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BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis

Rabbi-Sol 08 Sep 06 - 02:16 PM
Rabbi-Sol 08 Sep 06 - 02:05 PM
Charlie Baum 08 Sep 06 - 12:27 PM
Grab 08 Sep 06 - 11:22 AM
Wolfgang 08 Sep 06 - 11:11 AM
Paul Burke 08 Sep 06 - 11:08 AM
wysiwyg 08 Sep 06 - 10:14 AM
leeneia 08 Sep 06 - 09:16 AM
Richard Bridge 08 Sep 06 - 04:14 AM
robomatic 08 Sep 06 - 01:27 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 08 Sep 06 - 12:33 AM
Rabbi-Sol 08 Sep 06 - 12:20 AM
wysiwyg 07 Sep 06 - 11:06 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 07 Sep 06 - 10:48 PM
robomatic 07 Sep 06 - 10:34 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 07 Sep 06 - 10:22 PM
Sorcha 07 Sep 06 - 10:19 PM
ClaireBear 07 Sep 06 - 09:17 PM
Rabbi-Sol 07 Sep 06 - 08:52 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 02:16 PM

Those who give the dishes away are not permitted to take any tax deduction. No benefit whatsoever may be derived from them in any manner shape or form.

Those individuals who have unwillingly and unknowingly eaten "Treif" as a result of being misled in this instance have not committed a sin.
However, Rabbi Avraham Chaim Feuer who is recognized as the highest authority in our community has said that we as a community are collectively guilty of not doing something right if God can let such a major tragedy befall us. It therefore behooves us do do a lot of soul searching and repentance, especially in these days before the High Holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur when we will all be called to judgement to account for our sins.

                                           SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 02:05 PM

This is the lead headline story in today's Rockland Journal News. To read it go to their website which is www.lohud.com

                                           SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 12:27 PM

Grab and others:
more about kashing china, the whys and how-tos at MyJewishLearning.com:
http://www.myjewishlearning.com/daily_life/Kashrut/KeepingKosherTO/Kashering/Dishes.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Grab
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 11:22 AM

"Our sages teach us that porcelain, china, or stoneware dishes can not be kashered because once a "treif" substance is absorbed into them it can never be expelled. It just remains there and can not be eliminated by any process. Hence the dishes must be discarded."

Hmm. The whole point of a glaze on dishes is to *stop* stuff being absorbed into them. This judgement makes perfect sense for porous clay pots, but seems a bit of an oddity for modern (as in hundred years or so) ceramics. Not to criticise, but just wondering why.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Wolfgang
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 11:11 AM

As rabbi/humorist Jack Moline noted, "Everyone who keeps kosher will tell you that his version is the only correct version. Everyone else is either a fanatic or a heretic."

Wolfgang (cutter and paster)


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Paul Burke
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 11:08 AM

I've not seen criticism in what people have said, just attempts to be helpful. Forgetting that Jewish scholars have mulled over these matters for millennia. It's one of the glories of Judaism that people stick by what they believe God requires of them, and at their own great inconvenience, seldom that of others. I know some not-so-strict Jews who keep to their tradition's subset of the full monty, often thinking themselves that it's crazy, but they are Jews so they have to do it that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 10:14 AM

I would expect there is a ritual/practical expert whose role it is to do this, safely. And I would expect a rabbi to be able to speak about it without necessarily telling lay people all of the relevant details.

In any event, Rabbi SOl's word about it is good enough for me. I don't understand why people feel they can criticize traditions and practices they do not themselves claim. Seems to me one would need to understand it from the inside to know what's what.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: leeneia
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 09:16 AM

"If the chicken was baked in an oven pan, that pan has to be heated up until it glows red. Ditto with the walls and racks of that oven and the surface of the stove itself. The best way is to use a blowtorch."

Good heavens! Sounds like a great way to start a fire or get somebody seriously burned. It is wrong to promote such a plan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 04:14 AM

Is reducing a loss not different from deriving a benefit?

If I am right, if the affected items were given to a formal charity, would their value not be tax deductible in the hands of the donor?

Just a thought.

But, as my former partner Michael Rose (who was very observant) used to say to me "Never ask the Rabbi if the chicken is Kosher".


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: robomatic
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 01:27 AM

If I may extrapolate not on this particular malfeasance, but on the principle in general, a shohet, or Jewish butcher, is an important member of his community because if he does not fulfill his commitment properly, he brings other folks to fail to keep the commandments, even though unaware.

I've used this as a fundamental definition of what a professional is and does. A professional, be he or she butcher, banker, lawyer, engineer, doctor, etc. is someone who is paid to fulfill functions and obligations for the good of others, but who is not necessarily detectable in doing this duty properly except perhaps by other professionals. Therefore trust, honor, one's word, all have the same importance they ever had.

Character is ever the issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 12:33 AM

I have read several of the articles in the various Jewish presses regarding this story since your original posting. My question regarding the mashgiach's possible negligence is heightened by the fact kosher chicken is manifestly different in appearance from non-kosher chicken. So even if the labels were of high quality, the chicken obviously was not.
Also, I am interested, yet, on hearing how sinful, or not, the unsuspecting consumer is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 12:20 AM

The dishes (china) can not be sold because it is forbidden to derive any benefit for something that is outright "Treif". Much of it will probably be given away to poor families in the Hispanic and African American communities.

