June 27, 2017 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #1305753mw13Participant
So this pizza place in Crown Heights says, after loosing their OK certification, that they “will continue providing our customers with the highest levels of Kashrus, under the self-certification of Menachem Mendel Schneerson”.
Am I correct in assuming that they are referring to THE R’ Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the late Lubavitcher Rebbe?
And if so, how can anybody take anything these people say seriously?June 27, 2017 8:31 pm at 8:31 pm #1305763
Menachem Mendel Schneerson is alive.
He is a partner in Basil.June 27, 2017 9:21 pm at 9:21 pm #1305780mr magooParticipant
Look it’s obviously either a mistake or someone else. No lubavitcher would refer to the lubavitcher rebbe as “menachem mendel schneerson.”June 27, 2017 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm #1305806LightbriteParticipant
Is it another rabbi with the same name?June 27, 2017 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm #1305779Neville ChaimBerlinParticipant
Thought this was going to be about the Lubavitcher heter to drink Benedictine Liqueur. I wasn’t far off I guess.June 28, 2017 12:42 am at 12:42 am #1305912ChillNGrillParticipant
There are a few people with that name. As mentioned above, the person to whom this refers is a partner in the establishment and is self-certifying until another reliable hashgocha is in place.June 28, 2017 2:41 am at 2:41 am #1305925
Self-certifying? Wouldn’t that be a huge conflict of interest?
Basically they are saying they have no hashgacha, trust them. Which is fine if you were eating in their home, but not in a commercial establishment where they have a profit motive.June 28, 2017 2:41 am at 2:41 am #1305927Avi KParticipant
Did I miss a second coming?June 28, 2017 9:05 am at 9:05 am #1305998
Winnie, although common practice is as you say, because yiras shomayim in our generation is lacking, meikar hadin, the owner is trusted (if he is a shomer Torah umitzvos).June 28, 2017 9:05 am at 9:05 am #1306013
Has there been an explanation of why the OK removed the certification? The restaurant owner’s statement in the article says “personal issues”, but doesn’t provide any details.June 28, 2017 11:04 am at 11:04 am #1306197
They never tell why they lost the Hashghcha, but If I had to make a guess, its likely about money. usually its about moneyJune 28, 2017 11:30 am at 11:30 am #1306207JosephParticipant
Both sides agreed that this loss of hashgacha was not about money.June 28, 2017 11:48 am at 11:48 am #1306212CTLAWYERParticipant
Dead men give no hasgachos>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
But their widows or children have been known to sell their certification stickers long after the man’s death.
For years after his death the widow and children of a certain rabbi peddled his stickers for candy products.
I was an owner of a kosher deli/restaurant in the late 1970s that sold the product in retail packaging. The widow called a month before Pesach offering to sell me the stickers to affix to my current stock for the bargain price of $1 per sticker.
I reported it to our supervising rabbi and he told me he was aware of her retirement funding scheme. I removed the product from sale and never carried it again.
EditedJune 28, 2017 11:51 am at 11:51 am #1306209
They said it was “Personal” ReasonsJune 28, 2017 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm #1306220
DaaasYochid- I don’t understand what you wrote: “because yiras shomayim in our generation is lacking, meikar hadin, the owner is trusted (if he is a shomer Torah umitzvos).”
Wouldn’t a lack of yiras shamayim mean that owner should not be trusted?June 28, 2017 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm #1306223DaMosheParticipant
Here’s what happened:
The owner of the property needed to do some work, and decided to do it on Shabbos. Being that the owner isn’t Jewish, that’s not a problem (the restaurant rents the space.) The issue was that the workers were given access to the restaurant and its kitchen, and were completely unsupervised.
The OK told the owners of Basil that this was an issue, as the workers could have used ovens to heat their lunches. There are cameras in the kitchen, so they requested the video footage from the property owner. They asked Basil to remain closed until they reviewed the video. Basil didn’t want to miss any days, so they opened against the OK’s wishes. Therefore, the OK pulled the hechsher.
Or so I was told by someone “in the business”.June 28, 2017 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm #1306229
Winnie, you only partially quoted me.
