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Jan 30, 2011

SushiGate in RBS

With the comments flying on an unrelated topic, I have decided to make a post that is an open topic for the comments on "sushigate". Please do not let the comments get out of hand, be careful to not be disrespectful, discuss the topic, yada yada yada, or I will shut it down.

For some background, for those unaware of what "sushigate" is, for some reason Rav Malinowitz had JKN investigate the kashrus of a local sushi business, called Sushiagogo. It seems they were advertising that their business operated under the hechsher of Agudas Yisrael. Calls to the Aguda made it clear that this was not true, the Aguda said an announcement must be made to that effect, and if people ate food from the sushi place, it might not have been kosher and they should consult with their rav as to how to proceed.

After Shabbos it was further investigated and discovered that the sushi place was buyign their sushi from a factory that was under the supervision of Agudas Yisrael, but the sushi place was not itself under this supervision. They had made a private arrangement with the Aguda mashgiach and he certified that their sushi was kosher. Being that they were buying Agudas Yisrael sushi from the factory and using the Aguda mashgiach, plus the mashgiach used the Aguda name, they seem to have mistakenly been under the impression that the Aguda was giving them the certification.

It turns out that the Aguda was not aware of the arrangement, as the mashgiach had never mentioned it to them. Therefore, when they demanded the announcement, they were assuming someone claiming their hechsher falsel, so they were concerned the food was not kosher. Now that they have been apprised of the situation, they have said the food was kosher until now. The Aguda and the mashgiach have said that it was the mashgiach's error, and the food until now was fine, but the private arrangement will no longer continue. Food until now was kosher, but from now on it does not have their hechsher (perhaps they are arranging an alternate hechsher).

UPDATE:
As only one side in this story has been heard until now, and that was via the emails they themselves publicized on the various email lists, I thought it would be helpful to get the other side of the story as well. I emailed a series of questions to the owner of Sushiagogo, and he sent me his responses.


1. Please help get the story straight - are you a store or a factory? do you buy from a factory? How did this all begin?
We are sushi chefs that made our sushi in a J-m restaurant under the Badatz Aguda. We don't buy from a factory. All of the sushi is made by us in the restaurant.
It began last year when we bought Sushiagogo.com from another owner. We continued to make the sushi in RBS under the Badatz mashgiach, Rabbi Neiman. Last spring we were hired to be the sushi makers in a restaurant. The owners and mashgichim knew that some of the sushi made there was being sent out to RBS.It was the exact same sushi being served in the restaurant.

2. Who certified Sushiagogo as kosher? Agudas Yisrael? a private mashgiach? if a private mashgiach, why did you say you were certified by the Agudas Yisrael?
While in RBS we had the supervision of the Badatz Aguda, Rabbi Neiman mashgiach. When we moved to the restaurant we just continued with the Badatz Aguda mashgiach there.

3. when you were told of the problem, did you call the mashgiach and ask whats going on, why are they saying you have no hasgocho? what was his explanation?
We really didn't know the extent of the issue until it hit the email lists and JKN. The only inkling was what we thought an innocent question emailed by a local rav. The question was: "I just want to make sure--you have Agudas Yisrael hechsher?" We answered yes as we believed that we were under the supervision (and as Rav Kroiser confirmed). It was lack of communication

4. did you try to make your situation understood by those investigating your kashrus? They didn't clearly clarify their intentions so we didn't have the opportunity to make the situation known.

5. now that the Agudas Yisrael mashgiach is saying you are no longer under his supervision, what kashrus organization are you taking for supervision? We are considering our options. In any case we will not sell sushi without hashgacha because we wouldn't eat it ourselves without proper hashgocha.

Do you have anything to say about what happened, a message you want people to hear that has not been mentioned? "Dan adom l'chaf zchus". We are frum people even though just teenagers. We personally feel that a better way would have been for the rav and JKN to say something like the hechsher may be in question or is under investigation. The very harsh and unclear language has stirred many people to think that we were serving treif, chas v'shalom, or trying to fool the public or lie. As it is now known this wasn't the case. In an email to our customers a foot note was written about the mitzva of "dan adom l'chaf zchus" with the mention that sometimes one detail is missing. The rav who started the investigation replied that he did everything correctly and there was no issue of dan adom l'chaf zchus. We see in the end however that the one detail..the lack of communication at the Aguda made all of the difference. I am not a rav but I think that everyone can learn the lesson of judging others favorably even when it look otherwise.


