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Dec 21, 2015

Rav Yitzchak Yosef says you can eat Auerbach chickens

There are some hechshers, specifically for chickens, that just have a bad reputation in the Ashkenazi Haredi community.

Even though 99% of the people, or more, don't know what is wrong with them, if anything. They just know that they have heard it is a "bad hechsher". Some of them will refuse to eat it because their rav told them not to eat it, which, in my opinion, is better, because they are then listening to their rav rather than rumors or unfounded claims, even if they do not know why their rav says not to.

To varying degrees, common in that list are hechshers/brands like Beit Yosef, Fleish (OU Israel), Rav Auerbach (Tiberias), and others.

I am not here to tell people what to eat and what nto to eat. I am not going to say any of these are good or bad hechshers. Each person should find out as much as he or she can and decide his or  her own acceptable standards, and/or consult a rav. Far be it from me to tell you what to do. It does bother me to hear so many people say hechsher x is a bad hechsher but when asked why they have no idea and stammer that that is what they heard. Hechsher x might be a bad hechsher, but I would like to know why. It might be standards I don't accept, they might be unreliable, perhaps untrustworthy, perhaps someone there is running a scam - but I would like to know why and then decide if it is good for me or not.

To that end, the Chief Rabbi, Rav Yitzchak Yosef had something interesting to say about these hechshers on chickens. Personally I think it is particularly interesting considering his family is behind the Beit Yosef hechsher. It is particularly interesting for two reasons:
1. Beit Yosef is in the list I mentioned above as beng a hechsher many ashkenazi haredim do not accept
2. his statement could be seen to be supporting the family business, but also supporting the competition.

Rav Yosef said that for chickens all the hechshers are acceptable. As Rav Yosef said, chickens dont have issues of glatt (chalak), chicken is simpler to deal with (I assume he means in regards to the shechita and bedikos). Most of the hechshers are perfectly ok, even for avreichim and yeshiva students, and we do not have two Torahs - one for avreichim and another for everyone else. These hechshers are all good for chickens for everyone, according to Rav Yosef.

Rav Yosef also added, that by chickens there is really no need to be machmir, even if one normally is in other areas, and he backs it up in halacha showing example of chumrahs by chickens being unnecessary.
source: Kikar

Most of the people he is directing his words to, the avreichim for example, won't listen, because they don't want to drop such a chumra. Though, some might, if they are financially in bad shape. I am not sure if he is biased, as he is perhaps trying to get Beit Yosef out of the ashkenazi doghouse, or if he is being objective, as he is opening up his own hechsher to more competition.

As to the title, he did not single out Auerbach chickens, but he did say generally they are all ok.

I am sure in the coming days he will most likely issue a clarification, as he will probably be flooded with comments and challenges.

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