Chief Rabbinate Update 015/ 2012

4 Nissan 5772

March 27, 2012

chief-rabbinate-of-israel1The following information is taken from Chief Rabbinate of Israel Kashrus Enforcement Division update 015 dated 4 Nissan 5772, March 27, 2012. I have selected some of the update for translation. See the original Hebrew document for the complete update. A link appears following the English translation.

1. Sukkat Rachamim Hand Shmurah Matzot

500 gram boxes of the Sukkat Rachamim hand shmurah matzot are advertised as under the supervision of Rabbi Moshe Havlin (Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Gat), Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, Rabbi Avraham Shapira, and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

These matzot are being marketed in the north. Rabbi Havlin states he does not give hashgacha to the matzah bakery despite the claim. Rabbi Yaakov Shapira and Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu add they have not given permission for the use of their father’s names.

The bakery responds by explaining there were a few old cartons that still have Rabbi Havlin’s name on them and they were used, assuring the Rabbinate the new boxes do not have his name on them.

The notification ends by explaining this alert only pertains to the matzot in the old boxes and not the matzot being sold in the new boxes without Rabbi Havlin’s name.

JKN: There is no mention as to the validity of Rabbi Yosef’s name on the boxes. It is somewhat unclear regarding the status of the new matzot in boxes without Rabbi Havlin’s name as to who gives hashgacha, perhaps Rabbi O. Yosef but this appears ambiguous to me.

2. Lechem Eretz Brand Honey

Honey jarred under the Lechem Eretz brand name claims supervision from the Tel Aviv Rabbinate. In reality, the product is not supervised by the agency.

3. Bogus Pesach Cookies

Consumers must verify the kashrut integrity of Pesach cookies. There are bakeries making nut, coconut and other ‘Pesach’ cookies using chametz vessels, chametz ovens and in some cases, chametz ingredients.

One must verify the hashgacha before making a purchase.

4. Baby Formula (Similac and Isomil)

These baby formulas being imported for Pesach must bear an OU-d and one should realize their dairy status as well as being kitniot. There is no import permit from the Chief Rabbinate for cans of the product without a kosher for Passover certification.

It is prohibited for stores to affix labels to the product without authorization and supervision.

5. Check the Rice

A hashgacha from a reputable hashgacha on rice for Pesach in no way alleviates one’s responsibility for checking the rice prior to yomtov three times. The hashgacha covers the kosher integrity and has nothing to do with the possible presence of chametz among the grains of rice.

6. Questions Regarding Pharmaceuticals

Readers seeking information regarding pharmaceuticals for Pesach may call Rabbi Menachem Rosenberg Shlita.

This free service will operate from 10 Nissan (April 2, 2012) until Sunday, 13 Nissan (April 5, 2012) during the hours of 17:00-21:00. On motzei Shabbos from an hour after Shabbos until 23:00.

One may call the following numbers: 077-729-2896, 03-908-7421, 08-949-4743, 04-984-7972, 02-571-3285.

7. Pet Food

Some pet foods may contain chametz so you are urged to buy a product that has Chief Rabbinate approval with the assurance it is chametz free.

8. Blue Stamp on Meats

The blue ink stamp found at times on pieces of meat contains kitniot. As such, those who are stringent in avoiding kitniot should remove the ink prior to cooking. One may cut it away before cooking.

9. Red Paprika

At times, this spice is sold without indicating it contains kitniot. Some types of the spice contain a kitniot oil and this may not be indicated on the product label.

10. Olive Oil Concerns

Nothing new here: Bogus olive oils, diluted oils, oils sold as “mixed” oils contain other items and at times, these items include kitniot and say Kosher for Passover but make no mention of the kitniot. The label may still indicate it is pure. As such, a good hechsher is required. Unfortunately, in some case, the hechsher appearing on the bottle is also bogus.

11. Red Lentils

The Chief Rabbinate has learned many imported red lentils contain citric acid and oil which may not only be kitniot, but non kosher. Therefore, people who eat the lentils on yomtov should avoid this product as well.

Click on the hyperlink for the Hebrew update015d7a9d7a2d791


  • Rabbi Chaim Casper
    March 28, 2012 - 00:19 | Permalink

    The OU’s position is that Extra Virgin Olive Oil even without a hashgaha is kasher l’pesah year round.

  • Binyomin Adilman
    March 28, 2012 - 16:26 | Permalink

    Rabbi Casper, you have never seen olive mill workers heat up their bread on the machinery during olive oil production and then dip it into the oil for their meal; I have. Kosher year round, O.K., Kosher L’Pesach year round, be cautious.
    In addition, they cannot be referring to olive oil from Eretz Yisroel, what about truma, maaser and orlah.

  • March 28, 2012 - 20:13 | Permalink

    Regarding OU Position on Olive Oil:

    Olive Oil is a very much adulterated and counterfeited product. The claim on a container that it is extra virgin olive oil does not in any way shape or form mean that it is extra virgin olive oil.

    Furthermore, the ou allows companies to buy this alleged olive oil which is manufactured with no hashgocha, and then repackage it with an ou, and consumers are suckered into buying it thinking that the oil has a hashgocha, when at most it has an opinion that it doesn’t need hashgocha.

  • Binyomin Adilman
    April 1, 2012 - 18:04 | Permalink

    Tsvi, You are 100% right about the oil being adulterated. I have witnessed it both in Israel and abroad.

    Anybody who is interested and loves olive oil should read the book, “Extra Virginity,The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil”, by Tom Mueller (ISBN: 978-0393070217) who claims that the “extra-virgin symbol of purity has become deeply corrupt”. A fascinating look into the good, bad and the ugly of the olive oil industry.

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