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November 27, 2012

Polish Court Bans Kosher Slaughter

Sliced brisketThe court’s ruling, publicized earlier today, says the government acted unconstitutionally when it exempted kosher and halal slaughter from the requirement to stun animals immediately before slaughter.

Sliced brisket

Polish Court Bans Kosher Slaughter
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

A constitutional court in Poland has reportedly ruled against allowing Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter.

The JTA reports that the court’s ruling, publicized earlier today, says the government acted unconstitutionally when it exempted kosher and halal slaughter from the requirement to stun animals immediately before slaughter.

Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, told JTA that along with the special exception the court struck down today, shechitah, kosher slaughter, is also permitted under the 1997 Law on Regulating the Relations between the State and the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland.

“It appears there is a legal contradiction here and it is too early to tell what this means,” he said. "We are seeking legal advice on this right now,” Kadlcik reportedly said.

Poland has about 6,000 Jews but no kosher slaughterhouses.

Even so, locally slaughtered kosher meat is still produced and sold, mostly at Jewish community-run stores and restaurants.

Kadlcik told the JTA that in light of today’s ruling, he is not sure if the Jewish community will be able to continue to sell or provide kosher meat.

While most rabbis ban stunning animals even after the kosher slaughter has taken place, some – including the Sridei Eish and the Chief Rabbi of Holland – allow animals to be stunned immediately after their throats are cut by the ritual slaughterer, known as a schochet.

It is unclear whether that option will be considered by the Polish Jewish community or allowed by Poland’s Constitutional Court.

[Hat Tip: Yochanan Lavie.]

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Polish Court Bans Kosher Slaughter

Anti-Semetic bastards. May their economy crash and no one bail them out!

Anti-Semetic bastards. May their economy crash and no one bail them out!

Posted by: NeverForget | November 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM

What's antisemitic about it? Firstly, they banned halal meat too, not just kosher. But also, it was banned based on a technicality, which you must admit is correct.

Why should Jews and Muslims get special treatment to slaughter animals without stunning them first?

Why should Jews and Muslims get special treatment to slaughter animals without stunning them first?

What a compassionate group of people these Poles are. Where was their compassion in World War II? I would love to stun these Nazi bastards.

What a compassionate group of people these Poles are. Where was their compassion in World War II? I would love to stun these Nazi bastards.

Posted by: Avi | November 27, 2012 at 01:33 PM

But you'd also like to "stun" the Muslims. wouldn't you.

I went out with a Polish babe who worked at a local slaughterhouse, and she was stunning.


while i completely agree that no slaughter be permitted anywhere without prior stunning, when it comes to poland, the ruling leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.


now i'm hungry.

"What a compassionate group of people these Poles are. Where was their compassion in World War II? I would love to stun these Nazi bastards."

If I recall correctly, nearly 25,000 Jews survived in hiding in Warsaw. On average, *at least* three Poles must have known about this--other members of the household, neighbors who knew and chose to say nothing, etc. That means 75,000 Poles in one city alone helped Jews survive the war, often at great risk to themselves.

I once heard a talk given by a Polish woman who hid 17 Jews in her attic when she was a teenaged orphan. She said that if the Germans caught Poles helping Jews, the Germans took them out to the village square and broke all their bones before killing them. The Polish woman's husband, who was Jewish, also said that his school teacher was killed for helping Jews.

Such actions, which were far harsher than those employed in other countries, no doubt terrified many Poles and discouraged them from helping their Jewish neighbors.

Jerzy Kosinski, who wrote a disgracefully anti-Polish book was hidden in a village by Poles who almost certainly knew he was Jewish and yet kept their mouths shut, at great risk to themselves.

I do not deny that many Poles were viciously anti-Semitic, but other Poles took significant risks to help Jews.

I am simply asking that Poles be judged individually instead of collectively.

I have NO Polish ancestry, so this is not ethnic partisanship on my part.

Where was their compassion? They were being slaughtered to the tune of 3 million! Where is your compassion for the Polish Holocaust victims??

"While most rabbis ban stunning animals even after the kosher slaughter has taken place, some – including the Sridei Eish and the Chief Rabbi of Holland – allow animals to be stunned immediately after their throats are cut by the ritual slaughterer, known as a schochet."

