Friday, December 10, 2004

Shehitah Controversy III

The OU and Israeli Chief Rabbinate have issued statements declaring that Rubashkin slaughter is considered kosher shehitah. In other words, those homes and stores that have Rubashkin meat may still eat it and need not kasher all of their utensils. This is a significant statement.

Shmarya is unsatisfied with this response. He writes:

In Jewish law, the ends do not justify the means, and a technically correct shechita that regularly involves tzaar baalei hayyim both immediately before and immediately after the ritual slaughterer makes his cut should not be sold as kosher.
This is incorrect. I challenge anyone to find a normative source in posekim that justifies such a statement. Perhaps, as a matter of policy, it would be proper to act that way. But that is public policy and, in our case, the public policy setters disagree with Shmarya's judgment.

Shmarya continues:
Kosher consumers, ask yourselves the following question: Can rabbis who disregard the laws of tzaar baalei hayyim/cruelty to animals be trusted for kosher supervision?
Interestingly, the Gemara and Shulhan Arukh answer "yes" to this question. The general rule is that "mumar le-davar ehad eino mumar le-khol ha-Torah kulah," loosely: someone who violates one law of the Torah is not suspected of violating all of the laws of the Torah. There are exceptions, but tza'ar ba'alei hayim is not one of them.

Furthermore, the OU announced that "the OU and AgriProcessors, Inc. have worked together to make certain changes, namely that the trachea will no longer be removed following shechita, and that any animals that appear to have survived the procedure will be promptly stunned or shot [and not sold as kosher]."

Problem solved. Thank you PETA for bringing this to our attention.

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