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Feasting and FastingThe History and Ethics of Jewish Food$
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Aaron Gross, Jody Myers, and Jordan D. Rosenblum

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479899333

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479899333.001.0001

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Jewish Ethics, the Kosher Industry, and the Fall of Agriprocessors

Jewish Ethics, the Kosher Industry, and the Fall of Agriprocessors

(p.317) 15. Jewish Ethics, the Kosher Industry, and the Fall of Agriprocessors
Feasting and Fasting

Moses Pava

NYU Press

Where kosher goods and services were once a local business, kosher food is now a multibillion-dollar industry with a massive international infrastructure. The process of kashrut’s industrialization over the course of the twentieth century has created new ethical challenges that invite us to ask again about the meaning of long-held Jewish values. This chapter considers how the mitzvah (commandment) of loving the neighbor might be expressed and how it failed to be enacted in the high-profile scandals at Agriprocessors kosher slaughter plant in Postville, Iowa, the largest glatt kosher slaughter facility in North America. Going beyond describing the problem, this chapter argues for an extension of traditional Jewish understandings of loving the neighbor and asks what the kosher industry might be like if it followed the lead of ethical business leaders like Aaron Feuerstein instead of taking the destructive path that Agriprocessors followed ultimately to its bankruptcy.

Keywords:   kosher, business, food, industry, ethical, values, Jewish, mitzvah, commandment, Agriprocessors

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