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New York - Conservative and Reform Movements Despicable, Ludicrous, Spoofs On Kashrus

Published on: June 11, 2008 02:14 PM
By: VIN News Editorial
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New York - When the Conservative and Reform movements weighed in on the recent federal raid on Agriprocessors in Postville IA, it raised a fundamental question of what connection they have with kashrus.

Only a small number of Conservative and virtually no Reform Jews observe kashrus, at least not the kashrus that is in accordance with Torah and halacha. So when the Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism issued an advisory to its members and constituents asking them to evaluate whether it is appropriate to consume Rubashkin products, who exactly were they talking to?

True, that there are many Conservative Jews who buy kosher products because it is so widely available and perhaps they sometimes think about their Jewishness, but it certainly has no connection to the Conservative movement that does not even believe in Torah shebaal peh.

Rabbi Morris Allen of Minneapolis who is the author of a new “tzedek hechsher” that would take into account how animals and workers are treated is himself a vegetarian and manipulating Torah and halacha seems natural for a him as a leader in a movement that has quite a track record of doing so.

They even have the audacity to use the Hebrew words of al pi din, when their ranks are rapidly dwindling and they are directly responsible for an intermarriage rate that has exceeded 50% in the US.

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What do they know about Tzedek? Where were they when pioneers like the OU brought kashrus to the masses or when the saintly Satmar Rebbe and many other orthodox rabbis raised the standards of kashrus, including glatt kosher and cholov yisroel? They were most likely eating treife at McDonald’s as most of their members do today because of their misguided leadership.

And going from the ridiculous to the sublime is a suggestion by “Rabbi” Richard Levy, director of the School of Rabbinic Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, to create a Reform kosher certification. He says it actually would be more stringent than traditional kosher laws because ethical considerations would be added to existing dietary prohibitions. “I would like to see it as an extension of halachah,” or Jewish law, he says. “It would expand what dietary practice means in a Jewish setting to include a concern for the people who harvest our food, bring it to market and sell it, a concern with the pain of living creatures, which has led people not to eat veal or foie gras, to look for free-range poultry and beef, or more humane methods of slaughter.” Levy thinks such a system could emerge in the next decade. With whom? With the Jews who will no longer be Jewish? Halacha? How ridiculous when they believe that Torah is man-made and has no link to Sinai!

The Conservative and Reform movements are obviously hanging on to straws. They know fully well that they have lost their youth and are on a steady march to oblivion. Their past is checkered with being destructive on kashrus like when Conservative rabbis were instrumental in striking down the 100-year plus kashrus laws that protected kosher consumers in New York State.

They are only too willing to play that role again, to deny even their own innocent constituents the right to eat kosher whenever they want and to cause prices to go even higher which would further squeeze the middle class and poor Jews for whom kashrus is a way of life, not a manipulative tool to perhaps benefit from the largesse of kashrus and to bash their Orthodox co-religionists for whom there is a bright future.

There should be no mistake that our wrath is not against innocent Conservative and Reform Jews who are simply tinokos shenishbu but against the leadership that has made a mockery of Torah and has suddenly discovered kashrus for altruistic and public relations value. It is high time that we tell them that kashrus without Judaism is none of their business even if they think that there are hidden millions to be made.

If they are so concerned about Kashrut why don’t we see any reform conservative owned Kosher plants anywhere?

This is also a good time to remind our progressive thinking Orthodox Jews or as some call them the “modern Orthodox” that they need not be intimated by the politically correct values of the Conservatives and Reform. The reverse should be true: The Conservative and Reform should learn from those who have done so much for yiddishkeit (i.e. NCSY). Taking on an apologetic mode with our co-religionist leadership, many of which are intermarried and whose children and grandchildren no longer function as Jews, is a perverted way of being proud of what we have accomplished. Any gesture of joining them or boycotting our own just to please these rejectionists of authentic Judaism is a disservice to Torah and Yiddishkeit. Yes, we should choose our ‘mechotonim’ wisely but only those that believe in the eternity of Torah as was handed down at Har Sinai, which we celebrated only yesterday! 


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1

 Jun 11, 2008 at 02:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Kol Hakavod, a wonderfully written piece, now only if it can be published nationwide.

2

 Jun 11, 2008 at 02:48 PM Anonymous Says:

If Tzedek is for animal & workers rights, to look how workers are treated at a plant why are they so quite regarding all the imported stuff from China, they sure have worse working conditions and treat workers worse then the ALLEGED (not proven, no charges filed, just media gossip) abuses by Agri Processors

3

 Jun 11, 2008 at 02:57 PM Anonymous Says:

"The Conservative and Reform movements are obviously hanging on to straws. They know fully well that they have lost their youth and are on a steady march to oblivion."

The Reform movement is the biggest and fastest growing denomination in American Judaism. And Reform Jews are becoming more and more observant annually thanks to the push from the youth.

4

 Jun 11, 2008 at 03:00 PM Anonymous Says:

Great article!

