OU: Rubashkin Abuses Due To Cost Of Meat

Why did the OU allow the abuses at Rubashkin? Rabbi Menachem Genack, the head of OU Kosher, gives an (inadvertant) answer while responding to the new video put out by noted author Jonathan Safran Foer:

"Video taken at any slaughterhouse would be gruesome," Genack told the
Forward. "It’s inherent to the process. There’s no method of sanitizing
it." Genack maintained that he must strike a very delicate balance —
among USDA regulations, rabbinic law and the economics of the meat
industry
. "We’d be failing our constituency if we didn’t provide
affordable kosher meat," he said.

In other words, as long as there is money in it, all aspects of tzaar baalei hayyim law are off the table. Can you imagine the OU allowing Rubashkin’s abuses if the Jewish law being pushed aside was Sabbath observance? Yet, that is exactly what the OU is doing here, pushing aside Jewish law meant both to protect animals and to instill in those of us who eat meat a reverance for life in order to provide Boro Park and the Five Towns with cheaper ground beef.

These are our rabbis, people. It’s time for a change.

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6 Comments

Filed under Kosher Meat Scandal

6 responses to “OU: Rubashkin Abuses Due To Cost Of Meat

  1. Neo-Conservaguy

    More affordable kosher meat – so that Jews will not eat non-kosher meat – is a worthy goal. It is being met by Hebrew National; the meat isn’t glatt, but they are running a state of the art slaughter house that incorporates modern kosher slaughter best-practices. Their standards for slaughter make Postville look like a house of horrors. Hebrew National meat, although often spoken down upon, is kosher, no matter what some people think they know based upon old rumors and ignorance.

    More affordable kosher meat so that the frum-frums can eat meat three times a day (double portions on Shobbos, Baruch haShem), however, is disgusting gluttony, and does not represent a healthy balanced diet.

  2. Re “Novelist Sharpens His Knife For Those Who Eat Animals” (April 7, 2006 article):

    As president of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America, I applaud the new video that respectfully discusses Judaism’s splendid teachings on compassion to animals and contrasts them with the major abuses of animals on factory farms and at the Postville slaughterhouse. I hope that it will be a wake-up call that will result in a consideration of the many ways that the production and consumption of animal products violate basic Jewish teachings.

    Rabbi Menachem Genack, rabbinic administrator of the Orthodox Union’s Kashrus Division, correctly states that “Video taken at any slaughterhouse would be gruesome.” We should consider that this gruesome process creates a product that contributes to heart disease, cancer, and other chronic degenerative diseases, and that animal agriculture is contributing significantly to global warming, deforestation, widening water shortages, and many additional threats.

    It is time for the Jewish community to address a fundamental question: Since Judaism mandates that we take care of our health, treat animals with compassion, protect the environment, conserve natural resources, and help hungry people, and since the production and consumption of animal products seriously violate each of these mandates, shouldn’t Jews shift toward plant-based diets?

  3. C-Girl

    “And woe betide the consumer who openly defied the boycott by patronizing her local butcher. No sooner would she emerge from the store, a tidy brown package wrapped under her arm, than the members of the Ladies Anti-Beef Trust would set upon her, flinging her purchase of meat to the ground. They tussled with the police, too, and were taken into custody on the grounds of disorderly conduct.”

    No, that’s not an account of my friends and I outside Stop & Shop. It’s a description of the 1902 kosher beef boycott in the Lower East Side. At issue was the high price kosher meat. Oh, how far we’ve come! Nowadays we have the insight to see the high moral price of cheap meat. Ignorance was bliss! Keep reading:

    “Drawing on the traditional Jewish practice of interrupting the Torah reading when a matter of grave injustice was at stake, the female boycotters breached the male confines of the synagogue to urge congregants as well as clergy to stand firm, to go without meat — even on the Sabbath …The boycott lasted for nearly three weeks, during which hundreds of kosher butcher shops closed their doors and kosher restaurants stopped serving meat.”

    Just goes to show what a little grrrl power can do.

    The whole article (from the Forward) is here:
    http://www.forward.com/main/article.php?ref=joselit200402181225

  4. Schneur

    I congratulate you for your continuing expose of the Rubashkin meat company.
    But it is the OU that also needs investigatin.
    Who made Genack the Czar
    of Kosher meat in the US ?
    At whose favor does he serve ? Should he perhaps consult the lay leadership of the OU prior to making major policy decisions?

  5. John K. Diamond

    Dear C-Girl,

    Many thanks for your illuminating article!!!

    Do you think that there are enough women today who would be willing to mount a similar boycott for the reasons that Dr. Richard Schwartz has posted?

    After all, Hashem created women to be a helper for men but also, a corrective force against them whenever they were going astray.

    John K. Diamond
    Member, Advisory Committee
    Jewish Vegetarians of North America

  6. “Do you think that there are enough women today who would be willing to mount a similar boycott for the reasons that Dr. Richard Schwartz has posted?”

    About 1/2 of those “reasons” do not have current science supporting them. As I have written many times, JVNA’s wishful thinking does not make it so. There is really no question that massive carb intake – just what Richard Schwartz perscribes – is a large contributor to heart disease and other illness.

    Compare Richard to David Sears. Sears lists both sides of an argument, and then explains why he has chosen one of them. Richard and his fellow travellers from the animal rights world list one side of an argument and demand you accept it.

    This does not work when science supports both conclusions, and it especially does not work when newer science supports the opposing opinion, which is the case here.

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