[Buddha-l] Insight into Anti-Muslim Violence in Sri Lanka

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 20 20:08:09 MDT 2013

> Is death ever painless and instant?

Which of us is the vegetarian? Obviously the quicker the death, the less 
pain. The kosher method is supposed to be fairly instantaneous. If it takes 
longer, the meat is not kosher.

Oscar Meyer has a big slaugherhouse in Madison, Wisc. Back in the day they 
gave tours -- maybe they do again, thought they halted that for awhile. Cows 
were led down these labyrinthian chutes -- you could smell the blood ahead, 
and so could the cows who had glaring fear in their eyes. They were prodded 
along, until they came to a guy with a shotgun who put the barrel to their 
forehead and fired a stun round into their head, which knocked them out, but 
didn't kill them. They screamed and staggered, and fell. And then they would 
be killed and carved up. It was a glorious tour -- created many vegetarians, 
which is why they suspended the tours. Kosher slaughter is nothing like 
that. But it is slaughter.

> Isn't there another factor, namely, that any food to be kosher must be 
> blessed by a qualified rabbi? I worked once in a plant that processed 
> cooking oil. One line of oil we made was kosher. Every month or so a rabbi 
> came out to the plant and said some prayers over some vats of oil, thereby 
> turning the canola oil (then known as rape seed oil) kosher. That was not 
> so much a matter of purity as of ritual; the kosherized oil was in every 
> other respect identical to the non-kosher oil.

Do you imagine the gas got in your car because you told the clerk to have a 
nice day? Why not? Might it have something to do with being able to 
differentiate the tail end of a sequence of actions from the full series?

Having actually participated in the koshering of industrial kitchens I can 
assure you whatever liturgical accompaniments are included are the least of 
it. It is hard, physical work, based on very precise rules. I presume no one 
was eating ham sandwiches or killing pigs, etc. near the kosher vats. If 
they were, that rabbi wasn't doing his job. Once all the materials are 
rendered kosher, they remain so unless sullied by impure vasanas or the 
prescribed maintenance is not followed. The hard work had already been done, 
and he was just coming out to make sure things were still ok. Inspection, 
not koshering. Likewise the oil, if unsullied, would already be kosher. Had 
it gone into the non-koshered vats, it would no longer be kosher, since the 
vats are not kosher. To say that another way, you could take oil from the 
kosher vats and put it in the nonkosher vats and sell that as nonkosher, but 
you couldn't do the reverse. Once it is in the nonkosher vats, it has lost 
its "purity".

What initially kashered the vats, etc., back when they were first made 
kosher, was not liturgical words, but physical purifications. A blessing 
never hurt anything, but the words alone won't kosher anything, and that 
rabbi's monthly booster shots were the equivalent of the umpire saying "play 
ball." No one scores by saying that. It was probably also a bit of show to 
reassure whoever was paying him that he was earning the money.

This is not the forum to go into the details of how things get koshered, but 
if someone is curious how to kosher their own kitchen (industrial varieties 
have similar requirements, but on a grander scale and with more complexity), 
see http://kosherfood.about.com/od/kosherfaq/ht/htkoshkitch.htm


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