Kashrut Alert – November 11, 2009

24 Cheshvan 5770
November 11, 2009

More on Updated Badatz R’ Rubin List
For those who would prefer seeing the original Hebrew list that I receive from the R’ Rubin agency, the pages have been added to the website, at the end of the article . They contain additional information, an exact address and telephone number for each listing.


Half-Moon K Kashrut Agency Phasing Out
half-moon-kjpgThe Half-Moon K kashrut symbol is being phased out; purchased a number of months ago by the OU.

At the time being, the agency’s symbol may still be found on products, operating under OU standards for the duration.

Some of these products are also seen in Israel, prompting me to include this in the update.

Alhaj Ahmed Abu Sinini Bakery (Old City, 131 Hayehudim St., Old City)
Once again, Rabbi Sholom Elisha Haramati is back, granting a private teudah to the Arab bakery named above. I have been in contact with Rabbi Rafi Yochai, who heads the Chief Rabbinate Kashrut Fraud Division, and he tells me that he already sent inspectors and corrective action is being taken, and the store is being hit with a significant fine. We chatted at length regarding the rabbi.

I reported on the same bakery and the same unauthorized teudah quite some time ago, and the same problematic situation has returned. The certificate appears more than mehadrin, an extremely well-worded document. In this case there are more concerns since the bakery is owned and operated by non-Jews.

Permit me a note – an attempt to explain:
Anytime I mention “unauthorized” I am inundated with emails asking if the rabbi is nonetheless reliable. While I understand you are just seeking a reliable hechsher, and less concerned with the rabbinate recognizing one’s credentials perhaps, I also understand the position of R’ Yochai, who is well-aware that at times the “unauthorized rabbi” is indeed reliable, but he is trying to maintain a semblance of order, trying to create a system of standards. You may of course disagree.

Such efforts are constantly undermined by the unauthorized agencies, many actually bogus. R’ Yochai, more than most, is aware of the shortcomings of the rabbinate supervision, but he fears if there are no guidelines, no restrictions or regulating body, the situation will deteriorate to a place we do not wish to get to.

In the case of this bakery, without saying things that should not be said, all my inquiries with rabbonim upon whom I rely point to one direction  — Do not buy in this bakery and please, pass the word along.



The photo is the rabbi’s certicate, the expired one I have on file. The current one is the same, with a current date, but this is simply a clearer photo — hence more suitable.


  • Ben Waxman
    November 11, 2009 - 15:58 | Permalink

    “but he is trying to maintain a semblance of order, trying to create a system of standards. ”

    Does the rabbinate/rabbi yochai have a written book which details what are these standards? for that matter, does the rabbinate have a written document which states flat out what are their standards?

  • johnq
    November 11, 2009 - 16:25 | Permalink

    Ben: I hope that document isn’t called a ‘check’, but due to the change in attitude, for now I will allow JKN to answer

  • Bayla Berger
    November 11, 2009 - 16:45 | Permalink

    I live in the Jewish Quarter. I can’t figure out your angle on Rav Haramati. Are you just opposed to all private hechsherim or do you have evidence of negligence or ignorance on his part? What specific infractions have been found in this bakery? We patronize that bakery relying on Rav Haramati. I saw nothing substantive in your article other than insinuations. I would like to hear specifics.

  • ben
    November 15, 2009 - 11:29 | Permalink

    The factr that Rav Neventzal (Rav of the old city) published a letter (about a year ago, so far with no rebutal) stating not to really on the Tudot of Haramati seems to me to be an indention that there is a problem with his supervision.

  • ben
    November 15, 2009 - 11:34 | Permalink

    to Ben Waxman:
    I once saw large document from the Rabbinate Harashit stating the standards of what is considered regular and mehadrin, There question of how well each local Rabbinate is able to keep to these standards is another issue however definitions do exist.

  • Comments are closed.