Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin in his own words, unedited and uncut:
Rubashkin's Resonse to the "Attack on Shechita"
By: Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin
In the past few days an attack has been launched on our religious freedom. An organization called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a group of extremists, has begun a very active campaign against Shechita, Jewish (Kosher) slaughter. They are an infamous political group with a radical political agenda and they are attempting to further that agenda at the expense of our religious freedom – by becoming a relevant voice in decisions directly related to the Shechita process.
Here is some information on this attack on Shechita:
This is an attack being made against our religious freedom.
Peta is trying to make the Shechita process look bad and also a divided issue between Rabbis. This is very dangerous because the law now recognizes Shechita as humane slaughter. Division is what Peta wants in order that they will then be able step in. For example, when Rabbi Shaar Yosuv Cohen’s name was used in his article Dec 2nd - he has already issued a letter retracting his reported comments and so has Rabbi Raful. Rabbi Raful, by the way, is not a “Chief Rabbi of the Rabbinate of Israel” as reported by JPO, but only the coordinator. These rabbis were approached by a person working for Peta who told them he was a Baal Teshuva, and would like to ask some questions. After the conversation, they can report as they wish.
When the Times reporter Mcneil first called our lawyer Mr, Nat Lewin on Wed., Nov 24, he said there were two Israeli Rabbis who said what they saw on the video was not Kosher. Nat asked for their names and one was Rabbi Rosen, the other Rabbi Cohen. We did a check only to find out that Rabbi Rosen is a vegetarian and he is a head of anti-Religious affairs, and that he has stated that Shechita is against the Torah. He puts it this way “Mitsvah Haboh Beaveroh!!!” When Nat pointed this out to the reporter he realized that he was given by Peta their own Rabbi. The story which was supposed to be out by Monday was delayed till Weds.
What the NY times wrote eight days later, that Agri “could not be contacted”, is an easy way to get to write the story in the negative light the reporter wants to. DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ! That is a clear lie! NO ONE from the NY Times attempted to call for a comment. As a matter of fact, anyone who did call about was told our response. We had Mike Thomas, our PR man, on the phone the whole week fielding calls from many news stations, as well as private people.
The point is this. How many times are we shown the one sided lies from the Times, only to be fooled again time and again with what is reported in the Times?
Why are so many people establishing conclusions from a video that is presented by people who are against the whole process that is going on? “VeChakarta Vedarashto Hetev!”
The truth is, is that the response should really be written by the Rabbinical staff that certify Agriprocessors Kosher. Boruch Hashem there are nine major certifications to which Agri follows their process meticulously. This is why “Rubashkin” did not come out and respond. That would make this into a business issue when it is a war against Shechita and our Religious freedom! The Rubashkins follow Rabbinical laws set by its certifications meticulously. And will continue to do so.
But, because of the many requests I will try to explain.
There are three things going on in Agri:
1. Rabbinical: To assure Kosher standards. This area is in total control of the esteemed Rabbonim and it must stay this way.
2. USDA: USDA assures all the livestock here are handled humanely. It still does. It also Assures, the product we sell is healthy and free from any contaminants.
3. Business: Business is handled by the management of Agriprocessors and we strive to do a good professional job.
There is the famous story where Yankel is approached by Berel in Shul and is loudly accused of something terrible. Yankel is it true that you were caught stealing in Shul yesterday? Berel loudly announced for everyone to hear. Yankel turns beet red as he stammers “I just flew in from Israel, I was not even here yesterday!” Berel snickers “Now go and deny”.
