Rav Aharon Kotler, Hebrew National, and Glatt Kosher Meat

In A Conversation With Rabbi Yosef Tendler – Early Years and Recollections of Lakewood in the Time of Rav Aharon Kotler, Rabbi Yosef Tendler, the Menahel (Principal) of Ner Israel’s High School and the younger brother of Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Moshe Dovid Tendler, mentioned some shockers by today’s Frum standards. (additions re: Glatt Kosher) were added by Prof. Yitzchok Levine):

  • Hebrew National was actually Kosher enough for someone like R’ Aharon Kotler to eat from. Apparently there was a Hechsher given in the 1940’s by Rav Altusky, who was a recognized Gadol at the time.
  • At this time (the 1940’s), just as it was in Europe before WW II, almost no one ate glatt.
  • Yeshivas RJJ back then had a summer camp, Camp Deal, that cost $12.50 a week (approx. $125-150 today). Students came for two-week sessions, and shockingly, NO SHIURIM WERE GIVEN.
  • In the Shidduch world, it was acceptable then, in his circles, for boys and girls to socialize either at the local Mizrachi or at the Young Israel. Shadchanus was almost unheard of.

From a past email by Prof. Levine:

“Someone who used to shop for Reb Aharon’s wife in the early days when Reb Aaron first came to Lakewood once mentioned, “I used to buy Breakstone cottage cheese and sour cream and Hebrew National salami for her.”

Listen, there are Holocaust deniers and Orthodox deniers. The Orthodox deniers are those who will deny any historical fact that does not fit with their view of the world.”

*** UPDATE*** 2017-05-01 ***

The above page no longer exists. It must have been removed and reworded (later-on copies are on archive.org) with that piece taken out. It must have been deemed too controversial to keep.

 

Also of interest:

http://haemtza.blogspot.ca/2009/07/answering-to-higher-authority.html

“Rabbi Yitzchak Abadi, who studied in Lakewood, N.J., under the famed Rabbi Aaron Kotler and was once the exclusive halachic authority in the Haredi (fervently observant) stronghold of Lakewood, N.J., founded a popular Web site called kashrut.org . Rabbi Abadi’s son, Aharon, who now runs the Web site, declared that Hebrew National’s meat “is certainly kosher for all who do not eat only glatt.”

Although it is preferable to eat glatt when available, says Rabbi Abadi, it is a chumrah, a voluntarily accepted restriction. Those who don’t limit themselves to glatt are still keeping kosher.”

 

See also http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2009/07/hebrew-national-and-kosher-politics-234.html

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