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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More Chicken Please?

Check out Krum for the latest on "Chickengate".

200 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leadership Or Just Politics?
Chofetz Chaim Torah Center
By: Rav Aryeh Zev Ginzberg
Thursday, October 26, 2006



There is a disturbing phenomenon latent in the Torah community that has recently resurfaced in our area. This phenomenon is not really new—it has existed from the time of Moshe Rabbeinu—but that does not make it any less disturbing.

What I am referring to is the attitude of cynicism toward, and the second-guessing of, the decisions and actions of our rabbinic leadership by some in the community at large. When a united group of our community rabbanim and rashei yeshiva agonize over difficult she’eilos in regard to the kashrus of various establishments in our community and render their unified and well-thought-out decision, it is important for the future growth and stability of our wonderful community to appreciate both the process and significance of that decision.

Do we as a kehillah have a deep sense of appreciation and hakaras ha’tov to our rabbinic leadership for their valued service to our community? Or is our basic instinctive reaction and response that “it’s politics”?

Is there an awareness of the days and weeks of ongoing and often agonizing discussions and debate amongst our Torah leadership before a decision is rendered? The needs of the community and factors of bein adam lachaveiro, on the one hand, often conflict with the need to preserve the integrity and dignity of kashrus responsibility and reliability, on the other. Yet when the rabbanim and rashei yeshiva from all segments of our community come to an unequivocal and unified decision, it is imperative that communal respect for that decision, and the process by which it was reached, be strong, as well. The gossip and misplaced comments heard around the water cooler by a minority amongst us that “it’s just politics” are indeed disturbing, and possibly even constitute motzi sheim ra.
I once heard Rav Ahron Dunner, shlita, (of London) make the following telling observation: When a doctor walks over to a person in shul after davening and comments that he doesn’t look so good and should begin taking a certain medicine right away, the person greatly appreciates receiving the doctor’s free medical advice. There is a discrepancy, though, in that when a rabbi comes over to a person in shul to comment that he’s doing something wrong, or that his davening habits don’t look well, and offers a suggestion, the person becomes highly insulted, probably storming out of shul in indignation.

After all, if it’s a rabbi’s suggestion that he dared to verbalize, it must be just politics!

Unfortunately to some, our wonderful rabbinic leadership is extremely important to us only so long as they limit themselves to attending our simchas, supervising our restaurants and pizza shops, and selling our chametz for us on erev Pesach. Yet should they attempt to question a faulty eiruv, criticize breaches of tzenius in the community, or, G-d forbid, commit the most cardinal sin of all and tell us not to frequent a particular food establishment (that has committed numerous and flagrant violations over the years), then they are relegated to the age-old attitude towards rabbinic leadership: that it’s all about politics.

The Malbim, zt’l, was once appointed rav of a certain city, but he abruptly resigned after just a few months of service. The lay leadership of the community was shocked and, not wanting to lose such a world-renowned gaon as their rav, went to see him. They asked him, “Why does the rav not want to continue to service our wonderful city?” The Malbim responded, “Because this is the first question that I’ve been asked since I accepted the position of rav here.”

The lack of appreciation and understanding of the rabbinic process and all the efforts in rendering a difficult decision affecting the lives of many in the community—though this lack is limited to a small minority and these sentiments clearly come from the effects of reading misguided and misinformed newspaper editorials—is, nevertheless, disturbing.

The late Torah leader Rav Moshe Sherer, zt’l, once shared with me an incident that took place at an Agudah convention decades earlier. The convention was being held in a year-round kosher hotel that allowed mixed swimming in their pool during the summer months. Yet, the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, due to a variety of considerations, agreed to hold its annual convention there.
Over Shabbos, in certain circles of people, there was criticism toward the rabbinic leadership for allowing the convention to be held in such a place, where the laws of tzenius are violated throughout the year. The highlight of the conventions for decades had always been the shalosh seudos address by Maran HaGaon Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky, zt’l. He rose to speak, and taught the following important lesson.

“One who says that a dove is a forbidden bird after Chazal says it’s permitted is no less an Apikores than one who says a raven is kosher after Chazal say it’s forbidden.” With those words, he sat down; but the impact of those words continued until this day. (See ArtScroll biography of Reb Yaakov, page 208, for details of the story).

My good friend Reb Eli Singer shared with me a brilliant insight from his late father, HaGaon Rav Dovid Singer, zt’l, on the statement in Maseches Shabbos (56a) that says “Kol ha’omeir David chata eino ella to‘eh—Whoever says that David HaMelech sinned is only making a mistake.” The question is, Why does the Gemara use the unusual terminology of “eino ella to‘eh” (lit., “he is nothing but mistaken”) when it should simply say the word “to‘eh,” “he is mistaken”? Rav Dovid, zt’l, insightfully explained that when the Gemara says “eino ella to‘eh” it means that if you say David HaMelech sinned, then everything you think and you say is wrong; it’s all a mistake. If you are so mistaken here, then you’re off in everything you think and believe.

If our attitude towards a decision made by a collective group of rabbanim and rashei yeshiva from across the whole spectrum of the community is that it is “just politics,” then every time you hear a d’var Torah, ask a she’eilah regarding hilchos niddah or basar b’chalav, or just ask for an eitzah, it really has no significance to it, for it is all just more of the same—it’s just politics.

I would be extremely naive to think that everyone in the community should have the proper understanding and respect for rabbinical leadership, integrity, and responsibility. That can never happen, as we see explicitly in the Megillah. At the end of Megillas Esther, we read that the great Mordechai was ratzui lerov echav—he was accepted by a “majority” of Klal Yisrael. For years I was baffled by this pasuk. After all, Mordechai had just saved Klal Yisrael from total annihilation by Amalek’s evil descendant Haman; why doesn’t it say that he was ratzui lekol echav, accepted by all his people? The answer is that, also back then, even a tzaddik as great as Mordechai had to endure the small minority of skeptics who claimed that “it was all about politics.”