Although the media likes to present the Shechita story, as an “undercover” story to gain some appeal, there is no undercover story. What hit the satellite waves was a documentation of the Shechita process in its full glory (assuming the video is not altered, and we are in the process of trying to ascertain if it was altered.). At Agriprocessors we are proud to be the only ones to have what is called a Shechita Munachas. That is where the Shochet cuts Melmalo Lemato. What you actually see is the extraordinary steps taken in assuring the best Shechita in the USA and Canada. You see how the neck facing upwards is washed well, so that there is no dirt or pebbles on the neck that would make the Shechita Possul. You then see the Shochet doing the Shechita the way it’s supposed to be done Melmalo Lemato. The Shochet then checks visually and or with his hands to make sure the Shechita is Kosher. This key point is, in this process of Shechita many Shalos which are associated with the standing Shechita are eliminated. This is the way we Shechted since Maton Torah. The animal is then rolled out to be tied and hung on a rail. This Shechita is actually Halachakly the best there is.
Note: the media constantly writes about the animal bellowing after it was cut in blood. FACT: The animal cannot make any sounds as the sound box was severed from the lung. Just one of the many lies. The sound track was most likely put later for maximum effect.
In other slaughter houses the animal is standing in a restrainer when Shechted. His head then would be lifted and the neck washed underhanded and the Shochet Shechts Melmato Lemalo and then check his work with his hands not being able to see. There are Heterim on this way of Shechita. In this process the animal is shackled and pulled out of the box to be hung on the rail, so the thrashing would be done in the air not on the floor. Had the extreme political group videoed there, the picture would not have been so colorful. So we got the honor of being filmed and made too look bad. But it’s really not us they are ultimately after. They are after the whole concept of Shechita and the killing of animals they claim to protect.
What you see on the video is not out of the ordinary. At Agri, because of the excellence in the Shechita process, there arises a couple of visual opportunities to make the process look worse:
At Agri where the steer is on its back (Shechita Munachas), the neck is easy for the Shochet to see, it is also easy for the camera to see. What you see is the severance of the neck along with the whole anatomy of the neck and the rush of blood associated with the Shechita process. Remember, although it is not a pretty sight the animal does not feel anything and the animal is unconscious within two seconds. So although the animal is unconscious and NO PAIN is felt, the viewer sees blood and the natural movement of the animal shaking (remember the term Pirkus in Treifus?) associated in this process and is sucked into thinking something painful is going on. Any, Shechita has blood pouring out and the animal moving for a while. Any kill floor by non kosher will have the same.
The other problem of the Shechita Munachas is that before the animal can be hung on the rail it is rolled on the loading area. This allows the camera to pick up movements of the unconscious animal on the floor. Had the animal been hung the movements would have been the same, but in the air. So Agri gets to be filmed undercover but there is no story other than Shechita is happening. Most people cannot even watch looking at Kaporros. (By the way, Peta demonstrated against the holy Minhag of Kapporos this past Erev Yom Kippur in Crown heights. They tried to make those pious people feel guilty to practice their Religion.)
Contrary to Shechita, the non kosher kill, where the steer is hit in the head with a bolt, all you will see is blood oozing out from a small hole in the head and blood coming out from its mouth. Then, when they “stick the animal in the neck and heart” the blood will flow more in a straight line like from a spigot. Unfortunately the animal may not be unconscious through all this while, only paralyzed. But it looks better, less blood! Then there is the BSE problem when the animal’s brain smashed by the bolt in the non kosher humane process particles of the brain is carried with blood stream to the meat muscles, to be eaten later.
No matter what you call it, an abattoir, a kill floor, a slaughter house, or Bais HaShechita there is blood associated in the process and lives from animals are being taken. Most people will recoil from the sight of blood because it is associated with pain. In Shechita the animal does not feel any pain. Most people could not watch a heart transplant in its full glory even though he knows that the patient is not feeling any pain. Most men could not take the sight of blood during childbirth, a happy occasion.
Shechita is the most painless way to take the animals life. G-D teaches us that if done correctly, mankind can eat meat and actually elevate the animal kingdom to the level of humans. Let nobody try to act more merciful than our merciful creator. When one does act more merciful than our creator the word for that is BLASPHEMY.
