Friday, November 23, 2007

Interesting Posts and Articles #7

1. Three posts on whether water or wild donkeys were found by Ana:
At MevaseretTzion (and comment section), at DovBear (and comment section), and at OnTheMainLine (and comment section).

2. LineMan has a nice Letter to the Editor to Mishpacha magazine.

3. AishOrchestra has decided to believe 9/11 conspiracy theories. What can you do? There is a lot of silliness in this world.

4. Hirhurim posts a link to an excellent and short shiur (audio) by Rav Schachter, about being normal. From several years ago, but really worth listening to.

5. A silly article in the Wall Street Journal about turkey (as the tie-in to thanksgiving) Hechsher Tzedek and the expansion of the meaning of kosher. Silly because (IMHO) you can tell the bias of the reporter by the way certain facts are presented, and how things are juxtaposed. Two examples:
Judaism's taboos on pork and shellfish, as well as the requirement to separate meat and dairy products, are well known even among gentiles. Yet for many contemporary American Jews the taboos can feel arbitrary, cumbersome and devoid of meaning (only 17% say they keep kosher homes). At the same time, some Jews who do find spiritual meaning in the dietary laws have become frustrated that kosher food production does not always reflect their values.
and the choice to close the article with:

Not surprisingly, many officials in the kosher foods industry prefer to stick to a narrow definition. Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Kashrut Division of the Orthodox Union, the largest kosher certification agency in the U.S., says matters of health, safety and workplace conduct are "not trivial," but their enforcement is better left in the hands of federal and state governments.

Atlanta's Rabbi Norry disagrees: "Kashrut has got to mean more than a symbol on a package."

Does Rabbi Genack really think that Kashrut does not mean something more than a symbol on a package? Of course not.

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