To what extent does NJJN further Jewish values when it advertises the pleasures of eating bacon, shrimp, and mixing milk and meat together? NJJN is a Jewish paper. Laws of kashrut have been around for thousands of years and were designed to keep the Jewish people a holy people, to make the simple animal act of eating into a spiritual experience, and to prevent Jews from assimilating. “In every generation oppressors rose up against us,” not just with a sword but with an enticing promotion of culinary delights that are in dissonance with Jewish values.
Why do you call yourself a Jewish newspaper, why not a nonobservant Jewish newspaper? I consider myself a modern, educated Jew who has been exposed to secular life for eight decades. I went through public schools and colleges and have attended public forms of entertainment. I have taught in Reform and Conservative synagogues and Orthodox schools. I cannot begin to tell you how many times secular Jews have explained kosher laws as Orthodox laws or laws only practiced by fanatics, or, more kindly, by “observant Jews,” as if to say that more modern Jews have no need to adhere to the dietary laws.
“Food is cleaner today.” “Pigs no longer carry diseases.” “I am an American,” as if to say that keeping kosher is no longer obligatory for Jews because we live in a country that allows the freedom to make choices, even bad ones. Jews have been around for thousands of years and so have their laws.
If you feel that you have to publish a Jewish newspaper, then make it a Jewish newspaper. I would find it difficult for any practicing Jews — Reform, Conservative, or Orthodox — to take offense if you left out foods that run contrary to Jewish dietary laws.
NJJN really needs to check its conscience. What is the motivation to produce this newspaper?
Joel M. Glazer