Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld has an op-ed at the NYT about a scandal in America's largest kosher meat-packing factory.
The substance of the story isn't that surprising. The people running the factory, catering to a reliegious clientele and probably orthodox Jews themselves, should be expected to have high ethical standards, yet it appears they don't. The leaders of the community can be expected to be the public guardians of these ethical standards, yet faced with the scandal, they're either trying to fix it behind the scenes or they're not even doing that; their public stance, in any case, leaves much to lament, if Herzfeld's depiction is accurate. I wouldn't know: this is the first I've heard of the matter.
And there-in lies the true tale. The willingness of an orthodox rabbi to air grievances from inside the community in the most important newspaper in the land bespeaks a level of comfort, of being at home, of self-confidence in his identity as an orthodox Jew who is fully a part of American society as such, not in spite of it. These all really are taken for granted in the United States, to the extent that some of you will be wondering what this post is even about. A situation inconceivable for thousands of years is, quite simply, boringly banal.