Monday, May 04, 2009

What's Your Prediction? Great Idea or Mass Apoplexy

Yeshiva World News is reporting that the Star-K will begin a program of training women to be mashgichot. They will be trained to work mostly in catering halls and restaurants.

What do you think the reaction will be in the general Yeshiva world?

Will it be hailed as a way to help women earn a parnassah in this difficult time?
Will it be shrugged off as a "what took them so long?" moment?
Will it be denounced with shouts of "Kol K'vuda...?"

What do you think?

The Wolf

33 comments:

Risa said...

Definitely a "what took them so long?"

Ahavah Gayle said...

Now, Wolf, you know us women are not smart enough to make halachic decisions.

(That's sarcasm, for all you feminazis out there.)

You really don't think some chereidi man is going to trust a woman's opinion or authority on anything, do you?

(That's not.)

Kelly said...

Well...I assume women do more with food in the home, do they not? If they can be responsible for their own food, why not for others?

Anonymous said...

it will be great for the kollel group because now they can sit and learn and not have to do any work while their wives will work and maybe bring home left over food at the same time.
if the husband is lucky, the wife might get the job at le marais or another fancy resturant and get those meals as left overs.

Anonymous said...

this has been going on in Baltimore for more than 10 years, there are plenty of female mashgichot here

E-Man said...

I know lots of places with female mashgichot. Also, women are trusted even as shochets so I am not sure why the chareidim would have any problem with this. If they do then they can't eat at home anymore because they clearly don't cook their wives do.

Anonymous said...

Ok as long as they don't get called yoatzot or maharat .
KT
Joel Rich

Mikeinmidwood said...

I think they wont trust a woman for hashgachah, but it clearly states in halachah you can.

G*3 said...

Both.

Its a great idea, and strictly halachicly there shouldn't be a problem with it. But hoe long do you think it will be before someone decides that women serving in what has until now been a man's role isn't tznius?

In the more right-wing groups, it is considered by some to be a shame that women have to leave the house at all. (I'm not making this up, people (men) have actually told me that the nature of women is that they would rather stay home, but unfortunatly in today's world they have to leave the house.)

Joshua said...

I suspect that there will be different reactions from different people. I've already encountered people who think that the Star K is sometimes too lenient. For many of those people, this may be the final straw.

The moderate chareidim will probably shrug and move on.

One advantage is that the Star K is so large that not trusting them would be massively inconvenient.

This may have more of an impact on how the Star K is treated in Israel where the yeshivis world is often more strict about gender issues.

Incidentally, a moderately related anecdote: When I was a little kid, the day school we went to went to visit a hand shmurah matzah factory every year right before Pesach. The boys were allowed to go in, but the girls never were no matter how young because there was concern that they would distract the men making the matzah. So seven year-old girls are already too sexually dangerous to let into a matzah factory. I suspect that the people who ran that factory won't approve of this decision at all.

Sam said...

Ahavah:

Can we please not use the term "feminazis"? I find the implicit comparison disgusting, as a Jew.

Thanks.

Freelance Kiruv Maniac said...

I agree with Kelly above.
Another reason why this is not controversial is because as far as I can remember, women have been the exclusive mashgichim for a very important "kashering" establishment:
the Mikvah.

And this new role does fit right in with the "a woman's place is in the kitchen" attitude. :)

To E-man:
>>"Also, women are trusted even as shochets..."

You have a source for this? I have about a dozen against it.

Garnel Ironheart said...

I think what E-man is noting is that, as per the very first paragraph in Yoreh De'ah, women technically can be shochtot. It's just a way of complications after that prevent them from actually doing it.

I don't think this mashgichot thing is a good idea though. The average guy has no idea what goes on in a kitchen so he concentrates on what he's good at - checking to make sure everything's kosher.

But the average women is very well aware of what makes a good meal. Yes, she'll make sure the stuff is kosher but she'll also drive the caterer crazy, especially if she's over 60.

"Mot'l, that's not enough salt. People like it with the extra salt. You call that a sauce? Too thin. My knees hurt when I eat sause that thin. What's that dish? I don't like the smell." etc.

