Rabbi Shear-Yashuv Cohen has written a letter on the Rubashkin scandal. Lubicom, the kosher industry's trade group, has released the letter and added its own spin to Rabbi Cohen's words.
Please note the following:
- Rabbi Cohen's letter in effect means that, because he did not know where the slaughterhouse was or who its supervising rabbi was, he was misled by PETA. Implied in the letter is that, if Rabbi Cohen had known that the OU supervises the slaughterhouse in PETA's video, he never would have made the statements condemning the slaughter. Why? The OU's record is "impeccable."
- Further, Rabbi Cohen writes of the PETA video that it "apparently does not show the full picture of the schechita, or ritual slaughter, process." On whom is Rabbi Cohen relying for that assessment? The OU. [You can read more about that here.]
- In other words, slaughter that Rabbi Cohen found appalling and not in accordance with Jewish law just became koher and faultless because Rabbi Cohen has accepted at face value the testimony of the very rabbis accused of misconduct.
- Lubicom added the following to Rabbi Cohen's statement: "Rabbi Cohen had earlier revealed that the PETA official who had contacted him had misrepresented himself as a baal teshuva (returnee to authentic Judaism)." But, as one can see here, Rabbi Cohen makes no such claim.
Read it all after the jump:
Prominent Israeli Rabbi Decries Misuse of His Name by Anti-Schechita Forces
Friday December 17, 2:44 pm ET
NEW YORK, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The following press release is being distributed by LUBICOM Marketing Consulting:
Rabbi Shear-Yashuv Cohen, Chief Rabbi of Haifa and a senior member of the Court of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, has issued a sharp rebuke over the misuse of his name in the campaign by opponents to kosher slaughter. Rabbi Cohen was the most senior rabbi quoted by the New York Times and other media questioning schechita practices at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa.
In a letter to the Forward widely circulated by LUBICOM Marketing Consulting, a marketing firm that monitors the kosher food industry, Rabbi Cohen protests the use of his name "in declaring the slaughtering of animals at the Agriprocessors plant in Iowa as non-kosher."
Rabbi Cohen's letter continues, "As I already have written to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, I forbid further use of my name as questioning the kashrut of the Agriprocessors plant. The PETA videotape that I saw did not disclose the name of the plant involved or, more importantly, the name of the rabbi that supervises the plant under authority of the kashrut division of the Orthodox Union -- whose credentials are impeccable. Furthermore, it apparently does not show the full picture of the schechita, or ritual slaughter, process.
"I fully endorse the statement by my O.U. colleagues, Executive Vice President Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb and Rabbi Menachem Genack, the rabbinic administrator of the kashrut division, which declares the schechita of the Agriprocessors plant 100% kosher. I am indeed pleased to note that all rabbis involved reaffirm their commitment to prevent inhumane treatment of animals and congratulate the O.U. together with the Agriprocessors's executives for making further efforts and introducing changes that will stop the procedure that might have caused unnecessary suffering to the animals."
Rabbi Cohen had earlier revealed that the PETA official who had contacted him had misrepresented himself as a baal teshuva (returnee to authentic Judaism). Rabbi Cohen's strong letter comes after similar letters by the Office of the Chief Rabbinate in Israel as well as a united statement by virtually all of the certifying agencies and rabbis reaffirming the humaneness of schechita and their unequivocal support for the kashrut at Agriprocessors.
Source: LUBICOM Marketing Consulting