Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rosh Hashana also

And so, we have this story:-

Just in time for the High Holy Days, a pair of prominent Jewish leaders are putting the City Council's two Jewish aldermen on notice: They risk incurring the wrath of God if they push to repeal Chicago's foie gras ban.

"Beyond the Kosher dietary laws, God has told us to do what is 'good and proper in the eyes of God,'" Rabbi Asher Lopatin of Anshe Sholom B'Nail Israel Congregation wrote to Aldermen Burton F. Natarus (42nd) and Bernard Stone (50th).

"The cruelty inflicted on animals in the production of foie gras is unspeakable. It is undeniably disgusting in the eyes of God and in the eyes of any civilized person."

Jana Kohl, former director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, accused Natarus and Stone of reneging on a "vow" made personally to Kohl to support the foie gras ban as a statement against animal cruelty.

In an angry letter to the two political cohorts, Kohl promised to do "everything in my power to defeat your misguided efforts."

"As the only two Jewish members of the Council, it's particularly shameful and disgraceful of you to turn your back on our cherished concept of 'tikun olam,' namely our obligation to make our world a better, more compassionate place," wrote Kohl, whose grandfather founded Kohl department stores.

'I don't get intimidated'

Stone reacted with signature sarcasm to the pressure he is receiving from Jewish leaders just four days before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year that kicks off the 10 Days of Atonement.

Referring to Kohl, he said, "She threatened my Jewish heritage. She obviously doesn't understand that Jews only know chopped liver. They don't know foie gras."

Turning serious, Stone categorically denied that he had promised Kohl he would stand behind a foie gras ban approved by the City Council on April 26 by a vote of 48 to 1.

"I indicated that I found it repugnant that they were torturing animals. I still find that repugnant. But it now becomes a question of the credibility of the City Council," he said.

Asked whether he intended to back off, Stone said, "You know me better than that. I don't get intimidated that easy."

Natarus could not be reached for comment.

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