Are the Chasam Sofer hechsherim reliable?
- This topic has 33 replies, 17 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 11 months ago by ☕ DaasYochid ☕.
March 10, 2013 6:35 am at 6:35 am #608532
I was told by someone I rely on that Rav Yitzchok Berkowitz holds that both CH-S hechsherim are unreliable, but they were told this by him a while ago and weren’t sure if it still was the case. Does anyone here know any more about these hechsherim? Or does anyone here have a kesher to R. Berkowitz and can ask him if the problem still exists and what it is?
TIAMarch 10, 2013 6:45 am at 6:45 am #946717
Did they tell you why?
A lot of these rumors are just politics.March 10, 2013 7:26 am at 7:26 am #946718Ðash®Participant
If Rav Berkowitz is your LOR, you should just ask him. If not, it is irrelevant.March 10, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am #946719Shoe store assistantMember
R’ berkovitz is an actve rov in e”y, and is absolutlely unconnected to politics.
His number is + 972 2 581 3847.
Do not know his times, but i am sure that they can tell you them on the phone.
Hatzlacha.March 10, 2013 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #946720realtalkMember
I live in Israel now and a lot of people do not use chasam sofer.March 10, 2013 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #946721
Sharp, it’s not just a rumor, R. Berkowitz told it to someone I trust.
Dash, why is it irrelevant when a choshuve Rov says a hechsher shouldn’t be relied upon??
Shoe store assistant: thanks for the number!March 10, 2013 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #946722realtalkMember
It is not any worse than ou, so…March 10, 2013 5:49 pm at 5:49 pm #946723
R’ Berkowitz told to him directly? Because if not, this too may be part of the rumor.
It would probably be quite simple to double check with R’ Berkowitz himself.March 10, 2013 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #946724
Yes, he told him directly.March 10, 2013 8:35 pm at 8:35 pm #946725ToiParticipant
Sharaga, as a current resident of yerushalayim, its clear that many, if not most, of the americans lliving here are more makpid than they would be on kashrus in america. it perfectly convenient and really doesnt require much effort. the hechsherim in question could very well be better than the OU, but on standards here they dont cut it.April 8, 2013 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #946726
I asked another choshuve Rov in my neighborhood (a chassidish one this time) about the Ch-S hechsherim. He told me I can rely on the Petach Tikvah one, but to stay away from the B”B one.
So two important Rabbonim, one Litvish and one Chassidish, seem to agree that at the very least the B”B can not be relied upon!April 8, 2013 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #946727
If you don’t hold of the B’B one, how do you eat Mentos(the round candies)? (I think I have an answer, but I want to see what everyone else thinks.)April 8, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm #946728
That’s funny. Just tonight my wife bought me a package of them, and I was about a third through and REALLY enjoying them, when I saw the hechsher on the package. I went over every inch of the package trying to find another one, but I failed :-(.
So that was that for the mentos 🙂
But if you have a reason why you think they should be ok, please do tell me!April 8, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm #946729
I think I have an answer, but I’m not 100% positive that’s why. If you look on the package it’s made in Switzerland. It says on the package certified kosher by the Rabbanut of Switzerland.April 9, 2013 5:16 am at 5:16 am #946730
Actually after I did some researching online, I think it’s made in Holland.April 9, 2013 5:56 am at 5:56 am #946731commonsenseParticipant
Can someone who knows please elaborate. Years ago I was told that Chug Chasam Sofer from B”B was one of the best hechsherim and I have eaten it since. Has something changed recently?April 9, 2013 6:20 am at 6:20 am #946732NechomahParticipant
commonsense – We also used to eat CS from B”B, but a few years ago my husband heard that the quality had gone down and we stopped using it. It is hard because some of the major brands here switch from Badatz Eida HaChardeidis to CS B”B for Pesach, so we have to do without those products during Pesach. Oh well, it’s just a week. I have a friend who does not eat tomatoes since they cannot be peeled (or at least it takes more effort than she wants to invest) so they do without for the week of Pesach and that is her attitude – it’s just a week. Mentos during the year may be a different story for some people. I happen to have a package that my son received as a present – they are made in Holland and have a hechsher from Rabbanut of Holland. Some people, though, do research individual products and find out if they are okay. Maybe Mentos is something like that.April 9, 2013 6:37 am at 6:37 am #946733commonsenseParticipant
Nechoma, thank you, I would never have known if I hadn’t caught this thread. btw you can tell your friend they sell a tomato peeler that works very well.April 9, 2013 7:09 am at 7:09 am #946734
It’s hard to find someone who investigated hechsherim himself, so to start saying “political” or “not political” is a bit difficult.
