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    Killing & teaching – Sh’mini

    kosher_food_symbolsSince the sidra deals with the dietary laws, let’s speak about the administration of kashrut.

    I often quote the advertisement which a small congregation placed in a newspaper, “Wanted – a man to kill and teach children”.

    Communities frequently tried to get a versatile person to teach the children and carry out sh’chitah. Sometimes both education and sh’chitah suffered. Their English was often fractured, hence the advertisement I have quoted.

    Bigger communities have a different problem – metaphorical “killing” amongst Jews through fissures between kashrut factions that belittle and besmirch the other’s kashrut supervision, throw invective at one another, and set up competing systems that cost both sides dearly.

    Presumably both sides hold by the same Shulchan Aruch, accept the same Torah, and fear that mistakes (of course committed by the others) will lead to people eating t’refah.

    There are varying customs and practices in kashrut – but why can’t they all be accommodated under one overall halachic giant and in one overall kashrut system? Why can’t disparate groups say, “Our differences are harming everyone – let’s stop shedding each other’s metaphorical blood and calling each other heretics”?

    Why can’t they work together for the welfare of the consumer?

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