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September 24, 2014 / 29 Elul, 5774
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Letters To The Editor


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Rabbi Moline added that he “admire[s] Warren Buffet because he consistently said he was not paying enough of his fair share of taxes, and that is something we in the Jewish community should be emulating.”

In fact, nearly 240 “progressive, left-wing” rabbis have signed a letter in support of the president’s proposal to allow tax cuts to expire at the end of the year for those making above $250,000 annually.

Earning $250,000 a year in the New York metropolitan area does not make one wealthy. How many of the Reform and Conservative rabbis who signed that letter live in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut? How many of them pay exorbitant tuitions to day schools and yeshivas beginning at age four for their children?

Who are these rabbis to tell us we have so much money that we can afford the luxury of higher taxes?

Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg
Edison, NJ

Shechita More Humane Than Any Alternative

Reader Shimon Geller (Letters, Dec. 7) noted that the recent Polish court ruling “effectively declared and underscored that religious tenets that prohibit stunning during animal slaughter are inhumane.”

Of course, we know shechita is more humane than the stunning process advocated by misguided animal welfare activists.

First, it is a matter of dispute whether stunning renders the animal unconscious or just paralyzes it. Even in the former case this would only happen if the stunning were carried out perfectly.

Unfortunately, under the conditions prevalent in abattoirs, it fails to work about 20 percent of the time and has to be repeated. I have personally witnessed several such cases.

Anyone who has suffered an electric shock knows it is both painful and distressing.

The electric stunning method used is essentially the same as that in electro-convulsive therapy, which has been banned unless the patient is first anaesthetized for this very reason.

Second, in shechita the animal’s throat is cut with an extremely sharp knife. Those who have cut themselves with a sheet of paper know they only became aware of the cut when they saw the bleeding.

Even the slightest nick in the knife that might catch on the throat tissues renders the process invalid and the slaughterer is obliged to check his knife regularly to ensure that none is present.

As a result of the cut, the blood flows out so rapidly that the flow to the brain is reduced to such a low level that unconsciousness sets in within seconds, certainly long before the animal could feel any pain from the incision.

It is because of these facts that those concerned with animal welfare should reconsider their campaign to enforce the dubious “merits” of pre-stunning and, dare I make the suggestion, insist on only eating meat produced by shechita, the most humane method available.

Martin D. Stern
Salford, England

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