Hechsher Tzedek: What a Scam!

I’m not a conservative and I’m not a liberal. I’m just a Jew and I get mad as hell when liberals and conservatives try repackaging their politics as Judaism. I’m mad when Rabbi Avigdor Miller or Rabbi Daniel Lapin did/do it. I’m mad when Rabbi Eric Yoffe or Rabbi Joshua Hammerman does it. It’s obscene and it’s a scam. Vote for whoever you want but don’t come back from the Republican or Democratic conventions trying to claim that your politics should be our religion. It’s not. Not even if you’re a Rabbi.

Don’t try and repackage the agenda of the Republican Party as Judeo-Christian Values. Don’t try and repackage the agenda of the Democratic Party as Prophetic Values. It’s a scam. And Hechsher Tzedek is a scam and will always be a scam no matter how many quotes its supporters drag out of context to try and promote it. It’s bad enough that Reform Judaism is indistinguishable from the Democratic Party. It’s bad enough that Rabbis have been turned into canvassers. Leave our food alone.

You know when anything gets too big, some other guys are gonna come along and try to grab a piece of the action. Kosher has been getting too big lately. Too popular. It was bound to happen. Now how do you grab a piece of the Kashrus action? You create a Liberal Hashgacha that has squat to do with Kosher and is all about stamping a union label on food disguised as a Hashgacha. Throw out all the euphemisms and that’s what the Hechsher Tzedek scam is all about.

Enough people have called the Hasgacha business a shakedown but Hechsher Tzedek adds a new layer to the shakedown. Forget about plants spending money on just paying the Rabbis and organizations who certify the food. With the Hechsher Tzedek you’ll be paying for union labor and environmental certification organizations. And the same unions collect their dues from their members and pass them on as donations to politicians and other liberal organizations, like the same ones that will be promoting Hechsher Tzedek no doubt. You wash my hand and I wash yours. You impose Hechsher Tzedek on food, kick back the money to the unions at the expense of the consumers, the unions pass along the money to politicians who do them some favors and pass it along to some of the same liberal Jewish groups as a little thank you. The Liberal Rabbis pushing it get to pose smugly against a self-righteous canvas. And you’re paying for it all! Can you smell the Tzedek on that Hechsher Tzedek?

See for all the Jews out there who actually care about the Halacha of Kashrut there’s a whole bunch of Jewish activists who can stuff themselves with cheeseburgers but stay up nights worrying about cows farting a hole through the sky into space. These same guys behind Hechsher Tzedek could give a rat’s ass about the price of Kosher meat but they stay up nights terrified that the Mexican illegals driving the truck might actually get deported back to Mexico after they’re caught molesting a kid for the fourth time. (No human being is illegal my ass.)

Now I’m all for freedom. Freedom of speech. Freedom of labeling. You want to create a certification program that says the meat has passed Al Gore’s high standards (except when it comes to the fish at his daughter’s wedding) and Michael Moore’s high union standards (except on his own shoots) be my freaking guest. Just don’t call it a Hechsher Tzedek and no disguising it as a Hechsher Tzedek doesn’t fool anyone except consumers. It’s a scam. And you bastards know its a scam. Kashrut has to do with the food. Hechsher Tzedek is focused on labor rights and environmental impact and all that other crap. It has to do with imposing an ideology on the food that is not Jewish. So stop trying to pass it off as Jewish.

Kashrut is about standards set down explicitly by G-d in the Torah. You don’t believe in the Torah, that’s your business, but we do. And the Torah tells us not to mix meat and milk. It tells us not to eat certain animals and birds and fish. It tells us which we may eat. That is Kashrut. The Hechsher Tzedek is not Kashrut. It is not Jewish.

You want to create a social values hasgacha, gey gezunter heit. You want to make sure that none of the food ever made a Guatemalan sad or made a penguin cry and has been approved by fifty thousand unions, go ahead. It’s your right. But don’t call it a Hechsher Tzedek, call it what it is. Approved By Al Gore.


10 thoughts on “Hechsher Tzedek: What a Scam!

  1. morris says:

    You clearly have little understanding of either kashrut or hechsher tzedek. First of all, the hechsher tzedek will only be a supplementary hechser for those products already produced under rabbinic supervision. It is neither intended to replace a pre-existing hechsher, nor is it intersted in setting a stnadard that goes beyond Jewish law and values as it relates to six major areas: wages and benefits; health and safety; training; corporate integrity; animal welfare and environmental impact. Each is an area in which there is serious Jewish law involved. In addition, why it is wonderful to state that the laws of kashrut are “explicitly set down by G-d in the Torah” I would suggest to you that the Torah says little about glatt kosher meat; says little about halav Yisroel, says little about the time we are to wait between fleishiks and milchiks to name just a few. It is very righteous to sound off and to worry little about doing anything other than what “g-d tells us to do.’ In which case, not oppressing the worker, engaging in fair weights and measures, providing real benefits for real work are all things you might be interested in promoting–since they are explicitly addressed in Torah.

  2. samuraimohel says:

    The Hechser Tzedek may begin as a supplementary Hechser but I doubt it will stay that way if it begins to succeed

    It has nothing to do with Jewish law, as terms like corporate integrity and animal welfare and environmental impact should make clear. It has to do with liberal politics being passed off as Jewish law which is obnoxious. If you want goods to follow your political standards, then say so. Don’t try to hide behind Jewish law.

    Glatt kosher meat and chalav yisroel are safeguards around Torah law and proceed from Torah law . How long we wait between meat and milk is nothing something that a hechser is applied to.

    If you want to unionize some workers, then just say so. Drop the euphemisms and speak in plain old english and stop talking about Jewish law. Jewish law does not provide for unions. Liberal democrats want unions because union contributions go to Democratic candidates. Unions do not benefit workers. They squeeze workers and companies, driving the latter out of business.

    Jewish law does not provide for enforcing crime syndicates.

  3. Ovadya says:

    Gee Morris, I see you know how wise it is to start out by insulting a person you wish to convince of something.
    Keep up the good work.
    I have some glatt porkwurst I need a hecksher for . You up to it?

  4. mordechai says:

    I see Morris does not consider torah shel bal pei as Torah!

  5. samuraimohel says:

    I’m sure Morrie will be happy to plant his hechsker on pork so long as it’s done by union labor

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  7. DK says:

    Chicken is pareve.

  8. samuraimohel says:

    and your point is?

  9. Laura says:

    I obviously came across this far after it was put online, but I would like to add my two cents. I willingly pay more money for organic and locally grown produce because I know that I am supporting businesses that are in my community and are taking care of the earth. Paying more money for kosher food because it is considered hechser tzedek is not a scam to pay unions, it means you are willing to pay a bit more money to buy food which is more responsible to the environment, the workers who produce it, and treats the animals producing the food more humanely. You could get this from non-kosher products, but why shouldn’t there be kosher choices as well? You can have your opinion about hechser tzedek and food held to higher ethical standards, but don’t try to impress it on everyone else. Some people would like to pass along good morals to future generations that actually work towards a better world and all it’s human, animal, and environmental parts.

  10. samuraimohel says:

    If you want products that meet some liberal seal of approval, just call it that. When you call it a Hechser and imply that it’s a Kashrut certification, you’re committing fraud and prostituting religion for your politics.

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