Out of the contemporary Jewish situation, which is at once tragic as well as comic, a new Jewish word was born: "New-kosher". But what does it actually mean? Neither the Torah1 nor the Talmud,2 nor the Decisors,3 nor Responsa4 mention it. In scripture, when the term "new" is used in combination with a law, it’s in the sense that Torah teachings and Torah law will always be "new" to us as b'chol yom yihiyu be'einecha ke'chadashim.5
But a Jewish restaurant near a resort in the Black Forest advertised their cuisine as follows: "The meat fare is new-kosher." Every day new reports are coming in about "new-kosher" changes in public businesses, Jewish institutions, and private houses in rural areas.
For our readers who are unfamiliar with the meaning of "new-kosher" and will most likely not find a description in any Jewish encyclopedia, the following definition is offered: "New-kosher" refers to meat of animals which were stunned and then killed, with or without a shechita6 (as it is irrelevant at this point). In other words, it is meat that is not "new-kosher", but in both old and new terms strictly terefah, and no rabbinic power can alter it from being nevelah u’trefah.7 It seems almost cynical when Jewish restaurants use the non-existent term "new-kosher" as advertising to entice ritually observant people.
In America, recently also in France, legal measures have been taken to prohibit such a dishonest and unscrupulous deception. Law-abiding Jewry will have to find means to put an end to these speculative dealings, which come at the expense of the Jewish conscience.
But as long as we are without legal recourse, this warning should be emphasized: Everything sold as "new-kosher" is nothing but strictly terefah8 and should be treated the same as meat, which comes as nevelah u’trefah from a non-Jewish butcher shop.
Those who are letting their consciousness be lulled into believing these words are deceiving themselves, and whoever is profiting by spreading these new words is a chote u’machti et harabim9 destined to pile guilt upon his soul, which according to the doctrine of "Father Proverbs" is almost unredeemable.
On such an occasion, it is worth noting the admonition of the Hamburg Restaurant Association in the Townhall section of our latest issue. Beware of using older publications from the association without previous inquiries with Jewish restaurants, as their conditions may have changed entirely. Also due to the recent incidents, it could be possible that the business has come into new hands and is no longer worthy of public trust.
In case of uncertainty, it is advised to contact the relevant authority in Hamburg to avoid the risk of consuming something "new-kosher" against one's knowledge and will—that is to say, consuming something strictly terefah. Personal errors and the liability of others are not valid excuses, because in the matter of emunah10 everyone is responsible for himself.