On Yom Kippur Morning, I spoke about the current kashrut controversy, which was nicely summarized and analyzed the very next day in the New York Times Sunday Magazine (how timely!). Most of what I said was extemporaneous, but my take on the haftarah was written down:
Cry aloud, do not hold back,
let your voice resound like a shofar.
Declare to Agriprocessors their transgression,
to the house of Rubashkin their sin.
Yes, they seek me daily,
as though eager to learn my ways,
as if they were a company that does what is right,
and has not forsaken the teachings of its God.
The ask me the right way,
as though eager for the nearness of God.
“We perform a nice kosher slaughter,” you say.
“Why do you pay no heed?
We perform a great public service for the kosher keeping public,
providing our meat at a fair, even a discount price.
Why do you take no notice?”
Because, day after day,
you focus only on the ritual fitness of the knife.
You care not about the workers,
young children untrained in the safe use of dangerous equipment!
You oppress the immigrant, rob the poor,
in the ceaseless quest for a quarter a pound savings on flank stake!
Your perfectly honed knives will not help you be heard on high.
Is this the feast I look for?
Meticulous meat, pietistic poultry?
Is this acceptable to the Lord?
Is this what you call kosher?
Is this what you call a feast?
Is not this the feast I look for:
to unlock the shackles of injustice,
to undo the fetters of bondage.
to let the oppressed go free?
To pay a fair wage,
to not short workers their overtime,
to care for the dignity of the animals you eat their whole lives long?
Then shall your light blaze like the dawn.
Then God will be present to You.
Then your food will be kosher,
and then God will answer, hineyni, Here I am,
whenever you call.