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August 13, 2008

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Isa

Remember Theresienstadt?
The Red Cross visit that place, of course it was no surprise visit. Nobody dared tell the Red Cross the truth either.

If it isn't a surprise visit then it is just another Red Cross Theresienstadt visit.

How about Rabbi Z, he came with an interpreter, everything fine says the [slave] workers.

656

agriprocessors will prevail. what will you do? what will you do? who can you blame for all the problems in the world? who - just whom? i know, i know - just look in the mirror.

Getzel Rubashkin

Question.

Eliezrie says

++rabbinical kashrut certification, based on liberal social values instead of Halacha.++

You say

++All it will do is certify companies comply with other, non-food-production-based halakha.++

Reading the guidelines released by HT, it seems they are based on non-halachic sources. How does your reading of their guidelines back up your long comment there?

Shmarya

The guidelines are based on American norms, just as halakha requires.

Meet or exceed, in other words.

Getzel Rubashkin

I believe the Halachos Rabbi Eliezrie was referring to are the same Halachos I was expecting from HT - the ones governing these matters. The laws of employee wages etc. Instead the guidelines are based on modern values which is what Rabbi Eliezrie said.

Shmarya

I believe the Halachos Rabbi Eliezrie was referring to are the same Halachos I was expecting from HT - the ones governing these matters. The laws of employee wages etc. Instead the guidelines are based on modern values which is what Rabbi Eliezrie said.

Getzel, lots of halakha is based on the standard for a city or a country.

Getzel Rubashkin

True, and I am not an expert in that particular Halachic field, but if the Torah's standards exceed the local standards I assume it would be forbidden to use local standards.

On the flip-side, for the listed HT standards that are not required by local standards but merely considered nice or commendable, the Halachic standing for those would be pretty weak, I imagine.

Shmarya

but if the Torah's standards exceed the local standards I assume it would be forbidden to use local standards.

True.

On the flip-side, for the listed HT standards that are not required by local standards but merely considered nice or commendable, the Halachic standing for those would be pretty weak, I imagine.

Not at all.

948

the dishonesty! the travesty! the miscariage! the whining! the complaining! - give it up! it is a battle you will never win. whine whine whine... the best cure for a good whine is a big fat juicy agri steak!!! and all your problems will go away!!! and you will be cured!!!

rebitzman

++Reading the guidelines released by HT, it seems they are based on non-halachic sources.++

I have NO Idea what you're reading - but teh document I have has a list of hallachic citations longer than the document itself.

You still reading the draft?

state of the Jews

948 said

"... it is a battle you will never win..."

Your continued presence on this blog is proof the regular contributors here have already won.

David N. Friedman

No shame? His letter is his testimony based upon his personal inspection, not contradicted by anyone else in a group of witnesses. This is good testimony, it is part of what consumers want to hear.

yes, there could be more testimony, more eyewitnesses. All of that would be good. But to contradict this kind of statement, or battle it, it would have to be a similar group of varying individuals and not a group of activists with preconceived notions.

Agri is not vindicated (especially since they have been pressured by the system in place and also pressured by the government) but looks as if this scandal is more accusation than serious fact.

jewizh

nothing new, shmarya, you're wasting too much time on this agriproccesor junk

Shmarya

No shame? His letter is his testimony based upon his personal inspection, not contradicted by anyone else in a group of witnesses.

That is false. Rabbi Lerner's testimony contradicts Eliezrie's, as does the people from St. Bridget's.

And then other's on the trip have spoken to their congregations, and their testimony as I have heard it matches St. Bridgets – not Eliezrie.

me

There are five halachot of shechita. (see chulin chapter two)
People interested in meat should learn them and forget about rabbis. A fellow I know went to many cities in Ukraine where shechita is done under Lubavitch supervision. He testified before me in front of witnesses that in one city the shochet was drunk on the job, in another the shochet knew three of the five halachot and even those three he got mixed up. in another city the knife was pagum. In another the knife maybe was pagum--he himself is new at shechita so he could not really tell but his rav that he was with said it was pagum. It was one of those hard to tell cases.
I forget there were more cases but this was a year ago.
I mean if you want something done right do it yourself. Anyway I only started eating chicken in the last two weeks in the local kitchen on shabat--and at least I know the shochet

Bartley Kulp

To Shmarya, pieces like these are your reson d'etre. This was well investigated and very informative. It is this type of investigative journalism that safegaurds society as a whole. Keep up the good work.

