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Why I care and why you should.
I have gotten some emails asking why do I, living outside of Nashville, care about this dispute, which going on outside of New York —a couple of hundred miles away. When I was a kid, the Rabbis taught me that one of the great things about Judaism is its openess. Twenty-five hundred years ago high preists of many religions had their “sacred texts.” there was only one faith, ours, that read the text (in our case Torah) in public and put it out there for anyone to study. The 5 Towns Vaad, with its silence is acting contrary to the openess we have been expecting from our Jewish leaders since Moses began sharing Torah with us 3500 years ago. As I have seen on other blogs (and apparently Mr Ain from the Jewish Week has also) their lack of communication is breeding discontent in the community, calling into question their authority, and worst of all they are loosing an opportunity to teach. Because is they came out and explained themselves it would be a wonderful teaching opportunity. And isn’t that what Rabbis are supposed to do?

Stew Ain of the Jewish Week does an admirable job of of updating the story. Below are some snippits but I urge you to read the entire article.

Five Town Kosher Showdown Intensifies
Stewart Ain – Staff Writer
The rabbinical board overseeing kosher certification in the Five Towns says “serious halachic and contractual violations” at Gourmet Glatt are behind its decision to pull its approval from the store. Some in the community say they want to know why.  Kym N
The controversy over Gourmet Glatt Emporium, a popular kosher supermarket in Cedarhurst, grew this week with the decision of the Vaad Hakashrus of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway to withdraw its kosher supervision of the store one hour before the start of the Sabbath last Friday. ……

“I feel totally drained from this fiasco,” said Mark Bolender, a partner in the supermarket. “I gave my life and soul to this community and I hope the community does not turn its back on me.”……

“There were no kashrut issues whatsoever,” he said.

But in a “message to the community,” the Vaad said it acted after Gourmet Glatt hired the second kosher supervisor, Rabbi Yehuda Kravitz, in “violation of its contract and policies with the Vaad.” In addition, it said Gourmet Glatt had “serious halachic and contractual violations over time” and that it was unable to get the owners to correct them……

My Favorite Part

A number of Internet blogs, or online personal journals, on the controversy were critical of the Vaad, with one saying that though the Vaad must be supported and every eatery held to the same standards, the Vaad “is being somewhat vague — perhaps suspiciously vague — on the actual reasoning behind their decision. … They’re careening toward a vote of no confidence if they don’t start discussing why they did what they did.

And of Course the soure of the problem

Five calls to the Vaad’s office Tuesday were not returned

And an outside Rabbi weighs in

Rabbi Harry Cohen, an administrator of a different kosher supervisory agency that is not connected to this dispute, said that although Rabbi Kravitz should have sought permission from the Vaad before agreeing to provide kosher supervision, he disagreed with the actions of the Vaad’ “Where do these rabbis come off forcing him to sell?”

Read the whole story here

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