11 Nissan 5772
April 3, 2012
The following information is applicable year round, including Pesach, taken from the Jerusalem Rabbinate Madrich Kashrut 5772, this year’s guide.
Trumos & Ma’asros in Shuk Machane Yehuda
Page 90: Our mashgichim operate in the shuk throughout the day, making sure that there is no problem regarding orla, trumos & ma’asros. When necessary, they will take tithes from produce [which is sometimes required in a case when a store purchases produce directly from a farmer as opposed to via the wholesale market].
In this case, if a store has a mehadrin supervision, the produce in question must remain aside until the mashgiach arrives and actually take trumos and ma’asros. If the hashgacha is not mehadrin, then they will rely on ‘breira’, using this heter to set aside tithes. This is because of the workload of the mashgichim, the amount of stalls they are responsible for, and the realization the vendor wishes to sell the produce prior to the arrival of the mashgiach. Once again, this believed situation is only in non-mehadrin Rabbinate supervised stores in the shuk.
(Simplified explanation – A mashgiach recites the special breira text in the morning and when he gets to the shuk booth he then actually sets asides the tithes required). By 9:00am, one can rest assured than the tithing has been completed on the scene, and not just relying on the heter.
JKN ADDS: Speaking to the agents in the field, if you wish to be absolutely certain, you would be wise to wait until 09:30. (END of JKN)
It should be pointed out that most of the produce sold in the shuk arrives from the Givat Shaul wholesale market and therefore, the breira heter is not used often simply because the need does not arise. Nevertheless, since the Chazon Ish held the tithing is Biblical as opposed to a Rabbinic command, and therefore breira is not valid, a mehadrin teudat kashrut will not be given to a store in which the breira issue exists.
The Madrich speaks of the significance of this mitzvah in Israel, and the fact that it remains a Biblical command. In the shuk, the only difference between mehadrin and non-mehadrin regarding orla is the non-mehadrin are permitted to sell four fruits that are controversial, disputed as to their status as a Halachic fruit of a tree or the ground. This includes passiflora (passion fruit), raspberries, papaya and asna (blackberry).
Some Helpful Phone Numbers for the Jerusalem Religious Council:
Head of the Religious Council – 02-621-4860
Office of the Rabbinate – 02-621-4860
Monetary Beis Din – 02-621-4855
Kashrus Division – 02-621-4832
Rav/Posek of the Kashrut Division, HaGaon Rav Schlesinger – 02-621-4831
Trumot and Ma’asrot Division – 02-621-4875
Marriage Division – 02-621-4802 or 02-621-4862
Mikve Division – 02-621-4895
SMS Kashrut Verification:
One may send an SMS text message to 4664 and write the word kosher (in Hebrew) followed by a space and name of the store as it appears on the teudat kashrut for verification.
JKN ADDS: I found this worked in some case and not others. Don’t know why. There is also a charge for each message sent. (END of JKN)
NOTE about Teduot Kashrut:
One must check to verify that a teudat kashrut is legitimate and valid, not expired. One should also be on the lookout for “fictitious” Teduot and if one finds such a teudah, please notify the Jerusalem Rabbinate Kashrut Division immediately.
On that note, page 18 is a full page alert that reads as follows:
WARNING – as Pesach approaches we are warning there are stores that are not under the kashrut supervision of the Jerusalem Rabbinate year round but display a “mehadrin” certificate from a body not authorized to do so and lack basic knowledge of kashrut.
Therefore, eating in these places will undoubtedly lead to ingesting prohibited foods which may include non-kashered meat, greens that are not free of insects, stam yeinam, and more. Making things worse, they display a mehadrin certificate for Pesach without having been kashered and prepared as required.
This may lead to eating CHAMETZ GAMUR on Pesach chas v’sholom.
Therefore a person who wishes to be scrupulous in adherence to Halacha should not eat in a place without a valid teudat kashrut from the Jerusalem Rabbinate.