The majority of community members feel truly indebted to our rabbinic leadership for their efforts to ensure the highest quality of kashrus responsibility and integrity for our wonderful community. For the small minority who choose to criticize or be skeptical, we do truly understand that, after all, “it’s just politics.”

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can the rabbonim of the community enlighten us as to what exactly the "unified and well-thought-out decision" is so that the "laiety" will cease second-guessing the decision of "our Torah leadership". I think an major issue is this cloak of secrecy about the situation.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Yamamah said...

I'm sure the details will come to light in the near future, but in the interim, don't we at least owe the very rabbanim we turn to in our times of need the courtesy and respect of not second guessing their decisions and attributing them to alterior motives?

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should we expect the rabbonim to tell us exactly what the issues are what concerns have been raised and what the store's position is in all this (like the store owners and some of the commenters here have been suggesting)?

I think not.

But if Anon. 12:29 is suggesting that the rabbonim issue some clear guidance as to what their current position is regarding the store, I think that's reasonable and makes a lot of sense considering all the confusion as to what the vaad has or hasn't decided.

However, since the vaad doesn't seem to have made any conclusive decision yet as to what actions they will take (in light of the owner's response to their concerns and in light of the new hechsher), I'm not sure if there is any direction that the vaad can or should reasonably be giving the community, other than that the store is still certified by the vaad, and as long as it's certified, they stand behind it.

Even if the vaad suggested that the owners sell the store at some point, I can't see any reason why this information would need to be publicized to consumers - I would think it's more of an internal issue between the vaad and the store.

One alternative to all of this is for all those who are fed up to form their own vaad on their own terms, which can then certify GG. But that certainly wouln't engender any more harmony in the community, and I probably wouldn't shop there if it was certified by an alternative vaad created by individuals seeking to "rage against the vaad"

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DOES ANYONE KNOW IF ITS TRUE THAT THE VAAD PULLED THE HASHGACHA FROM GG AS OF THIS MORNING ??

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just heard that as well. WHAT DO I DO W/ ALL THE MEAT I BOUGHT THIS MORNING?????????

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU EAT IT

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is absolutely not true,
the vaad did not pull the Hashgacha.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

has anyone called gg to verify or they will probably not admit to it .

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if the vadd would have pulled the hashgacha, then i don't think THEIR MASHGICHIM would still be there, get your facts straight you POLITICAL smart heads.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy are these Rabbonim sensitive or what?!?!?!?!?

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they are being held hostage.........

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hostage by Whom???????????????

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

these rabonim are hostaging themselves for no reason other than their CHOVOD AND MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

these rabonim are hostaging themselves for no reason other than their CHOVOD AND MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who crares if they pulled it or not they still have 1 good hashgacha

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if it's good enough for the mexicans ...

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if it's good enough for the mexicans......


Then it should be good enough for the Rabbi Reismans people......

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's all this stuff about rabbi reisman? he's not even on the vaad

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Anon 12:29. With all the rumors flying around it would appear to me that the Vaad or the local rabbonim owe it to the community to make an announcemnet as to wherethings stand. To not do so will just lead to more rumors, loshon hara, rechilus and of course disresoect of the vaad, warranted or not.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

because everyone is a nosy yenta with little konwledge about kashrus?

maybe the vaad should publish the minutes from every meeting that they hold, because you and I are curious how they operate.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't care about the minutes just dispell all the cnjecture and tell us what the decision was and if no decision has been made yet let us know. I think we are entitled to know at least that.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

or, G-d forbid, commit the most cardinal sin of all and tell us not to frequent a particular food establishment (that has committed numerous and flagrant violations over the years), then they are relegated to the age-old attitude towards rabbinic leadership: that it’s all about politics.

I'm an outsider. . . . but, I just don't understand and am hoping someone will fill me in:

If the store has committed numerous and flagrant violations over the years, why does the store have a certification from the Va'ad?

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it seems that they've made amends

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah they made amends....AND they continued to pay!

3:56 PM  
Blogger YMedad said...

go vegetarian, no?

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

Concerning our relationship with our communal leadership/rabbonim: Generally, we, the laity, should have open access to the deliberations of our communal leadership (with a few exceptions). We should have a sense of ownership. R' SR Hirsch felt that this was a trademark of a healthy frum community. Just like public companies give a voice to their shareholders and just like each citizen has a vote so to should each person have access to providing input into the decision making process. To flip a popular commercial: We shouldn't be just clients, we are also involved.

So yes, generally there should be minutes and people should know what and why their leadership is doing things.

There should only be limited exceptions (and actually here, where a livelihood is involved, is one of them).

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shouldn't we all be far much more concerned about transparency within local schools than the vaad?

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shouldn't we all be far much more concerned about transparency within local schools than the vaad?

Shouldn't we all be far much more concerned about the change in a local school where many kids who went to the institution more than a decade were forced out in last couple of years in school-by the new principal ak Rosh Yeshiva of "my way or the highway fame" Increase of at risk kids singlehandedly by one individual.

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe the vaad should publish the minutes from every meeting that they hold, because you and I are curious how they operate

You are scarcastic-but they should and not only that like any governing body their meetings should be public.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

these rabonim are hostaging themselves for no reason other than their CHOVOD AND MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:22 PM

Isn't that what drives most people.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You are scarcastic-but they should and not only that like any governing body their meetings should be public."