Looking at the way the reform and conservative (=non observant jews) are reacting to the Agri story, it"'s obvious, not only are they not observing kashrus, they're also not makpid on bein odom lachavero, pointing fingers and throwing rocks at Agri just to raise some attention, talking about kashrus while the whole kashrus topic does not exist in their beliefs (mis beliefs), is just evil.

5

 Jun 11, 2008 at 03:05 PM moshe Says:

Anon 2:48, Rubashkin didn't pay fines for "alleged " violations, only real ones. If you think that his bribing rabbis to call the animals he tortures as kosher slaughtered, go ahead and his food. A Jewish neshama would not do so.

6

 Jun 11, 2008 at 03:28 PM Anonymous Says:

During the ICE raid 18 children between the ages of 13 and 17 were arrested at the plant. In order to be released from custody on humanitarian grounds, their ages had to be verified by parents or a lawyer.
This is a fact and not subject to disputation before a judge and jury. Children were working in the plant.
So the real question is whether or not you think meat and poultry produced by children can be called kosher?

7

 Jun 11, 2008 at 03:30 PM plain, straight talk Says:

It is too bad that we have the Conservatives and reforms calling Rubashkin to task when the Heimeshe Velt should have done it many years ago when we were warned by anyone who knew anything.

We had shechita before Rubashkin came onto the scene and unless Rubashkin cleans up his act, we will have shechita after him.

8

 Jun 11, 2008 at 03:36 PM anon Says:

"If they are so concerned about Kashrut why don’t we see any reform conservative owned Kosher plants anywhere?"
================================================
If rubashkin is so concerned about kashrus and they swear up and down that everything in thier plant is done kehalacha then why did they refuse to let mashgichim from the outside come inunannounced even though they claim to let in everyone that wishes to come in. If rubashkin is so kosher a they say they then why did KAJ leave If Rubashkin is as kosher as they say they are then why Did the ou/ belsky stop the throat ripping???

9

 Jun 11, 2008 at 03:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Don't worry so much about the Reform and Conservative movement. Worry more about whether or not what went on at Agriprocessors reflects the highest form of moral and ethical behavior we expect in our community.
If we have to wait for a Judge to decide and the situation is not crystal clear to begin with, I think we already have our answer.
Their is a stench coming from Postville and it is the smell of moral bankruptcy. The Rubashkin's have lost the trust of the Jewsih community and the only solution is for the plant to change hands. The sooner, the better.

10

 Jun 11, 2008 at 03:51 PM a yid Says:

to 2:57

the fastest growing? how many "reform jews" are actually even jewish!?

11

 Jun 11, 2008 at 03:52 PM WholeLottaKugel Says:

Why should calling for an end to the Rubashkin's corrupt business practices and being a good Jew be mutually exclusive? I'm as frum as the next yid, but Rubashkin's gotta go.

12

 Jun 11, 2008 at 04:12 PM Anonymous Says:

"13-17 year old children.."

OUR Torah, (not the conservative one) places a 13 year old as an adult, so if you want to raise kashrus issues by the age, you may comply with the "new testament of the fabricated conservative reform Torah.." in accordance to Toras Moshe you haven't said anything..

To the point, if there is a legal concern, it's the governments job to settle, if it's kashrus, it's the job for the rabbonim (torah observant) to settle. conservative and reform have no place here, it's not interesting whatever they have to say. it's Zilch, zero.

13

 Jun 11, 2008 at 04:42 PM Anonymous Says:

So when are you sending your 13 year-old to work at Agriprocessors? They need the help.

OUR Torah says lots of things, but most rabbonim don't say you should send you child to work in slaughterhouse. Better he should sit and study.

And btw, if you haven't noticed, its against the law in this country for children under tha age of 18 to work in a slaughterhouse.
Wonderful moral behavior. And ethical too.

14

 Jun 11, 2008 at 04:48 PM micha Says:

http://www.gazetteonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080531/NEWS/87794024

The company hired to replace 150 of the 389 arrested workers chose losing the money over placing their employees in Agri.

"There was a concern on the part of my field operators about the safety and care afforded to our workers," Burke said. "We felt as if there was a violation on our core principles."

Admitting we have a problem is the first step to change. Just as it will be tragic if Conservative or Reform Jews use this story to decide that they needn't keep kashrus if they keep "tzedek", it would be no less wrong for us to think we're glatt yosher just because we're glatt kosher.

We have fundamental issues that need fixing. Slamming those who are even further from the Truth than we are doesn't help that. It's just a cheap alternative for feeling good about oneself.

