Last week, Poland's parliament banned ritual slaughter of un-stunned animals – effectively outlawing shechita (Jewish ritual slaughter) and Muslim halal slaughter. As Euopean Jewish leaders and rabbis meet, a Chabad front organization calls for the Polish chief rabbi's head.
Yeshiva World reports:
The European Jewish Congress (EJC), the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) and senior representatives of the Polish Jewish community will [sic] hold an emergency meeting today in Brussels. The discussions centred around how to respond to the failure of the Polish Government to push through legislation which would have protected the rights of faith communities to carry out religious slaughter.
Piotr Kadlčik, President of the Polish Jewish community flew into Brussels to meet with the EJC and CER. Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich participated in the meeting via video link.
“The issue of shechitah is now at the forefront of our responsibilities as representatives of European Jewish communities,” Serge Cwajgenbaum, EJC Secretary General, said. “We will galvanize and utilize all legal means to fight this ban in Poland because the future of shechitah in Europe will have an immediate and direct bearing on the future of a thriving and unmolested Jewish community in Europe and by extension a tolerant and broad-minded Europe.”
Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the CER, commented, “I was deeply disappointed during the course of the debate in the Sejm, as religious slaughter was portrayed as contrary to Polish culture. This line of argument constitutes a complete disregard for Polish history, and the proud contribution of Polish Jews to the country during 800 years of living side-by-side. We have arrived, due to the outcome of the vote, at a position which is simply untenable for the Jewish community in Poland and we must now act quickly to rectify this.”
“Attacks on this basic right to religious expression are an issue not only for Polish Jews but for all Europe’s Jewish and minority religious communities,” Piotr Kadlčik said. “Our Jewish way of life as full citizens of a democratic Europe of which Poland is part of dependent on the principal government and pan-European organisations defending fundamental rights as enshrined in the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.”
Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich of Poland asses [sic], “Since 1989, the new democratic Poland has been an example to all of minority and religious rights. We have already begun together with Polish government officials to find a wise and legal solution to ensure that shechita remains legal in Poland. I am very hopeful that in the near future such a solution will be implemented.”
At the emergency summit a number of options were discussed, including political and legal responses. It was unanimously agreed that every legal option would be explored in order to challenge the ban on Shechita in Poland.
Meanwhile, an organization founded and run by Chabad hasidim, the European Jewish Association, has attacked Schudrich and Polish Jewish leaders for allegedly refusing outside help to negotiate with the Polish government in the run-up to this week's vote – a charge Shudrich and other leaders vehemently deny.
Observers believe the Chabad front group is trying to use the Polish parliament's decision as a weapon against Shudrich in order to install a Chabad-Lubavitch hasid as chief rabbi in place of Schudrich, just as Chabad has tried to do in other locations using similar tactics.
“I harshly condemn Rabbi Schudrich’s conduct and call on him to resign,” said Menachem Margolin, a rabbi belonging to the Chabad movement and director of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association.
But the JTA changed that sentence on its website without issuing any correction or explanation, presumably because it makes Chabad-Lubavitch look bad in the eyes of donors.
The sentence now reads as follows.
“I harshly condemn Rabbi Schudrich’s conduct and call on him to resign,” said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association.
At this time, there is no editor's note or other explanation explaining the change or noting that it was made.
The JTA has not yet responded to a question about this change from FailedMessiah.com.
Update 7-18-2013 at 10:15 am CDT – The JTA responded, and noted that the article has now been updated to read as follows:
I harshly condemn Rabbi Schudrich’s conduct and call on him to resign,” said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the Chabad-affiliated director of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association.