Open thread in the comments, keep it clean.

61 comments:

  1. The clarification sent to the email lists does not state that the sushi indeed came from a badatz-aguda factory, which is a significant omission since it explains why everyone in the chain thought things were ok.

    "After hours of phone calls before and after shabbos..."

    Unfortunately we've seen this dire urgency approach before, and it seems to do investigations and announcements a major disservice. While the clarification says the mashgiach was "sloppy", acting like kashrus alerts are medical triage makes them come out sloppy as well.

    It would be more prudent for JKN and anyone else making announcements to say "hechsher situation for business X is under clarification" to give all parties (including the owner) time to actually clarify what is being misunderstood.

    ReplyDelete
  2. the last comment, from the other post, said that this had something to do with Leman Achai. What is the connection? I am not aware of it

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  3. Why would good heimish pple need to eat sushi? It's too modern and foreign anyway. Good that they exposed these foreign-food peddling pests for who they really are!

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  4. A post from sushiagogo went out to all former customers on Friday. Until then I was unaware there was even a problem, as we rarely purchase take out. Once it was out it seemed fairly cut and dry. Circumstances had chagned, and before we would order from there again, we would look into it further.

    The follow up email sent via reply all for a local rabbi essentially trying to put the writer of the first email in his place was arrogant, rude and obnoxious. I know I sent a fairly heavy note back to the rabbi in question, a man whom I already have incredibly little respect for, wondering why he needed to send his reply to the whole customer base. In response I was questioned about whether I had such concern for the rabbi's kavod. (I replied to him saying no, he was concerned enough for his kavod without me needing to think about it). In any case, previous story slightly aside, what I got from those emails, as well as what I have seen on the list today is that maybe people should be a little more careful in how they say things to avoid torpedoing someone's business before they have all the facts at hand.

    Sure, warn people that a particular place might have a problem and it is being looked in to- don't slander the place in various places online before making sure you know what you are talking about.

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  5. On The Sushi TrailJanuary 30, 2011 1:34 PM

    The Lema'an Achai connection:

    1. This attack by Rav Malinowitz on Sushiagogo, Friday, followed on the heals of a letter sent out last week by anonymous members of BTYA to other members of BTYA, protesting Rav Malinowitz' ban on Lema'an Achai.

    2. Sushiagogo is owned by teenage entrepeneur Binyamin Leventhal, Rav Avrohom's son. Rav Avrohom Leventhal runs Lema'an Achai.

    3. Joining the dots, it would seem that the hurried & botched assassination attempt on Sushiagogo's business was Rav Malinowitz' revenge on Lema'an Achai.

    4. Regretfully, such behaviour would be consistent with Rav Malinowtiz's personal intimidation of David Morris and lowly attacks/bans against Lema'an Achai.

    (These attacks by Rav Malinowitz are due to David Morris' dispute with Rav Malinowitz about his handling of child abuse allegations)

    5. In the circumstances, Rav Malinowitz should issue an immediate full public retraction, and apology, to Sushiagogo.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kashrus is a big deal, but someone's business, parnossa, and reputation are on the other side. Jerusalem Kosher News is holding people to "standards of paperwork" that even the kashrus agencies themselves are not upholding.

    Something in this whole story stinks.

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  7. I am astounded.

    This is the umpteenth time (anyone keeping count?) that Rav Malinowitz has launched an impetuous and ill-considered attack upon fine members of the community.

    However, when it comes to alleged pedophiles, Rav Malinowitz uncharacteristically becomes remarkably coy and cautious, lest the allegations damage the parnassah of the pedophile, or the good name of their family, institution, community, whatever.

    Peculiar, eh?

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  8. Rachel - I am not a customer of sushiagogo, nor any other sushi place (I dont eat sushi), so I was nt aware of any emails no a different list and am not familiar with their content.
    The only emails I saw were to the community list, the JKN stuff, and the BTYA list (and some private emails on the subject matter)

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  9. I am glad that Jerusalem Kosher News is proud that they have "acted responsibly".

    http://www.jerusalemkoshernews.com/2011/01/update-from-badatz-agudah-regarding-sushiagogo/

    Both Badatz and JKN have to check their procedures. The only one who has done nothing wrong here is the owner of Sushiagogo, and he (or they) is paying the price.

