By COLlive reporter
In his weekly Ask the Rabbi column in England’s Jewish News newspaper, Rabbi Yitzchok Schochet was asked “Why are Pesach prices so much more expensive than kosher food the rest of the year?”
As expected from Schochet, the outspoken Chabad Rabbi of the Mill Hill Synagogue in London, his reply was both sarcastic and opinionated.
Here it is:
Let’s see: there is the cost of the supervisor who goes into the plant to make sure it’s all kosher. No, wait! He does that anyway throughout the year; maybe a few extra hours before Pesach but not much difference.
Well, the added labels and ink that say “kosher for Passover,” costs extra – but if you consider that the word kosher is already on there, that should allow for a discount of some percent.
I did some research and found the answer in Wikipedia. I looked up highway robbery and came up with this: “A mugging that takes place outside and in a public place such as a sidewalk, street, or parking lot… or Passover kosher shop.”
A few years ago, a large group of rabbis signed a price gouging ban in New York. To quote: “Now before Passover, especially when the economy is so bad, we are reminding people of the Jewish law concerning monopolies.”
Those same rabbis caution store owners to have mercy on the consumer all year around, but particularly at Passover when there is so much need.
I would argue this isn’t something that should apply to only when the economy is tough. There are many people who find things difficult at other times.