Tuesday, January 01, 2008


From Our Resident Kashrus Expert, R' Steve:




From The UOJ Archives:

"I accuse our Orthodoxy for sleeping the sleep of Choni Ha’maagil who slept seventy years. Orthodoxy sleeps, how much longer?"

The following article appeared many years ago (1923) in "Dos Yiddish Licht", founded by the saintly Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz zt"l for the purpose of strengthening the observance of mitzvos, and to arouse the public concerning kashrut of foods, which at that time was very neglected, and sadly is not any better in our day and age.

The author was the great gaon and tzaddik, the "Shlucha D'Rachmona" of his generation, the "architect" of Torah values in America, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz zt"l, the founder of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath and Torah U'Mesorah.

(Translated from the Yiddish)

And if I say: "I will not make mention of him nor speak anymore in his name" then there is in my heart a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I weary myself to hold it in, but cannot (Ver. 20:29)

I use the above prophetic words as a preface to my article concerning kashrus, because this article will not bring honor to me. On the contrary, I will be attacked with ridicule from all sides. But what can I do? A fire is burning within me, and within a thousand Jews like me... A fire, which cannot be extinguished.

The kashrus question has recently been discussed in the Yiddish press, but only one side of the question, viz. concerning the unscrupulous butchers who sell treifos without a hechsher or with a false one. The press has remained silent, however, concerning the second side of the question, about the treifos being sold under rabbinical supervision and under rabbinical signs in butcher shops.

The press is silent about this problem, perhaps because of the honor of the rabbis, or, perhaps, because of other reasons. The honor of the rabbis is dear to me too. But, the honor of the Torah which is lying in the garbage, and the honor of the truth, which is trodden under foot, are dearer to me. Where there is chillul Hashem we do not impart honor to a rabbi, I, therefore come forward with an accusation.

I accuse - many rabbis, who grant hechsherim, who knowingly or otherwise, or out of neglect, permit non-kosher meat to be sold under their stamp of approval both wholesale and retail; the seller is an unscrupulous person with Torah sanction.

I accuse - many rabbis, who although they themselves have no part in the hechsherim, nevertheless, know about them and still remain silent. There is a sort of mutual reciprocal agreement to keep quiet about each other's false hechserim. Perhaps it is because they wish to avoid chillul Hashem. They forget, however, that where there is chillul Hashem we do not impart honor to a rabbi.

I accuse - the very great rabbis, the leaders of our people, because of internal strife. These disputes are not for the sake of Heaven; if one says that something is prohibited the other must say it is permissible, if one says something is contaminated the other must say it is pure. It is impossible to bring order to the chaotic kashrus situation, especially the chicken and meat markets.

I accuse - the rabbis because of whose negligence; the laws of chalav akum have virtually been forgotten. I know that there various heterim for this, but they apply only when it is impossible to get chalav Yisrael. In our situation, however, with a little effort, order could be brought to this chaos, and "if one can be good, why should he be bad?"

I accuse - our Orthodoxy, for sleeping the sleep of Choni Ha'maagil, who slept seventy years. They are completely unaware of what is happening around them and how our strongest ramparts are being smashed by our internal foes. They are unaware that all our holy traditions are being trampled underfoot, that our three thousand year old heritage has all but completely disappeared. Yet, Orthodoxy sleeps, but how much longer?

Do you know that all of the fortresses of Judaism, which have heretofore protected us from destruction, the only one left is kashrus, that other mitzvos are observed very laxly even in Orthodox homes? And now kashrus too is being smashed, yet we sleep, but how much longer?

Don't you see what has become of your youth? Don't you know that Jewish children have become tramps, gamblers, gangsters, candidates for the electric chair, and all kinds of "ISTS", only because they have been raised on neveilos and treifos, yet you sleep, but how much longer?

Don't you know that going to the mikvah every day to purify yourself will be to no avail? Not even all the waters in the world can help, not with sheretz tamei (a carcass of a creeping thing) in your hand, but inside of you! And when you daven every morning and evening, or when you learn your daily shiur, don't you know that the breath that emanates from your mouth is the breath of sin because it reeks of neveilos and treifos!? Yet you sleep, but how much longer?

