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Adass and Chabad Meat Schism

September 12, 2012 – 10:10 pm33 Comments

By Rabbi Meir Rabi
“Don’t take this personally, but I wish to honour my Rabbi and cannot do this.”

What do you think is the background that has prompted this plea?

Would it be a favourite Uncle who cannot participate in his favourite niece’s church wedding ceremony?  Might it be a mother who cannot dine at her daughter’s non-Kosher home?  Would it be by chance a rabbi who cannot enter a Jewish home because there is no mezuzah on the doorpost? (There is no such law or opinion in our traditions, by the way) Or perhaps it is a rabbi who feels he cannot enter a Jewish home because the mezuzah on the doorpost is not written in accordance with his style of writing? (There are two major styles of writing used these days, both are perfectly acceptable).

Or perhaps, it is a rabbi explaining why he will not eat food that he readily admits is kosher, but is not under the certificate of his own rabbi.

Melbourne is blessed, as are its kosher consumers, with three kosher butchers. In a sense, these three butchers do not really compete with one another. Each butcher operates under a different kosher certification and each certification is affiliated with a different congregation which identifies itself with a different political/religious variation. Nothing wrong with that I suppose; after all, why should congregants who belong to a group not support their group?

But can the three kosher certifications be so different in Gd’s eyes that they prevent a parent eating at a child’s home? Or the children eating at the parent’s home? Or people who would be friends from eating at one another’s home?

The Gemara in BM 30b explains that our insistence upon imposing the strict letter of the Torah Law, was the underlying cause of both the destruction of the Temple and our exile.

I do not think this reflects upon the petty divisions that are the stuff of small minded and mean spirited people. Such things although regrettable are understandable; such is life. I do think, however, that this reflects upon using Gd’s Torah to fuel these divisions, using Gd’s Torah to camouflage this pettiness, using Gd’s Torah as a pretext to intensify division. This is not understandable; this is intolerable. It is an abuse and in fact a distortion of Gd and His Torah.

So when a kosher caterer in Melbourne provides for a family simcha, they must procure the meat from the butcher and the certifier that meets the specifications of that family. And when the same caterer prepares for a family that has other preferences, they must procure meat to meet their specifications. Fair enough; that’s part of supporting your group. However, we  agree that the meat is kosher, despite some possible minor variations in custom or tradition.

So let me ask you this: we know that a pot that has had pork cooked in it cannot be used for cooking kosher food until the pot has been kashered; so is it necessary to kasher the pots and pans and crockery between cooking the foods of one “group” and the foods of the “other group”?

Of course, the answer is no. Halacha does not require nor deem it meritorious, to kasher the utensils between one community’s kosher and another community’s kosher.

However, the sad truth is that as surely as utensils must be kashered if they have been used for pork, so must they be kashered, by decree of our leading congregational rabbis, if they have been used for another Orthodox community’s kosher meat.

And then we wonder why some do not have the greatest respect for the Orthodox communities.

“Don’t take this personally, but I wish to honour my Rabbi and cannot do this.”

When I heard this, I took a moment to gather my thoughts and then asked in return, “Why would anyone think that any honour can be attributed to Gd or to any rabbi, by sitting at a table amongst other Jews and refusing to eat the food that they are eating and that you in fact profess to accept is Kosher?”

 

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33 Comments »

  • KashrusEmes says:

    Is it not the ultimate intolerance to force all kosher-observant Jews to eat your particular brand of kosher food? Are they not entitled to their legitimate chumras and minhagim in terms of the meat they eat? What about someone who holds by glatt/chalak? Is it really fair to expect them to eat food at an event that is not glatt/chalak? Is this also a sign of “pettiness”?!
     
    Such is the diversity within Judaism that there is surely room for varying traditions and belief systems. No one is disputing the kashrus of other brands of meat, merely holding that the brand they choose to consume meets their particular level of observance and stringencies.
     
    As for the statement, “Don’t take this personally, but I wish to honour my Rabbi and cannot do this”, this is a diplomatic way of saying that one only eats a certain brand of meat, and whoever used this phrase should be commended for their diplomacy and desire to avoid offending.

