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