Volume 52 Number 84
                    Produced: Fri Sep 29  6:29:26 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Another approach to Kosher Food
         [Dr. Josh Backon]
Another Approach to Kosher Food
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Dishonest behavior
         [Carl Singer]
Ishmael's repentance (2)
         [Naomi Graetz, Avi Feldblum]
         [Jay F Shachter]
Nusah Sefarad
         [Menashe Elyashiv]


From: Dr. Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 19:12:54
Subject: Re: Another approach to Kosher Food

Dr. Carl Singer stated:

>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.

In Israel, one can obtain real Beit Yosef glatt beef for 24 NIS/kg
[$2.50/lb].  Miraculously, the cost of the same meat (which is not real
Beit Yosef glatt) in the USA is at least 4 times higher. Someone is
making a lot of $$$ in the US kosher meat business. And I can assure you
that the Israelis selling at $2.50 per pound are making a profit. Go up
the chain to the distributor and importer and my guess is that the
actual cost is probably $1.00/lb FOB South America. At a 10:1 markup,
it's more lucrative than heroin.

Drastically reduce the price and you'll remove the criminal incentive to
cheat.  Here's a simple 4 stage process to lower the price:

1) Access Google to find the 3 major vendors of glatt meat in South America
   [the meat is shechted, checked, treibored (Nikkur), kashered, and frozen]
2) Access Google to find a bonded refrigerated warehouse at a convenient US
   port. [get a mashigiach to supervise]
3) Access Google to locate refrigerated ship transport (with USDA license)
4) Access Google to outsource inventory management and order fulfillment via
   an Internet website (seamless ordering and shipping). Cost is under 5% per
   order + shipping.  

Here is a piece we did in the 1979 parody NOT THE JEWISH PRESS (v'ha'meyvin
yavin et ha'remez):

           "Glatt Korner and Meal Market
          have joined forces to bring you
           K O R N E R E D   M A R K E T

  The one and only place for all your fleishige shopping.
  Our staff of expert butchers works to MEAT your needs.
  Kashrus strictly enforced by the renowned Sandaker Dayan,
  Chananiah Lipa Tortellone of K'hal Adas Macharidim, Sicily.

  If you can't get it at KORNERED MARKET, you just can't get it."

[And if you still haven't parsed the above, I'll sign out with:

Goomba Vinny]

Josh Backon

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 13:11:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Another Approach to Kosher Food

Carl Singer suggests that the price differential between kosher and
traif chickens arises at the shechting process, and if there were
comparable efficiency in production, kosher chicken would command only a
small (perhaps 5-10%) over traif chicken.  Perhaps, but there are other
things going on.  A number of years ago there was a 'scandal'; it turned
out that some traif chicken sold in pieces, and pretty cheaply, had
cancerous lesions on them.  It seems that this sort of chicken cancer
isn't contagious to human, but it was all pretty revolting and consumers
hadn't been told, hence the 'scandal'.  Somebody correct me if I'm
wrong, but I don't think that could happen with kosher chicken; a
chicken with cancer would be a 'neveila' and hence nonkosher.  This
illustrates that the pool of birds from which chickens may be kosher is
smaller than that for traif birds, and that the point of comparison
between kosher and traif chickens should be not traif chickens as a
whole but higher quality traif chickens.  I just looked quickly at
amazon.com's prices for Perdue chickens. (There was an attempt some
years back to get them a hechsher, and I think the only stumbling block
was that the chickens were being defeathered with hot water.)  They are
comparable to or higher than those for kosher chickens.  So it has
possible that this fellow in Monsey was supplying lower quality
chickens, not only traif chickens.

Orrin Tilevitz


From: <casinger@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 18:21:03 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Dishonest behavior

From: Eitan Fiorino <AFiorino@...>

> Wait a minute . . . 
> ....   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),

OK, here's a discussion question:

Consider the USMA (West Point) Honor Code -- "A cadet will not lie,
cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do."  Change "A cadet" to "I" or to
"We" and what do we have?

Your neighbor is cheating "the government" -- what is your

Your neighbor is cheating another individual (Jewish or non-Jewish) --
what is your ....

Your neighbor is cheating you -- ouch now it's close to home ....

SPECIFICALLY: What are your responsibilities and what restrictions do
you have in these cases?

Carl A. Singer
COL U.S. Army, Retired


From: Naomi Graetz <graetz@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 05:00:38 GMT
Subject: Ishmael's repentance

 Sholom Parnes <merbe@...> quotes Rashi  etc:

> 1) In Genesis 25:17 the description of Ishmael's death uses the word
> "va'yigva". Rashi comments that this term is only used for righteous
> people.We deduce from this that Ishmael repented before he died.

Leaving aside rabbinic commentary, if we look at the peshat, it is not
Ishmael who needs to repent. It is Abraham, Sarah (and possibly God) who
should do teshuva for sending Ishmael out to the wilderness. One can
argue that Sarah is to blame and Abraham is blameless because God says,
listen to her voice.

