We in the field of Kosher Certification have accepted afiduciary responsibility on behalf of the kosher consumer at large. Therefore, we owe our fidelity to the Kosher consumer to uphold and maintain that fiduciary responsibility. Executives who face troubling decisions are often confused about how to arrive at the right, moral and ethical course of action. This is not surprising since by definition a “moral dilemma” is one where there is no clear right and wrong, only positives and negatives.

We should be guided in our moral reasoning by the insight that comes from respecting the moral rights of the Kosher consumer; justice to colleagues and peers; consequences and outcomes; explaining and defending to others as well as to ourselves the decisions we make. Have I searched for all alternatives? Are there other ways I could look at the situation? Have I listened and considered all points of view of my colleagues and peers, while still maintaining high ethical standards?

Even if there is sound rational for this decision, and even if I could defend it to the kosher consumer, does my inner sense tell me this is right? Will my colleagues, peers, and the educated Kosher consumer agree with my rational? Does this decision agree with my moral beliefs and with my personal principles and sense of responsibility to the Kosher consumer? Would I want others representing the kosher consumer to make the same decision and to take the same action if faced with the same circumstances?

What are my true motives for this action? Would this action infringe on the moral rights and dignity of others? Would this action involve deceiving others in any way? Would I feel this action was just (ethical or fair) if I were on the other side of the decision? Am I being unduly influenced by others who may not be as sensitive to these ethical standards?

Am I accepting ingredients from other certifiers that accept different kashrus standards than  what I accept? Am I allowing them to manufacturer “li’chatchila” (before the fact) with a standard that should only be acceptable “bi’dieved (after the fact)?

How would I feel (or how will I feel) if (or when) this action becomes known to the educated Kosher consumer? Would others feel that my action or decision is ethically and morally justifiable to the educated Kosher consumer? Can I justify my actions as directly beneficial to the Kosher consumer and to their betterment in general?

We can stretch and expand our moral reasoning and ethical judgment and sharpen our ethical sensitivity and moral awareness by thinking through particular dilemmas in light of the above. If we consider all the questions discussed above with real intent and pure motives, then we can be confident that we will come with the Almighty’s help, to sound and ethical decisions, without political correctness considerations.

When we achieve clarity as to the issues of the dilemma, we are better prepared to make a decision that is both right and defensible. We must remember that our goal is to achieve an ethical course of action in all areas affecting the kosher consumer, not to find a way to construct a rational argument in support of an unethical decision. Our daily decisions do (at times indirectly) impact the Kosher consumer. We live in a world where other concerns e.g. profits etc., often come into conflict with the concern for ethics and principles; and where society is demanding a higher standard of transparency, and a higher ethic of social responsibility to the Kosher consumer.

Am I legitimizing and or accepting other kosher certifiers due to political considerations?

We must be willing and able to give the Kosher consumer in fact, that which the kosher consumer believes he / she is getting in theory.

That would include complete transparency, and re-calls when warranted. We owe it to ourselves…..we are all “individuals joined together and known as the Kosher Consumer’s advocate”.

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