Maybe contact Rav Berkowitz as was mentioned earlier and ask if the shmua is correct and why. He’ll answer you honestly and will be able to tell you if it’s based on something he personally saw/has seen, if someone reliable to him told him so, or if it’s because of one or a specific set of standards he may have (which you may or may not follow).
Yechiel Spira from JKN who has done/does a good chunk of research on hechsherim may be able to give you details on either or both.
…Have some questions ready based on your standards, make some phone calls, and do some investigation yourself. 🙂April 9, 2013 7:47 am at 7:47 am #946735
I tried calling, but there was no answer, which is why I spoke to the other Rov. But maybe I’ll try the number again.
“It is hard because some of the major brands here switch from Badatz Eida HaChardeidis to CS B”B for Pesach”
After hearing that there is a problem with the hechsher, I also noticed the above, and it made me very, very uneasy. Once wonders how come all those companies go specifically to this one hechsher. I really hope there isn’t another huge kashrus scandal in the making here…April 9, 2013 8:29 am at 8:29 am #946736
The question of reliability – for those who question it – in both cases has been around for at least four years if not more.
Assuming you’re not c”v thinking that there is actual vadai “issur” involved here, which most people I’ve met and question the reliability don’t go so far to say, it’s not the biggest issue in the world. The questions in your mind should be that of the organization’s standards, if the mashgichim adhere to the standards, and if the mefakchim are actually mefakeach on the mashgichim to enforce keeping in line with those standards.
By Pesach the “big” hechshers go back to basics and often don’t certify anything they don’t have to; it’s a lot of work. Chug Chasam Sofer decided to take on the task. If it’s based on certain kulas (I don’t know if that’s the case) which you do/don’t hold of, you should find out. Call the hechshers.
Contact information (publicly available):
Chug Chasam Sofer, 18 Maimon, POB 426, Bnei Brak, 51273. (3) 618-8596, 5792-601; Fax: (3) 579-5175. Rabbi Shmuel Eliezer Stern, Rabbi Yitzchok Shlomo Ungar, Poskim.
Chug Chosam Sofer – Petach Tikvah, 21 Ichluv Street, POB 906, Petach Tikvah. (3) 931-4856; Fax: (3) 904-4440. Rav Daitch.
Did you ask the Chassidish rov what isn’t reliable and if he checked it himself?April 9, 2013 9:59 am at 9:59 am #946737NechomahParticipant
S18 – I truly hope no impending scandal is in the works. These products all go to that hechsher for years already now since the Eida does not give supervision for Pesach for many different problems (although there are MANY more now than when I first came to this country 20 years ago). I actually try to look on this as a good thing. My bill for Pesach is already sky high. I cannot imagine how much more money I would be spending on the holiday if this were a good, reliable hechsher. My husband suggested speaking to R’ Nochum Yavrov (not English speaking I’d imagine) about different kashrus. He apparently knows a lot. Maybe this will help you.April 9, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am #946738EY YidMember
If only ya’ll were as careful with what comes out of your mouth about a hechsher as you are what you eat…April 9, 2013 7:05 pm at 7:05 pm #946739
Can you tell me a little more about Rabbi Yavrov? I’ve never heard of him (which doesn’t mean anything,of course).
