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Jul 21, 2013

Kashrut Agencies no longer automatically assumed to be keeping halacha

The Shulchan Aruch says that from Rosh Chodesh Av, the shochtim put away their knives, and one should not shecht animals unless it is for the purpose of a mitzva, such as a bris or a pidyon ha'ben, or for a sick person [who must eat meat].

It seems that until now the various kashrut agencies were believed with the implicit understanding that they at least follow Shulchan Aruch,  in addition to all the non-halachic chumrahs they keep. It seems, from the latest chumrah, that people no longer assume the kashrut agencies follow Shulchan Aruch. Now, it seems, the kashrut agency must state so explicitly...

no question about it's freshness!

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  1. For a mitzvah? Gee. How about Shabbath? In this day and age, would we really have a enough meat for the Shabbath during the nine days if shehitah stopped on Rosh Hodesh Av?

    Maybe we would. But, since we can now freeze our meat leftovers easily until afternoon, 10 b'Av, Jews do not have any qualms about eating meat on Shabbath Hazon. I would also suggest that we might just be in a better financial position, and are used to eating meat more often and in larger quantities than 500 years ago.

    As the Rambam states (Yeah, yeah, I know. Most Jews do not hold by the Rambam.) ...וכבר נהגו ישראל, שלא לאכול בשר בשבת זו, ולא ייכנסו למרחץ, עד שיעבור התענית; ויש מקומות שנהגו לבטל השחיטה מראש החודש, עד התענית. - הל' תענייות ה,ו

    First off, he says "the week of," not the 9 days. But, we'll set that aside. He then says "There are place which were accustomed to cancel shehitah from Rosh Hodesh until the fast." His lashon indicates that there were places which were NOT accustomed to do so.

    So, when the SA came around, these places all of sudden took on this custom? I'm not so sure about that.

    What does the Rema say? People always like to bring him into the picture when they take issue with the SA (like he did), but are afraid to be called an apikourus.

    I'm not sure, but I think these practical considerations may exonerate the shohetim. But, my guess is that I will be outvoted.

  2. Unlike the sticker נטחן לאחר הפסח which comes to underline kashrus concerns (חמץ שעבר עליו הפסח, חדש), this sticker, to my understanding, is addressing freshness - this chicken was נשחט לאחר תשעת הימים - it was just slaughtered - i.e. it's fresh, and wasn't, rather, kept in the freezer from before the nine days...


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