    Disclosure: I am not a resident of RBS nor have I ever eaten sushi from Sushiagogo.

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  10. Akiva - you are right, though he will likely say that that is not his problem, these are the standards that should be upheld and whoever operates without upholding the standards is open for the same criticism.
    the problem is a little business like sushiagogo will suffer much worse from such a policy than a major organization like Agudas Yisrael.

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  11. Rafi- I will send them to my husband who will forward them.

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  12. Joining the dots, it would seem that the hurried & botched assassination attempt on Sushiagogo's business was Rav Malinowitz' revenge on Lema'an Achai....

    Interesting theory but I think you're giving Rabbi Malinowitz too much credit. Just happening to start looking into things on a Friday when most of the ability to research would be hindered was stupid, I don't think actually intentional.

    And the fact that Rabbi Malinowitz thinks the shoot-first-ask-(more)questions-later style of JKN is perfectly acceptable isn't because he sees it as a weapon in his arsenal against anti-pedophiles. It's a value judgment - not one I agree with, but he probably likes the ruthless, unbiased positioning of JKN and figures that on some level the casualties "deserved it" since in each case there was a problem found.

    If it really bothers you I suggest you take comfort that in every public appearance of this sort people show their true colors, and that the more "moderate" types in RBS take plenty of notice.

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  13. "The follow up email sent via reply all for a local rabbi...."

    Whoa! He was on the customer list???? I don't believe it!

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  14. somebody else just sent it to me. thanks

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  15. Where is the kashrus problem?January 30, 2011 2:14 PM

    Where is the kashrus problem? with a small sushi business operating with a mashgiach using the name agudat yisrael, possibly by mistake or with the eida chareidis who might actually be selling treifos according to senior mashgiach?

    Has anybody heard Rav Malinowitz make a statement about whether the Eida Chareidis scandal has been resolved or not? Did he say people could eat there because of this or that reason, or did he say people should not eat there because the meat and chicken might be real treifus?

    Why is he picking on this little sushi place and not dealing with more serious issues?

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  16. Sushi (and Fellow Jew) FanJanuary 30, 2011 2:57 PM

    Several months ago I ordered from Sushiagogo. After receiving the order I inquired about the owners.
    I was surprised to hear that it was two 18 years olds, one whose family davens in my shul, Aish Kodesh.

    I asked the Rebbe about this boy, Binyomin Leventhal. He told me that Binyomin is responsible for about 20 kids in RBS staying frum.

    He goes out and learns with them, gives them chizuk and encourages them to be Shomer Shabbos.

    The Rebbe also said that he serves with distinction in Nachal Charedi.

    Those people who carelessly posted false alerts about his business should know exactly about whom they were spreading motzei shaim ra.

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  17. lemaan achai complexJanuary 30, 2011 3:05 PM

    I think it doesn't help to personalize the facts here. The reality is that there was no agudas yisroel hechsher on the product, and the original public announcement didn't say anything specifically against the distributors.

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  18. Everyone seems to have forgotten one thing in this mess: The place claimed an Agudah hechsher and it wasn't true.
    Doesn't that mean something?

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  19. I posted the following comment on Jerusalem Kosher News, who responded to the investigation call and started all this by reporting the INACCURATE response from Agudas Yisroel. I credit JKN that they published my comment...

    -----
    With all due respect, and I have never eaten at or used this business, since Jerusalem Kosher News has now clearly learned and publicized that the badatz has sloppy (or worse) procedures, will Jerusalem Kosher News slow down the process and ask this particular badatz to double check and/or do some of it’s own additional investigation before publicizing?

    Tremendous damage was done to this business based on inaccurate information, and Jerusalem Kosher News was one major channel for that damage. The update from the Badadz just published on Jerusalem Kosher News in a technical fashion does not offset that. The article title that would should be, “BUSINESS PREVIOUSLY STATED AS NOT-UNDER-SUPERVISION WAS UNDER SUPERVISION, bad report due to poor supervising agency paperwork”, not "Sushiagogo update from Agudas Yisroel".

    Similarly with numerous agencies being poor on updating teudot, Jerusalem Kosher News should publicize “teudah found out of date, unclear if agency that often fails to update teudot on time is at fault or restaurant no longer under supervision” when it involves an agency that has such problems.