Please take your nasty, insulting comments elsewhere. We’re trying to have a MATURE discussion here.April 9, 2013 9:02 pm at 9:02 pm #946740apushatayidParticipant
Mature conversations do not hinge on hereasy and rumor?April 10, 2013 3:20 am at 3:20 am #946741mddMember
Shraga, be careful before you passel a heksher. Speak to a big Rov.April 10, 2013 3:43 am at 3:43 am #946742
I didn’t hear anything about this before. I thought they’re reliable. But now I’m not sure. Did anyone else hear anything about this?April 10, 2013 5:34 am at 5:34 am #946743
Did you miss the part where I said I asked a Rov?
I did ask a Rov. I don’t know how you define “big”.April 10, 2013 6:06 am at 6:06 am #946744
Like everything in the kashrus industry, you’ll always have machlokes in this field of who is ok and who isn’t. There is also a seemingly infinite amount of lashon ha’ra and motzi shem ra that spreads as a result.
Make sure you have a reliable rav to speak to (noting that most rabbonim are NOT in the know when it comes to kashrus and just do what the olam says/does), try to get educated about what questions need to be asked, and beyond that don’t you shouldn’t have to think about it too much.
The importance of being educated in what needs to be asked comes up not only in your day-to-day home activities and restaurants, but especially when it comes to simchas in E”Y. It’s worth learning what questions need asking – regardless of which hechsher you’re dealing with.April 10, 2013 6:29 am at 6:29 am #946745dveykus613Participant
I was told davka the opposite, that bnei brak you could rely on, and petach tikva totally not and to ask re each thing! but this was a couple years back, so I will be”H look into it again given this discussion…
As far as reaching Rabbi Berkowitz, I have been told that sometimes the answering machine is used to screen calls, so try to leave a messageApril 10, 2013 7:09 am at 7:09 am #946746RamatShiloParticipant
best bet—dont eat anything – u cant trust any1.. maybe eat bannana’s or tomatoes?April 18, 2013 3:19 pm at 3:19 pm #946747Koby BMember
It’s not a great idea to be working out hechsherim on line, but since it’s being done here with some confusion, I felt that it might be helpful to step in. I’m truly sorry if I contradict anyone, but just trying to be of help with information I’ve gathered:
1) It’s Berkovits, not Berkowitz.
2) He’s not a great fan of either Chasam Sofer hechsher.
3) Even of those that disagree with 2) above, most of those involved here in Kashrus hold that the Bnei Barak one- the circular one- is much better than the Petach Tikva one- the wall one. Unlike Sharaga 18’s inquiries [above], it’s been my experience that the few that hold the opposite are basing it on one particular Rav in kashrus, who the vast majority of those in the field have an issue with on this subject.
3) R. Berkovits, IN GENERAL, only suggests (among major Israeli hechsherim) Aida Charadis, Sha’aris, Rubin, and Landau. Machpud is currently a question mark due to changes in the system and conflicting reports. He doesn’t Pasul the others, but won’t recommend them and suggests that B’nei torah stick to the 4 above (in most cases).
4) The person that I’ve found to be perhaps the most knowledgeable and updated here in E”Y Kashrus is R. Kuber (who works in Kashrus and gives highly respected courses in hashgacha, still keeps a full seder in the Mir, and is the Rav of a Kehila in Telshe Stone), but he’s very careful in giving out information.April 18, 2013 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #946748apushatayidParticipant
“Did you miss the part where I said I asked a Rov?”
As far as I am concerned, Rabbi Anonymous is hearesay and rumor. Rabbi anonymous might even be a very “big” Rav, but as long as he remains anonymous, and you remain anonymous, I have no right to accept what might just be rechilus. If this question ever becomes nogea to me, I will be sure to ask my own Rav. Rav Anonymous shlita doesnt cut it for me.April 18, 2013 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #946749☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Apushatayid, I don’t get what’s bugging you. Nobody’s telling you to accept online suggestions and not to ask your rov.
Whether or not such discussions constitute L”H is a good question. There certainly can be toeles in the discussion; someone like you whohad no idea that there were possible issues might very well go ahead and ask their rov, but I don’t know if this justifies posting such information online.
Your grievances in this regard might best be addressed to moderation to whom it’s indeed hearsay, not to a poster who might very well have received first hand information.
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