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September 4, 2015 / 20 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Kashrut’

Swiss Kosher Hotel Bridge Collapse Injures Five People

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

At least two people were flown to a hospital and three others were treated locally Wednesday after a foot bridge collapsed at a kosher hotel in Switzerland.

Among the injured were Zurich Jewish leader Rabbi Hirsch Padwa, whose father leads the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations in London.

The accident occurred at the Levin’s Hotel Metropol, a three-star hotel that is popular in the Hareidi community.

South Africa one of Leading Kosher Markets

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

It is certainly not Jerusalem and New York but according to a recent article in the SA Jewish Report, the two major South African cities can take their place among some of the world’s vibrant kosher centers.

There are approximately 70,000 Jews in South Africa, and the paper reported, “Its members are fortunate to choose from an impressive selection of kosher products available at all local supermarkets.”

By comparison, Britain has approximately 300,000 Jews. London Beth Din Rabbi Eli Schoeman explained that there is a difficulty in securing products for those living outside the typically Jewish areas. “Meat and dairy products are difficult to come by and people have to make different arrangements for how they get these delivered to their area.”

Toronto, with 270 000 Jews, is a significant kosher market. In a price comparison of a whole kosher chicken across the continents, Jewish Report ascertained that kosher chicken comes out cheapest in Johannesburg as opposed to Britain, Toronto, and Melbourne.

Turning to kosher restaurants, the paper notes, “South Africa has a good selection of kosher restaurants, some of which have even become a favorite of overseas visitors who return to foreign shores raving about.”

UK Allowing Neo-Nazi March on London’s Jews in Golders Green

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

The Jews of London are preparing to face a Nazi provocation of extraordinary proportions on the first Sabbath of next month.

But at least some British Members of Parliament are issuing a call to action to protect them in the face of the upcoming neo-Nazi rally set for July 4.

Inexplicably, despite numerous requests from Jewish residents, the British government is allowing the neo-Nazis to march on that date through the prominent northwest London Jewish neighborhood of Golders Green.

MPs led by Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq have signed an early day motion praising a campaign to ban the rally, The Jewish Chronicle reported Wednesday (June 24.) The motion was cosponsored by fellow Labour Mps Sadiq Khan, Wes Streeting and Ruth Smeeth, as well as Conservative MP Peter Bottomley. The group also called on Home Secretary Theresa May to take action to stop the rally.

“That this house notes with concern the planned neo-Nazi demonstration in Golders Green on 4th July; highlights that this rally is due to take place on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, in an area in which 40 percent of the population is Jewish; praises the public activism in opposition to the rally – and particularly the Change.org petition to ban it, and the work of Hope Not Hate and the London Jewish Forum, under the umbrella of the Golders Green Together campaign, to promote solidarity and celebrate diversity in the local area; believes that every measure should be taken to protect Golders Green’s vibrant community from provocation and abuse, and calls on the Home Secretary to consider what further actions the government could take to isolate the politics of hate and division on our streets.”

Self-described fascist Joshua Bonehill, who is leading the group, has announced the event will feature “Jewish book burning and Jewish flag destruction” to protest “Jewish privilege.”

Golders Green is home to a diverse population of thousands of Jews from across the spectrum: Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and hareidi. All live together in a neighborhood where they can access the cultural trappings of Jewish life and which are now entirely unavailable anywhere else in London. Kosher food, for instance, can no longer be found at all outside of Jewish enclaves; nor can one find Jewish book shops, synagogues or mikvahs elsewhere.

A recent foray by JewishPress.com into eight different food shops — including the iconic Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s — revealed that not even a simple yogurt bearing kosher supervision can be found anywhere in London, outside of a Jewish neighborhood. In seven of the eight shops, however, Halal meat was easily available. (In M & S, a store clerk replied to a query, “None of those ‘specialty food items, like kosher or halal things, are sold in Marks & Spencer.” When asked why, the clerk had no idea and said, “You’ll have to take that up with ‘upper management.”)

British Prime Minister David Cameron maintained in remarks to Parliament earlier this month that neo-Nazis, as others, have a “right to free expression” even while condemning the rally. Cameron added that any “harassment or threatening behavior” should face the “full force of the law” – but did not offer a definition of harassment, or threatening behavior.

Bonehill announced his group would burn Israeli flags and a Talmud at the Golders Green rally. Since the burning will take place on a Sabbath, Jews cannot even put out the flames. Do either of those acts constitute harassment, or threatening behavior?

Slightly over a week ago, the Community Security Trust (CST) told a meeting attended by British police, members of the Shomrim volunteer neighborhood watch group and delegates of more than 40 local synagogues that they were not intimidated by the prospect of facing neo-Nazis, although they were “concerned and repelled.”

The Future of Diaspora Jews and Israelis Abroad

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

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European Jewry is in trouble, says Yishai, but should all European Jews immigrate to Israel? Yishai is joined in-studio by Zvika Klein, Jewish World correspondent for the NRG news site and the Hebrew weekly Makor Rishon, to discuss the future of the Diaspora, in view of anti-Jewish legislation, such as the ban on circumcisions and kosher slaughter.

