Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Here A Ban, There A Ban, Everywhere a Ban Ban

By now most of you have heard the latest chumrah-of-the-week (I wish I was making this up):
A group of haredi rabbis in New York caused a row within the local Jewish community after ruling that salmon is not kosher.
The rabbis said salmon, as well as other types of certain fish, may contain a tiny parasitic worm, Anisakis, which is not kosher. This renders the fish non-kosher as well, the rabbis said.
The ruling has caused alarm among many New York Jews, who have made the famous bagel and lox a staple of their diet. Moreover, the decision may hold significant financial implications: The smoked salmon industry makes hundreds of millions of dollars a year in the US, with the Jewish community considered its main consumer as result of the fish's price and the fact it's kosher.
However, the controversy is far from over, as the Union of Orthodox Congregations of America announced that the haredi rabbis' ruling is invalid. "Salmon is kosher for consumption, don't worry," said Rabbi Moshe Elefant of the group.
The agenda behind this initiative is clear: A rabbi in Israel named Karp has used salmon as a weapon to further delegitimize the RCA's authority.  Why the RCA?  Because its leader is named Rav Basil - wait for it - Herring. 
As I've noted before, if the RCA is going to mount  an effective defence against such attacks, it needs a leader named after a more fearsome fish.
At any rate, in the spirit of banning everything, I have investigated and discovered that air, that invisible stuff we all breathe, contains countless microbes, if not more.  With every breath we inhale these non-kosher organisms and assimilate them into our bodies.  How great the damage to our spiritual well-being with every inhalation!
Therefore, I am going to contact a home oxygen company and make available to the frum public tanks of specially prepared oxygen, oxygen which will only be touch by Jews during its processing.  The tanks will be supplied along with suitable masks.  By inhaling exclusive from these tanks, Torah-observant Jews can be sure that the air they breathe is as pure as possible to minimize the damage to their souls.
Accept no substitutes.  Only those tanks marked Avir Yisroel with my seal of approval can give you the proper assurance that you are not inhaling any microbes that the Torah expressly forbids you too.  Look for the Ironheart seal of quality to confirm that when you look down at your fellow Jew who is breathing avir stam, you can sniff with snobbish self-righteousness and know that you are sniffing Avir Yisroel.
As a concluding thought, if Chareidism is about banning innovation ("All new things are forbidden by the Torah") and Chareidism itself was an innovation of the Chasam Sofer, then isn't it guilty of being the very thing it forbids?


Jennifer in MamaLand said...

As much faith as I have in the OU and the COR (its new leader assured me personally this week that there is NO PROBLEM with salmon), it is nevertheless alarming to think about "allowed" quantities and/or sizes and/or types of parasites. Nice that we can still eat raisins; troubling to contemplate the numbers of "kosher" drosophila larvae we're ingesting at the same time!

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

In his commentary on the Torah, Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch notes that a number of references to "sheidim" in the Gemara sound curiously like bacteria. One such reference says that we are surrounded by countless sheidim and if people could see them they would be driven crazy. Bottom line is that almost all the food we eat is not pure. Either microscopic organism or pesticides on the fruits, hormones in the beef, it's scary to think about what's out there which is why, when I eat, I avoiding thinking and just enjoy the food.

David said...

Well, you're a doctor-- you can see where this is going. They've banned strawberries and raspberries, as well as most leafy vegetables and asparagus. It's going to keep going like this and, eventually, they'll eat nothing but a few root vegetables and boiled meat. And they'll all die of scurvy.

Jeff (Halapedia) said...

"Chareidism itself was an innovation of the Chasam Sofer". What makes you say so?