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Aug 4, 2008

The fight for kashrut standards continues

To continue the previous posts on the issue of hechsherim, the Mishpacha newspaper this past week reported on a decision by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel..

Because of the phenomenon where restaurants acquire a Rabbanut hechsher and then get one of the cheap "mehadrin" hechshers that have no oversight and don't actually supervise anything, the Chief Rabbinate under Rabbi Metzger (who is responsible for kashrut) has come to a decision to remove the Rabbanut hechsher from any restaurant that also displays an unrecognized mehadrin hechsher. They consider it deception and illegal and thereofre will remove their (the Rabbanut) hechsher from such places engaging in such practices.

Any place they find a discrepancy between the declaration of being mehadrin and what the status of the restaurant actually is, they will remove the hechsher. Any restaurant contionuing too display the hechsher after this will be dealt with according to the law (fines and whatever other methods the law clals for).

I figure the reason for removing the hechsher is because it is illegal to display a certificate of another kashrut organization without having a rabbanut. So if they remove the Rabbanut, the restaurant can also not (legally) display the mehadin hechsher.

the fight for kashrut standards continues.


  1. Rafi,

    Can you post a link?


  2. Wouldn't the Rabbanut have to decide what "Mehadrin" standards are, especially considering that there is no real guidelines within the halacha? For example, any mehadrin vegetables this year are yevul nochri. However, a resturant with a mehadrin hechsher which uses otzar beit din produce would lose their Rabbanut hashgacha!

    (Please don't pick on this if the specific example is not entire correct with regard to labeling of shmittah produce. It's just a rhetorical case in point.)

  3. sorry - no link. it was in the newspaper. they do not have a website for that as far as I know,.,.

    yoni - from what I understood is that they will not define the mehadrin standards, but if they see the proprietor displaying a mehadrin hechsher, that one better be a recognized one, one that actually sends out mashgichim and enforces mehadrin standards. If it is keter hakashrus or nahalat yiztchakl or any of the others like those, they will consider it to be fraudulent and rmeove their hechsher,

  4. Rafi,

    Your answer begs the question. What are "mehadrin standards"? If they don't define it, they can't fairly enforce the law.

    One other thing: Ari Enkin, in a footnote in his book "Dalet Amot" (mehadrin spelling: "Dalet Amois") points out that the term "standards" is usually used when the term "practices" is meant.

  5. I can give you a list of things most mehadrin hechsherim consider standards, but that is futile, because what the rabbanut will decide to go by is up to them. I am sure that if this plan comes to fruition they will have delineated a set of standards, or practices, by which to make decisions.

    BTW, that is Rabbi Ari Enkin to you!

  6. I got the list from Kmelion over on live journal. Also, I mentioned my reaction on Eclectic Jewish Thoughts

  7. >BTW, that is Rabbi Ari Enkin to you!


  8. yoni - that was really just in case he was reading....

    Larry - interesting discussion over by kmelion. thanks


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