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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 10 Apr 2020 05:41 PM and ends Sat 11 Apr 2020 06:40 PM

Musings on Shechita

ח' שבט ה' אלפים תשס"ח

.. my best friend's father is a prominent Satmar Shochet, and wanted to
teach me. I am too much of a "softie" to shecht, though, and did not pursue
it too long.

Some of the first things he taught me were, "Do not EVER work for any shecht
house that rushes you and makes you shecht too many gassos in one day. 40 or
50 a day is a LOT."

He gave many reasons:

1) He said, "if you are a mensch, you realize these are baalei chaim. Even
though we are elevating them, they are not having fun. They do feel pain,
and we must not make believe that is not so. When you take the life of a
baal chaim, you loose a little tiny bit of yourself. Your need time in
between each shechita to 'recover', daven/meditate a minute, and understand
the animal's pain in leaving this world. If you fail to do this, you will
become a robot, losing your very menshlechkeit or humanity. You will then
not have the proper feelings and kindness towards others, including your own
family. So, never let them rush you.

Also, if you allow this to happen, you will become that robot whose shechita
should be questioned, because if you loose your humanity, you should not be
trusted as a shochet anymore."

2) Make sure the Beheima has time to die before anything is done to it - not
to give it further tzar. This sometimes is only 30 seconds, but sometimes
can take 3 minutes or more. If the shecht house is unwilling to wait those 3
minutes, walk out and quit.... and never eat their shechita.

3) Take the minute and check the simonim YOURSELF alongside the mashgiach.
This "checks and balances" system ensures kashrus. If you shecht and walk
away that second, not returning until the next animal is ready, it is very
tempting for the mashgiach to be concerned with the percentages of treifos,
and call something kosher that is questionable. But if you both look at it
together, you are being each other's checker, and it helps fight the
temptation to please the shecht house. This is especially true on a bad day
when you may have just had 3 treifos in a row. Everyone wants to make the
next one kosher. But if you are looking together, you will be ready to admit
it is 4 in a row. One day you may have zero treifos, the next day you may
have 10 in a row! It happens, don't be afraid of it. If the shecht house, in
any way makes you feel bad about your percentages, quit immediately. First,
you are working for Hashem, second for the shecht house.

He took me to watch a few times. Though I am really too much of a softie to
do it, I watched, and I can tell you, he, and they, DO practice that they
preach. The animal is allowed to expire before being moved! Sometimes it was
more than 3 minutes.

You never saw a shechted animal stumbling about in obvious horrific pain,
while a Mexican was trying to tie a chain to a rear leg and yank it up into
the air as they do at some poor shecht houses.

The mashgiach is there watching the shechita, not 20 feet away.

The animals do not see each other get shechted.

The "Next up" does not enter the area, until the one shechted has expired,
and been removed.

The Shochet returns to his place between shechitas, and checks his chalaf,
slowly and carefully.

So, there are houses that do it right.

And... by the way, many PETA members are JEWISH and not anti semites. Just
because a group is against cruelty does not make them antisemites.

Maybe if all shecht houses would do what I wrote above, we would not have
trouble with PETA. Oh, I know there would always be SOME trouble, for some
PETA folks are rather fanatic and really don't want any animals killed, but
they would not see the cruelty they are seeing now.

You COULD have kashrus without cruelty. There is no excuse for it. I would
happily pay more for kosher shechita that is not cruel. and I do.

For that one who would rather be a vegetarian than eat a certain Shechita, I
agree with you. I now live out of the NY area, and sometimes do not have the
shechita I prefer (Alle / Satmar) available. My house rule, which my
Rebbetzin understands, I would rather serve Peanut Butter and Jelly for
Shabbos, even to orchim, before using meat that was not killed the way I
described above.

And, yes, if my kelim were in contact with meat from a certain shect house
whose work I do not approve of, I will kasher my keilim.

Also, guys, when there is so much smoke, there must be a bit of fire; no?

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