I am most gratified that you chose to print my letter (“Musical Conflicts, and Pleasure”) in your Dec. 18 edition. However, I feel that an important correction needs to be made.
Shochet, my late father’s profession, was translated as “kosher butcher,” but a shochet is actually a kosher ritual slaughterer. Without wishing to demean the honorable occupation of kosher butcher, the requirements for qualifying as a shochet are far more stringent. They involve years of learning in yeshiva, followed by a number of very difficult exams. Because of this, a shochet is generally regarded as an Orthodox rabbi in all but name.
It would not be surprising for a religiously observant kosher butcher to object to his child’s studying or performing classical church music. For a shochet, such as my father, to approve of and even encourage this is therefore all the more remarkable.