Frumgirl 1: The Kosher Collusion

When you ask the rank and file what kosher means, they’ll tell you, in exactly these words, that a “Rabbi comes down and blesses the food.”

What I have always wondered is where people get this from. Not so much the concept, but the words. Exactly the same words come out of all sorts mouths; I’ve heard it from 80 year old black geezers and Asian Wellesley students alike.

Is there a movie someplace responsible for it?

The concept is rather strange, as well. Is there something in other religions that simply requires a clergyman to bless it before it is considered to be fit for consumption?

Oh, wait. I suppose that if wine and bread can be considered blood and flesh (I have never understood the desire to eat one’s object of worship/salvation,) based on a clergyman’s words, anything is possible.

Where do the non-religious people get the concept from? More importantly, where are they all getting it from in conjunction with one another that they all use exactly the same wording?

Now, I have done my part to correct this gross misinformation by explaining to those that ask what kosher means. Namely, that we have a Rabbi go down to the plant, factory, or kitchen to make sure that no non-kosher ingredients, processes, or machinery are used for the production of our food. But I’d really like to know who the culprit for this one is.

Published in: on August 5, 2008 at 9:05 PM  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Conceptually, the idea comes from right where you think it does: a wafer is just a wafer and wine is just wine until a priest blesses it, after which Catholics believe it becomes blood and flesh. I have run across the same wording, too, and I’m not sure where it comes from. It may just be the non-Jewish equivalent of a bubbe-mayseh.

  2. I was told the “blessing” thing comes from this situation:
    Goy is shipping or making food somewhere and something out of the ordinary happens. Call goes out to whatever hechsher gives the certification to send out the mashgiach to check out the produce. Now imagine this next bit from a non frum perspective:
    A man in a rekel walks into the room, mutters to himself while doing a visual inspection, after some time he pronounces the food kosher and tells them make sure the containers stay closed.

    The non-jews assumption is that the Rabbi came in and by saying a bracha (muttering under his breath) made the food kosher.

  3. What does everyone say to putting a course on the law into high schools?

    I understand certification for kashrut to be legally identical to a union mark or safety seal. The difference lies in what quality is being guaranteed by virtue of being granted permission to use that particular certification mark.

  4. Josh:
    In whose high schools?

  5. hehe – see my comment on the kosher convo with joseph post 🙂

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