-micha

15

 Jun 11, 2008 at 05:04 PM Ahavas Yisrael anyone? Says:

Many Traditional Conservative Jews observe the laws of Kashrus, more than you realize. Please don't disparage them here. While many of their youth are disconnected and/or intermarrying, many are attending Hebrew School--some even attend all day Conservative/Solomon Schechter or Orthodox day school. Many become connected in college or later when they have children. While not all become Orthodox, many observe Kashrus and some form of Shabbos. Your anger about this issue clouded your Ahavas Yisrael. Also, Dina D'Malchusa Dina and Yashrus are very important Orthodox tenets. They shouldn't be taken lightly by any of us. And those who uphold them and respect them should be respected for that virtue even if there are others in Torah in which they may be found lacking. This was not an appropriate editorial to print for the masses to read.

16

 Jun 11, 2008 at 05:15 PM bigwheeel Says:

anon. 2:57PM ...The difference is that they don't live under the tyranny of the Shulchan Aruch and the corrupt Gedoylim... ...To me, the Shulchan Aruch is not of tyranny. It is a guiding light in life! The Gedolim are not corrupt, we seek their guidance, when we don't have any answers! They're willing to offer of their valuable time to soothe a soul seeking for answers!

17

 Jun 11, 2008 at 05:19 PM Ahavas Yisrael anyone? Says:

Here's what I learned when I was an adult. I knew almost nothing about the Conservative and Reform Jews or the varying levels of commitment among them. I knew only a tiny amount about the lifestyle of Modern Orthodox Jews, about the commitment of many of them to Halacha and their Rabanim, and their commitment to Yashrus. The Mesorah and Psak Halacha from their Rabanim is different in some ways than Chareidi/Yeshivish Orthodoxy and this lends itself to Chareidim/Yeshivish people thinking that all MO Jews are lax in Halacha. It is unfortunately a result of the fact that they hold that women do not need to cover all of their hair and that their men do not have to wear hats, that it is okay to study secular studies and that Torah knowledge can be enhanced by secular studies knowledge with the right mindset, it is for these reasons that many Chareidim feel they are lax. The reality is that many care a lot about Halacha and consult their Rabanim regularly--as often as Chareidim, if not more so at times. It's just the Psak Halacha is not always the same as yours. Many times, it is, btw. So, I guess it pains me to see Chareidim who are so completely uninformed about their fellow Jews making general statements about them, their concerns, their commitment, their level of knowledge, etc. It is the ignorance with which I was raised that I wish I could dispel. Now, I am able to love and respect all of you for who you are and make my own choices for who I am within my Torah lifestyle. You don't know these people of whom you speak so negatively at all.

18

 Jun 11, 2008 at 05:38 PM Ryan Says:

2:57
"The Reform movement is the biggest and fastest growing denomination in American Judaism. And Reform Jews are becoming more and more observant annually thanks to the push from the youth".

Youth? What youth? BBYO can barely get a minyan together for activities nationwide! (and thats counting females b/c you guys can include them in your minyan!)
Signed
A former (B"H) BBYO'nik

19

 Jun 11, 2008 at 05:48 PM MOISHE Says:

Will they tell their congregents not to eat at Red Lobster because the lobsters are boiled alive? I haven't heard a word from them about this? Or will they assur Kentucky Fried, or Wendys or Burger King because of cruelty to the animals, low wages to the workers or lack of benefits to the counter help?

But then again, in their religion it's up to everyone including the clergy to make their own decisions with no laws or even rules to follow. If goverments held like these movements their would be anarchy and chaos with everyone doing their own thing.

20

 Jun 11, 2008 at 06:32 PM Ahavas Yisrael anyone? Says:

Hey, Moish, when was the last time you hung out with some Conservative or Reform Jews? "Moish," I'm guessing not recently.
When you say "in their religion" you're kind of outing yourself as the true Sonai Yisrael that you are, "Moish." These people are your brothers and sisters. Yep, Moish. Surprisingly, when Moshiach comes, he's not necessarily going to push them all into the sea like the Arabs want to do with us. They may actually be joining you in Eretz Yisrael, they may actually have a part in Gan Eden, and--depending on your Bain Adam L'Chaveiro and Dan L'Kav Zechus, Shmiras Haloshon and all that, they may actually have a bigger part!!! Yipes, Moish!

21

 Jun 11, 2008 at 06:49 PM Bernard Antin Says:

This article is disturbing on several levels. Halacha is not limited to the realm of rite and ritual. Meat maybe indeed kosher according to Yoreh De'ah but be produced under conditions that violate Choshen Mishpat. Maybe it would appropriate for kashruth agencies to pay attention to these issues as well.
Anyone doing even the most cursry research about agriprocessors will learn that unions have the company in their crosshairs. So many of the more eggrigous accussations of exploitation are suspect.
However to have hundreds of undocumented workers producing "papers" strongly implies a willing ignorance of a situation the company could not, not know about. This would include a very likely wink and nod to identity theft as well.
With all due respect to Rabbonim shlita if seems reasonable that if someone is that lax in one area it should cast a doubt on their overall atitude to observing halachic standards. When it is profit or piety a question remains.
In fairness some positive things have happened but still . . . .
This would be a fair discussion instead of wasting time dissing the non-observant clergy.

