Thursday, September 03, 2009

Badatz Shmadatz - Hevron Wines are not approved

R’ Rafi Yochai of Israel's Chief Rabbinate Kashrut Fraud Unit, the Hebron Religious Council, and Rav Dov Lior Shlita -- the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba and a member of the Chief Rabbinate announced that Hebron Wineries have lost their kashrut supervision.

According to the formal releases circulating around Israel, the decision is based on the fact that “unapproved ingredients” were found on the premises, compelling the decision, to revoke the kosher supervision.


The urgent notification from R' Lior states major issues:

1. Not adhering to the kashrut process and standards of the Chief Rabbinate
2. Raw ingredients and Grape Juice not approved for import by the Chief Rabbinate
3. No kashrut supervisor present during the manufacturing process

He also states that these issues were reviewed with the Hebron Winery, yet they refused to correct them, so they had no choice but to inform the public that this winery is not under their kashrut supervision.

Now, normally this wouldn't be that big an issue -- except that the Hebron Wineries are also under the "deluxe mehadrin" kashrut supervision of the Ultra Orthodox "Badatz Machzikei HaDas -- Belze" Hashgacha, via R' Moshe Hoffman.

He dismisses the claims of the above Rabbis and stated: "If only all wineries would adhere to kashrus laws as the folks in Hebron,” emphasizing the owners are shomer shabbat G-d-fearing Jews, and that Belz is not removing its hechsher and Hebron Wines remains mehadrin, on a very high standard and he "...is pained over R’ Lior’s decision which is delivering a blow to “fine Jews” just weeks ahead of Rosh Hashanah," assuring us over and over again that the wines are mehadrin by all standards." (source)

So...the question is: Why would R' Lior be so insistent during "Elul" to go after fellow members of his community?

Maybe because he's simply telling the truth, and that the imported grapes, raw ingredients and grape juice are simply -- unsupervised, and therefore unacceptable?

Could a Zionist Rabbanut hashgacha possibly be more reliable than Badatz?

Inconceivable!




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14 comments:

Shmilda said...

More reliable, more machmir, more..?

The problem with the kashrut industry is the lack of details. It's really hard to say what is going on from the outside, other than that Rav Lior objected to something (unclear exactly what) while Belz did not.

Mrs. S. said...

"Hebron Wines remains mehadrin" - He keeps using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means...
:-)

Anonymous said...

not all badatzes are the same. the belzer badatz is one of the least reliable out there.
now let them try to get the eida chareidis to certify them...

Mikeage said...

not all commentators are the same. the anonymous is one of the least reliable out there.

There, fixed that for you.

If you want to be motzi laz on a group of Rabbonim [whether part of a government beis din or a chassidishe one], at least have the courage to back up your charge with a name and some facts.

In the meantime, those who rely on Belz should continue to do so. Those who rely on R' Lior should also continue to do so.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Mikeage: I agree -- and I told people who had extra wine from the Hebron winery should immediately sell it to Belzers...

You wont be responsible for Lifnei Iver, since its mehadrin for them.

Shmilda: Actually, R' Lior was very clear -- that Hebron wineries was importing grape juice and raw materials without a hechsher.

Anonymous said...

I live next to a few of the workers from the winery and I must say that the people who work there are G-d fearing and Shomer Shabbat. I find this really weird and wish for your own sake to correct yourself on your blog as it is a breach of loshon hara. You don't know the facts yet feel comfortable releasing this to your readership in a slightly disparaging way.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Anonymous 10:49 PM

Rav Lior and the Rabbanut requested that their notification of the Hebron winery's lost hashgacha be released to the public. In fact, the letter from R' Lior is posted for everyone to see on the Rabbanut's Kashrut Alert WebSite.

It would be a travesty for people to drink wine that they thought was under the hashgacha of R' Lior, when it in fact, is not.

R' Lior also states in his letter that he brought all these facts to the Hebron winery, yet THEY REFUSED to correct the inadequacies.

How exactly therefore, is publicizing this Lashon Hara?

Should we tell people -- dont drink the wine, even though its really ok?

Drink the wine, its ok, and ignore R' Lior and the Rabbanut's request for people to be AWARE that the wine is no longer under their supervisions because of serious kashrut issues?

What do YOU suggest, other than offering your knowledge of a few of the workers there?

Why not do us all a favor, and perhaps ask R' Lior on our behalf?

Accusing me of spreading Lashon Hara, when it fact, I'm trying to PREVENT people from drinking wine that has lost its hashgacha is rather hypocritical on your part, considering I'm posting facts, while you're posting hearsay.

Ketiva vaChatima Tova!

Jameel

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Mrs. S -- that was rather witty ;-)

Josh said...

One of youe best and very helpful.
Not only is it not lashon hara you are saving many from doing an aveira.

Anonymous said...

You should reread your blog post. And maybe you'll understand where you went wrong on Loshon Hara. You are right making public Rav Lior's decision is not loshon hara, but your tone at the end of your post turns it into a informational post on Kashrut vs. you taking a swipe at another segment of Am Yisrael: here are your words:

"Maybe because he's simply telling the truth, and that the imported grapes, raw ingredients and grape juice are simply -- unsupervised, and therefore unacceptable?

Could a Zionist Rabbanut hashgacha possibly be more reliable than Badatz?

Inconceivable!"

Once again putting the psak up is not a problem, your added commentary on it is inexcusable.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

A swipe at another segement of Am Yisrael? My only "swipe" is at "badatz". That's not a condemnation of a segment -- just an orgnization.

The Badatz letter doesn't even acknowledge the claims of R' Lior, that grape juice and raw grape products come from chu'l -- yet states the wines are "mehadrin min hamehadrin".

Therefore, someone is obviously deceiving the public.

Is that inconceivable?

Anonymous said...

I would have no problem with the idea that a Zionist hechsher could be more reliable than a Badatz. However you fail to mention another possibility -- that the allegations of non-kosher ingredients on the premises are not true, and that this is a whitewash for other, political reasons that R. Lior pulled the hechsher. This kind of stuff happens in the kashrut world all the time, unfortunately. I would have thought that R. Lior was above it, but I have heard from very knowledgeable, very reliable sources that this is in fact what happened in this case. You may publish my comment as you wish, or not. But something obviously doesn't add up here, and you're insinuating that the Badatz isn't as reliable as it claims to be. In the interest of fairness, I think you should at least insinuate that perhaps the problem lies on the other side.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Hi Anonymous - I will not remove your comment, and you are more than welcome to continue to leave your thoughts here.

Why do you think that the problem is "on the other side?"

That was exactly my point. The world believes its "inconceivable" that R' Lior and Rabbanut could possibly be more reliable than a Badatz hechsher, and it must be a political whitewash of some sort.

In the interest of fairness, I believe the responsibility is on the Badatz hechsher to disprove R' Lior, since R' Lior made specific examples.

If in fact, the Badatz hechsher is correct, the wine is mehadrin min hamehadrin, and R' Lior and the Rabbanut are fabricating examples for political and non-kashrut related reasons, I would be MORE than happy to post more details here.

Please feel free to contact me via email as well.

Ketiva vaChatima Tova!

--Jameel.

Lundiv said...

http://www.jerusalemkoshernews.com/2009/09/more-on-hebron-wines/

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