Come clean on meat kashrus, melbourne

Last night, I enjoyed a Simcha. It’s common for me to attend a Simcha, except that I usually eat with my band, and prefer to for professional and menchlich reasons, even when I am often also a guest. Last night, though, I was a regular guest sans any musical involvement. I was just a Moshe Kapoyer.

As we sat down to the main course, I noticed two fine members of Adass who appeared to be vegetarians. The catererer was a fine Adass caterer, however, there was a sign advising that the meat was from (Chabad supervised) Solomon’s Butchers. Clearly Chabad prefer their meat at their functions. Some Chabadniks will eat Adass meat, others will not.

There is nothing new about the fact that there are different approaches to Shechita. There is Beis Yosef, Chassidish, Litvish, and variations. These can vary because of whether there is freezing of the meat with the blood intact before latter processing, the expectation of the morality of the Shochetim (do they have an iPhone for example) and their supervisors, the Bodkim, and more.

Now, everyone is free to have a preference for their own home. You can have two people who are Mehader in meat preparation, and one prefers shop A, and the other shop B. In my mother and father’s house, meat always came from Chedva Butchers, and later from the (Tzaddik) Yankel Unfanger’s Melbourne Kosher Butchers. That was their preference. Later, they included Solomon’s as well.

But, and this is a big but, there is a far cry between choosing what you use in your own home and what you may find yourself presented with at a Simcha. I can relate many stories involving Rabonim bigger than anything we have in Melbourne, including R’ Moshe and R’ Shlomo Zalman, who wouldn’t dream of not participating in a Simcha if there was a reliable hechsher, even though their wives might buy meat or other produce elsewhere in their own homes.

[There is a famous case of a line of Rabonim sitting together all deciding to eat Fish instead of meat. Rav Moshe Tendler was in that line of seats, and went up to each Rav, and asked them how many potential Issurei D’Orayso were involved with Fish versus Meat. There are more with fish!, so he suggested they were actually being Meikel with their Fish and should have chosen the meat. There is no accounting for truth, of course though in our Olam HaSheker].

Returning to our story, I simply didn’t get it. Was a Chabad Shechted Chicken not Kosher enough to the extent that the fine men from Adass became instant vegetarians? Is it correct to implicitly cast aspersions on the Kashrus of others at the same table from an empirical level? What of the B’alei Simcha? Maybe they should have purchased latkes at a take away for them instead?

Now, it works both ways. We never bought from Continental Butchers. I understand it has come a long way in leaps and bounds from the days of yore, and is probably more closely supervised than the disgrace in Monsey (below) where people were eating Mamash Treyf as supplied by “Heilige Butchers” who learned Daf HaYomi each day.

What do I do, though, if I am invited out, and I notice, for example, I am served Wurst from Continental, or something similar? Can I honestly conclude that it is mamash Assur with Timtum Halev and all the shvartze klollos that go with it, or do I conclude, that it’s not my first choice at home, but I’d never embarrass a baaleh booste et al by even remotely making them think that their home was “not kosher enough”.

I was advised that Rabbi Beck had issued instructions that Chabad Meat was never to be eaten. Why? Is it Meshichism? Was he worried that Meshichisten=elohisten? Frozen? Split Chicken? What are the reason(s)? Can Rabbi Beck discuss any issues he or his son-in-law may have with Rabbi’s Telsner and Groner? Is it impossible to fix anything that may appear “wrong”. In the beginning, Misnagdim wouldn’t touch a Chassidic Chalaf Knife. Now, they are all happy with them because they are better. What changed?

While we are at it, Melbourne Kosher describes mehadrin and non mehadrin products. What is the status of Continental? Are they mehadrin? Are the fertile rumours circulating that things aren’t quite as strict as they might be under Melbourne Kosher’s control as far as Meat production is concerned true or scuttlebutt? If so, what are these issues. Can they be fixed? Why the silence.

[Let me state: I am not interested in the slightest in the maverick views of those like Meir Rabi and his ilk].

I’m writing about the respected big three butcher shops. What’s the story? Can we either spill the beans or fix up operations?

PS. I have seen enough in 30 years as far as Kashrus is concerned; I’d not want to write it down though. Ironically, some of the best practices are from Yidden who aren’t the biggest Frumaks, but I trust them any day of the week, at any time, based on what I see.

PPS. Please Adassniks who want to respond, stop the silly games where you continue to fake your identity and expect me to post your comments. Be man enough to put your name to your opinion. Rabbi’s Gutnick, Sprung et al, can you tell us if you LECHATCHILA buy from Contintental in your own homes and if not why not. What is all the scuttle butt about certain chumros and practices. Are they untrue. Is it Mehadrin? If they are untrue put out a bulletin and knock it on the head!

Author: pitputim

I'm a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia. I skylark as the band leader/singer for the Schnapps band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel.

4 thoughts on “Come clean on meat kashrus, melbourne”

  1. Have no idea about the Kashrus down there in Australia.

    About the Schita see post in: https://pitputim.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/someone-got-angry-with-tempo-dairy-products/

    “This took me back to the 18th century that nearly split the Jewish people. The Chasidim claimed that the traditional Schita is not Kosher and by that they wanted to prohibit the communal meals with non-Chasidim. The Chasidim claimed that the Schita is not Kosher as the Shochtim do not use חלפים מלוטשים. On that, a proclamation was issued in תקל”ג against this Chasdic demand (in Yiddish):
    מאכין זיא זיך חלפין ושחיטה דוקא גישליפינה וואס מען געפינט ניט בכל התלמוד והפוסקים הראשונים ואחרונים
    What the Chasidim actually wanted by the introduction of this was do have complete domination on Schita.
    You see, there is actually nothing new under the sun.”

    We also know that much of a Schitah Hechsher is the money issue and the Parnosoh. There can be a strictly supervised Schitah and still forbidden in the community because of “SCHITAS CHUTZ”, not slaughtered within the community. It has nothing to do with it being Kosher or not.

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  2. Mem e

    You wrote: “There can be a strictly supervised Schitah and still forbidden in the community because of “SCHITAS CHUTZ”, not slaughtered within the community. It has nothing to do with it being Kosher or not”.

    There WERE days that a strictly supervised Schitah and still forbidden in the community because of “SCHITAS CHUTZ”.

    See what the Bagatz had to say when this claim was made in the “Marbek” case.

    להורדת המסמך לחץ/י כאן

    See also here:

    פורום: עצור כאן חושבים – כאשר הדבר נוגע לכסף …. – בחדרי חרדים

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    1. I haven’t looked but I don’t think you and Meir are arguing. It’s kosher but Rabonim put an issur on eating schutei Chutz for reasons other than Kashrus. This is the current case in Sydney, although ironically in Melbourne one can buy Sydney Chickens cheaper. Explain that one to me

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