Am ha'aretz v'bor sheino yerei cheit!!! The Seridei Eish issued no such heter. In the 1930's, when the Nazi's outlawed shechitah without first stunning the animal, a group of German rabbis formed a committee to look into the Halachik permissibility of stunning the animal. It is important to note that at that time, it was believed that meat was integral to a healthy diet (something we now know to be untrue). As such this issue was of vital importance. The separatist Orthodox community declined to participate in this committee, and it was only the Orthodox rabbis who were part of the einheitsgemeinde that took part. The Seridei Eish, as the leading posek for this group of rabbis headed the committee. R. Weinberg did in fact work out a "hora'at Sha'ah," a provisional dispensation to stun a animal prior to shechita. He limited the use of such meat, however to the elderly, the sick and young children. Most importantly he explicitly limited implementation of the heter, subject to the approval of leading posek of the day, R. Chaim Ozer Grodzesnki. Only if R. Chaim Ozer agreed with the heter, was it to be implemented. Without that assent, the heter was withdrawn, on its own terms. For various reason, many of them meta-Halachik, R. Chaim Ozer declined to ratify the Seridei Eish's heter. Upon the Seridei Eish withdrawing his heter, there was a more radical suggestion by R. Carlebach of Hamburg, to suspend Jewish law entirely in light of the crisis, but this was roundly rejected by his colleagues.

It is entirely disingenuous and intellectually dishonest for Shmarya to suggest that in any way the Sridei Eish might endorse any form of animal stunning in relation to Shechitah today. In making that suggestion, he sullies the reputation of a great posek, and diminishes the esteem we should all have for those who sacrificed mightily in defense and maintenance of Jewish law. He's simply wrong.

Posted by: DBSesq | November 27, 2012 at 04:47 PM

Please.

The Seridei Eish found was to permit that stunning and endorsed using those ways.

That he conditioned approval on the approval of (another) leading posek is immaterial to the point I made.

(And one can certainly note that R' Chaim Ozer was at that moment not facing the threat that the Srideai Eish and his community were facing, and that his objections did not take fully into account the seriousness of what was happening.)

The point, which you obfuscate, is that there is a way to stun, especially when the alternative is no kosher meat.

As far as I know all Kosher meat in Australia involves stunning immediately after Shechitah.
This was a compromise with the Australian authorities many years ago so even the most chareidi communities here eat meat stunned after Shechita. (The Rabbanut in Israel will therefore not permit import of such meat)

for Shmarya to suggest that in any way the Sridei Eish might endorse any form of animal stunning in relation to Shechitah today. In making that suggestion, he sullies the reputation of a great posek, and diminishes the esteem we should all have for those who sacrificed mightily in defense and maintenance of Jewish law. He's simply wrong.

Posted by: DBSesq


how ironic!! the one who is diminishing the esteem of the sridei aish is YOU. once it became clear that there was a way to diminish the suffering of an animal being shechted through stunning, it is halachically obligatory to use that method. the halacha is very clear regarding tsaar baalei chaim . in fact , so strong is the concern for animal suffering that a related law is one of only 7 that must be followed by non-jews.
the method of shechita OTOH is completely d'rabbanan. all thats mentioned in the torah is to drain the blood. the real authors of almost all halacha-the tannaim, amoraim and stammaim- appeared concerned with minimizing animal suffering. theres no doubt in my mind that had they been living when stunning was an option, they would have demanded it. so while the sridei didnt reach his psak for the right reason, at least he offered an option in dire times. chaim ozer was a complete fool for not agreeing.
and NO , we shouldnt have knee-jerk respect for those who keep rules which are inhumane and cruel, regardless of how much they sacrificed to do so.
should i have respect for some rav today
who toils daily to return to a time when he'll be able to see gays put to death for anal sex? or sabbath defilers? or a halachic return of human slavery?

stop thinking with your ass and start using your brain, that is, if it isnt so atrophied by now due to years of uncritical , unintelligent, and in your case really slimy thoughts and actions.

There must be a Polish 'Rubashkin' that just hacked at the animals--this is the result!!

Posted by: Avi
"What a compassionate group of people these Poles are. Where was their compassion in World War II? I would love to stun these Nazi bastards."

See "Righteous among the Nations": http://goo.gl/bIyWT

Do you see which Country is first, with 6,339 honorings?. Why, Poland!. And, as JessicaR already pointed out in her article, there were many, many more Polish involved in saving Jewish souls, which they will just fade into the night, happy with themselves for saving even one Human being.

