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October 03, 1986 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-10-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

COMMENT

Goldman's Response
To Bernard's Case

JACK GOLDMAN

from the
family at

IVIEPaILAIM

SUNSET STRIP • 29536 NORTHWESTERN • SOUTHFIELD, MI • 48034 • 357-4000

1986 5747

To All Our
Friends, Customers It Relatives
A Happy Healthy It Prosperous
NEW YEAR

From

24

Friday, October 3, 1986

The Milers Family

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Special to The Jewish News

abbi
Elimelech
Goldberg began his
article last week
(Sept. 26) on the situation of
Bernard and Son kosher meat
market by insisting that he
speaks not as a representa-
tive of the Vaad, but as a
Young Israel rabbi, yet noth-
ing that he says has anything
to do with the Young Israel
movement. He deals exclu-
sively with a travesty of the
Vaad, and I'm at a loss to see
why he would want to in-
volve the Young Israel in this
sordid business.
If the Vaad has any evi-
dence of wrong-doing on the
part of Bernard & Son, it
should feel duty-bound to
bring it forward and press
charges to the fullest extent
of the law. Rabbi Goldberg
states that the Michigan
kosher food law is a criminal
statute, and therefore it is
dropping its case against Mr.
Bernard Rayber! That makes
absolutely no sense at all!
The Vaad is dropping its case
because it has no case, it has
no evidence, it has no wit-
nesses.
At the beginning of this
imbroglio, the Vaad inti-
mated that it had two strong
pieces of evidence: the tes-
timony of an unimpeachable
witness, and the report of a
police inspector. The star
witness was the Vaad's
mashgiach, Mr. Leon Stein-
metz; the report was by a Mr.
Ed Ritenour. Mr. Steinmetz
told me that he recognized in
Bernard & Son's shop four
treife briskets that Mr.
Rayber had brought there
from his brother's treife place
in Hamtramck. Later, Mr.
Steinmetz said he had never
been in Mr. Rayber's
brother's place, and he had
never seen such treife bris-
kets. Rabbi Goldberg says
that Mr. Steinmetz ended the
conversation by telling me
that he was not responsible
to me and all further infor-
mation that I wanted would
have to come from the Vaad.
This is simply not true. Mr.
Steinmetz never said any-
thing of the kind. Further:
more, in his version of the
story, Rabbi Goldberg says
that Mr. Rayber admitted the
briskets in question were
treife, but that they were in-
tended for a non-kosher golf
club. Mr. Steinmetz never
mentioned that to me, and
Mr. Rayber denies it categor-
ically. Subsequently, several
Kosher butchers ascertained
that it is imposible to tell
apart kosher and non-kosher
briskets simply by looking at
them. Later, both Rabbi
Goldberg and the attorney for
the Vaad, Mr. Steven Z. Co-
hen, repudiated in conversa-
tions with me the testimony
of Mr. Steinmetz. So much for
the Vaad's star witness.

R

Mr. Ritenour's report indi-
cated that Mr. Rayber paid
visits to his brother's
wholesale grocery on a reg-
ular basis and took boxes
from there to his store. Mr.
Rayber readily admitted this
and explained that what he
brought from his brother's
place was canned goods, plas-
ticware, and wrapping paper,
which he sold or used in his
store. The report of Mr.
Ritenour proved absolutely
no wrongdoing on the part of
Mr. Rayber.
Besides all this, during this
entire period of the investiga-
tion, the Vaad held keys to
Bernard & Son Kosher Meat
Market. At any time, they
could have come to grab evi-
dence of non-kosher
foodstuffs. They never did be-
cause there was none.

"They had no idea
what was in those
packages."

The whole plot against Mr.
Rayber was politically moti-
vated and had absolutely
nothing to do with kashruth

At this point, Rabbi
Goldberg stoops to an ad
honlinem argument. Knowing
that the Vaad has committed
an unpardonable atrocity in
the community, he tries to
divert attention from the fact
by a personal attack on me
and the Metropolitan Kas-
hruth Council.
Rabbi Goldberg is playing
an old song, the numbers
game. He claims that the
Vaad consists of 25 members
who represent the entire
Jewish community. A glance
at the Yellow Pages of the
telephone book, if that is any
criterion, indicates that there
are six Orthodox synagogues
in metropolitan Detroit.
Presuming that each
synagogue is represented by
one rabbi, who are the other
19 phantom rabbis? Who
elected them, and whom do
they represent?
I asked for a list of their
names five years ago, at a
stormy meeting concerning
the eruv. I never got an an-
swer. The Vaad is a publicly
supported institution. Over
the years, they have taken
hundreds of thousands of dol-
lars from the Jewish commu-
nity, and yet, they're always
making appeals for more and
more money. Where is it all
going? They have never
opened their books to a public
accounting. By contrast, the
Metropolitan Kashruth
Council has never taken a
dime from the Jewish com-
munity and its chief execu-
tive officer, the writer of this
article, derives no income
whatsoever from his service
to the Jewish community
through the council.

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