Sep 7, 2017

Badatz for Shabbos observance

The following hechsher was spotted at a Chumus eatery in Tel Aviv.

While it looks to be certified as kosher from some new funky "Badatz" organization, if you read the text of the document they actually only say that they are guaranteeing adherence to all the rules of Shabbos observance with the restaurant closed on Shabbos.

The certificate definitely looks like a fake hechsher, though that trend seemed to have stopped a few years ago with the Rabbanut fighting the fake hechsher trend very strongly. It looks especially fake with all the spelling mistakes...

I actually scanned the QR code out of curiosity. It took me to the website of an organization called "Merkaz Meir". They make the claim of being an organization for the learning of halacha, and they offer a number of tracks. They claim to be the premier organization for the religious public for learning holy topics with a proven track record in many areas in training religious public in courses of various halachic topics, including semicha and various forms of certification.

As well, they offer certification services for various issues such as Shaatnez, Shabbos observance, scribal work, kashrus, finances, etc. Certification in additional areas is to give the religious public the feeling of security that they are eating in a place that conforms at a greater level to our religious preferences.

While it definitely looks fake, and having never heard of such a certification of Shabbos observance before, a quick scan of the document makes one wonder, maybe it is real - maybe all they are offering to this restaurant is certification of Shabbos observance with no attempt at deception. It is strange as this has not been done before. And, the Rabbanut only certifies restaurants that are closed on Shabbos anyway, so I don't know why this is needed, unless one does not rely on the Rabbanut even for that. I wonder if they went with private certification for Shabbos if they also use private certification for kashrus, and if so which one they are using.

I have no idea if they are reliable or not, but it does not look like they are pulling a scam with a fake teuda

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  1. "פרווה"
    Shabbos observance?
    I think that seals it that this is fake.

  2. If it is real, it is irresponsible. When many people see a "Badatz" sign on a restaurant, they assume that is certifying the kashrus of the food there. If it is not, then many will be mislead.

    (Other things are different. If you see a certification on an item of clothing, you obviously are not going to eat it. It must mean shaatnez. Ditto for STAM and other klei kodesh, like shofaros, daled minim, etc. Point is, context is everything.)

    1. I'm wondering if it isn't a purposeful deception for that exact reason. Why else would a shmirat shabbat certification write PARVE twice??? That certainly makes it seem as it they hope the readers thinks it refers to the food's kashrut.


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