The problems with restaurants serves as an important example of a larger problem that exists in a globalizing society. As more and more jobs are outsourced overseas, and produce is shipped around the world, we generally have no contact with the people who are producing the goods we consume. In order to uphold the dignity of those laborers who produce our consumer items, we need to be extra vigilant on both technical and emotional levels. Technically, we need to support organizations that monitor employee treatment. Emotionally, because some of the natural mechanisms of repulsion from suffering are lost, we need to replace these with conscious reminders to exercise our imaginations to consider the suffering that might be caused by our consumer choices. In order to cultivate such a middah, or attribute, religious leaders and teachers need to constantly speak on the subject. Additionally, the traditional mussar vaad, groups dedicated to processing and improving moral attributes, would do well to focus on this middah as one central to living a complete life, guided by Torah’s principles, in the 21st century.
Suggested Discussion Questions:
1. What are the risks that come with globalization? Why does this happen?
2. How can we combat these risks individually? How about communally?
Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)