22

 Jun 11, 2008 at 07:34 PM Anonymous Says:

"Anyone doing even the most cursry research about agriprocessors will learn that unions have the company in their crosshairs. So many of the more eggrigous accussations of exploitation are suspect"

The accusations did not come from the union. They did not come from the Conservative or Reform Jews. They came from a "mole" ICE placed inside the plant. They came from OSHA which found repeated violations of health and safety. They came from USDA reports written by USDA inspectors.
That said, the bigger issues are ones of ethical and moral conduct. There has been too much going on for too long, to be ignored. Its time for a new owner, not a new CEO. It is time to put an end to the embarressemnt and misery of Postville.

23

 Jun 11, 2008 at 07:48 PM Ahavas Yisrael anyone? Says:

Bernard Antin brings up an important problem in Orthodoxy today, that many in the Chareidi circles emphasize Bein Adam L'Makom over Bein Adam L'Chaveiro and that some parts of the Shulchan Aruch are set aside for emphasis on other parts. This is why they cannot find a place in which to sit back and say that there are Jews who are not Orthodox or are Orthodox and are not Chareidi who have redeeming value as Jews even in Shmiras Mitzvos. Yes, there are non-Orthodox Jews who are honest in business, unfailingly respectful of others and do not speak Loshon Hara. They will be rewarded for these Mitzvos. There are many Modern Orthodox Jews who keep all the Halachos including those involving honesty in business, Dina D'Malchusa Dina, Shmirat Haloshon...etc. We just need to emphasize our own personal growth in Mitzvos and love each other. We need to get our house in order especially in the area of Yashrus and Choshen Mishpat. This should be the topic of the editorial.

24

 Jun 11, 2008 at 08:42 PM Applepie Says:

The Reform movement is opposed to government aid for yeshivos out of its belief that Torah is an outdated and irrelevent relic.
Still they shamelessly quote the it when it suits their misguided hatred for Torah.
If you'll rename yours the "Free range" religion we'll accord you the love that Reform accords Catholics and Moslems. Deal?

25

 Jun 11, 2008 at 08:53 PM Anonymous Says:

this post is dispiacable and ludicrous

what sinas chinam to have just after sefira

for shame

26

 Jun 11, 2008 at 09:19 PM Lover of all kinds of jews Says:

there are tons of conservative and reform jews that keep kosher homes. and guess what also, are honest in business dealings and guess what also, don't hate other jews, and guess what also....they are human beings and G-d's creation!!!

27

 Jun 11, 2008 at 09:21 PM Ahavas Yisrael anyone? Says:

The Reform movement and the Conservative Movement might be a bit more inspired by your piousness if
a. you actually spoke to the members of that movement--your neighbors, etc.
b. you were extremely and meticulously careful with your pursuit of Yashrus in business, in social dealings, in driving, in following the laws of the country and the community
No one is absolving anyone of any bad behavior or lack of Ahavas Yisrael. But their lack of Ahavas Yisrael for you isn't your problem or your Cheshbon. Is your Cheshbon and that of Rubashkin totally clean? If not, then move on.

28

 Jun 11, 2008 at 10:07 PM murray Says:

Asking the reform and conservative their thoughts on Kashrus is the equivalent of asking horses for their opinion of the hay and oats they are eating.
I rather have a moslem consumer's opinion of the situation, as they are a full 15% of the total purchase of kosher meat (Palm Beach Post-6/11/08)

29

 Jun 11, 2008 at 10:18 PM Anonymous Says:

the reform rabbi tells the orthodox rabbi,our temple is the only shomer shabos congregation in america.how can that be,asks the orthodox rabbi,simple replies the reform rabbi,we're closed on saterday.
would we expect any more suprises from the reform clergy.

30

 Jun 11, 2008 at 10:21 PM David Says:

Rather a snide tone that, I think, was inappropriate, particularly with the Orthodox community's unfortunate record. The issues raised at Postville, including treatment of animals, treatment of workers, and respect for the law are serious ones. They don't go away because of pompous, cheap shots at Reform and Conservative organizations.

31

 Jun 11, 2008 at 10:27 PM Anonymous Says:

All the articles depicting those who don't want to patronize Rubashkin as having non-Torah agendas or as being anti-Lubavitch are ludicrous (One could as easily argue that those on this site who defend Rubashkin do so because he's a Lubavitcher - and kashrus "be dam-ed")
I'm not reform, conservative or even "modern" orthodox, and (a) I want to know that my meat is kosher - and with the many questions and rumors raised over the years about Rubashkin - I don't want to be told he's a Lubavitcher and a big baal chesed - I want to be told that all is being done al pi torah - including the dinim of tzaar baalei chaim. and yes - I believe that each Yiddishe business should reflect only the highest standards of adherence to Choshen Mishpot and dina d'malchusa dina. If until I know this to my satisfaction from rabonim in whom I have confidence - I choose not to eat Rubashkin. If that's called a boycott - so be it.

