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I was recently told about a Lubavitch family who only eats Lubavitch shechita.

What is unique about Lubavitch shechita? Are there particular opinions which they are stringent for that no one else is? Or is it just ethnocentric?

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    This Chabad Talk thread supports what has always been my understanding, namely, that (one of) the primary reason(s) for this nowadays is that someone is not considered to have a sufficient level of yir'as shamayim for shechita unless he (1.) goes to the mikva daily, (2.) has an unshaved beard, and (3.) learns kabbala in the form of chassidus. Partly related to the yir'as shamayim issue, some Lubavitch chassidim will only eat Lubavitch shechita, while others will eat from some other chassidim, too. – Fred Dec 17 '15 at 7:59
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    @yEz What Fred said. They want somebody who learns chassidus, and specifically Chabad chassidus. (Most Chabadniks won't eat even Satmar-shechted meat.) In addition to shechita, Chabad is very picky about the preparation of the meat--"splits," etc. You will find people in Chabad who don't even eat meat in the homes of other Chabadniks because they are so strict. – SAH Dec 17 '15 at 10:51
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    Note that a lot of chassidic groups AFAIK have their own hechsher, and probably tend to only eat their own hechsher. I doubt it's out of "doubting" the validity of the other hechsherim, but probably more about the "supporting the locals/community" etc. type of set up – jj2 Feb 15 '16 at 6:18
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    Possible duplicate of Why do people get Chassidishe Shchita? – Shmuel Brin Jun 11 '17 at 6:50
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The Shulchan Aruch says that one may only eat from a shochet that has yiras shamayim (fear of heaven). Since this is a matter of a person's character that you cannot simply test, one solution is to only eat from shochetim that one knows personally and trusts. In old-world shtetls where everyone in the village knew everyone else, this was a common practice. In towns where chassidim lived, they often insisted that the town shochet be a chossid to ensure that he would be G-d fearing. In today's world of industrial mass-production, the consumer often has no idea what kind of person has performed the shechita on their meat. Therefore some Lubavitchers, although certainly not all, rely on some admittedly superficial indicators to help ensure that the shochet has yiras shamayim. Studying chassidus and going to mikvah every morning demonstrate that they are putting in an effort to advance in their worship of G-d, and refusing to cave to the pressure from American society to shave one's beard demonstrates that they are not easily swayed from their convictions.

  • Although at this point, I don't think too many Kli Kodesh care what the secular world thinks of them. What the Frum world thinks may still be an issue, but there the beard and Mikva won't help. – Shmuel Brin Jun 11 '17 at 6:52
  • @ShmuelBrin Shochtim in America are often required to work long hours at a Non-Jewish slaughtering plant that has been partially rented out for kosher use, and is located out in the countryside far away from their friends, families or any Jewish community. Simply out of lack of anything else to do, it can be tempting to spend their free time hanging out at bars with the Non-Jewish workers from the plant, and gradually fall under their influence. The AgriStar plant in Postville, Iowa represents a huge improvement in the logistics of kosher meat, partly because it solves this problem. – Baruch Jun 14 '17 at 15:51
  • Do you know that this is a real issue (where normal Litvish Shochtim hang out in bars drinking with the local workers) or is this a supposition? – Shmuel Brin Jun 14 '17 at 18:11
  • @ShmuelBrin I know shochtim who have done that, yes. – Baruch Jun 15 '17 at 21:31
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I heard that there was some advancement in knife technology and the Rebbe (or a predecessor) saw that it reduced the consequences of failing to check and re sharpen the knife so he decreed that he would only eat meat slaughtered with this type of knife. This is what initiated the concept of a separate chabad shechita. According to the questions below, there are also theological differences about the shochet's intent.

There are two related questions here Why do people get Chassidishe Shchita?

When/how was the controversy regarding stainless-steel blades for shechitah resolved?

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    the knife was an innovation during the time of the baal shem tov but has now become universally accepted (or so I hear). The main difference between chabad shechita and others is that the shochet follows a specific seder. 1)mikvah 2)learns chassidus 3)doesn't touch their beard. So the difference has to do with the shochet rather than the physical act of slaughtering itself. – Dude Dec 18 '15 at 5:20

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