Then, when the state of Israel was established, Israelis were discouraged from leaving — so much so that they were not allowed to cast absentee ballots from abroad. That attitude has changed for many reasons, among them the large number of Israelis who leave the country to study and work. Should the law be adjusted to take this into account? Yishai is joined by Avinoam Bar-Yosef, president and founding director of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, and formerly the US bureau chief for the Hebrew daily Ma’ariv, to talk about this issue specifically and the state of the Jewish people in general.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Views of Israel from Home and Abroad

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

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Hear interviews about American anti-BDS efforts, Temple Mount woes and the rabbinate’s monopoly on Kosher certification. Yishai is joined by Doron Hindin, attorney at the prestigious law firm Herzog, Fox, Neeman. Doron, who specializes in fighting BDS through legal and other means, talks about new anti-BDS resolutions by US state assemblies and senates.

Then, Yishai is joined in-studio by Jerusalem Post editorial page editor Matthew Wagner, op-ed editor Seth Frantzman and magazine editor Laura Kelly to discuss an array of issues: Why is there anarchy on the Temple Mount? Are civil rights of both Jews and Arabs being protected? What is happening with the Dead Sea? And why is the rabbinate worried about its monopoly on kosher certification?

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Chag Kasher v. Sa’meach

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

{Originally posted to author’s website, FirstOne Through}

I am neither a cook nor a chef.

While I love to eat, my wife prohibits me from doing any food preparation for fear -not without reason or history- that should I venture into her holy sanctuary, the entire room – no, the house itself! – would become un-kosher.

Over time, my place has become confined to the kitchen table. It is there that I must sit and wait for my meals, not unlike our dog (which she prefers on most days) who waits before his bowl. Remarkably, I am afforded more table scraps than him. Score one for me.

This is not to say that I cannot approach the sink. My share of the household bargain falls on cleaning up after meals. My wife considers the dishwasher and garbage pail safe terrain, as I can usually deduce whether I just consumed a dairy or meat meal.

That all ends on Passover.

When I think of my wife on Passover, I am reminded of the final scene from the movie Gallipoli where manic soldiers charge an Ottoman trench, knowing of their certain death. A fury fills her eyes as the holiday approaches and I know that no cleaning I do could ever satisfy her Kashrut Compulsive Disorder (commonly referred to by Jewish psychiatrists as KCD). This non-silent killer has taken more husbands than latkes on Hanukah.

My wife, let’s call her “Pharaoh” to protect her identity from the teachers in school who think of her as a sweet, mild-mannered parent, despises Passover. Her venom is matched by her vigilance as she tries to square the invisible shmura matzah of Passover kashrut stringencies with her own KCD.

The Pharaohs of ancient Egypt had it easier than my modern Pharaoh. The ancient kings had teams of advisers and thousands of slaves to execute their commands. Today’s Pharaoh is left with a spouse who only gets to clean in the kitchen during most of the year because we have two dishwashers. More warriors are clearly needed for the task.

New York has an outsourced cleaning industry which features companies with jolly names like “Molly Maids” and “PIG” which stands for “Partners in Grime”. When these companies drop the non-kosher acronyms and become armed with blowtorches, perhaps Pharaoh will “let these people come.”

Well, in truth, they do come.  They come a few times in succession to make sure that one team picked up where the first team may have been sloppy. At $400 a pop, the twelve cleaning tours of duty make a not so subtle reminder that we could have gone to a Passover program in the sun somewhere.

The cleaning troupes do not absolve me of cleaning (nor the sin of making Passover at home). My tasks are to lift and move large objects around the house in case a morsel of bread was carried there by a microscopic antisemitic mouse.  Dishwashers are pulled from their moorings. Refrigerators are yanked from the walls.  I am ordered to lift the island in the kitchen, until my rabbi steps in on my behalf (only because he thought I was too weak). My dog snickers at my misery.  He and I are back to break-even.

After eighteen gallons of bleach have been pored over every inch of the kitchen, and the flees on my dog would no longer consider smelling (let alone eating) anything in the house, my next task is assigned. Foiling.

Foiling on Pesach has nothing to do with fencing.  It involves rolling out aluminum foil over counter top. For the hardcore, the foiling of tables, chairs, cushions is warranted.  Our family is so famous for our foiling, that we get Happy Passover cards from Alcoa.

As the first seder arrives, Pharaoh starts to resemble my former wife again. The house is indeed clean enough that even Eliyahu would be impressed.  Family and friends gather around the table to recount the timeless story… of how no one in the shtetls had more than one pot and somehow made Passover.

As has become our tradition, before I recite the Kiddush to start the seder, my wife inverts the very order of the seder. She sings out in a loud, yet exhausted, teary voice “Hashana ha’ba’a b’Yerushayim” – Next year in Jerusalem. Everyone joins in.

 

Kosher l’Besach

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

The Arabic language doesn’t have the consonant ‘P’, which makes it difficult for many Arabs to pronounce words that aren’t part of their native language, such as the words “Palestine”, “Pesach” and “Passover”.

Instead Arabs replace the “P” with a “B“.

Apparently not being able to pronounce it, also means not being able to hear it correctly either.

A sharp-eyed Israeli inspector captured this shipment of eggs that Balestinians from the B.A. were trying to illegally smuggle into Little Israel.

The stamp on the egg says “Kosher Besach” instead of “Kosher Pesach”.

Oops. Foiled Again.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/kosher-lbesach/2015/04/02/

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