Watch That Lox, It May Not Be Kosher!

Many Jews would consider a bagel naked without the lox

Many Jews would consider a bagel naked without the lox

Disclaimer: I am neither Orthodox nor do I keep kosher. And when I read things like this week’s Jewish Week article, I realize just another reason why.

Granted this is in the haredi community, which continues to move further and further toward a parody of itself. A group of rabbis has determined that Shabbat elevators, which are in use throughout Israel and New York, are no longer kosher. And now lox may be suspect.

As someone who cares deeply about where my meat comes from, how it was treated when it was alive, as well as how it was killed, I am continally struck by how except for a handful of exceptions (run by people we all know) kosher meat does not fit into this at all. People who care about both have so few options available.

And now, the same thing could happen to salmon. At question is a parasite that is commonly found in wild salmon and whether said parasite makes the fish unkosher. One rabbi said that a major kosher processor had a simple solution: use farmed salmon. If only it were that simple.

Farmed salmon is loaded with antibiotics and despite some farms that call themselves “eco-friendly,” is devastating to the environment. If wild salmon is eventually deemed unkosher, kosher consumers will once again be faced with two choices: the environmentally sound one, or the highly-processed, unhealthy one.

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4 Responses to “Watch That Lox, It May Not Be Kosher!”

  1. Avi Says:

    1) This story has been blown way out of proportion. Lox is kosher, even according to the Rabbis originally quoted.

    2) Keeping kosher does not mean you’re Orthodox. Way too many posters on this blog seem to equate any form of ritual food observance to being Orthodox. There are plenty of Conservative Jews that are strictly kosher, and some Reform Jews too. While there are Orthodox Jews that won’t necessarily follow every letter of the law in regards to kashrut. You may not keep kosher, but it has nothing to do with if you’re Orthodox or not.

  2. Lea Says:

    @Avi – true, keeping kosher doesn’t automatically mean you’re Orthodox, but the fact remains that the rules governing all the minutiae of eating kosher in the modern world come from the Orthodox rabbinate.

    According to the original article, these are parasites that have always been visible to the naked eye, but these types of issues lead me to thinking about how the rules of kashrut shift and adapt to not only modern food techniques (such as all our packaged food), but also technological developments such as the ability to see ever-smaller microorganisms whose existence we had no idea about when the basics of kashrut were first developed. Who knows what we’ve been eating all this time. To what extent will the rules of kashrut be able to continue adapting to our increasing levels of knowledge?

    Although in this case, if, as Wikler claims, you can see some of these parasites unravel up to 2 inches with the naked eye, do you really need a rabbi to tell you it’s something you shouldn’t put in your mouth?

  3. Uriel Says:

    Wasn’t this exact same issue already addressed on this blog in a post with a similar tone over two weeks ago? (I.e.

    But at least if the posters aren’t reading this blog, rest assured that I am!

  4. Alix Says:

    Oh my goodness. I read so many blogs and other sites that I forget where I see something! My apologies!

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