Cows grazing .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Two Jewish men are on trial in Germany, accused of passing off non-kosher meat as kosher to members of the Frankfurt Jewish community over a period of two years, according to local media.
In all, 40,000 kg. of non-kosher meat was sold to unsuspecting customers for a period of years, according to the Juedische Allgemeine.
The two defendants, identified as Leslie W., 48, and Akiva H., 56, by the Bild newspaper, sold the meat out of the Aviv butchers in Frankfurt, which served communities throughout Germany.
In testimony last week, Akiva H. admitted that he began selling the faux kosher meat in 2008 when “threatened with insolvency,” apologizing to “all those whose religious feelings were hurt,” Bild reported.
Leslie W. explained that he went along with the fraud after discovering it in 2010 due to fearing the damage that such a revelation could do to his business. The fraud continued through 2012.
The butcher shop supplied kosher meat to a Jewish school, a nursing home and numerous private residences both within Frankfurt and other locales.
The pair involved in the fraud were know as “nice and gentle” men who were “well known in the Jewish community,” Joshua, a Jew from Frankfurt now living in Israel, told The Jerusalem Post.
“I knew both of them from synagogue and many of my Frankfurt friends including myself shopped there.”
Beyond the shock of finding out that they had inadvertently been eating meat that had not undergone ritual slaughter, many members of the community were subsequently also required, according to Jewish law, to kosher their kitchens, a laborious process used to cleanse utensils and appliances as a result of contact with non-kosher food.
“I am shocked that this happened,” Joshua said, summing up what he said were the feelings of his co-religionists in Germany.