



Filed under Kosher Business?, Kosher Meat Scandal, Modern Orthodoxy, Rubashkin Worker Abuse

9 responses to “The OU’s Double Standard

  1. YUGUY

    Chumrah double standards are nothing new. Your typical yeshiva guy wont put cheese and fish in the same room because of a chumradikkah sakunah, but smoke two packs a day.

  2. N

    YUGUY, that is indeed an absurd practice. Then again, I’ll bet you won’t eat fish and meat off the same plate, even though the rabbinic ruling on that matter is dated and no longer relevant – if it ever was relevant.

  3. Marc

    I agree with you; Orthodoxy is not for me, either. I want to find a way to keep mitzvot without drowning myself in empty legalism. Just the same, I don’t want to go crazy on the other end, wandering around in a fruitless search for the easiest option. Simply put, I want to make Judaism normative. What am I supposed to do? Does anyone think this is even possible?

  4. YUGUY

    I do eat milk and fish though. While I agree that avoiding meet and fish is not a major relevant point in Judaism, it was still set and established into Judaism through many centuries of practice. I do not eat fish and meet together, but I DONT SMOKE either. My point was that the logic is sakunah, these people are killing themselves but dont want to eat fish and milk!!!

  5. …And dumbing it down for the rest of us: Don’t click here!
    The preceeding has been a shameless self-promotion.

  6. Yochanan Lavie

    Marc: I agree with you. I am interested in Union for Traditional Judaism, and Chovevei Torah, since they are more open-minded than most Orthos. However, they are still stuck in the legalistic mire. I like the Karaite approach to tanakh- but I they are too literalist for me. Conservative Judaism has become too PC, and too scholastic. I would like to see a post-rabbinic Judaism that takes the best that the rabbinic tradition has to offer, and combines it with common sense, modern insights, and even counter-traditions such as Karaism. I would like to see a Judaism that takes God and mitzvot seriously, w/o being a chumrah of the month club. I don’t think I will ever see it.

  7. Anon


    I am a Orthodox individual and read your blog regularly. I even donated to your recent charity drive. I think your logic is skewed here. It is irrational. Because the leadership is poor doesnt mean the religion is wrong. Modern orthodoxy – particular the Rav Lichtenstein type – seems up your ally.

  8. Nigritude Ultramarine

    What I would like to do is to learn how to schecht my own chickens. I envision a small co-op type of situation with say ten guys who all know how to schecht chickens. This group would meet once a month in someone’s garage or basement. This group could buy, say, 100 chickens, and slaughter, “flick”, salt and soak them together. Afterwards, everyone could divide the chickens amongst themselves and freeze them.

    /Wash, rinse, repeat every month or so
    // Alternatively, why can’t an individual simply hire a schochet to come to his house?

  9. Anonymous

    Judging from the article it appears that the “Tzedek Hekhsher” will only apply to food. What sets worker abuse issues in food production apart from any other good or service a Jew buys? If there were any real emphasis on halachic worker treatment the demand would be to place this heksher on everything; buildings, cars, clothing, cleaning services, etc.

    Alternatively, is the newfound sanctimoniousness an attempt by the C movement to change the subject and show unflinching resolve about SOMETHING after their complete milquetoast resolution to the gay issue? “We respect your lifestyle, will honor you as Rabbis and sanctify your social unions…but don’t you dare have sex!”

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