History - Ritual slaughter
The ban on ritual slaughter (shehita) has confronted Jews in Europe several times. Shai Lavi reminds us that traditional authorities have always reacted to this situation by trying to adapt to the context in which the ban was formulated – which implies that the intention behind the ban must be clearly identified. Since only the antisemitic motive condemns any compromise, it is extremely important to establish this motive before making a decision. The essay by Shai Lavi, professor of law, suggests that we would be well advised today to extend this enquiry whenever Jews are caught up in any such controversy.
Would the prohibition of ritual slaughter jeopardize the very existence of a European Judaism? What is at stake goes beyond the simple comfort of the Jewish community: it is the durability of the pact linking Jews to the continent that is at stake. Beyond that, the identity of Europe and the place it intends to give, in the twenty-first century, to its own Hebrew roots are at stake. Here is the second part of David Haziza’s essay on ‘shehita’ in Europe.
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