Rabbi Gil Student posted (uncritically, of course) on Rabbi Menachem Genack’s shameful and misleading article on the OU’s non-glatt policy. I noted here why Rabbi Genack is less than completely honest. Now let me address a comment by Michael Rogovin to that Hirhurim post.
>R’ Teitz of Elizabeth was the last “reliable” non-glatt hashgacha but because of ignorance his butcher was avoided.
Actually, Upper Midwest Kashrut of St Paul MN is listed in the Chicago Rabbinical Council (Triangle CRC) as a reliable hechsher with the note that some meat products are not glatt. Nathan’s kosher hot dogs carry this hechsher and are presumably not glatt, but should be reliable.
Upper Midwest kosher changed its name to United Mehadrin Kosher years ago. A small point, perhaps, but the name is telling. A “mehadrin” hechsher giving supervision to non-glatt meat. But the more you learn about that supervision, the more telling that name becomes.
The UMK is headed by Rabbi Asher Zeilingold, a Chabad hasid and rabbi located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Rabbi Z, as those who follow this site will remember, is both my former rabbi and a close friend of Rabbi Sholom Rubashkin, the operational head of Agriprocessors and Aaron’s Best. Rabbi Z has given supervision on Rubashkin’s non-glatt for almost 20 years. But that supervision isn’t what you think.
KAJ, the then-head of kashrut supervision for all the varying supervisions at Rubashkin, including the OU, would not put its symbol on non-glatt meat. No haredi supervision would, and the OU would not do so either. So KAJ and Rubashkin made a deal with Rabbi Z that went something like this: You put your name on our non-glatt. KAJ will do all the work. We’ll take care of you. (I think Rabbi Z first had a symbol and adopted Upper Midwest Kosher as a name about this time.)
And this is what went on for many years and may still be happening today–except Rav Wiessmandl has replaced KAJ in the supervision hierarchy.
Anything one could say bad about Triangle-K supervision (see the many uniformed comments on Hirhurim) one could easily say about UMK, especially UMK 10 to 20 years ago. It was primarily because UMK was a fig leaf for KAJ that made its meat acceptable.
The facts of this supervision were known in the industry for years. I heard them first hand from Rabbi Z because the Agudah rabbi of Minneapolis tried to ban this very non-glatt from Minneapolis, and tried all sorts of questionably halakhic devices to stop its sale, including having a proxy drag my partner and I to beit din over this and a trumped up hasagat gevul charge. The Agudah Rav and his proxy lost. The non-glatt was stopped anyway because his friend, the local kosher food distributor, held by the Agudah Rav’s decision even after the beit din ruled against him, and no non-glatt was delivered. For his part, Rubashkin held with the Agudah Rav against his own supervision because of a complicated business deal with that kosher food distributor. This kept the price of kosher meat artificially high. From what I’ve heard since word of the Justice Department investigation into price fixing in the kosher meat industry, stories like mine are not uncommon.
So, when the CRC says UMK non-glatt is reliable, what it’s really saying is Wiessmandl/KAJ/OU non-glatt is reliable, which is why Nathan’s is reliable – if Rubashkin’s animal welfare and other issues don’t bother you.
Which brings us full circle.
Earlier, I posted a Kosher quiz:
You make rice in a clean dairy pot, thinking you’ll serve it for dinner in a dairy Indian recipe. At last minute, you remember Aunt Millie’s meat chili, sitting in the refrigerator for the last three days. You change your mind and decide to have the chili. But you have no more rice. Can you eat the meat chili together with the rice made in the dairy pot? If yes, why? If no, why not?
A few of you – including one Chabad rabbi who claims semicha from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein – suggested answers. No one answered correctly, although some were much closer than others.
So, here’s the long answer:
If you look at the Piskhei Teshuva 95:2, you’ll see he brings the Pri Megadim and the Chavot Da’at. Both hold like the Shach. The water would be forbidden to eat with meat, but the food cooked in it is permitted. (Actually, the Chavot Da’at would let you use the water with meat as well.) The only real problem here is if the situation involves roasting (tzli) fish (or another pareve food) using meat (or milk) utensils and then eating that food together with the opposite type. This stringency does not apply to regular cooking.
The Shulchan Aruch follows Tosofot and the Rosh in their understanding of Rashi’s opinion. It doesn’t distinguish between roasting or regular cooking – both are permitted, but only if one did not plan to do it. Once the rice is cooked in a clean milk pot, if you change your mind and want to eat it with meat, you can without restriction.
For Sefardim that is the normative halakha.
For Ashkenazim, it is the same with one change–if the food item in question is roasted, some poskim will ask that you remove a k’dei klipa (a thin peeling of the food) before combining it with the opposite type. Others will be stricter and will rule combining roasted pareve food as described above is not permitted.
Now, the short answer: You can eat it.