Badatz Yoreh Deah – Nothing to Report

2 Rosh Chodesh Kislev
1 Kislev 5771
November 8, 2010

yoreh-deah-symbolWhile working in Ramat Beit Shemesh on the kashrus guide this past summer, I began efforts to meet with officials affiliated with Badatz Yoreh Deah (Rav Machpud Shlita) towards getting an inside look, to bring you, the reader, a documented report pertaining to the certifying agency’s standards. This was in Tammuz.

Now, in Kislev, a number of months later, having made over 30 telephone calls and spoken to numerous officials, I am informing readers that the badatz agency is ‘off my radar’ and I will not make any effort to meet with officials in the immediate future. I have offered to meet in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Ramat Beit Shemesh or any other suitable venue – without success.

Too many unanswered calls, meetings that never materialized, and appointments that simply were not relevant enough to schedule have prompted my decision. Therefore, if you wish to learn about the kashrut agency’s standards regarding the restaurants and eateries under its supervision, you will have to get information on your own.

I have nothing good or bad to report regarding the agency, but I will state that from JKN’s perspective, the day of refusing to disclose standards and operate in a transparent fashion towards better serving the kosher consumer in Israel are coming to an end. Regarding Badatz Yoreh Deah, my response is “I simply don’t know”.

As I have stated earlier, kashrus supervision is a business, ‘for profit’ and enormous amounts of money are being made. In return, the kosher consumer is entitled to answers and standards, and no longer has to dine out based on assumptions, rumors and gossip.

On that note, I hope in the near future I will be publishing information pertaining to the wide array of sweets sold in Israel, items sold by weight often carrying a UK hechsher, once again, with many shoppers buying based on what they assume or reputation, but not really having a clue regarding the standard of the supervision on many a product.

9 Comments

  • Israel
    November 8, 2010 - 13:38 | Permalink

    Keep up the great work, Yechiel! You are doing a tremendous mitzvah for the rabbim! May you be zoche to go higher and higher!

  • Eugene Ornstein
    November 8, 2010 - 15:48 | Permalink

    This is a real problem. Apparently, the kashrus agency may not think so. Is there a phone number available to bombard them with phone calls supportive of your efforts and to show our dismay at their behavior?

  • klaus
    November 8, 2010 - 16:12 | Permalink

    Phone – 972-3-6765888
    Phone – 972-50-4119003/7
    Fax – 972-3-6764464

    http://www.torahindex.com/he/inst/institutionsDetail.aspx?index=2&instID=5258

  • Shy Guy
    November 8, 2010 - 16:13 | Permalink

    They’ve lost my business. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • Benjamin Shandalov
    November 8, 2010 - 19:38 | Permalink

    Rabbi Shlomo Machpud is currently listed on your “approved hechsherim” link. Is this another R. Shlomo Machpud or should you revise you original list?

  • yechiel-admin
    November 8, 2010 - 20:05 | Permalink

    I maintain Badatz Yoreh Deah remains an ‘approved hechsher’ since the Rav Shlita is well-known, and has a reputation as a Torah scholar and an expert in the field.

    This does not give a free pass however and the system established by the Rav I feel should be reported upon as I try to do with other kashrut agencies.

    That does not contradict that to date, I have been unsuccessful in my goal of bringing the kashus agency’s standards to the public, which i think is essential towards setting a new industry standard.

  • jacob glich
    November 10, 2010 - 21:08 | Permalink

    Yes i agree it is a problem …!

  • Josh
    November 11, 2010 - 09:32 | Permalink

    One of the reasons hechsherim like to not have so much transparency is that when things occasionally go wrong (which they do with all hechsherim), they may need to make decisions based on basic halacha and heterim, not policy, and they would rather the public not be bothering them every time this happens. HaRav Machpud is known as one of the biggest yerei shomayim working in kashrus today and I think it behooves us to give his agency some slack and have a little emunas chachomim.

  • Israel
    November 15, 2010 - 19:05 | Permalink

    I don’t agree with some of the comments in the post of Nov. 11 at 09:32.

    Yes, we certainly have a mitzvah to rely on gedolei Yisroel and follow their words to the letter. On the other hand, this is an area where money is involved and by buying a product with a particular hashgacha, you are in fact paying for the supervision as part of your purchase price. This creates a situation where who you are paying should be accountable to you. It is not enough that some great or even very great person runs a kashrus organization. We have seen kashrus organizations run by very big talmidei chachomim and yirei shomayim that fell down because that person didn’t have other skills necessary to manage an organization. There is much more to hashgacha than being a lamdan. Many and varied skills are required.

    Because of all this, I agree with Yechiel that openness is essential in hashgacha. Without that, you have no idea what you are paying for, much less if it meets your requirments. You have every right to ask and expect direct answers. If not, you are just going on faith in one person which may or may not be misplaced and in the meantime, you’re paying the person to be uncommunicative.

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