Israel: New Hashgacha in Town – Badatz Orot

8 Shevat 5772

February 1, 2012

badatz-orotThe dati leumi community has decided to launch its own hashgacha, a hechsher that intends to compete with the top-of-the-line chareidi hechsher, Badatz Eida Chareidit.

Orot HaKashrut will be under the guidance of Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu Shlita, the chief Sephardi rabbi of Tzfat and a son of the late chief rabbi, HaGaon HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu ZT”L. Rabbi Eliyahu has appointment Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg to oversee the day-to-day operations of the new badatz.

The new hashgacha is expected to begin appearing in the marketplace in the coming weeks. The hechsher will also have its own poultry shechitah. According to the director of the new kosher certifying service, Ronen Gimni, who told Galei Yisrael Radio the birthing process is difficult since there is much opposition, apparently from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel too. Gimni however remains optimistic, explaining “HaKadosh Baruch Hu will open the gates and the community will come forward”.

With the realization that a growing number of people in the dati leumi world are displeased with the kashrus of the Chief Rabbinate, Orot officials are confident this will provide a welcome alternative to the Eida Chareidit and other chareidi-affiliated high-end hechsherim.

In actuality, the move comes on the heels of an ongoing turf dispute between Rabbi Eliyahu and the Eida Chareidit, after the latter relatively recently gave a hashgacha to a number of businesses operating in Tzfat, a move that prompted the city’s rav to yank their local rabbinate kosher certificate. That led to those stores as being cited in a Chief Rabbinate Kashrus Enforcement Division bulletin as operating without legal kashrus, hinting at an unacceptably low level of kashrus when in actuality, the stores have a hashgacha from the Eida. Nevertheless, without a local rabbinate kosher certificate, the kosher claim is illegal under state law.

12 Comments

  • Mike
    February 1, 2012 - 07:35 | Permalink

    I realize that you have a “new tone” now, but I would like to remind you that in the olden days, you were basically destroyed two RBS businesses which had proper supervision but due to several procedural mistakes, did not actually meet all the requirements of the teuda they claimed to possess. However, now, you’re more than happy to sign off on an establishment despite their not possessing a legally valid teuda while throwing in innuendo and supposition about a well respected Rav taking revenge on several businesses.

    You have done some excellent work with bringing material to the English speaking public who are either unable or unwilling to stay up to date with the vast amount of public information released by the Rabbanut and some private hechsherim (specifically, I’m thinking of Badatz Mehadrin and BBY’s releases). Additionally, your interviews with hotel and restaurant mashgichim provided a well informed and fair look at real world kashrus, and also demonstrated how one can learn to evaluate both standards and supervision from an unfamiliar organization.

    But to include irrelevant information about politics under the guise of “news” falls afoul of loshon hara. Their motivations are unimportant here; the only thing required is an understanding of the policies of the new organization and the quality of the mashgichim responsible for enforcing them. Otherwise, you may as well throw in all the complaints against the Eida for their support of violence, anarchy, and destruction.

  • February 1, 2012 - 08:21 | Permalink

    I hope you will keep us posted on what standards of kashrut Badatz Orot will be following. I’m interested in what will set them apart form regular rabbinut hashgacha.

  • Zvi Aginsky
    February 1, 2012 - 10:05 | Permalink

    Will this new hechsher be a Ashkenazi/Sephardi ?

    Can you provide me with there phone number or any other info ?

    Many Thanks

    Zvi

  • Yonatan
    February 1, 2012 - 10:21 | Permalink

    Yechiel – you do a good job but I do feel you should apologise for the lashon hara against Rav Eliyahu shlit”a. Shouldn’t you at least mention that people are sick and tired of funding the Eida Chareidit – who now openly support the despicable acts of the sikrikim in Jerusalem and Bet Shemesh. I was personally stoned and miraculously B”H was not injured a couple of years ago when I tried to remove a road block they made in Bet Shemesh which stopped cars at random (on a weekday, not Shabbat!) and then stone them. My friend was taken unconcious to hospital.
    Why is a dati-leumi kashrus organisation branded as politically motivated in your book but the Eida Chareidit apparently considered as a honourable group of talmidei chachamim.
    Please – stick to Kashrut – thats what you’re really good at – or at least point out to people that they should know that support of the eida’s kashrut helps financing the worst chillul Hashem and sinat Yisrael we have seen in recent years.

  • Dov
    February 1, 2012 - 12:00 | Permalink

    Mike you are right in principal but wrong in example. Yechiel should be careful of what he says but lets put everything in perspective. The Bdatz eide chareidis (for all its politics and issues) IS the best Hechsher in Israel. Everyone knows it. To disallow a hechsher and prosecute a store as Non Kosher when they have the Bdatz EC Teuda on the wall is ridiculous. (Possibly technically true acc to the law but definately ridiculous)

    The question is: Is it Yechiels job to tow the line and say just what everyone want to hear? Or to tell it like he see’s it. If the answer is the first then whats the point in the posts. If its the second then it is his job to let us know when he sees ridiculous things happen. If you dont like his tone then object to the tone, but to compare anything you dont agree with as sinas chinam and loshon hora is shortsighted.