me

There are five halachot of shechita. (see chulin chapter two)
People interested in meat should learn them and forget about rabbis. A fellow I know went to many cities in Ukraine where shechita is done under Lubavitch supervision. He testified before me in front of witnesses that in one city the shochet was drunk on the job, in another the shochet knew three of the five halachot and even those three he got mixed up. in another city the knife was pagum. In another the knife maybe was pagum--he himself is new at shechita so he could not really tell but his rav that he was with said it was pagum. It was one of those hard to tell cases.
I forget there were more cases but this was a year ago.
I mean if you want something done right do it yourself. Anyway I only started eating chicken in the last two weeks in the local kitchen on shabat--and at least I know the shochet

Paul Freedman

me, your post and the very complaints about OU (on small and large scale then for "technical" requirements of shechita/kosher slaughter there are issues of competence, of judgement, of who inspects? who inspects the inspectors?) suggest that advocates of ethical kashrus, now that they have a target, a "negative poster child", are underestimating the difficulties of expanding the norms of certification on a day by day proactive basis, as if the task is easier, not more difficult, simpler, rather than more complicated, requires less not more manpower to certify firms as ethical, by whatever criteria you choose.

steve

Now every one of these wined and dined rabbis will be printing articles, praising Rubashkin to the heavens. What a sick joke. Lubinsky had this perfectly orchestrated. Even he wrote an article or two detailing his "findings". Doesn't get sicker than this folks.

sage

Yes, Steve, it's an incredible sickness.

But those responsible will one day come to the realization that their fight is not with us, but against the will of G-d.

I don't believe that anyone in history has gone against G-d and prevailed.

We will prevail, as G-d's truth always wins out in the end.

steve

They can sponsor one hundred of these junkets and have these rabbis write thousands of articles, it won't help them. They're going down and they know it.

944

Agri is getting back on thier feet and defeating the odds. They are rebuilding - and you can not stand it. Twist and turn - and still you foam at the mouth. Ouch - it hurts - but AGRI is here to stay and all your moaning and groaning will be in vain.

steve

Once they are shut down, maybe Genack will appoint Sholom Rubashkin as Co-Chairman of the OU Kashrus Commission. He'll be perfect working alongside Steven Katz. He can also have Moishe Finkel head up the Israeli office.

Getzel Rubashkin

Shmarya: "Not at all." - Care to explain.

Rebitzman: "You still reading the draft?"

Yep. When they announced the release of the guidelines, that's what I found, and I was unaware that they released anything else. I can't find it on their website either. If you would email them to me I would appreciate it.

Norman Pressman

Our local head of the Kosher Nostra, Rabbi Zuvarin in St. Louis also doesn't know how to make his own decisions and write his own letter and merely parroted the form letter in this week's St. Louis Jewish Light. He gets a free trip to Pottsville and can't make his own determination?

http://www.stljewishlight.com/commentaries/298032298256781.php

The haredi are free to do as they please but why to the rest of us authentic Jews allow them to set the standards for Judiasm in our communitites by deciding what can and can't be served in our facilities.

Archie Bunker

Shmarya, you are mistaken about the kashruth agency angle. Several of those rabbis are involved in their local vaadim. This fact just highlights the level of deceit however as Lubinsky-Chabad-Lerner are trying to dupe as many groups as possible.

mkarpas

FM

I believe that you have sold out to Rubashkin, Your blog is a straw man that allows Getzel Rubashkin to answer his family's critics.

Archie Bunker

Why should Shmarya not allow an open forum? And besides, it's easy to deconstruct Getzel's silly arguments.

Archie Bunker

Maybe Getzel can tell us what kind of deli the visiting rabbis fressed on, whether Aaron's Best, Supreme or Shor Habor.

Ultimately, it's all the same meat with the label switching that goes on. I'm just curious what they thought they were getting on the junket.

Archie Bunker

Getzel wrote on a previous thread:

"Well, the one that relies on an anonymous commenter on FM, for starters. The 9000 chicken story also comes to mind. I'm sure other commenters who have challenges [sic] your statements can add to this list"

Getzel, for the third time, I only asked if Lew is related based on that post by "Jimmy". I didn't realize I was working at the Agri plant where it is verboten to ask questions that Master Rubashkin does not like.

As far as the 9000 chickens, those were the words of Belsky at the OU. For the 2nd time, I verified with a rosh yeshiva that Belsky made those remarks in public. If the Morristown rosh yeshiva told you something, would you be skeptical? This is besides the fact that it was reported all over by numerous other eyewitnesses and 2nd hand sources. I don't really care that only 7500 chickens fit on one trailer. Maybe Belsky was off on the exact count or maybe it was two Rubashkin trucks that collided with each other. If this is the kind of "proof" you bring to refute me, you will be laughed right off your keyboard.