32

 Jun 11, 2008 at 11:00 PM Anonymous Says:

This is one of the more disturbing pieces I have read on VIN in a while. Apparently some "religious" Jews will never get it. Other people exist. We may or may not agree with certain policies, but to take the view of one irreverent rabbi who doesn't represent any mainstream group is immature and irresponsible. This has the tone of a high school rant.

33

 Jun 11, 2008 at 11:05 PM Anonymous Says:

The conservative movement does not know what kashrus is. They allow its members to eat non-kosher cheese and swordfish. Their members sit in mixed seating places and do not have mikvas for women. They do not recognize Torah miSinai. The conservative movement and reform movement have to do teshuva for their misdeeds so should not point fingers at Rubashkin for the misdeeds they have to do teshuva for.

34

 Jun 11, 2008 at 11:41 PM Mentsh Says:

11:05 - I find your posting highly offensive. I, a Jew who identifies with the Conservative Movement, am extremely informed about kashrus. It is ridiculous to say that "they" allow its membership to eat non-kosher foods. This is pure nonsense. Although many members of Conservative synagogues do not follow all Jewish laws, the rabbis do not publicly approve. Ask a typical Conservative Jew where the Torah came from and he will tell you that G-d gave the Torah at Sinai. Period. Stop spewing hate and ignorance. Where people sit has nothing to do with the topic here.

35

 Jun 12, 2008 at 12:29 AM Anonymous Says:

To all those who claim to know what goes on in the Reform/Consevative world: Having grown up not too long ago in a family with membership in a Reform temple in Atlanta, and having since made the transition to Orthodoxy thank God, I must say that this editorial is right on the mark. Growing up in an education oriented home, (My parents are both doctors) we knew not what Kashrut meant, let alone eat kosher. I only knew about Shabbat from a local Chabad center. We did not observe Shabbat, nor did anyone else in our temple. Had I not bumped in to the right individual at college, and I'll give them a plug, they deserve it. If not for Aish campus there's no reason in the world that I would have given much thought into marrying a Jewish guy. Yes, my children would've been Jewish regardless, but I shudder to think about the next generation. I can't tell you about Conservative Judaism, but I can tell you that the Reform movement is totally and unequivocally bankrupt. The word Kashrut is not in the Reform lexicon. How dare they use this as a tool? I thank God every day for Aish Hatorah, Rabbi Weinberg, and his (or shall I say God's) dedicated staff. My parents along with the rest of my family have since made the transition to Orthodoxy based on my prodding and we are all a happier family because of it. There is no going back.. Ever!! There is nothing to go back to. One of the first posters here mentioned something about the youth etc... I have news for you, there is no youth. The youth is so secular, they don't give a damn (excuse my expression) about Israel or anything Jewish at all for that matter. So get your facts straight before posting such idiocy. Once again I commend VIN for bringing the truth out to the fore and yes, they have done their homework quite well. Kudos.

36

 Jun 12, 2008 at 12:37 AM Anonymous Says:

Mentch: It is against the halacha to eat non-kosher cheese and swordfish, which the conservative movement allows.By allowing these, they are allowing their members to eat non=-kosher food. Their leaders do publicly approve of their members not following Torah laws when they approve of driving on Shabbos, do not have mikvos, allow mixed seating, etc. It is not hate or ignorance that I posted-it is the truth.If Conservative leaders believe that the Torah is from Sinai, they have to believe the commandment of following the Torah sages, which they do not do since from before the conservative movement was even founded, there have been prohibitions against non-kosher cheese, swordfish, making a fire on Shabbos, mixed seating, etc. The conservative movement are not the ones to be saying things are against halacha when they try to change halacha. Every Jew, born of a Jewish mother or converted to accoording to halacha, should be keeping kashrus and we should not have to categorize people into reform, conservative, modern orthodox, orthodox, etc.-every Jew is obligated to keep mitzvos and every mitzva that a Jew does brings him or her closer to Hashem.

37

 Jun 12, 2008 at 01:04 AM bewildered Says:

"more humane methods of slaughter"

yeah...take a pistol to the cow's head....

38

 Jun 12, 2008 at 01:08 AM yosef Says:

If only those who are in a campaign to continually attack Rubashkin would be as concerned with the ETHICS in the words they spew.

Let's see:
If all those ALLEGATIONS are true, then they will come to light by the authorities.

But if the ALLEGATIONS are false, then you will have engaged in: Loshon Hora, SINAS CHINAM, Motzi Shem Ra, Yored L'mamon Chaveiroi, and a number of other sins to boot.

Your attacks not only target the integrity of the owners of the plant, but all of the Rabbonim Hamachshirim, the Mashgichim and Shochtim.

Yosef

39

 Jun 12, 2008 at 01:15 AM first hand knowledge Says:

I am fortunate to be personally acquainted with the owner of Rubashkin. If you have ever met him, or seen his daily behavior, you will know that this man is an EXTREMELY EHRLICHE YID. And this is not just for his Tzedaka mattan besaiser ubegoluy, but in all areas: Torah, Avodah, and Gemilus Chassadim!

