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BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken 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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: catspaw49
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 02:43 PM

Rabbi, I like ya' and all, but reading this is why religion, any religion, simply scares the livin' shit out of me. Please don't try and explain. Mark Twain once made a comment about the bible which for me also applies to religions. It isn't the parts I don't understand that bother me....it's the parts I DO understand.

I spent a college summer in the employ of a Kosher catering service. I mention this because it was educational and I certainly learned a lot about Kosher food and Jewish dietary law. On the other hand I have a few stories from that summer that you don't want to hear.......like when the truck broke down on the way from the temple to a 500 dollar a plate (1967)Bonds for Israel Kosher dinner at the Governors mansion. I really don't think the borrowed truck met Kosher standard as it was from a sausage packing house. It was pretty greasy and none too sanitary inside and when that rack of Chicken Capons fell over............. Well, you don't want to know any more do you?

Wars, famine, disease, still cover the world and we're talking about chickens and sin.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 02:58 PM

A major tragedy?


No-one died did they?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 03:18 PM

With all respect to those (such as Spaw, Guest Steve, et al) how hard is it to show a little respect for someone's religious beliefs? No one asks you to agree, but for these observant folks, this is a major tenet to their lives. I could understand the comment, until the "Wars, famine, disease, still cover the world and we're talking about chickens and sin" part. That was unnecessarily judgemental. The judgement to be passed should be on the perpetrator of this fraud. The fact that one chooses to live an observant life doesn't hurt a soul, and is too be admired, IMO, for its devotion to God as these folks see it. There is plenty to criticize in the world of organized religion with regard to the actions of the hierarchies of these religions (says the Roman Catholic guy), without attacking or impugning folks that are simply worshipping their God in their own way. One who takes advantage of this, in fact defrauds these good folks, they are the scum worthy of scorn.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 03:35 PM

It matters little whether you agree or disagree with the dietary laws, someone is guilty of an egregious breaking of trust....as it says, for greed. He lied...he mis-labeled...and he caused enormous upset in a community that trusted him.

I don't comprehend the dietary laws, but neither do I comprehend outright lying to those who keep them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,steve
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 04:05 PM

Its not disrespecting any religion, by questioning whether or not it is actually a major tragedy. This is the definition from answers.com of tragedy (in such a context).

"A disastrous event, especially one involving distressing loss or injury to life: an expedition that ended in tragedy, with all hands lost at sea".

I suggest it would be a tragedy if people died from eating the chicken.

Jewish dietary law in any case doesn't come under the ten commandments, and is a cultural aspect of judaism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 04:06 PM

Fascinating thread.

I just want to make sure I correctly understand something.

Rabbi Avraham Chaim Feuer is quoted as saying "we as a community are collectively guilty of not doing something right if God can let such a major tragedy befall us"

So he says that this event is God's punishment of the community?

So the evildoer is guilty and the community is also guilty?

Am I getting this right?

Russ (Permanent GUEST and easily ignored)


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 05:31 PM

I dunno' Russ.....I read it that way too and it was that which set me off along with the "major tragedy" element.

Somewhere along the line I guess I thought it was religion which many used to soothe the soul. The hellfire and brimstone bunch never seemed to make sense for that very reason.

Sol, if I offended I apologize up to a point........You are of course entitled to your beliefs and I have never felt otherwise. This one bothered me and it frankly should not have. Maybe I'm just in a piss poor mood!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 06:11 PM

Sol, let me rephrase that last part.

I am sorry that I made the statement in a sarcastic way that would offend. I am NOT sorry for holding my own belief that while this is a crime, a fraud, and an act of outright greed which relied on misplaced trust, it cannot in my mind be considered a major tragedy. I hope the perp gets a hundred years based on the means of fraud involved.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: robomatic
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 06:59 PM

I had a similar reaction a few years ago when I was talking with a co-worker who was a Jehovah's witness, and learned from her that as a rule they do not participate in elections, i.e. they don't vote. I was quietly outraged and made free with my opinion, but after a little contemplation and some internet research, I looked her up and apologized, and lucky for me, she had not been offended (or at least was kind enough to tell me she had not been offended).


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: LilyFestre
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 07:20 PM

Question. If the china cannot be used because of treif, why would you pass it on to others? If it's contaminated for one, wouldn't it be for all? That strikes me as odd. Can anyone explain? I'm just curious.

Michelle :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,May your God go with you
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 07:26 PM

No, look, sorry and all that, but the idea that religion frees you from the constraints of reason is not unique to Judaism and is as wrong for that religion as any other.

To take the simplest example, the idea that a re-fired glazed object might have absorbed something through the glaze, so that although it were put again in a kiln and heated to 1000 degrees it might still in any real way contaminated is as insane as the maddest mullahs of Islam - or the idea that the sacrament is in any way other than symbolically the body and blood of Christ.

By all means have religions as sources of morality, and by all means accept if you wish to (although there is I think no real evidence) that there may be a divine being or divine beings, but do not let these things become excuses for murder, persecution, or folly.

There is a lot of tippy-toe-ing about on this thread. Mankind should not deny reason for fear of offending religions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 09:01 PM

Can anyone (rabbi, lay, or other) explain WHY things have to be rekosherised? What, in other words, is the basis for this activity? If I remember correctly, the dietary laws of the Torah don't give such instructions. Who then did? What's the origin of the idea? Which sages came up with this evodently non-scientific process?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 10:27 PM

LilyFestre-The china is 'treif' for Jews. They are contaminiated from a religious perspective, not from a health perspective. While observant Jews adhere to kashruth, it is not required-nor even expected-that non-Jews observe the laws of Kashruth, so they may use those dishes.

For those who question reasons Jews observe laws and perform rituals that are not found in the Torah or the 10 Commandments, the reason is that Rabbinic Judaism also follows the interpretations of Jewish law and living as promulgated in the Talmud, which in the most simplistic sense an amplification of the Torah. [I'll let Rabbi Sol get me out of this one on Sunday]. :>]


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 06:01 AM

is as insane as the maddest mullahs of Islam (May your God...)

The regulations and prescriptions of any religion do not have to be rational. Some of them may have been rational long time back and are no longer now, some may be rational still today, some may never have had a rational basis but that is nothing for an outsider to judge in my eyes.

However, I would get mad at and criticise harshly any religion that tries to tell others that they have to accept the rules of that religion as well. Whatever I think privately about the rules followed by (more or less) orthodox Jews is my business and I shall not talk about it here, but there is a big difference between this incident and the 'mad mullahs'.

The community of Rabbi Sol accepts that others do not follow their kosher laws (and gives away the china). The extreme fringe of Muslims did not accept last year that non Muslims may picture Mohammed. In some interviews German Muslims stated explicitely that this rule has to be followed by non-Muslims as well and the most extreme even told that non-Muslims may be killed for not following that rule. I must say I appreciate this difference.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 07:03 AM

If religion were rational, I don't think it would be religion. Every religion I know of requires its followers to accept certain things, which at first sight are crazy.

If this brings people peace, without feeling the need to inflict their rules and peace on others against their will, then religions are can be a great joy and insperation. It's when they fail to reach this ideal then the problems start.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: LilyFestre
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 08:53 AM

John,

   I guess I find that to be somewhat of an odd situation. If I were a follower of that faith, I'm not sure my conscience would allow me to give something away that I felt was tainted for others to use whether they were of the same faith or not. Don't misunderstand me, I think anyone who needed the serviceware would be thankful to have it and it's a good thing that people are willing to give it away. It's the thought process that I find odd.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 09:31 AM

LOL@Michelle.......Kinda' like saying, "Here, take this piece of junk. Its good enough for you but not for me."

That isn't what is meant at all but it does kind of come across that way doesn't it? One more word on the Rabbi saying that God is punishing them........I guess I see it like Woody once said of songs. Remember the line about not liking songs that made people feel bad and worthless? I could go find the exact quote but it was to that effect. I can't understand any religion that endeavors to make you feel worse. What's the point in that? No sarcasm, no disrespect......I'd just like to know.

I am agnostic as I can neither believe nor disbelieve. Every religion requires some elements of faith in something that is not knowable so I hit a block right there. Of course I have no proof there is no god/are no gods so that stalls me out on the atheistic path. But if I were to start my own church/religion, I would not be blaming good people for the acts of some slimey-ass thief. I really don't get that at all.

Spaw

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Nellie Clatt
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 10:26 AM

For fucks sake, a dead chicken is a dead chickem, sterilise your china with 10%HCL, it will taste just the fucking same, It won't kill ya.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 10:26 AM

Maybe there are some Lebanese families in need of replacements for lost household goods.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 10:31 AM

Yo Spaw, I'm with you, Woody had it dead right.

eric


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Colin Okeefe [The Duke of Omnium ]
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 10:41 AM

This thread will end up with the question or rather the statement, ' religion in general is a load of bollocks '

I'm an atheist, but they say there are no atheists in the trenches, and maybe I agree with this, so simularly, a person dying of starvation couldn't give a fuck if the china OR the chicken is kosher or not. GET REAL


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Big Mick
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 10:54 AM

This thread troubles me. It starts out with a Rabbi talking about a fraud committed on him. He goes on to explain the dietary laws. He has patiently explained why the observant Jew can't use the china. He explains that his folks don't expect others to follow these beliefs, and that they will donate the china expecting nothing in return because their beliefs forbid them from profiting in any way.

What does he get for this? A bunch of people using this to attack religion in general and his belief structure.

There has been no attempt by the Rabbi to solicit, or proselytize. He simply came to his online community for support, and what he gets is a load of shit. IMO this speaks much more for him than the rest of you. No one is asking you to believe what he believes.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 11:08 AM

Mick, if you place something in a public, internet discussion forum, everyone else participating is justified in assuming that you've placed it there for commentary by others. And when the posting is about religion, and not just religion but about some particularly detailed and abstruse, orthodox practices, one should reasonably expect more than just sympathetic murmurings. Otherwise, put it on a comment-free blog. "Discussion" by definition permits opposing points of view. Granted there've been some insensitive responses, but that's life, especially on the internet. I'll defend Rabbi Sol's rights to his beliefs and practices, glad to do so, but those rights do not include the necessity of everyone else shutting up in the face of them. For the record, my suggestion was sincere.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 02:11 PM

Surely this is a case of fraudulent advertising and defrauding the public; can criminal charges be laid against them?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: robomatic
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 02:13 PM

I think the forum speaks for itself. A situation with religious significance has occurred and Rabbi-Sol has given us an interesting insight into its effect on him and the psychological trauma to his and related communities, who thought they could trust the assurances of people, package labels, and the review process that enables them to keep their religious practises. They were betrayed.

Other folks on this forum asked some relevant questions, including me, as to where do we go from here?

Other folks then felt it necessary to give their opinions as to what they had read, and many of these opinions were colored by the existing prejudices of the people. And then, o'course, there came those of us who wished to point that out.

Rabbi-Sol, thank you for the posts, I wish you and your community well, and I'm curious as to how the miscreant winds up. From the browsing I've done I gather he is liable for a rather minor fine, but the shame to him must be great. Is there any chance he can be sued by the community for the financial losses of the dinnerware, since he as a member of the community would have been aware of the repercussions?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Big Mick
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 02:35 PM

Buck, with all sincere respect, spare me the lecture on public forums. As you might note, I have been posting on this particular one since 1998, as a member since 1999. I understand completely what it is about. My observation is based on remembrances of a certain tolerance that seems to be missing around here lately. Rabbi Sol didn't say anything that could be considered advocacy. He simply came to his online community to share his shock. What he got was mockery, from some, of his religious practices. I know very well that you post and take your chances, but I wish that this thread had just simply responded with empathy and a proper community attitude. It used to be like that, but lately even folks I care a great deal about, even myself, have been outright nasty.

Rabbi, I am sorry that this happened to you. I don't read any lack of respect for others in your offers to give the china away. In fact, I applaud your recognition that others might have a use for it that don't share the same religious beliefs as you.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,steve
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 03:02 PM

I think it is extremely valid to question this episode as "a major tragedy". Sorry it isn't one. If you think it is get over it. There is enough real tragedy going on in this world to worry about.

I'm a strict vegetarian. If I accidently ate a bit of meat, it would not be a tragedy, it would be unfortunate. And my vegetarianism is informed by my religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: LilyFestre
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 03:08 PM

Hey Mick,

   It's nice that YOU understand completely what it is all about but some of us are still learning and certainly mean no disrespect. I can't speak for anyone but myself but I have asked out of curiousity and the desire to understand, certainly not to be disrespectful.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Big Mick
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 03:10 PM

Michelle, I was not referring to those that asked questions to gain understanding.

Let us get back to the discussion. We will save the discussion of tolerance on the Mudcat for another thread.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 03:30 PM

" I think it is extremely valid to question this episode as "a major tragedy". "

Why would you consider it "extremely" valid to question this, yet you question others who consider this a "tragedy" in their own culture?   Steve, how does this effect your world to the "extreme", so much that you feel compelled to write about it? Yet, when someone else feels their world has a "tragedy", there is something about your moral compass that is compelled to question it?   Sorry, but it sounds a little inconsistent to me.

As I read through some of these posts, I do see people looking for knowledge and understanding. I see others that wish for nothing more than an altercation and an excuse to act out. This discussion had nothing to do with your opinion of religion and dogma, yet some of you feel a need to find an opportunity to share your thoughts with the world - at the expense of others who in their own world are feeling troubled. Instead of compassion, or simply ignoring, some people choose to put salt in the wound. What does that say about you?

Rabbi Sol, you have my sympathy - although I don't think you were looking for any. Your post appears to have been an attempt to share some knowledge and give those of us who do not understand the culture a bit of insight.   What attracted me to the world of folk music and folklore was the ability to see and understand cultures that were different from my own. I guess that there are still people around who suffer from ethnocentric leanings and do not wish to understand. It is easier to pass judgement instead of trying to learn something.

I hope that something good can come from this terrible situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Big Mick
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 03:32 PM

Well said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,steve
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 03:55 PM

Ron

I said it was valid to question this a a tragedy. That statement also gave scope for others to question it otherwise. It only affects me in that If such a discussion came up socially, I would also question it the same.

I deeply respect judaism,not least for the wisdom I have come across from a book by Rabbi Lionel Blue, quoting rabbis over millenia. In fact I have written a song inspired by something he wrote. However nothing should be beyond criticism. If something was, the person criticising would be judged a fool.

If I am insensitive here, I am sorry for being insensistive


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 04:05 PM

I think I know where from you come, Michelle, but you are putting your world view or religious view on a religion that does not share it. As I said, Jews do not expect non-Jews to follow their religious strictures, and unlike most God-based religions Judaism generally does not seek converts who would have to share those beliefs. So, if a non-Jew eats Beef Stroganoff--a mixture of meat and dairy--that is a-ok with a Jew. But the Jew would not eat it, nor would they eat from the dishes and utensils that it was on at least until they were ritually cleansed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 04:15 PM

Is that not rather the point? Why should religion be free from the requirements of logic and rationality?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Big Mick
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 04:42 PM

No Richard, it isn't. Apply your intellect, logic and rationality. The subject of the thread isn't religion. It is about a fraud committed on a community. It is initiated by a member of our community, presumably to for the purpose of expressing his outrage at the fraud. It is being twisted into an argument on the merits of religion in general, and specifically on the dietary laws which observant Jews live by.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 05:02 PM

What is logic to one person is illogical to another. You drive on the "wrong" side of the road on the other side of the pond. Should I question the logic of that? No, there are reasons why it is different and it doesn't affect my world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 05:16 PM

If a subject is remotely connected to a script or role some of these folks have already memorized, that's how they're ging to address the issue. People are often not smart enough to think up appropriate responses for specific, unfamiliar situations - they force the discussions into what they know well and have practiced a lot.

Rabbi Sol, I'm sorry this happened. I hope things can be made as right as possible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 06:41 PM

For heaven's sake (maybe the wrong choice of phrase): plainly there was a fraud (and infringments of copyright, too, possibly infringments of trade marks and/or passing off); plainly there was a breach of religious shibboleths - two different things.

Plainly it has caused distress: most regrettable; most culpable.


Is the suggestion that ceramic dishes cannot be cleaned rational? Is the suggestion that metallic surfaces have to be heated to cherry red rational?

My sympathy is more for those who will be irrationally directed to destroy cherished possessions for no reason. It's not about this religion, it's not about the idea of religion, it's about the fact that the manifestations of religions see themselves as entitled to dictate, without reason or sense. God may be above man. Priests are not.

The idea that the Christian religions were solely to be interpreted by the priests, and that man needed an intermediary between himself and his God was mostly long since chucked out as a restrictive practice designed to entrench the power of priests.

The idea of a divine being may help some to live lives with consciences. The manifestations we see about us make us question the merit and goodness in such thoughts.

I have no reason to doubt that Rabbi-Sol is a good, devout, and sincere man. But why should his or any other religion cause any form of suffering to anyone for irrational reasons?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: LilyFestre
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 06:45 PM

I don't see many people who aren't outraged at the fraud that was committed. I do see many people without an understanding of it all and would expect that since not all people share the same faith. I also see this thread as an opportunity to share some answers and to clarify for those who are interested enough to ask. Questions aren't attacks!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 06:52 PM

I am entirely in agreement with you on all points, Richard.

People all over this world are mentally enslaved by their various mythologies...the things they take for granted and never question...the beliefs they have taken on for no other reason than "that's what I was told to believe" or "it's in the Holy Book"... whether it be religious mythology, cultural mythology, racial mythology, scientific mythology, medical mythology, or political mythology, or even gender mythology, and they do the darndest self-defeating and crazy things because of it.

They're also usually enslaved to money, of course, and that particular mental enslavement is what led to this ridiculous situation with the chickens. Someone valued a quick buck more than he valued behaving honestly and responsibly in his community.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 09:51 PM

Geez Mick, wasn't meant to be a lecture, more of an observation. If it's a contest to see who's been on the Mudcat (or the internet) longer, it'd be a tough call since I've been here myself about as long as you have, and online a good deal longer than that. You seem to be bemoaning the fact the the Mudcat ain't what she used to be, but neither is nostalgia. Rabbi Sol has gotten a very great deal of sympathy in this thread, as far as I can see, and rightly so. Why should folks who feel other than sympathetic - or sympathetic "but" be expected to hold back? From what I've read from him, I suspect Rabbi Sol is an intelligent grownup who can handle it, and I doubt he expected anything different from what's been posted. But you seem to be dedicated to shifting the focus of the thread from the heinous fraud committed to the failure of Mudcatters to live up to your expectations. With all due respect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 09:52 PM

The Sabbath just ended here in Monsey so I am back on the board. In all synagogues plus at the sabbath dinner table the chickens were the major topic of discussion. Here are some new developments that have not as yet reached the media.

The chickens in question were not only "treif". They were also stolen. We do not yet know from who but the police are investigating. Therefore the profit that the perpetrator, Moshe Finkel, realized on them was even greater than first thought.

The Rabbis of Monsey have decreed a fast day for all Jewish members of the community to take place on next Sunday, September 17th. The principle of collective guilt is apparently weighing heavily on their minds. In performing this fast we are beseeching God to show mercy and refrain from any divine retribution or punishment for our community for creating an atmosphere that would allow such a tragic incident to occurr on such a massive scale.

More news should be forthcoming later this week and I will keep you all informed.
                                                 SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 10:17 PM

I really do not think that God will hold any of this misadventure against your community, Rabbi-Sol, unless God is as capricious and as totally unreasonable as some people are...

It's my impression that God always shows mercy. It is people and carnivorous animals who do not show mercy. In the animals' case, that's perfectly understandable and it does not carry any burden of what I would term "sin". In the case of people, however, I'd say it's quite a different story. People should know better than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 10:38 PM

You may be right, but look what happened to Adam & Eve. And their offspring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 11:04 PM

Uh-huh. And look what happened to the Billy Goats Gruff and the Troll under the bridge. And Gilgamesh, for that matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,barbara
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 12:39 AM

m. finkel is not a hasidic man. he is an orthodox man. 2 different things. and not everyone is throwing away their dishes. my rabbi, rabbi shlesiner, says, not necessarily so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Lady Hillary
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 01:16 AM

EBarnacle here. Above it was stated that:

"Jewish dietary law in any case doesn't come under the ten commandments, and is a cultural aspect of judaism."

The ten commandments are only the ones which most people are most familiar with. If you try reading and understanding the remainder of the Torah, you will discover that there are five books, including Genesis and Exodus, which is where most people's knowledge seems to stop. By tradition, the content of these 5 books was handed from God to Moses and, thence, to the children of Israel. The last 3 books consist mainly of the laws which the Israelites are supposed to follow. There are several hundred of these laws. Each is important and they deal in issues of life and death, and community relations, as well as public health and sanitation.

Many of the laws do not seem to make sense to the community at large now. During times like the Middle Ages, they were often the cause of Jewish survival when those around them were dying of various communicable disorders, such as typhus and waterborne disorders. This difference helped create a community which those around them, mostly Christians, saw as practicing magic, instead of common sense. This identity has allowed the Jewish community to survive despite frequent attempts to eradicate Jews as a people and as a culture.

These rules are very slow to change and will not change unless a positive reason is shown for them to change. Two weeks ago, an orthodox Jewish congregation appointed a woman as its rabbi in all but name. It is a small but significant adaptation to the needs of the community.

In the case presented here, the sins have to be examined in terms of the Kaper Lanu prayer recited on Yom Kippur. These sins include sins committed in ignorance as well as sins committed intentionally. A sin is a sin, whether it is quitting smoking and regressing or unknowingly eating unclean food. The result is the same--a sin, a failure of a moral duty which a person has sworn, even if only to oneself. Having discovered the sin, it is up to the person to improve his or her ways and lead a better life.

The reason the community is fasting is as a duty to the larger community. There have been countless events in the past, such as plagues or invasions, [Sodom and Gomorrah and Noah's Flood come readily to mind] which are associated with moral failures within the community. These events were often what made the prophets famous in their efforts to clean up the community, often against public opinion that their ideas were not needed.

That the community is willing to atone for an unintentional sin is laudable. They are showing the universalism for which Judaism is famous. "Am I my brother's keeper?" They believe so and are acting on it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Marion
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 02:59 AM

Hello Rabbi Sol. I can certainly understand why this incident is so upsetting to you and the other folks in your community. I think that the people reading are focussing too much on the dishes and forgetting about how these people's bodies were violated. Through this act of fraud, the thief took away his victims' right to control their own bodies.

I'm a vegetarian, and my aversion to meat is visceral and deep-seated. If I learned that somebody had tricked me into eating meat, I would feel violated, profoundly disgusted, and furious, and it's almost certain that my relationship with that person would be irrevocably ended. So I think I can empathize with what you're feeling. (I should add that I'm not speaking here for any vegetarian but myself - there are many different combinations of reasons why people choose not to eat meat, and not all vegetarians share my aversion).

For those of you reading this thread who don't relate to religious taboo or to vegetarianism: the closest equivalent for you would probably be your aversion to cannibalism or to feces. So please imagine how you would feel if somebody tricked you into eating human flesh or excrement, and keep that feeling in mind when you think about this situation.

Marion


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 04:05 AM

I sympathise with those who feel that they have been sullied. I appreciate the feeling that the guilty in this case should be held up to public opprobrium. I am sure that Rabbi-Sol is perfectly genuine and justified in his outrage at the fraudsters and thieves. But why do I feel that I have to keep emphasising that, when I go on to discuss other perfectly genuine concerns?

It will seem morally repugnant to many that they who were (if they were, and were not wilfully closing their eyes) wholly unaware that they were eating food that was proscribed by their religion should be regarded as in any way guilty. Offences of strict liability are rightly regarded by most legal systems as extreme measures.

It will also seem morally repugnant to many that a whole set of persons - including they who not only are under no moral guilt (see above) but even they who have themselves not eaten such food at all - should be required to atone. It is quite definitely wrong to punish the innocent for the sins of the guilty (unless there is a very very good public policy reason as in the case of employers' vicarious liability for the torts of thier servants committed in the course of thier employment).

To take Marion's example, should a person tricked into eating human flesh be punishable for cannibalism? Should their parents or children who did not eat human flesh be punishable for cannibalism?

I note above that even different factions of the religion in point do not agree that the relevant china dishes need to be destroyed or given away. Maybe there are some who would say that metal dishes can (as they in fact can) be sterilised without heating to red heat.

