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Demand Creation of Supreme Religious Body for Orthodox Jewry

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(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

The creation of a Beth Din Ha’Gadol, a supreme religious court for Orthodox Jews, to decide all matters pertaining to religious questions was demanded in a resolution adopted at a joint session of the two rabbinical organizations, Degel Ha’Rabanim and Kenesseth Ha’Rabbanim, which concluded their convention here yesterday.

The court would be considered as the highest authority, empowered to decide all religious questions that arise, and would be composed of representatives of the several organizations of Orthodox Rabbis in the United States. The Union of Orthodox Rabbis, with which the groups in session are not affiliated, will be approached to participate in the formation of the new body. A committee to prepare a plan for organizing the religious court was chosen and the hope was expressed during the discussion that through such an agency a rapprochement of the various sections of Orthodox Jewry would be brought about.

A special committee was appointed to seek ways and means of bringing about peace and cooperation among the various organizations of Orthodox Rabbis.

A resolution endorsing the five-day industrial week, giving an opportunity to Orthodox Jews to observe the Sabbath, was unanimously adopted. Following a lengthy debate on the measures to be taken to increase Sabbath observance, a resolution was passed urging the congregations to see to it that only such persons as are strict Sabbath observers are elected as presidents of Orthodox congregations or as principals in the Talmud Torahs.

A large part of the discussion was devoted to the problem of Jewish religious education. The discussion was led by Rabbi S. L. Horowitz of New York. Resolutions adopted on this subject call for the organization of elementary classes in the Talmud Torahs for children between the ages of six and eight, the creation in each congregation of a special committee on religious education, to organize rabbis who are active in educational institutions into a permanent body which should meet in monthly conferences in their districts, to set aside one Sabbath in the year to propagate the idea of a more intense religious education. The resolutions also urged the creation of a Jewish Mothers Alliance for furthering Jewish education An auxiliary of rabbis’ wives is also to be created.

A decision of considerable interest to the meat product industry in cities with a large Jewish population was taken by the convention following a report submitted to the convention by a special committee of Rabbis Margolies, Yudelewich, Barishansky, Bovshovick and Mendelson. This matter came up at the Monday evening session presided over by Rabbi Welvele Margolies of New York, and was the result of a recent ruling of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis that the products of a kosher department in a non-kosher meat products concern cannot be regarded as kosher although rabbinical supervision is in effect Rabbi Jacob Eskolsky and other rabbis took exception to the ruling.

The special committee brought in a report that according to its interpretation of the religious law the Union’s ruling is incorrect. The convention agreed with the committee that “if strict regulations are observed to separate completely the kosher from the non-kosher departments, a qualified and recognized rabbi has a right to issue an “Hechsher” (certificate of approval) for the products manufactured in the kosher department.”

Rabbi Jacob Eskolsky also reported on the work of the Agunoth bureau, in assisting Jewish women who lost track of their husbands.

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