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Commotion Surrounds The Decision Of Eida Ravaad Regarding Braekel Chicken

The decision of Eida Chareidis Ravaad HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch regarding the Braekel bird has created somewhat of a storm among the Vaad Shochtim of the Eida Chareidis. Just last week, Rav Sternbuch met with HaGaon HaRav Moshe Yehuda Leib Landau, and both ruled the bird is prohibited to use.

There are some chassidim explaining that there is a mesora for these birds, which they feel are kosher, as was ruled by HaGaon HaRav Nissim Karelitz.

In his response, Rav Sternbuch details why he feels the bird is prohibited, while strengthening the kashrus of the chickens that we slaughter and use today.

There are more than a few experts who have cast a doubt on the chickens used today, and there have been cases in which shochtim turned down a livelihood rather than shecht them.

The head of the Eida Chareidis Vaad Shechita, HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Yehuda Hirsch will be traveling abroad and he is expected to meet with a number of experts to engage in halachic discussion regarding the Braekel bird.

Read previous articles by YWN:

New European Chicken Causing A Kashrus Uproar In Eretz Yisrael

The War of the Chicken Breeds – A Halachic Analysis

VIDEO & PHOTOS: Machlokes Surrounding The Braekel Bird Continues In Eretz Yisrael

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

11 Responses

  1. Can someone explain why with all the available breeds of chicken which have the requited mesora, why we need to engage in this debate. Is it academic, or are there some reall commercial reasons why this type of chicken has such significance to warrant such attention and analysis.

  2. So the question was raised of why this bird has become so important now. The answer to that question depends on which “story” one wishes to believe. In one version of events related in hamodia, some 20 years ago there was concern raised that modern breeding methods merge so many disparate species together that one cannot be certain of the true lineage of modern chickens. Thus a “pure” bred was sought out and allegedly Rav Wosner allegedly recognized the Braekel as such as the ones used in the old country in the olden days. So the objective is to provide theh observant community with an alleged purer and more kosher alternative.

  3. Reply to Gadolhadorah
    Firstly it’s vacation time.
    Secondly (and more seriously) no one has ever delved into the question of today’s western breeds of chicken. The breeding craze started in the early 1800’s and soon became financially driven, particularly in the USA, where all sorts of breeds were mixed and matched to produce what we have today. People just ate what was available without asking too many questions. When the refugees from Eastern Europe arrived after the war, they also ate what was available. These same were later (in the 1950’s) introduced into the Israeli market and although some questions were asked at the time, nothing serious was (or perhaps could be) done. Twenty years ago the question was raised again but nothing came of it. The recent Psak says: Since scholars and tzaddikim have eaten these chickens for the past 100 years, they may be considered as having a mesores. This based on a similar ruling of the Netziv.

  4. The Braekel is noted mainly for laying over 180 eggs per year. As far as tastefulness – it tastes like wild bird and needs to be pre-processed for a yiddish palate.
    I wonder if the issue is eating a bird not known as a meat bird or is the issue, once again, if the EGGS are edible.

  5. To GeorgeG….it seems the efforts to produce a “more kosher” pure breed of “uberchickens” with more yichus and a more definitive mesora than other commerically bred chickens has backfired if a chashuve rav who has respect in many segments of the tzibur like Sternbuch has paskind that it is “prohibited” for eating….

  6. Rav Mordechai Gross and a talmid of Rav Wosner says not to use the Braekel and to use only the chickens that were used all of these years.

  7. Aside from taste and a questionalable mesora (which alone may be sufficient cause) is there any “physiological” attribute of these chickens that per se make them treifus?

  8. @gaadoltorah yes that’s exactly what happened here it backfired…but like most other things in life this also revolves around money. there has been a lot of time and money put into bringing this chicken to Israel and only after all that was rav sternbuch approached and he basically said you should have approached before putting in all this money to it….besides for that the real main point is that the chickens we eat are actually in question because of the breeding and there are a large number of people who won’t eat the chickens we have because of that…this was supposed to be that solution even though the taste wasn’t the best….it only became a major issue once the bird was brought in and there were schochets who raised the issue further and then it came to rav sternbuch….and the rest is what you see now….its obviously a lot more in depth and if you do some more research you will see.

  9. Realisticguy: Well put, but for one indisputable fact – both Rav T. Weisz and Rav Sternbuch of the Eidah signed an undertaking with the importers/breeders to use ony their poultry once they could supply sufficient to meet the demand. Is it credible that the two most senior rabbis of the Eidah failed to check out the kashrus of the chickens first? The present storm was instigated by Rav Landau who accused the importers/breeders of trying to monopolise the market and put the other breeders out of business. Of course once they go out of business, so would his shechitah. He is also implicitly accusing the Eidah of collusion (which is perhaps why he initially wrote to R Aharon Teitelbaum instead of taking it up with the Eidah), unless he did not know of the undertaking at the time. The fact that he even later agreed to visit Rav Sternbuch speaks volumes, perhaps better omitted here. But the above is all available in writing, scanned copies of original documents. To call it a scandal is somewhat of a euphamism.

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