Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Warsaw—The Jerusalem Post reports that Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski recently met with a group of European rabbis and told them that “the Polish government is determined to find a solution that would restore schechita in Poland  “despite a ban on such slaughter that came into effect in January.

The delegation from the haredi Rabbinical Centre of Europe, with many members from Chabad, were told,  “The Polish government will operate on all levels to reach this solution as quickly as possible.”

The Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE), based in Brussels, was established in 2000 (5760) at the request of communal Rabbis throughout Europe “according to instructions of most prominent Rabbis,” who are the supreme authority of the Centre, deciding its direction and also the source of its reliability. Among them are: Rabbi Hillel Pevzner OBM, Head of Committee of Lubavitch Rabbis, Paris; Rabbi Gershon Mendel Garelik, Head of the Executive Committee Rosh of a Beis Din in Milan; Rabbi David Moshe Liberman, Rabbi of Shomrei Hadass, Antwerp; Rabbi Azriel Chaikin, Former Chief  Rabbi of Ukraine; Rabbi Yirmiyah Menachem Kohen, Av Paris Beis Din, head of Divorce and  Maase Beis Din Department; Rabbi Berel Lazar, one of the two chief rabbis of Russia.

Among those in attendance were Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, chief rabbi of the Interprovincial Chief Rabbinate in Holland, Rabbi Yisrael Yaakov Lichtenstein of the UK’s Federation of Synagogues, and Rabbi Menachem Margolin, General Director of the European Jewish Association (EJA).

Sikorski told them he “intends to submit a request to the court to judge the petition lodged by the European Jewish Association and receive a ruling on the issue as soon as possible.”

Margolin and the EJA  have also demanded the resignation of Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich over his failure to lobby successfully to prevent the ban. [Decades ago, Rabbi Berel Lazar of Chabad and Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt had power battle for the position of Chief Rabbi of Russia—which ended in a tie. They share the title.]

Both Schudrich and the local Jewish community and Margolin have retained lawyers and are appealing to Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal to have the ban overturned. The EJA hired Roman Giertych, a former far right politician whose faction, the League of Polish Families, is antisemitic. Giertych also represents farmers and agricultural interests in Poland who have been hit hard by the ruling. The suit is also considered  an infringement on the right of the Polish Jewish community’s right to fight its own battles.

JPost also reported that the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland said “that while Polish Jews believe the EJA has ‘every right to protest,’  it is ‘unacceptable that any legal or political initiatives from abroad are launched without coordination, or at least consultation, with us.’”

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