Kashrus News – March 30, 2009 – 5 Nissan 5769

A quick note before we move into high gear with our shuk Pesach shopping, primarily consisting on the perishables usually purchased closer to the yomtov than items purchased in supermarkets ahead of time.

Generally speaking, today’s consumer should be vigilant and check each item before placing it into the shopping cart. My wife and I during recent days visited supermarkets in a number of Jerusalem neighborhoods, chareidi areas, and found many non kosher for Passover items mixed on the shelves of some stores.

The point is that errors do happen and it is worthwhile to take a few seconds to check a hechsher and to be certain an item is kosher for Pesach.

The main agenda of this bulletin is a warning to shoppers in Machane Yehuda, known popularly as The Shuk. I would say that conservatively speaking, one-third to one-half of the stalls either do not have any kashrut certificate, have an outdated certificate, or have a bogus certificate.

That means if you shop in the shuk, you must take the time to see what is going on. Some of the butchers with signs stating “mehadrin” have no hechsher, as is the case with take home foods, nut stores and many fruit and vegetable vendors. Most of the new trendy cafes have no kosher supervision, and the same is true for a number of fresh juice bars operating in the shuk and around the corner on Agrippas. Some stall operators exhibit last years teudah attesting to the fact they sold their chametz, realizing any Hebrew sign with a rubberstamp will do the trick – perceived by most shoppers as a kosher certificate.

I have pleaded with the folks at the Jerusalem Rabbinate and the Rabbinate Fraud Division, but it was explained to me that without major police protection, inspectors will not raid the shuk and I am told police are simply uninterested in dealing with the request from the Jerusalem Religious Council. Perhaps if some of the chareidi MKs or Mayor’s Office becomes involved, something will change but for now, the shuk is far from a safe place for the kosher consumer, yet alone for the Kosher for Passover consumer.

I do not know if time will permit updates before yomtov so I take this opportunity to wish readers a Kosher and Joyous Chag (Yomtov).

Please please pass this around and encourage friends to sign up towards assisting in getting the word out to educate the kosher consumer in Eretz Yisrael.


Yechiel Spira
Jerusalem Kosher News

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One comment

  • moshe
    April 21, 2009 - 15:02 | Permalink

    Why don’t you make list of what stores are good there that would help . Jerusalem Rabbinate is not going to do anything .

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