  • KashrusEmes says:

    And with specific reference to Adass and Chabad – there are differing minhagim in the shechita process between the two. Thus there is a solid halachic reason for only eating one or the other depending on one’s religious affiliation.
     
    Furthermore, you are correct that the kashrus agencies require re-kashering between functions. This is the case the world over and is intended to avoid any issues that may arise regarding differing standards. Even a function in a private home will involve re-kashering, even if the home is that of a rav. It is a sensible policy that places all venues on an equal footing and avoids any allegations that people (or another caterer’s) standards are not up to par.

  • KashrusEmes says:

    “But can the three kosher certifications be so different in Gd’s eyes that they prevent a parent eating at a child’s home? Or the children eating at the parent’s home? Or people who would be friends from eating at one another’s home?”
     
    It is common to ask one’s hosts to serve meat with the hechsher one requires. This is nothing out of the ordinary and a good host will go out of their way to accomodate their guest’s needs. Of course, it is an inconvenience for the host to purchase the meat, the guest can always go vegetarian.

  • KashrusEmes says:

    Just as an aside, you are not correct in asserting that “There are two major styles of writing used these days” in mezuzos. There are three – Ashkenazi (Bet Yosef), Sefardi, and AriZal.

  • frosh says:

    @KashrusEmes
    “It is common to ask one’s hosts to serve meat with the hechsher one requires.”
     
    What happens if one is hosting more than one person, and they each require a different hechsher?!

  • frosh says:

    @KashrusEmes Re-kashering unnecessarily after every use?
     
    No wonder Kosher catering is so expensive. So here we have another chumra making it less affordable for people to opt for kosher.

  • Kovi says:

    Rabbi Rabi – and what does Halacha say about the “koch leffel” ?

  • KashrusEmes says:

     @frosh There aren’t that many hechsherim for meat around, and it’s uncommon for there to be multiple guests that require a different hechsher. And I am speaking from experience as someone whose family only eats Ashkenazi mehadrin meat.

  • KashrusEmes says:

     @Kovi  well said!

  • KashrusEmes says:

     @frosh Why is it any more expensive? Do you seriously think the price of kosher catering would go down if the agencies didn’t require koshering between uses of a venue? The meat costs more than treif and the agency and caterer each take their cut. The blowtorching is not such an expense, not such a big deal.

  • danlevy says:

     @KashrusEmes  @frosh 
     
    This would be the entire issue in a nutshell. You literally cannot conceive of, nor have any empathy for, the plight of others.
     
    You are the literal definition of a bigot.

  •  @Kovi  The Halacha says HoCheiAch ToChiAch, I am sure you know that – so the question you should be asking is – Why am I asking Rabbi Meir Rabi this question? But in truth you are not even asking a question; I wont bother describing what you are trying to do..
     
    Your question really is a comment: Rabbi Meir Rabi should not be discussing these matters. He is just a stirrer looking for something to make a fuss about.
     
    Let’s just focus on the facts because there is no point in trying to “prove” my motivations, you will believe whatever it is that you wish to believe. One can only conclude that you support the policy, which is not Halacha, to enforce Kashering the utensils. You don’t see any inconsistency with the notion of Ahavas Yisrael.

  •  @KashrusEmes thank you

  •  @KashrusEmes “Not out of the ordinary to ask the host to serve meat with the Hechsher one requires” you say. What a pity. Had you omitted that and limited yourself to, “It is common for the hosts to accommodate …” this would be an honourable thing. But to ASK the host, that’s a different matter. And to ask for what is REQUIRED; that is a demand. 
     
    You should also be attentive to “the Hechsher one requires” REQUIRES you say. It is not required other than by a persons own insistence, it has naught to do with HKBH.  But this only compounds the problem, we have become creators of our own religion, designed to our own specifications to suit our own ambitions. We abuse Gd to build our own edifice, build our own power base and devote ourselves to building our own supporters.

  •  @KashrusEmes Does the host also cook the meat in new or kashered pots and pans?

  •  @KashrusEmes Please provide some detail. Tell us about these differences.
     
    I am pleased that you define these variations as Minhag. But you appear to deem Minhag to be as binding as Halacha. So what’s the difference?
     
    Do you also insist that hosts who invite friends of a different Minhag should Kasher their utensils?
     