How should we judge a religion that requires its followers to harm themselves and/or to make payments to the infrastructure or members of the infrastructure of the religion for things that those followers have not done or for which those followers have no guilt?

There are a number of religions that we rightly criticise for fundamentalism. In this sense I mean, by fundamentalism, the belief or assertion that texts and prohibitions of the religion are literally true and must be literally obeyed, despite their impossibility or irrationality (or, in some cases, not the present case, inherent evil). Even small requirements by a religion that are irrational are the thin end of the wedge in this respect, and they need to be tested to see whether they ought to be changed.

I have been thinking about all this at least partly (apart from my inherent pedantry) because I am currently having a bit of a crise de confiance in a moral belief system with which I am myself involved, and I do not know whether I will be able to continue with it, despite the much good work it does, because of irrationalities that I see within it. I respectfully suggest that ritual cleansing requirements need to be examined in the light of knowledge and reason, and if appropriate discarded. If they do no good and may lead to harm should that not be so?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 04:36 AM

I was not sure about this thread or the implications. I am glad I read it because it has made me think a little - always a good thing:-)

Firstly, I think it goes without saying that that my sympathies are with the community concerned.

The bit I thought most about was this thing about having to destroy or rekosherise the utensils. I reaslised after a while it was not realy about the crockery at all. It is about teachings. Whether they are right or wrong is completely irrelevant. The laws of that religion say that this must happen. Whether people do it or not is a test of their religious beliefs. Do you love your religion more or your possesions? How strong are your beliefs?

Whether I agree or not I must say that anyone who has the conviction to destroy lots of goods, maybe costing lots of money, maybe with deep sentimantal value, because of their beliefs shows a great faith in their religion. Some may say this is madness but I say, provided it does not affect me, it shows a strength of character far greater than many have. In fact it saddened me a little when a post above said that some are not destroying the china. Sounds like bending the rules to suit themselves. When I decided that the rules of the Catholic church were not for me I did not ask them to bend the rules, I got out.

On the whole I am happy for people to follow whatever beliefs they want. As long as they don't expect me to follow them. Good luck to those who have put their trust in their god and passed this test.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Big Mick
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 08:45 AM

Finally, a couple of people that get it. Dave and Marion, you have said it better than I could. It isn't about the china or the religion. It is about empathizing with community members.

It is interesting that when you illustrate it so clearly, some choose to continue to try to shift the premise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Akiva from Ashdod
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 10:19 AM

I know of someone who is planning an answer for the Heavenly court when he reaches 120.

When they ask him, "Did you eat kosher?" He plans to say," I don't know. but I certainly paid for it."


I do not live in the US but I have had in recent years "Mahadrin chicken" Airline meals. They were supervised by a Rav from Monsey. I sure hope Mr. Finkel had nothing to do with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 12:51 PM

"How should we judge a religion that requires its followers to harm themselves and/or to make payments to the infrastructure or members of the infrastructure of the religion for things that those followers have not done or for which those followers have no guilt?"

The simple answer is - your judgement really doesn't matter. My judgement doesn't matter. As EBarnacle eloquently pointed out, the following of faith is a matter of personal conviction.

Unless you are being affected by this religion, is it our place to question?

I am sure that if Rabbi Sol or anyone else came on Mudcat and started to preach to us that his path was the one that all of us should follow - there would be an uproar. Most of us won't answer the door when Jehovah's Witness members ring the bell, we turn our heads when a street preacher tries to hand us a pamphlet, and we switch the station when an evangalist is peddling their wares on TV. Those of us who chose our own paths feel somehow violated when we see that.

Yet, there are those of us who feel it necessary to tell others how to live their lives - when there was no call for such input.   Isn't that a bit hypocritical? To strike out at a doctrine that we feel is restrictive and infer that people should be following a different set of rules is one and the same.

What do they say about people living in glass houses?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 02:19 PM

Oh, I don't mind people atoning for unintentional "sins" if they want to. Fine with me. That's up to them.

I am simply raising a philosophical question here: Would God punish people for unintentional sins? If so, why? What good would it do? I think it's worthwhile for people to ask themselves and others such questions.

I grew up to eventually question every basic assumption that was put in front of me when I was a child...no matter who it had come from. I discovered that a lot of those assumptions were based on nothing real whatsoever, while others were founded on solid groung.

It puzzles me when other people do not question the basic assumptions of their culture. How will they ever learn to think originally and clearly if they don't? And how will they escape the automatic prejudices and misconceptions that are passed on IN every culture?

Or maybe they don't want to?

One more question: Why does anyone need an organized religion to have a relationship with God?

I ask that because Dave asked: "Do you love your religion more or your possesions? How strong are your beliefs?"

Interesting point, Dave. I would say this. I love my own personal ability to think and reason and arrive at my own judgement on things better than I love the idea of belonging to an organized religion that tells me what to think.   

I believe that God would rather I use my own intelligence than have someone else think for me and just do what they say.

When people follow what is in the Torah or any other ancient religious text they are merely following what someone else wrote down a very long time ago. No one can prove that that someone else was a literal scribe for God and that God agrees NOW with everything that someone else wrote way back then. Furthermore, no one can prove that God hasn't altered some of the friggin' rules of practical daily life in the last few thousand years as the conditions in human society changed!

And I am suggesting that a God who was sane and rational most certainly would have altered some of the rules between now and 4,000 years ago in the Middle East in a society with no refrigerators, etc.... It's just laughable to think otherwise, as a matter of fact.

For people to tie themselve to 4,000-year-old thoughts is a form of mental paralysis. The world changes, and we change with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 03:06 PM

There is nothing unusual about following dietary rules, many religions require it. For Rabbi Sol I have a lot of sympathy, he and his community were betrayed and soiled by the actions of a few members of the same faith. Such a shock and disbelief can and does hurt people much deeper than other types of criminal activity. I am sure it is his shock and horror that caused him to post here.

Something jogs my memory about God being forgiving in Jewish religion, if people were forcibly defiled by criminals. I pray that it is so; and in the spirit of compassion hope his community will grow stronger despite the actions of a few that undermined it temporarily. We all have possessions that if stolen or lost could never be replaced in our hearts; and it would seem that some may now be forced to lose objects of such sentimental value it will hurt a great deal, an added burden to their grief.

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 03:14 PM

We frequently judge and someties condemn religions and belief systems that affect only those within them. Take "female circumcision" for example.

If a religion requires its followers to do something irrational and to their detriment we must in all fairness question it. Some of the most fundamental cases about "undue influence" are about spiritual leaders benefitting from their disciples.

We should apply even handed good sense to all religions and thier teachings, for they are capable of robbing their followers of their judgment and hence possessions. This applies as much to the estabished religions as to new age mysticism and the eastern belief systems, and the inspirations and visions of all of them. It seems from other threads LH that you ascribe to some beliefs that many might think irrational, so can you even-handedly apply the judgment that beleifs are irrational to this religion?

I'm not defending Judaism in any form, as much as I am not attacking it. I do assert that logic and proportion should everywhere apply.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Big Mick
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 03:34 PM

I am going to suggest that we take the discussion of secular vs. religious thought to THIS THREAD and leave this one for the Rabbi to discuss his community's loss, and for questions with regard to dietary law. Of course, you don't have to honor this, but I have started a thread to discuss the broader issues raised.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 06:28 PM

Little Hawk - Reliously observant Jews do things and use things they did not have knowledge of 4000 years ago. For instance, Jews no longer practice plural marriage. Jew no longer actually sacrifice animals as they did in Temple times. Jews drive cars and fly airplanes.   Jews even use electricity, telephones, washing machines AND refrigerators (there are Christian groups that do not). Refrigeration seems to me an odd example you used to denigrate the beliefs of observant Jews. What is significant to you in singling out refrigerators?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 06:39 PM

Err - John - keeping food non-toxic.

That wasn't hard was it?

Mick, although thread drift is part of the 'Cat (I wonder when I first posted, have I been here as long as you, it's a great community wasn't it?) I think you may be right that a spinoff thread is a good idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Grab
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 06:44 PM

I have complete sympathy with the Rabbi and all his community for what's happened to them. If someone's seriously religious, that's a major part of their identity, and having someone mess with that is serious. No, it probably isn't as serious as death and destruction. But "tragedy" is a personal judgement - losing your job would be a big deal for you, even though life still goes on.

I'm still curious about why things can't be "rekasherised", given that they were presumably originally "treif". But I guess there's some deep ruling behind that from some long-dead religious bloke, so no worries - just curiosity. And giving the stuff away (instead of ceremonially smashing it or something) is eminently sensible.

What scares the crap out of me though is Rabbi Avraham Chaim Feuer and his bizarre idea of "we as a community are collectively guilty of not doing something right if God can let such a major tragedy befall us". Sorry, but no. I believe Job is common to Jewish and Christian texts, and a whole load of shit happened to Mr Job even though he was a good guy, because God wanted to test the depth of his faith.

So let's look at this from the religious PoV. If it's not God's doing, God won't care. But since this is related to religious observance, we have to assume God was involved. If it's God's doing, either it's a trial (to test faith) or a punishment (for lack of faith). But if it's a punishment, who's it punishing in failure to observe rituals? And check out what happened to the Egyptians for what happens when God's pissed off. Sure it could be a punishment, and it may serve as a reminder to people to keep following the rules.

But look at the other alternative though - the test of faith. Suppose you find that your recent observances of your faith's tenets have been brought down by some outside force. There's two ways you could react to that happening. The first is that you say "well it's not done me any harm, so I might as well not bother observing those rules", and you debase your beliefs as a result. But the second, you say "I don't care that someone else caused me to fail to observe those rules. I know in my heart that I did all I could, and I'll continue to follow those rules to the very best of my ability. God knows what I did, and God knows what I'll continue to do." Is this starting to look like familiar ground...?

That's where your quote of Rabbi Feuer gets my goat - the assumption that anything bad that happens, ever, unto the end of the world, is automatically a punishment for some failing. If he said "we MAY be collectively guilty" then he'd be correct. But the absolute "we ARE guilty" is plain wrong. Under any of the Judaism-based religions, it's clear that this statement is bad theology and bad philosophy, so it's worrying to me that someone who'd make a statement like that is in charge.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Big Mick
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 06:48 PM

I came as a guest in 98, became a member in 99, Richard.
Yep, it's a great place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 06:56 PM

"We frequently judge and someties condemn religions and belief systems that affect only those within them. Take "female circumcision" for example."

If you honestly feel that people are being hurt to such a degree in Monsey, I guess there is nothing more to discuss.


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

Richard -- Thank you, the was the simplistic answer I expected. But you know that Jews DO use refigerators and freezers so that that is not the answer. The answer is a religious stricture, not a pragmatic one, so it is as applicable today as it was in Biblical times...for the observant.

Sorry, but I have to leave. The Chabad (a sect of ultra-Orthedox Jews) Telethon is on. [How modern of them to use television!] If you, or anyone reading this between 7pm - 1am EDT live in LA, NY, Miami or any of several other cities, you might get an insight into the world of Judaism.


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

The idea of having to use a blowtorch or heating to cherry red in order to "kosherise" does seem bizzare but those nasty little PRIONS take some killing.

Sterilizing surgical instruments

From New Scientist, 13 February 1999 Ian Mason and Michael Day

The heat is on. The temperatures routinely used to sterilise surgical instruments in British hospitals might actually help to spread the deadly brain disease CJD, say researchers in Scotland. However, the finding could lead to more effective ways of disinfecting surgical instruments contaminated by prions, the rogue proteins thought to cause the disease.

Concerns that surgeons' instruments might pass on new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), the human form of BSE, intensified last month with news that the infection is present throughout the lymph tissue of victims, not just in the central nervous system (This Week, 23 January, p 5). [Only tonsil has actually been studied thoroughly in lymphoreticular system -- webmaster]

Because there is no sure way of sterilising instruments contaminated with prions, the discovery prompted calls for surgeons to use disposable instruments for operations involving lymph tissue. But so far the British government has not committed itself because of the high costs.

Now there is evidence that attempts to disinfect instruments by "pressure cooking" them at high temperatures in an autoclave might do more harm than good. David Taylor of the Institute for Animal Health in Edinburgh found that increasing the temperature of the autoclave actually made it harder to destroy CJD prions. In one experiment, infected tissue samples were heated at 134 ƒC for 9, 18 and 30 minutes. The treated samples were not infectious. However, when the experiment was repeated at 138 ƒC, the tissue was still infectious. In Britain, the standard temperature range for autoclaving instruments is 134 to 138 ƒC.

Taylor believes the slightly higher temperature "fixed" the prion, allowing chemical links to form that made the molecules more stable. He is preparing his results for publication. {not published as of 6 Mar 99 but see other similar studies by DM Taylor -- webmaster

I used to think Jehovahs Witnesses where over the top regarding blood transfusions...and then along came AIDS etc.
Perhaps these guys know something after all!
I'm off for a bacon sanger!
(well cooked)


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 07:35 PM

1999?

138 degrees?


It's a simple issue about responsibility. I've told you several times I'm not attacking you or your God. Take it to the other thread. I may not be there tonight, getting late over here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Lady Hillary
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 08:08 PM

EBarnacle here, Graham

It hasn't done me any harm, therefore it's not so bad.

The theory behind this statement is flawed, based upon the Orthodox and other philosophical rationales. Among various religions, that way lies damnation. Road to Hell, etc. The point of the orthodox rationale is that the strictures are deliberately not easy. If they were, there would be no test of character and the soul would not grow strong. The object is not to get away with variations on the rules, it is to adhere strictly to them despite inconvenience.

Consider that YHWH, the tetragram for God is often translated as "I am who I Am." Similarly the concept behind Orthodox Judaism is "We are who we are." Note the differences in capitalization. If you, as do the Orthodox [or Frum (meaning proper or correct)] Jews believe that Jews are the Chosen People, what does chosen mean? They were chosen because they accepted what was presented as the word of God, with all of its rules and strictures.

Refer again to my previous note. As sin is a sin. Any sin diminishes the soul. Intent is worse than lack of intent but there is still a level of diminishment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: dianavan
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 08:18 PM

I'm sorry your community has been betrayed by one of your own. I'm sorry for the inconvenience as well. It is not, however, a crisis. I will refrain from listing all of the cultures that are truly in crisis.

I also don't think its right to punish everyone for the sins of another. God might require a test of faith but I don't another human being can require you to 'prove your faith'.

In fact, I think its wrong to follow rules that made very good sense long ago but make very little sense today.

I prefer to think of Judaism as a living and growing faith that is not bound by conventions that serve only to employ the priestly caste.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 08:40 PM

I was not going to get involved with this discussion but some of the postings made me want to add a few thoughts---brief ones because I do believe that this has taken on, as most threads do, minutae and moved into other areas.

First off---Rabbi Sol posted his note and, basically, reported local news reports. I am not sure for what end.   I doubt very much that this group has very many theoligians in it---I could be wrong. But, even if there are, what is the point?   Seems to me that no person sinned (other than the "butcher"). I am Jewish and admittedly non- practicing---(why do people practice--don't they ever get it right---Doctors, Lawyers,etc;). Seems that unkowing involvement is not sinful. I am, here, saying something that I am not that versant with and yet have to say thay my logical thinking makes me say it. Following that logic---and if one believes in a greater power than one would say that HE also gave us the power to think logically.

What interests me as well is the involvement with the local authorities.   I live in the same county as Rabbi Sol. Seems the "butcher" committed fraud and FOrgery (the labels he printed for the non-kosher chickens). There is more to that story than we want to read here---coincidences as to how this was discovered, etc;.

I am intrigued---and also delighted---how civil authorities will bring charges for fraud on what is a "religious" fraud.   Granted it is fraud. (Good for the U S and its laws---unlike other nations0. Fraud on a par with, say, someone selling you a set of Rosary Beads that they said was blessed by the Pope.   
My problem is the seperation of Church and State and the involvement of the latter with the former. I have never understood the consistency of religious orders looking to civil authorities for remediation.   I could give many examples from all faiths. Let it be ended here with the last sentence to cover that.

Bill Hahn




                  .


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 08:45 PM

Fraud is fraud. If a vendor claims things about his product that turn out not to be true, he's committed fraud. Makes no difference whether the false claims had to do with provenance, ingredients, or manner of preparation: it's a false representation and it's actionable. Especially since (I surmise) that good which conform to the representations are sold at a premium.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 09:11 PM

Buck: True! The difference is approx. $1.25 / lb. from news reports. That makes for quite a windfall.   

         So---now how do we get the almighty ( if there is such a being) to join the civil authorities in an actionable action.

You gotta love the word play.

BH


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 09:22 PM

I think if it gets pissed enough, the perps will know. But I suspect that the Almighty knows quite well that his creatures (chosen and otherwise) will handle it. That's faith!


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 10:54 PM

If he got the non-kosher chickens from a legitimate source the profit would be $1.25 per pound. If however the chickens were stolen goods as some have reported, the profit can be even greater. If there was unreported income I am sure that IRS will soon get involved in this case as well. The New York Times reported that the kosher suppliers stopped shipping to him because he owed them money. If this is the case he may have been into the loan sharks and may have been forced to do what he did by organized crime. I am sure that the Feds will look into this aspect of the case as well. In any case he has disappeared from his home in Monsey and is rumored to be somewhere out of state. Protective custody ? Perhaps.

                                           SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: dianavan
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 12:39 AM

"... he may have been into the loan sharks and may have been forced to do what he did by organized crime."

...but we don't really know why he did it, only that he did it.

Sounds to me the "organized crime" bit is a convenient cover. It was obviously very organized but by ??? Basically there are many people involved.

Can't be our own!?

It must be organized crime!

Lets see what happens next. This is big news in the Jewish Community.

A group sacrifice (work and dishes) would serve the purpose of alleviating any 'group guilt' the community may be feeling (for whatever reason) and could also create a sense of unity.

If God wants you to blow torch your kitchen as a sacrifice, go for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 04:15 AM

I still find worrying the concepts that the observant who genuinely did not know that the chickens were not properly kosher committed any sin or that those who did not eat them ought to atone.

Certainly they committed no crime and have no obligations under civil law.

I also still find worrying rules that cannot be exposed to rational discussion.

Perhps if there are others who wish to discuss this train of thought they would go to Mick's other thread, the title of which is not wholly apt to these issues, but it will serve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Grab
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 06:26 AM

Ebarnacle, that's the whole point. It's a test. And if you fall for the "It hasn't done me any harm, therefore it's not so bad" bit, then you've failed the test.

I disagree with you about sin and intent. If you could reasonably have seen it coming, then yes - that's a sin of omission. But if you've made a real effort to avoid it happening and it *still* happened despite all your preparations, then it's down to you to assess whether you could have done more to prevent it happening. If you think you could, then it's a sin for which you may feel some atonement is necessary. But if you think, honestly, that there wasn't any more you could have reasonably done, then I don't believe it can be considered a sin (and note the "honestly", because trying to fool yourself is itself a sin). That seems to be confirmed by Rabbi Sol saying, "Those individuals who have unwillingly and unknowingly eaten "Treif" as a result of being misled in this instance have not committed a sin."

I also disagree with that orthodox line on "it has to be hard for it to be good for you". As you said earlier, some of the Jewish rules are pure common-sense for an age without refrigeration, sterile conditions, good cooking equipment or any good way to clean things properly. I think there's an urgent need to differentiate between those kind of rules and the *moral* rules of "thou shalt not kill" and the like. That comes back to what I said on the other thread - if a religion fits exactly what you believe, then that's fine. But if a religion says "now you're one of us, you must do a lot of illogical things otherwise you can't stay as part of the gang", then it becomes a means of control rather than a means of praising God. On that, I agree with LH - refrigeration and all those other good things have made many of those non-moral rules irrelevant. For any religion to stay relevant, it needs to not only add new standards for moral conduct when new situations arise (eg. IVF treatment) but also be prepared to ditch old rules when it's clear they no longer apply. That's why there's such an urgent need to establish which rules are "core" moral rules that are inviolable, and which rules are "current situation" guidance for how to behave morally in the world as it currently exists. Leviticus is the classic example of rules created by Man for health and safety purposes, which are interesting from a historical perspective but utterly irrelevant to modern life.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Rabb J
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 10:33 AM

I wanted to add, that it is absolutely permitted to sell your China to a non jew on ebay or any other way. Just make sure it is a non jew.

The only thing you are not allowed to get benefit from is Milk-and-Meat products

Rabbi J


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Lady Hillary
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 12:08 PM

EBarnacle here.
The issue is differentiation. As mentioned above, cultural evolution does take place. It just takes place slowly. There is no question that it is easier to to take advantage of everything modern. If, however, you don't need to, there is no reason to do so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 04:03 PM

My point, John, was that people tend to let other people (either directly or in the form of an ancient book) do their thinking for them on a whole lot of issues. This suggests to me that they are suffering from a rather limited ability to think for themselves. If so, that's not so good.

Why do they do it? Probably because it never occurred to them that they had any real alternatives...or maybe it's just mental laziness. They DO have real alternatives at all times if they would just pick up their own mental reins, guide the horse, and think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 04:06 PM

Yet you feel that you can think for them Little Hawk by posting your thoughts? Who are you to determine what path an individual should follow? You feel confident that you can determine that a person is "suffering from a limited ability to think for themselves" by a reading a few postings?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 05:34 PM

I think that those interested in the irrationality or otherwise of religion ought to go to Mick's Science vs religion thread or the debate about the reality of observations of chakras - where amazingly Amos asserts that they are real despite his hard-headedness here..


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 07:32 PM

I'm simply talking about philosophy, Ron, and raising questions. I'm thinking for myself. If you interpret that as a personal attack on other people, well...sorry...but I think you would have not have gotten along too well with Aristotle, Socrates, or any of the other great philosophers, because they too raised questions about anything people took for granted.

I'm interested in comparing beliefs. One can't really discuss them without comparing the differences, can one?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 10:30 PM

Show me wear you compared beliefs.    Was it when you said "People all over this world are mentally enslaved by their various mythologies" or "Why does anyone need an organized religion to have a relationship with God?" or "Probably because it never occurred to them that they had any real alternatives...or maybe it's just mental laziness."

That is not sharing, that is not philosophy. That is you trying to dictate your opinion without acknowledging theirs.

Don't hide behind philosophy. Aristotle and the rest raised questions, but they did not pontificate the answers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 01:05 AM

Ron, I think you could find people in ANY religion who use their religion in a lazy, unthinking way, so as to narrow their minds...and other people in the same religion who use it in a very creative way that expands their minds. Agreed?

I am not attempting to condemn the religions themselves, holus-bolus, I am expressing a concern about the misuse of religions by some (perhaps many) of the people IN those religions.

Maybe you're finding offence in the things I say because you have already decided it must be there...and so you are looking for it. One does tend to find what one looks for...

Why assume that I am speaking about ALL the members of a religion when I say any of the things you quoted me saying? I am NOT speaking about ALL of them. I might be speaking about 20% of them...or 50%...or 10%...or 5%. I am speaking STRICTLY about the people whom I see not using their religion in an intelligent way...and ONLY about those people. Would you agree that there are some such people in any given religion?

If so, then we are on common ground.

If you want me to somehow become totally inoffensive to everybody and never say anything that might somehow cause offence to someone here, there's only one way. I log off Mudcat permanently and never say anything again about anything on this forum.

That would make Clinton Mammond happy. ;-) But I'm not going to do it. ;-) Not yet anyway. When I finally get totally, absolutely bored and fed up with this place, with people's defensiveness, hangups, hypersensitivity, and plain narrow-mindedness, then I'll log off, and seriously, that could happen anytime at this point.

As Bob Dylan said once to Joan Baez, I'm really getting "sick of all this repetition".


