What was Chabad's standard of kosher when Rabbi Yitzchok Dovod Groner was still alive? Groner clearly covered up child sex abuse, helped abusers flee justice and enabled known pedophiles, giving them open access to the children put in Groner's care. But was Groner and his personally appointed kashrut team any better about enforcing kosher regulations? Apparently not.
Above: Rabbi meir Shlomo Kluwgant
A source writes:
When I learned smicha in Melbourne, Australia [while Groner was alive and in charge] we were taken on a tour of the schechting [ritual slaughter]. At the time they were schechting [ritually slaughtering] sheep. As far as I knew from learning the laws, they were meant to check the insides of each animal, since we don't rely on the idea of rov. I noticed that [Chabad's head shochet (slaughterer), Rabbi Meir Shlomo] Kluwgant] was not checking every sheep, as the conveyer belt went passed him. When it was my turn to stand with him at the conveyer belt, I said to him, "Aren't you meant to check each animal?" He responded, "Don't you see how fast this conveyer belt is moving?"
I asked the source for clarification. He responded with this:
It seemed to me that [based on the laws I had studied] he was meant to check the lungs before the lungs were taken out of the animal. It was this checking of the lungs that I believe he skipped on some of the animals. When I questioned him about not checking every animal, since from learning the laws of Treifus I was under the impression that you have to check every lung and not rely on rov, he said "Don't you see how fast the conveyer belt was moving?" Once the lungs were taken out, I assume they checked them then. I'm not sure about other internal organs, since I was under the impression that the lungs were the main organ that had to be checked while it was still inside the animal. If other organs had to be checked, I assume they can be checked even once they are taken out of the animal.
What is supposed to happen on that slaughter line according to Jewish law? Here's a good explanation written by Rabbi Dr. Ari Z. Zivotofsky and published by Kashrut.com [emphasis added]:
…While these problems are not common, they do occur more frequently than other treifot. Their relative prevalence led the rabbis to mandate that the lungs of every animal be examined, both manually while still in its natural position in the animal, and visually following its removal from the thoracic cavity (YD 39:1).2 Because a hole in the lung renders the animal a treifa, adhesions, i.e. pathologically arising bands of collagen fibers, are problematic either because they indicate the presence of a perforation that has been insufficiently sealed (Rashi) or because they can become loosened, thereby causing a hole to develop (Tosfot). In the U.S., lung adhesions usually do not occur on fowl; hence the rest of this discussion concerns only meat, not chicken.3
The Shulchan Aruch describes many types of adhesions in intricate detail (YD 39:4-13), the overwhelming majority of which render the animal a treifa. The Ramah (YD 39:13) concludes the discussion about lung adhesions with a description of a method of peeling and testing many types of adhesions, thereby resulting in many more animals determined to be kosher. The Ramah himself expressed certain hesitations about aspects of this leniency, but because it had gained wide acceptance and did have a firm basis, he ruled that it could be followed. However, he cautions that the peeling and testing must be performed by an exceedingly God-fearing individual.
Because this peeling is mentioned and approved by the Ramah but not by the Mechaber (Rabbi Yosef Karo, the author of the Shulchan Aruch), Sephardim, who follow the Mechaber, are required to eat only glatt (chalak, in Hebrew) meat as defined by the Mechaber. The Mechaber is also the author of the Beit Yosef; therefore, such meat is termed "glatt/chalak Beit Yosef." For Ashkenazim, there is a tradition that a small, easily removable adhesion is defined as a lower class of adhesion, known as rir, and that the presence of up to two such small, easily removable adhesions still qualifies the animal as glatt according to Ashkenazic tradition. Eating glatt is a worthy stringency that avoids potential problems raised by the Ramah's controversial leniency.
It should be emphasized that the Ramah's ruling is certainly legitimate and, in theory, non-glatt meat, if inspected properly, is 100% kosher for Ashkenazim. Today, the OU (and most other kashrut organizations in the U.S.) will only certify meat that is glatt, albeit not necessarily glatt Beit Yosef. An important postscript is that the Ramah's ruling [allowing non-glatt meat] is defined as non-applicable to young, tender animals such as lamb, kid and calf (Ramah, YD 39:13). Therefore, all lamb chops, veal or other meat from young animals must be glatt Beit Yosef, even for Ashkenazim.…
In other words, all lamb lungs must be manually checked in situ and then again visually (and sometimes again manually) after being removed from the animal, and must be found to be smooth and without adhesions for the animal to be kosher in any way. But Kluwgant was allegedly skipping the first inspection on many of the animals.
Kluwgant is best known for his alleged harassment of child sex abuse victims and for lying to the Royal Commission investigating child sex abuse at Chabad institutions in Australia.