Otherwise, can you do any better than "cite" a purported army of ghost posts? Where's the beef, Getzel?

Archie Bunker

Correction

That should have been Agri plant(ation)

Archie Bunker

One more point about Lew & Stillman that I wish to reiterate.

Why did Agri raise bail money for the criminals in their employ but do nothing for the shooting victim who is paralyzed for life. Despite the massive chilul Hashem, it is better late than never for Agri to offer that poor woman some kind of amends.

Archie Bunker

"The 9000 chicken story also comes to mind"

Upgelernt fun Nat Lewin who is paid by Rubashkin to publicly smear the rabbi of his own synagogue. Maybe Lewin can provide Getzel with US Transportation Dept records from the Rubashkin truck accident that show the count is off by a few chickens. I and everyone else aware of the ofos nefulos story must be just as shmucky as Rabbi Herzfeld who has a slightly different variation of a Rabbi Salanter story than appears in the "official" biography.

Getzel Rubashkin

Archie: The fact that someone said something, particularly when the numbers don't add up, does not constitute substantiation. Read this.

You spread that story without substantiating it. Unsubstantiated does not mean it's false, it simply means you have not established the facts, and evidently are not bothered by that.

About the Lew relation, if memory serves, your original comment was not in the nature of an innocent question, "I only asked."

Oh, and speaking of unsubstantiated accusations, "it's all the same meat with the label switching that goes on."

As far as the bail issue, I am not going to address something about which I do not have the facts. I wonder on what you are basing yours.

Getzel Rubashkin

Also, the fact that this was during the three weeks would mean they did not eat meat, something such a learned fellow as yourself would surely know. Sinah Mikalkeles es HaShurah.

Shmarya

Oh, and speaking of unsubstantiated accusations, "it's all the same
meat with the label switching that goes on."

Getzel. this is an old story – and a true one.

When I was in the meat business, and we got KAJ instead of Chabad, and we called to complain and arrange an exchange, your uncle told my partner – "It's all the same."

As for bail, Stephen Bloom documents the Stillman-Lew attempted murder episode in great detail.

As of 2000, the woman victim had never received a penny in compensation from Lew. He did not fulfill the civil court judgement against him. He had not apologized.

And Agriprocessors had not contacted the victim – who lives with a bullet pressing on her spine – and had not offered her anything – not even a free box of burgers.

Archie Bunker

Really now? Maybe there is an extra chumra in Shulchan Aruch Harav for the drei vochen that I was not aware of.

Meat is only prohibited during the nine days.

The media reported the rabbis fressed on deli.

You had made a siyum on maseches Sotah around that time (although I suggest you relearn daf memches).

You should utter a different maamar, but directed at Pesach Lerner's group: ki hashochad yeaveir einei pikchim visaleif divrei tzadikim.

Getzel Rubashkin

I stand corrected.

Getzel Rubashkin

It is the same Cheftza, in terms of Chumros. It wasn't always that way, but the various groups adopted each others Chumros at some point. The Gavra is different, in other words the Rabbinical staff and certifier who shoulders responsibility. You are either twisting your story to suit your needs, or you misunderstood. Any of the certifying agencies would tell you the same thing.

Barry

Getzel, yesterday you challenged me to support my interpretation that the language of the 1958 Act does not as a matter of fact establish that Shechita is not humane.
The language states-
"Either of the following two methods of slaughtering and handling are hereby found to be humane"
Constitutionally, the legislature cannot determine question of fact. That is the role of the judiciary following due judicial process. The legislature can DEEM a fact to be true eg for the purposes of highway law, a bicycle is not a vehicle. The legislature cannot make findings of fact but can make suppositions of fact. Those suppositions may be factually true or they may be legal fictions. Legal fictions are suppositions of fact taken to be true by the courts of law, but which are not necessarily true. The term "legal fiction" is not usually used in a pejorative way in spite of the negative connotation of the phrase.
As a matter of law, only the judiciary can decide if as a matter of fact ritual slaughter is actually humane as opposed to being deemed humane by legal fiction. That question will in practice never be decided because US Supreme Court have held that the first amendment trumps animal welfare legislation. The European Courts have taken a similar view.
All one can say is that as a matter of law, no court of law has decided whether shechita is humane and as far as the declaration by any legislature that shechita is humane, that declaration is unsatisfactory as it may or may not be a legal fiction. The issue therefore remains open.
If a court of law definitively found that shechita was humane, I would have no problem in such meat being sold to gentiles. However and to my regret the shechita industry denies the existence of this legal ambiguity by falsely claiming it does not exist.
There is little scientific research on the humanity of ritual slaughter since such research would be pointless since it cannot be acted for first amendment reasons. Some research was carried out for the UK government in 2003 and it was rather unfavorable to the view that shechita is humane. In fact the scientist who chaired the research stated '"Throat cutting is a major incision into the animal and to say that it doesn't suffer is quite ridiculous". The UK government however recognizing religious rights will not act on those findings.