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,An orthodox Jew
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 02:43 AM

I chanced upon this thread because I was googling this story. I can see that there are some people here who have asked respectful questions, while others are only mocking. I am addressing the former:
Torah Judaism is the observance of Judaism, with all its laws, rules, and mindsets, as was given to the Jewish Nation by G-d at Sinai. This is far more than the 10 commandments! The Written Torah (5 books of Moses) is the BASIS for all the precepts of Judaism. It includes stories, laws, and history. The DETAILS of these laws, the relevance and ramification of the stories, and the deep significance of the history were taught to Moses Orally. In addition, Moses was taught the rules by which the written Torah may or may not be explained. Moses in turn taught this to the nation. We do not and can not properly understand the Torah or practice Judaism without the Oral law, known colloquially as the Talmud. For 2,000 years, the Oral Law was just that: Oral. Transmitted from father to son, from teacher to student. However, after dispersion of the Jews following the Roman conquest and destruction of our Holy Temple,(approximately 1,940 years ago)there was a serious concern that the oral law would be forgotten. Therefore it was written down, albeit cryptically. They presented most of the Oral Torah Law in conversation format between the sages of the time arguing the law between themselves using intense logic. Those who are uninformed, have sometimes concluded that the Rabbis made up the laws. This is far from the truth, as the laws were taught by G-d to Moses, who transmitted them according to the rules. The proper way to study this Truth was and is by analyzing with intense logic. Over the years, practical rulings were determined by reference to previous learning, going back all the way to Sinai. Reknowned scholars who had broad knowledge of all aspects of Torah and Talmud were able to apply these rulings to new situations (e.g. the lightbulb; corelle; chewing gum). They studied these inventions, their properties, and their mechanisms, to properly classify them so that proper Torah law could be applied (e.g. permissable use on the Shabbat; or the status of a non-kosher vessel; or the proper blessing to make on a food).
The consensus on China dishes has always been that they fall in the category of earthenware, despite the glaze, and therefore if they become non-kosher, this status can not be reversed.
There are, and have always been disagreements on some final decisions in Torah law. These are only relevant if they are between life-long scholars of equal stature, whose only purpose in determining the law is for the proper practice of Torah Law. Among Jews whose heritage has remained intact, the differences in actual practice between Jews of different cultural backrounds are remarkably few. Knowledge of these disputes, as well as logical analysis is integral to the study of Talmud by all Jews, regardless of their host society. Studying Talmud is studying Torah.
As far as a tragedy is concerned: Judaism considers 2 different levels of life: physical and spiritual. Kosher laws are in the realm of spiritual. For a Jew, eating non-kosher is considered seriously damaging to the soul. The proper preparation of animal meat is very detailed, and is considered a very serious matter. Yes it is a serious tragedy for a people so attuned to the health of their souls, to consider that they have ingested "spiritual poison".
Since, according to the Torah, non-Jews do not have this requirement, they will not sustain such damage. There is absolutely no harm to them from non-kosher food, and there is no reason for them to avoid dishes that have been used for such food. I hope this clarifies some of the issues that I read on this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 03:25 AM

Nice to see a man and a woman agree so completely on something (grin).


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 09:12 AM

Rabbi Sol,

This discussion continues to be fascinating.

Another request for information.

If the event under discussion is God's punishiment, is the converse true?

If good things happen to the community, are they God's reward for virtue on the part of the community?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 09:19 AM

"If you want me to somehow become totally inoffensive to everybody and never say anything that might somehow cause offence to someone here, there's only one way. I log off Mudcat permanently and never say anything again about anything on this forum."

I'm not trying to dictate what you should do, that is a call you need to make for yourself.

I have been pointing out how you are coming across. Your statements were not pointing toward the words "some" but came out more dictatorial toward all rules.

You are right, this is becoming repititious. As Bob Dylan once said to Joan Baez "It ain't me babe".


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 02:40 PM

yup to the question about a community's virtue letting good things happen. There are a few principles in Judaism that say this: Megalgilim Zechus Al Yedei Zakai..." folks who have done their utmost to do good are used to be good messengers, to be harbingers of good tidings etc. Vice versa. Those who mess up, their punishment is sometimes that they are inadvertantly led to have harm come from them. There is another principle in play here: which is where you have your moral struggle, if you don't win that battle in private, oft times you end up losing in public. So, therefore, in this case, a Jew has multiple laws of how to keep Kosher. If, and it is possible, we were not careful enough to keep these with full intentions and wanting to keep the nitty-gritty (i.e. checking allour veggies for bugs, making blessings before and after eating, not eating out of boredom and on and on), then it could be that G-d brought about that we noticed a huge error in our eating habits in public. The concept is that anyone who "defames" which means disobeys G-d in private, while in the end be "outed" by having been found to have done a no-no in public. Therefore, the Monsey community is searching inwards, coming to terms with this huge public instance of thousands eating non-Kosher food and wondering what within ourselves, within our private homes, was the precedent for this.
Logical - who is to be judge of our minds. Where does logic end? What logic do folks share in common? Is my logic the same as Saddam Hussein's? Will the real logic stand up? When folks say that, they sometimes mean science. However, science is ever changing (take non-planet Pluto for one). Therefore, it cannot be the final arbiter. More often than not, as time goes on and science evolves, it just bolsters what Jews have done illogically for years. An example would be kashering utensils which some here have derided. If one is to learn the properties, chemistry, of dishes, heat, absorption, you would see that the very intricate laws of Halacha take all these science factors into play. Glass, for example is the most non-porous. Hence, glass is not fired up when Kashring, because most food will have not been able to have penetrated below the surface of the vessel.
I'll stick to Jewish law and wait until your science catches up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 04:06 PM

GUEST,

Thanks for the feedback.

Each answer seems to lead to another question.

Does this reasoning also apply to the holocaust?

Are communal disasters in general always God's punishment?
Are only certain kinds of disasters God's punishment?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,an Orthodox Jewess
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 07:50 PM

I came back here to see if anyone had read my post.
Regarding your questions, Russ:
The concept that bad things happen to good people is dealt with extensively in teachings of Judaism.
In this case, the previous guest explained that G-d has allowed many righteous people to sin unwittingly, and the proper personal response of one who was directly affected.
This is different than a holocaust, where innocent people suffer unspeakable horrors. Any person who went through the Holocaust is free to do an internal private reckoning, of why they may have been due any sort of suffering. However, when others suffer, the rest of us are only supposed to do our utmost to relieve their suffering.
The bottom line is that a situation that affects a community, does, and should require a broader form of internal reckoning.
All "disasters" are supposed to awaken us, from our complacency. Including disasters that happen to others. In reaction to the Tsunami along the Asian coast, many Rabbinic leaders called publicly for all Jews to introspect, and to improve their service to G-d. This means being far more careful to follow Torah laws that are between man and G-d (e.g. making blessings; eating kosher)as well as G-d's laws that are between man and his fellow man (e.g. honesty in business; not taking revenge).
Sometimes in fact, suffering is not a punishment, but rather a means toward a positive end. (analogical to a surgical procedure that saves a life.) Any suffering (not self inflicted) that a person experiences in this world wipes away countless "debts" that the soul may owe in the next world, which is eternal.
In addition, those righteous people who live on an entirely different plain than most of us, yearn to increase their closeness to the Creator. G-d may offer painful situations as a test for such people, so that they can in fact draw even closer in their unwavering faith, and continued adherence to the Torah, even in the most difficult of circumstances.
The bottom line is, we do not know. But we have plenty of food for thought, and inspiration for improvement.

For further questions, I recommend that you google the concept of punishment and reward, as well as suffering, according to traditional Torah Judaism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 09:30 PM

Also, take a look at the Talmud commentators, Mammonaides (sp???) in particular. Each of the Commentators had/has a different take on the Law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 10:03 PM

Let me start by saying that I am Jewish---born to that faith. I mention that so as to state that I am certainly not a devout person and, frankly, like logic and reason better than organized religion.

That said, I can continue to comments above regarding Holocaust, Tsunamis, etc;   Like an ethnic comedian only one of the same ethnicity should make the jokes. I don't intend any humor here.

The writer above mentions "introspection" regarding a Tsunami and a "prvate reckoning regarding holocaust".   

I fail to see the difference.   A disaster has befallen people and the question to me is why, if you believe in this almighty being, do you feel we have to be introspective?   Seems to me that both are hohorrible occurences. One made my man. One made by nature. Either way a disaster of great proportions.

If you say that God (note I left out the inane - ) (why not say Jawah) punished people in a Tsunami then it would have to follow--logically---that He (note the capital letter) also endorsed Adolf. One cannot have it both ways.   

Nature is nature---and man is man---and is capable of terribly horrible acts---and also great ones.   If you truly believe in some great diety and say that diety gave one the power to think logically then the rest is on the individual. Courts ---these days with psychiatrists---not withstanding.   


Hope I covered most of the bases---and I do not even like baseball and that is the coin of reference these days.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: dianavan
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 11:43 PM

Bill - You give me hope that Judaism is a living, growing religion, founded on inquiry. I would hope that Talmudic scholars of today realize this and that dogmatism doesn't destroy a perfectly reasonable approach to life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 01:10 AM

Bill-You are absolutely correct! There is only One Power that controls nature, and the course of history.

I do not claim to know the specifics of why G-d allowed the devastating tsunami any more than I know why he allowed Hitler (may he rot), to succeed as far as he did. The ocean does not have free will. As was said by an unspecified "Guest" before, "There are a few principles in Judaism that say this: Megalgilim Zechus Al Yedei Zakai..." folks who have done their utmost to do good are used to be good messengers, to be harbingers of good tidings etc. Vice versa"

So too, "migalgilim chov al yedei chayav" Those who desire to practice evil, are more than happy to sign up, when G-d decides that we have to suffer. But they are held liable for that desire and the thrill they get, as well as the degree of effort they invest to cause pain.

When a community finds itself to have clearly "sinned" albeit unwittingly (eating the non-kosher meat), they are supposed to do honest soul searching, and rectify behaviors that may not be as clearly seen by others. I only brought up the tsunami to express that we are called upon to do soul searching even when we only hear about a catastrophe that has not affected us directly, or to people we know.
It is obvious to practicing Jews that the calamity of the Holocaust was and is the subject of serious introspection, and improvement in our actions. However, to tell that directly to those who experienced the horrors (they already know) is considered using the power of speech to hurt others, and is the epitome of arrogance. That was the reason for my cautious wording:
"Any person who went through the Holocaust is free to do an internal private reckoning, of why they may have been due any sort of suffering. However, when others suffer, the rest of us are only supposed to do our utmost to relieve their suffering." What I meant is we should not point fingers at them. I should have included the statement "As far as ourselves are concerned, in the wake of the Holocaust, the Jewish Community of the diaspora had, and still has much to weigh and consider regarding proper performance of Torah Law!"

We have sustained many tragedies throughout our history (e.g. The Spanish Inquisition) at the hands of many villains. We continue to recognize G-d's direction in these, and we are required to remember them, especially to effect changes in our behavior. This is in no way meant to depress us. We have specific, limited times during the year, that we are supposed to revisit such events, and consider their implications.

I encourage you, if you are genuinely interested in reasonable answers to your questions to follow my previous recommendation that you google the concept of punishment and reward, as well as suffering, according to traditional Torah Judaism. You will undoubtedly also encounter the concept of Free Will in relation to these topics.

Your inquiries are encouraged. Judaism is not based on mindlessness leaps of Faith. Sincere honest research should not be a challenge to true Judaism! It only strengthens it. Keep asking, until you are truly satisfied. If your approach is open-minded, you may be surprised by the "logic and reason" within. There are many serious Torah Scholars who would be happy to take the time to help you find answers to the questions that are posited by your G-d given mind!


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,an Orthodox Jewess
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 01:18 AM

the previous "guest" post is mine. I forgot to identify myself!

By the way, I stand corrected on something I wrote previously.I recently found out that there are reputable Torah Authorities who posit that Talmudic law does differentiate between glazed China and earthenware, and the community affected has been advised to clarify this with their local Orthodox Rabbi. (It is a very large community full of hundreds of Orthodox congregations and practicing rabbis).

Although I'm sure I will be tempted, I do not intend to post again. Best of luck to all of you, and enjoy your website!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: dianavan
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 02:04 AM

Guest, Orthodox Jewess -

I, for one, would encourage you to continue posting. I find your messages easy to read and informative.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 04:08 AM

From discussion may come understanding even if not agreement.

Why make it sound as if posting here is a sin?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Grab
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 05:11 AM

Thanks for that info, Orthodox Jewess. Good posts.

As you say, honest discussion strengthens rather than weakens a belief system. It'd be a shame if you didn't come back - not having much contact with Judaism, it's interesting for me to learn this stuff.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: robomatic
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 06:00 AM

Guest, Orthodox Jew'ess' presumably Hitler is already rotting so it should be 'may he continue to rot'.

FWIW if you continue posting I recommend that you get an identity here and password protect it. Anyone can log in as Guest. Furthermore, your use of the word 'Jewess' is archaic at best and is frequently a term used in racist forums, so if it is necessary to include the information that you are female, you are also free to choose some friendlier term: Kosheress, Hebrew Miss, Mrs Frum, Freeda, Lilith Light, Rachel Dread, etc.

I do like your writing, but your chosen moniker makes me 'spicious.

Robo, the unkosher.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 09:07 AM

GUEST,an Orthodox Jewess,

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

However, because of studies in a previous lifetime, I am relatively well-informed about Orthodox Judaism, but at a rather high and abstract and broad theoretical/theological level.

I ask my questions here because I more interested these days in what real individuals believe than I am interested in the beliefs of the "pros" like Maimonides.

Individual believers is where the rubber hits the road, where we see the instantiation in real life of the grand theological and conceptual structures of the great thinkers.

You answered the question extremely well but at the rather highly abstract level with which I am already familiar.

I know that the phenomenon of bad things happening to good people has been dealt with extensively in Judaism. I am familiar the various ways of dealing with the question in a variety of religious contexts.

I know this because at one point I was fascinated by and formally studied a variety of abstract conceptual structures of belief. These days I find the beliefs of actual human beings much more interesting.

If we were face to face I would politely but persistently press you as you cited your authorities until you either revealed your own opinion told me it was none of my damn business. At which point I would politely shut up and apologize for my impertinence

In light of your last post I expect no reply to this, but I certainly appreciate your efforts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 09:08 AM

By the way, I have subjected my Jewish friends, orthodox and not, to the same sorts of questions I have asked here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 10:50 AM

the guest who posted on the "Megalgilim" concept of bad things happening when you aren't careful. I see the next few posts on the Holocaust. I don't know why folks tiptoe around it. Yes, it happened because we deserved it. I can say that with easy heart because both of my parents are Holocaust survivors and taught me to say that. Rebbetzin Jungreis, a survivor of Bergen Belsen and founder of Hineni Organization in Manhattan says the same things. So did many rabbis. ANY catastrophe has a cause. To blind ourselves to that makes for a horrible thing - the George Santayana one of "those who don't learn history are doomed to repeat it".    The Jews did suffer horrific tragedies during the destruction of the Temple and banishment from Israel during the Roman reign, and we are given reasons for why G-d allowed such devastation to happen. No less should be done for the Holocaust era, otherwise the punishment is useless. That doesn't mean that the Nazis are absolved. There are many anti-semites who would love to kill us all. However, there are times where G-d allows them to succeed because of our faults. They, however, hated baselessly and are held accountable for being murderers.   Rebbetzin Jungreis pointed out one scary thing, which no one wants to readily admit. There is a clear balance in history between assimilation of the Jewish people and anti-semitism. As assimilation (the move away from tradition and heritage) increases so does the rate of anti-semitism in the world. Doubt it? Learn history. Use the Spanish Inquisition. The Holocaust. The Greek oppression. The Purim story. Not only that, there were predictions before the Holocaust that it would happen, from Rabbis such as the Mesech Chochma (who wrote his prediction about 200 years before the event) and the path of the Holocaust followed the trail of assimilation that had wreaked havoc on the Jewish community. Anti-Semitism, as much as it has hurt me by killing large numbers of my family, is a gift of G-d that doesn't allow the Jewish people to kill themselves out in their own suicide of trying to lose their identity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 11:32 AM

GUEST, grose,

Thank you for your response.

I apologize for any unplesantness my questions might have caused.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 11:43 AM

Russ -
To quote a famous woman The woman was someone named Rebbetzin Kramer who also lived through the Holocaust. When she was older, a searching soul, someone who had traveled to India and all over trying to find the meaning of life, questioned her about that time in her life. The questioner said, (again not an exact quote) "that place [the concentration camp] must have been the worst place." To which the Rebbetzin replied, "not the worst, because I still had the opportunity to do the right things there." So, Russ, thank you for the apology, but to take that holy woman's words a bit further, completely unpleasant would be an exchange of words where no one grows. But your words raised thoughts and thoughts can lead to growth, hence no apology needed, rather a thank you from my end for causing me to take time today to stop and reflect...and hopefully grow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 12:43 PM

Sol,
This is a disgraceful and horrible event. I am sorry that you and your congregation have to endure first the crime and then the ridicule.
I am curious as to how your community will deal with Moshe Finkel. Presumably the law will have its day but how does he make things right with the Jewish community?
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 01:06 PM

Just got back online and I was about to make one comment but first let me make another. It was never my intent to ridicule anyone's belief here. I offer once again an apology to anyone I offended. On the other hand, THIS is one of those occasions where I'd love to have all of these thread participants together in a room and talking about this. The forum format can be both enlightening and frustrating as a means of communication. I didn't see it working well here until we got down to Permanent Guest Russ and his Guest responders.

(Now the other comment I started to make. I was offline and may be again as I screwed up wifi'ing the house. This is because I'm a dumbass, but that's been obvious for years. I don't have it right yet but at least stuff is working.....for awhile anyway. The other comment goes to Guest Russ.)

RUSS....You are once again as always my favorite permanent Guest. I just got done slogging through this thread and another it spawned. I came back here because this discussion is finally where it should be and we owe that to you. I doubted as I was reading this that anyone could bring smoething good and informative here but you did asking the right questions and getting excellent responses from our other Guest(s). A great response only happens when the questions are right. Good job and my thanks to you and the Guest(s) obviously as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 04:42 PM

In my usual pedantic and skeptical manner, I make a brief comment on something buried in "orthodox Jewess'" post

"Those who are uninformed, have sometimes concluded that the Rabbis made up the laws. This is far from the truth, as the laws were taught by G-d to Moses, who transmitted them according to the rules."

This is really the basis of things, and, as such it is well to note that this is what many believe, not a 'fact' that can be demonstrated. Perhaps it really happened that way, but *IF* it did not, then ALL following conclusions and intrpretations are called into question, including those of "Reknowned scholars who had broad knowledge of all aspects of Torah and Talmud". *IF* G-D did NOT give Moses these rules, then the Rabbis DID make them up, no matter how honestly and sincerely. Whenever interpretation by scholars and religious leaders becomes part of the mechanism of transmitting presumed 'truths', subjective attitudes are bound to creep into the details, just as with the china/earthenware issue.

It is important to note that "belief" as to first premises is required in ordered to accept all following conclusions, and though I'm sure that no one is likely to disagree with this, this is why NON-believers find some of these practices strange.

It seems to me the idea of a Supreme Being must include the concept that he/she/it is reasonable and fair, if if so, then it also seems to me that a reasonable & fair Supreme Being would pop in now & then to clarify matters for his fallible creations when they start to muddle his rules and stray from the right path. Just shrugging and rationalizing that He 'guides' the priests, Rabbis and theologians doesn't satisfy some of us.

Yes, this was a deviation from the main thrust of the thread...... I still have no respect for the man who would lie and misrepresent his product to those within his own belief system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,shocked from w coast
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 05:03 PM

i cannot understand why there is public demand that r breslauer vacate the kosher business. he is either grossly incompetent or just too lazy to do a thorough audit of his client. does he just enter the business to pickup his checks?

we cannot allow this slouch to continue and hold a position which we have to place any confidence in him at all.
are his rabbinical colleagues just covering up for him? are they afraid of the skeletons which they have sitting in their own closets?

i saw that r feuer places the blame on the community. is he blind? does he think he's speaking to morons? wake-up feuer and smell the coffee!! your colleagues in the kosher racket are corrupt and you're covering 4 them.

we need a demonstration in from breslauer's shul to force him 2 resign. afterwards at his home till he's gone. i don't care if he's a nice guy or scholarly type. he's however unfit for the rabbinate and we cannot tolerate such incompetence.

i resent r feuer spinning for breslauer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 06:08 PM

Mary,
       Finkel can never make things right with the Jewish community again. He is effectively out of business with all Rabbinical certifications having been withdrawn. He can not open up shop in any other Jewish community outside of Monsey either. He is effectively banned from the kosher food business for life. Now he has to deal with the civil authorities who will decide his punishment in this world. That will be nothing compared to what his punishment will be in the world to come.

                                           SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 06:46 PM

Spaw - I didn't read ridicule in your posts just your usual quirky observations on life in general. Some have been less than kind and I don't understand their need to belittle the religious beliefs of another,
I am an atheist. No ax to grind here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Orthodox Jewish Female Person
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 07:49 PM

1.I haven't figured out how to label myself!
2. Richard: I just realized that my original post went throug 2 times under Jew and Jewess! LOL
AND, Temptation is not necessarily sinful. I don't have the time, although I really enjoy this. As you may see from the times I post, it's costing me sleep! And I as you see, I'm enjoying this, so I've succumbed to the "temptation" again, depite myself!!
3. Bill: yes, there are 'fact[s]' that demonstrate that what I "believe" is actually true. I am by nature a skeptic, believe it or not. It's been about 15-20 years since I came to my own personal conviction of what is true. Ironically, it was difficult for me, because for unrelated emotional reasons, I do not trust my parents!!! When I referred you and others to other sites on the web, it is because there are modern day thinkers who can demonstrate this stuff scientifically and logically. I am currently practicing, based on that knowledge, and to tell you the truth, it has become a part of me. I don't remember all the specific "proofs", but my conclusions were based in reality. I now function based on what I researched then. It's kind of like when you have to add up prices in the supermarket to make sure you have enough money for your purchases, you don't revisit the concept of whether 2 plus 2 is 4!!!
There are many reasons why a person becomes a skeptic, or tries to find holes to exempt them from responsibility. Often the goal to dismiss the facts, is established before the analysis takes place. This would hardly be considered an unbiased inquiry! One cause for this is personal pain.
4.guestGrose, you are completely on target! I am quite aware of the connection between rampant assimilation, and the Holocaust. Throngs of young Jews discarded traditional Judaism in favor of all the other modern, and enticing "isms" that popped up all over Europe and beyond, in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. One example of these is communism! Additional examples of leaders who warned before the devastation, that the massive intent to "reform" Judaism, to make Jews less "different" would by necessity lead to a major "reaction" by G-d to set us straight were Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, known as "the Chafetz Chaim" and Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman. Denial of this is wrong. Rebetzin Jungreis, and guestGrose's parents are pristine, heroic examples of people who suffered, yet don't hide from the truth. Thousands of survivors, branded for life by the Nazis with numerical tatoos, not only recognized that G-d had not forsaken them, but that He deemed it necessary. They bore the punishment with unmitigated faith that G-d was directly involved. And when it was over, they rebuilt broken lives, and never once considered that there service to G-d is meaningless.
"I chose not to bring this up, not because I am afraid of the truth, and want to tiptoe around it", because I was also taught, that there is no "answer to pain". In other words, it is "Ona'as Devorim" hurting through words, to respond to another's pain with "abstract truths" to quote Bill.
When a person asks "why", and they really mean "It hurts too much to bear", an answer is not what they need at that time. First they need compassion. No matter how deserving I may be of punishment, telling me why, while I am hurting so much, is callous, and may lead me to reject my relationship with G-d. These things are best taught BEFORE there is a calamity.
5.I address this to Russ: It is difficult for me to write this, because it triggers pain. As far as personal beliefs are concerned. I believe, personally, based on logic that I have considered (I scored 100% on my Algebra, Geometry, and Trig regents-not boasting, just giving a frame of reference to my logical capacities), that my personal struggles with intense illness and unremitting pain have a purpose. I continue to try to remember all of the benefits that I have already seen resulting from my situation (empathy, developement of a more personal relationship with G-d), as well as the principles of Judaism that ultimately I will see that this was for good. I will not see all of this in this world. Incidentally, my belief in a world to come, did not come as result of my pain and a desperate need to make sense of it. I am not superhuman. Despite all my knowledge and conviction, in the midst of excruciating circumstances, I certainly cried out "Why?". My Rav (personal Rabbi), who knows a whole lot more "answers" than I do, has never responded in the moment, to those cries with anything other than empathy. When it hurts, you cry. This is not a contradiction. I was crying out to G-d, Who can remove the pain but is not doing so. That is a personal statement.
6.As far as G-d "cluing us in":
The Holocaust did not happen in a day. The Neuremburg Laws, differentiating Jews from other German citizens, was certainly an opportunity to be "clued in". As much as Jews tried to melt into their host society, the Germans kept reminding us that we are different. Alas, many refused to see or hear.
And when the extermination began, no matter how assimilated a Jewish family was, Hitler did not care. His "solution" included those who were 3rd and 4th generation assimilated Jews.
And it is not that G-d only makes this clear to the "Rabbis". It is only that they make a greater effort not to suffer from "cognitive dissonance".