There's really no way possible for them to operate like that.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One alternative to all of this is for all those who are fed up to form their own vaad on their own terms, which can then certify GG. But that certainly wouln't engender any more harmony in the community, and I probably wouldn't shop there if it was certified by an alternative vaad


As one person tole me on the way home from the train today-he has never shopped in GG -but he probably will- now.


don't we at least owe the very rabbanim we turn to in our times of need the courtesy and respect of not second guessing their decisions and attributing them to alterior motives?


maybe this is a true indication of how the rabbanim are thought of-if they care this could be a wake up call. If they did answer during times of need they would have more support.

The majority of community members feel truly indebted to our rabbinic leadership for their efforts to ensure the highest quality of kashrus responsibility and integrity for our wonderful community

Curious what a secret poll would show-maybe it is a minority who are satisfied.


then every time you hear a d’var Torah, ask a she’eilah regarding hilchos niddah or basar b’chalav, or just ask for an eitzah, it really has no significance to it, for it is all just more of the same—it’s just politics.


Do people really have faith in the integrity-thought experiment what are the odds of getting an honest din torah by any 3 rabbanim if it is with a local mosdos?

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does the Gemara use the unusual terminology of “eino ella to‘eh” (lit., “he is nothing but mistaken”) when it should simply say the word “to‘eh,” “he is mistaken”? Rav Dovid, zt’l, insightfully explained that when the Gemara says “eino ella to‘eh” it means that if you say David HaMelech sinned, then everything you think and you say is wrong; it’s all a mistake. If you are so mistaken here, then you’re off

BTW-the viewpoint of how to treat David Hamelech is more complex than what is quoted. See Ephrainm Uhrbach for an interesting study on Joab ben zuriah and its impications of Chazal and David.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shouldn't we all be far much more concerned about transparency within local schools than the vaad?

5:04 PM

We should, however, the yeshivas and schools are a lost cause the ultimate mfia. This VAAD is relatively new...there still might be a chance.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leadership Or Just Politics?
Chofetz Chaim Torah Center
By: Rav Aryeh Zev Ginzberg
Thursday, October 26, 2006

Does Rabbi Kolko shop at GG?

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are Rabbi's exempt?

In every other profession there are checks, balances and consequences. Why is a Rabbi any different.

It is that attitude that caused the Church Priest scandal, The Kolko scandel and Lanner.

They are only human. Smicha does not bestow upon them any special privliag in society, although soem seem to think so.

No disagreement they are entitled to deference and some times reverence in their knowledge and ability, but no more so then a great Dr, lawyer or indian chief

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Until these Rabbonim stop chasing the money "frumkeit" as we know it or used to know it is dying.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i heard from a reliable source in the meat industry, that the vaad is pulling its hashgacha any second and forcing gg to sell. a group of investors from queens is looking to buy. supersol aproached gg, but gg refused to sell to supersol (whats so super about super sol anyway?)
all the rabbis in the community are supposedly going to anounce to their congregations not to shop at gg due to thhis new hashgacha.

rabbi eisen is very nervous he might lose his job. what did eisen do to chait?

as a member of the community i dont remember being asked if i wanted eisen here. send him back to brooklyn were he can supporvise more treif stores(kosher stop, nathans, and i'm sure there are more under his watch).

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rabbi reisman is a trouble maker in our community.

rabbi ginsburg should go back to queens where he was before.

and yes if mexican jews can eat from k1, so can we.

please pass the burito and tabasco sauce!!!

10:42 PM  
Anonymous talmid said...

Can somebody explain to me how the community rabbis benefit financially from the vaad.
That was a rhetorical question: they don't. No community rabbi gets a penny for overseeing the vaad and taking achrayus for what goes on. The total disregard for an entire community's rabbonim, not to mention a total disregard for the truth, has turned the recent comment sections on this blog into something that is totally unreadable.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in response to anonymous 10:37:

if the vaad is pulling there hechsher from GG, how can they still force GG to sell? Although I dont understand how they can ever "force" the store to sell, I understand that they can give the ultimatum of either sell or we drop you. I may not agree with it but I can understand them doing it. However, if they drop GG and no longer are affiliated with the store, how are they in a postion to still make them sell?

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Rabbi Ginsberg, we really don't have "blind faith" after what just happened here. And considering what has been going on in the Yeshivas lately, we are not about to have blind faith and become sheeps being lead to the slaughter, we are way too intelligent for that.

Let's face the reality of the community here. This is not the Yeshiva community such as Lakewood or Baltimore where the Yeshiva pretty much runs the neighborhood. Our community is made up of intelligent professional people who are well educated (although some of us can't type or spell) and want answers. We just don't believe in blind faith for humans, for Hashem YES absoluely, but for humans you are just not on the same madreigah so don't even go there.

We have seen a lot of hypocricy from our Rabbi's in the past and it is hard to trust, so we want answers and information. For instance one local Rav who tells one very loyal family from his Kehillah who is having trouble getting their daughter placed in the local HS, that he doesn't get involved with schools; then goes to call the school about another student.

RYE whose own background and personal opinions on the GG owners has come into question.

Whether the VAAD is a non-profit or not has been asked and not been answered.

The fact that the VAAD does not run its own payroll for their Mashgichim is against local labor and employment laws and is hypocritical for any RAV to agree to or to condone.

The fact that the VAAD asked that some Mashgichim be paid in CASH, even one that was on unemployment, is unacceptable and against the law and should never be condoned by the Rebbeim as a group.

Support for the VAAD comes from our pockets and we do have a right to some answers. Which Rebbeim are on the VAAD, who is the VAAD? How is it run? What is RYE's salary? What are his hours? When is the VAAD office supposed to be open? Why was it closed on Chol Hamoed? Why are the rules not equal for all establishments? And one of the most wanted answers was RYE involved in the Kashrus scandal of the two establishments in Brooklyn?

