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Butchers file injunction in kosher lawsuit

Two kosher butchers filed a motion to stop the state of New York from enforcing its kosher laws.

The motion, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, is the latest twist in a suit aimed at reversing New York laws that seem to favor Orthodox kosher certifiers.

Brian and Jeffrey Yarmeisch, brothers who run a kosher establishment on Long Island, consider certain unmarked foods like frozen vegetables to be kosher – a practice allowed by most Conservative rabbis and opposed by Orthodox ones.

Under New York law, only products labeled as kosher can be sold as kosher. The Yarmeisch brothers are in violation of the law by selling prepared foods with a kosher label that have unmarked ingredients.

An affidavit submitted by Rabbi William Berman, a Conservative rabbi who certifies the Yarmeisches’ food, claims the state is favoring one Jewish denomination over another, The New York Jewish Week reported.

“The state is infringing upon the religious freedom of the non-Orthodox denominations/sects of Judaism by compelling [them] to adhere to the law requiring labels on all kosher food products,” said Berman’s affidavit.

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