Why Isn’t The Chareidi Prisoner Receiving Badatz Food?

Illustrative. Chief Rabbi HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef is mechazeik frum prisoners. (Photo: Israel Prison Service)

A Chareidi prisoner in Israel isn’t receiving food with a Badatz hechsher because he purchased products at the canteen with an OU, which isn’t recognized as kosher l’mehadrin by Israel Prison Service (IPS), Army Radio reported.

The prisoner, an oleh from the US where OU is considered an excellent hechsher, has been in prison for a number of years. He received Badatz food in accordance with his request and beliefs. However, about three years ago, in December 2019, he purchased several OU products at the canteen. As a result of these purchases [since OU is not widely recognized in Israel and doesn’t have the same status as in the US], he lost his right to food with a Badatz hechsher.

The report added that the prisoner apologized for the purchases and promised that he wouldn’t buy OU products again and demanded that his rights to Badatz food be restored. However, the IPS commissioner made a decision that in order for the prisoner to regain the right to Badatz food, he must refrain from eating the cooked prison food for six months – which means he can eat almost nothing but fruits and vegetables.

IPS responded to an inquiry from Army Radio, stating: “We respect the requests for Badatz and ensure a regular supply of food in accordance with the criteria established in the order. Regarding the case in question – the prisoner didn’t meet the criteria and therefore his request was rejected.”

Following the publication of the report, Shas MK Moshe Arbel appealed to IPS and Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev, demanding to change the order that registers the prisoners’ purchases in the canteen. Arbel is a lawyer well versed in the criminal field and noted that the canteen registration is in violation of Israel’s Privacy Protection Law.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. This is officially true in US federal prisons, if you buy something what they deem -non kosher, they can revoke your right to kosher food. I don’t know if In actual practice this is done.

  2. to be fair, OU is not a mehadrin hechsher even in the US. It is respectable, in that the people behind it seem to do an amazing job in maintaining the integrity of the supervision, however it maintains halachic standards that are specifically lenient for the sake of larger availability of kosher food. No erliche Yid would rely on all the heterim used by the OU lechatchila.

    That being said, no one would turn down a bottle of water with an ‘OU’, so it begs the question what this prisoner ate.

  3. What do the the chiloni / mesorati know about kashrus? We happily drink water without any hechsher, sugar & salt too, and many in the UK would even drink alcohol without a hechsher as long at they can verify that no wine was invloved (sherry casks etc.).
    The standard one requires for meat and bug-checking is entirely different. We eat hecsher Ploni for everything but milk/meat products, and, believe or not, we eat Badatz Eidah Hacharedis for everything (including beef and turkey) but not chickens – due to their stance on chicken vaccines.
    Try explaining that to a chiloni…..
    For them it has to be black & white. They have no idea of the system.

    Reminds me of the guy caught violating the Covid curfew in the pre-succos period.
    He told the cop that he was travelling to buy Daled Minim for the entire family [which was allowed].
    But why are all your kids in the car too?
    Well, I have to bring them with to try them for size…..!!

  4. SomeJew, the OU is absolute a mehadrin hechsher. There are very few if any hechsherim that have more mehudar standards than the OU. It does not rely on dubious heterim, for anything. Your claim that “No erliche Yid would rely on all the heterim used by the OU lechatchila” is either ignorant nonsense, or else deliberate slander.

  5. I personally have seen many screw ups from the Badatz here. I have more respect for the OU, even though they are much more modern, still they know what they are doing and I believe make less mistakes.

    Also Badatz conceals their mistakes, the OU publicizes mistakes to inform consumers.