Volume 52 Number 82
                    Produced: Thu Sep 28  6:29:25 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Another approach to Kosher Food
         [Carl Singer]
Monsey Meat Debacle (3)
         [S Wise, Eitan Fiorino, Akiva Miller]
Nusach Ari trend
         [Yisrael Medad]
Urgent UK Student Finance Problem
         [Stephen Phillips]
Waltzing Matilda
         [Avi Frydman]
YK Niggunim
         [Mark Symons]


From: <casinger@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 12:14:49 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Another approach to Kosher Food

I thought I'd try a zero based appraoch to kosher food - distribution,
supervision, etc.

The specific issue is people KNOWINGLY sell treif as kosher. 

Let's presume that it's not for lack of supply (of kosher food.) --
Stories about the statistical probability of so much "Glatt" before
Pesach not withstanding.

So why would someone sell trief as kosher?  Here's the one word answer:

What follows is an overly simplistic discussion.

So consider the financial aspects of kosher vs. trief.  Take two
physically (not spiritually) identical chickens one "kosher" and one
"trief" -- if there was no price differential then there would be no
incentive to label / sell "trief" as "kosher."

About 20 years ago a classmate at the Army's Command and General Staff
College was a young man whose "day job" was working for a large chicken
"manufacturer" (Perdue-like) -- He explained that chickens are raised in
batches of about 40,000.  That is begin with a unit (house?) of 40,000
chicks.  Feed, test (every few days kill a few and test them to see if
they're growing appropriately, etc.) and after several weeks we have
marketable chickens.  Kill them, package them, ship them.

What would be different if these 40,000 chickens were destined for
"kosher" -- not much until the schechting.  And what percentage would
that add to the price.  Let's arbitrarily say 5% - 10%.  Certainly there
are economies of scale that the large manufacturers enjoy -- but then
again, the major kosher provisioners are not small potatoes -- AND they
have a captive market.

Similar studies re: beef indicate that since the hind quarter (granted
some Sfardim may remove the geed hanasheh and use the "whole cow") is
more valuable than the (kosher) forequarter -- one could strike a
similar argument that the underlying cost of kosher meat is within 5% -
10% of non-kosher meat.

Bottom line -- consider that if kosher meat were distributed with the
similar efficiency (fewer middlemen) and similar margins to that of
equavalent trief meat.  The prices would be fairly close AND THERE WOULD

So why doesn't it happen -- because there are many hardworking people
whose livelihood depends on the status quo.  

I'd be interested in an "expert" tracking (by cost) the price of that
kosher chicken from henhouse to table.  (And comparing same to that of
trief chicken.)

Carl A. Singer


From: <smwise3@...> (S Wise)
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 14:20:41 -0400
Subject: Re: Monsey Meat Debacle

> someone wrote:
>> ... when someone does something wrong and we see outwardly that
>> nothing happens, I wonder what to make of the concept of punishment.
>With all due respect to the listmember whose name I omitted so as not to
>embarrass him/her, this sounds quite arrogant and conceited to me.  What
>makes you think nothing has happened? Perhaps something has happened
>that you haven't seen or heard of?
>And, oh how little patience you seem to have! Not even a month has
>passed yet! Perhaps something will yet happen to him in the future.
>We are now preparing for Yom Kippur. Is there any listmember who is so
>perfect that he is not afraid of punishment? And do we not ask Hashem to
>minimize or delay that punishment? Is the butcher not entitled to make
>the same requests?
>The rabbis offer us many explanations for these sort of situations.
>Perhaps the butcher did do some extremely good things in his life which
>mitigate these bad ones. I can hear some people objecting, "But look
>what he inflicted on the public at large!" Yeah, well, who knows what
>sort of *good* things he did for the public at large?
> ...
>I hope that I did not come on too strong in this post. I know that there
>are people (such as the poster who I quoted at the beginning) who have
>trouble understanding how G-d runs the world. But such questions don't
>bother me, and I hope I've shared some ideas which can help others cope
>with their questions.
>Akiva Miller

I am the "someone" whom you didn't name and I don't appreciate your
assessment of me as being arrogant or conceited or your tone. In fact, I
was talking in generalities and not the Monsey butcher. The only answer
is that nobody has an answer, and one either fears punishment or
doesn't, and as we are told G-d is merciful and waits until the last
minute for teshuva -- which still means dastardly deeds for the most
part would be considered unpunsihed until that time. My point was and
is, that with the mitigating factors associated with punishment (some of
which you suggest), what does punishment mean and how can it serve as a
deterrent for committing aveiros? Fear of punishment comes with caused
and effect; if I do something, I expect something to happen. If
punishment is deferred or compromised, what is the fear you have? That
"one of these days you'll get yours." Well, that could be for sins large
or small, so it is only speculation at the very best.

Gmar chasimah tovah

From: Eitan Fiorino <AFiorino@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 13:36:43 -0400
Subject: RE: Monsey Meat Debacle

Wait a minute . . . 

So, some scoundrel in Monsey who's been selling treif chicken as kosher
is now God's personal instrument of retribution against the Jews?  His
role has been compared (I'd have ordinarily thought this was a joke) to
that of Hitler, Titus, Haman and Nebuchadnetzar?  Yet his scheme as a
criminal enterprise is small potatoes compared to the ordinary criminal
behavior held in such high regard by so much of the Orthodox world (eg,
the widespread welfare fraud and Pell grant scamming in Brooklyn, the
political corruption we've seen at the highest levels of the US and
Israeli governments, etc), and on a human level, I'd say he has
inflicted less harm than even one recalcitrant husband who has used a
get as a weapon against his wife.