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,An Orthodox Female Person
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 08:11 PM

One more thought: In these weeks before Rosh HaShana & Yom Kippur, I remind all, that in this world there is always "Teshuva". The simple translation is repentance. But the word really means "return". No matter how far one has strayed, He can ALWAYS return to G-d. I do not know what the punishment is for such a grave sin as this this meat saleman is accused of. He caused others to sin. But at least he knows his sin! He is capable of acknowledging his sin before G-d, Having deep, painful remorse, and taking upon himself never to be involved in any such behavior again. Those are the three steps of repentance. Since this sin is also between Man and his fellow Man, he needs to ask forgiveness from all those that he harmed, and make restitution to them, before he can beg forgiveness from G-d. I do not know how in the world he can do this. Perhaps in public written requests in community newspapers, and by giving something of value to the community (personally underwriting enhanced kosher supervision throughout the Monsey consumer market? Somehow paying for the financial toll he caused by necessitating some people to have to discard personal property that could not be koshered?). A person who genuinely begs forgiveness of a person, and is not forgiven, is required to request it twice more, but at different times, and in different ways. If someone has been asked 3 times, in different circumstances for forgiveness, and he refuses to forgive, he is considered an evil person.
May this man find a way to live with himself, correct what he needs to correct, and may his innocent children be spared the shame and ostracism that has resulted by association.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 08:35 PM

Still a fascinating thread. Please keep posting Rabbi and Female Person!! In 'my experience' if you have 1 law and 3 Rabbis you will have at least 4 opinions on the interpretation of that Law. Just my experience you see. On the Other hand.... :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 08:38 PM

That is an interesting point, Sorcha. A far cry from my childhood religion that was prone to excommunicating anyone with a different opinion - like the earth revolves around the sun.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 08:43 PM

It's the way the Rabbis 'argue with themselves' to settle a point of law....demonstrated well in Fiddler on the Roof. 'On the other hand...' You try out all the options until you convince yourself. Called, I think, 'peelpul' or 'pilpul'. HELP me out here, Sol!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 09:06 PM

*smile*...well, orthodox female Jewish person, I see that you have thought, experienced and struggled to get where you are, and that you do not approach these topics lightly. I am pleased you did not take offense at my attempted 'clarification'.

   Although my approach to religious matters is quite different, I can respect anyone whose beliefs are sincere and based on the best information they can get. In the long run, it is how we treat each other and strive to make our communities safe & happy that is crucial, and I see that you are concerned with doing that. I wish more people could approach things in a similar way.

It is fascinating to read your extended comments on the matter.

Welcome...whether you visit often or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: robomatic
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 09:51 PM

Dear Guest, Grose, and OJFP ;-) the first time I was in an on-line chat and someone mentioned the link between assimilation and the holocaust, I was convinced I was talking to a nazi. (This is merely a fact, I take you both at face value). My reaction is two-fold:

On a surface level this falls right into the argument that the anti-semites of that day and this were making, mind you, their accusations against Jews are not simply that Jews were 'assimilating'. They were accusations of degeneracy, criminality, and poor hygiene. From their point of view, any statement that Jews admit responsibility for the Holocaust will immediately lead to their statement "oh, so you accept that Jews are degenerate, criminal, and filthy?"

The perpetrators of the Holocaust killed a huge number of non-assimilationist Jews, those isolated communities such as depicted in the world of Sholom Aleichem (or Fiddler On The Roof). In fact, it pretty much ended that world, and left the assimilated Jews of the United States, Canada, and the ethnically Jewish but culturally non-Jewish population of Russia.

On a more humorous note, I'm reminded of the verse about God's judgement on San Francisco in 1906:

If God had meant to toast the town for being over-frisky-
Then why'd He burn the First Church down
And leave McCullough's whisky?

Similarly Voltaire railed against those religionists who insisted that the Lisbon earthquake was a penalty wrought from Heaven.

Likewise, finding purpose in any great indiscriminate disaster, from nature or from persons, is to my mind a logical crime of the first order. This is what Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson did soon after 911 and makes no more sense in this thread transferred to Jews and The Holocaust.

I find that the argument that Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves by assimilating, to be an argument fitting the thought patterns of National Socialism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Dee
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 11:33 PM

Many cultures have the concept of expiation of inadvertant sin. For example,some Native American religions require adherants who have been accidentally exposed to a dead person, to enter a sweat lodge, in order to eliminate every trace of contamination from the body.
Simalarly, a public fast for the Monsey community will be a shared cathartic experience.
The operative words here are SHARED and COMMUNITY. Orthodox Jews really do believe that we are all responsible for each other (this is why so much charity and good works circulate in our community.) When there is a real tragedy in the worldwide Jewish community(not only Orthodox, but all Jews) an untimely death, murder,etc., the entire community mourns, even if the victim is not personally known. When someone in the community triumphs- a Jew wins the Nobel prize, or a gold Olympic medal- we feel proud by association.
In this situation, although the "sin" was obiously inadvertant, we can't help feeling that to some small degree, we share guilt by association.
Finally, religions arent based on reason, they are based on faith and to some degree, on a social contract.
Many of us derive great comfort from our traditions and rituals and could care less what you think of them. I personally think those of you who attack Orthodox practices are quite provincial in questioning a belief system that is not your own (but harms no one outside that belief system.) I am not so conceited that I believe every person in the world should live as I do, but obviously some of you believe just that. You think you are sophisticated, but your judgemental observations are the antithesis.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Guest - R' Shmiel from BP
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 12:54 AM

Like many others, I came across this blog as I was googling the meat story. I see that many people are avidly following this who are not adherents of our traditions, and thus are misunderstanding many issues. I also see that many of them are not so polite in their disagreements, and for this I must express my admiration to "Rabbi Sol" for the amazing amount of patience that he shows in putting up with this! In order to help set the record straight, I would like to clarify several issues, hoping that many of you may gain some insight into what "makes us tick".

First of all, let me clarify a few points that did not seem to be expressed so clearly:
The dishes are not forbidden to derive benefit from, however they should not be kept in the house, to avoid inadvertantly using them. They may be sold, but on ebay you have no way of making sure that they are not bought by a Jew. Selling or giving treife dishes to a Jew, no matter how unaffiliated or non-observant, is just as serious as what the butcher did, albeit on a much smaller scale.

The laws of Judaism we bellive to be Divine in origin, from both the written (Five Books of Moses) and the oral (Talmud & Code of Jewish Law) Torah. They are, therefore, not subject to change. Circumstances may change, and therefore, the application of the laws may be different, but the laws themselves do not change. Since the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, and we may not offer sacrifices anywhere else, we no longer offer sacrifices. This has nothing to do with "adapting" to society, but with the stark reality of our situation. Rabbenu Gershom (known as "The Light of the Exile") in the 11th century, forbade polygamy for Ashkenazic (Eastern European) Jewry as a preventative measure, when he saw the detrimental effect it was having on people. (It is a fundamental principle of the Torah that the Rabbinical leaders of the time have the right to make decrees upon the Jewish people when necessary to strengthen the community or to prevent communal problems, such as what we just experienced.) The kosher laws do not change, but are applied to the circumstances involved. This has caused great confusion with some aspects of today's food service technology, and very often even the most learned Rabbis will not agree on things.

The issue of the entire Jewish Community "repenting" for this incident seems to have struck many people in an odd way. It seems to me that this has not been explained in a very clear way, maybe I can shed some light on it for you.

To begin, belief in G-d is a fundamental cornerstone in Judaism, and is, historically, perhaps Judaism's main contribution to society, even though we do not place so much emphasis on "dogma" as we do on our laws. Over 3800 years ago, our Patriarch Abraham appeared on the scene of the world, where every civilization worshipped its own assortment of various gods, idols, spirits, powers, etc. Abraham's thesis, that there was but one Almighty G-d who created and maintains the world was what distinguished him from the nations, and was carried on by his descendants for millenia afterwards. Now, debating this is not the purpose of this thread, therefore I will not elaborate further; however, for purposes of understanding this concept, it is crucial that we make this clear. I understand that many of the people who have posted here may take issue with this concept, but that is irrelevant; it is our community that you are trying to understand, so step one has to be to accept that in our collective minds, this is a given.

That being said, our concept of G-d is clearly spelled out by the Torah and Talmud: we cannot possibly understand Him or fathom His ways. However, the Torah has given us certain information about G-d which applies to our interactions with Him in this world. Among them are the thirteen Attributes of Mercy, which in the coming weeks of the High Holiday season, we will repeat over and over in our prayers. Yes, we believe that G-d is All-Merciful to those who repent of their misdeeds. Another core belief of Orthodox Judaism is that G-d is constantly sustaining and maintaining control of our world, even though he has given us freedom of choice in our actions. This does not affect his control; quite the contrary: His goals will be accomplished regardless of how much we try to change them. This is quite a complicated concept, one that even our great sage Maimonides had a tough time explaining, and should perhaps be saved for another post. However, this is necessary to understand the concept of All-Mercifulness that we are dealing with: the great Kabbalist, Rabbi Moshe Cordevero, explains in his work "Tomer Devorah" that since we believe that G-d is constantly keeping us alive and sustaining us, this holds true even while we are sinning!!! G-d not only does not send lightning bolts to fry us when we sin, but he continues to keep our bodies and organs working, even as we defy him! The Jewish concept of Divine reward and punishment is clear that this world is not the time or place for either; any occurences which occur are not necessarily reward or punishment, but rather part of the Divine plan, which our limited human faculties cannot possibly fathom. There is also a concept of Divine Intervention, where G-d circumvents the free will which he has given us, such as the hardening of Pharoh's heart as described in the events leading up to the Exodus, or where G-d causes an unfortunate accident to occur despite our precautions. These may be due to any number of reasons, of which we can only guess. Sometimes, as I saw mentioned in a previous post, it may be to atone for one's sins in this world, so that upon leaving this world one may enter immediately into the reward of the world to come. Sometimes, it may be because we have failed to merit divine protection in a certain area. And sometimes it may be a blessing in disguise, to save us from or alert us to a calamity. I will not go into any hypothesis about the Holocaust, 9/11, or any other such things, as this is not the subject of this thread. I will rather share with you a story which relates to a similar predicament:

The story is told of a Chassidic sage of yesteryear, who used to go to great lengths in his observance of the Passover Holiday and all the regulations thereof. He took the utmost precautions that no particle of leaven should be present in his home, and the foods were all prepared in house, by his family. Everything was meticulously cleaned and checked, the kitchen kashered, and the Matzos were baked under his scrupulous supervision with every conceivable stringency. As darkness fell on Passover eve, he sat at the Seder table with his family, and they conducted the Seder service in a mood of sublime ecstacy; this was the culmination of all their hard work. After they recited the Haggadah and ate the Matza and Marror (bitter herbs) the meal was served. When his wife brought him a bowl of soup, his exalted mood suddenly turned to darkness and confusion. After all their toil and effort, a kernel of wheat was swimming in his bowl, a seemingly impossible occurance. This put quite a damper on his enthusiasm, besides leaving him without a soup pot or bowls fit for Passover use. He spent the rest of the Seder in total confusion, perplexed at this situation.

At the first opportunity to do so, he made a "dream query", a special Kabbalistic formula for a Heavenly answer to deep spiritual questions. First of all, why had this happened? Was it to atone for his sins in this world, or was it a wake-up call to some spiritual calamity that he was in? And second of all, how on Earth had it happened, despite all of his precautions?

Over the night, his answer came: the mishap had occurred to teach him a fundamental error that he had made. True, he had made admirable preparations for the holiday, thoroughly and flawlessly. Yes, he had done it in joy, with a pure heart, and without any ulterior motive save to serve G-d thereby. But he had left out one ingredient, the most crucial ingredient: he had neglected to pray for Divine assistance in accomplishing his task. Despite all the precautions, we must acknowledge that we are at G-d's mercy, and nothing can be accomplished without His help and guidance. With all our safety measures, we must pray for his protection. As far as the second question, how did it happen? The answer was surprisingly simple: a bird flying over the chimney with a kernel of wheat in his mouth opened his mouth as he passed over (excuse the pun) and the kernel fell down the chimney, and into the pot of soup cooking over the fire.
What this means to us, is that we must engage in some serious soul-searching to determine where we are lacking, what is it that caused us to lose our Divine protection. In today's society, as always, we still need G-d's help to succeed in following His teachings. This applies to our marriages, raising our children, our jobs, our day-to-day interactions. No matter how much we work on our relationships, we still need G-d to show us to our spouses in a favorable light. As much work as we put into raising our children and finding the right school to send them to, one "rotten apple" in the class can give them the push down the slope into depravity and delinquincy. And after answering the want ads and going on interviews with our well-padded resumes, we still need him to push the boss' decision in our direction. After completing a project for the CFO at two in the morning following a day of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, if the exec reads it before he's had his coffee, or after a harsh toung-lashing from his wife for whatever he did wrong at home, he'll berate us and write up negative comments in our file, nixing that raise or promotion we needed so desperately. In all these cases, and countless others, what matters to us is to show our total dependance and reliance on G-d, even though we go through all the motions.

And here in Monsey, or Boro Park, or wherever, what we have to ask ourselves is, how much effort are we really expending in keeping the kosher laws? Are we taking shortcuts for convenience? Who are we relying on? Are we really making the effort, and are we really besseching G-d for his help in keeping our mouths and bodies free from the spiritual malice of trefa food? When Kashrus is mass-produced, the standards suffer. Does it really need to be so? If less people eat at a wedding, and more people come just for dancing, will that make the Kashrus supervision more manageable (besides making our budget more manageable, and lessening the social pressure for people to make such large and extravagant wedding dinners)? If we roll up our sleeves and work to prepare Passover at home, won't that be a much better standard of Kashrus than the rushed kashering of a hotel with all the loopholes in the laws that are utilized to do such a massive job in such a short time? (Never mind if the other, non-kosher kitchens in the hotel are still functioning simultaneously!) For that matter, do we really belong in a hotel on Passover? Do we really need such wide varieties of candy, nosh, junk food, and every product under the sun? Our parents and grandparents didn't have such a wide variety of candies to choose from. In fact, we didn't even have such a large selection of Jewish Junk Food as our kids do. Is it really necessary? I could go on and on lambasting the state of Kashrus in America today, but that is not the point. This should be a massive wake-up call to us to tighten up our standards, and exercise a bit of restraint. And, as many Rabbis have pointed out, we need to apply the same Glatt-Kosher standards to what comes out of our mouths as we do for what goes in. There are numerous laws of speech in the Torah. How careful are we? The mouth is a holy tool, but it can also be a deadly weapon.

There is also a need for those who inadvertantly ate from this meat to undergo a sort of spiritual detox process. The Sages teach us that non-kosher food dulls a Jew's spiritual capabilities, and damages the soul. Think of it this way: if someone accidentally ingested something that brings on an allergic reaction, despite labels and numerous assurances that this food did not contain the allergen, he still has a reaction from it, and needs medical treatment. So too, those who ate trefa, even unsuspectingly, need to treat the resulting spiritual calamity. Our form of spiritual detox includes charity, increasing our Torah learning, doing more deeds of kindness, and deep introspection, as well as "putting up a fence" around our own behaviour, each person according to their spiritual level. Fasting seems appropriate, as that is the opposite of eating, although among Chassidim we tend to look askance at any fasting other than the days mandated by Jewish Law. At any rate, this Sunday, the first day of the annual week of "Selichos" (penitential) prayers prior to the High Holidays, was customarily in many Jewish communities a day of fasting; the main objective of the day, however has to be the introspection: what we need to improve upon, to make ourselves "whole" again, and what we are going to learn from this whole mess.

I hope that I have been helpful in shedding some light on this concept, given you an insight into the "repentance" aspect of this crisis. If anything here is truly a tragedy, it is that our capability to trust has died; this individual seemed to be the perfect model of the trustwothy, upright "Ehrlicher Yid" that we look up to and aspire to become, and yet we see what was lurking beneath the surface. We cannot help but to look with a critical eye at everyone, even the most rightuos of our people. I cannot even begin to understand how he justified himself, or how he can live with himself, or how he will go about rectifying this terrible breach in the spiritual armor of the Jewish people, or the shame that his family must be going through. Maimonides, in his "Laws of Repentance" mentions causing the public to sin as one of the things that bars the way of repentance; until the culprit has rectified the wrong and the damage done to the community, he simply has nothing to talk about in the way of repentance. May Hashem (G-d) show his mercy on us all, especially on those who were affected by this, and help them recover from this horrible violation of their trust, spirituality, and their humanity.

Wishing all a "K'siva VaChasima Tova", and may we recapture the holiness and purity of eating at this time of year when we will be doing so much of it. May all the traditional symbolic foods that we eat be truly kosher and imbue us with a desire for Torah and Mitzvos and closeness to Hashem, and usher in for us all a good, sweet year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,an Orthodox Jewish Female Person
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 03:46 AM

Thank you R' Shmiel. Your post is a masterpiece IMHO! I have copied it, and intend to keep it.

I am choosing to respond to what was already said regarding the possibility that the holocaust could have had a connection to assimilation.

Robo-
I am quoting part of a comment above by "Bill Hahn": "A disaster has befallen people and the question to me is why, if you believe in this almighty being, do you feel we have to be introspective?   Seems to me that both are horrible occurrences. One made my man [holocaust] One made by nature [tsunami]. Either way a disaster of great proportions.
If you say that God (note I left out the inane - ) (why not say Jawah) punished people in a Tsunami then it would have to follow--logically---that He (note the capital letter) also endorsed Adolf. One cannot have it both ways"

I am not promoting anti-semitism. Anti-semites do not need my help. People with an agenda, will use anything I say or do to prove their point. (If I'm rich I'm a thief, if I'm poor, I'm a leech, if I live near you, I am crowding you in, if I move away, I'm a snob, If I'm successful, I want to control the world, if I'm unsuccessful, I am lazy... the list goes on.) You may be uncomfortable with the idea that we as Jews may have a different path. It is irrelevant whether others respect that or condemn it. The path that is presented to us by the Torah, remains the same. Judaism is an all encompassing life system. It is not a popularity contest!
The Torah tells us, that when we Jews stray, G-d will remind us to come back to Him, and it will not be pleasant (It says this in the Shema, which is written on the parchment of a mezzuza). The perpetrators of the Holocaust did not intend to help the Jewish people improve their practice of Judaism! Their intent was to annihilate a people whom they deemed unworthy of existing. They were evil, and will give any excuse to say we "deserve" this. They worship themselves, not G-d. They may think, like the ancient Romans conquerors did, that their successes prove that they were right. But the ancient Romans are gone. The Jewish people are still here, and continue to survive.
We are taught that G-d sometimes 'uses' evil people when He chastises us in such a drastic way. That does not make them any less evil, or guilty.
The nations or individuals that are determined to learn from the past, and educate people about the evils of baseless hatred, are noble people. Their efforts to improve our society and prevent another Holocaust are noteworthy, and valuable. This is not a contradiction to what I have said about our personal reckoning as Jews.
The introspection I referred to is between us and G-d, not between us and Nazis. Assimilation is the concern of all Jews, including the ones who remain observant. We are not permitted to become ostriches when it comes to our brothers. Despite the fact that I have great pride that my great-grandparents did not assimilate in Europe or in this tolerant country, I can not rest on my laurels. If I do not care that other Jews are assimilating, if I do not hurt for the potential they are dismissing, if I do not do my utmost to expose them to the beauty and truth of their heritage, then I am partially liable for their loss. At times I may identify the anti-Torah actions of my brothers and sisters. This is an issue of integrity: to protest when G-d's word is trampled, and to prevent others from being misled. But I am supposed to remember that they are my brothers and sisters, and to act toward them as such. And as any family member would, I should set a proper example by living in a way that shows the beauty of Torah, and always be willing to teach it. I should be concerned with their well being in all humanitarian areas. And I should leave the door open... and never stop hoping and praying that they find their way home.


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

When a person asks "why", and they really mean "It hurts too much to bear", an answer is not what they need at that time. First they need compassion.

That's really beautifully put, Guest OJ.

I don't really agree with the notion of the cause of bad stuff happening being the person to whom it happens. As a sceptic and a believer that God's approach is more hands-off, I'm personally convinced it's down to people's free will to choose good or evil. If we say that God decided to punish the Jewish community by having Moshe Finkel distribute non-kosher meat, surely that absolves Finkel from blame? He is then the agent of divine justice, after all. I know it's a simplistic argument, but I think that if God is intervening in this way then any notion of free will goes out the window. But I *can* well believe that God watches what goes on when we're pushed to our limits, and judges us on how well we deal with it. In that sense God is using pre-existing situations created by evil people to evaluate us. And this is also compatible with the secular morality of good people being the ones who don't break under pressure.

Sorry for drifting a bit off the topic there. :-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Paul Burke
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 06:22 AM

Don't ask questions like that, Grab. Why did the Jews get the blame for killing Jesus, and not the Romans (the answer might lie somewhere between market share and Constantine)? Whoever did it, it had to be done to save mankind, so they say, so why blame anyone? But the upshot was that the Jews got 2000 years of hell for it, and the Romans got the Pope.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 08:55 AM

GUEST,Orthodox Jewish Female Person,

I thank you sincerely for sharing your beliefs with a curious stranger.

I do not share your beliefs, but I truly respect them.

I also sincerely apologize for any discomfort my questions have caused you or any participant in this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Grose
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 11:10 AM

Grab - that too is dealt with in Judaism, where our choice ends. Maimonides says that "all is in the hands of G-d, except for matters of reverence of G-d" What that means is that G-d can decide to put me in Monsey, to put me in Auschwitz, etc., but what I will do in those places, whether or not I will heed His commandments in those places is in my realm of choice. I did not choose my hair color, my eye color, the family I was born to, etc. I decide what to do with these gifts that G-d gave me - whether to serve Him with those tools He gave me or not.
I don't know why folks think religion is based on belief and faith and not on reality. Reality is that in the fifth book of the Bible, G-d prophesized to our nation that we would be punished in the manner of the Holocaust. This prediction was cast way before, thousands of years before, the event ever happened. Coincidence that the punishment promised to our nation if we strayed came true? Spectacular made up stories by rabbis that somehow came about anyway? You can call that faith, but it is acually reality - a punishment was promised for thousands of year and guess what, it happened! I could go on and on for years on all the realities that make G-d a reality and not a faith or belief. However, most folks don't want to face that reality, because attached to that reality is a realization that if there is a Creator that demands of us proper behavior, we might have to deliver that behavior. You know the old joke about this? A man was trying to teach his son about Divine Supervision of indiviual lives. So he tells the kid, "son, a man goes to the top of the Eiffel tower and jumps down...and isn't hurt - what do you call that." and the kid answers, "chance." The father doesn't give up, he wants his kid to understand the concept of miracles, so he tries again, "son, the same man goes again to the top of the tower and jumps down and walks away unscathed - what do you call that." The son prompty replies, "coincidence." The father sighs and tries again, "son, same guy, same tower, same scenario, jump and nothing happens, what would you call that?!" The son shrugs and asks, "habit?" Everything can be shoved under the carpet in life just so we don't face our Maker. "nature" "coincidence" etc. Two places where you see the Hand of G-d obviously orchestrating this world is science and history. In both the reality of G-d is undeniable. Darwin once wrote to a friend that when he thinks of the eye he breaks out in sweat cuz that alone debunks his whole theory of evolution -the hundreds of minute connections that must line up exactly for someone to see. Incidentally, the numerical value of the Hebrew word for eye is identical to the amount of connections there are in the eye. The world G-d created is so precise, if we took time to study the precision, we would finally see reality of G-d.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 11:22 AM

Regarding beliefs about causality, I came to the conclusion a long time ago that there is a wide confusion about what G'd blesses, what He allows, and what He intervenes to stop. "He hasn't stopped my [insert behavior here], so I guess He must want me to do it."

My experience is that what He wants us to do, when we do it, He blesses outrageously and abundantly in ways we could not have foreseen or expected. He stops us when it's the only way to break through our thick, hard layer of denial such that we have stopped listening to Him entirely. In between those two approaches, He calls us to allow His transforming grace to carry us toward His vision for us. That doesn't mean He approves, or that He is punitive-- it means He lovingly stays close to invite us to think to pray, to reconsider.