The cut that is being made after the Shechita is far away from the where the Shochet cut and is done in order to speed up the bleeding from the catorid arteries. Sometimes the artery will close after the Shechita and cause blood splash in the meat and opening them corrects that problem. It also speeds up the loss blood and anemia to the brain which should have welcomed by the so called humanist. This cut is Lechatchila Kosher and All Rabbonim agree.
Finally there is always the chance in any Shechita process, although very rare, that the animal will be able to get up and walk. This happens even when they use the shooting method. You can also see more on this issue by Dr. Levinger in his book on Shechita.
FACT: Remember the animal is unconscious within two seconds after the incision. This is considered instantly. You can quote HH dukes of Cornell University in a scientific study.
The point of this whole drasha is this. What Agriprocessors is seen doing, is done with the supervision of the USDA and Rabbinical supervision. Every Beis Hashchita should be that way. Nothing wrong was, or is being done. There is nothing to admit. What happened is that some viscous group who wants to stop any association of mankind with animals, just showed you all scenes you don’t see every day. They know that these scenes will be unpleasant to the viewer and that’s their goal: to get people to become vegetarians.
Here are few more assorted points to know:
• Peta’s mission statement:
Peta operates under the simple principle animals are not ours to eat, wear experiment on, or use as entertainment.
• The founder is quoted in the Washington post saying “six million Jews were killed in concentration camps, but six billion chicken are slaughterd each year.”
• A letter this year was sent to Arafat complaining why he used a donkey to kill Jews in a packed market . The donkey was innocent, they complained!!!
• The USDA will not engage this group in any discussion. They proved themselves to be untrustworthy in any agreement. They would agree only to demand more the next day. Sound like typical terrorist strategy.
• Their ultimate goal is to stop you from eating meat. How can they ever agree? The strategy is to make you so uncomfortable till succumb to their line of thinking.
• Hitler YM”S outlawed Kosher slaughter in 1933. His basis was Kosher is inhumane. Need we say anymore?!
• In the time the videos were taken more than 18,000 cattle were slaughtered. The few instances recorded is well below five percent misfires allowed in the typical USDA plant.
• In the letter from them some of you Rabbis got, there is only one recommendation on Shechita.
Who are they to recommend on a religious matter?
• They wrote me a letter with 5 recommendations to make Shechita humane. I believe Shechita is humane and will take recommendations only from our Rabbinate.
• They want to decide which way we should Shecht, Melmalo Lemato or Melmata Lemalo.
I know that this decision belongs to the Rabbonim.
• They want us to shoot the animal if Shechita does not render the animal rapidly unconscious.
This is the first step to what they do in Australia. They shoot the animal immediately after the Shechita
. • What is clear is that they want to control Shechita.
I believe that control of our religion belongs to the Rabbonim.
• This extreme group wants to put their political agenda before our right to freedom of religion
Don’t let them. Speak out!
• They talk about Humane, what they want is to become an equal voice with our Rabbonim on Shechita.
Let’s work together and stop them.
• They think they will teach us what is humane.
Jews always have and always will teach the true meaning of humane. Not the humane of Hitler and his colleagues!
• Science has found out and proven what we Jews knew all the time. The most humane way to kill an animal is by Shechita. No matter if visually it is not inviting. The main point in being Humane in Shechita is not to inflict pain. Remember, within two seconds of the incision the animal is unconscious and does not feel the pain.
• Please see the letter from C. Rader and how he describes the most commonly used method in the USA. There may not be so much blood but there is much more pain. Is this a beauty contest?
• Agri processors has an independent Humane audit done in February 04 and has passed with excellent marks. It is available on request.
E-Mail to your supermarket the truth of this issue. This is not against Agriprocessors. It’s a war against Shechita! Agriprocessors has the Z’chus to be able to give support to our Rabbonim and help them stave of this vicious attack of defamation of our religion. First explain the right to religious freedom and the need to unite and defend. Then explain the humane of Shechita both by faith and science.
I hope I was able to answer some of your questions if not please call and talk or use the e mail.
We want Moshiach NOW!