How do you expect us to blindly respect the Rebbeim who back a man that was linked to this scandal. How can you possibly ask us to trust him and believe in him?k

How can you ask us to trust and believe in a VAAD that is not following the Laws of the Land? Reb Moshe Feinstein z"tl was a stickler about this!

R' Ginzberg I respect and admire you a lot, but your admonishment is too harsh and you expect too much of us. We want answers and at this point we need some good faith responses from the part of the VAAD whoever they may be.

If you can deliver us some simple truths and real answers maybe you can establish some trust again, where it has been lost.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The total disregard for an entire community's rabbonim, not to mention a total disregard for the truth, has turned the recent comment sections on this blog into something that is totally unreadable."

I'll agree that a lot of this is unreadable and disgusting along with some of the other strings on this blog site. But "truth" what is the truth? No one here knows the truth and until the VAAD announces the names of all the Rebbeim at the meeting, everyone who saw the chickens in question, the truth about the way the VAAD is run, RYE's background, etc. we are still sitting in the dark and speculation leads to L"H.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No disagreement they are entitled to deference and some times reverence in their knowledge and ability, but no more so then a great Dr, lawyer or indian chief


tHEY ARE ENTITLED TO DEFERENCE AS LONG AS THEY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE ANC ACT WITH INTEGRITY-EVEN ASSUMING ARGUENDO THEY ARE ENTITLED TO DEFERENCE THEY CAN LOSE THAT WHEN THEY DON'T ACT PROPERLY.

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you ask us to trust and believe in a VAAD that is not following the Laws of the Land?

Reb Moshe Feinstein z"tl was a stickler about this
He was? Which Lower East Side Yeshiva was involved in a money laundering scandal-convictions and guilty pleas. Yeah and we are supposed to believe that Rav Moshe didn't know what was going on in his own Yeshiva-and yet when they raise money was intimately involved with the Yeshiva,

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether the VAAD is a non-profit or not has been asked and not been answered.

Should be easy to find out-if it is non-profit a form 990 should have been filed and guidestar should list the Vaad. If profit corp. should be registered with Sec. of State. If it is neither what the heck is it?

The fact that the VAAD does not run its own payroll for their Mashgichim is against local labor and employment laws and is hypocritical for any RAV to agree to or to condone.

If true then any Rav who is aware of this is a hypocrite at best. If not true-let the Vaad disclose their finances.

The fact that the VAAD asked that some Mashgichim be paid in CASH, even one that was on unemployment, is unacceptable and against the law and should never be condoned by the Rebbeim as a group

If true-what are the local Rabbonim a bunch of hypocritical crooks-if not true let them disclose what is going on and have their books audited by a reputable accounting firm.Money they should have it-what is the fees about 400 a week per establishment? 35 establishments? I probably underestimated but if I'm wrong let the Vaad disclose.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's face the reality of the community here. This is not the Yeshiva community such as Lakewood or Baltimore where the Yeshiva pretty much runs the neighborhood. Our community is made up of intelligent professional people who are well educated (although some of us can't type or spell) and want answers. We just don't believe in blind faith for humans, for Hashem YES absoluely, but for humans you are just not on the same madreigah so don't even go there.


This may be underlying crux of issue-the Vaad Rabbis are out of step with a lot of the local community. This is NOT Lakewood!!
A Rabbi is hopefully an expert on Jewish law with integrity-but the mere fact one passed Smicha-of course some from certain Chateidi Yeshivas get smicha long after leaving them when they want to enter the Rabbinate-so don't know what thatmeans-but I guess the Smicha is as legitimate as degrees in jUrisprudence etc that they get from BTL mills.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous talmid said...

I would guess that of the 35 rabbis involved in the recent meetings, less than 5 of them have any clue about the financial aspects of the running of the vaad so even if there is something wrong going on, it has probably never been condoned or even suspected by your rabbi. You may want to flag the issue for your rabbi so that he can look into it and if anything is wrong, it can be fixed. Most of the local rabbis would never condone illegal activity in the vaad (if there is any). Once again, can we please give our rabbis some credit? We hire them because we view them as qualified and respectable people.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe to get a Beth din involved to get down to the real news if any?

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i say let the community have control and oversight over the vaad.
we want answers. this isnt brooklyn eisen. we went to college and are educated.
we want to see the books. if this is a community based orginization, that our shuls bankroll we want control.

show us the books.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the local rabbis would never condone illegal activity in the vaad


Is that true-I hope so-how about for example Golem run out of a schul-vhamevin yavin

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We hire them because we view them as qualified and respectable people


Do we?-schuls certainly have no problem hiring as a Rabbi someone who left someplace else in the neighborhood with serious charges of financial hanky panky.

would guess that of the 35 rabbis involved in the recent meetings, less than 5 of them have any clue about the financial aspects of the running of the vaad so even if there is something wrong going on,

so then if true the 35 are negligent in their duties-there certainly has been undercurrent for years about the Vaad and the Vaads finances

it has probably never been condoned or even suspected by your rabbi.
Are they dumb?

You may want to flag the issue for your rabbi so that he can look into it and if anything is wrong,

the fox watching the chicken coop.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Th first article of faith among rabbis.
You cover my ass ,I will cover yours.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had the guts I would ask every rabbi standing in judgment of Bollender this question while attached to a lie detector.
Do you report the money you get for selling the chometz on you tax return?

