Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kosher Quandary

Watch The Live Webcast

I really feel bad for Rabbi Shafran. He has to sit through this, listening to starry-eyed girls lecture about "social responsibility" and such. Kudos to him for going there and speaking his mind.

Here's the Press Release I received:


In light of the ongoing Agriprocessors scandal that has rocked the kosher meat industry and the Orthodox community, Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, Rabbi Menachem Genack, rabbinic administrator and CEO of the Orthodox Union's Kashrut Division and rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, Rabbi Basil Herring, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America, and Shmuly Yanklowitz, co-founder and director of Uri L'Tzedek, will engage in a candid conversation on the interplay between ethics and kashrut at a program on Tuesday, December 9, at 7 p.m. in Weissberg Commons on Yeshiva University's main campus, 2495 Amsterdam Ave. at 184th St., New York.

The program – "The Kosher Quandary: Ethics and Kashrut" – serves as the launch event for the new student-run organization at YU called TEIQU, A Torah Exploration of Ideas, Questions, and Understanding. The organization is devoted to nurturing intellectual dialogue on campus surrounding Jewish matters of import.

The panelists will explain their views and insights on the kosher quandary, address recent developments and share their prescriptions for action.

Who: Rabbis of All Major Orthodox Organizations

What: "The Kosher Quandary: Ethics and Kashrut

When: Tuesday, December 9, 2008; 7 p.m.

Where: Weissberg Commons, Yeshiva University

2495 Amsterdam Ave. at 184th St.


Anonymous said...

tzig, are you watching?

Anonymous said...

I will be honest I didn't look at these ferdishe event, But my big question to these holier then pope MO's brothers. Why on earth did they take the cause of Pollard as the holiest mission on earth? In every Mo shul or ou publication you constantly see a new campaign running to free him. Didn't he really do the universal Chilul Hashem? Didn't he digress on Dina Demalchusa ? he touched the core base of American security. Why on earth is he the holiest cause, vs. Rubashkin family is a mitzva to malshin and people as Rabbi Genack that didn"t follow your sedom laws fully, is being villified?
Disclaimer I am fully for Pollard's release from prison as for every ben Avrham Yitzchak Yakov,I just need an explanation on the MO hypocrisy

Anonymous said...

That well known Modern Orthodox Rabbi, M Feinstein, wrote a tshuva that one should not eat veal (kosher, obviously) because of the Tsaar Ballei Chayim involved in the rearing of the animals.

If you want 'ferdish', perhaps look at the ban on children's books having pictures of lions, tigers ec.

Josh said...

I must agree that those MO who are in favor of releasing Pollard are a bit misguided. While he may not have received the most proportional sentence in history he certainly did no worse than many drug dealers in NY State and he broke the law just as much as they did. Unless MO Jews have signs saying we should release everyone convicted under the Rockefeller Laws who has served X amount of years, I do not understand the obsession with Pollard.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it obvious? The perception od that Polared was moser nefesh for klal Yisroel, mah shein kein Rubashkin.

Anonymous said...

sure, sure Harvey. Israel was in very imminent danger from the US, and were it not for JP the country would be destroyed by now....

what mesiras nefesh exactly????

Anonymous said...

Source of reb Moshes Teshuva please?

BTW,reb Moshe was against limudie chol in college.Isnt that the 1st Ani Maamin in the MO beleif system

Anonymous said...

Just a question for psol
Do you have any fear of the next world at all??
Are you not afraid to be mevaze reb moshe ?
If you have a question that your little head can not understand then by all means ask it but do you really think that reb moshe was just a person that you can refer to in such a degrading manner?? I really feel bad for you. you better order a good air conditioner for ehn you get up there cuz it sure will be hot for u

Anonymous said...

"If you want 'ferdish', perhaps look at the ban on children's books having pictures of lions, tigers ec."

Who banned lions? Not the Rebbe.

I hope you are not that much of an ignoramus

Anonymous said...

Since basic comprehension and writing skills are beyond response would be superfluous.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Rav Moshe's teshuva can be found in Even Haezer vol. 4, responsa 92, part 2. It is not mentioned in the initial shealah or index there. It is a seperate section beginning on page 164.

Milhouse said...

A, I just read that teshuvah, and I recommend that psol should read it too, because it's not at all what he thinks it is.

First of all, it's only talking about white veal, not all veal.

Second, the psak that a baal nefesh should not eat it is NOT based on tzaar baalei chayim at all, but on the fear of treifos. R Moshe assumes that these calves are highly likely to have all sorts of treifos, not just in the lungs, so he paskens that the intestines must also be inspected, and even then a baal nefesh should not eat it, in case there's a treifah that was not found.

Then he starts talking about the tzaar baalei chayim aspect, and he makes a number of assumptions about the metzius, which are just not so. For instance, he assumes that the white veal doesn't taste any better, and the farmers do this only in order to fool the consumer into thinking that the meat is better and healther, whereas in reality it's not so. And therefore he says that such a purpose does not justify tzaar baalei chayim. However, everyone knows that the metzius is not so. The consumer is not stupid, and white veal does taste better than red.

He also writes that the farmers feed the veal calves unpleasant and unnatural food, and deny them food that they naturally like, such as milk. This is of course the exact opposite of the metzius. I don't know which liar fed him this information, but the whole point of white ("milk") veal is that the calves are given milk, and pretty much nothing but milk. That's how the meat stays white and tender. Since this claim is the entire basis of the teshuvah, it's obvious that the conclusion cannot be taken seriously.

Next, R Moshe assumes that this is an unusual procedure, that it is not darkon de'inshi bekach, and that's why it's an exception to the general rule that we are allowed to exploit animals for our benefit, even if it causes them distress. But of course nowadays raising veal calves is not unusual at all. It's a normal agricultural practise, and thus there would not seem to be any grounds for making an exception to the general rule that it's permitted.

In conclusion, R Moshe was comprehensively mistaken about the metzius, even when he wrote this in 1982, and therefore while the teshuvah still has what to teach us as far as what the din would be in a hypothetical situation, it cannot be taken as a psak lemaaseh.

Anonymous said...

Millhouse, I was merely pointing out that R' Moshe was, in his day certain aspects of, concerned about the Tsaar Ballei Chayim effects of farming, and that it was a subject that frum yidden should be mevarrer.

The original post seemed to suggest that only left wing, MO hippies would even worry about such a thing.

FYI, I happily eat veal when I can get it.

Anonymous said...

That should read:

"R' Moshe was, in his day, concerned about the Tsaar Baalei Chayim effects of certain aspects of farming"

Milhouse said...

Yes, but he acknowledged that tzaar baalei chayim only applies if there is no reason for the treatment. It seems that he was misinformed not only about what was done to the calves, but also about the result. He seems to acknowledge that if the horrible treatment that he imagined actually made the meat better, then it would be justified and not TzBCh.

That's very different from the "left wing, MO hippies" (your words) who elevate TzBCh to an independent principle that an animal's interests are to be considered on a par with human interests, if not greater! These people imagine that any time an animal is in distress it's an avera, regardless of what the reason is. And that's just not so. TzBCh basically applies only to wanton cruelty, where a person makes an animal suffer for no reason but because he's a shlechter and enjoys seeing it suffer. A farmer who has a valid agricultural reason to cause an animal distress, e.g. because it saves money, or it produces a better product, is not transgressing TzBCh. As the Shulchan Aruch says, if you need a pen to write with, then al pi din you can even pluck a feather from a live bird — although no yid would be so cruel as to actually do that, it's not covered by the issur on TzBCh.