Sometime during all of the Agriprocessors brouhaha I heard that there had been a kosher meat boycott in 1902. I didn’t know anything about it until I just stumbled upon this article from the Jewish Historical Society: Bravo, Bravo, Bravo, Jewish Women! The Kosher Meat Boycott Of 1902.
The boycott was because the price of kosher meat had gotten too high, so Jewish women banded together, influenced by the labor and union strikes of their time, and organized to boycott kosher meat. Here’s how it went down:
According to historian Paula Hyman, the Herald reported that “an excitable and aroused crowd [of mostly women] roamed the streets . . . armed with sticks, vocabularies and well-sharpened nails” in an effort to keep other women from purchasing kosher meat. One woman complained that her husband was sick and needed to eat beef to recover. A woman in a traditional sheitel told her that “a sick man can eat tref meat,” so she must abide by the boycott.
By the end of the day, the police had arrested 85 persons, 70 of them Jewish women, for disorderly conduct. The Herald reported that the women “were pushed and hustled about [by the police], thrown to the pavement . . . and trampled upon.” One of the women responded by slapping a police officer in the face with a moist piece of liver.
First of all, I am now always going to describe myself as being armed with my vocabulary, and if something or someone annoys me, I may just slap them with a moist piece of liver. Treyf liver, of course.
Pronounced: KOH-sher, Origin: Hebrew, adhering to kashrut, the traditional Jewish dietary laws.
Pronounced: SHAY-tull or SHY-tull, Alternate Spellings: Sheytel, Shaitel, Origin: Yiddish, a wig worn by Orthodox women to cover their hair.