Freelance Kiruv Maniac said...

>>"I think what E-man is noting is that, as per the very first paragraph in Yoreh De'ah, women technically can be shochtot. It's just a way of complications after that prevent them from actually doing it."

Granted. That's all I wanted to clarify.
But just FYI, the P'nei Yehoshuah explains that women can't be trusted for schechita because of the tircha involved.
(I don't know how he differentiates between this tircha and mikvah preparations.)

Anonymous said...

<<< What do you think the reaction will be in the general Yeshiva world? >>>

Star-K isn't some fly-by-night operation; nevertheless, in places like Lkwd, many will be utterly outraged, starting with the usual shouts of "Kol k'voda bas melech pnima" and proceeding from there to urging boycotts of Star-K products....i.e. expending on this latest "spiritual threat to Klal Yisroel" all the emotional energy they never waste on stuff like widespead famine in the Third World, rising signs of social breakdown, growing anti-semitism, world hostility toward Israel... and other such trivia.

<<< Will it be hailed as a way to help women earn a parnassah in this difficult time? >>>

No. Taking their cue from the mothers & wives in Galus Mitzraim, women should be using their vaunted creativity to find ways to support their learning husbands better & longer without forgetting their place, doing men's work, or flouncing around the goyish world in places like college or professional offices.

Garnel Ironheart said...

> the P'nei Yehoshuah explains that women can't be trusted for schechita because of the tircha involved.

Yeah, but I'll bet he never actually told his wife he holds by that. Otherwise, one could hear the rejoinder: Fine, no more Shabbos dinner for you. Too much tircha and you know, being a woman, I just can't handle it.

Anonymous said...

Evidently, more personnel are needed for hashgacha. This is a way to expand the labor pool to meet that need. It's also a way to assure that those women already doing hashgacha have the tools to do it right.

Lion of Zion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ahavah Gayle said...

Dear Sam,

I got my philosophy degree at a large university and pretty much all the women except myself were this type of feminists - very militant. Their goal is to squelch as much as possible and preferably eliminate any moderate or traditional view of women's roles and responsibilities. Needless to say, I was not their favorite person. You may not like the term, but I feel it is appropriate. They consider no other view than their own to be valid, rather like the Chereidi-ban (hat tip to Kvetcher for that term). Feminist-ban or femi-ban, however, doesn't quite roll off the tongue, now does it?

E-Man said...

Free Lance Kiruv Maniac-
"To E-man:
>>"Also, women are trusted even as shochets..."

You have a source for this? I have about a dozen against it."

Tosfos gittin beis amud beis the first eid echad neeman biisurin. It clearly says that women are trusted to do shechita.

Honestly Frum said...

The OU has been doing this for years. Up in Albany the Rabbi's wife has been a mashgicha for many years. What's the porblem? Why can they not be trusted to be in charge of kashrus? Is it like the yoetzet thing and these rabbonim are scared to give up their powers?

A Living Nadneyda said...

In college our head mashgichat kashrut was, well, a mashgicha. The local rabbi would make occasional visits, and trained her in the standards, and she ran a staff of about 20 college students, about half of whom were women, to supervise the Hillel kitchen. It was a great college job.

There were some sociological challenges, primarily that the working-class African American kitchen staff did not appreciate the idea of a bunch of white, Jewish, upper-middle class kids giving them orders of any sort. They found it demeaning, and unfortunately we did not receive classes in multicultural interactions.

Any woman working in a large kitchen or factory would need to approach her job with a certain attitude of acquired or learned authority over men in the workplace, which is not a given for all women growing up in religious society. But that's no reason not to do it, of course.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

maybe this is a plot to marry off those available Baltimore girls that the Star-K is so worried about... ;-)

Freelance Kiruv Maniac said...

Me:
>>"You have a source for this? I have about a dozen against it."

E-Man:
>"Tosfos gittin beis amud beis the first eid echad neeman biisurin. It clearly says that women are trusted to do shechita."

Sorry, I thought you meant halacha le'ma'asah nowadays as a parallel example to this current mashgicha issue.

E-Man said...

