Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Tav Hevrati

Social Justice.
What does it mean? Is it worthwhile?

The first question is hard to answer fully without getting into politics.

The second question is very easy to answer. It is an emphatic yes!

Just take a look at Nevi’im(prophets)[נביאים] and the main message you will find is one of tzedek u’mishpat(loosely social justice)[צדק ומשפט]. One of the lessons I learned from some of the rabbis at Gush (Yeshivat Har Etzion) and also since is how the main point of the Torah is tzedek u’mishpat. It is also one of the driving forces of my activism for Darfur. I don’t apologize for helping “goyim.” Non-Jews would deserve our help when facing genocide even if the Holocaust and Purim had not occurred. However the people who ask why I am looking for causes 1000 km away when there are so many problems at home do have a valid point. Of course Darfur activism and social justice in Israel are not mutually exclusive. But what about the normal Israeli scene?

There are so many programs and volunteer opportunities out there and so many causes to donate money to. But lets start with something easy and free.

The Tav Hevrati

It’s a certification that restaurants, caterers, and cafes can receive. What does it mean? It basically means that they treat their workers fairly

Bema'aglei Tzedek’s “Social Seal” initiativeexpands the idea of kashrut certification, which is so widespread in Israeli society, to include a "Social Seal," a certificate of approval that is issued to businesses (whether or not they are kosher in the traditional sense) that commit to deal with people – staff and customers, Jews and non-Jews alike – in accordance with the laws of the State of Israel and with the ethical values of Judaism. The criteria for obtaining a certificate are based on Israeli law and Jewish values stressing the need to preserve the basic rights of workers. Although eateries and catering halls are not yet required by Israeli law to be handicapped-accessible, such accessibility is also a prerequisite for receiving the "Social Seal."


More details about the exact requirements are here in Hebrew

For more about the Bema’aglei Tzedek look here

Of course this phenomenon has a facebook group to go with it with at this time over 215 members

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