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You may want to flag the issue for your rabbi so that he can look into it and if anything is wrong"

It is not our job to bring this to our Rabbi's attention. If he is supporting and backing the VAAD, he has to do his own homework and investigation. Anyone who is giving their stamp of approval on anyone has to keep an eye on them.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had the guts I would ask every rabbi standing in judgment of Bollender this question while attached to a lie detector.
Do you report the money you get for selling the chometz on you tax return?

I know (knew) at least 3 Rabbis in Nassau County who refused to accept a penny for selling chametz. Never mind not charging-but refusing free will contributions. Rare-but it does exist like Diogenes looking....

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:00 P.M. 10/27/2006
Vaad of 5 Towns has pulled the hashgacah from GG

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unreal...I wonder if we can eat everything we bought for Shabbos...

Hope so.. I'm pretty hungry..

I'll ask in Shul.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Topp announced today in Shul that GG no longer is under VAAD. Anything bought on or before Friday is covered, thereafter GG "is no under VAAD supervision".

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good, now I will only buy at Gourmet Glatt!! The VAAD is a bunch of thugs

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well isn;t GG under a new Kashrus that is supposed to good?

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in aish kodesh this shabbos
rabbi weinberger gave a very bad drasha. i couldnt believe the words that came out of a ravs mouth. it was very disapointiong. he is splitting the community.

he said:
that the vaad os of 4:00 p.m. pulled its hashgacha on gg. he told his zombies that drank his magic potion, that you may not eat at gourmet glatt or the new bagel boss cafe store that opened up in the peninsula shopping center. why? because they are not under the vaad. he compared the situation to the shevach meat situation in monsey. crazy!!!

kashrus has nothing to do with it we were told. politics. just plain old politics. the taliban is here. time to move, or to move them out of dodge. lets round up all the decent five towns residents and band together. lets pull out the big guns.

i thought that we were taught to welcome new members into our community. is there only one rabbi? no. so if another hashgacha wants to enter and help our community eat kosher, why not?
since the vaad doesnt except all places because of politics or religion(nothing to do with hashgacha) we need other supervising agencies here to help us eat only kosher.

and for rabbi ginsbergs piece ine the 5 towns jewish times - first is that even nesw for a newspaper? and who the hell are you? do you want to be a communist were only your opinion counts. it sounds like you are afraid when people question you. rabbi g. i know your not perfect in business, so dont make trouble. stop while your ahead.

absolute power corrupts absolutely!

its time to end the vaads reign.

i beg and plead to all the free thinking residents left in the 5 towns to buy and eat at establishments that has other hashgachas. they are doing it for us. to give us the freedom of choice.

shop G&G and bagel boss. i have asked many other rabbaim from other communities and they said it was kosher and acceptable under there present hashgacha.

lets form a new community based not-for profit hashgacha.

call it the

new vaad hakshrus of the 5 towns.

send rabbi eisen packing. he doesnt belong here. he lives in brooklyn with over 100 hashgachas. and he cant take the competition here. he was responsible for so many trief stores (nathans, kosher stop)....

and send reisman a message - his time of terorizing the local 5 towns is coming to and end. sen reisman packing.

thsi sound like a monopoly issues. call the department of justice, bring a collusion indictmant against all the local rabbis.

bring down the vaad.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES,I heard they have Rabbi Kravitz from the Ou as hashgacha. so far I only heard good things about him and his credentials .

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"its time to end the vaads reign."

Get bent!

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good, now I will only buy at Gourmet Glatt!! The VAAD is a bunch of thugs

I never used to buy at GG-inconvenient parking etc NOW TIME TO BUY AT GG

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rabbi g. i know your not perfect in business

What business is he in?

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

new bagel boss cafe store that opened up in the peninsula shopping center

Whose hashgacha is bagel boss under?

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe it is Rabbi Schecter from Queens.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did the Vaad pull GG's hashgacha? Is it because they have another Hashgacha-doesn't Rabbi Riesman also supervise Vaad places amd that is OK?

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Eisen must have lost his commission now since he could not get gg to sell to Supersol.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its time to let Eisen go get Rabbi Kravitz to run the Vaad of the 5 towns . He I understand can unify far Rockay(Reisman) as well.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lets see now Eisen on
1.Vaad payroll
2.Supersol payroll
3.His own synagogue payroll
4.involved in forming a new "bodek salad venture in Mexico"
How can a man that has many jobs run a Vaad correctly?
Does he claim all of above time to call IRS on Monday!

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ginzburg is in real estate, no way he makes a living from the tiny shul.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Rabbis do not look too good on this thing. They are asking you not to shop there because the VAAD pulled the hashgacha, and yet, no one has to kahser any pots etc. you can eat what you already bought there...this is not a Kashrus issue, but a $$ and power issue. All started by some troublemakers in Far Cockaway.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time for Satmar to take over the five towns.

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The owners of the store are not withstanding jews. As a matter of fact one of the owners is married to an italian man and they all eat treif!! I believe the people defending GG are the owners themselves who are adding in their 2 cents and comments!!!

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my rav said the same this is only about a new hasgacha that is in violation of gg contract

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am not a gg owner.
i have never baought there before.
we were true brachs people because of convenience.

but now, i told my wife to only shop at gg.

is gg glatt kosher. rabbi kravitz and others say so.

eisen time to go. money is not yours here anymore. im calling the government on you. you better be above water.

do you claim everything you make??

do you accept cash, or do you pay people in cash?

i know you do. stop causing trouble here. leave now before your in jail.

you pervert.

keep the five towns clean.

take reisman with you.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my rav said the same this is only about a new hasgacha that is in violation of gg contract

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can anybody please explain,
what exactly the rabbonim said?

not to shop at gg at all?????

