Dear Reader,

The New Year always brings with it the opportunity and obligation to step back and take a closer look at the passing year; not only on a personal level but from a general perspective as well.

From the physical tragedy of the bombings in Boston, to another spiritually explosive scandal in the kosher meat industry in Los Angeles – these are calls to open our eyes and look within ourselves, our communities, and our nation. What concrete changes can be made to prevent such terrible things from happening again? Much has been discussed about both situations and many ideas were presented. Hopefully, with Hashem’s help, we will all be safe both physically and spiritually.

We know mistakes happen – whether in a hospital announcing that patients who received insulin injections over the past six years may have been injected with an insulation injection pen that had previously been used on other patients with communicable diseases, to recalls on thousands of vehicles for major safety issues. To prevent mistakes, safeguards need to be implemented above and beyond the minimum precautions. Our Chachomin tell us that the reason some kosher food (like meat) needs a double seal (a second safeguard) is not merely to prove the meat is kosher, but to act as a deterrent for those who seek to deceive the consumer.1

So what do you do when something goes wrong anyway? How do we do our very best to protect ourselves? What steps must be immediately taken when disaster strikes? At OK Kosher, our primary responsibility is to the kosher consumer. Rabbi Yitzchak Hanoka, one of the OK’s expert rabbinic coordinators, writes about the many different steps that are taken to prevent such situations and how we protect the kosher consumer when something G-D forbid goes wrong.

Like Rabbi Levy always says, a strong hechsher is not one that never has a problem…it is the way they handle the problem that shows the power of the agency.

Wishing you all a kosher and sweet new year,
Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

1. Shulchan Oruch, Yoreh De’ah 118. Shach, Sif 17.