RBS Kashrus Guide Release – A Major Event

23 Elul 5770
September 2, 2010

cong-beis-tefilloh-2Last night’s address in Cong. Beis Tefillah Yonah Avraham in Ramat Beit Shemesh was my second in as many months, and Baruch Hashem, it was standing room only. Hundreds attended the PowerPoint presentation, which detailed the kashrus situation in the Greater Beit Shemesh/Ramat Beit Shemesh community. The presentation focused on the local community, but it also provided much information that pertaining to kashrus at large in Israel.

The new kashrus guide, which was commissioned by the shul and its Mora D’asra Rabbi Chaim Z. Malinowitz Shlita, was released at the event, timed ahead of Rosh Hashanah and the yomtov season.

The guide is being sold by the shul for NIS 10, seeking only to cover expenses, as the community has devoted resources to the project L’Shem Shomayim, not wishing to profit on the venture, but only to elevate the community’s kashrus awareness towards the ultimate goal, of raising the community-wide standard.

The 120-page guide is bilingual, divided into Hebrew and English, providing a look at dozens of areas stores, eateries, supermarkets, as well as pages dedicated to information pertaining to the standards of a number of kashrus organizations, making the publication a valuable asset for all, even those who do not reside in RBS. There is also a color photo section providing readers with a look at the kashrus certificates towards facilitating recognition of the teudot kashrut (kashrus certificates).

Jerusalem Kosher plans to continue this unique partnership with BTYA in the coming year blei neder, and we hope that after the Yomim Tovim, a community-wide kashrus list will begin operating, providing subscribers with current kashrus-related information.

The event was co-sponsored by Jo’s Club of Ramat Beit Shemesh, which played a pivotal role in the logistical realities surrounding the publication of the guide as well as arranging the speaking events.

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4 Comments

  • Nachman
    September 3, 2010 - 00:18 | Permalink

    Sir, I attended your informative speech last night in Ramat Beit Shemesh last night. I do admit that most of it was factual and informative. However, despite repeated disclaimers, you allow yourself a small measure of 5-10% of personal interpretation/psak/verdict which formulates the worst type of Lashon Hara imaginable. The famous parable of someone who scatters a feather pillow across town (and then must collect all the feathers) could not be more accurate.

    Do not allow your new-found popularity to fill your heart with proud haughtiness. Your speech was the exact definition of a “Mitzvah Haba B’Aveira”, even if the crowd was too enthralled to notice, agree or care. It is most ironic how you used the phrases “Elul and Yamim Noraim”, specifically to fuel your Lashon Hara. I can only hope that you will use these themes to do Teshuva in the short window left till Rosh Hashana.

  • September 3, 2010 - 06:47 | Permalink

    A local resteraunt was observed by Mr. Yechiel Spira as having an expired Teuda from Rabbanut Yerushalayim Mehadrin. This was, apparently, included in the guide, without any explanation.

    In response, the owners posted the following:

    === BEGIN QUOTE ===
    It is correct to say that our mehadrin teudah was in fact expired for a period of time, HOWEVER, during the WHOLE TIME we had a FULL-TIME MEHADRIN YERUSHALAYIM MASGIACH on the premises and daily visits from the rabbinut Bet Shemesh masgiach, which was not mentioned.

    Anyone who had a problem with the certificate was encouraged to speak to our masgiach and if this was not enough, we gave them the the telephone number of the Mehadrin Yerushalayim supervisor.

    I wish that Rabbi Spiro had spoken with us, toured our kitchen, spoken to
    our mashgiach (like some other establishments metioned). If so, he would have seen that the kashrut standards of the Mehadrin Yerushalayim were being upheld by us in conjunction with the mashgiach while we were working on fixing the expired teudah.

    My husband, Itzak, is a frum, well-known and long-time member of the
    community. The kashrut of our restaurant has always been at the same high standard that is demanded by Mehadrin Yerushalayim even when our teudah was expired.

    If you have any questions, please call us. We are always available to our
    patrons. Please come visit our restaurant, come to our kitchen, speak to our mashgiach and judge for yourself.
    === END QUOTE ===

    A local caterer also posted the following (not written by the above owners):

    === BEGIN QUOTE ===
    As caterers, kashrus is of vital importance to my family and have occasionally been frustrated by the delayed arrival of the kashrut certificate despite daily visits from our Jerusalem Mehadrin mashgiach. The mashgiach has to wait for the office to provide the certificate and the period after Pesach is particularly trying since they are still clearing the Chametz certificates.
    === END QUOTE ===

    I don’t know how prevalent the problem of backlog in certificates is, but certainly this is something that should be changed. However, if true, it certainly provides a sufficient basis to NOT conclude anything based on the missing teudah without consulting either the mashgiach or the supervising agency directly.

    I trust that JKN will be investigating this matter and issuing a clarification; as the standards were (allegedly) not affected, and the entire matter may have been a bureaucratic issue (which can easily be confirmed by the mashgiach), it would be a terrible tragedy if the parnasa of these individuals were to be affected based on insufficient information widely publicized.

  • Chuck
    September 4, 2010 - 21:02 | Permalink

    I found the comment made during the shiur that regular rabbanut hashgacha is not appropriate for a ben-Torah disturbing. First, I can’t imagine how you define a ben-Torah. At any rate, I know many frum Jews who rely on regular rabbanut hashgacha. I know at least one Rabbinic leader who holds that regular rabbanut kashrut has precedence over mehadrin kashrut. At least one Rabbi in RBS has written:
    •Do NOT imply that you are a better Jew than these others are .You do not know if you are or not!
    •Do NOT act condescendingly towards those who choose to use less-than-Mehadrin standards–it is permissible for them to!

  • September 14, 2010 - 10:19 | Permalink

    Mr. Spira,

    Can you please clarify something for me:

    Was the Oriental under the supervision of the RM J’lem and it was just a admin issue that the tudah was outdated, or did their supervision for the RMJ actually lapse and they left the sign up anyhow deceiving people that they were indeed under the RMJ when in actuality they were not.

    Thank you!

    ?

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