    And now being caught in an administrative (but not kashrus) error {or worse - however supervision was provided} the supervising agency drops supervision on Sushiagogo???

    There’s a lot of detail missing from this story, and something stinks.
    ------------------

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  20. Don't Confuse the Story with the FactsJanuary 30, 2011 3:10 PM

    Rafi,

    A VERY important clarification in your post:

    Sushiagogo was not purchasing the sushi from an Aguda factory..they WERE the Aguda factory.

    We enjoy the Maxin restaurant. The Sushiagogo owners are the sushi chefs at Maxin and make, package and seal all the sushi at the Maxin restaurant which is and has been under Aguda badatz.

    So while Aguda Badazt may not have been receiving a second payment from Sushiagogo in fact all of the sushi was being supervised by the same Aguda mashgiach who is there for Maxin.

    So there was never a time that Sushiagogo was serving "unsupervised' sushi.

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  21. Another Jew in JerusalemJanuary 30, 2011 3:12 PM

    jewinjerusalem

    You are INCORRECT!!!! Read the updates!

    The Aguda mashgiach has said that he was giving the hechsher!

    ReplyDelete
  22. jewinjerusalem - from what I read AND from the published statement of Badadz Agudas Yisroel, the factory and restaurant they HAD a mashgiach from Badatz Agudas Yisroel and that mashgiach also supervised the production and services of Sushiagogo. However, that supervision of this particular side-businesses output of establishments he was already supervising was not registered with the Badatz or written on the teudat kashrut.

    The MASHGIACH says this was HIS OVERSIGHT in not completing the Badatz administrative process. Meaning he was providing supervision and being paid to do so. But the agency didn't know about it.

    That's the report that's been published.

    Sushiagogo had an authorized mashgiach from and authorized mehadrin agency to provide supervision, and supervision was provided (per the Mashgiach). But the mashgiach failed to register the increased supervision he was requested to and was providing.

    A paperwork failure, not a kashrus failure.

    Sushiagogo's error was in not immediately demanding a kashrus certificate from the certifying agency - which would have identified the administrative error. Possibly they did, but from the Mashgiach who told them "it's coming, it just takes a few months" - which is often the case!

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  23. Akiva,

    Well stated.

    Let's remember here that Sushiagogo is owned by teenagers who didn't realize the problems of not demanding a Teuda.

    Rabbi Malinowitz, Yechiel Spira and Aguda badatz are all adults who should realize the results of slandering and defaming people.

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  24. Dear Kashrus (oh I mean Lema'an Achai) Complex,

    They did have the supervision of the Aguda..by the mashgiach's own admission!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sushiagogo has undoubtedly suffered financial loss due to Rav Malinowitz' hot-headed antics.

    Looks like a good case for Sushiagogo to take Rav Malinowitz and JKN to Beis Din?

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  26. din 4 the dayan
    what good does taking someone to din torah it is a long process and will not help his business take off. JKN and the rabbi should send out an apology and encourage people that there is nothing wrong and that they made made a mistake.

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  27. The Rabbi of BTYA should be aware that what happened in Tunisia and is happening in Egypt can happen in BTYA too...

    ReplyDelete
  28. Time for Change in RBSJanuary 30, 2011 3:57 PM

    Seriously folks, a major problem in RBS is our tin-pot rabbonim, each a prince in his castle, with tremendous authority and no accountability or transparency.

    Any poor performance, or worse, is hidden behind veils of "kavod Lerabbonim" and "daas torah".

    Isn't it about time that there be an oversight body for people to bring complaints about irresponsible or unethical rabbis?

    A sort of all-purpose Takana.

    Why is it just the blogs (well done Rafi!) doing this role??

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  29. JKN is the problemJanuary 30, 2011 3:58 PM

    b'kitzur, it is JKN that is the real problem.

    He makes up standards that dont necessarily exist anywhere except in his own mind (such as when he said to avoid bishul akum the Jew must cook the food until it is 75% cooked and only after that can a goy be involved), investigates to see who keeps those standards and who does not. He then publishes information that he discovers before he gets the full story. Then he sometimes completes his investigation, sometimes not.

