Colgate University Libraries


David Kusnetz


Last year, the nation's largest kosher meatpacking plant was the target of the largest illegal immigration raid in U.S. history and thousands of charges were filed for unsafe labor practices. The raid raised eyebrows across the country and inflamed passions within the Jewish community because kosher meat has always had an ethical veneer. A debate began between Jewish scholars over whether kosher meat produced in an unethical manner can really be considered kosher. This paper argues that the dietary kosher laws are replete with implicit lessons on ethical conduct and if the definition of kosher is not expanded to include ethical conditions of production, then the very moral legitimacy that kosher food embodies is jeopardized.