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Week of March 17, 2016

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Letters to the Editor THE CJN PHOTO
Letters to the Editor THE CJN PHOTO

Counting our chickens

When I read the front page of The CJN March 3, and noticed the headlines “The cost of keeping kosher” and “Where are all the kosher chickens?”, I had to send in my response straight away.

Anyone who wants to keep kosher always knows they will have to pay more. And most are and are still willing to do so. Therefore, when I go to the meat counter, I shop carefully and try to buy what I truly need for the week. I am careful to make sure there is very little waste.

What really has made me angry over time, however, and especially, since Marvid has had the monopoly to supply all of the chickens in Toronto, is that when I bring home my packaged chicken, I feel that I have been gouged twice over.

First, because the prices have gone up quite considerably, and I really don’t think that it’s all due to the dollar exchange rate. Second, and most important to me, is that when I open the package, I have to deal with removing all of the fat and extra skin that are left on each piece before I can use them for cooking. When I have finished removing all of this from each piece, or from a whole chicken, I am left with a handful of extra weight that I had paid for to be thrown out in the garbage.

It seems to me that there is no control on how kosher meats and products are really priced. It is truly sad to read that there are some people who say that they only can afford to buy kosher for Shabbat or the holidays. Instead of encouraging people who want to keep kosher, these companies seem to only care about their bottom line. And for me, when I am opening up a nice package of chicken legs, or what have you, and have to then throw away the extra fat, after paying the price of wanting to keep kosher, it makes me just want to scream.

Miriam Abbou

Toronto

I am saddened by the bureaucratic foot-dragging of the Chicken Farmers of Ontario on your community’s chronic need for safe, great-tasting, nutritious, affordable, locally produced, kosher chickens.

Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada  was approached by one of the kosher chicken proponents, and we attempted to aid them in understanding the issues, and proposed solutions.

One possible solution discussed was to consider small flock poultry farmers and pastured poultry. If you start with an inferior chicken, the world’s best kosher processing plant can’t make it much better than the mediocrity of the bird’s upbringing. The scientific evidence contrasting the “factory chicken” from “pastured small flocks” is significant and reliable.

There are only 1,400 or so chicken factories in Ontario, but there are more than 16,000 small flock poultry farmers. Small flockers would like to be a part of the solution for your kosher chicken. Let a small flocker near you understand and help.

Glenn Black, president, Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

Providence Bay, Ont.


Celebrate instead of tolerate

How interesting that you chose the headline “Tolerating differences among Jews” to highlight the difference of opinion between Rabbi Daniel Korobkin and Rabbi Lisa Grushcow, regarding how traditional and liberal Jews treat one another.

It was Rabbi Korobkin’s use of that word  “tolerant” that is actually quite upsetting. On the surface, it sounds like an admirable quality to possess. But how does it sound if we talk about being tolerant of women, or tolerant of gay people? It now sounds like a very condescending attitude. There is a hidden implication that our views are correct, but everyone else who is different is quite wrong, and we will “tolerate” them.

Perhaps a better choice of a word, which would reflect the attitude someone is trying to convey, would be to say we are “accepting” of different forms of Judaism, or perhaps even “celebrating” the different forms.

This attitude would be no different than how we look at different forms of music. Although we have our favourites, we don’t just tolerate other kinds of music. We celebrate the different kinds, and our world is enriched because of the many varieties. How wonderful it would be if all factions of Jews could “celebrate” one another’s views instead of just “tolerating” them.

Len Phillips 

Toronto