There's also a lot of confusion around the term "repentance." To repent simply means, in the original language, to turn around. I think of it more as an "Ah-Hah!" moment than as an occasion for breast-beating or self-castigation: "I wanted to go THERE but instead I got myself HERE! I gotta go back to my wrong turn-- or cut through this forest to get back on my way!"

YMMV.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: robomatic
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 12:48 PM

OJFP:

Well written response! Not being as erudite as yourself, I phrase it as: "God is great, God is good, but God don't do 'nice'!"

Guest, Grose: You are repeating the fallacy (I'm sure there's a name for it, but I'm not sure what it is) of arguing that the future is predicted in ancient writings but only after that predicted event has occurred. I'm sure you can find anything has been predicted, so long as it has already occurred!

As for Darwin, I don't believe he ever indicated that the structure of the eye disproved his theory, and in fact it does not disprove his theory. Some discussion on your inaccurate reference can be found here. As for the numerology between 'eye' (what language) and your perception of what an eye 'connection' means, you can prove anything with that, too.

True science, not ersatz science, has been described by Einstein as an attempt to "understand the mind of God". Ersatz science is an attempt to justify an existing belief by bending interpretations and linguistic arts in the service of self-justification. This has been done all too often with Darwin and has been successfully lampooned in The Onion with faith-based gravitation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 12:59 PM

It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure." -- Albert Einstein


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 01:16 PM

robomatic: I checked out your link. All you are saying is that Darwin said it isn't reality, therefore it isn't. Darwin did not prove how to overcome this real problem of the eye having "fallen into place" correctly with all connections exactly the way it should be. It always amazes me how much more "faith" and "belief" folks have in Darwin, claiming that religion is "faith" and "belief".
G-d created bad just as He created good. He created bad as a tool for good. Bad does bad, but G-d uses bad for good. If you know a bit of painting, when they want to get the whitest colors in your house, they add a bit of black into the mix. Expensive perfume has a mix in it of a nasty smelling element. For the perfect world to have perfect good, G-d created bad. Bad is bad. But bad, used by G-d is for the good. and I'm glad you brought in Einstein, because if you do agree with his science as being "true" science (which in itself can engender a whole philosophy discussion as to true etc.) much of what Einstein discovered backs up religious realities, including the time is relative one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 01:26 PM

as for prophecies that we now prove is true retrospectively:
1. That is the only way to accurately and in a manner of science prove it. If it didn't happen yet, I can't prove to you that it is true. But if it did happen, and G-d had predicted it, I have "scientifically" sound proof.
2. There are other prophecies which have yet to come true. I can't prove that they will come true. That is belief. I believe they will come true, because to date, anything promised so far has happened. Therefore, if you want to debunk me when they come true and I say "aha, told you they'll come true" you can read them now so you know the prophecies were in place before the event occured and were clear prophecies, not embedded, encoded ones.
3. Just as with prophecies coming true, science ends up proving what we have been taught by G-d centuries ago. Therefore, where the two don't coincide I will stick to G-d's version, and wait until science catches up to the reality. An example of this would be the length of a lunar month, which had been the basis of the Jewish calendar for thousands of years - and which calculation has been proven true because NASA, with the new-fangled tech, has come up with the same exact figure. Hence, I have no problem where my religion and science don't jibe. I realize science is an "evolutionary" process and will someday catch up to our realities.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 02:17 PM

Apparently it turns out that this was not Finkel's first transgression. Last night in Synagogue I met a Rabbi who I have known for the past year and who has spent most of his carreer in the field of kosher supervision. He informed me that 7 years ago, Finkel tried to bring treifa meat in the form of beef tounges and chickens into Monsey's largest catering hall, The Atrium, on Route 59. The Atrium maintains its own separate kosher kitchen which all of the kosher caterers use and has its own Mashgiach to make sure that everything that comes in there is properly certified. All kosher meat has to bear a plumber (the "b" is pronounced unlike the English word) which is a metal identification tag that is attached at the meat packing plant by the supervising Rabbi. The Masgiach at the Atrium confronted Finkel when he did not see any plumbers attached to the tounges or chickens and Finkel responded that they fell off. Anyone who has ever seen one of these plumbers knows how securely it is attached. It has to be literally cut off with a knife. Needless to say the Masgiach did not buy Finkel's story and refused to let the meat in. He then proceeded to call up all the wholesale suppliers of Glatt Kosher meat (there are only about 5) and asked them if this was their shipment. All of them said, "absolutely not". He then called Rabbi Breslauer who is Finkel's supervising Rabbi and reported what had taken place. Finkel got away with just a slap on the wrist after promising Rabbi Breslauer that he would be a good boy from now on, and Rabbi Breslauer took him at his word. However from that day on, Finkel's meat was never again allowed into the Atrium at all.

                                                   SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: DMcG
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 03:03 PM

Guest, Grose: I put together a fairly long post in reply to yours and then decided it as all thread-drift, so deleted it. But you might want to look at the writings of the Biblical scholars in the 19th century and find out whether they thought the punishment that the fifth book of the Bible prophesied was something that had already happened or something that still had to happen. If they thought it was still to come, it would support your statement that the Bible predicted the Holocaust. If, on the other hand, they believed it had already happened then your "scientific proof" is suspect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: DMcG
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 03:16 PM

I forget to say this:

Sol, I am deeply sorry that you and your community have been exploited in this way. The actions of your supplier were undoubtedly both legally and morally wrong; the more so because they were carried out with a full appreciation of the religious significance of the fraud. I hope your community can organise some way of ensuring that both your own and other Jewish communities can be better protected from such deceit in the future.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 03:26 PM

DMcG: A very intelligent question. And the answer is that the rabbis in that era felt that some of the predictions came true in the times of the Romans, but that some of them still were to come true in the future. As I had explained before and as others had explained before, there were rabbis 200 years before the Holocaust who were commentators on these books and who explained that these curses were still to come - rabbis such as the Meshech Chachma. In fact, there are more predictions he made that still did not happen with the Holocaust, which means we are due for some more predictions to come true.
hope that answers the question with a resounding "yes the rabbis said it would come" prior to when it happened.


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

GUEST, Grose:

Your answer is totally understandable, if you want to maintain the tautology that predictions that have not yet come true are unproven and predictions that have come true are proven. In this way you can justify yourself but you haven't proven anything. In order for something to be truly scientifically 'true' there must be an accepted way to 'disprove' it. This is NOT the case with predictions, be they biblical or be they Nostradamus or some other high caste charlatan.

As for Darwin, thank you for following up on the link, but I think you may possibly have only read enough of the full quote as you agree with. Darwin was making the point that nature (or, if you wish, God acting through nature) has produced some astonishing products which it is hard to understand as developing through evolutionary means. But as our knowledge and our understanding increase over time, we may achieve that understanding that indeed in what we call primitive creatures, there are some cells that are sensitive to light, and over time these useful assemblies of cells become more and more complex. You make a common error when you use the phrase: the eye having "fallen into place" correctly with all connections exactly the way it should be. The Theory of Natural Selection is strictly about how nature works to change living creatures over time based on which survives and reproduces. There is no set destination, and indeed there are many 'eyes' that work that do not remotely resemble our eyes, for example, arthropod eyes. Similar arguments have been made over the development of bird wings, or for that matter, the chemical process of photosynthesis. But what can't be denied is the fact of evolution itself. There are critters from millions of years ago that aren't around now, and there are creatures around now, such as you and me, who weren't around ten million years ago. And there are obvious structural and behavioral similarities between families of creatures. And if God was doing the design work, why'd He do such a poor job with the appendix, conjoined and deformed babies, and the prostate?

Einstein came out with really neat ideas, a lot of which are still accepted, but he by no means answered all possible questions, and he made no progress with Quantum Theory, which is still accepted theory but doesn't dovetail with relativity. If it suits you to mix in your religious understanding with 'true' science, by all means, but it is no different than believing that numerology can tell you how to invest in the stock market or bet on the horses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 07:33 PM

The thread is surely getting long, but since my comments came up I think I need to respond:

Dee: Though you did not mention my comments I think you are being overly sensitive to a "non-situation". Most everybody has been respectful and questioning. Which, as I recall, is expected of us ---even to question Jaweh---God--if you will.

Rshmiel---great commentary. I laughed out loud at the great pun about "...passed over".   I always appreciate a good play on words.

Now to OJFP:   Are you suggesting anti-semitism on my part?   Hope not. I belong to the questioning and unconviced part of the tribe.   As I question all organized religion.

                Not to take this discussion too far off track---that would require another thread---people have beliefs and they should be respected.   That people have such belief and that it helps them through their "biological" life is a great comfort, I am sure.   Is it based on fact, logic, reality? That is a question for another thread and one that I am sure I am not capable of answering.

                As to Einstein--he was mentioned. He has always amazed me. Brilliant and honestly, it seems, subverted his genius to logic to some almighty being.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 08:24 PM

As this is an open forum, and having questioned this as "major tragedy" earier on in the thread, I note that Rabbi Sol is anticipating major suffering for Finkel in hereafter. Get a life.

Nobody died. Yes he was deceitful, and mislead people. But why the collective trauma? God will forgive any one who repents. No-one else has ever been at fault in the matter.

As a vegetarian, I deeply regret accidently stepping on snails, but shit happens.

The problem I have with the "major tragedy" aspect of it is that pots and pans can be replaced, hurt feelings can be got over. Loss of life cannot be replaced.

When God (or G-d, keying it in is the same),said though shalt not kill, that was what he exactly meant. The eleventh wasn't thou shall wash your pots and pans(or have collective angst, about the whole matter).


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,steve
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 08:28 PM

Sorry guest 8.24pm was me Steve, same guest of 8.9.06 at 8.05pm


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 08:41 PM

"God will forgive any one who repents"

Whose rule is that exactly?   Yours?   So what you are telling us is that you feel that god will forgive anyone and everyone should abide by that. Yet when someone has a different interpretation of the word, you have a problem with that. As I said earlier, isn't it a bit hypocritical to pass judgement on following rules while trying to instill rules of your own?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 08:56 PM

Guest,Steve - In the King James Bible God says, 'Thou shalt not kill'; in the original Hebrew He said, 'You will not murder'. Not exactly the same meaning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,steve
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 02:52 AM

Ron

As I previously stated, this is an open forum, and was instigated by someone who brought their own religious slant on to it, so I am perfectly within my right to give my own religious slant. I am not passing judgement, or being hypocritical (which I understand to be doing one thing, and saying another).

As a christian, I believe God will forgive everyone their sins, providing they are genuinely repentant, and in any case, it is my duty to forgive regardless, as I am not without sin myself and also subject to a higher judgement.

John

According to answers.com ,there are up to fourteen definitions for the word kill, one of which murder. Out of all of them, this is the only one which appears relevant to the context in which the revelation was given


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 07:24 AM

guest, Steve

You miss the point. In the Hebrew, the word is NOT "Kill" it is "murder". The definition of kill is not significant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 09:15 AM

You missed my point Steve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 04:18 PM

There were many charity fundraisers that were scheduled for this Sunday morning in Monsey which included breakfast. Now, because of the Fast Day decreed by the Rabbis they have all been rescheduled for the evening when people will once again be allowed to eat. There will also be a "Kinus Hisorerus", literally translated as an awakening assembly. People will gather in Monsey's largest synagogue to recite the Psalms and the 13 Attributes of Mercy. Our Rabbinnic leaders will exhort the crowd to undertake a sincere regimen of repentance for having eaten treif, albeit involuntarily, in the hope that no calamity will befall our community as a result of this truly tragic occurrance.
                                                 SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: robomatic
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 05:25 PM

Hazak Hazak v'yitnasekh!


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) kosher chicken crisis
From: GUEST,steve
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 06:26 PM

OK point missed. Late night, early morning . Sorry

It doesn't answer this "tragedy" I questioned.

In reply to Rabbi Sol's post of 4.18pm. Supernatural calamities don't befall communities because of the misdemeanors of individual members of the same community. That is superstition.

Otherwise you could say that the flooding which hit New Orleans was a result of the debauchery and rock and roll therein.

We are all sinners. It doesn't make us responsible for other people's sins. Otherwise the same logic would apply, that if someone from another community did you wrong, the whole of their community would bear personal responsibility.

Thats the very same mindset, which causes wars to happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: LilyFestre
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 06:37 PM

Rabbi Sol,

    Why the fundraisers? Are they related to this particular incident or maybe had they been planned way ahead of time for something else?

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 09:05 PM

No disrespect intended, but how can one "repent" of something one didn't know one was doing? Doesn't "repentance" require a commitment not to do that anymore? How can one commit not to do something one didn't know one was doing? I'm beginning to understand why dovening.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 11:02 PM

Steve, some probably did say that the devastation of New Orleans was God's punishment. Certainly in another era some prophet might have called for repentance and/or sacrifice. And even though we are now 'enlightened', maybe the hand God really was involved. This is not, I might add, my belief, but maybe....

Regarding your choice of definition of 'kill' at answer.com, had you been a bit more inquisitive you could have looked up 'murder'; you would have noted there is a definitional difference between them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 10:13 AM

John, Pat Robertson did indeed attribute Katrina to Divine Wrath.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: dianavan
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 02:39 PM

Forces of nature were responsible for Katrina and a criminal was responsible for the chickens.

Attributing it to sin is another way to control a group of innocent people. Its called victimizing the victim and is a highly effective way to absolve the responsibility of those directly involved.

Many others made it possible for Shevach to commit this crime and many others are responsible for the disaster of New Orleans. There is no way the victims should be held accountable to provide cover for those who are responsible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 04:58 PM

While I agree with you, dianavan, are we not disrepecting others' beliefs to say so? You & I may think Pat Robertson is an asshole (and that's a lot safer than thinking some rabbis in New York are assholes, isn't it?) but I have no doubt that he (and some significant number of his followers) believe sincerely that Katrina (and 9/11, and hosts of other nasty things) happened because god was pissed off. How can we disagree without disrespecting others' religious beliefs?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: dianavan
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 05:27 PM

I guess that depends on whether you believe in a loving and forgiving God or a wrathful and vengeful God.

Those that fear God are usually those that listen to his so-called representatives, not God.

If someone belongs to a religion that punishes innocent people, I have to admit, I don't respect the leaders. I do, however, respect the community and I don't think they should have to be the scapegoat. Furthermore, I don't think God has forsaken them and they shouldn't have to be afraid that he will.

So, the short answer is that I respect the religion but not the leaders of the religion and their so-called, scholarly advice.

God's rules can be interpreted in many ways. You can take it literally or metaphorically, ie: do not cook a kid in the milk of its mother. I think that's about husbandry not what happens in the kitchen.

It would be cruel to take a nursing animal away from its mother and kill it. Far better to butcher after the kid has been weaned. Maybe it doesn't taste as good but, after all, you are left with far less hormonal stress. Its for the good of the herd and for the greater good of the tribe.

...or you can interpret it to mean don't make goat stew with milk which is just lazy thinking and has nothing to do with following religious edict.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Sorcha
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 05:34 PM

Actually, even if there ARE sound scientific reasons for the Kashrut Laws, the REAL reason is that they beleive and follow them just because G-D SAID. That is all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: dianavan
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 05:40 PM

Its still open to interpretation.

You can believe dogmatically or you can interpret according to new information. If you get stuck on the interpretations of scholars thousands of years ago, you ignore the scholars of today. Thats a good indication that the religion is dying.

Ever notice how an apple tree produces an abundance of fruit before it dies?

I wouldn't like to see that happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,blank it.
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 08:08 PM

I been frum now for 10 years. I had it with the so-called frum boro park and other frum areas of brooklyn.

I never seen such, hypercrits in all my life. They act more seculer then jewish seclur people.


Yes, I am a BT.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 09:06 PM

The Sabbath has just ended here in Monsey. For those of you who do not know what the term BT that the last poster used means, it is short for Baal Teshuvah. A Baal Teshuvah is a Jew who has become observant (frum) later in life as opposesd to an FFB (frum from birth), someone who was born into an observant family and remains so.

In answer to Michelle, the charity events that I mentioned were scheduled months in advance and were not in any way related to the Treife meat crisis.

In addition to the fasting and prayers decreed for tomorrow, everyone is also required to give the summ of $18 (Chai) to an orthodox Jewish charity of their choice. This must be an entirely new donation and can not be taken from funds that were previous allocated for charity.

                                                SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 10:26 PM

Let us now try to deal with the problem that many of you have difficulty understanding. Why must the entire community atone for eating non-kosher meat if they did so involuntarily and unknowingly ?
In order to understand this we must analyze what caused Moshe Finkel to commit this crime against both, God, as well as his fellow Jews.

Moshe Finkel was not ignorant of the law. In fact, he was a very learned man in Torah and Talmud. He was the Baal Koreh (designated public Torah reader) in his synagogue for many years. He also taught the daf yomi which is the daily Talmud class every morning. He surely knew right from wrong and what the consequences of his actions would be. Why would he do something like this ?

The answer is MONEY. It was the pure greed for the almighty dollar bill that caused him to sin. And the community around him helped to foster an atmosphere that valued money above everything else. Those of you who have visited Monsey lately could not have helped but notice a lot of new construction. Many of these new houses are McMansions which are very ostentatious. People are selling houses in the Boro Park & Flatbush sections of Brooklyn for 2 million dollars and moving to Monsey. That kind of money goes very far up here and there are some tremendous houses being built, with everyone trying to outdo his neighbor. People are making elaborate weddings and bar mitzvahs just to show off. Even the charity donations in synagogue have been a contest to see who can donate the most. The Rabbis have been reluctant to talk out against this because they like all the money that is coming in to their institutions. However, in the process, the poor man is not only ignored, but often times embarrased as well, for not having the where-with-all to donate large amounts. This is the type of climate that gives rise to the type of sin Finkel committed. That is why the entire community must undergo a catharsis to purge them of these false values and there is no better time to do so than before the High Holidays when we will all be judged as to our fate for the coming year.
                                                SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 10:47 PM

Thank you, Rabbi.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: dianavan
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 11:09 PM

Rabbi Sol - Thanks for the explanation. I am not familiar with the area and didn't realize that the social climate was so elitist. If what you say is true, the community does need to change their ways and atone for creating such greed and corruption. Its a good reminder to those that think worldly wealth guarantees status.

Indeed, you make it sound like they deserve to be reminded to think about their lifestyle and how it effects others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 07:59 PM

Rabbi Sol: A very interesting analysis of the situation and the reasoning behind the acts of the butcher and also the community.

            If you are correct, and I have no reason to think you are not, living in the same county as I do, it leads me to some thoughts and observations about human nature and religiosity.

            Sad to say that greed may well be a prominent characteristic of the human condition.   Since true believers of some faiths believe that god created man to have free will then, I suppose, if he also created man in his image we can expect then that diety has those same characteristics.

            It seems that this is a characteristic in all faiths.   Judeo Christian ethic is what I am referring to above. Moslems also have--in my opinion--that failing. Think of this. Interest is not allowed in their faith. But they circumvent it with an arrangement (I do not know the proper term) so that money can be garnered by lenders for a handsome profit. Not unlike the folks in Bklyn buying McMansions in Monsey. Ah---a simple abode to worship the almighty and give thanks for such blessings.

             So what are we to make of all this---chickens aside?   I don't want to spell out what my feelings are since I will be accused of religion-baiting (for want of a better term).   Perhaps the best thing to make of all this is to appreciate the culture various religious and ethnic people have given us and try to live an ethical---and dare I add---cultured--life and hope that we live with our fellow humans in harmony.   

No Easter Bonnets, no fancy clothes on the high holy days, no mansions on various hills to impress our fellow humans, because all of the above are supposed to be repugnant to whatever diety you worship.

You may or may not enjoy the humor of Larry David and Curb Your Enthusiasm. But, he does make a point at times and the one I appreciated from his 5th season was him wanting to attend Shul---no tickets available. He goes to a scalper at the door and pays $600---only to be thrown out later because of arguing with a fellow congregant. You can translate that to any organized religion, I believe.


Bill Hahn ( who's entry into the kingdom of heaven is not guaranteed---only a final end)


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,quimby
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 08:42 AM

Sol, I thought you were in charter bus sales!

Too bad these folks were victims of fraud but anyone who would throw out a set of limoges because some non-kosher chicken grease got on a few dinner plates, needs their head examined!


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 01:33 PM

I am in charter bus sales. That is my profession. But in my private life I am a member of the Monsey orthodox Jewish community and involved in everything that goes on there. There is no law that says that a Rabbi can not make a living by having another job. One who has a Rabbinnical ordination does not necessarily have to be a practicing clergyman to the exclusion of anything else. If non-chicken grease got on a few dinner plates you do not have to throw out the entire set; only those few dishes that came in contact with the treif substance must be discarded.
                                                SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 01:43 PM

Bill,
       Athough man is created in the image of God, the converse is not necessarily true. Man is not perfect. God is perfect and does not have all the faults and failings that humans have.

Wealth in and of itself is not necessarily an evil thing. It is only when it becomes the primary focus in ones life to the detriment of all other things and values that are far more important does it become evil. Moshe Finkel's deed is a perfect example of this.

                                              SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 02:06 PM

After wading through this thread, I can't see what purpose it could possibly serve. Certainly, one can sympathize with the Monsey Congregation's problems; empathy is more difficult. I one is an unbeliever, the problem is nonsensical; if one believes it's a serious one.
    And I doubt that any number of postings will convert anyone to Orthodox Judaism, nor convert devout Jews to secular mechanism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Donuel
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 02:30 PM

Song from the late fifties:

I told the rabbi that the chicken here was traif
bum bum bum boom
I told the rabbi that the chicken here was traif

He said the grocery store' a sickening disgrace

OO E OO ah ah wing wang walla walla bing bang
OO E OO ah ah wing wang bum bum walla walla bing bang


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 04:26 PM

dick,

I found this thread to be quite informative, especially after I asked my questions.

Since I share the world with believers, I personally find it useful to know what they believe, whether I accept such beliefs or not.

If I disagreed with any of the beliefs expressed in this thread, this thread would be the last place I'd debate the issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 05:29 PM

Athough man is created in the image of God, the converse is not necessarily true. Man is not perfect. God is perfect and does not have all the faults and failings that humans have.

SOL ZELLER
------------------------------------------------------------
SOL:   Not sure of the term used in Talmudic discussion---pil/pul (something like that)---the above writing is an example of that in response to my comments in making this a discussion.


       My feeling is that one cannot have it both ways. If one believes that man is created in the image of God, then, it follows he has all the characteristics of that diety. Logic then leads us to the matter of how God can be perfect and man is not. The image in the mirror is the same as what it reflects---warts and all.

       True, about wealth. As everythng else in life wealth or any other attribute by itself is not a detriment. Only how one uses it or thinks of it.


Bill H


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 06:42 PM

Bill, strictly from a debaters standpoint, your assertion is not true. Man can be created in the image of God without having the same characteristics. If I followed your logic, then I could have a skilled artisan create the image of, say, Kate Hepburn in her prime and it would have all the characteristics of the formidable Miss Hepburn. I could create the image of a 1956 Corvette and it would have all the performance characteristics of the real deal.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 07:17 PM

Mick: Exactly correct. The Corvette would act like a Corvette and Kate H.---would be in her prime (wish I knew her then--or ever---you picked my favorite actor ---physically and talentwise). As to God--well, if he is as believe perfect and not subject to error then his creation would be a perfect image of him. You really have to be a true believer to believe that. And, of course, all the faiths claim that same thing. Now we have to try to explain the different actions of all these faiths that say God created man---and by inference---THEM.

    I am getting a big kick out of the Pope. Supposedly, infallible. Yet a human being. Now apologizing for remarks that, I am sure, he actually believes or he would not have quoted this ancient writing.   

    Which just goes to show the fallacy--or hypocrisy of the faiths. The Christians had Crusades and, the Pope says, the Moslems were "murderers". As to the Jews--well, its all their fault. Ask the Inquisitors, Adolf, etc;   

    So--who's image is man created in?   A chameleon sounds more like it.


BH


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 07:30 PM

The pope is only considered infallible when pronouncing ex cathedra (
"from the throne (of Peter)") on matters of faith & morals. Nothing else. And he sorta has to say up front "infallible pronouncement coming, heads up..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 07:40 PM

Bill, if I take a photograph of you it is certainly your image, captured, but can your photo sing, go to work for you, and drive a car? Or say you have a child and people say he's "the spitting image" of your great granddad. Does that mean he'll BE your granddad? I think that is the point Mick is trying to make about the distinction between an original and its image. An image is not a clone, and even a clone is not the same person unless you can aslo clone their every life experience.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 07:42 PM

Bill, we may not agree on some things, but I think Kate Hepburn is the ultimate actor. And what a woman. Just as attractive in her elder years as she was in her youth.