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This isnt about Reisman. This is a bout a family of pigs who are greedy and will do anything to make extra money.. They announced in my Shul today not to patronize there and I will listen and spread the word around to my friends

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Kravitz wrote the rules on Meat for the OU. Its no place for amatures in this day an age. I second the motion to put Rabbi Kravitz in charge of the Five Towns Vaad. Its about time there is a professional in charge. I heard Rabbi Kravitz told Rabbi Eisen NOT to take Nathan's in Brooklyn. Since Rabbi Kravitz an industry specialist understood how industrial productioon works. Rabbi Eisen did not listen and not only did that branch of Nathan's under his supervision serve traif but other Jews in Brooklyn ater from another Nathan's thinking it was kosher. Its time for a change. There is no place for politics. We are just too educated in the Five Towns to fall for that.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think those Rabbis ought to be careful they are fair game for being sued for liable.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eisen, what did you tell your friends to say????

HU???

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's no shortage of people defending GG here, but with 95% of the community's rabbis in a room, not one of them thought that the vaad should continue certifying the store.

If the store can find another credible hechsher to certify it (i.e., an organizational hechsher rather than a one-man business), then I would consider shopping there. Until then, why would I believe store owners who are in business to make a buck, over all of the community's rabbis, who are obviously not in their business to make a buck?

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, this proves the MONOPOLY issue that we talked about earlier. The Rabbis in each shul are going to tell everyone in their Kehilla not to shop at GG and it is going to be each members choice and decision what they do about it.

Again I am going to say this is not Lakewood and the town is not run by the Rebbeim. We of course must respect our rebbeim and we do, but since this is not a Kashrus issue and they are not answering the questions we have about the VAAD, which we have a right to know, we have each to make our own personal decision here.

I for one am going to continue shopping at GG. I went in on Friday and met Rabbi Kravitz and suggest that you all do the same. GG is the only store in town with at least 1 if not 2 mashgiach temidi on the premises at all times who supervise the acceptance of all deliveries and continually checks the shelves to make sure that all items on the shelves are Kosher. This doesn't happen in any other store. So if you are shopping in other stores MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE LABELS ON EACH ITEM YOURSELF!! Just because the store has a VAAD certification it does not mean that everything in the store is kosher.

Furthermore, you have the right to send a message to both your own Rebbe and to the VAAD. Call the bookkeeper of your shul and demand to know the breakdown of your membership dues. You will be surprised to see a surcharge of $50-$80 for each family for VAAD fees. Refuse to pay it and send a real $$$$$ message of dissatisfaction that they will understand.

Why should we pay for VAAD services that firstly we are not pleased with, we are not privy to, and we are already paying for with each and every purchase at the register? Did we vote on RYE salary? Did anyone ask us if we won't to pay these dues so he can make a mint off of us while coming here after being banished from Flatbush in humiliation?

Why should we be contributing to an organization which is not a non-profit and how do we account for that fee on our tax returns? All this time we probably were taking off the entire membership dues as a donation with the blessings of our Rabbanim.

I am going to continue shopping at GG and if you don't want to eat at my house that is your choice. As far as I am concerned if the VAAD took such drastic measures and the Rebbeim are going to tell us not to shop there because of other issues which has nothing to do with Kashrus, maybe the Bollenders have insulted them in some way, or insulted RYE in some way then we have a right to decide on our own what to do.

Since everything is kept sooooo quiet and we are not intelligent enough to figure things out ourselves, I for one am insulted too. The fact that "they" say it is L"H to bring these things out in public or it is against the "VAAD" policies to discuss internal issues in public does not hold water anymore since this whole thing was dragged out in public.

I imagine that there will be a civil lawsuit and a lot of information will be forthcoming anyway and I certainly don't want any of my so called "membership dues" paying for the VAAD's defense team. I bet they don't even have insurance in place.

Whatever the case, I feel that this is a venomous attack on GG, and it sounds like a cover-up. I am not even sure if ALL the Rabbis in the community know the WHOLE story. I highly doubt if they heard the Bollender's side of it. So how could they even judge the situation by only listening to the VAAD's side without listening to both participants.

Ask your Rabbi if he ever spoke to the Bollenders or seen any of their documentation from their meetings with the VAAD. If his answer is NO, then ask him how he can pass judgment if he only heard one side of the story, because if most of the Rebbeim only heard only one side of the story from RYE, then they are not being fair to US and asking us to give up something that is important to us.

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"shop G&G and bagel boss. i have asked many other rabbaim from other communities and they said it was kosher and acceptable under there present hashgacha."

Whichever clown made this point could not have made GG look any worse. Bagel Boss is infamous for having one of the worst hechsherim around. And to top it off, it's Jewish owned and they're all opened on shabbos. (And there are only 5 other kosher bagel stores in town)

Gimme a break! The GG issue may be somewhat about politics, but mixing Bagel Boss into this is counterproductive for anyone trying to defend GG.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cAN YOU BELIEVE THE cOWARDICE SHOWN BY OUR ESTEEMED Rabbi Eisen showing up at GG erev shabbos to personally deliver his letter pulling the hashgacha.... how disgusting is our Vaad that is supposed to look after our interest halachlically. THERE ARE STILL NO KASHRUS ISSUES....PAY ATTENTION.....nO i AM NOT A bOLLENDER, BUT I AM DISGUSTED BY OUR RABBONIM'S ACTIONS. i WILL CONTINUE TO SHOP AT GG, I AM NOT AFRAID OF MY RABBI...AND I AM TIRED OF BEING TOLD WHAT TO WEAR, WHERE TO SHOP, WHAT YESHIVA MY SONS SHOULD GO TO.....

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can they say that he broke the VAAD contract by taking another hechsher, when the VAAD had already told them that they were pulling their hechsher by FEB 1, if they don't sell the store by then. They had no choice but to bring in a second hechsher.