    And do you also consider that HKBH is pleased with this?

  • What a long bow you draw between Glatt and non-Glatt, and the Minhagim that divide the Kashrus of Melbourne’s Kosher butchers. That is disingenuous. Your claim of who is forcing others to eat their particular brand of kosher food, is an inversion.
     
    We are also waiting to see a list of these variations and their Halachic legitimacy. You don’t know what they are, you just accept them. Your loyalty is commendable, but the consequences are horrible. You are advocating sanctioned Sinat Chinam. So your loyalty is not to HKBH but to some other identity that you artificially bolster with Halachic terminology.
     
    The diversity within the Halacha should cultivate more tolerance in Judaism, not less. In spite of the differences of custom, Yidden did  not and should not promote division. We should be building bridges not barriers. Invisible Minhagim which are not based on Torah are just a pretext.
     
    If the diplomatic rabbi is talking about non-Glatt which he does not eat, that is fine. But in this case there is no substantial variation in practice. The barriers are being constructed for no other reason but to be divisive.

  • Marty5000 says:

    @RabbiMeirRabi
    We won’t see Maschiach until we can live in harmony with each other as we did at Sinai. New can have differences but we can’t allow this to divide us. We don’t have to go beyond in strictness when it comes to our fellow Jew. We lose sight of what our Creator wants for us. If following one law breaks another then it is obvious we don’t understand the first one. If you cause hurt and embarrassment to someone it is like murder so why would you keep the kashrut of one orthodox hechsher over another to cause this murder

  • Marty5000 says:

    We need to be a united people. Does it make any sense to keep one law to such a strict sense that we end up breaking another law? Embarrassing someone is tantamount to murder. Is it worth such a serious crime over whose orthodox hechsher is better than another. If we want Maschiach to come and find favor in HaShem then let’s think vry strongly about this and change our behavior

  •  @Marty5000  @RabbiMeirRabi Everyone agrees to you in principle, because it is politically correct to do so, and no one can voice a reasonable argument to disagree. But the facts are unfortunate and contrary to this official platform. The facts show that these communities are intent upon building their own brand. They will use HKBH and His Torah to promote their brand. They will seek pretexts to isolate their “people” and in order to isolate their people, will disqualify those who do not embrace and support their platform. 
     
    Compelling [and even encouraging] that the dedicated Kosher kitchen be Kashered is simply a stratagem to insult the other team, a form of sledging if you will. However, this is anti-Torah, so it is given a quick superficial cosmetic make-over, our traditions are different than yours; or, they really do accept it as Kosher but they can not eat it or do it that way because they do not wish to insult their rabbi.

  •  @Marty5000  @RabbiMeirRabi Everyone agrees to you in principle, because it is politically correct to do so, and no one can voice a reasonable argument to disagree. But the facts are unfortunate and contrary to this official platform. The facts show that these communities are intent upon building their own brand. They will use HKBH and His Torah to promote their brand. They will seek pretexts to isolate their “people” and in order to isolate their people, will disqualify those who do not embrace and support their platform. 
     
    Compelling [and even encouraging] that the dedicated Kosher kitchen be Kashered is simply a stratagem to insult the other team, a form of sledging if you will. However, this is anti-Torah, so it is given a quick superficial cosmetic make-over, our traditions are different than yours; or, they really do accept it as Kosher but they can not eat it or do it that way because they do not wish to insult their rabbi.

  •  @Marty5000 I must correct you on a small matter. This is NOT a case of, “keeping one law to such a strict sense that we end up breaking another law”. It is not a LAW, it is but a custom at the very best.
     
    But in all probability it is not even that. We are waiting for any of the apologists who contributed to this discussion to list even one variation between the two types of Kosher meat. It is simply a pretext. And the defenders of this indefensible aggression do not even know what the differences are. They are just gullible acceptors of the creed because they wish to support this tribe over the other.
     
    As the children in Lord of the Flies developed their symbols and markings to identify themselves and demonise their opponents, so too a large part of our community has stumbled and are confused, lost and unable to explain their beliefs and actions.