Therefore, I want you to know that those who are attacking him are committing a terrible thing.

40

 Jun 12, 2008 at 03:23 AM Matzahlocal101 Says:

While this is redundant at this point, those sharks circling hoping for a sniff of Rubashkin blood are truly disgusting. On the one hand they attack rubashkin for knowingly hiring illegals although no such charge has yet been made by the authorities. Even if such a charge were to be made everyone in the US has a right to his day in court, except rubashkin it seems. Then, after attacking Rubashkin for hiring (providing a livelihood) hundreds of illegals, they attack rubashkin for (as of yet undocumented) claims of ill treatment of the workers that Rubashkin shouldn't have hired in the firt place. The weapons and drug charges were completely fabricated, not one charge has been filled in connection with such.
Next case kashrus: It is unfortunate that some people prefer to learn hilchos shechitah from PETA rather than shulchan orech. I will not copy over large sections of yoreh deah for people who just insist on being ignorant. There is nothing with kashrus in Rubashkin and if Rubashkin went around robbing banks at gunpoint, shulchan orech says he has ne'emonus in issur v;heter even if he doesn't have ne'emonus in mumonos. The point is moot because there are dozens of rabbanim and mashgichim all over the plant on whom the hechsher relies, not rubashkin.
regarding the conservative movements total abandment of halacha in letter and spirit: The link below is summary of "Tshuvos" l'havdil written by conservative Rabbis on the topic of homosexuality, an abomination that the Torah considers so great, that it punishable by death on the first offence with no right of appeal. Because the Tshuvos span the complete spectrum from completely forbidden to completely allowed, every congregation is given the right to decide there own halacha. While reform has long ago given up judaism in exchange for liberasl social agendas, Conservatism has now also joioned reform in it's flight from Judaism. By comparison, eating treif is a relatively minor offense. In surrendering to the liberal social agenda in this case, the conservative movement have come to peace with the notion that a man is no better than an animal, cannot overcome animalistic tendencies, and there must remain no better than an animal, doing what "must" be done. Please keep that in mind when dictating to us about the
"higher" standards that kashrus demands and explain why you aren't the biggest hypocrites on the face of the earth. http://www.jewishmosaic.org/page/load_page/51

41

 Jun 12, 2008 at 07:49 AM to first hab Says:

My mother salways said that if you had nothing nicr to say about someone, ZUG GURNISHT.

THis is my comment - .............

42

 Jun 12, 2008 at 11:24 AM gelitzyaner Says:

Who ever said that agri hired 13 year old kid's thats nonsence,its just stupit allgations made against them.Just like the other dirty stuff they put on Rubashkin's head...and as of Kosher Agri has more mashgichim looking around then any other kosher company. K.A.J didnt leave Agri, Agri kicked the K.A.J out of there plant for personal reasons. Rubashkins gave the K.A.J. 6 month's to shecht in there plant. If there had been any kashrus problem they would have left right away. But said all this, would't stop the PETA and Unions,abd there friends to mock Rubashkin whenever they get a chance.

43

 Jun 12, 2008 at 02:22 PM anonymous Says:

matzalocal101 said.....
There is nothing with kashrus in Rubashkin and if Rubashkin went around robbing banks at gunpoint, shulchan orech says he has ne'emonus in issur v;heter even if he doesn't have ne'emonus in mumonos.

If you can still defend the Rubashkins after all that he has done, even before this, then you can keep him. There was a good shechita in America before Rubashkin and there will continue to be a good shechita after him.

44

 Jun 12, 2008 at 03:12 PM Anonymous Says:

"Who ever said that agri hired 13 year old kid's thats nonsence,its just stupit allgations made against them"

Actually, it was the US Government through its Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency that made the charge. The age of those children released after the raid was verifed by ICE before the child was released on humanitarian grounds.

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 Jun 12, 2008 at 04:36 PM anonymous Says:

Where were all of Rabbi Weismandel's shochtim and mashgichim when all of this happened? Didn't anyone see that there was a 13 year old child there?
Rabbi Weismandel earns $250,000 for that Hechsher. Was it worth it?

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 Jun 12, 2008 at 04:40 PM anonymous Says:

Matzahlocal101 Says:
While this is redundant at this point, those sharks circling hoping for a sniff of Rubashkin blood are truly disgusting.
*****************************************
What is disgusting is the attitude that 'they' can do no wrong. The first step of tshuva is a realization that you did something wrong.

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 Jun 12, 2008 at 08:28 PM Anonymous Says:

First they said Illegal Immigrants, Identity theft - THEY STOLE AMERICANS IDENTITIES!! Then when they finished milking that for whatever panic they could, they said "undeage workers!!"
Tell me something... if they stole IDs, how was anyone supposed to know they were underage?
The SpinDoctors in this mess would make Joseph Goebbels proud.