That is all "double talk", the VAAD just pulled their hechsher earlier and I don't see how that deems them breaking the contract with the VAAD, they were informed that the VAAD was going to pull the Hechsher, the VAAD tried to force them to sell their store which there is no legal, halachic, or contractual basis for, and therefore they can't paossibly claim that GG "BROKE THE CONTRACT". All they did was put in place another hechser in preparation for losing the VAAD, so I don't feel the Rebbeim are right in saying that is enought to go on and instructing their Kehillos to boycott GG. It is also illegal to organize a boycott.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Rabbonim actually said to boycott the whole GG?????

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess we will soon find out how the neighborhood feels about this. We will see if GG loses business or if the people are sick and tired of being told what to do and being asked to have blind faith in Rabbis and just do what their told. I for one am an intelligent adult who went to yeshiva and have been practicing my Torah and Mitvos for 5 decades. I am pretty sure that I have it figured out by now and if I don't I know how to ask IF I NEED TO. I don't need Rabbi Eisen's help to understand kashrus and I don't need the Rebbeim to tell me where to shop. I certainly prefer GG to Key Food and Stop and Shop and I am assuming that there isn't one Rabbi in town who would tell me they would rather see me shop in either of those stores. Maybe we should ask them, given a choice should we shop at GG, KF, or S&S and lets see what they answer then.

I see what the community of Rabbis has done to our children and I am not impressed, so I don't have blind faith, thank you very much. I have bitachon only in Hashem and I will let the common sense he gave me guide me.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the earlier blogger... The vaad has confirmed that they told GG to sell by feb 1st. They then pulled the hechser earlier due to "contract violations"? Do they think all the congregants are idiots? What choice did Gg have if not to take on another hechser? Should they have waited and "consulted - ask permission" to add another hechser? the writing was on the wall and GG took action!! More power to them for standing up to what has become a very derisive force in our town. Wake up and ask to see the Vaad's books.. I know i will be speaking with my Rabbi tomorrow about this. After I shop at GG. And, for your information, I am not related to the Bollenders..just diappointed in our leaders.

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope gourmet glatt lowers their prices to give an incentive for people to come back!!!!!!!!

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make sure you stick up for bagel boss to while you're at it - That way other stores can get the message that community supports staying open on shabbos (so long as it's in defiance of the vaad)

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Rav did not say Boycott GG. He said that the hashgacha was pulled because of a violation in a contractual agreement to only have ONE Hashgacha. There is no kashrus violation. So, i plan to still shop wherever i want...whether it is brach's supersol or GG. My friends echo my sentiment. This is sounding more and more like a personal vendetta against an owner...I am tired of all this nonsense...cant we find better things to do with our time ( mine included?)

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just to imform you 10:36

that GG has lower prices than Brachs on most items,

and as for super sol GG is way way cheaper, check the prices and see for your self!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't beleive the Rabbonim actually said to BOYCOTT????

This is unbeleivable!!!

I hope the VAAD has a very good Attorney deffending them, or else they are in a pot of hot boiling water!!!!

10:48 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

If more than three people generated the last 30 - 40 comments I'll be suprised. Most have the same syntax errors and other stylistic giveaways. Also, the content of the messages range from clearly biased to a particular position while others belie a curious awareness of specific details about the inside story.

To all those visiting here, go ahead and reach your own conclusions. But don't view a string of anonymous comments as the voice of the people. It is, without question, less than a handful.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, bolender

I haven't found a single person off this blog who has expressed any simpathy for the store owners, so I will have to assume there is a concerted effort by a few individuals here to make it seem like the rabbis are renegades.

No use debating this anyway, GG will obviously lose a lot of business in this climate, unless they find another respected hashkacha or make amends with the vaad.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they were misinformed enough to think they could save their credibility with a no-name hechsher, they may very well be misinformed enough to think the whole community will defy their rabbis

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Make sure you stick up for bagel boss to while you're at it - That way other stores can get the message that community supports staying open on shabbos (so long as it's in defiance of the vaad)"

Did you take a stupidity pill this evening? Some of us find this a very serious and disturbing issue. If you thought you were adding levity you weren't.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our Vaad use to have a great reputation that the community was proud.Now with Eisen trying to run store owners out of town because he can he is destroying our Vaad and our community.We must protect all our other store owners this man must be STOPPED

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see what the community of Rabbis has done to our children and I am not impressed

They din't care about the non succesful-what do you think the "at risk" garbage is all about shunting the non superior away to raise standards. It has just increased when HAFTR one of the last tolerant just changed its HS philosophy to RAMBAM'S-we'll get rid of you if you aren't top.

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they were misinformed enough to think they could save their credibility with a no-name hechsher, they may very well be misinformed enough to think the whole community will defy their rabbis

The wholde community won't but a percentage will-will it be enough to end the Vaad monopoly.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I for one will listen to my Rabbi. He has said not to patronize GG and at this point I will shop elsewhere..Lets see if GG owners think they can pay off this one too and get away with it.