    Another example was that chinese food place in bet shemesh. Another example was dr. pepper - he said it is not in the rbs stores because it is not kosher and has no hechsher - I went the next day in rbs and bought a can with the OU embedded on the can top (yes there are and have been some without the OU, but he said all dr. pepper in Israel at the time was not kosher). He even compares shatnez to his findings of dr. pepper. Another example is now this sushi place. and there are probably many more.

    Who made JKN the kosher police?

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  30. I agree JKN is the problem here. If you think so, tell him on his website:

    http://www.jerusalemkoshernews.com/2011/01/update-from-badatz-agudah-regarding-sushiagogo/

    ReplyDelete
  31. I updated the post with a small interview I held with the owner of Sushiagogo, so as to get his side of the story straight, as there was much confusion.

    take a new look at the post please.

    ReplyDelete
  32. JKN is the problemJanuary 30, 2011 4:13 PM

    whats the point? he insists he did everything right, and it was Agudas Yisrael's faul for the mess. he does not realize, no matter how many people over there tell him so, that the way he quickly publicized his partial information is what caused the damage.

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  33. Tell JKN We Are Not Interested!January 30, 2011 4:25 PM

    There are numerous ways we can tell JKN that we are no longer interested in his bogus, half baked information, and that we don't want him telling us what our standards should be. One of those ways would be just not to show up at his events and shiurim. he comes to RBS, and he brings his experts, and he draws a decent crowd who then mostly spread his gospel.

    he has his final session in his series in rbs tomorrow night. Dont go to it (even though it is an interesting topic). Let him show up and find just a few people who come to listen. Show him we dont want him telling us how to deal with kshrus.

    When he posts an email to the list, or when someone does it for him, responses should be immediately posted saying that it should be taken with a grain of salt as he has already in the past destroyed local businesses with half baked information.

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  34. "to avoid bishul akum ..."
    for Sefardim the halacha is more chamur, such that mehadrin y-m standards really aren't good enough. but he should specify that there are different opinions, not just pick one as the only one.

    "bring complaints about ... rabbis"
    it's a free city (for now) with plenty of shuls to choose from (for now). people have to vote with their feet. anonymous letters and blog smears only further entrench those who are on the fence, so just let reality speak for itself - and support a better shul option!

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  35. JKN is a crook. I am not sure why rabbi Malinowitz has given him such respect and power. I have spoken to rabbis and kashrus experts who know JKN and I have been told that all he does is make phone calls to confirm hashagachos. He knows no halachas. But for some reason he only seems to call the kashrus organizations and NEVER calls the owners of the food stores. He goes out and slanders people and businesses with the cloak of l'shem shamayim and recently the blessing from R' Malinowitz. This is the second local business he is hurting (after the Oriental). To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, I don't know if he is going to hell, but when he dies at 120, he is going to run into some pretty bad dudes

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  36. to avoid sfardi bishul akum, the Jew needs to be really involved in the cooking. nowhere does it say to the point of maachal ben drusai or 75%. Just doing some actual cooking is enough (rather than just lighting the fire).
    When he said that and someone asked him where he got it from, he stammered and said thats what some people hold.

    so maybe he heard a chumra that some people keep, even though it is not standard nor actually written by the poskim, and he incorporated it as the standard everyone must keep.

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  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  38. It is frightening to me that the answers and explanations of this teenager are more clear and plausible than those of Inspector Cleaseua of the Kashrus Police.

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  39. 1- send this to kcc, it's important
    2- my son has a kosher place (HaGov,) and I've been over when the mashgiach goes over every invoice
    3- thorough research in running a kosher place should have prevented this sort of misunderstanding

    paperwork...

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  40. I think a lot of people are over-reacting. What a surprise!

    Damages done to his business, din Torah. The whole thing has been only 1 day! You make it sound like this has cost the business millions of dollars in damages.

    No one said the place is treif, they simply said it seems he has no hechsher. If you trust the owners in spite of that, gezeunterheit, go buy there. Or do your own research if you don't like JKN.

    Saying that since they're teenagers, they didn't know the importance of having a valid teudah. That's absurd. I don't know how any food establishment can neglect such an important aspect of their business. Whether it was this case of The Oriental. If you're going to operate as a kosher establishment, you have to have a teudah, and that's aleph-beis.

    If you don't like JKN, don't read it. If you don't like R' CZM, choose another rav. If you trust a food establishment without a teudah, b'teavon.