To slightly rephrase:
Common practice is as you say, because yiras shomayim in our generation is lacking. However, meikar hadin, the owner is trusted (if he is a shomer Torah umitzvos).June 28, 2017 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm #1306227JosephParticipant
Winnie, What Daas Yochid meant was:
<i>Winnie, although common practice is as you say — because yiras shomayim in our generation is lacking, but meikar hadin the owner is trusted (if he is a shomer Torah umitzvos).</i>
(I’m now repaying DY for being my Rashi by being meforesh his comment.)June 28, 2017 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm #1306234
The Bach would amend Joseph’s comment to this:
Winnie, although common practice is as you say – because yiras shomayim in our generation is lacking – meikar hadin the owner is trusted (if he is a shomer Torah umitzvos).June 28, 2017 1:57 pm at 1:57 pm #1306298ChillNGrillParticipant
Yes, there was a response from the OK as to why they removed their hechsher. It was due to maintenance having access to the place on Shabbos and doing some work. They requested video footage to make sure nobody used the kitchen and basil didn’t turn it over right away and requested more time (which is never a good sign). I don’t doubt their kashrus but there are rules to follow in general.
As to all the haters and mocking Chabad/Rebbe. Have we learnt nothing about sinas chinam?June 28, 2017 2:10 pm at 2:10 pm #1306357MenoParticipant
I don’t doubt their kashrus but there are rules to follow in general
If what you’ve said is true, I would at least question their kashrusJune 28, 2017 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #1306399
I wasnt going to say this, but I also heard the shabbos workmen story from the landlordJune 28, 2017 3:28 pm at 3:28 pm #1306605
damoshe, chillngrill, zd: I have no reason to doubt what you have written. If that is the case, the OK’s original letter that just says we are removing the hashgachah is (IMHO) reasonable.
There is a famous story of a grocery store in Cleveland (i think it was in the 1960’s or 1970’s) that word went out about work being done on the air conditioner system on Shabbos and people shouldn’t buy there. The owners went to Rav Gifter Tzatzal who contacted the repairman and asked about the repair work. The repairman told Rav Gifter that all the work was done on the roof and since the store was closed on Saturday he wouldn’t be inconveniencing any customers and would be the best day to do the repairs. For the next week Rav Gifter went everyday to purchase something from this store.June 28, 2017 3:50 pm at 3:50 pm #1306615
Thanks DaasYochid and Joseph. I actually did eventually figure out that the yiras shamayim phrase was meant to be connected to the first part of the response, and not the last part that I quoted, after I posted my question. Amazing the power of a comma or a dash!June 28, 2017 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #1306618
Regarding work being done by the landlord on the Sabbath:
Would it have been permissible to have a reliable Jewish witness observe the work and then testify that the workers didn’t use the ovens or other utensils? If so, that would have avoided the need to review the camera video recordings.June 28, 2017 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #1306620Geordie613Participant
I heard this anecdote about ‘self-certification’
A man went into a restaurant/fallafel place/pizza shop/insert your own in Geulah, and asked the owner who provides hashgacha here. The typical Israeli store owner pointed to a portrait on the wall of an elderly distinguished looking long-bearded Jew, and said “You see this man, he is my grandfather!”.
The potential customer replied, “If your grandfather was serving and there was a picture of you on the wall, I would buy here.”
Btw, Joseph, the tag for italics is em not i, but unfortunately, you can’t edit posts here.June 28, 2017 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm #1306626nsumnerParticipant
Somewhat ironically in EY Rav (Yaakov) Landau (a Lubavicher) ZT”L ruled that in fact the din is mi’ikar hadin that self certification is NOT valid.
He ruled that although yesh neamanos (there is trust) in Kashrus, hence you can trust me and eat in my house even though (obviously) there is no certification. However he said a restaurant is dinei mamon; v’ein neamanos b’mamon, there is no trust in money. Since the owner could increase profits by chas veshalom using treif cheese, and he is interested in the profits at the end of the day. Therefore this is a question of money and not standard kashros. Hence according to that ruling the restaurant under self-certification is not worth anything.June 28, 2017 6:48 pm at 6:48 pm #1306717
DovidBT: If the landlord told his tenant (the pizza store) about work being done on the Shabbos and they arranged for witnesses as you suggest then videos would not be needed. That of course leads to the next level of speculation: Did the landlord actually inform the tenant about the work? If yes, did the tenant ask the OK for guidance in this situation? Did the OK give them any guidance? Unfortunately, we can “yenta” all we want. We don’t have any of the important facts.June 28, 2017 7:36 pm at 7:36 pm #1307067
In a Tenent landlord situation, there is a lease, and both sides are obligated to follow the lease. The leases are usually pretty standard.
If the lease allowed the landlord to do certain required work on Saturday , then the leasee is required to obey those lease termsJune 28, 2017 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm #1307118
I have no idea what the lease said, but if it compromised kashrus, they need to comply with the hechsher’s demands.June 28, 2017 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm #1307125
zd: I was speculating if the landlord informed the tenant about the work, did the tenant contact the OK for guidance? I was not trying to imply that the landlord didn’t have the right to have the necessary work done.June 29, 2017 10:54 am at 10:54 am #1307246
lowerourtuition11210, thanks for your reply.
