It took more than a week, but the Times today printed six responses to last week’s op-ed by Shmuel Herzfeld criticizing the responses of the major Orthodox groups and calling for a rabbinic investigation of the kosher producer Agriprocessors. Not surprisingly, opinion roughly divides between the rabbis and everyone else.
The Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America both took strong exception to Herzfeld, restating their position that, yes, they do care about worker treatment etc., but the federal government is the only entity qualified to evaluate and enforce those standards. Also, the company is entitled to due process and a presumption of innocence.
The letters can be read in full here.
Also, we got some emails regarding my description yesterday of Shmuel Herzfeld as Nat Lewin’s “rabbi.” Though Lewin is a member of Herzfeld’s Washington shul, as well as several other area congregations, Lewin is a regular attendee of an Orthodox synagogue in Potomac, Md., where he lives. Calling Herzfeld his “rabbi” is inaccurate. Sorry about that.