Over shabbat, it occurred to me that my last post could be seen as overly critical of the OU. However, my goal was more to point out the inadequacies of its letter rather than criticize the OU itself or its practices in the areas of hashgacha. While I do think the OU needs to issue its own clarification, I also said that they need to get the benefit of the doubt in this case.

  1. Thousands of shehitot are done at this plant. We have no idea if this is a common occurrence or an isolated incident.
  2. We don’t know for certain if the sheita is in fact pasul.
  3. Until the Rabbanut issues a formal pesak halakha – the Jerusalem Post doesn’t count – we’re not sure exactly what their position is.
  4. Even if the shehita doesn’t meet the Rabbanut’s standards, that religious body technically has no authority in America.
  5. Even if the shehita was in fact objectively pasul, we have no idea if the meat was ever distributed or packaged as kosher. For all we know, the mashgichim saw it – and rejected it.
  6. Someone who has actually visited the plant told me that several “runs” are done at the plant. Meaning at the same plant, different mashgichim oversee shehita for different organizations. Thus, the infraction might not have even occurred under the OU’s watch.

As I mentioned in the last post, now is not the time for people who have never opened a Yoreh Deah to start paskening and invalidating the OU. They’ve been doing hashgacha for a long time and aren’t going to do anything to cause the masses to sin.
Again, just sit tight and wait for the OU to formally address the issue.

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