When you wash your hands for bread, or when you make Kiddush on Shabbos, and your table is bedecked with all sorts of delicacies, and you say with each bite, in honor of the Shabbos, you are angering Hashem when you break bread. Yet you sleep, but how much longer?

I know that you will reply, "Jacob is small and poor" But look what Jacob's brother on East Broadway has accomplished, how he erected a fortress through the poor laborers, a fortress against Judaism, because he has united forces. Yet you sleep and do nothing, but how much longer?

Gentlemen! Do a little soul searching and see how far you have strayed; remember that our parents have sacrificed their lives for kiddush Hashem; they allowed themselves to be burned in order to uphold our holy Torah, whereas you are not required to make any sacrifices; with but a handful you can save the situation. Yet you sleep, but how much longer?

Fellow Jews, have you no fear for the great and terrible Day of Judgment? In that day you will no longer be able to come up with excuses or with a shrug of the shoulder.

And I ask you "how much longer?" And I say, "you sleepers, awaken from your slumber!"

Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz


steve said...


This letter would have fit very nicely under your "State of our Disunion" post. This kashrus scandal further magnifies the level of corruption that you so eloquently wrote about. This industry is as corrupted if not worse, than seventy years ago when Rav Shraga Feivel wrote his famous "I Accuse" letter. It is indeed time for an overhaul in leadership and the entire kashrus industry.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

Great idea Steve, thanks!

Leib Tropper said...

But Rubashkin gave me a good deal for my EJF conferences!

Arthur Schick said...

I cater all the Agudah dinners and conventions and use Rubashkin meats almost exclusively!

No Kidding said...

Arthur's boy, Michael Schick, would not give people a straight answer before this year's Agudah Fresser Convention. He was probably annoyed that R' Yudel & UOJ instigated so many people into calling him to ask questions.

Shea Fishman said...

You need all that extra schmaltz on low quality Rubashkin meat to give you some extra padding.


... Wind chill values near zero in New York City...

Strong northwest winds are ushering in the coldest airmass this winter
into the New York City Metro area. Temperatures are expected to
drop into the low teens in the city overnight... and will be slow
to warm on Thursday morning. Gusty northwest winds of 15 to 25 mph with
gusts as high as 35 mph will result in very cold wind chill
values. The lowest wind chills will occur between 3am and
9am... with values near zero or slightly below at times.

Anonymous said...

Who ever wrote the lie that Tendler did the right thing to a family in Monsey by having their children taken away is a monster and a vile NA-SHU-MAH for using true LO-SHON-HARA in every means of that word. A vile human personality trait to convey hear-say and reinforce it with commitment as holy as the TORAH is worse than a disease. Not ever knowing a family and saying words used by people to convey to a community it is the EM-ES is a reason to lose the DEH-RECH and hate those who pretend to be HA-SHEM's follower.

Anonymous said...

6th Appellate District
Change courtSupreme District 1 District 2 District 3 District 4 Div 1 District 4 Div 2 District 4 Div 3 District 5 District 6

Court data last updated: 01/02/2008 10:05 PM

Case Summary Docket Scheduled Actions Briefs
Disposition Parties and Attorneys Trial Court
Docket (Register of Actions)

Tendler v. www.jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com, et al.
Case Number H031130 Date Description Notes
01/30/2007 Notice of appeal lodged/received. NOA filed 1-8-07

01/30/2007 Default notice received-appellant notified per rule 8.140(a)(1). Fess for RT & CT not timely made

01/30/2007 Default notice sent-appellant notified per rule 8.100(c).

02/13/2007 Received copy of letter aplnt sent to superior court in reply to default notice

02/13/2007 Application for waiver of filing fee filed. by appellant *tct*

02/13/2007 Filed letter from: respondent's counsel objecting to aplnt's request for waiver of filing fee.

02/13/2007 Default letter sent; no case information statement filed.

02/20/2007 Order waiving filing fee.

02/26/2007 Certificate of interested entities or persons filed by: appellant

02/26/2007 Civil case information statement filed.

03/06/2007 Received copy of Notice to parties of fee for CT

04/04/2007 Record on appeal filed. C-2 (No RT)

05/03/2007 Returned document for non-conformance. application for extension of time; no copies, envelopes

05/07/2007 Appellant notified pursuant to rule 8.220(a)(1).

