Aug 15, 2018

kashrus rumors are just rumors

A few days ago I heard a rumor, but it was told to me as fact. As reality.

Someone tells me that Rav Landau, the rav of Bnei Braq who heads a very respected kashrus organization known as the Badatz of Rav Landau, has decided to retire. Rav Landau is affiliated with Chabad, but because his son is a member of the messianic wing of Chabad, this fellow tells me, Rav Landau does not want to turn his kashrus organization over to his son, so he is closing it entirely. Coca Cola, the flagship product under the hechsher of Rav Landau, along with many other products are being moved over to the kashrus of the Badatz Eida Hachareidis, and many products, such as Coca Cola, have already been switched.

That is pretty big news. I was a bit surprised I had not heard about it, but this fellow claimed it as fact. I somewhat trusted him against my better instincts, simply because this is a fellow who is very careful about what he eats and is strict to eat only from the Eida hechsher and checks everything. I figured he would surely know if he is making such a claim. I still thought it strange that it was not in the news and that I did not hear about from some various forums and groups I am a member of, but  I can miss things too, so I guess it could be true.

After a few days, I still have not seen anything about it, and bottles of Coca Cola still bear the hechsher of Rav Landau and not the Eida, I decided to do some online searching about it.

Sure enough, it took a while, but the only thing I could find about it is some rumors on forums being discussed. I found a discussion making this exact claim from back in 2014, and also another one from back in 2010.

Obviously it is not true and is just an old rumor being rehashed. It does not even make sense, as he does not need to pass it down to his son but could sell it or pass it over to a different rav, but reality does not always have to make sense or be logical, but rumors should be.

Anyways, it is just an old rumor being rehashed.

My point here is not to dispel a specific rumor only a few people might have heard. My point is that the kashrus world is always full of rumors, some logical, some strange, some that pan out and actually happen and many that do not. Sadly, the reality seems to be, that a lot of what we do regarding kashrus is based on rumors - rumors of things we heard  about what this or that hechsher does or does not do. We talk as if we know something to be true, even if it isn't and the source was just a rumor that somehow became "reality" after it passed through a few people in the chain.

Check to the best of your ability. Rumors can be damaging to companies, and it hurts the consumer too. Do not just assume something is true, just because you heard it from someone who seems to know what he is talking about. Like all rumors, kashrus rumors are just rumors, not truth.

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  1. Rabbi Haber related to me an anecdote several years ago:

    People were warning others that Holy Bagel (in Park Center) was not taking Challah for the bagels. The problem with this wasn't the veracity, it was the fact that Holy Bagel doesn't make the dough on-site, and Challah is taken by the producer.

    He also told me that Kashrus is 90% politics.

  2. the only kashrus issue i have heard with messianics , is the OU would discuss w chabad shochtim their theology of 'rebbes are atzmus of hashem ' to determine when they make the bracha 'al hashechita' whether they are praying to the same deity as the rest of jews....


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