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Sep 4, 2008

shochtim with regular phones are feeding us treif!

In the Yated Ne'eman there was a letter to the editor the other day that amused me. They distribute a free copy of the Hebrew paper once a week in my neighborhood, and someone showed me the letter. I do not have it in front of me, so I will only describe it from memory rather than actually quote it.

The letter writer wrote in complaining that he had been in a shlachthois recently (he did not say why he was there) watching a shechita of a top hechsher, and he noticed the shochet had a cellphone that was not a "kosher phone" (it was not a phone that had been authorized by the rabbinic committee for cellphones). He says he was shocked that someone shechting and providing kosher meat can be trusted when he himself carries a treif phone.

he goes on and writes that he then saw the bodeq also carrying a non-kosher phone, as well as some other people in the line doing various jobs (I don't remember which ones) who also had non-kosher phones.

He goes on to describe the shock that people who are not careful with kallah k'ba'chamura (easy laws just as much as stringent laws) and how can they be trusted to shecht and provide kosher food for us. He calls for the public to demand from the administrators of the hechsherim have to demand that all their shochtim and employees must use only kosher phones.

I wonder why, once he was there already and so shocked enough to write (anonymously of course) a letter to the editor about it, he did not go over to the shochet, or any of the other employees he saw with the regular phones, and ask him about it? Why did he not ask the mashgiach?

Perhaps they belong to a community that does not listen to those specific askanim and therefore felt no need to switch over? Perhaps they had a specific need for regular phones, such as sms or even email and they received hetterim from their rabbonim to use them?

And no matter how serious you consider the requirement to switch to a kosher phone, to call it a mitzvah "kallah k'ba'chamura"? To equate it with actual mitzvos and call such a shochet suspect and not trustworthy of feeding us kosher food?

I must say the Letters to the Editor in the Yated are always entertaining...


  1. The guy's logic is strange. The whole reasoning behind the cell-phone ban is not that the phones themselves are problematic, but that they potentially expose the user to treif things.

    However, the level of trust that we must have for our shochtim (as well as sofrim, etc.) is such that if such a person could not be trusted with a non-approved phone, he certainly could not be trusted to perform shechitah (or kitvei stam, etc.). The fact that we do trust him with such tasks indicates that he can be trusted as well to have a "non-kosher" phone.

  2. joking? in the yated? unlikely

  3. complete and utter nonsense. This warped thinking is the future of our religion.

    H E L P


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