05/10/2007 Requested - extension of time

05/17/2007 Granted - extension of time.

06/01/2007 Appellant's opening brief.

06/06/2007 Filed proof of service. AOB on Superior Court and Supreme Court

06/08/2007 Stipulation of extension of time filed to:

08/01/2007 Certificate of interested entities or persons filed by: respondents
original contained in Respondent's Brief

08/01/2007 Respondent's brief.

08/22/2007 ARB not filed (time elapsed or notice no brief).

08/22/2007 Case fully briefed.

08/31/2007 Case on conference list. September 6, 2007 Conference List

09/21/2007 Oral argument waiver notice sent.

09/28/2007 Waiver of oral argument filed by: atty Cohn obo respondent (pa)

10/01/2007 Waiver of oral argument filed by: Mordecai Tendler (tc)

10/04/2007 Submission order filed.

10/23/2007 Letter sent to: counsel requesting supplemental briefing by Nov. 16, 2007

10/24/2007 Submission vacated by order. on crt's own mtn, submission order of 10/4/07 is vacated. Court req. supp. briefing by separate ltr. Cause will be resubmitted upon completion of supp. briefing.

11/15/2007 Requested - extension of time

11/21/2007 Received: supplemental brief by appellant (tct for permission to file)

11/28/2007 Denied - extension of time.

11/28/2007 Supplemental brief filed by: permission to file granted by court

12/03/2007 Received: Supplemental brief for respondents (tct for permission to file late brief)

12/03/2007 Received letter from: Paul Levy re supplemental brief

12/03/2007 Telephone conversation with: Paul Levy, advised him that he needed to apply to this court to appear pro hac vice

12/10/2007 pro hac vice application Paul Levy for respondent

12/12/2007 pro hac vice granted The application by Paul Alan Levy, Attorney at Law, to appear as counsel pro hac vice on behalf of respondents is granted.

12/12/2007 Supplemental brief filed by: permission to file late brief granted by court

12/12/2007 Submission order filed.

Click here to request automatic e-mail notifications about this case.

Anonymous said...

In the KAJ December it refers to an October letter. Where is the October letter?

Without seeing the October letter, we can't know what's realy going on.

Was the October letter a response from KAJ to Rubashkin/Weismandel letter?

Let's see the background history.

Kushyos Atzumos said...

Why wait till April 16, so Rubashkin can cash in on the Passover trade. I wouldn't eat matzos from a company whose hechsher is being taken away a week before Pasach.

kashrus said...

Dear Readers,

I have been asked by Rabbi Yosef Wikler of Kashrus Magazine & Yeshiva Birkas Reuven to solicit information.

He has been investigating the rumors flying around the internet about Rubashkin.

He contacted Rav Weissmandel who basically said:

- the Internet is filled with lies and is assur.

- he only backs what he certifies at the store level if there is repacking.

- he certifies only a few stores -- not Rubashkin in Boro Park (he says they have KAJ hashgacha in BP.) [Goldberg's is under Babad.]

- he claims the man with the stickers is the mashgiach

Rabbi Wikler is asking that anyone with >>> serious information only <<< about possible fraud by anyone connected to Rubashkin or otherwise mishandling Rubashkin products - email:



Office phone: 718-336-8544

Tizku lemitzvos.

Yudel Shain said...

Kashrus Magazine is controlled by the food manufacturers & some kosher certifiers. They aren't free to do a service to kashrus.

They should stop taking ads from any food related enterprise, as a first step.

So sending information is not serving a kashrus purpose-it might bring readership (that in itself is a purpose).

You can get credible reliable information if you follow Yudel Shain at www.yudeltake.blogspot.com

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

R' Yudel raises a valid concern. "Money blinds."

Anonymous said...

Someone who posts seems to think Yudel Shain is the best. Yes, he has Rubashkin's number and perhaps a couple of other peoples BUT try to post something about the corrupt hashgochos he supports with first hand info it will not get published or will and then get deleted. His blog is nothing more than fluff for his gedolim!

Let us not worry about every chumroh and start keeping the halachos. The corruption out there lowers the level for all!