RabbiYisroel Baal Shem Tov was teaching his disciples when they were disturbed by a knock on the shutter. A peasant, hauling a cart of tools, peered through the window. “Need any fixing?” he cried. “Any shaky tables, broken chairs? A loose brick in the hearth, perhaps?”
“No, no,” came the impatient reply from within, where all were eager to get on with the interrupted lesson. “Everything here is in perfect condition. There’s no need for any repairs.”
“Indeed? Nothing to repair?” called the peasant. “That simply cannot be. Look well, and you’re sure to find something that needs fixing!”
Whereupon, the Baal Shem Tov told his students, “Every event and experience is purposeful. Think of the words we just heard from this simple man. Is everything really in perfect condition? If one truly searches his heart and evaluates his life, he is sure to find something that needs fixing.”
Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a disaster to open our eyes and look inside ourselves. In light of the recent kashrus disaster in Monsey, all kosher agencies are being forced to take a closer look at their policies and their certified facilities, to see if something needs fixing. It is a time when all agencies can start to work together, as one unified kashrus force, examining each other’s policies and adopting a higher standard of kashrus.
The OK’s founder, Rabbi Berel Levy (ob”m) had the foresight to prevent this unfortunate situation from happening in OK facilities by requiring a mashgiach temidi in all meat establishments. The fear and repercussions from the Monsey tragedy reverberated all over the world and it is the obligation of all kosher agencies to prevent the recurrence of such a terrible disaster.
Speaking of “all over,” this issue of Kosher Spirit features in-depth kashrus coverage spanning the globe – from a featured OK company in New York, to a look inside kosher California, to a gripping tale of “Kashrus and Katushyas” in Israel.
We are now approaching the holiday of Chanukah, a time to spread light and clarity. According to Chassidic philosophy, the lights of the Chanukah menorah are more than simply a reminder of ancient miracles; they are meant to provide inspiration and illumination in our contemporary daily lives.
May you have a joyous Chanukah, filled with the lights of inspiration and goodness,
Rabbi Chaim Fogelman