Getzel Rubashkin

Your suggestion that I relearn mem-ches is interesting, as you have not suggested any plausible alternative to my understanding of the simple facts.

Barry

Sorry, I posted twice.

jewishwhistleblower

BREAKING NEWS: Photo Scandal Involving Yeshiva Hoops Coach Widens; More Victims Sought
http://thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c37_a13200/News/National.html


see also: http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/Melzer_Adam.html


Case of Adam Melzer, alleged and arrested sexual offender currently on bail, lawyer, Jewish Music Personality, coach Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, youth supervisor, Camp Morasha, JM in the AM producer, Yeshiva University, WYUR, HAFTR High School, St. John's School of Law, Melzer & Sullivan-Bisceglia, LLC, High School Basketball coach HAFTR, Mesivta of North Jersey boys junior varisity basketball coach, Neginah Orchestra agent and sales head, producer of a concert in Queens College featuring Live by Request with Avraham Fried, Chaim Dovid and Menucha, musical director at YU Chanukah concert with Avraham Fried, Yaakov Shwekey, Diaspora and Emes, production coordinator at HASC A Time For Music concert, producer who worked on Avraham Fried Live by Request concert in Hackensack, NJ to benefit Yeshivat Noamin which also featured Blue Fringe.

Archie Bunker

Barry is in good company considering that only anarchist and anti-Semitic crackpots have brought legal challenges against shechita.

Only the Judiciary can decide? I bet Barry is one of the people who was hopping mad and screaming bloody murder when the Supreme Court "stole" the election from Al Gore.

What a hoot!

Paul Freedman

Barry, Constitutional absolutism challenging the act confuses a value judgement (statement of moral fact) with a legislative directive. There is no reason whatsoever under the Constitution for either legislatures or courts to protect the constitutional rights of animals who are being turned into foodstuffs. The legislature has great leeway (if we accept this regulation under the Commerce clauses at all) to do a little or nothing at all since the animals are not a protected class under the constitution. If the cattle had anything to say about it they would vigorously protest your constitutional interpretation permitting their slaughter.


Paul Freedman

Getzel, the halachic guidelines/principles are available in a separate pamphlet as far as I can tell---

go to http://rabbimorrisallen2.blogspot.com/ and click on Al Pi Din

Archie Bunker

http://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/fcasfamily/FCASFamilyAppearance?courtId=0&attorneyId=3155386&sortOrder=1&Name=MOSTOFSKY, STEVEN ZACHARY

UOJ dug up a case with countless court appearances by Steve Mostofsky, the shady lawyer for Isaac Hersh's father that is Pesach Lerner's boss at Young Israel.

Archie Bunker

http://hamptonroads.com/2008/08/documents-ponzi-scheme-exploited-community-ties

This article proves Shmarya was reckless & unjustified in saying that orthodox Jews were backing Shereshevsky. He moved to Norfolk using an alias and gained the trust of the locals there by marrying on the women in their community who didn't know what he was all about.

Archie Bunker

marrying A women

Archie Bunker

make that woman, in the singular

Paul Freedman

on the face of it they are using Talmudic dicta on labor conditions to establish a board that arbitrates whether these dicta are met, amplified by the requirement to meet prevailing local [non-Jewish] conditions of labor, employment, benefits and conditions. If the proposed authorizing board agrees this is met they offer their hekhsher tzedik--I didn't myself see an explanation or legal reasoning that attached this concept to technical kashrus, either as an integral component of it or as a permitted extension--this seems to be some kind of "plus" certification or heksher that borrows the concept of kosher certification by analogy or by assumption.

Paul Freedman

and animal welfare

Paul Freedman

with argumentation that is more directly substantive, pg. 15-17, but the focus is innately broad-gauged here and highly leveraged--it has a cosmic sweep to it:

"We have a right, and we are right, to expect our coreligionists, our kosher food purveyors, to sanctify God’s name by their business practices and to allow, even to aid us in, the pursuit of righteousness.

