The following email was written to YW Editor: In response to the recent allegations in regard to the Kashrus at Le Marais, as the Mashgiach representing the OU I would like to share my position on this issue.I have been employed as a Mashgiach for close to 11 years, I have been at Le Marais for close to 4 years. I have a good relationship with the chef and do not believe that he is the type of person to want to inflict harm – spiritual or physical – on anyone, including Jewish people. I find him to be a decent man trying to make a living like the rest of us, and he is as shocked at the allegations being raised as I am. Many of the issues raised also can hurt the chef’s ability to get another job even in a treif restaurant, so it doesn’t make sense that he would have done these things to purposely hurt anyone.
My job as Mashgiach is not to be the Rav HaMachshir, hence my position is to enforce the policies of the Rav HaMachshir and the Kashrus agency. Therefore, whenever I have presumed that there is an issue which has to be addressed I would report it to my superiors at the Kashrus Agency which I was working for at the time. At times my concerns were issues where the RC or Rav HaMachshir did not feel any action has to be taken, and at other times I would take action under the guidelines of the OU or any other Kashrus certification organization that I worked for. At Le Marais, the problems of sneaking in treif, mixing milk and meat and placing bugs in the food did not happen.
When an individual comes out in public to undermine his colleagues, superiors, and businesses, great consideration has to be taken regarding the damage and effects which his action can cause. I am not sure that consideration was given here. In my situation for instance, if tomorrow, I would have to start pursuing a new job in Kashrus or in any other field it would likely be a great challenge due to the publicity which the blogs and e-mail circulation generated and the way my work and attention has been characterized.
I hope this clarifies my position that I know this chef and know that he is a decent man, and that at all time I make it my priority to enforce the policies and regulations of the Kashrus agency which I am working for, and not to enforce my personal opinions or code of restrictions relating to rules of Kashrus. Additionally, I believe that I needed to speak out in order to defend myself and my reputation which is being damaged by the erroneous publicity.
All the best,
Chag HaPesach Kosher Vesomeiach