I don't understand how you think agreeing with me proves your point on God. I am saying it is possible to create something in the image of another thing without it having the same characterics. Therefore it is entirely possible for man to have been created in the image of God without him having the same characteristics as God.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 08:56 PM

Well, Mick---I guess that is where we differ. If God is infallible and creates in his or her image one has to assume it is also perfect and infallible. That would be so by definition. Mirrors can distort and God--if one truly believes---cannot.

Oh well---Kate Hepburn---better thing to think of. I interviewed the author of a bio of her---and a friend of hers. Some of the personal stories are just great---she was what she seemed---feisty, honest, and as we both think---gorgeous. You might want to read his bio of her---he really brings her to life again. The story of her thoughts on Warren Beaty are unbeatable---and she gave those at age 90.l

Bill


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 11:28 PM

Bill,
       Think of designer clothes being counterfieted in China. It may look the same as the original but the quality of the craftsman- ship is not the same. Ditto for a broadcast quality studio made CD vs. an illegal copy on a cheap computer. In the same image ? Yes. Perfection ? Definitely not. And remember, God can do whatever he wants. He does not always have to produce the expensive model. He can opt for the cheaper quality version if he so desires.

                                                 SOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 11:51 PM

Pil/Pul (?)   Human knockoffs of designer clothes or DVDs are not akin to God's creations. If so---then he or she is fallable. The infallible God would create his image as it is---perfect. Why would a "perfect" God create and imperfect image?

I think we cannot change our beliefs---or lack of them.   So, the discussion goes on and on and on leading nowhere. Except to Kate Hepburn---I like that part.

Now if she is created in God's image I'll go for that.   

I have a new slogan---WWGS. You all have heard of WWJD---well, WWGS is more to my liking----What Would Groucho Say?

Bill H


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 12:18 AM

Bill,
      Some human beings are created with birth defects or Downs Syndrome. They are no less precious or no less loved than the rest of us, but you would not say that they are perfect creations. They are created by God for reasons known only to him and we can only try to guess why. There is no ironclad rule that God is obligated to create perfection each and every time as you seem to imply. He is the boss and does as he pleases.
                                                   SOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Little Brother
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 12:34 AM

As a member of the Monsey community I fasted yesterday. Guess what I broke my fast on. Yes, chicken.

LB


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 02:44 PM

Sol: I think you have resolved any reservations I might have had in your note above re: God's creation of imperfect and/or deformed individuals.   It would take a faith I do not have to truly believe in such things.

    That said, I add that I respect people who can have such faith and I also think such things might help them through hard times.

    Bill H


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 03:52 PM

I heard he killed himself?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 04:44 PM

SOL Says: "Some human beings are created with birth defects or Downs Syndrome. They are no less precious or no less loved than the rest of us, but you would not say that they are perfect creations. They are created by God for reasons known only to him and we can only try to guess why. There is no ironclad rule that God is obligated to create perfection each and every time as you seem to imply. He is the boss and does as he pleases."

Rabbi, I have apologized for any ridicule perceived from my early posts to this thread, but that statement above of yours is over the top. If I believed in a God of any sort it would have to be one of imperfection, compassion, and forgiveness, not some character that comes off like Henry Ford.

Your God created my son for reasons of his own and neither my son nor I nor his mother are supposed to know why? He created this imperfect human so he would have more trouble getting through life than others (but less than some of his classmates)? And that's okay huh? He's "The Boss" and he knows all AND keeps it a secret!

Say what?

Once again, I'd prefer to be having this discussion face to face but at this point.............gimmee peace.........no, not you Bruce......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 07:54 PM

200


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 09:08 PM

Not quite spaw. Take a good look around and you will find that shit in this world is not evenly distributed. What you will find is that those who come through life pretty well untroubled are often the biggest shits and those that seem to get shit heaped on them by the ton are often the people you feel least deserve it.

It's a game God allows the devil to play and it doesn't take too much working out which people the devil is most interested in (they are not the ones already in his pockets).

I'm afraid knowing all this will offer no consoltation and may (if you get past screaming out what the devil would like you to say and will try to put in your mind, "this is a load of shit") wind up with you saying "but God, I (or your son) don't want to be an effing saint, please just leave me alone and give me a fair deal" but that will do no good. Your stuck in the game and all you will get given is the strength to get through.

I'm not claiming to like it or suggesting anyone should but that, I'm afraid. is how life works.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 09:38 PM

You are all assuming that there is a greater being. If you assume that then you have to live with these incongruities and try to explain them away. The people--before Monotheism--had the same beliefs. Seems beliefs change as the tides change---just more slowly.

Perhaps it is best to realize we know not what happens once we go and also what makes us what we are.

The more I read here the more I am believing that science and genetics and evolution are the answer to these questions---all else being superstion.   Albeit, superstion and faith that helps people through their lives. I envy them. Would I had such faith that it would make me feel a reason for it all.

So--Kosher Chickens, Ridding oneself of dishes, scrubbing eternally, etc; surely helps a believer and makes me just say---(Yiddish) Narishkeit.   I respect their doing it but cannot empathize in any way other than hoping for a succsesfull conclusion to the prosecution of the perpetrator of the fraud---the butcher. The Jewish version of the Sopranos. Though more a hypocrite than they.

Bill H


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 09:39 PM

If there was no greater being the distribution of shit would not be as selective as it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 10:02 PM

First off, God is a Puerto Rican Lesbian, in case you fellas weren't aware. Second, SHE is not all that powerful and has very little to say about what natural selection does with the gene pool. SHE is a very nice person, however and hopes for the best for all of us! There is no such thing as the devil...just bad people...

All you men who believe that God is a white, all powerful male fighting the devil like Superman and Lex Luthor... are just living in a comic book fantasy world! Why anyone would buy "Sol's" version (or Steve Shapiro's version of God for that matter,) is beyond me.

I get really chuffed when some dude tries to lay that all powerful white male shit about God, on me....

guess who, catspew?


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

The trouble is that when you look closely at the distribution of shit, you find it is not limited to things that can be explained by the gene pool or genetics.

As for the devil, get real. In the main, the last thing the devil wants people to believe is that he exists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 10:12 PM

Spaw, I don't have an answer on that one at the moment, but I feel for ya. Hope that's OK witcha.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,WYTHE PARADISE
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:30 AM

Breaking News: Williamsburg catering hall "WYTHE PARADISE" caught with questionable meat.

Rabbi Shmiel Berger the Rav Hamachshir of several catering halls and many establishments in Williamsburg (including the famous "CONTINENTAL" weddding hall) took off his hashgacha from the catering hall "WYTHE PARADISE" located at 712 Wythe Ave. after confronting the owner who couldn't provide matching Invoices against the Meats that was used in the establishment, the owner MR. LEZER KESTENBAUM of Williamsburg and his Manager MR. KALMEN WEISS where questioned by the rabbi when the number of poundage of meats that were consumed by the facility didn't match invoices, when the owner MR. LEZER KESTENBAUM threatened the rabbi with threat's and mafia tactics if the rabbi will disclose it publicly, the rabbi convened an emergency meeting with the expert rabbanim of the Monsey Shevach scandal and the Rabbanim of the CRC where it was decided that Rabbi Berger must immeadiatly cease his hechsher from the establishment and notify the public, a public letter has been posted all over Williamsburg declaring the rabbanim's decision, and over 60 schuedled simchas have been cancelled already, MR. LEZER KESTENBAUM who is a well known "G'VAR ALIM" who was also indicted for defrauding the Proctor & Gamble Company with millions of dollars supposedly told the rabbi that he will finish him off like he did with other's if this becomes public, we congratulate Rabbi Berger for not getting scared off by mafia tactics and acting according to the rules of halacha.

Posted by: WHYTHE PARADISE / WILLIAMSBURG | September 19, 2006 at 10:04 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 11:44 AM

Hi there, Bill Hahn,
some interesting insights, some interesting questions, but not quite adding up as logically as you want to live life by logic. Dr. Dale Gottlieb, who once was an Ivy League physics professor, explains something you must know. You say it is doubtful whether my way or your way is truthful. There might be an afterlife, there might not be. 50-50 chance. Being a reasonable person, I would have to say this: supposing I'm wrong and there is no after-life - what did I lose by living my life according to the most amazing set of laws that we have and learning to self-discpline and self-control based on these laws. If however, I'm right and you're wrong, you have much to lose by not living by those laws. Therefore, no one ever lost by living life according to the dictates of the G-d given laws, because if we are right, we lived life right and get our reward - and if we're wrong we still lived life, albeit with some restrictions and guidance, but with no harm. Ergo, a prudent person might decide to live a life guided by the belief of after-life, just to keep his after-life safe if there is that 50% chance that it exists.
Having said that, let me reassure you that I know it to be 100% true, but that I can't convince you of that 100%, so am taking the high road with keeping it 50-50 in this discussion. ;)
As for those who complain that the good things happen to the bad folks, etc. You were born in the midst of things and die in the midst of things. You cannot see from one end of the world to another, nor can you see from the beginning of time until the end of time. You see only one small slice of a play and think you can make a judgment call about the entire work of art. Only when you sit through the whole screening can you really grasp what is going on. Until we get to the next world, we won't be able to say "aha" because it is only then you will be allowed the full screening and you will see that life is extremely fair. However, I noticed that if you start paying attention, you can see glimpses every now and then.
As for the image of G-d concept, that is what is problematic with taking a Bible concept out of context. We are asked when we learn, "what does it mean that man is created in G-d's image" and the answer, folks, is not that we are mirror images of G-d (it doesn't say that - to bolster the rabbi's insight, the word used is B'Tzelem, which does not mean a mirror image - it means a statue- but I digress so back to what does image of G-d mean). Image of G-d means that we are given free choice, just as G-d has free choice. That is the whole of it. We can choose bad. We can chose good. Just as G-d can do the same.
Being the aunt of a darling Downe-Syndrome child, I take offense that folks think they are a mess-up, an error, so to speak, a bad thing. My sister knew she was carrying a Downe-Syndrome child during her pregnancy and was a high risk patient because of blood-clotting issues. She could have gone about her day and the fetus would have been aborted. However, my sister realized that human definition of perfect is imperfect, so she made sure to have that be a viable pregnancy, being bed-bound for most of it. When her daughter was born, she named her Basya, which means daugther of G-d. Yes, she is different than other children, but what makes her less than perfect. She is created the way she needed to be created for the role she needs to play. Each instrument in a band brings its own unique tone to the music. Each person is a different instrument in the music of the world. No one should think a drum imperfect because it appears to our judgmental eyes "less sophisticated" "less perfect" than the highly-polished, intricately strung, highly-sensitive guitar. They are just different instruments, just as I am just as imperfect or perfect as my darling niece.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:00 PM

grose, that's a dumbed-down version of Pascal's wager with more holes in it than an old bucket.
(1) When there are two alternatives the probabilities don't have to be fifty-fifty. Like: During the next year, there will either be a war between Canada and the USA or there won't. Therefore, there is a 50% probability of a war. Silly.
(2) There are many religions and sects, so if you follow the rules of one sect or religion, chances are that the real God may tell you after your death that you should have followed the rules of the....to gain eternal life.
(3) Many religions portray their God as benign. There are chances that a benign God may accept all good people near him whether they have followed a specific set of rules or not. (I grin to myself as I picture an orthodox Jew debating with God after his death why all those non-Kosher eaters have been admitted to heaven as well and God telling him that he didn't actually care about the rules but about leading a good life)
(4) An omniscient God would know if the rules are only obeyed with an eye to the afterlife and therefore would punish those who have followed the rules for that reason alone.

These are just some of the many arguments against Pascal's wager.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:12 PM

wolfgang: as I had said in my last post, i know G-d to be 100%, as well as the afterlife. I give you the 50-50 to be "fair" to the convoluted views that G-d does not exist. Just because you don't believe in Him doesn't make him not exist, hence as per my outlook there is 100-0. Yet, to have debate, we must keep an open mind, so I put it at 50-50.
I would not be surprised to find non-kosher meat eaters near G-d. In fact, Jews believe non-Jews have a chance at eternal life by being good people and not based on kosher/non-kosher meat eating. However, it is not just about reward and punishment, religion. It is much more weighty than that. I was just discussing afterlife with Bill because he brought it up. And that is just one part of the discussion - the more serious part is this: I bought a camera, a fairly complicated one. I want to use it to the fullest use. I start playing around with it to get it to take pictures. Somehow I get it to do some of what it can do - but never get it to do all that it can do...until one day I realize, guess what the manufacturer who made it knows how to work this dang thing. So I finally pull out the owner's manual and read it. Wouldn't you know, I now know how to optimize using this thing. We understand this with everything in life, even to our scientific minds, we understand that there are rules that maximize and optimize usage of our bodies, our brains, our machinery. How about life itself, Wolfgang, don't you think something so complicated as life comes with a manual on how to get the most of it? That is our vision of what G-d given rules are, the owner's manual to the world.
And yes, that is also open to discussion, which way is right, which fork in the road of religion to take -- and there are multiple ways of ascertaining which way to go. but that is not for the here and now. (just don't wait until the afterhere - figure it out some place in between those two point of time ;))


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:43 PM

"you think something so complicated as life comes with a manual on how to get the most of it? That is our vision of what G-d given rules are, the owner's manual to the world."

Oh my god, I hope not!   As far as I can tell, all these books of scripture were written by human beings - none of whom were perfect.   

I would like to think that if there is a god, he or she would not be so confusing if he or she wanted to give us rules to follow. All this interpretation and misinterpretation has led to wars and strife.

I would hope that individuals find their own individual paths, and follow whatever set of rules they choose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:53 PM

as Wolfgang says, Pascal's Wager (the notion that the 'safe' bet is to believe) has many problems. Pascal offers only 4 combinations of possibilities, saying that you risk a lot if you don't believe.....but there are many, many possible variations on how a god might work, if there, in fact, is one. So many people believe in so many variations of a Supreme Being, that being sure YOU have the right one is a tricky matter.

He might have a strange sense of humor, or he might not have even looked at this universe after 'creation', and just doesn't care. The idea that he concerns himself with "every fallen sparrow" ....or, as discussed, kids with birth defects, *IS* a highly debatable issue.

Saying that "They are created by God for reasons known only to him and we can only try to guess why." is really troubling for some of us.....a Creator who is that capricious with no explanation just leads to subjective speculation, and eventual integration of those speculations into various religious doctrines!!
   Some tell us it is a 'test', some say it is 'punishment'...some refuse to guess, but still accept.

I do know that when a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door and got pretty stubborn about reading me scripture to 'prove' their points, I finally startled them by saying that IF they were right about what Heaven was like, I didn't care to spend eternity in a place run with those rules by such a capricious God!.....I think they soon decided I was not likely to.

I do not KNOW what the 'truth' really is.....all I can do is respect others right to believe and act as they see fit, as long as it really doesn't directly affect me.....and if Jews feel the need to eat certain things and avoid others, that usually does NOT affect me. It confuses me, but no Rabbis have been knocking at my door telling me pork is bad, or that *I* should clean my dishes in a certain way.

I do have difficulties deciding what to comment on in public forums like this where generalized opinions about truth and morals and behavior and beliefs are posted.....I try to reserve comments to cases where it seems someone is suggesting that THEIR beliefs apply to ME.

Thus, this post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 01:37 PM

To Guest Wythe Paradise,

             Apparently Mr. Lezer Kestenbaum has 2 silent partners, Smith & Wesson. There has long been a history or organized crime involvement with the kosher meat industry. You will remember that when the late Rabbi Shulem Rubin was the Commissioner of kosher enforcement for New York State, he was threatened and even physicaly beaten up for taking on Hebrew National when he discovered improprieties with their kashrus. Apparently when they had to "answer
to a higher authority" it was to the godfather rather than to our father in heaven. There have also recently been rumors that Moshe Finkel may have been involved with some partners as well. Their names ended in a vowel and it was not Shapiro.

                                             SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 01:41 PM

Pontification Alert!

Two kinds of faith
Faith because of
Faith in spite of

The former is the easy one

The latter is the hard one
Keeping the faith in spite of all appearances to the contrary; in spite of all the evidence that you are 100% wrong.
That's the real thing.

That's why it is called "faith" rather than "common sense."


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 02:33 PM

ron-
its just as confusing as we make it. science can be just as confusing. why would you think it was written by human beings? that is again a mistaken view. (or shall we go back to the 50-50 chances). there are proofs that no human being could have written it. as for wars starting because of religion, that is one of the most widely quoted lies. c'mon attila the hun was into religion? hitler? chinese domination of other lands is based on religion? japan was religious when they bombed pearl harbor? power is usually the motivating forces, thought there have been too, too many wars started because of religion too. however, to blame world strife on religion alone is to ignore the fact that folks, unhappy with their own small backyard, are apt to find ANY reason to go blasting someone else's home apart. 'tis not religion. and many times, what seems to be religion is really other reasons, such as the Crusades, where those recruited to fight were promised financial incentives to go to war - most of that war was economic in nature, giving the peasants and serfs a way out of their class system


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 03:03 PM

"its just as confusing as we make it. science can be just as confusing. why would you think it was written by human beings? that is again a mistaken view. (or shall we go back to the 50-50 chances). there are proofs that no human being could have written it. "

I would be curious as to the proofs that you are speaking of.

"for wars starting because of religion, that is one of the most widely quoted lies. c'mon attila the hun was into religion? hitler? "

Hold on there, I never claimed that the cause of war or strife was strictly related to religion. Your points are taken, but then there are examples of how religion played in an important role in other strifes - such as the current mideast crisis, the situation in Northern Ireland, and lets not forget the Crusades. Religion was a factor in these and other issues. The problem comes when you have factions that interpret the rules in unique ways.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 03:39 PM

ron - i'll just refer quickly back to something i said early on in this thread - of the fact that before the jewish people even got into the land of Israel and settled it, the prophecies of the kick-out from that land was prophesied. pretty heavy a prophecy for folks to make up - and dangerous too, because if you give that prophecy and it doesn't come true, folks won't "buy into your religion" IF you were a human being making up these scriptures. However, humans didn't write it G-d did and therefore G-d was able to promise that we would be kicked out, which we were. There are, throughout the scriptures promises and prophecies that "happened" to come true. Not the encoded ones. Plainly written ones, able to be interpreted in only one way - at its face value.
if you and i were to decide on this thread to make up some sort of religion, we would have to come up with a "revelation". Now you and I might come up with some story that both of us get down pat and share it with others. So say, for discussion's sake, that we decide that on this BS: Monsey thread, live chickens came scooting out of our computer and pecked us on our nose, we can work out the details and start selling it to people and tell people that the chickens told us to spread world peace, etc. However, if we ask that everyone who even glances at this thread verify the story, it becomes more problematic, because we then have to make sure that a wider range of folks will say the same story about how many chickens pecked and how they clucked to us. Now, if you are saying that three million folks saw and said the same thing, it gets quite complicated to say it was something that human beings wrote and got folks to believe. Revelation at Mt. Sinai had millions of folks. That is why all the major religions concur it happened. Moslem, Christain, Jews and many others believe it happened. Why such strong belief among folks who often don't agree? cuz it is hard to argue the fact that millions of folks say it happened, that they were there and concur on what they saw and what they heard. Kinda like Holocaust denial. I, for one, know the Holocaust happened because my parents, and hundreds of folks who I spoke to, went through it and concur on the details, on the event, on the fact that it happened.
There are other things (we can do this all day) such as that in the Scriptures it lists the animals that have cloven hooves and don't chew their cud and vice versa. Remember, this was supposedly made up by humans before the flourishing of science and internet access to encyclopediac knowledge. Since the scriptures were written, there has never been found an animal, not even in the wilds of the Amazon, that has cloven hooves and doesn't chew its cud or vice versa that is NOT on the list that is in scriptures. So the human beings who "wrote" the scriptures must be great zooligist and must have traveled far and wide to know that their list would never be able to be refuted.
and on and on...we can do this for day...
ah, but religion demands of us...and that we are scared of...so we find every way to wiggle out of having to see the truth.
my father always says, those who say they don't believe are like those in new york who walk out of their homes to their parked car and see a ticket. Automatic reaction "I don't believe it" with a slap to their forehead. Do they not "believe" they got the ticket, as they stand there with the offending paper in their hand? They believe -they just don't want to deal with the fine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 05:29 PM

Guest, Grose; Thank you for your insightful and courteous comments. Much appreciated but, as you say, I guess I am not convinced.   I won't comment on the rest of your truly moving note but only to the part you addressed to me---and I will do it briefly by, basically, asking a question.

                  When I was very young and went to summer camp I attended the Ethical Culture Camp—non proselytizing and non sectarian.   I think it was the most formative life experience I can recall. Which brings me to my question: Your comments about the 50/50 chances of after life or none (by the way I never spoke of that originally) are perfectly correct. Why then not live life in the Ethical (and cultured, as a bonus) way without worrying of a hereafter?   Our free choice allows us to do that without a fear of a bad afterlife. Or even thinking there is one.

                   I get 50/50 with you as well since I am sure I won't be doing much convincing—but, surely appreciate you comments and insights.


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 05:41 PM

Grose, a very good explanation - but it still requires us to make the assumption that it was god that spoke at Mt. Sinai. Could it have been explained another way? Was it god that speaking to 3 million people? A natural phenomenon which has been described as such? Perhap a UFO? Did it happen at all?   There is no "fact" that can prove this. It requires us to have faith in whatever belief system.

The zoology reference only proves that no such animals have been found - it doesn't meant that they do not exist, or ever existed.

Also, it does not necessarily mean that we are "afraid" of accepting god because we question. Questioning and searching are far different from fear and "wiggling".


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 10:37 PM

Some events that took place on 9/11 made believers out of people. One orthodox Jewish man who lived in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn went to work early that morning. His office wast in the World Trade Center on the 95th floor. His wife went out into the back yard to do some chores and accidentaly locked herself out of the house. She called her husband on her cell phone and asked him to come home. He replied that if she went around to the front of the house, he had a key concealed under a flower pot. However, she was not wearing her sheitel (wig) and did not have a kerchief with her. She refused to go around to the front of the house because she was afraid that someone would see her with her hair uncovered (a no no for a married Orthodox woman). She absolutely insisted that her husband close his office and come home immediately to rescue her from her predicament. He reluctantly complied and 20 minutes after he left his office the first plane hit the WTC right near his office. He would have been killed if not for the merit of his wife observing the Jewish laws of modesty. This was definitely the work of divine providence and not a mere coincidence.
                                                 SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 11:22 PM

.....too bad divine providence didn't have a solution for 2900 other poor souls, some of whom might have been nice, worthy believers..of various faiths..... I'm sorry Sol, but that kind of rationalization after the fact to.....to.....I can't think of the words. I just think that believing something like that is very close to an insult to those who had no 'phone calls of salvation'...some of whom died while talking on the phone to loved ones.

I'm glad the man was spared....I'm sorry G-d didn't tell him to warn others as he left.......


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,LJ
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 01:30 AM

Belief cannot be proven. There's always wiggle room or a way out. If a lightning bolt hit a non-believer as they did something bad and was followed by a heavenly voice of chastisement, he can explained it away as UFO-caused, mother-in-law caused etc.

I once pointed out to an atheist that statisticians have estimated the likelihood of our enormously complex world's existence as 1 chance in 10 billion(?)

His response was "yeah but there's still a chance"

It is BECAUSE G-d's existence cannot be proven that believers will receive reward.

