Jan 1, 2014

Perdue Chicken, Oy Vay

A woman was shopping in a Shoprite supermarket which is not a Jewish supermarket but carries many kosher products, especially in Brooklyn.  She is the kind of person who seeks to engage others and to "spread the word" about Yiddishkeit.  She is not shy.

And yet, in an encounter the other night, she did not know what to say.  She was on line when she noticed someone else on line who was speaking Hebrew.  She glanced into his shopping cart and saw Perdue (not kosher) chicken).  She wanted to speak up but did not know what to say. 

As someone who usually speaks up, she was particularly disappointed that she could not think of anything appropriate to say and so she said nothing.

Someone hearing her story suggested that she could have said, "They carry Empire (kosher) chickens and they're much better."

We never know whether, if we speak up, the person will be receptive or defensive or hostile.  But if we don't try, we'll never know. 

What would do if we saw someone about to ingest poison? Wouldn't we scream a warning? Isn't treif for a Jew like poison to the neshama? So why don't we scream? In our defense, we are afraid of angering someone, of someone saying, "Mind your own business."  But would we be reticent if it was actually poison?

What would you do if you saw a non-kosher product in a Jew's shopping cart?


  1. I would assume that they would be annoyed if I said anything about their treif chicken.

  2. If it's a stranger, you can take a chance; since you don't have a relationship with them, you have less to lose if you end up angering them. If it's someone with whom you already have a relationship, you'd have to weigh up how receptive that person might be based on your knowledge of his personality and regard for you, and then decide whether to comment.