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Shofar FTP Archive File: antisemitism/kosher-tax/press/wfp-post.060595

The Winnipeg Free Press, of June 5, 1996, D1

Preparation raises price
The Washington Post

Kosher products usually cost more than their non-kosher
counterparts. There are good reasons, manufacturers say.

After all, specially processed ingredients are more expensive.
A larger staff is needed to provide the necessary supervision.
And the holiday-specific products have a short shelf life.

But when foods that mimic everyday conveniences like brownie
mix and certeal with marshmallows appear on the holiday table,
is there a psychic price as well? It's a subject delicately

"There are some people - and I count myself as one of them -
that think Passover should taste, look and smell different
(from) the rest of the year," says Barry Freundel, rabbi of
Kesher Israel, a Washington, D.C. synagogue. "That's how my
family functions. We do not buy any processed food."

Freundel sees an educational issue. "The holiday has, as part
of its very nature, a difference in what one eats," he says.
"I have some concerns...when one finds technological ways
around that. But I don't question the kosher status of the
products or anybody who uses them."

History professor Jenna Weissman Joselit, author of _The
Wonders of America: Reinventing Jewish Culture, 1880-1950_
(Hill & Wang, 1995), sees it quite another way. "It's not su
much what gets lost as what gets gained," she says. "It's
become easier to be kosher in America. What's going on here is
a reversal of what we think of as modernity. We think of
modern life as jettisoning the opportunity to live more
ritually attentive lives.

"But here it works the other way. Now we can cook and eat like
everybody else because it comes with a rabbinic OK."


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