Kosherizing or "kashering" as we call it depends on how the vessel was used. If the chicken was boiled in a pot the very same method must be used to kasher it. The pot must be immersed in a larger pot of boiling water which covers it completely. I stays there for about 3 minutes. Ditto with silverware and metal utensils. Pots that have a porcelain glaze on them can not be kashered. If the chicken was baked in an oven pan, that pan has to be heated up until it glows red. Ditto with the walls and racks of that oven and the surface of the stove itself. The best way is to use a blowtorch.

Our sages teach us that porcelain, china, or stoneware dishes can not be kashered because once a "treif" substance is absorbed into them it can never be expelled. It just remains there and can not be eliminated by any process. Hence the dishes must be discarded.

As to why the mashgiach was not aware of the counterfeit labels, the answer was that they were a very high quality forgery and looked exactly like the genuine article.

How was the perpetrator able to get away with importing the non kosher chickens undetected by the mashgiach ? That is the question that is yet to be answered. My theory is that because he himself was a Hasidic man with a 10 year track record, at least on the outside he presented an image of great piety. The mashgiach therefore never thought him capable of such duplicity and chicanery and did not watch him as closely as he would have someone who was a less observant person. There are operators of kosher establishments who are not observant and some who are not even Jewish. In this case, the mashgiach is the only one who has a key to the establishment. He opens it and closes it everyday and the owner can not have access unless the mashgiach is present. Unfortunately this policy was not followed in the case of an individual who is known to the community to be a very pious and observant person. I guarantee you that after this tragic incident the same strict policy will be equally applied to every establishment no matter who the proprietor is regardless of his level of piety; no exceptions.

                                                   SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 11:06 PM

Rabbi, my husband and I grieve the outrage done to you all both as you describe and as the wound it is to the reverence in which you hold tradition-- the china!!! representing all the Shabbats of homelife of which they have been one of the key centerpieces. I can only pray that each of you who have been wronged and offended will find it in your hearts to forgive and thereby to expiate any inadvertent sin attaching by your prayerful intercession for these outlaws.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 10:48 PM

I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to kosherize Chinaware. What temperature are we talking about? Chinaware in good shape (no hairline cracks) can safely be heated to around 1000º F in a potter's kiln with no risk of damage to glaze or artwork. Nothing organic can survive that temperature.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: robomatic
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 10:34 PM

What is involved with "kosherizing" and why can't chinaware hold up to the process (After all, it was fired once). Feel free to send me to a web source but it sounds intriguing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 10:22 PM

Rabbi-Sol - How much of a sin is an inadvertant sin? It seems to me that the consumers of those chickens, assuming that they relied on the mashgiach cert., and then immediately ceased keeping and eating treif are guiltless...but then, I am neither a mashgiach nor a rabbi.
BTW, how closely could that store have been observered by the mashgiach if he did not recognize those labels as counterfeit during his visits?
As the time is near, Shana Tova, Happy New Year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 10:19 PM

Well, if you buy from Replacements, etc there is NO garuntee that what you are buying has NEVER been used. So, it can't be certified kosher. How sad, Rabbi. I realize this is probably a 'minor' issue for non kosher people but not for the kosher ones. What a crisis.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: ClaireBear
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 09:17 PM

At the risk of seeming to worship the almighty dollar myself(actually, I just like pretty china), would it compound the sin to sell that Limoges and Rosenthal on eBay or to someone like Replacements, Inc.? Perhaps that would ameliorate some of the financial aspects of the crisis.


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Subject: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 08:52 PM

This story in my home town has already made it to Channel 7 ABC news and been plastered over the all the newspapers. Here is what actually happened.

A major well known grocery store here in town, Hatzlacha has a meat department which was leased out to a concessionaire, Shevach Meats. This arrangement has been ongoing for the past 10 years. They cater to an ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish clientele as well as all other Jews who keep kosher here in Monsey, NY. Everything is supposed to be Glatt (the strictest degree of) Kosher and under constant orthodox Rabbinnical supervision. The supervisor is known in Hebrew as a "Mashgiach" which translated into English means overseer. The chickens sold by Shevach Meats all came from the Satmar Hasidic enclave of Kiryas Joel in Monroe, N.Y. which has the strictest of all standards for being kosher. All the principals involved were also Hasidic as well.

Last Thursday night, before Labor Day weekend, the owner of Hatzlacha grocery attended a wedding in Kiryas Joel where he met the person who was the wholesale distributor for their chickens. The distributor asked him "How come your concessionaire stopped buying our chickens 6 months ago ?" The owner of Hatzlacha was shocked and responded' "We have an entire showcase full of your chickens as well as a freezer in the rear and have always carried no other brand". Friday morning, he called up Rabbi Breslauer who is the supervising Rabbi and a thorough investigation was launched. What was uncovered was shocking. Shevach Meats was purchasing completely non kosher (Treif) chickens and was re-packing them with counterfeit Kiryas Joel kosher labels. As a result whoever purchased chickens there has to kosherize their pots, pans & utensils either by boiling or with a blowtorch. All stoves must be blowtorched as well. Chinaware dishes can not be kosherized and have to be thrown out. Some people here have very expensive Limoges and Rosenthal china which was worth over $3,000. It now has to be thrown in the garbage. Shevach is now out of business and faces criminal charges by the Civil Authorities who were called in as part of a major fraud investigation. The difference in cost between Glatt Kosher and not kosher is over $1.25 per pound of chicken, so this lowlife made a killing while causing thousands of people to sin. This is what happens when someone worships the almighty dollar bill as opposed to the Almighty. The story is still unfolding as we speak and I will keep everyone updated as new developments break.

                                                 SOL ZELLER


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Mudcat time: 26 October 10:39 AM EDT

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