Kashrut Brief – 23 Tevet 5769 — Feb. 17, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
23 Tevet 5769

Hi folks,
Baruch Hashem, the feedback that I continue to receive signals the
owner of Mitz Pri in Geula has received the message, that [former]
patrons demand a legitimate kosher hechsher if he expects them to
return.

To my dismay, a number of readers shared their experiences with me,
and it appears the gentleman who owns the Mitz Pri fruit juice store
is easily agitated and did become verbally abusive. In a number of
cases, he threw objects are patrons to dared to question the
legitimacy of the photocopied meaningless Badatz Chatam Sofer letter
hanging on both sides of his store, ordering them to leave. 

This brings me to my first point of clarification. I am not stating
the Badatz Chatam Sofer [and there are two, Petach Tikvah and Bnei
Brak for those who are unfamiliar] is good or bad. That is for each of
you to decide on your own or to ask your spiritual mentor, rav or
expert. What I am saying however is that you must acquaint yourself
with a hechsher, and know the difference between that and a
meaningless photocopy.

In this case, Mitz Pri, the photocopy states that good manufactured in
a certain factory are under the Chatam Sofer supervision. While this
may be the case, we are not guaranteed that the goods from this
factory are used in his store, or if they are, if they are exclusive
or are other items used in addition.

We as consumers must learn to differentiate between a legitimate
kosher certificate and a piece of paper with Hebrew writing that does
not have bearing on an establishment’s kashrut.

SECOND POINT
I feel a need to remind you that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has
determined there are many ‘unauthorized’ agencies posing as legitimate
kosher certifying agencies. They have inundated the capital and are
also operating elsewhere, including but not limited to Tel Aviv and
Tiveria.

This IS NOT my subjective opinion but the ruling of the Chief
Rabbinate. I will however add that the Rabbinate for legal and other
considerations opts to use the word ‘unauthorized’ but I will say they
are outright bogus.

After two years of walking the streets and reporting on Jerusalem
eateries, as well as other cities, I can tell you they DO NOT have
supervision. The kashrut consists of a certificate and a monthly visit
to collect money.

They use buzz words like “Beit Yosef”, “mehadrin”, “glatt”, and so-
forth. The group website contains many many articles that can
substantiate the statements such as some during the past shmitah year
claiming ‘shmitah l’chumra’ while they used pre-bought chips (French
fries) that were heter mechira. This is one very small example. In
another case, in Malcha Mall, one “mehadrin” store claiming Beit Yosef
meat was using other meat, as per the mashgiach of the Jerusalem
Rabbinate.

Anyway, the list of ‘unauthorized’ agencies includes but is not
limited to:

1.      Nachlat Yitzchak
2.      Keter Kashrut
3.      Keter Mehadrin
4.      Hidur Mehadrin
5.      Mor Levona
6.      Ichud Yisrael
7.      Mishmar HaKodesh
8.      Nezer Hidur
9.      Rav Yaakov Landau (Beersheva)
To see most of the actual teudot, visit our website at http://tinyurl.com/crt2rb

Not on the list and relatively new to the marketplace are:
1.      Kisei Eliyahu (http://tinyurl.com/awo7md) not a great photo
2.      Tiferet Kashrut, which is exactly the same looking as Kisei Eliyahu

This means if an establishment has a Jerusalem Rabbinate regular
certification and one of the bogus mehadrin ones, it is really NOT
mehadrin.

Yes, I know, how can this be and so-forth, it must be good since it is
out in the open, but sorry folks, it is not the case. For those of
your following the list, I have given example after example of many of
these agencies not fulfilling the most basic requirements of mehadrin
supervision, especially for a meat restaurant.

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