I quote from chapter 21 (JPS version)

10 She said to Abraham, "Cast out that slave-woman and her son, for the
son of that slave shall not share in the inheritance with my son Isaac."
11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly, for it concerned a son of
his. 12 But God said to Abraham, "Do not be distressed over the boy or
your slave; whatever Sarah tells you, do as she says, for it is through
Isaac that offspring shall be continued for you.

Abraham's casting out of Hagar and Ishmael is problematic. Ishmael is a
legal son of Abraham's whom he circumcised at age thirteen. Sarah's
words, "Cast out that slave-woman and her son, for the son of that slave
shall not share in the inheritance with my son Isaac" (21:10), make it
obvious that she thought he did have rights to Abraham's inheritance by
virtue of being Abraham's son.  To make this illegality more palatable,
traditional midrash demonizes Ishmael to illustrate how his action
against Isaac was worthy of his being demoted as a legal heir and
deserving of exile. The pretense that Sarah used to expel Ishmael was
that he was making "sport" with (metzahek) Isaac. The midrash says that
this refers to his immorality and Sarah's prophetic vision that he
would, in the future, ravish maidens and seduce married woman.  (Genesis
Rabbah 53:11). Maimonides comments that God saw Hagar's affliction and
gave her a son who was destined to be a lawless person.  This
contradicts the biblical text which states that Abraham loved Ishmael
too (Gen. 17:18; 21: 11, 26) and that Ishmael was blessed in his ways
(17.20) and God was with the lad (21:20). Surely the bible would not
have said this about someone who was destined to be a lawless person.

Since we read this text on R.H. and we are now in the 10 days of
repentance, perhaps it is time for us to start looking more
sympathetically at the Ishmaels among us. G'mar tov, Naomi Graetz

Naomi Graetz
Ben Gurion University of the Negev

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 
Subject: Ishmael's repentance

I do not follow a good deal of the logic above. I'll leave aside for the
moment the dismissive attitude toward Chazal that at least I feel comes
out from the comments above. I do not understand what is meant by saying
that " (and possibly God) who should do teshuva for sending Ishmael out
to the wilderness." and then conclude with: "and God was with the lad
(21:20). Surely the bible would not have said this about someone who was
destined to be a lawless person."

Even within a relatively textual approach to the events reported, it is
clear to me that it is Hashem who states that Ishmael will not be the
progeny of Avraham that carries on the tradition and inheritence of
Avraham. Just from the verse quoted: "for it is through Isaac that
offspring shall be continued for you." Yes, the text stated that Avraham
loved Ishmael, but Hashem clearly directs Avraham to listen to Sarah in
this matter. I do think there is an interesting theme that we see played
out twice, once with Ishmael, and the second time with Esev, that the
father views the child in a positive manner, and it is the mother that
is instrumental in defining how to properly deal with the family
situation. Again, here the text is very clear, Hashem says to Avraham: 
"whatever Sarah tells you, do as she says".

I agree with Naomi that as this is a text that we read during these days
of Awe, we should endevour to understand the message it is telling
us. However, I totally disagree with her on what the message is. I think
we need to be able to identify that which is Ishmael (more from a
spiritual / philosophical perspective, not simply those that are
physical descendants of Ishmael) within us, and realize that even though
there may be an aspect of "Abraham loved Ishmael too", Hashem and Chazal
have come out on the side of Sarah, that we are obligated to "Cast out
that slave-woman and her son, for the son of that slave shall not share
in the inheritance with my son Isaac."

May the merit of the Akedah of Yitzchuk stand for all klal yisrael and
we should all be inscribed for a year of peace and blessing.

Avi Feldblum


From: Jay F Shachter <jay@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 17:21:51 -0600 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Niggunim

In mail.jewish v52n79, Art Werschulz <agw@...> wrote:
> It's a pretty safe bet that you're unlikely to hear Shir HaMaalot set
> to the tune of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" or "Blue Rondo a la Turk".

I must not pass up an opportunity to bring redemption into the world
(see Pereq Qinyan Torah 6); "Take Five" was written by Paul Desmond, not
by David Brubeck.

Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
Chicago IL  60645-4111


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 09:09:26 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Nusah Sefarad

R. Moshe Sofer (Shut Hatam Sofer, pt.1, #15), states that he received
from his Rabbis, R. Natan Adler & the Hafla'aa, that all the nushaot are
equal, and that we do not know the secrets... they are different styles,
but are received all the same. When the Ari came, he was able to solve
all the unknown in the Sefaradi nusah, because he was a Sefaradi. If he
had been a Ashkenazi, he would have did that to the Ashkenazi nusah (not
accurate, he lived in Egypt but his family came from Europe -
M.A.). Therefore, one that wants to pray Sefard, should use a Sefaradi
Siddur rather than a Ashkenaz Siddur...(my translation)

Gemar Hatima tova to all Jewish Mail readers


End of Volume 52 Issue 84