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Jul 28, 2009

Accusation: The Eidah hechsher is driven by financial interests

R' Yitzchak Goldknopf, the secretary of the Committee for Shabbos Observance, who previously has led the battle against Sehfa Shuk due to the owner having a chain of stores open on Shabbos, has now attacked the Eidah Hareidis, accusing them of making their decisions all based on money.

Goldknopf claims that there is no difference between the chillul shabbos happening in the fight over the parking lot, in which the Eidah has taken a clear stand, and between the chillul shabbos of the supermarkets in which the Eidah refused to participate. He says, the Eidah originally was going to join the calls to boycott Shefa, but then saw they stood to lose their extremely lucrative hechsher on Shefa so they pulled out. By the parking lot, Karta is a privately owned lot, not in a haredi area, yet the Eidah protests.

The Eidah hechsher continues to fly over Shefa Shuk, despite the massive chillul shabbos caused by the owner, and by the fact that his keeping the AM:PM stores open on shabbos forces many others to be mechalel shabbos as well just to stay in business.

Goldknopf wants the Eidah to pull its hechsher from Shefa in order to force Shefa to back down. If the Eidah pulls out, Goldknopf assumes, nobody else will be brazen enough to give them a hechsher unless the situation changes.
(source and full interview: Kikar Shabbos)

Goldknopf's accusation against the Eidah implies that the Eidah is no better than any of the other kashrut organizations that are regularly accused of not being reliable because they are more concerned with financial concerns over losing their hechsher rather than sticking to their rules.


  1. Goldknopf just endorsed the hechsher of the rabbanut on produce.

  2. i am surprised you didnt express your own opinion on the matter.
    Reading your article its obvious that goldknopf's claim is not nearly as clear as he sounds. It doesn't have to be about money at all. Rather a hechsher's responsibility is also about feeding people. Suddenly pulling a hechsher on a chain so devoted to chareidi people would cause a huge chaos as to what they can buy and eat. I don't see it so clearly as a money issue, per se.

    word verification: later

  3. anon - where did you see that?

    whats - the eidah is not the only hechsher in town. and shefa is not the only supermarket in town. I doubt they feel ultimate responsibility for people eating kosher food. When the eidah refuses a hechsher to a restaurant, hotel, store because they are open on shabbos or because they have tables out after 7 or whatever other reason, they are showing that it is not an issue of feeding people. People will eat with or without this store. They will go elsewhere, the store will get a different hechsher.

    At the end of the day, Goldknopf is saying that the eidah is just as bad as any other hechsher in the sense that money is what is driving them. In a situation where money is involved, they choose the money over shabbos.
    If the accusation is valid, how are they any better than a hechsher who has the problem of its mashgichim not being reliable because they get their salaries directly from the food establishment they are overseeing?

    another point - shefa is a supermarket. 99.9% of the products sold within are closed packages, with heachshers on each individual package. The only issue is the veggie stand and the bakery section. The meat counter has a variety of hechshers anyway.

    So is the responsibility to feed people so great on a simple vegetable stand?

  4. In other words, they (EH) must be corrupt because they don't agree with his beliefs and tactics.

    I suppose that's one way to look at the world...

  5. Goldknopf is right, but not because of Shefa Shuk.
    Any establishment that swtiches from Edah to another mehadrin hechsher (aka Rubin) will see nasty posters accsising them of selling non-kosher food. This happened to Duby Dagim in RBS, and happens in J-m on a regular basis.

  6. apples and oranges.

    they were protesting the opening of the carta lot.

    did they boycott all karta affiliates?

    Since when do you have to boycott everyone who is mechallel shabbos especially when they are simply tinokos shenishbu who are constsntly recieveing the message form the frum that they are not Jewish anyway.

    if so - there are about zilcho things we can buy in Israel.

    But to protest (peacefully!!) against something you disagree with - mah ha-kesher to a boycott.

    BTW, is Yesh and it's affiliates 100% SHomer SHabbos? I don't think so.

    But the vad l'shmiras Shabbos has a financial interest (or some buddy does) in Yesh so hurting SHefa but not Yesh is ok.