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 Jun 13, 2008 at 11:51 AM Anonymous Says:

Q: "If they are so concerned about Kashrut why don’t we see any reform conservative owned Kosher plants anywhere?"

A: Because bigoted American Taliban like you would give them constant grief so that your cronies could operate without competition.

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 Jun 15, 2008 at 01:57 AM Anonymous Says:

Thank you. The author is just saying what many of us are to scared to speak aloud.

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 Jun 15, 2008 at 02:13 AM Anonymous Says:

Instead of insulting and disregarding Reform and Conservative Jews as useless to the Jewish Community, why doesn't the writer of this article actually meet the people he so quickly dismisses. This will have no effect on who keeps kosher and who does not. Stop showing your ignorance of the world and the real meaning of Judaism. I know it makes everyone feel good to say that you observe Judaism better, but who does it help. Do you think that you are encouraging these "disconnected youth" to observe Judaism by insulting them? I can tell you if you keep this up, they will certainly not want to be indentified with us or our religion. And what good does that do? Instead of whining, how about doing something to improve relations between movements so you don't think they are incompetent and they don't think you are close-minded. Prove that you are better in a different way...actually talk to them.

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 Jun 15, 2008 at 02:32 AM Anonymous Says:

"Thank you. The author is just saying what many of us are to scared to speak aloud."

Let me amend... I don't agree with everything. The author has no right to bash other Jews no matter their observance.... instead go kiruv!

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 Jun 17, 2008 at 05:15 PM furrydoc Says:

One of the joys of attending a major diverse university was eating in the kosher dining room with kids of all sorts of background. Hopefully my Monsey origins enriched my new friends in some ways and continue to. At my university, about two thirds of the folks on the kosher meal plan would self-identify conservative or maybe conservadox, the rest modern orthodox and a grad student or two in more consistently black attire. They were bright, Jewishly literate and visibly observant folk, able to discuss both Toran and organic chemistry at the dinner table. some from each extreme i count as lifelong friends thirty five years later. it is from that type of experience that we get the da-at, binah, and sachel that we ask for at each amidah. i think our author chaver's journey on that path is a work in progress. at least the binah petition remains ungranted.

{while my comments are very long, i insert them into the text as he writes it.}

New York - When the Conservative and Reform movements weighed in on the recent federal raid on Agriprocessors in Postville IA, it raised a fundamental question of what connection they have with kashrus.

Only a small number of Conservative and virtually no Reform Jews observe kashrus, at least not the kashrus that is in accordance with Torah and halacha.

{disagree: the products are by and large Orthodox Certified so we eat pretty much the same thing. there are some disagreements between the conservative law committee and the mainstream orthodox but they pale next to some of the intradivisional divergences within orthodox circles}

So when the Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism issued an advisory to its members and constituents asking them to evaluate whether it is appropriate to consume Rubashkin products, who exactly were they talking to?

{they were talking to their constituents every bit as much as your rebbes talk to yours. aseh l'cha rav applies to them as it applies to you.}

True, that there are many Conservative Jews who buy kosher products because it is so widely available and perhaps they sometimes think about their Jewishness, but it certainly has no connection to the Conservative movement that does not even believe in Torah shebaal peh.

{yes they do. it is the reform that reject rabbinic judaism in favor of prophetic interpretation}

Rabbi Morris Allen of Minneapolis who is the author of a new “tzedek hechsher” that would take into account how animals and workers are treated is himself a vegetarian and manipulating Torah and halacha seems natural for a him as a leader in a movement that has quite a track record of doing so.

{a point of agreement finally. you have to buy into the need for a hecksher before you can evaluate one from another. there is certainly precedent for rabbis to declare meat unkosher to create a financial hardship to a recalcitrant butcher. one well-known one is the declaration by the ponivezher rav when he was still a community rav that his community was not allowed to purchase meat from a butcher who gave less to a maot chittin campaign than the rav assigned him as his fair share. it had nothing to do with whether the meat itself met halachic standards.}

They even have the audacity to use the Hebrew words of al pi din, when their ranks are rapidly dwindling and they are directly responsible for an intermarriage rate that has exceeded 50% in the US.

{that doesn't matter. what matters is that within their ranks there are jews who maintain kashrut and need the products and there is an official institutional conservative policy which makes kashrut halachically obligatory for conservative jews.}

What do they know about Tzedek?

{they give a lot of tzedakah. the solicitations i receive from yeshivot and many other worthy causes, to which i often give, never seem very concerned about my discernment of what tzedek means and how it is best applied. they don't seem to show much interest in how my funds were acquired or whether i take a stringent or lenient view of pikuah nefesh when i write in patient charts on shabbos, or whether their donors observe shabbos at all, for that matter.}

Where were they when pioneers like the OU brought kashrus to the masses or when the saintly Satmar Rebbe and many other orthodox rabbis raised the standards of kashrus, including glatt kosher and cholov yisroel? They were most likely eating treife at McDonald’s as most of their members do today because of their misguided leadership.