The teaching of Judaism is the theology of the common deed. The Bible insists that God is concerned with everydayness, with the trivialities of life... in how we manage the commonplace. The prophet’s field of concern is not the mysteries of heaven... but the blights of society, the affairs of the marketplace. He addresses himself to those who trample upon the needy, who increase the price of grain, use dishonest scales and sell the
refuse of corn (Amos 8:4-6). The predominant feature of the biblical pattern of life is unassuming, unheroic, inconspicuous piety... “The wages of the hired servant shall not
abide with thee...” (Lev. 19:13)... When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof” (Deut. 22:8)... The challenge we face is a test of our integrity.
[Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Insecurity of Freedom, 102-104, emph. in orig.] "

David N. Friedman

Thanks Archie B for agreeing that Barry's complaint is unjustified.

Regarding Shmarya's response to my conclusion, based upon the report that the group was impressed by the visit, he cites Rabbi Lerner as contradicting the report. I regret I have lost Rabbi Lerner's thoughts in all of this but the point remains that it surely seems that everyone who visits the plant walks away convinced all is in order--even if recent changes have helped to produce a positive report.

Lost in all of this is the common sense that says that the community has an interest in this beyond politics. If the battle reverts merely to politics, this is excellent proof that Shamrya's campaign has failed and the best and almost only justification (beyond a couple of legitimate problems from the beginning of the saga) to protest this kosher meat plant is a basic political stance and not a concern based in Jewish law or morality or even a general sense of how one treats an employee.

Further, it is clear over-reach when almost everything is seen as a conspiracy and this is getting old. Good people want an outcome which is fair to everyone

Shmarya

I suggest, David, that you spend some time rereading – and actually trying to process – the posts I've done on that staged visit.

Carol Ann Varley

Archie,
Only 'anarchist(s) and anti-semetic crackpots' have brought legal challenges to Shechita?!? Where are you from?

In the United States NO ONE has challenged Shechita in the Courts. There was a case in 1974, Jones versus Butz (no...not Butts) that challenged handling (shackle and hoist) but the plaintives did not prevail.

There may be cause today to challenge the religious exemption for handling (shackle and hoist) since restraint pens for both large and small animals exist today.

The Humane Slaughter Act was enacted because it is a HUMAN VALUE to treat food animals in a humane fashion.

As long as meat from animals derived from religious slaughter (Kosher and Halal) gets sold to non-observant consumers, the religious exemption on handling should be restricted to prohibit shackling and hoisting of animals.

Secular slaughter has a higher standard than religious slaughter in terms of shackle and hoist.

rebitzman

++Secular slaughter has a higher standard than religious slaughter in terms of shackle and hoist.++

Suggest you visit a commercial non-kosher slaughterhouse then get back to us.

I have no love at all for PETA - but even they disagree with you.

Archie Bunker

Carol Ann,

I'm thinking of a Ukranian anti-Semite based in Canada who has been filing complaints with various government agencies and courts in countries where shechita is allowed. He has also been lobbying food conglomerates to drop kosher supervision which, like neo-Nazis, he calls the "Jewish tax"

Archie Bunker

"Secular slaughter has a higher standard than religious slaughter in terms of shackle and hoist."

For those like Rubashkin who shackle & hoist and otherwise mistreat animals.

Shmarya

To Shmarya, pieces like these are your reson d'etre. This was well investigated and very informative. It is this type of investigative journalism that safegaurds society as a whole. Keep up the good work.

Thanks, BK!

Paul Freedman

Carol Ann, your argument is still unclear. As I read the Act, the Humane Slaughter Act permits kosher slaughter methods without regard to the method of restraint. The law permits slaughter using the methods of restraint at the time of the legislation--it isn't an exemption as far as I can see but a core component of the law itself. In order to further restrict or modify kosher practices for slaughter you would require new legislation--any proposed legislation that required restraint that can only be used for pre-stunned/pre-paralyzed stunned animals would be challanged.

R Smith

The polarization goes on and on. Groups with their own agendas and vested interests interpret the "facts" to prove their points and discount all the other side has to say, frequently through name calling and accusatioins. This investigation of Agriprocessors from the left and from the right is completely without credibility.

The only organization i would put any faith in at this time is Uri l tzedek since they seem to have managed to draw heat from all sides which to me is an indication that their view may be closest to the "truth".

Disclaimer: I would also tend to compare PETA and their extortionist terrorist allies to NAZIS since it is dangerous to even attempt to engage them in dialogue. All you PETA supporters, check out their latest Ad:

http://blog.peta.org/archives/ad/

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