Teach A Man To Butcher: A Ten Commandments’ Tale

there is the adage “give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” what do you get when you teach a man to butcher?

discrimination, as well as other factors, historically have impacted on ethnic or religious groups’ occupations. limitations on owning land or admittance into educational programs can shape a community’s opportunities. the ethiopian jewish community, like other jewish communities, were impacted. in ethiopia, metal work, for instance, was one of the areas in which beta israel could find work.

while a large part of the the beta israel have immigrated to israel, about 12,000, remain in ethiopia. some members of this population had the opportunity to participate an intriguing vocational program. the ramifications may be quite significant for the young men involved. it is reported that “twelve ethiopian jews in the city of gondar graduated last week from a first-of-its-kind course to train them as shochtim, or ritual slaughterers. the program was part of a joint initiative between local community rabbi menachem waldman and rabbi eliahu birnbaum, director of both the straus-amiel rabbinical emissary program of ohr torah stone and the struggle to save ethiopian jewry, to provide continued support to jews in ethiopia.” jns.org

with this program, they “all received certifications allowing them to act as halachically-approved ritual slaughterers.” jns.org

while this program was praised for allowing for kosher meat to be available the ethiopian jewry, there are greater implications. the potential for these young men is great. with their certifications, they now have both employment or self-employment opportunities in ethiopia. further, their certification should get them employment opportunities should they immigrate to israel or elsewhere. it truly a blessing to all that they will be able take their valuable portable skills to religious communities across the world.

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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