{there was no McDonalds when JTS and United Synagogue were founded. they were also there to absorb numerous American GI's who didn't exactly survive on Kosher rations like Bubbula used to make when they were shooting at bad guys who were decimating those yeshivot that are valued so highly. They were building Ramah Camps, buying Israel Bonds, making enough spare money to send their kids to medical school to learn how to do transplants to extend the productive lives of the rebbes. there is a valid tradition among many commentators, Rav EE Dessler comes to mind in particular, that those whose work enables torah learning earn a stake in that learning.}

And going from the ridiculous to the sublime is a suggestion by “Rabbi” Richard Levy, director of the School of Rabbinic Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, to create a Reform kosher certification. He says it actually would be more stringent than traditional kosher laws because ethical considerations would be added to existing dietary prohibitions.

{what would prevent the rabbi from learning the halacha of kashrut and applying it fairly?}

“I would like to see it as an extension of halachah,” or Jewish law, he says. “It would expand what dietary practice means in a Jewish setting to include a concern for the people who harvest our food, bring it to market and sell it, a concern with the pain of living creatures, which has led people not to eat veal or foie gras, to look for free-range poultry and beef, or more humane methods of slaughter.” Levy thinks such a system could emerge in the next decade. With whom? With the Jews who will no longer be Jewish? Halacha? How ridiculous when they
believe that Torah is man-made and has no link to Sinai!

{if it is halachically kosher, not pseudo-kosher, it should be permissible to eat. the ethics behind the production will either make it more desirable in the marketplace or more expensive and less desirable in the marketplace.}

The Conservative and Reform movements are obviously hanging on to straws. They know fully well that they have lost their youth and are on a steady march to oblivion.

{we can debate that. certainly the conservatives don't think so. historically, the reform leadership has adapted to circumstance more effectively than most liberal churches upon which they are modeled. it is very likely they will reassess their role in the jewish spectrum with similar accuracy at the future time when that is needed for their survival.}

Their past is checkered with being destructive on kashrus like when Conservative rabbis were instrumental in striking down the 100-year plus kashrus laws that protected kosher consumers in New York State.

They are only too willing to play that role again, to deny even their own innocent constituents the right to eat kosher whenever they want and to cause prices to go even higher which would further squeeze the middle class and poor Jews for whom kashrus is a way of life, not a manipulative tool to perhaps benefit from the largesse of kashrus and to bash their Orthodox co-religionists for whom there is a bright future.

{that doesn't address the question of whether the economics of kashrut require the exploitation of labor or violation of shmerat ha-guf that OSHA may have a better grasp of than some of the supervising rebbes.}

There should be no mistake that our wrath is not against innocent Conservative and Reform Jews who are simply tinokos shenishbu but against the leadership that has made a mockery of Torah and has suddenly discovered kashrus for altruistic and public relations value.

{the conservative organizations have always supported kashrut. at least the accusations ought to be true.}

It is high time that we tell them that kashrus without Judaism is none of their business even if they think that there are hidden millions to be made.

{kashrut is one of many components of judaism that interact. respect for people is another.}

If they are so concerned about Kashrut why don’t we see any reform conservative owned Kosher plants anywhere?

{stocks and corporations being what they are, most of the venerable suppliers of OU products from Heinz Vegetarian Baked Beans to Crisco to the Maxwell House Haggadah are hardly jewish. i think their execs have a better respect for what is jewish than what i read here.}

This is also a good time to remind our progressive thinking Orthodox Jews or as some call them the “modern Orthodox” that they need not be intimated by the politically correct values of the Conservatives and Reform.

{we aren't}

The reverse should be true: The Conservative and Reform should learn from those who have done so much for yiddishkeit (i.e. NCSY).

{they do.}

Taking on an apologetic mode with our co-religionist leadership, many of which are intermarried and whose children and grandchildren no longer function as Jews, is a perverted way of being proud of what we have accomplished.

{another rare point of agreement. there is indeed a marketplace for judaism. i cannot project stocks or investments for thirty years and i can't assess demographics that far ahead either. the most well known exposee of intermarriage, Look Magazine's z"l "The Vanishing American Jew", circa 1964, made a wide variety of projections, a few of which turned out to be accurate and many more proven false by the laboratory of time that conducted the actual experiment.}

Any gesture of joining them or boycotting our own just to please these rejectionists of authentic Judaism is a disservice to Torah and Yiddishkeit. Yes, we should choose our ‘mechotonim’ wisely but only those that believe in the eternity of Torah as was handed down at Har Sinai, which we celebrated only yesterday!

{i do not think anybody is recruiting you for a boycott. you are being recruited into the world of sensitivity to and obedience for the laws of America and the parts of Torah, written and oral, that require us to treat our laborers, jewish and gerim, in a safe and dignified way. it sounds like this person's not ready to sign on for this project so it will have to be pursued as tzedek squared without him.}

{rich the furrydoc}

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