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Chicago Rabbis Battle Shochet Racketeering

The Orthodox rabbinate of Chicago has declared a ban on poultry which is to be effective on Monday, and has ordained that no fowl found in Orthodox markets shall be kosher after that date. All Orthodox synagogues of Chicago have been notified to this effect during their Sabbath services today.

This order of the Chicago Orthodox rabbinate has been issued in the war which it is waging against many local shochtim, on terrorism in the kosher butcher business here and on infractions of kashruth ritual. At a meeting in the Hebrew Theological College tonight the situation was discussed by rabbis and leaders of the Chicago Orthodox kehillah. It was claimed that shochtim have been ignoring the rule that they must appear monthly for examination on their knowledge of the Mosaic law of kashruth and as to the keenness of their blades. Other transgressions charged were terrorism, slugging, racketeering, etc.

It was stated that one shochet, Noah Greenberg, was slugged last week and that officials of the shochtim union, among them Joe Etkins, business manager, have been tried for murder and other crimes in the Criminal Court and have been acquitted. Shochtim are not permitted to kill if they are racketeers, the rabbis were told, since the Talmud demands clean, pious men for ritual killings.

Now the Orthodox rabbinate has ruled that any Chicago shochet who kills poultry after Monday will be barred forever from the profession and branded as unfit to kill. Presidents of Orthodox synagogues are asked to cooperate so that no “bootleg” killing will be done.

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