    I can be a loyal talmid of my Rov and accept that my brother in law will not eat his Hechsher as he does it with respect and most importantly FACTS!!! Ask anyone in Kashrus what the standard of the Zefat Lemahdrin is… I did I asked one of the most prominant rabbonim in mainstream American kashrus. I wont post the answer here but Hamevin Yovin. Ask your own shaaloh

    Yechiel please continue giving us the facts as you see it, you should be a source of thought provoking facts issues and QUESTIONS!! if someone disagrees or soent know what to do Im sure they can email you or better still ask their own LOR what they should do.

  • yechiel-admin
    February 1, 2012 - 12:25 | Permalink

    TO MIKE FROM ANONYMOUS READER:

    To Mike:It is fascinating how someone claiming to be concerned with loshon hora then proceeds to publicly throws out pieces of misinformation (“ruining 2 businesses”)which if true would be gratuitous LH,and ,since it is demonstrably false,is the much worse sin of motzie shem ra. How and why the moderator of the comments let such a slanderous statement through is beyond my comprehension.Your facts are so totally wrong from so many angles. I can be dahn you l’kaf zechus that you believe what you are saying–but that is no excuse to just toss out such a remark publicly,casually.

  • Mike
    February 1, 2012 - 12:49 | Permalink

    To Dov — I’m not implying that the kashrus standards of E”Ch are not high; I know of no one who does not rely on them (except during shmitta, when many (myself included) preferred to do without certain vegetables rather than support our enemies who grew them). But if “technicalities” are a problem, then they are always a problem. [and whose being prosecuted; the Rabbanut's job is to announce that such a store has no legal supervision. Zehu.]

    The comment about loshon hara was regarding the allegations that R’ Eliyahu’s actions are motivated by revenge. If someone can explain to me how that’s l’toeles here (let alone true), I would be appreciative.

    Of course I would never suggest that Yechiel toe any party line; one of the reasons I’ve found this site to be so valuable is that the vast majority of the content here is purely factual. This agencies does this, this mashgiach said that, etc., and one can then decide, in conjunction with a knowledgeable background or Rav for guidance, which hechsherim they will choose to rely upon. It is specifically for this reason that mixing in politics is completely inappropriate.

    I will gladly welcome interviews with mashgichim and poskim of this new organization to bring their policies to the tzibbur. I would also welcome more information from the Eida regarding _their_ piskei halacha; we all know that the Eida is very reliable nowadays, but how many people really know why — paskening l’chumra in more cases than another hechsher is only one step, and not even the most important one, in proper modern commercial supervision.

    [BTW, there are other factual resources available as well; Hebrew speakers should certainly be following both the Rabbanut updates as well as those of Kosharot, in my opinion].

    To the anonymous reader who wouldn’t put his name behind his comments, I have no response for you. Yechiel, for all that I agree or disagree with his evaluations, tactics, and conclusions (and it would be a mistake to conclude anything based on this thread only), deserves a lot of credit for being willing to put his reputation behind his statements. You do not.

  • cmb
    February 1, 2012 - 13:21 | Permalink

    And.. exactly what level of hiddur will this new hashgacha have?
    sounds like caveat emptor to me…

  • Shy Guy
    February 1, 2012 - 17:48 | Permalink

    I would greatly appreciate if someone could fill me in on what they know about Zefat Mehadrin’s reliability.

    Yechiel, you have my permission to forward my email address to Dov. If he wants to, he can contact me directly and tell me what he knows. Thanks.

  • Ben
    February 1, 2012 - 18:08 | Permalink

    R. Eliyahu is known as a firebrand. Is this the type of person you want overseeing a hechsher?
    What are the standards of this organization?

  • molly
    February 1, 2012 - 20:28 | Permalink

    Food shopping in America for Pesach and all year round is so much easier in America that in Israel.

    OOPS! Is that motzi shem rah on Israel?

    To go to the meat counter in a supermarket in Israel, even a reliably mehadrin one, and to be confronted with 8 different chicken and meat hechsherim is daunting.

    “oh, you eat “his” hechsher? I don’t , but do have his chicken in the freezer which I bought by accident…Can I give it to you?”

    A kosher supermarket in America is Kosher, PERIOD! and the only things a machmir would have to check would be chalav yisroel and yoshon.

    If only…..

  • Dov
    February 2, 2012 - 12:13 | Permalink

    Molly,
    It may be daunting but I feel that this is one of the wonderful things about living in Israel. Its nice that we have more Hechsherim than flavours of ice cream. shows where our prorities are!!

    But remember when you are in your supermarket with the difficulty of choosing a Hechsher that chzal says that Eretz Yisroel is Nikne Bissurim” (we earn our right to the land with hardships) Im sure everyone would agree that this hardship is better than many many others!!!

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