    No one is claiming to be the kashrus police. A warning came up. You want to heed the warning, good. You don't want to heed the warning, that's also your prerogative. Do what you want and move on!

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  41. Wanna Saab,

    They had hashgocha. Period. No one said that they thought they could run a business without a teuda.

    They thought that the Aguda Badatz mashgiach was enough.

    And yes Wanna..motzei sham ra is serious business even if for only 1 day.

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  42. wanna Lincoln ContinentalJanuary 30, 2011 5:21 PM

    what you say is not accurate (the first part) - the initial email that was sent out strongly suggested that the food is not kosher and people should ask their rabbonim what to do about it (I assume this means similar to other treif cases like in Monsey that plates and pots might need to be kashered), along with the suggestion that the owner had been guilty of fraud.

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  43. "No one is claiming to be the kashrus police."

    Oh pllleeease.

    Of course CZM and JKN have claimed their role as the local kashrus patrol.

    They've invested huge resources in advertising shiurim, tediously monopolising the editorial pages of Chodosh, and distributing publications on this throughout the neighborhood.

    Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    When people are that pompous, they deserve to be ridiculed when they mess up so blatantly.

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  44. In the early days, JKN had some excellent reports, full of detailed reports from Mashgichim as to the exact standards they use, and informing people about the various fraudulent teudot on the market.

    With these warnings, however, [and especially the note to call your Rav, implying that the food may indeed be non-kosher (something that JKN never posted about any other organization until Yudel "Psychotic Rant" Shain suggested it's a halacha), R' Yechiel Spira must realize that he carries a lot of power, and needs to use this carefully.

    Despite his self-congratulatory comments, his handling was NOT correct. At best, it should have said "please be aware that there are inconsistencies in teudah, and I am trying to contact the agency, the owner, and the mashgiach".

    [I'm not just ranting here; the same comment was sent to RYS directly]

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  45. When he posts an email to the list, or when someone does it for him, responses should be immediately posted saying that it should be taken with a grain of salt....

    Excellent suggestion, since so far his 2 "major stories" in RBS were paperwork issues.

    And to add an irony to the whole thing, when JKN reviewed the candy stores in the Mercaz, he said he was most impressed by one store - which recently a consumer found an item with a *completely*forged* hechsher and it took her 3 visits plus a report from the Rabbanut to get them to take it off the shelves.

    A forged candy hechsher could happen anywhere, but my point is his swoop-down style is less likely to find the truth than local residents are.

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  46. Rafi,

    Thank you for the rest of the story.

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  47. I know that Jerusalem Kosher News and Rabbi Malinowitz consider themselves totally innocent but does anyone know if either apologized to the owners for the misunderstanding?

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  48. As the saying goes, where there is profit to be made there is "lots of Yirat Shamyim".

    My Rabbi was asked to check in to the koshrut situation of a particular restaurant. During his investigation he found some things that were suspicious that set up red flags.

    He went to Rav Goldstein to ask what to do. Rav Goldstein said that it was 100% assur to public say that the establishment was treif. The most he could say is the place was "iffy" and make the decision based on that.

    Out fruming everyone else is not a heter to be reckless uncalled for harm to others.

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  49. I am saddened to consider the thoughts going through the heads of these young owners of the sushi place.

    Their sincerity and integrity were questioned and they were falsely accused.

    Those responsible can defend their actions as much as they like but I imagine that such behavior has some mark on their psyche.

    I hope that the rabbonim involved here have thought about this as well and will make amends.

    A simple sorry or please excuse me or better yet a "how can we help you in the future" would most likely go a long way here.

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  50. I would like to suggest that those who were upset and offended by this incident write to the list moderators and request that they no longer publish such kashrut scares from JKN. They are causing too much damage to peoples' livelihood.
    Those that want to follow JKN can read their blog. The list is read by thousands in the neighbourhood and shouldn't be used for unfounded accusations against our hardworking local businesses.

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  51. Sarale -"list moderators and request that they no longer publish such kashrut scares from JKN."

    I second the motion.

    Actually, they shouldn't publish ANY kashrus scares.

    Someone's welcome to establish a mailing list of their own "kashrus scares RBS", but not to hijack the existing lists.

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  52. I think it's a much better idea to let kashrus warnings through, but people should know they can reply to them. And in the future whenever a JKN alert hits a list I'm sure there will be replies like "the previous two times his alerts were regarding Bet Shemesh establishments, the information was incomplete, so people are advised to follow up with their own research."

