It’s All in the Name Part II

8 Elul 5773
August 13, 2013

So what was my point you ask? The point is that you and I have the power and responsibility to raise the level of consumer response of a hashgacha. If too many of us call up a particular hashgacha and do not receive a response that agency will soon be known as a irresponsible, leading us to question their standards and certifying operation. A hashgacha must learn that it does not do us a favor and failure to comply with the level set by the kosher consumer will result in that hashgacha being removed from the trusted list.

When we enter a restaurant we are seated and order without asking to meet the mashgiach, we deliver another blow to improving kashrus in Eretz Yisrael. If you are told
1. The mashgiach just left
2. He is davening and will return in a few minutes
3. Today is his day off
4. He was here all day but now he is out

and you walk out, that restaurant owner will begin demanding the mashgiach work longer hours. If you do not see a valid teudat kashrus and walk out, that hashgacha is going to encounter the wrath of the owner who is losing business because a mashgiach failed to deliver the new sign in a timely fashion.

Only if and when restaurant owners come to the realization that what the public perceives as acceptable kosher is no less important than cleanliness and pricing will the situation improve. For as long as eating out supersedes our responsibility to demand a minimum kosher standard, then we have ourselves to blame.

Please, I urge you to begin making kashrus an issue. Yes, you may have to eat elsewhere but if we are unwilling to advocate for ourselves, who will do it for us?

When a badatz agency learns that failure to pick up the phone and respond politely means its reputation is being compromised, then it will begin finding rabbis who speak English and other languages to address such inquiries. When a local Rabbinate realizes it cannot shut down for ‘bein hazmanim’ to go on vacation at the height of tourist season, it too will change. What a chutzpa that some of the local religious council offices don’t respond to phone calls after 2:00pm. If the job is too taxing, please, retire and make room for people who can do the job as it needs to be done!

Please, stop being negligent when it comes to eating out and trusting a hashgacha. Demand publications that clearly and simply define a hashgacha’s standards. Some of the hashgacha agencies do everything not to put anything in writing so you cannot hold them accountable. Ask why there is no periodic consumer update. Ask why a mashgiach’s name and telephone number do not appear on the teudah and if it does, why he never responds.

Hello – are you hearing me? It is time to take out kashrus into our own hands and tell those earning a livelihood on kashrus that we may only continue trusting them if they are willing to respond to real questions.

Until someone out there gets the message, one that challenges the hashgacha’s reputation, substandard kosher and the guesswork that surrounds kosher supervision in Israel today is our fault as much as anyone.


  • Tziporah
    August 16, 2013 - 17:25 | Permalink

    Can you please post some guidelines for halavi and basari restaurants? What go good standards – what should we be looking out for.

    What about catering?

    Thanks for the posts! Tizku l’mitzvos!

  • yechiel-admin
    August 16, 2013 - 17:32 | Permalink

    I suggest you enter search words in the search engine feature and you will find a wealth of information that has been posted over the past years. This includes eating out, catering and I dare say quite a bit more.


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