When everyone finally becomes aware of HIS existence, its too late.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Paul Burke
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 05:23 AM

That "miracle" reminds me of the bombing of London in World War II. Although bombs fell all round St. Paul's, the church itself was almost completely unscathed. Some saw this as a miracle. Others suggested that a far more impressive, and useful, miracle would have been to let ALL the bombs fall on St. Paul's, and leave unscathed the thousands of homes and people destroyed by the Blitz.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 09:28 AM

Bill - the problem with your suggestion is manifold. The most obvious: Who is to arbitrate and decide what is ethical and cultural. Even in my lifespan (and yah, i'm not a youngster, but i ain't an old 'un yet either) ethics and culture have changed vastly. From culture to culture values are different. Therefore, you might say that your ethical camp had the right ethics, but Hitler believed he had the best one. The example used often when discussing this is if you were a British officer in India way back when and watched a widow get burned on the funeral pyre of her dead husband, would it be right to step in and stop it or not? Ethically there, at that time, it was considered unethical not to burn her. Is there one universal truth? Who decides it - your ethical camp? That woman who was disconnected from life support would be our generation's example - everyone's opinion on whether or not it was ethical was different. Therefore, ethics are extremely subjective. Life is too much of a serious matter to try to meander our way figuring out what the objective ethical rights are - when we can just seek out the answers that were given to us. I'd rather go by G-d given rules, than ones made up in chatrooms and web threads.
As for those out there having trouble with "G-d didn't save everyone" with miracles, there is a famous story of King Solomon. He had a dream that two of his employees would die. He sent them away, hoping they would escape their fate - yet they died where he sent them. The next night he had a dream and was told that they were supposed to die in exactly that spot, and he had facilitated their death by sending them there. In other words, yah, we hate death with a passion. Guess what, folks, hate to break it to you - "we are all of us, in the midst of our lives, dying." Death is part of the world. Where we die, how we die...all that is part of Providence, not just those who were spared. Therefore, if you look closely, you will see how exactly coordinated life is, even when folks die. The man who stepped aside and let a lady on an escalator before him watched her fall and die. She was supposed to be on the faulty step, not him. Sometimes, when it comes to miracles that relate to folk's lives being saved, they got an additional extension of their time, postpone the inevitable just a bit more to accomplish a bit more in this world.    In fact, many sages advocate "linkeages" to be able to merit more life extensions. What does that mean? Every person who dies leaves a void in many lives. Therefore, when a person is decreed to die, all the emotions and feelings of those around him/her will be taken into account before his death to see if it will cause too much pain and void in the world at that point. There was a rabbi on the lower east side of manhattan who prescribed to this - to the extent that he would go every week to some lonely widow and scrub her floor on hands and knees saying "who needs who - maybe the fact that she needs me is keeping me alive." He knew whereof he spoke, because when she died, he followed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 10:06 AM

I'm sorry Grose, but your stories force us to make an assumption that there is a god whose hand is playing all the cards.   While that could very well be the truth, there is still very little to prove it to those who are still asking questions.   While it is comforting to have faith and put your trust in a god, the stories that you and Rabbi Sol make assumptions and could be construed as Monday morning quarterbacking. To assume that everything happens because of providence requires a leap of faith - not reason or truth.

Again, I admire those who fully accept that there is a god and guide their lives by a set of rules. I am not questioning anyones beliefs or lifestyle. I also don't fault anyone who questions the existence of a higher being or is looking for answers. The bottom line is - no one knows for sure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grosen
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 10:08 AM

ron - prove to me that there is no G-d. I offered proof that there is - you still have not given one iota of proof to say the opposite, just that you can't take that leap of faith. However, it is a huger leap of faith to believe an intricate world created itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 10:28 AM

"prove to me that there is no G-d."

I readily admit that I cannot prove there is no god.


"I offered proof that there is "

I'm afraid you really have not. You gave stories but not one iota of proof. As you point out, your stories require a leap of faith in order to accept it as truth. Taking a leap of faith does not make it so. For many of us, truth requires more.

As a reporter, you always try to confirm facts. One persons story is not necessarily the truth. Often you will find several stories.   We may never actually know the "real" truth but we can always search and question.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 10:35 AM

ron -
if i hear a tune you played, what makes me think someone composed it and played it. Cuz it is quite obvious that I don't have to prove there was a composer and a player. Two notes did not bump into each other and create a chord. There are many jangling sounds in the world - there are crashes and clatters -why don't all those sounds come together in the spirit of evolution and play a harmony that sounds like music (I know alternative music tries to imitate some of the clangs, clashes and sounds and make it into music - but people have to tweak those sounds into a semblance of harmony). There is a tangible, beautiful, amazingly intricate world - and you ask me how I prove there is a Creator of it? C'mon, you have to do better than that to cop out of acknowledging that just as a song had a composer, this beautiful world has a Creator.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 11:17 AM

grose, Sol, and others...no one is telling you that you can't believe anything you wish! But the 'proof' routine doesn't go like that...

First, almost NO one here has made a definitive claim that there is no supreme being or creator...Yet some of you have made the claim that there is!. The rules say (yes, there ARE rules!) that the burden of proof lies with the assertor. In matters of this sort, neither side can possibly provide true "proof" in the strict sense; we can only give our subjective reasons.
   I and others have indicated why we are skeptical...why we have real doubts, about religious assertions. You and others simply assert, or make statements that imply assertions. When you offer stories about King Solomon, you have already made some assumption that the stories are TRUE! *I* do not accept that stories of this nature are absolutely true...or that if they are true stories, that they were reported accurately...or even if they were, that they show anything more than coincidence.
   Look at the whole series of things you must accept in order to believe that some 'power' capriciously saves specific individuals or condemns others!

"She was supposed to be on the faulty step, not him"....The reality is, NO ONE was "supposed" to be on a faulty step....it was a flaw in the step, and 'maybe' in poor maintenance, not some arcane way a god, G-d, or evil spirit had of picking one woman out of a crowd to die that day!

   grose...you say a lot of valuable things in your 1st paragraph about subjectivity and how ethics & values have changed over the years, but you don't extract from that the most important conclusions...that it IS mostly subjective; that people simply LIKE clear answers, and they prefer answers that make them feel good, or safe, or that favor themselves over 'others'. And they usually GET those answers from 'interesting' sources...like 'holy' books and stories that are very old and detailed and that are fed to them as children.....(children that are orphaned and adopted learn to 'believe' stories that may be very different than what they would have learned from their natural parents!)

so....as I say, everyone is free to believe whatever they wish, for whatever reasons make them comfortable, but when they are offered openly in a forum such as this, they WILL be examined and picked at by some of us who have a greater need for reason & consistency, rather than absolute answers and subjective guesses based on unprovable premises.

When this thread was new, I tried to say supportive things about the sad and upsetting problem of the non-kosher meats, as that was a terrible thing for one member of a group to do to others within his religious group & belief system!........Now, as the thread progressed, we have moved to statements being made that imply that some people of various groups were 'allowed' to die in a tragedy, while certain others were 'chosen' to live....and THAT sort of statement is fair game for public discussion and criticism!

It is well to examine closely the broad implications of one's beliefs, and to choose carefully where they are shared.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Scoville
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 11:22 AM

Bumper sticker:

"Militant agnostic--I don't know and you don't, either."


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 11:23 AM

Bill, you're referring to the accepted rules of debate, correct? Not everyone has that as their frame of reference, you know; nor does everyone think of a Mudcat thread as a place for debate in that classical sense. People discuss sometimes for other reasons.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 11:24 AM

and...regarding the last few posts....You say that you can't imagine things being like they are WITHOUT an intelligent designer?....when *I* look at this huge, complex, seemingly infinite universe, I simply cannot imagine it BEING created and managed by any intelligence!

You see how easy it is to have another viewpoint? You started with a belief that led you to your conclusion....I tried VERY hard NOT to have any pre-conceptions before I made my decision.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 11:34 AM

"There is a tangible, beautiful, amazingly intricate world - and you ask me how I prove there is a Creator of it? C'mon, you have to do better than that to cop out of acknowledging that just as a song had a composer, this beautiful world has a Creator. "

Now Grose, you will have to do better than that yourself! All that you have said simply boils down to "because I said so". You assign an answer to a question that cannot yet be answered simply because you need some sort of closure.    "It is a beautiful world - must be gods doing."   Philosophically that answer works, but that does not make it true.    As Bill D pointed out, you started with a conclusion and you are trying to justify your conclusion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 11:36 AM

yes, bill, it is open for discussion, hence this continuing thread. however, you open yourself to more questions from me...you said you tried very hard not to have preconceived notions. yes, we get our religion from "old" books, but all of us are exposed to the "newfangled" ideas too. Anyone who goes through the school system in America or interacts with the greater public is innundated with info - therefore, my views just might, and you might have to agree, be a bit more open-minded than yours, for I've studied both. Most folks who debunk religion and the "old" "unproven" books rely on the scientists to bolster their belief or disbeliefs, and completely never delve into the other side to get an informed and balanced view. Hence, though many claim no preconceived notions, just having lived in our society, being educated in the modern methods and being "out there in the world" already is giving you preconceived notions - not to mention the fact that it is infinitely more comfortable to not live by the rules of religion so there is a bend, a sorta urge, to find reason not to believe.
complexity means less of likely of a Creator? That is quite hard to reason with logic - does that mean the more complex a piece of music, the less likely it had a composer? etc. etc. etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 11:54 AM

*sigh*..ah, Susan...yes, the 'rules' refer to certain well-defined constructs...not exactly of 'debate', as that usually refers to a contest where 'winning' is decided by how clever you are....like politics.

I am referring to rules defining the very structure of arguments and logic.....and these are NOT subjective.

It may be that "Not everyone has that as their frame of reference,", but that doesn't exclude them from the implications. (The law of gravity applied before Newton described it, and whether we understand it or not!) It is like mathematics...you can't choose to have 2+2=5, even if you are 3 years old and haven't learned it yet.

Thus, the rules of construction a 'valid' argument are NOT subjective, even if you can't understand the 'technical' reasons why.

It is easier if I give silly examples........My philosophy professor used to say "I can claim that elves built Fiske Hall, but if I did, you'd lokk at me funny...and if I insisted, you'd ask for more than my word on it.....and if I wrote a long book on the history of the elves and got a bunch of people to agree with me, you might still want to know where I GOT my original information, and why you should agree and accept."

...and if I claimed that the elves didn't like people banging the doors, and they hide and trip door bangers, and that's why Joe fell down the steps and broke his leg after he banged the doors, you would probably worry seriously about me.

And if I had a LOT of stories like that, YOU would probably use the very rules I refer to, (maybe in non-technical terms) to try to explain to me that I 'might' be wrong, and I should be careful where I told this story.
The rules are just 'sense' stated in a very formal way....and refining the rules of sense has gone on almost as long as the development of the stories.....it's just that the rules are dull and boring and don't tell us anything about life, while the stories capture our concerns about life.

Even skeptics such as I see the 'importance' of the stories to the development of our culture, and can easily see the values and lessons involved in them....but this is a long way from taking them literally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 11:56 AM

ron - no, i don't start with a conclusion - many folks come to faith without first having the conclusion you think they try to fit in. However, it is weird how folks with faith are the ones with the onus of proving things. We're the "illogical" ones, etc. However, as you say, you don't have to prove anything. you just have to live how you please. ah, what an easy route. yet, you are starting with a conclusion and voiding all questions that might change that conclusion. Question, ron, question -search, and learn - for those who are interested in "truth" usually find it at the end of their quest. Those who aren't usually stick to their foregone conclusion of "religion is faith only and superstitious at that."


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 12:03 PM

Once again Grose, you are making assumptions.   I am not calling you "illogical", nor do I say you have to prove things. You have reached an answer that you are comfortable with and one that brings you solace. I admire that.

However, maybe I am making assumptions now, but based on your responses you seem to be having a problem with people who are still questioning or have reached a conclusion that you disagree with.

An easy route? Is it easy to draw that conclusion? I could easily say the obverse - accepting religion and a set of rules that define your choices and path would make life much simpler to accept and understand.   In my view, a religous lifestyle only become "hard" if the individual is questioning their own acceptance. For instance, if you accept god and his or her rules, you keep a kosher table. Why is that hard? If you are called to prayer, is that an imposition? I think not, because if you truly accept then the path should be clear.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 12:06 PM

"... does that mean the more complex a piece of music, the less likely it had a composer? etc. etc. etc."

of course not! But the issues are not comparable. We KNOW (as well as we can know anything) that music HAS composers. We SEE composers...we have pictures of them...we interview them...etc...

Your example breaks one of the rules (called 'informal fallacies')..You have equated two things that do not really share the same attributes....a piece of music and the universe.

It is...literally...impossible to stand outside the universe and examine its creation. We can sit in a room and watch a composer scribble and play notes.

That's why I say that is is just as easy for me to NOT imagine an 'author' of the universe as it is for you to imagine one.

Basically, I am staying neutral...I simply do not know. I wasn't there...no one was. I am not making a claim.....I am saying I do not accept YOURS! It is interesting to STUDY the universe and see what we can find out, and I am happy with that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 12:07 PM

bill d. - your philosophy professor sure did a great job of making you objective ;) giving you his rules of discussion ;). But sticking to that. You say mathematics. fine take mathematics to its logical end and you will get to G-d. Say science and take it to the furthest end of where it cannot be explained anymore (like where did the particles that banged come from) and you will have to get to infinity - infinite being G-d. Etc. Any true quest to the complete end of the discipline will actually lead to G-d. I have friends from all these education backgrounds who took the long route "home" by starting out atheists, exploring their own expertise until its very starting point and getting to G-d. Its like finding a long rope and begin tugging it and walking along, until you find its frayed end. However, most folks would rather wrap themselves round and round in that rope and tangle themselves, instead of explore it to its source. Yah, 1+1=2, what makes it so...etc. Its like that scientific study that traced all origins of man and found that we all come from one couple. shocking, ain't it? What fascinated me about that science story is the way "intellectual" people who did not want to come to religion ended up saying, "either the story of Adam and Eve is true OR all the other couples didn't have children that survived." ah, yes, logic warped to fit our lifestyles.


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Subject: RE: To Rabbi Sol
From: GUEST,Jrotblat
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 12:45 PM

Roabbi Sol, where did you learn tht you can't get "hanaah" from trief dishes. That only applies to milk and meat. Neveilah can be sold, its a clear posuk in chumash ("lacalev tashlichu")


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 12:45 PM

grose..I cannot argue with "take mathematics to its logical end and you will get to G-d. "....it is just a statement of how you react to things. I STARTED with religion, and the more I studied, the more religious answers didn't satisfy. I simply do NOT see that infinite=God....it means infinity ∞

but I CAN argue with ""either the story of Adam and Eve is true OR all the other couples didn't have children that survived."

there are simply other possibilities...it is not either-or. The front page of the paper today had a story of finding an almost complete skeleton on a child that lived 3.3 million years ago...it is still unclear exactly where that fits on out family tree, but it shows that the story of Adam & Eve, as it is presented in the Bible, does not explain all the facts we have.

Whoever wrote the words that we read about Adam & Eve did the best they could with what THEY knew, but in the last 200 or so years, we have found more stuff to investigate...why cling to the details of stories based on incomplete data?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 12:46 PM

At the beginning of this thread I was where we are now and although I meant nothing by it, questioning one's god got me in a bit of trouble(:<))

There is a gulf of difference between the athesit and the agnostic as large as the one between theist and agnostic. Proof is key here. An agnostic is not a fence straddler or hedging bets about gods. As opposed to the example above of coming to the end of a chain and saying, "It must be God," an agnostic says, "I don't know." Eventually, one learns the real trick to being agnostic.......Gordon Liddy used to hold a candle flame to his hand until the flesh burned to prove his machismo. When asked what the trick was, he replied, "The trick is not minding." In all the questions to the reasons for human creation, existence, and the "meaning of it all," I have to answer "I don't know and I don't mind the not knowing." But that doesn't mean I don't like the exploration!

There are other ways to live a good life and a moral life, ie., ethics as religion. Although at times these discussions are fun they aren't critical or important to how I live. Sometimes they'er a pain in the ass, creating unnecessary hurt or hard feelings. Your beliefs are your own and I hope you are feeling good and happy with your life. I have seen some people ranging across the entire spectrum of belief who are less than happy and indeed are intent upon being unhappy and bringing others into their fold. Perhaps being unhappy is what makes them happy..........

I don't know.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 12:49 PM

yep, Spaw....that about covers it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 12:51 PM

Actually Bill I was thinking the same of you, I mean, you'd been really covering it.(;<))

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 12:54 PM

spaw - where did happiness come into the equation? happy or unhappy is a whole 'nother can of worms. But, wait up, you didn't explain one thing, which is when you say live a life of ethics, who is the judge of ethics. I suppose we don't need to "know" that either is we are truly agnostic for we choose how we live and we don't need to know why and how to live. You can take that route - that is the beauty of free choice. And hurt feelings - why should my feelings be hurt if you choose to live a life of "not knowing"? That has reprecussions for you, not me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 01:05 PM

Well grose, I'm truly glad your feelings aren't hurt and I'll keep a sharp eye out for those repercussions.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 01:09 PM

"which is when you say live a life of ethics, who is the judge of ethics."

And when someone says that "god" is their judge, whose god would that happen to be?

"why should my feelings be hurt if you choose to live a life of "not knowing"? That has reprecussions for you, not me. "

It is statements like that that prove to me how religion tends to divide people instead of bringing them together. That brings things back to my original point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 01:33 PM

G-d, if we are all talking about infinite beginning and instigator of world, would have to be one and same, since infinite cannot have more than one. Diviseness being the fault of religion. I can turn the tables on you and claim your disbelief in G-d is pushing us apart. Who is to say what being "together" means? Does it mean that I should throw out my proofs and join you in that "i don't know the truth" lala land? Will that make the world a happier place? I doubt it. Here in the time and place where agnostic thought and atheism is embraced, we are a discontented, dependent on anti-depressants nations, aptly monikered by one author "Prozac nation". Why? Could it be discontent goes deeper than religion, that plenty of wars and arguments can be had without G-d being the topic? I think so, actually, for history has shown that to be true. "Imagine all people living..." those were song lyrics, just as grounded in reality as the "if all the raindrops were lemondrops" one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 01:54 PM

" I can turn the tables on you and claim your disbelief in G-d is pushing us apart."

I never said I don't believe in god. Please do not put words in my mouth. Questioning is not the same as not believing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Scoville
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 02:30 PM

Since when is agnosticism and atheism embraced? Seems to me those of us who are openly catch a lot of flak because of it, never mind that we're having it stuffed down our throats by a government that claims to know better but continues to embarrass us with its mindless and harmful actions overseas?

Or were you referring to those who acknowledge their disbelief and those who proclaim to believe but fudge the details (such as said government)? In which case I know a lot of agnostics and atheists who act in a decidedly more "Christian" manner than a lot of horn-tooting Christians.

And, by the way, you don't know. You believe, but you don't know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 02:48 PM

ah well, and now YOU know what I know or do not know, or so you claim. That can't be true. You believe that I don't know there is a G-d, ah, my friend, but I do. As once said, "how do we know so & so has a brain, I haven't seen it and seen no evidence that it exists." How do your prove if I know or don't know and what does it mean to know. Hey, we're heading into some deep philosophical waters here. As for the country being controlled by religious folks, that is a complete set of hogwash, evidence being that creationism is not taught and is illegal to be taught here in this open country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 04:18 PM

Grose: I guess with all the back and forth above you are all agreeing to disagree. I just w ant to address your comment about my post above--Ethical Culture Camp. The reason for capital letters is because that is the name of the Society. As to its ethics let me give an example---and they did not need god to have them practice it---an ethical self formed human nature was all it took. Time--1940s and here is a place that makes sure that the student/camper body is integrated in all ways---ethnic, economic, religious.   Free choice for activities and rotation of bunk mates on a weekly basis for diversity. Pretty advanced and educational to me. Non prosyletizing and non judgmental---seems like that student body grew more ethicaly than the narrow confines of the devout religious orders.

As to ethics--right you are different ethics for different folks and cultures. I think, though, we can agree that some practices are anathema to societies that do not practice them---or are more enlightened, if you will. The example you give above (Funeral Pyres and widows) is a case in point---slaughter in Africa, Holocaust in Europe, etc;

You mention above that, in answer to another writer, that you feel that non-belief ( I paraphrase) divides and the writer felt that religion divides. My feeling is that neither comment is totally correct---divisiveness is only possible when any of these parties are dogmatic and insist their way is the way. Ethically we should just believe in doing the right thing---as we see it.

I sure did like another comment about St Pauls during the Blitz (I was there at the time---very young). That would have been a miracle---leave London intact and have the cathedral attract all the bombs.

Bill D is right about the music--that surely was a bad analogy.   I have been fortunate to be able to interview some of the musicians/composers--so I know they exist. God still has not accepted my invitation for an interview. Not sure, therefore, he is there.

On a serious note; I said it above--if you have such unwaivering faith it is surely a comfort in times of stress---and a crutch. A way to say--"not my doing". The more I think of it--thanks to this thread--the more I feel that devout religiousity is the easy way out and skepticism and/or self formed ethics the harder way.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 04:30 PM

(I have read up to here...just not sure I have more to say that would be helpful, as there are just some real differences in how various of us understand some of the words & concepts being used. We can't debate if we are not talking the same language)


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 08:25 PM

BillD--you've got to learn that you can't have a reasonable discussion with folks like Grose--he quoted Barney in a discussion about God--doesn't that tell you something about where he's coming from? ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 10:11 PM

Barney?...the dinosaur?..I got stoned and I missed it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: dianavan
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 04:17 AM

I have to agree with Bill Hahn when he says, "thanks to this thread--the more I feel that devout religiousity is the easy way out and skepticism and/or self formed ethics the harder way."

Here's a good example, cited by Rabbi Sol.

The woman has to cover her hair (as a sign of humble obedience to God's law, I suppose) but she wears a wig (which is presumably O.K. because its not her own hair). Huh? What makes a wig more exceptable to God than the head of hair he gave you?

Not only that, she's not worried about what God will think of her uncovered head but what the neighbors will think!

Like all organized religion, these rules (whether from the Rabbis, or the Pope or the Mullahs) are used to control people through peer pressure. The example of the story shows very clearly that it is more important to maintain her image in the community than to please God.

But then God rewards her by saving her husband from the twin towers!

Gimme a break!

Are religious people allowed to think?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 04:41 PM

Dianavan,
          God is allowed to see the woman's uncovered hair because he is not subject to "temptations of the flesh". It is men other than the woman's husband who are not allowed to see it lest they be tempted to commit adultery which is a cardinal sin. A wig, no matter how well designed, can never be as attractive as a woman's natural hair. Judaism is a religion that is all about community and yes, peer pressure is a very important part of that community. It makes it more difficult for the faithful to stray from the fold. That is why it was so important for us to fast AS A COMMUNITY for the unfortunate chicken crisis.

                                          SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 04:50 PM

If any of you are looking for me to comment on contents relative to this thread or any other, please be advised that I will be absent from this forum beginning at 5 PM tonight until 8 PM on Sunday evening in observance of Rosh Hashana holiday (the Jewish New Year). In that spirit I want to with all my fellow mudcatters a "Kesiva Vachasima Tova", a Healthy, Happy, & Prosperous, New Year and a year that will bring peace to all mankind on this planet.

                                              SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 07:25 PM

I would like to than R'Shmiel for his long and thoughtful post above.

I still do not see a reasonable (rather than simply faith-based) basis for saying that the innocent may rightly be punished for the sins of the guilty, or that those who do not have the necessary "mens rea" may be punished or obliged to atone as if guilty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: dianavan
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 07:28 PM

Kesiva Vachasima Tova

I totally enjoyed the apples and honey on my break today.

The best for you and yours in the New Year, Rabbi Sol.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 09:03 PM

The holiday has just ended and I am back on line. New information has come out about this matter. In addition to the treifa chickens, investigators have also discovered non-kosher calf carcases hanging in Finkel's freezer. According to Jewish law only the forequarters of the animal are allowed to be used as kosher. The hindquarters contain certain fats that are prohibited and are never used. Accordingly we only use the meat up to the 12th rib. The calves in Finkel's freezer had 13 ribs which was a dead giveaway that they were not kosher. Also, the code on the USDA stamp indicated the the origin of the meat was Puerto Rico. There are no kosher meat slaughterhouses or processing facilities in Puerto Rico. Some of the meat was traced to non-kosher merchants at Manhattan's Washington Street market. According to investigators Finkel ordered meat from several of them under different trade names. However when shown Finkel's picture all of them identified him as the purchaser. Yet to be determined is the location at which Finkel processed the meat and re-labled it as kosher. It was not done in his butcher shop but somewhere off premises.
                                                 SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 10:27 PM

I hope your Shabbat was peaceful and full of warmth and light, Rabbi Sol, and Kesiva Vachasima Tova!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 11:39 PM

Thank You Susan & Dianavan for your good wishes.

