September 19, 2011 - In less than two weeks, Jews the world over will usher in the New Year of 5772. It is traditionally a time of reflection and introspection; a time to count our blessings and to rededicate ourselves to the values that are so important to us. For the kosher food industry, that will mean looking back at a year that despite its challenges continued to make enormous strides. We overcame record snow falls in some parts of the country and even a hurricane and yet managed to experience unprecedented growth. We took full advantage in the advances of technology in producing products that improve our health and lifestyle. It also meant furthering the cause of kosher through social media and in Israel bringing some measure of relief to soaring prices through the power of such new vehicles as Facebook.
Sadly, we also chose to remember Sholom Rubashkin as a husband and father of a large family (including a special child who is so devastated at the void that was created when his father was yanked from his home) who only last week was denied an appeal from the unprecedented 27-year sentence he received for bank fraud. Somehow, there was an expectation that in a country where justice and mercy are paramount, this man would be spared what amounts to a life sentence. We can only hope that somehow somewhere, someone will invoke the American values of compassion and reduce his sentence to one that is proportionate to the crime.
A new year invariably means turning a new page, as the clarion call of the shofar (ram’s horn) is destined to do. We can only pray and hope for peace and prosperity and commit ourselves once again to do our share for the sake of our fellow man.