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Rabbi Joseph Breuer: Glatt Kosher Ethics



In 1949, as American Jewry was entering a period marked by physical security and material prosperity, Rabbi Dr. Joseph Breuer, grandson of Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch, the leader of German

Orthodoxy, and himself a leading figure of American Orthodoxy, wrote an essay entitled “Glatt Kosher – Glatt Yosher.” In addition to “the conscientious and minute observance of the laws of kashrut,” Rav Breuer wrote, Jews must never forget that, “Kosher is intimately related to yosher (correct ethical practice).” God not only requires that we sanctify our physical selves; God demands that we sanctify our social relationships.

Rav Breuer went on to say that the guidelines for accomplishing this are basic: We are commanded to follow the “strict application of the tenets of justice and righteousness, and to avoid even the slightest trace of dishonesty in our business dealings and personal life.”

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