I was just showing how there are clearly opinions that hold women are very capable in areas of halacha. The only reason that women can't be shochets are because of a technicality not a status. Eidim for monetary and capital cases are something different, but to be trusted as an eid echad by issurim, we allow. Otherwise, you would never be able to be with your wife once she is a Nidah, eat the food that she buys or cooks, or trust her about anything that she says.

Also, many rabbanim in the past have used Tosfos to paskin halachas that might even have been against the shulchan orech. For example, there is a very interesting case by the nodeh beyehuda where he uses tosfos to paskin for his community in prague against the sulchan orech. Unfortunately, I forgot the specific case, but I am sure if you look in his shut you will find it.

Also, if you look in that tosfos in gittin, he clearly says we allow women to be shochets. SO nowadays we might not paskin according to that tosfos, although a competent Rabbi would have every right to, clearly there was a time in history they were allowed to be shochets in the ashkenazik community.

Also, can you tell me your many sources that are against this, I just want to see if I know them all.

E-Man said...

Also, the shulchan orech says lichatchila women can shecht, but the haga, Rama, says it is not our minhag to have them shecht. So clearly there is really no problem with it since the way it is written it seems like bidieved it would still be kosher even according to the Rama. However, I am not a posek, but I don't see why this idea is not halacha lemaaseh.

E-Man said...

Also, check out the bach, tur and bais yosef (that is the shulchan orach). There are people that say women should not do shechita, but the reasons definately would not apply to being a mashgiach.

Freelance Kiruv Maniac said...

"However, I am not a posek, but I don't see why this idea is not halacha lemaaseh." E-man.

Um, ever heard of minhag?

There are people that say women should not do shechita, but the reasons definately would not apply to being a mashgiach. E-Man

That's precisely why I jumped on your comparison between schechita for women and hashgacha.
I certainly am NOT arguing that women should NOT be mashgichim. (see my first comments on this thread!) I am only saying your example is very faulty.

See Yam Shel Shelomo who says exactly that--Hashgacha for women yes--shechita no.

E-Man said...

I have not seen the Yam Shel Shlomo, however, basing this halacha on one person is ridiculous. First, there are many many many authorities that say a woman is an acceptable shochet. The shulchan orach, tur, Rosh, Bach, the list keeps going.

However, there is the Rama that says it is not the minhag and I also saw the orach hashulchan that says the problems. However, with the problems that they mention it would appear that even according to them women would be ok as mashgichim. This is because the only problem they have with women being trusted to do shechita is because it was not the way for them to do it, or specifically shechita is a problem.

However, as I will repeat, there are SEVERAL HALACHIC AUTHORITIES like the SHULCHAN ORACH, let me say that again for clarity SHULCHAN ORACH, that says women can be shochets. Also, THE TUR, again for clarities sake, THE TUR.

Now, I don;t want to argue about the Rama saying they shouldn't do it because it is not our minhag, that is a different argument. My point was just to say eid echad neeman biisurim clearly allows for women mashgichim. The only problem with shechita is some later poskim saying it is not our minhag. With that in mind, you can see why a mashgiach that is a woman would be 100% acceptable even according to the opinions that would not want a women to be a shochet.

However, even the opinions that say a woman should not be a shochet would, bidieved, call a shechita done by a jewish woman kosher.

E-Man said...

My point here is not to say the Rama held otherwise, it was to say that just like shechita really mayikkur hadin is allowed to be done by women according to all opinions so too a hasgacha is allowed. Whether people say true but it is not our minahg to allow women to do shechita is absolutely irrelevant. The point is they come from the same idea of eid echad neeman biisurim applies to women. That is why we trust them by nida and all the eid echad neeman biisurim halachas. Just like shechita is an eid echad neeman biisurim and it includes women so too kashrus is an eid echad neeman biisurim.

E-Man said...

Sorry I forgot to tell you where my sources were. Tur and shulchan Orach both in the first siman of yoreh de'ah the first seif. The Bach on the Tur.

Freelance Kiruv Maniac said...

I see we are not communicating.
Live long and prosper.

Ilan The Portlander Rebbe said...

Many other agencies, including the one I work for, have had women working for years. I never knew it was an issue, honestly