rkatsyv (rkatsyv) wrote,
rkatsyv
rkatsyv

Katsovim :)

Once an animal has been slaughtered and certified as kosher, it is cut up by the katsef, the butcher, whom we met briefly in Chapter Seven. The katsef usually bought the animal, then took it to the shoykhet, who killed it, inspected it, and returned the kosher carcass to the katsef, who turned it into steaks, chops, and so on. Katsovim (the plural) were the tough guys of European Jewish society, forever threatening shoykhtim and rabbis who declared too many animals treyf, and often functioning as the first line of defense against both goyim and Jewish undesirables: when it came time to beat up the Jewish pimps, the katsovim were usually at the head of the mob. A katsef’s shop is called a yatke, “a meat shop,” and invariably features a yatke-klots, a butcher block, for cutting the meat.

From "Born To Kvetch" by Michael Wax
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