BETH DIN STATEMENT RE SHECHITA

The Beth Din wishes to clarify the confusion which exists in the community regarding the various types of shechita and meat which are available.

There is one Beth Din in Johannesburg which is responsible for the kashrut certification of all food products, including meat and chicken. No other organisations or Rabbis give a hechsher to any products or establishments.

There are two different shechitas of meat and chicken both falling under the hechsher and control of the Beth Din. These are known as “Beth Din” and “Mehadrin Commission”

All meat and chicken from both “Beth Din” and “Mehadrin Commission” shechitas is “glatt” and “mehadrin”, and conforms to the strictest levels of Halacha.

Beth Din
“Beth Din” shechita, is under the direct supervision of the Johannesburg Beth Din. Rabbi Yossi Salzer is the Beth Din representative at the shechita of this meat and takes personal responsibility for the kashrut thereof.

Mehadrin Commission
“Mehadrin Commission” shechita, also under the direct supervision of the Johannesburg Beth Din, is by and large (although certainly not exclusively), the meat of preference for the Lubavitch community. Rabbi Sholom Ber Groner is the Beth Din representative at the shechita of this meat and chicken and takes personal responsibility for the kashrut thereof.

Within the shechita of Beth Din chickens, there is a further classification:

While all chickens are “glatt” and “mehadrin” as explained above, there are certain members of the community who prefer that the kashering of the chickens undergo further “chumros” (stringencies) in the salting process which entail that the back of the chicken is split open. Although this is not a “must” in terms of Halacha, the Beth Din accommodates those who prefer such stringencies.

“Mehadrin Commission” chickens are all kashered in this manner and a limited number of “Beth Din” chickens are also kashered in this manner and are known as “Beth Din Split Chickens”.

The Beth Din, through the “Mehadrin Commission”, also accommodates those who follow the stringencies of the Beit Yosef (e.g. Sefardim), and “Beit Yosef” meat is made available through the “Beit Yosef” butchery, in Glenhazel.

Because of Rabbi Salzers involvement in the “Beth Din” shechita, this meat and split chicken has become known to some in the community as “Rabbi Salzers meat”. This has created further confusion in that some even consider this to be a third and separate shechita, when in fact this is not the case.

In order to avoid further confusion, the Beth Din recommends that the two types of shechita which are available under our supervision are referred to by their correct names, namely, “Beth Din” and “Mehadrin Commission”.

Any further queries may be directed to the Beth Din Kashrut Department on 011 485 4865 or kashrut@uos.co.za

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