The urgent need of organized kashruth in greater New York is unquestionably of great importance. The execution of such an endeavor has the aspects of a herculean task. Aside from the traditional religious question, kashruth must be considered also from a civic standpoint. The latter is of great importance, due to the attention it creates among non-Jewish fellow citizens.
The city authorities of New York, in conjunction with rabbinical organizations, are trying to bring order out of chaos existing here. When an organizing body under the auspices of the city authorities held a meeting recently, dissension started immediately, one organization refusing to join the board if one of the other organizations were included. Kashruth supervision based upon traditional precepts does not lie alone in the hands of an individual rabbi because he has received a degree from a greater rabbinical authority than another rabbi, who is nevertheless a rabbi and who has received a degree from a reputable authority.
A GREAT PROCEDURE NECESSARY
Kashruth supervision should also not be permitted to be under the sole jurisdiction of any one organization in a community where there is no governing, official ecclesiastical body. Some rabbinical authorities are undoubtedly more capable of expounding certain laws than others. When the various organizations met under city auspices, at the outset they should have first set down an agreed upon procedure as to how kashruth, in all its phases, should be observed throughout the city. After these facts had been set on record, the next step would have been to appoint a selective rabbinical council, and some solution could have been found that this council should be representative of all Jewry and meet with the approval of all concerned. The fact that one organization considers itself superior, and refused to join such a body or even to discuss matters in order to reach an amicable adjustment, does not speak well.
Just prior to going to press with this issue one of the large corporations publicly denounced the attitude of some of our rabbinical factions, which in order to solicit supervision and have advantage of the accompanying financial gain, denounced other rabbinical organizations in the most violent manner.
This is one of frequent occurrences that shows how rabbinical organizations of repute cannot be brought together to work harmoniously, not because their code of laws (chay odom and schulchan aruch) are different, but simply because of the thought of supremacy of one organization over the other; and also the consequent loss of income to one organization or to an individual.