  • Marty5000 says:

    Thanks for that correction. This makes my point that much stronger. There is no excuse for embarrassing a fellow Jew. We have seen so many examples in the Torah how this behavior destroys collectively. Find HaShem in your heart and stop this nonsense. Serve HaShem through Torah. Do not serve Torah as an idol

  •  @Marty5000 Your point is very strong and it is most disturbing that the mindless followers of the “Requires Exhaustive Kashering – REK” group, we might just as well call them REKers; see no evil, see no inversion, see no distortion and on the contrary proclaim [and may even believe] their intimidation to be fulfilment of the Almighty’s most sacred wishes.Just think of the bizarre hypocrisy enshrined by those who, on the one hand, DO NOT REQUIRE full time Hashgacha over eateries that stand to make a significant profit by making substitutions with indistinguishable non-Kosher far cheaper products, see http://www.kosherveyosher.com/critical-kosher-alert-aug-2012.html; yet at the same time DO REQUIRE Kashering of the kitchen and utensils in order to “Kosherise” from Adass to Chabad and Chabad to Adass.

  • I want to thank those who contributed to ensuring that those venomous posters who in past articles that I have contributed, sullied the discussion; have allowed this discussion [and I presume future discussions] to proceed in a civil fashion.
     
    I think that the posters who ignored those foolish provocative posts showed great wisdom and patience, and succeeded in depriving the provocateurs of their oxygen. They in turn, suffocated in their own putrid foolishness and were and remain a clear signal to all thinkers, of the weird inversive logic that stunts useful discussion in these arenas.
     
    Wishing all a GeMar Chatima Tova, well over the fast and year of accomplishment.

  • KashrusEmes says:

     @RabbiMeirRabi “Venomous posters”?! What constitutes a “Venomous poster”? One who stridently disagrees with your posts and is not afraid to say as much?

  • KashrusEmes says:

     @RabbiMeirRabi You’re welcome. 

  • KashrusEmes says:

     @danlevy  @frosh Huh? What empathy are you referring to? We only eat Ashkenazi meat – why is that bigoted?!

  • KashrusEmes says:

     @RabbiMeirRabi  @Marty5000 Chabad will only eat their own shechitah. This is the case worldwide. Why are you dredging up a non-existent machloikes between Chabad and Adass?! Is this the type of ahavas Yisrael that you are endeavouring to promote during the aseres ymei tshuvah?!

  • Kovi says:

     @RabbiMeirRabi
     Rabbi Rabi – With all due respect – of the 28 or so comments on this post to date, 10 of them are from you. It is uneccessary to reply to every comment. Secondly, this comment has nothing whatsoever to do with the original post . If you are sincerely wanting people to participate in ‘proper’ way, then do not overcrowd the post and do not make comments that bear no relevance whatsoever.

  •  @KashrusEmes Dear KashrusEmes, Shalom to you.
     
    You ask such interesting questions. A Venomous Poster, is one who looks for pretexts to bad-mouth and put down those whose opinion he or she opposes. The comments usually are of a personal nature.
    It is really a shame because whatever matters of substance are mentioned, they become lost in the tirade of spittle flecked shouting. Remember, there are always nicer ways of addressing those issues.
     
    We even welcome our VePo posters of old, and in the spirit of Yom Kippur which is just upon us, without need to apologise for past misdeeds; their new style of engagement is adequate apology and progress for the new year.

  •  @Kovi  Shalom to you Kovi. Your respects are appreciated and welcome but not really necessary.
     
    I like replying to various comments, like this one of yours. I try not to be rude and I try to be relevant. I apologise if I tire you and try your patience. I mean to be helpful.
    Indeed, I do not always respond to matters connected to my mainpost, sometimes I reply to peripheral matters that have emerged from various responses, or various posts that are noticeably absent from the discussion.

  •  @KashrusEmes  @Marty5000 Chabad will only eat their own Shechita, you say.
     
    We want to know WHY. So far we have not seen or heard anything of substance to justify this practice. As far as I know, there IS NO DIFFERENCE and it is only a pretext to build support for their brand. And you, dear anonymous friend KashrusEmes, have bought the nonsense and refuse to open your eyes or your mind to the truth. 
     
    The type of Ahavas Yisroel I am trying to promote, is the type that does not seek to build barriers but build bridges. 

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