Eida Kashrus Trying to Preserve its Image

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There have always been differences of opinion in the Eida Chareidit as well as different factions, with some favoring the moderate approach synonymous with the respectful Yerushalmi chossid while others prefer extremism. Events during recent months have left the Eida with a tainted image in the eyes of many, and today, Shmuel Poppenheim, who oversees the operations of Badatz Eida Chareidit is concerned, for the changing winds are working against the Eida, which may have a negative impact on the profitable kashrus agency.

Mordechai Davidowitz writes in the Weekly Hebrew Mishpacha Magazine that one thing is for certain, and one must understand this, that Gavaad HaRav HaGaon Yitzchak Tuvia Weiss Shlita is the final word, and his decision is what dictates Eida policy.

The split in the Eida is becoming increasingly apparent to all, and events during recent months signal the growing stronghold of the militants, the zealots who are unwilling to accept yesterday’s moderate approach, confident in their extremist path. Peppenheim is working to signal the badatz’s neutrality and uninvolvement in the politics that continue to place the Eida in the banner headlines of the nation’s newspapers and mainstream electronic media. He is trying to distance the kashrus from the political Eida that is the focus of daily news reports, reports that surround attacks against young girls, spitting at women, the wearing of concentration camp uniforms and yellow stars, and investigating allegations of tax fraud and money laundering.

There has already by a campaign spearheaded by secularists against the Eida, stressing that buying Eida hashgacha products simply fuels the fire of those who seek to topple the secular state. Today, this is once again heard, more than a whisper, signaling Peppenheim that his concern is not unfounded. Today this is heard among shomer Shabbat people as well, those who observe Torah and mitzvos, but want nothing to do with the Eida’s brand of Yiddishkheit.

The recent announcement by Tzfat’s Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu Shlita launching his Badatz Orot is in line with current political realities, for the rav feels he will provide a kosher supervision that is no less stringent than the Eida, for less money, bringing down prices and permitting those seeking premium kashrus to support a hashgacha that is not committed to the downfall of the State of Israel. The rav working together with Tzfat Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Bistrizky already enjoy a pristine reputation when it comes to kashrus in their city.

Further complicating the Eida’s image is the ongoing investigation by police and tax authorities, alleging money laundering and tax evasion by the Eida-run Vaad Artzi. Prominent members of the Eida hierarchy have already been arrested, and tax inspectors continue to visit the community, making arrests and confiscating documents.

The events in Beit Shemesh surrounding the dati leumi Orot Girl’s School are having widespread ramifications, and from the Eida community, there are now shouts of discrimination against them, accusing the nation of trying to overrun its way of life.

The most recent attack against Natalie Moshiach in Beit Shemesh seems to have catapulted events into a new sphere, and the coming weeks will most likely have an impact on the Eida, possibly its kashrus and other aspects of its operation as well, in a large part dependent on the findings of tax authorities in the Vaad Artzi investigation as well as the zealots, who in recent days have been remaining relatively quiet.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


10 COMMENTS

  1. I wouldn’t think twice about passing over products with a BADAT”Z hechsher in favor of available alternatives. The Eida Chareidis has made it manifestly clear that it is no longer part of my machaneh.

  2. 1. The Eidah HaChareidis has ALWAYS distanced itself from radical groups (e.g. Netura Karta).
    2. Members of the Eidah HaChareidis has always submitted itself to the scrutiny and authority of its leaders, all world renown and respected Torah scholars, yorei Shomayim, and true ovdei HaShem.
    3. The few individuals accused of money laundering, while involved and aligned with the Eidah, I believe it has been stated and proven that their alleged illegal dealings were NOT directly involved with Eidah’s charity and were certainly not in accordance with directives received from Eidah leaders.

  3. The Eida is both a “shadow government” and a the representative of a large and diverse community (including some who prefer the pre-1914 status quo, and others who are quite happy with the medinah but wish it was Jewish) — and it is also in the kashrus business. This is inherently problematic since what’s good for the business (good relations with the zionists) isn’t necessarily politically correct with its constituents.

  4. Perhaps now that the lunacy of the wackos is hitting the Eida “in the pocketbook”, they will do more to bring them under control.

    I do miss “the moderate approach synonymous with the respectful Yerushalmi chossid” whose worst act was yelling “Shabbas” at a passing car.

    If we say that achdus will bring Mashiach, what, r”l, is the sick behavior we’ve seen in past several months going to bring?

  5. To #2 Shuali:
    You’re wrong!

    The Eida has already come out publicly in support of the radical groups.

    The truth may hurt, but nothing will be righted until we are willing to see the truth.

  6. The Eidah has said very publicly that Poppenheim does not talk for them. Why do you quote Poppenheim as the “one in charge of oversight for Badatz operations”?

    The Eidah has publicly backed those arrested for vigilante violence.

    Rabbi Weiss has never ever forcefully condemned the violence.

    Realize that names like Sikrikim and Neturei Karta are all a smokescreen. These people are the Eidah.

  7. Wishful thinking, but historically incorrect.
    Many public statements have been made condemning behaviors contrary to the darkei no’am of the Torah and the ribui shalom of those who learn its ways.
    The Eidah has always had as its leaders respected, accepted talmidei chachomim. Neither can be said of the NK or their ilk. The fact the new stone throwers don’t stop is the biggest proof they are not part of the Eidah. As far as ahavah and achdus is concerned; Rav Kook and Rav Sonnenfeld traveled the length and breadth of EY TOGETHER in an effort to bring our brethren closer to HaShem. HaRav Issar Zalman Meltzer signed on a smichah from Yeshivas Merkaz HaRav. The list goes on and on. HaRav Yosef Scheinberger, mazkir for the Eidah for over 50 years had among his loyal followers, sphardim, ashkenazim, right wing, left wing, yeshivish, chasidish, everyone. Give it up Rabbosai. They are not our enemies. They are the ones who host our sons and daughters who we send to Israel to “learn.” Oh how much they would learn if not for these Eidah families who keep them safe in their homes every Shabbos. They are our friends. Look elsewhere for hatred.

  8. To #7 Shuali “Wishful thinking” would aptly describe your position. Your historical examples are inaccurate and irrelevant to the Eidah of today.

    Todays Eidah has NEVER publicly condemned violence. Not by the Munchausen mom riots of 2009 and not by the riots of 2011-2012.

    The Eidah has publicly backed the so called “sikrikim” in jail and has also distanced itself from its one voice of moderation Shmuel Poppenheim.

    Face reality the Eidah is the Sikrikim and the Sikrikim are the Eidah. You should find better places for your kids to eat when they go learn in Yerushalayim.

  9. Mr. Kanoiy: 1) We must have very different news sources. 2) The real problem is that the sikrikim and their ilk do not see the leaders of the Eidah – all known, recognized, and respected talmidei chachomim – as their leaders. They would not listen and therefore the gedolim may not speak. 3) They choose not even to ignore them.

  10. #9 Shuali –

    1) Read YWN or any Frum News Site for that matter. These statements are all public.

    2) The Eidah has never spoken out against the violence so how do you know that the sikrikim would not listen to them?

    Please stop defending the indefensible.