Actually, I was wondering if there’s any issue with arranging, l’chatchila, for a Jew to spend his Sabbath watching non-Jews working on the restaurant facilities, for the purpose of ensuring that the kitchen remains kosher.June 29, 2017 11:09 am at 11:09 am #1307302
A masghiach can work on Shabbos , Its done all the time like at Kiddushes in Shul or hotel programs or restaurants that might be open on shabbos either because they are owned by non-jews or cater to people like touristsJune 29, 2017 11:32 am at 11:32 am #1307373yitzykParticipant
Mashgichim often have to ‘work’ on Shabbos and Yom Tov. This of course does not refer to doing any actual ‘Work’ that is a melacha, but merely to supervise.
Specifically, there are areas of kashrus that require the presence of a Jewish mashgiach by every shift, such as milking cows on a dairy farm, and the delivery/pressing of grapes in a winery (up until the point where it is pasteurized and becomes mevushal.)
Even in other areas where the mashgiach must be ‘Yotzi Venechnas’, he must have the possibility to enter for a surprise inspection at any time. Therefore they sometimes stay in a nearby hotel and pop in for a visit on Shabbos too.June 29, 2017 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm #1307463
In today’s world, any mark or symbol of “hasgacha” has great commercial value since it conveys the sense that the product is produced under higher standards, with higher quality ingredients, etc. In some respects, its a second tier version of “organic” or “natural”. You can credit this to a few brands such as Hebrew National (whose hashgacha gets low grades here on YWN) because of their national TV marketing about “we report to a higher authority”. There are various studies, but some estimates indicate that more than 2/3 of the market for specialty kosher products are purchased by goyim for the reasons noted above, This does not include such generic products as nationally marketed baked goods, breakfast cereals, canned tuna fish, etc who have a kosher certification.June 29, 2017 1:22 pm at 1:22 pm #1307496
The Dunkin Donuts in the Five Towns is under the hashgachah of the Vaad of the 5 Towns and the Rockaways. It is known that the mashgichim do visit the establishment on Shabbos.June 29, 2017 1:52 pm at 1:52 pm #1307516
In matters like this particular incident, and many others, confidence in hashgacha in general would be enhanced if the parties would stop using “code words” for the underlying issue and be more transparent. Absent some legal constraint (e.g. allegations of criminal activity under investigation where the authorities have requested that information be withheld) or important matter of personal privacy, providing the real reason why a hashgacha is being suspended or withdrawn should be the rule, not the exception. If yidden have patronized a restaurant or market or purchased a product for a period of time based in part on the hashgacaha, they are entitled to know why it suddenly is no longer applicable. If a product, should they worry about having to kasher and toivel their entire kitchen?June 29, 2017 3:38 pm at 3:38 pm #1307567yitzykParticipant
OTOH, an establishment might use the simple truth to mislead consumers. They would claim that there is nothing essentially wrong with their kashrus, it was ‘merely’ a minor dispute. Customers might then mistakenly be lured into eating at an establishment with no hashgacha at all, even if only temporarily.
Then even worse, the hashgachas would lose their only weapon for ‘punishing’ kashrus violations (even serious ones) – the threat of removing certification.
They have to keep all certification removals a purposefully scary event where no one really knows whether to trust the establishment
Maybe. Just theorizing, not justifying.June 29, 2017 6:45 pm at 6:45 pm #1307700
GadolH: In this case I disagree with you. The original letter from the OK that just said that this establishment was no longer certified by their agency. It did note use any code words at all. You believe that the OK should have stated their reason. In this case their may not be any real issue as it (IMO) is a sefek sfeika…did the worker use the oven and if yes was the food he put in their kosher or treif. Since the OK could not make a determination it just said we are no longer the certifying agency.
Based on what I have read, the owner used the “code words” personal reasons; the OK responded with the “code words” violating their protocols.June 30, 2017 12:00 am at 12:00 am #1308086
Lowertutition: I get your point….if there is simply a loss of confidence by the mashgiach for a variety of reasons, it might be difficult to be transparent. There are obviously going to be subjective determinations in hashgacha where thee might not always be a “smoking gun”. However, my concern is that in some communities with only one hashgacha or vaad, a purely personal matter can literally destroy a business overnight. Self-monitoring would not be a viable alternative where hashgacha is withdrawn arbitrarily.
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