  7. garfield - good point. to expand on it, I would add that just as they are accusing the Eidah of being driven by forces of financial concern, they are really doing exactly the same. Boycotting Shefa but not yesh which is owned by someone who has other businesses being mechalel shabbos shows their own hypocrisy and that they are driven by financial concerns.

  8. Here is where Goldknopf endorsed the rabbanut hechsher on produce,from the kikar shabbat link that you posted:

    אולי הם חושבים שלפחות לא יתגעלו במאכלות אסורים?

    "זה יותר מאשר מצחיק. הרי לכל החנויות האלו יש הכשר של הרבנות. זה בוודאי לא טבל. למה הם נותנים להם הכשר למהדרין? בגלל הכסף?!".

    Oh, and by the way in many of the supermarkets for a while there was NO hechsher on the meat counters. People just trusted the store to tell them which hechsher they were getting, and a for a while there wasn't even a frum person working there. Now at least the shefa meat counter has the rabbanut bet shemesh plus frum (looking) people working there. Machsanei kimat chinam in BIG has had that for a long time. As for the produce, if what the eda claims in the above article is true that they only supervise the packaging plant for the produce not the store, then what good is their hechsher, who is making sure that the produce in the store is from that packaging plant. It's no better than the unsupervised meat counters.

  9. all he is saying is that the rabbanut is good enough to make it not tevel. it would be at best dmai (if you do not rely on rabbanut).

    I am not aware that there is no hechsher on the meat counters. the fresh meat/chicken each has its own hechsher with aplumba depending on which brand they are selling. you don't need a badatz to tell you that the atara plumba on the chicken is reliable.

  10. Rafi G,
    "וודאי לא טבל"
    is NOT equal to

    If you buy a whole chicken there is a plumba, but if you buy pieces then there isn't necessarily. If you buy beef also you won't see the plumba.

    (Also, I think you might want to wash it off before cooking, because once I saw them handle liver and then meat without washing or changing gloves.
    Ok, meikar hadin maybe not required b/c of ein machazikin...)

  11. to be more clear
    demai is safek tevel.

  12. anon - correct, but how does that help. all you know is that it is not tevel. it is still dmai (if you generally do not rely on rabbanut). so you have gained nothing on the practical level, except there is no issur de'oraisa.
    There are other issues as well such as orlah.

  13. Again, vadai not tevel means not demai either. I understand that you want to read it as vadai not tevel vadai maybe just safek tevel and possibly other issurim like orla.
    From the context he clearly doesn't mean that. The question asked to him was about preventing people from eating issurim. His answer in context clearly means that there are no issurim to worry about (and any difference is at most just chumra).
    Otherwise, his answer doesn't answer the question. Orla bizman hazeh is midioraisa while tevel is miderabbanan.

  14. anon - correct, but how does that help. all you know is that it is not tevel. it is still dmai (if you generally do not rely on rabbanut). so you have gained nothing on the practical level, except there is no issur de'oraisa.

    Nowadays tevel is derabanan... so demai is safek derabanan. I'm no posek but when meikar hadin no hechsher whatsoever may be needed, perhaps one can justify relying on a less respected hechsher?

  15. Rafi-
    Your heading and conclusion here are pretty misleading, IMHO. While I am no defender of any Eidah politics, there is no accusation here of kashruth and financial considerations impacting one another. Rather, Goldknopf is wondering why the Eidah doesn't protest. That's not the same thing. Your title implies that politics will determine something on the Kashruth side, and that does not seem to be the case here at all

  16. Aaron - I think it is the natural conclusion of what he said. if they are driven by financial concerns, how can you trust them? they are making decisions against halacha, and may do so again at any time, because they are concerned about money.

  17. I don't think you are being fair with that comparison. A decision about a boycott or protest is not the same as compromising the kashrut itself. I don't even think you could call it a slippery slope.

  18. I am not a Rav but I have a question regarding the comments here of D'mai.

    Isn't D'mai the produce received from Amei Ha'aretz and Chazal said you cannot trust them when they say they mafrished Trumot U'Ma'asrot?

    If so, how is that the same as a Safek Tevel, when the produce has been handled by the Rabbanut?

    Is D'mei any safek or only a safek where we would have to rely on the word of Amei Ha'aretz?


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