                                           SOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 10:15 AM

richard bridge: I volunteered at a hospital for unwanted babies. There were babies who were born to drug-addicted mothers. The babies were surely "innocent" not having made the choice to do drugs. However, there is cause and consequence in the world. Hence, wrong things done set in to motion sometimes horrible reprecussions. That is why this concept works spiritually too.
Bill D. You still did not explain how there can be any ethics that end up universal. If you and I were to discuss whether or not that woman in Florida should have been disconnected from life support with our fellow Americans, you would get a very divided set of opinions on what is "ethical". Now as for composers, did you interview the dead ones too. However, I hear your argument, so my question is this - those cave paintings - you didn't interview their artists, we don't know their artists exist, etc. Yet, you think it was done by folks. Why? Because it makes logical sense. Even more. If you had a secret admirer who left things at your door and did things for you, paid your tab at the bar - but remained invisible (because that is the nature of a "secret" admirer) would you logically assume no one was behind it. No. Because through the actions you would have figured out there was someone behind it. Same thing with the world -through G-d's actions, we can understand the concept of G-d. Now what I think everyone has a problem with is that everyone has a cartoon concept of G-d (is he a man, or a woman...etc). Infinite means beyond our comprehension, with no bodily attributes. The limit of our understanding of G-d is limited to actions and rules of the world and thereby understanding the nature of the "giver" by what is "given"


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 12:02 PM

Grose,
       I think that you are referring to Bill Hahn, not Bill D.

                                                    SOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 09:42 PM

Rabbi Sol is quite correct---you meant me. Bill Hahn.   My opinion is that there are logical thought processes that we have. These processes can even involve things like "chaos theory". We look for logic and sometimes that logic involves random acts of unprovoked mayhem. Sometimes it involves physical phenomina as tornadoes, hurricanes, etc; that take lives. Or---you may win the lottery. Random events.   Physical proof of art work, films, cave paintings, exist by the mere discovery of them and seeing that they were formed by a human being. In recent times we get to meet the person. In earlier times we have their diaries---and in times earlier than that we have the testimony of trained archeologists. Even in Israel the unearthing of memorabilia of earlier civilizations is a cause for celebration.

I suppose what I am saying is that there is more proof of a logical and free thinking universe than one that can embrace dieties of various faiths and all say "..oh, this is be all and end all of life". I think the Greeks and Romans also believed it in their way and then there were even earlier civilizations---going back to Ur that had their beliefs. And, that is the whole thing---belief.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 11:04 PM

Good post Bill, but I think it takes one more step...faith. And that is where people like myself differ from Grose or Rabbi Sol or religions in general from antiquity through modern times. Grose provided no proof just the faith that "it must be so." To believe, you must have faith.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 09:59 AM

bill h: However, the more you will study science, the more you will be amazed that what at first glance seems "random" actually has very controlled aspects to it that "happen" to have been set in motion just right. What am I talking about. That water, when it freezes, floats upwards, not becoming heavier. Other susbtances freeze and become heavier, sinking. Something so perfectly "random", but which provide the conditions for the fish to survive winter. The "random" placing of our earth on its axis at the right tilt is so exact that one tiny tilt more forward or back would ensure that no life could be supported on earth. Underneath all the "chaos" and "randomness" is a symmetry that is breathtaking and awe-inspiring. There is actually a whole study in physics in this. Now, I don't know why, folks find it easier when they discover things like that to say "mother nature" rather than G-d. Yet, comes a time, when studying these intricate details that indicate there must have been something detailing it to perfection, that one gets led to the concept of a Creator of the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 10:18 AM

"Yet, comes a time, when studying these intricate details that indicate there must have been something detailing it to perfection, that one gets led to the concept of a Creator of the world."

Why?

Your examples of "random" are hardly random at all. Ice floats as the configurational packing becomes less dense as water freezes because each O atom becomes the center of a tetrahedron and each H20 molecule becomes H-bonded to its 4 nearest neighbors, forming a solid and rigid open lattice structure. (If you think I remembered that from high school, you are nuts!)

To slap the determination that it is gods devine plan on everything that you see is a neat and easy way to deal with it - but it could just as easily have been Bill Hahn's plan or Rabbi Sol's plan or the guy I saw standing on the corner drinking coffee this morning. We simply don't know, and we never will.

I admire your faith Grose, and I also admire your debating skills - but wordplay does not make for fact.

It is a god given right to question, perhaps that is in his or her plan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: beardedbruce
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 10:21 AM

" The "random" placing of our earth on its axis at the right tilt is so exact that one tiny tilt more forward or back would ensure that no life could be supported on earth."



?????


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 10:31 AM

"The Rare Earth hypothesis argues that the emergence of complex life required a host of fortuitous circumstances." Wikipedia - one sentence of many outlining this... etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 10:37 AM

It is a god given right to question, perhaps that is in his or her plan.

Dang, that's almost a classic Anglican view! :~)

Has anyone said in this thread that we're not supposed to question or wonder?


"Wondering" together with people is one of my favorite ways of relating to people and to the world. Personally, I like it far more than debating. It's amazing, how one can be doing one type of discussion and one's fellow discussors can be rigidly bound to another type, with neither pointing out that preference at the outset, nor along the rapidly-deteriorating way! It has the same effect as what we more often think of as proselytizing....

One can proselytize and judge for and by a particular secular philospohy without even realizing one is doing it, as can believers.

"People." Makes me wonder! :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 10:40 AM

ron -thanks for explaining the science facts as to how water manages to float when frozen, but you haven't explained the WHY - why water - and other substances when frozen "scientifically" assemble themselves into a different formation (for which I am sure you can give me the exact structure) and then sink. The how is fascinating. Now give me the WHY.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Paul Burke
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 10:40 AM

All these arguments are based on the belief that, if life exists, it has to be OUR sort of life. Yes, there is a vanishingly small probability of finding another planet as suited to humans as Earth is. But you might consider the possibility that it's because we were designed around Earth, rather than the other way round. A process called natural selection outlines one possible way (the best known so far) this happened- that any of our ancestors' kin who didn't fit what Earth was like didn't last to be our ancestors.

On another planet, the same process would almost certainly (*) have produced an utterly different form of life, suited to whatever conditions that planet provided for them. And, if they can think, they probably think that their world (methane and ammonia at -40?) is absolutely wonderful. And it is- for them.

And if they can think, they probably have their own version of kosher.

(*) Like 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% certain, at least.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: beardedbruce
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 10:45 AM

GUEST,grose,


IMO, of course- God set the rules by which the Universe runs- and gave it the first push. No further intervention has been needed.


A good job, as it is 13 billion years later. The rules are still being found out by us, but that does NOT mean they have not been in place the entire time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 10:49 AM

"Now give me the WHY"

I cannot. Neither can you. No one can. That does not give proof to the existence of god.

Also, give me an example of a substance that sinks when frozen.


"Has anyone said in this thread that we're not supposed to question or wonder?"

More or less, yes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 11:02 AM

"For most substances, the solid form of the substance is more dense than the liquid phase; thus, a block of pure solid substance will sink in a tub of pure liquid substance. But, by contrast, a block of common ice will float in a tub of water because solid water is less dense than liquid water. This is an extremely important characteristic property of water. "(the good old trusty wikepedia's take)
"If water were like other substances, ice should form on the bottom of lakes and ponds because water would becomes more dense and sink as it cools." (USA Today)
all substances, Ron.
And we should wonder and question - and take our questions on the path they lead us to....
for without questioning and wondering, we don't get to know anything at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Paul Burke
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 11:11 AM

Of course most solids are denser than the liquid at the same temperature. The crystal is more densely packed than the liquid. Water is different because its polar molecules line up (hydrogen bonding) when it crystallises (freezes). The resulting lattice is a more open structure than the chaotic liquid, which has enough energy to disrupt (most of) the hydrogen bonds. It is one of the features that has made Earth life possible on Earth.

Life as we know it couldn't exist without that feature. Which isn't at all the same as saying that life couldn't exist without that feature.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 11:20 AM

"Has anyone said in this thread that we're not supposed to question or wonder?"

More or less, yes.


Not asking as a snidism, but where? I missed it, and if it was said, I don't recall too much agreement with it. :~) I think most Mudcatters who are believers feel and act quite otherwise.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 11:42 AM

"There have been many definitions of life created over the years, but there has yet to be a single definition accepted by all. Every definition has had to face down challenges to its validity. According to Carol Cleland of the University of Colorado, this is because definitions are concerned only with language and concepts; they can't expand our understanding of the world. We can only define things we already understand." Astorbiology Magazine
A current definition of life according to some is the DNA one, that any lifeform has an instruction manual.
Paul, will say "of course" as if that explains it. Why of course. And if there is an instruction manual, are you tell me there is no instructor whatsoever? hmm, stranger and stranger as Alice once said.
The whys, why is the world so perfect, why is the "chaos" and "randomness" controlled to perfection and who does it. Ah, yes, we do it all ourselves. How does that make any logical sense, folks?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 11:47 AM

"Not asking as a snidism, but where? I missed it, and if it was said, I don't recall too much agreement with it."

Fine, maybe it was my interpretation. If I am wrong to have walked away with that perception, I apologize.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 11:55 AM

Oh I dunno that apologies are needed, but if you get that feeling again it might help to keep in mind how few here share that orientation.

Maybe a less potentially pejorative word for the way I look at that issue is "inquire" or "explore." I certainly do know a lot of fundies for whom "to question" means "to rebel" or "to disobey." But Mudcat isn't full of them, and I think these days we are mostly among friends.

Ever notice, there also can be a wide and unarticulated difference between "I disagree" and "I look at it diferently"? We've tended to have a fair amount of chronic confusion there, too, around here. :~)

I'm prejudiced in favor of articulating what we intend, accurately, and intentionally trying to grasp what another intends, accurately. That's my proselytization for the day! :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Paul Burke
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 12:06 PM

That's the point, DNA isn't an "instruction manual", not unless in your field every copy of an instruction manual is different. It's more like a recipe scrapbook- it contains a set of recipes that have been tried and worked (so far). It doesn't need a writer. Recipes that don't work get thrown away (along with the rest of that copy of the book), and only the ones that work get copied. Yes, it's hard to grasp if you forget how immense time is, and that, in one popular analogy, if the span of life on Earth were your outstretched arms, if the world came together at your left finger tips, multicellular creatures only started near your right wrist, and human history could be removed with one stroke of a coarse nail file.

I'm not saying that God did not set the mechanism up. Just that there's no sign so far that He has tweaked it since. And if He did design it, it almost vertainly wasn't set up to produce people. Bacteria maybe, but J.B.S. Haldane thought beetles.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 12:11 PM

Thanks Susan, those are good words and good advice!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 12:13 PM

I guess maybe every ten years or so I nail it, Ron. :~) The rest of the time I'm widely thought to be full of not-yet-digested crap! :~)

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grosen
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 12:17 PM

"The genes carry the instructions for making all the thousands of proteins that are found in a cell." Tis more than a recipe. A cake does not have to continue onwards. The DNA must give instructions throughout "life" on how to carry on that "life". When the DNA stops giving its instructions, then cometh "death"


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Paul Burke
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 12:46 PM

No that's wrong. Death doesn't happen because DNA stops, that's why transplants from dead people work.

Cellular death is quite a different thing from systematic death, which is the breakdown of the metabolic system. This can occur after sudden disruption- loss of blood pressure, the faiulure of the heart to move oxygen and nutrients around etc. - or slowly, perhaps when some regulatory mechanism fails. Of course, when the supplies to the cells fail, cellular death follows, which is why organs for transplant must be removed quickly.

And brain death is another matter still. Brain dead people can be otherwise physiologically perfect.

Yes, DNA codes proteins, and needs good repair mechanisms, of which it has several. And sometimes the mechanism fails, occasionally resulting in runaway reproduction of that cell- you get cancer. As I said earlier, it took a long time to get that good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 12:53 PM

zTake any interesting question about anything.
Ask "why?" and "how?"
Then take THAT answer and re-ask the why & how.
Eventually, you get to the point where you are asking why & how about the very existence of the universe.

The point is, as beardedbruce and Paul Burke have noted, a G-d or "intelligent creator" is not required to seek answers *until* you get to that ultimate question........and then, you see, it becomes a matter of choice.
   There are two possible choices at that point...1)"I think an intelligent "creative force" started it all", or 2)"I don't know how it all started and can't really imagine, so I make no assumptions."
   The universe runs according to laws of physics: whether you LIKE thinking that those laws were 'designed' or not is a personal one.

Choice #1 requires an assumption; a premise; a decision. It is, literally, a personal, subjective decision - that's why we CALL that decision "belief". The position "I don't know" is not a DISproof of religious beliefs, it is, like believing, just a decision.


Notice: The choices I refer to are logical choices, not temporal ones. We make MANY decisions and ask and 'answer' many questions without referring to the origin of the universe. "Who wrote the Bible?" for example, and "Should I eat off of dishes that have had forbidden food touching them?"....but when you ask "**WHY** are these questions relevant, and how can I answer them, the ultimate logical question IS, "Was there a creative force, power, intelligence at the beginning which CAN make these rules?"

It is perfectly possible to live one's life in a nice, happy, constructive way without 'BELIEVING' in a Supreme Creator, though not without confronting the question! There are various reason that we humans decide TO believe, or NOT to believe, but for some, 'believing' requires that one extra logical step that they are not willing to take.....it is just an extra assumption, and they don't like making extra assumptions without evidence...and they have a pretty strict notion of what constitutes good evidence.

So, we have these debates - some based on trying to answer intermediate questions about daily life, but all eventually leading to that logically ultimate question "Why is there something, rather than nothing?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 01:54 PM

bill d. - extremely clear, lucid and articulate. However, there are usually criteria for how one should opt. Of course one can opt for anything (that is the nature of free choice). However, there are legal, ethical, mathematical discussions of how to make a responsible choice. There are tomes and tomes written on this. What if your doctor were to pull off such a line, of saying, since I'm not certain I won't take that last reasoning step? He could choose to do so - however, there can be questions as to what he should have thought "probable" and how he should have chosen a step "responsibly". This actually has come up in legal cases - as well as discussed in business ethics, and in mathematics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 02:16 PM

And what is wrong with opting for admitting, "I don't know?"

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 02:32 PM

that would be okay if life were a spectator sport.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 02:37 PM

I find it anything but a spectator sport and although I have spent a significant part of my life asking and searching and reading and studying and discussing and arguing.............I still am forced to answer "I don't know" to those end questions because no proof source exists without faith.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 02:39 PM

i was trying to comment on that in my last post to bill - that "i don't know" can work up to a point - however, when choices need to be made, there has to be a formula for responsible opting based on the information given


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 02:43 PM

"when choices need to be made, there has to be a formula for responsible opting based on the information given "

Very true, to which "I don't know" is the appropriate answer. Everything is not black and white.   We can only make assumptions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 02:54 PM

Thank you Ron.

Grose....I've had several heart surgeries including a bypass and a valve replacement. As I also have an unrepaired and unrepairable aortic dissection the valve surgery was extremely high risk. I had one of the finest surgeons in the US using the latest in surgical technique and equipment. Prior to surgery we talked at length and after listing the Top 30 possible side effects starting with death and ending with loss of kidney functions, I asked him point blank, "Do you think I can make it through this surgery?"

He replied after some thought, "I can assure you we will take the best care of you and I will do the best job possible. But whether you'll make it through or not, I have no idea."

I knew he was the right man at that moment.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:08 PM

but what if he made no decision to operate just because he "didn't know". He madea decision to go ahead and make a life decision (to operate) even though the did not know 100%. That is exactly the type of reasoning I am saying is responsible. You might not have been convinced 100% for that last "leap of faith" that you all claim stands between all the info and G-d. However, when it comes to life decisions, we need sometimes to go beyond the "i don't know" to what is the best outcome/most probable, etc. The doctor must have known (even though he wasn't sure) that there was probability you would make it through or he wouldn't responsibly make that "leap of faith" in operating on that heart.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:08 PM

but, grose.." However, there are legal, ethical, mathematical dis,cussions of how to make a responsible choice."
That is precisely the sort of issue I was referring to when I said that 'we make decisions every day based on various assumptions'.

Any 'formula' you employ to determine 'reasonable' can be questioned. Why NOT accept the Taliban's formula? Or the Nicene Creed? Or The Code of Hammurabi? Or simply the Scientific Method?

For many, including me, the decision about your ultimate choice does not depend on how many " ...tomes and tomes written on this.", but whether these tomes are internally consistent, ....AND where the authors OF these tomes get their information! If you simply accept by authority that certain ancient texts (and not other ancient texts), have all the answers you need, you are making a decision that is in the final analysis, subjective.
No law against that, and there is, indeed, comfort in finding answers that satisfy you and that are shared by family and friends.....but those other choices are still out there, some requiring belief in different authority, and some rejecting almost all authority.

   I have many friends who DO have specific belief systems...some of whom believe, sadly, that it is unfortunate that a nice guy like me can't go to Heaven...and others who profess to believe that I'll be judged by the life I lead, no matter what I believe......and of course, others who don't think the issue matters, because they doubt that there's a Heaven to go to...*shrug*

Me? I just plow ahead, taking my chances...as that "free will" bit allows me to do. The old line is. "we'll see later who's right", but if there IS no 'afterlife', then we won't see later, will we? Ain't it fascinating what conundrums we can get ourselves into?

take care, grose, and thanks for the interesting comments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:12 PM

Wherever it is or isn't we do or don't go Bill...I'll see you there or maybe not.

Great last post man................

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:21 PM

"but what if he made no decision to operate just because he "didn't know". "

Grose, are you trying to play word games here? Just to win a debate? I have no clue what point you are trying to make - "That is exactly the type of reasoning I am saying is responsible. " ????

Making "no decision" is making a decision. He either has an operation or he doesn't. You can't be a little bit pregnant either.

Doctors make their recommendations based on the data that they have available. The doctor in Spaw's case made a decision. It is not a "leap of faith".


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:24 PM

ron: yes, he had the operation - even though the doctor said he wasn't sure it would work. based on the data, there was strong probability the operation would help. Hence, not knowing 100% was not excuse enough not to operate. that was the point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:36 PM

I still don't understand what the point you made has to do with our discussion.   Whoever said that we need to know 100% to make a decision? No one can see into the future to determine if their decision will be correct or not. I know I could get in my car and drive. I don't know if an airplane will suddenly land on my car while I'm driving. That doesn't stop me from getting behind the wheel.

No one is questioning your reason to believe in god. What led you to your decision could lead someone else to not decide.   At the same point, you probably understand that your decision is not based on a certainty either, if we go with the argument you have apparently been trying to raise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:40 PM

nope, my decision was based on certainty. I am however understanding that many don't have that certainty, and as you said, being uncertain does not mean we don't have to make decisions, decisions that might have moral, ethical and far-reaching implications. Now I understand that many want to "plow on" like Bill without having to come to some sort of consensus in their mind of the "probable". IMO, life is a very serious matter - we get 70, maybe 80 years to live it - we can live it just plowing on, or we can try to figure out how to maximize those years based on the best information we can get as to how we should make the big decisions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:43 PM

Nope, your decision was based on faith.   While you find it to be a clear "probablity", there are others who cannot see it so strong. Hence, your decision was based on faith.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,grose
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:45 PM

ron, just because there are some folks who are color blind and can only see black and white doesn't mean there are no colors to the world. just because you can't see the certainty doesn't mean it ain't there.   To quote "every breath" attests


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:56 PM

My point exactly Grose. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean that it is there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 05:43 PM

('Spaw...your lines reminded me of a dog I had once...very obedient dog. If you said "Sit up...or won't you?", he either sat up or he didn't. Being a dyslexic agnostic, I used to lie awake at night wondering if he was being like a God, and teasing me with contradictory information....)

well, THAT ought to thoroughly ruin the old joke!


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 06:06 PM

Religion and God are something that has to be experienced from within.
Someone who is standing outside of a house can not know with certainty what color the wallpaper is. He can only believe what the person who is standing inside tells him. The person who is inside sees with his own eyes and knows for certain what the color is.

                                                    SOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 06:36 PM

That's why we have cell phones. BillD, maybe I'll call you up when I get into the house.

I don't mean to be flip with your meaning, Rabbi Sol; it's just that your post was so CLEAR in its simplicity that it took me all the way for a moment! :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 06:51 PM

Then why do so many tell us of entirely different colors and designs of wallpaper? Some even tell of paneling and others of bare studs........How do I know which to try? And if I like the blue rose pattern, can I be assured it's okay even though YOU have the roped vine pattern in off-white?

Once again, if I encounter a situation which seemingly has no answer, why must this be the hand of god at work? There is still more to be found out than we have found out so far. Some of us enjoy the journey and don't mind the not knowing. Why must we know right now? We might know more in the future but we don't know it all now. Should I attribute that which we don't know to god?

As Peter Himmelman sings, "The best kind of answer has no sound."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 06:58 PM

OK, what the hell. I'll call you too, Pat.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: robomatic
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 07:12 PM

As Will Rogers observed: "It's not what he doesn't know that bothers me, it's the things he does know that just ain't so!"

About any religious person who is 100% sure I recommend the motto:

"Frequently wrong, but never in doubt"

because we are not being presented with any reasonably logical argument, merely the certainty of the believer.

It is the hallmark of religion that precepts be devoutly believed in regardless of all argument to the contrary. This is what distinguishes science and the scientific approach from religion.


An example of this is the 'Rare Earth' concept used to make an argument that creationism is somehow scientific because look at the vast amount of things that have to happen just so our world exists. Unfortunately it is a debating device which sidesteps the fact that whatever the odds may really be, and they are not odds, they are guesses, we already know the world exists, so these requirements have been met.

The Rare Earth theory is dismissed by The Anthropic Principle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 08:30 PM

Rabbi Sol----exactly right. Only the person within knows the color of the wallpaper. The person outside can only guess. Since there is no one inside --that we know of---unless you are going to believe in someone who came down here and said God was his dad, and told you the color of the paper---we are back at sqare one again.

So the larger question then is---Belief (faith--I use them interchangeably)or just saying---I don't know and could not care less about the color of wallpaper.   We can only know what we see and what we can process in our own minds---and I am not using the term "god given minds"---just minds--brains if you will. Let us say evolved minds over the centuries.

That said, on a lighter note. The Kosher Chickens. We have come a long way from the plucked little buggers vs the traif lil ole pullets to this deep and, frankly, repetitious discussion of theology.

I did learn, though, why ice floats. That is a plus.   And it is always good to learn a logical explanation.   By the way, ice floats and iron sinks--so, Grose please explain why steel boats stay afloat, why cement boats can float, why submarines can do both. I know the answer---and, it ain't god. Does the word science and/or physics ring a bell? The mind is an amzing thing---hate to waste it. We all got it genetically and then improved it through environment.

But---I am guess the Kosher Chickens are lonely since we have forgotten about them and the vendor has spend 3 yrs now in the Pen.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Wolfgang
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 02:19 PM

Then why do so many tell us of entirely different colors and designs of wallpaper? Some even tell of paneling and others of bare studs........How do I know which to try? (Catspaw)

Just look at the names of the religions and you'll know: "orthodox" means having the correct belief. Like in orthography, where there is only one correct way of spelling. So only the orthodox religion can be the correct one.

The only thing that puzzles me is why different religions use the word "orthodox" to describe themselves.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 03:17 PM

*musing on the concept of "orthodox Pantheist"*


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 03:38 PM

Well damn Wolfie.....This seems to explain why my church gets such little respect! The First Unorthodox and Mainly Irreverent Church of Our Lady of No Redeeming Social Value and Tongue-Talking Mohunkers seemed so apt and fitting but now I see the error of our ways. I think this is Bill's fault.............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 08:10 PM

This has been a very interesting and intellectually stimulating thread. It was very fascinating to see the give and take between the regulars here at Mudcat and the guests from the Orthodox Jewish community who came here largely by way of a Google search on the Monsey chickens. I would like to congratulate all the participants for conducting this debate on a very high and courteous level.

                                                SOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 08:14 PM

Sounds like you have just give the finale to this discussion---well done and, hopefully, no codas.    We have beaten it to death---and if it is animal---then a Kosher death.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: GUEST,ibo
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 06:12 PM

What came first,the chicken or he egg?


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Subject: RE: BS: Monsey's (non) Kosher Chicken Crisis
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 07:19 PM

Well, if it was a "he" egg seems like that could present a problem. Then there would be no chickens. Back to bio 101 for you dear Guest ibo.    Either that or typing school.   

      The chicken, however, crossed the road to avoid the Kosher butcher and ran into the Traif butcher---and that was the end of the chicken. Which is why people have learned to be middle of the roaders

Bill Hahn


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