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Jul 30, 2013

"Kosher Style" does in kosher shechita in Poland..

"Kosher Style"..

Kosher style refers to food that is not kosher, but it could be, or, it is similar to food that is kosher just made differently. We've all seen the restaurants in the United States that are kosher style. Some states have even banned use of the term "kosher style" in their advertising because it has been deemed to be misleading, as people don't always realize kosher style is not actually kosher.

According to MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), the reason why Poland banned shechita is because when the Prime Minister was there with his delegation, he did not insist on eating kosher food, i.e. he was fine eating non-kosher meals. When the Polish people realized kashrut is not a big deal or very important and the Jews don't really care about it, they decided they have nothing preventing them from banning it.

Somebody who had been a part of the PM's delegation on the trip to Poland denies Lavie's version of the trip and says that the food served, as always, was "kosher style", he says they ate fish (besides for people who ordered actual kosher meals), and had no connection to being the cause for the Poles banning shechita.

In his words:
“The whole visit was done, as is usually done, kosher-style. I distinctly remember we were served fish. For those members of the delegation who asked for it, and there are quite a few [in the PMO], there was proper kosher food under rabbinic [supervision].”
The kosher food was served “on separate plates, and a rabbi present made sure it was really kosher,” the official recalled.
“That’s been the standard for decades,” he noted.
The official also rejected Lavie’s suggestion that Israeli officials’ level of observance was connected to the Polish decision to outlaw kosher slaughter. “I don’t see any basis in these claims,” the official said.
I must say, "Kosher style" is not a very good defense against the accusation of eating non-kosher food, as kosher style by its very definition means the food was not kosher. Whether it actually had anything to with the Polish ban on shechita or not I have no idea. I highly doubt that with all the religious Jews and Jewish organizations that had spent many months and resources fighting the upcoming ban a delegation from Israel eating "kosher style" food is what sealed the fate.
MK Aliza Lavie

On the other hand, it seems pretty stupid for Israel to send a delegation to fight a possible ban on kosher slaughter while they themselves are eating not kosher food. Just for the spirit of what they were there in Poland to do should have been enough of a reason for them to eat only kosher food on that specific trip.

Overall it seems to me to be a non-issue. Israeli prime ministers were never careful as a policy to eat only kosher food, even when on official state business. Even if they tried to not make a big deal out of it and downplay it instead, as Yehuda Avner related about a trip Yitzchak Rabin took and tried to keep his non-kosher food out of the attention of those around to avoid a coalition crisis, they did always eat non-kosher food. They just tried not to draw attention to it. Netanyahu did no differently, as stupid as it was for the reason mentioned above.

I do find it interesting that this criticism about Netanyahu's delegation not insisting on kosher food, and blaming the shchita ban on it, came from a Member of Knesset from Yesh Atid, a party accused of being anti-religion (at best), rather than from one of the explicitly religious parties...
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