    Mr. JKN's lets-find-the-fraud approach is more relevant to the bigger city of Jerusalem where a stranger runs a restaurant for strangers. Here we do ask the owners what's going on.

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  53. I can't believe that the owners have yet to receive an apology.

    They were basically called liars by Malinowitz and JKN.

    How can a man who calls himself a rav, dayan,etc not have the common decency to at least apologize for the misunderstanding?

    Does he consider himself that much above menshlichkeit?

    He was very quick to condemn. Why isn't he as quick to do the RIGHT thing?

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  54. I don't think it's appropriate to ask Rav Malinowitz to publicly admit his error, and to apologize for the damage he did to the kids who run Sushiagogo.

    What kind of a message would that give these kids about daas torah?

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  55. Apologize?

    Don't you know thw Chazal about Paroh? He went down to the Nile in the morning to "do his business" because he deified himself and didn't want his people to know that he was human.

    If the rav would apologize people would realize that he is actually only human.

    ReplyDelete
  56. What needs to be done.February 01, 2011 10:57 AM

    Moshe Rabbeynu was the archetype of all rabbonim today. It is well known that his most important attribute was humility. Something that seems to be severely lacking in this case. BTYA owes itself to demand a leader who can inspire, love and guide them, not make it one of the most hated institutions in the neighborhood. Every major machlokes in RBS has come out of this shul, despite the fact that they attempt to hold "unity" events. It is time for the men of the shul to find their cajones, stand up to the Rav and do what is right for the entire community.

    ReplyDelete
  57. why are these guys not investigating the supermarkets selling eida charedisi chickens that are possibly treifos v'neveilos (according to the cormer chief mashgiach)? Why are they not putting out notices about the supermarkets selling treif food in our neighborhood?

    Only the little guy gets attacked but not the bigger guys, who are really the more serious threat?

    ReplyDelete
  58. Rabbi Yosef WiklerFebruary 03, 2011 11:24 PM

    As of 2/3/11 at 4:15 PM Brooklyn, NY time, the website of Sushiagogo.com continues to post the Agudah logo on their home page. So who is trying to fool whom?
    Where I live we call that an unauthorized use of a kosher symbol and, in fact, Sushi-gate or no, that illegal use of Agudah's symbol is now posted on our website, www.kashrusmagazine.com and will appear in the next issue of KASHRUS Magazine, Kashrus Monthly and New York Kosher News, all of which we publish.
    It is nice to let people express their side of the news, but it is even better to check out the facts.
    Rabbi Yosef Wikler
    Editor, KASHRUS Magazine

    ReplyDelete
  59. good question Rabbi Wikler, I dont know why they have not taken it down. It could be because they have essentially been put out of business as they have suspended operations because of this. Maybe they saw no need to bother as they are shut down for now.
    I will ask and hope to get a response.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Rabbi Wikler - I asked and the response is pretty much what I suggested. he made two points:

    1. There is no Sushiagogo to be under hashgocha at the moment. They are currently not in business, and had you tried to place an order (as some people have during this past week) you would have received a message as such.


    2. If and When they restart it will be likely under the Aguda, though not for very long, as the Aguda has said they will soon be stopping giving hechsher on sushi completely.

    so, they have not removed the symbol because they are not currently in business. I guess it is like if you have a hardware store and on the sign outside the store it says "We sell X Brand Hammers" that are perhaps exclusive to your area - then you shut down your hardware store, would anybody rush to make sure than notice about the hammer came down right away? Probably not, as the whole store is out of business.

    They are not operating under false premises - they are not operating at all.
    It will seem silly for you to print in all your notices and publications that a company that went out of business is misadvertising operations under a hechsher

    ReplyDelete
  61. Rabbi Wikler,

    I have a better answer for you.

    I spoke to the Aguda about Sushiagogo. The mashgiach had nothing but good things to say about them. Have you noticed that the Aguda itself has never issued a warning, etc.?

    Why are you being more religious than the pope?

    I am a lawyer licensed here in Israel and in New York.

    Print anything negative against them and you will have a major lawsuit on your hands. I would be delighted to represent them..pro bono!

    Keep to the real crooks in the kashrus industry.

    ReplyDelete

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