But why be factual, when you can generalize, just like the nice boys at Stormfront.org regarding their Hebrew views. =P

One cannot rely on a peak, which by its own terms is null. Th Swridei Eish made his heter on stunning contingent on R. Chaim Ozer approving it, that approval was not forthcoming. As such even the Seridei Eish would agree that there is no heter for stunning to be found in his teshuva. We can analyze and criticize that state of affairs all we want, but we can't claim a Halachik dispensation where one does not exist. Moreover, even if we were to rely on the Seridei Eish, he only allowed it for the sick, the elderly and perhaps young children. IIRC there were further limitations as well. As such that heter would be of very limited utility.

You're a fool, Danny.

Again, the Seridei Eish had a well thought out, reasoned way to allow stunning.

Chaim Ozer didn't reject it because the halakhic reasoning was bad, and you know it.

He rejected it for what could very loosely be called political reasons.

As APC noted above – and as the Rubashkin/Agriprocessors case so clearly proves – rabbis can and will permit or forbid lots of things that fly in the face of the actual meaning of the mitzvah their halakhot are derived from.

So while it was widely understood by Rishonim that shechita's purpose was to A) drain the blood, which cannot be eaten according to the Torah, and B) eliminate as much pain as humanly possible so that the animal suffers little or, better yet, not at all, Rubashkin's throat ripping five seconds after the shechita cut was horrifically painful to those animals and PROLONGED their deaths. But dozens of haredi and MO rabbis publicly said there was nothing wrong with that process, and that the meat from those animals was 100% glatt kosher both after the fact and l'chatchillah.

If you can throat rip 5 seconds after shechita, you can stun 5 seconds after shechita.

Shmarya,

You are absolutely entitled to your Halachik views. Indeed I think you should write a comprehensive teshuva on this subject, publish it in a Halachik journal and allow your POV to be discussed and debated by other experts in the field. Rather than preach to your choir, how about you try to compete in the real market place of Halachik ideas? Who knows, maybe poskim will be swayed by your arguments; you might be the next Elazar ben Hyrkanus. Moreover, if a slaughterhouse wishes to adopt your opinion, i.e. slaughter animals according to your view, then market the meat with your Hechsher, and if kosher consumers are prepared to rely on your psak, ashrecha vetov lach. If my LOR were to tell me I can eat it, meat with the "Shmarya hechsher" would probably cross the threshold of my home and find its way into my Sabbath cholent. What you cannot do however, is claim that the Seridei Eish issued a blanket heter to stun animals vis-a-vis shechita. That is what you tried to do above, and it's just plain wrong.

Posted by: DBSesq | November 28, 2012 at 02:14 PM

I'll try this one more time. Perhaps you'll finally get it.

The Seridei Eish wrote a detailed, reasoned teshuva showing how stunning could be allowed.

He sent it to Chaim Ozer to check that halakhic reasoning.

Chain Ozer did ***not** refute the halakhic reasoning of the Seridei Eish.

Instead, he gave a 'political' 'meta-halakhic' reason to disallow stunning – in other words, instead of playing the 'game' that was presented to him, he ruled that no 'game' could be played because, well, he said so.

The Seridei Eish didn't consider this to be a refutation of his halakhic reasoning, and no honest, serious person looking at it would, either. (That you do is just another indication of your fundamental honesty issues, I'd say.)

History has repeatedly shown that rabbis like Chaim Ozer who make rulings like he did are wrong. They drive Jews away from Jewish observance, their rulings backfire and cause many unintended problems.

But to know that, you'd have to know Jewish history, and you don't.

I don't know what the Seridei Eish's response was to R. Chaim Ozer's rejection of the stunning heter. I do know there was considerable correspondence between them, with the Seridei Eish asking R. Chaim Ozer, importuning him really, to change him mind. I also know that in the end, The Seridei Eish did not allow stunning to occur in slaughterhouses under his aegis.

Shmarya, you're entitled to your views about R. Chaim Ozer and his decision on this issue. I'm sure there are many people, among them people I respect who believe similarly. You just can't invoke the Seridei Eish to support your position on stunning. I'm sure he would be against your doing so. Feel free to adopt his reasoning. But you can't lay claim to his support. The historical record doesn't let you do that.

Posted by: DBSesq | November 28, 2012 at 03:21 PM

We'll have to agree to disagree on what I meant and on your understanding of the Seridei Eish.

But on pretty much everything else, you're absolutely wrong.

Fuck all zionist jews who hate Polish people.
Cheers to others :)

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