Enlightening Article in The New Yorker About Kosher Pork

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You may have heard about the humorous mix-up that led to some pork being labeled as kosher. Yes. You heard right. The pork was not actually kosher, it was mislabeled. It would have been hard to fool somebody as it clearly said “pork” on the label.

The usual suspects among the orthodox Jewish blogs tab articles on the mix-up and the comments ran the gamut from incensed to amused and from serious to satire.

One might like to think that these comments, sometimes lucid, frequently enlightening, often written in broken English, other times written with contempt for the outside world remain within the virtual box of orthodox Judaism. This is not the case.

I have heard from prominent people who work within the interfaith community that these orthodox Jewish new sites are monitored and mined. Our comments are being read by anyone who is interested and many are interested.

Our news sites, especially Vosizneias have been quoted in the mainstream press and even comments have been noticed or quoted in the press.

The New Yorker, which I don’t read, mostly because when I do, I haven’t the foggiest idea what they are talking about, ran a story on the reactions to the kosher pork mix-up. I was able to understand this article. It has the highbrow humor that I usually don’t get, but since I know all about the kosher pork, I think I was able to follow.

Anyway, I was informed about this article because someone found it offensive. I did not. You can read it and let me know if you think it is offensive to orthodox Jews.

But I am more concerned with two much more important issues.

1) Our comments on VIN and other similar sites are being monitored. It behooves the commenters and the moderators of these sites to be sure that nothing that is published will harm relationships between Jews (orthodox or not) and non-Jews (and also between orthodox and non-orthodox Jews). I have a feeling that many commenters assume that their words are sealed within the vacuum of the orthodox Jewish world. They are not. Many of the remarks may not be sincere, they just be flip, but they can read the wrong way and they are being read.

2) Our English is horrible. The New Yorker copied and pasted random comments into their article. The comments sound like English is the second language of their authors. For many it is, but isn’t it time that all orthodox Jews living in America learned basic English? Would it not be better for Klal Yisrael if we could express ourselves in a respectful articulate manner? I think so.

Anyway, enjoy the article. It is a bit humorous and for once we can all read a New Yorker article and understand the context. And please be careful about what you write online and how it is written.

Link: New Yorker

HT: @bethanyshondark

  • Anonymous

    People should be careful about what they write or say always.  This is not only about non-Jews reading the sites but about anybody reading the sites.  I cringe when I read what idiocy people post on these sites.  People just don’t care unless they see an immediate harm.  It is like the story of two girls chatting on a bus about a friend who had just gotten engaged and they just couldn’t believe she would want to marry such a terrible boy.  The lady sitting in front of them turned around to thank them for this information, and was now going to tell her daughter to break off the engagement.  The girls went into a frenzy, backtracking on what they had said and trying to convince the mother that it was indeed a good match.  The mother wouldn’t hear it and was adamant that she will have her daughter break it off.  As the mother, got off the bus she turned to the girls and said “I am not the mother, but what if I was”.  The lesson is obvious, but I think there  is a more sublime message we all miss when hearing this story.  It is about the nature of people, we do not think about our actions until it is too late. We need to think before we act or speak or post a comment.

    As to your second point, while it would be nice for everybody to be articulate and well spoken, reality is that not everybody will be.  I do not mean this as a criticism, but you,as a law student should not be making grammatical or spelling mistakes in your posts, but sometimes you do.  People do not take the time to edit what they post and spelling mistakes go unnoticed.  Also, everybody’s literacy will be on a different level.  I am sure if you read posts from other ethnic groups you will find the same.  Maybe the moderators should edit the comments so that it appears everyone is well spoken.  You cannot teach everybody to be super literate.

    • Who said super-literate?

      How about just literate?

      • Anonymous

        C’mon you know what I meant. Why is that every time somebody has something to say you try discrediting it by picking on some little nuance.  Be fair.  You seem to have a very hard time accepting that others may have valid points so you nitpick to fiend some little inconsequential point to argue on.  If  you have a real reply, than respond, if not leave it be.

  • Barney Martin

    Well, as you know I read a number of those site (including YN and VIN), and while I have on occasion seen comments that were extremely blinkered, there has rarely been anything that offended me – but by the same token, types mining those sites for offense will find something, often entirely innocuous, that they can blow up into an evil Jewish plot, or evidence that Jews despise gentiles. They will find what they look for. Even if it isn’t there.