So what did this modest little criminal do to be seriously considered as
God's personal avenger?  Do I correctly recall that someone on the list
suggested that maybe he has done a lot of mitzvot so he was given the
zechut of punishing his fellow Jews?  Like all those "tzadikim" who had
the "zchut" of becoming capos in the death camps, in order to carry out
God's will?  By this reasoning, the more mitzvot, the more pain we get
to inflict upon our fellow Jews.  Well, this is certainly a new take on
"kol yisrael arevim zeh l'zeh."  Now I know what to tell my children to
aspire to in their performance of mitzvot . . .

Beyond the absurdity of the proposition that this petty criminal is
actually God's tool, we have a more pressing logical problem - what
"punishment" did he hand out anyway?  Some people ate treif chicken
beshogeg (for which they have no or minimal halachic culpability)?  Some
people will have to buy some new china (for which this tzaddik is no
doubt liable anyhow)?  Hmm, I don't recall hearing THOSE when we read
the tochecha a few weeks ago.  Let's see, on the scale of "punishments"
to the Jewish people, where does "eating treif chicken beshogeg" compare
to "being gassed by the Nazis" or "being exiled to a life of slavery in
Rome?"  I actually find it quite disturbing that people can view this
crook's actions represent as some kind of punishment for a segment of
the Jewish community.  As for the individuals who actually ate treif -
to the extent that they even feel "punished" - well, if so, they should
do as chazal instruct, and use the incident as a tool for

Am I the only person (besides Jeanette) who finds the analogies being
drawn between this incident and some of the great calamities of Jewish
history to be repulsive?  I haven't seen this much hair-pulling and
gnashing of teeth on mail-jewish about (just to pick two random
examples) the Abramoff scandal (which has the potential to create a
serious backlash against Jews and Jewish causes) or the agunah problem
(because of which women experience profound suffering). 

For those who still admit to wondering "why has God punished Monsey with
treif chicken?", I suggest the answer can be found in the same place as
the answers to the questions "why has God punished Brooklyn with
invisible bugs in the water?" and "why has God punished all of klal
yisrael with wigs made from hair used in avoda zara?"  From these
incidents, it seems clear there is a plot against the Jews, and God is
behind it all.


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 02:12:22 GMT
Subject: Re: Monsey Meat Debacle

Someone wrote about this situation, and was upset that the perpetrator
of this incident has not been punished. Yesterday, I suggested that
perhaps he got a punishment that we haven't seen, or that the punishment
may happen at some future time.

Here's another view:

"Justice has been served in that within the span of about three weeks,
this man lost his livelihood, his ties to the community, his wife, his
house and his children."

That quote appeared online in Kosher Today. The rest of the article can
be read at http://www.koshertoday.com/#2

Akiva Miller


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 20:01:20 +0200
Subject: Nusach Ari trend

Menashe Elyashiv wrote this path:

>For various reasons, Kabbalah start[ed] spreading worldwis[d]e, and 
>reached Europe. At the start of >Hassidut, the Hassidic Rabbis wrote on 
>the margins of their siddurim the differences between Ashkenaz >and the 
>Ari. The next step was that the printers printed both nusahot, sometimes 
>together, sometimes in (..)

The trail was from Eretz Yisrael to Italy, from there to Amsterdam, from
there to the Sepharadi community in Altona (Hamburg) which preceded that
of the Ashkenazi community and from there eastwards.  But nusach sfard
was already in use in the special batei medrash called kloiyz (from the
Latin cloister), notably that of Brody, unconnected with the Kabbalah.
In fact, when the controversy over Hassidut broke out in the 1770s, the
Brody kloiyz was exempted from the ban on using nusach sefard/Ari in

Yisrael Medad


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 17:28:50 +0100
Subject: Urgent UK Student Finance Problem

My son has just returned to London after having studied for 3 years in
Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh. He is now taking up a place at UCL.

His application for Student Finance has been rejected as they say he has
not satisfied the requirement of having "resided" in the UK for the past
3 years.

Is there anyone out there who has successfully obtained Student Finance
in similar circumstances? If so, please e-mail me direct.

Kol Tuv and a Gmar Chasima Tova.

Stephen Phillips


From: Avi Frydman <frydman@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 19:15:10 GMT
Subject: Waltzing Matilda

From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
> My daughter married an Australian.  At her wedding, I sang Waltzing
> Matilda in Yiddish while wearing a gorilla suit.
>(I guess you had to be there ...)

 I was there and have been trying to forget it for over a decade.

Gmar Chasimah Tova



From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 22:33:38 +1000
Subject: YK Niggunim

It may be a bit late to ask, but does anyone have suggestions for good
tunes for V'chol ma'aminim (I have heard or used Eli Atah v'odeka, Al
kol eileh), Imru Leilokim (in Shachrit/ Musaf)? (I don't think waltzing
matilda would be suitable!)

Chatima Tova (as per the Luach bnei Ashkenaz)

Mark Symons
Melbourne Australia


End of Volume 52 Issue 82