It appears that a vote is forthcoming on the proposed Israeli fur ban. One potential hurdle to the bill's passing was the opposition of Trade Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, but according to the International Anti-Fur Coalition, Ben-Eliezer formally withdrew his opposition to the bill on Sunday. On its Web site, the organization notes that "the path is open for the ban to be voted [on] at the committee meeting to be held at the Knesset on September 2nd when the bill comes up for its 2nd and 3rd reading."
NewKosher.org Coming Soon
I've written a fair amount about PunkTorah, and I'm happy to announce that this nonprofit organization will soon be launching the Web site NewKosher.org. Says PunkTorah CEO Patrick Aleph, "NewKosher.org is an effort by PunkTorah to create a true Kosher Lifestyle based on the ethical, moral, environmental, and mystical principles of kashrut." I've submitted a few posts connecting kashrut and vegetarianism, and I expect that they'll be posted shortly after the site goes live.
Tens of Thousands of Chickens Die in Israeli Heat Waves
Yesterday, Haaretz reported that "just" 20,000 chickens had died in a recent Israeli heat wave. This was viewed as a small death toll relative to the hundreds of thousands of chickens who died in a heat wave two weeks prior. The paper reported, "The reason less battery hens died this time around is that the poultry farmers improved the cooling systems in chicken coops, according to Kanat, the Insurance Fund for Natural Risks in Agriculture." It's questionable enough when animals are raised and killed to be eaten, but it's a shonde when they suffer and die from heat and aren't even used for food.
Opposition to Unsanitary Conditions for Kapparot
Last week, Failed Messiah noted that a New York newspaper had reported that the Rockland County, N.Y., health commissioner is speaking out against unsanitary conditions for kapparot. The Journal News reported:
The Rockland Commissioner of Health directed officials today to find out where a Jewish group was planning on holding its annual chicken ritual [kapparot] and to meet with organizers to try to prevent the unsanitary conditions that have led to fines in the past. . . .
A Monsey man who organizes the ceremony for Ramapo's large Jewish population has been fined three years in a row for not adequately cleaning up chicken entrails, feces, carcasses, feet and blood in kapparot ceremonies in Monsey.
Much of the previous years' fines remain unpaid, health officials said.
Members of the Rockland Department of Health said they have met with organizers in previous years to explain the sanitary code requirements and suggest ways to perform the ritual while still complying with regulations.
Those meetings have had little effect, health officials told [Rockland Commissioner of Health John] Facelle.
"We meet with them ahead of time and explain what they have to do," Thomas Micelli, director of environmental health, told Facelle. "And it's still awful."