May 12, 2007

Zionism - glatt traif?

Is there such a thing as glatt traif? You see in Jewish dietry, and maybe even general, law there is kosher, which is clean or acceptable and there is traif which is unclean or unacceptable. I remember at Hebrew classes a boy being told that his tefillin weren't kosher. They're small cubes with scriptures inside and leather straps to bind them to the arm and the head. His were said not to be kosher because they weren't perfectly cubic. Something like that. My point here is that the term kosher was applied to a non-food item. It's like halal and haram for Muslims. I remember a journalist reporting that when a Palestinian woman heard of a suicide bombing that day she said "haram!" I should say that as with Islamic law some things can be neither halal nor haram or neither kosher nor traif, though some scholars say that everything must be one or the other. Anyway, glatt kosher is like super kosher. It's kosher for frummers or ultra-orthodox types.

Now when it comes to food there are supervising authorities known as kashrus or kashrut (kosherness) commissions to issue licences and guarantee the kosherness of the food. Well the main supervising authority for the frummers in the UK is called Kedassia.

According to the Jewish Chronicle,
A new kosher restaurant was told by kashrut authority Kedassia to stop supporting Israel by displaying a poster for a Yom Yerushalayim concert - or it would lose its licence.

The order was allegedly given to the Mattancherry restaurant in Golders Green, North-West London, because of the long established anti-zionism of Kedassia, the supervising authority of the charedi Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. The restaurant serving Indian kosher food, opened last month.
What I find interesting about this appearing on the front page of the JC is that the zionists are forever making out that zionist Jews are normal mainstream Jews whether very frum, frum, slightly frum, atheist, reform or whatever. Now it appears the main arbiters of what is kosher and what is not are anti-zionist. Now it's not enough to make me go out and be religious but it does go to show that in the Jewish communities (it seems trite to speak of one community) zionism is not quite a done deal. And with some establishment voices now speaking out against Israel and growing demands for boycott, divestment and sanctions, still more Jews may start to consider whether zionism is kosher or traif and opt for the latter.


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