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The silent (non-blog) majority is solidly behind the Vaad,

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way to make this stop is to shop at gg and show the Rabbi's and the Vaad we know better.Not one Rabbi said we can't shop at gg cause they are not kosher it's all politics and nothing to do with halacha. Tell your Rabbi to stick to halachic issues and stay away from politics. If we wanted that we would of hired politicans to be our Rabbi's as well.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The silent (non-blog) majority is solidly behind the Vaad,


That's because they don't know how to think for themselves. They are followers and always will be.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have given Eisen complete control of the Five Towns Community and are now paying the price. It's time for him to go back to Brooklyn where he spends most of his time anyway and stay there.If anyone can find him cause the store owners don't see him for months at a time.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

first of all some of you are real idiots. bagewl boss is owned by a non jew. there are a lot of places that are jewish owned, produce on shabbos, and we all by there. since when was rabbi schecter no good???
caterers work on shabbos and we all eat by them.

this is a classic monopoly case.

you who follow your rabbis word with out reason, are all sheep being led to the slaughter house.
you guys deserve whats coming to you.

will the real jews stand up and do something.

save the five towns.

esien=saddam hussein
reisman=osama bin laden
vaad=taliban

lets have our own war on terrorists.

get rid of the vaad.

the far crockaway people suck major #@%&....

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I haven't found a single person off this blog who has expressed any simpathy for the store owners"

You did a survey? Come on, how many people did you actually poll?

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is dunkin Donuts any different than Bagel Boss why the double standard.

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The silent (non-blog) majority is solidly behind the Vaad,


Who says?

11:29 PM  
Anonymous psg said...

OK folks - I am a first time poster, who often comes here just to read the uniformed comments.

1) No one said gg is not kosher. The Vaad pulled the hashgacha because this is the type of store that is a time bomb waiting to explode. Owners who themselves don't eat kosher are less likely to care about everyone else's. (and yes, I am aware that the Monsey scandal was caused by a supposedly frum person.)

2) For those interested in what halacha has to say, I suggest a reading of the writings of the Chofetz Chaim (is he above politics?) who strongly encourages (with the exception of a rip off) buying from a Shomer Shabbat. GG ownership is clearly NOT.

3) The article defending the Rabbonim in the 5TJT is not well thought out. First, it should not be a rov who defends rabonim. Me thinks he doth protest too much. Second, the Rabbi's reference to Mordechai - who was only loved by most of his brethren - was specifically because the 'right wing' jews of the time thought he was spending too much time in politics!

4) Those who attack Rabbi Eisen for doing work in Brooklyn and the 5 towns, yet are willing to trust a rov who heads a hashgacha in MEXICO(!?) are clearly deluding themselves.

Thus, let me suggest the following. Find a SHOMER SHABBAT store owner and purchase your meat from him. If you 'hate' the vaad, go shop in some other neighborhood - but again, find a shomer shabbat owner with a good hashgacha.

If you think so little of your own rav, find another shul to daven in. If you think your rav is OK, then trust him. Our college educations and graduate degrees do not entitle us to think we know more halacha than our rabbonim.

Last but not least, find out the facts before you post. There is so much incorrect information being posted it boggles the mind.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Still Wonderin....

Are you an English Major?

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PSG get your facts straight one of the owners is Rabbi Ashkenazi and he runs the meat department he is an expert at traibering and he is shomer shabbos as well.

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last but not least, find out the facts before you post. There is so much incorrect information being posted it boggles the mind.


That's funny that you write this to end your post, first-time poster. In your own blog you just announced that the owners of GG are not Shomer Shabbos and are not Kosher. I am sure that everyone here on this blog are shocked to hear you be such a huge MOTZI SHEM RAH on RABBI ASHKENAZY who is an owner of the store, so your whole theory is garbage.

As far as the other owners, unless you have proof positive that they are not Shomer Torah and Mitzvos then you are only spreading L"H. Did you see them eating treif? Did you see with your own eyes that they were mechalel shabbos? If not, you have no right to spread L"H. Hearsay is not fact, so for someone who is writing a post telling the rest of us we don't have the facts, you have quite a nerve.

Did you check out Rabbi Kravitz's organization in Mexico? Do you know how many Mashgichim or assistants he has in his operation? Do you know their credentials or how they are trained? Do you want to compare them to those trained under our VAAD?

Do you know the qualifications that kids need to become a mashgiach here for Rabbi Eisen? A letter from their Rav that they are Shomer Shabbos. That's it!!!

So before you post, maybe you should do some research and check out your facts. Call the OU and find out Rabbi Kravitz's credentials and background. He comes from a Rabbanish lineage. His father was the Rosh Yeshiva of RJJ. Rabbi Eisen was a modern bochur. As a counselor in camp he went by the name of "Joey".

So just to reiterate, Rabbi Ashkenazy does own GG and he is definitely Shomer Shabbos, so if anyone agrees with your post they should have no problem at all shopping at GG. And you too, should research your facts before posting false information.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The silent (non-blog) majority is solidly behind the Vaad,

You must daven at Rabbi Reisman's shul and you should know you are the monority

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok For the people reading these blogs.. Rabbi Ashkenazy does not own GG.. It is owned by the 4 siblings of the holacaust survivor.. None of them are Shomer Shabbos and they all eat treif!! One of them is married to a non-jew.. But what does this have to do with anything???

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"first of all some of you are real idiots. bagewl boss is owned by a non jew. there are a lot of places that are jewish owned, produce on shabbos, and we all by there. since when was rabbi schecter no good???
caterers work on shabbos and we all eat by them.


Why is dunkin Donuts any different than Bagel Boss why the double standard."


I hate to spend too much time on this off-topic. But Jerry Rosner, Randy Rosner and Adam Rosner certainly are jewish (http://www.bagelboss.com/about-us.shtml).

Here's some more interesting stuff about Bagel Boss - It's amazing what you can find on the internet. (http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:Qt2Fd9NB6LwJ:bagelboss.tripod.com/+%22bagel+boss%22+tripod&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1)

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Ashkenazy is a part owner at gg you can visit him in the meat department and ask him yourself.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares what they eat. The way this Vaad runs things we are probably eating treif as well.

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont think "joey " wanted you to let the cat out of the bag. His black hat is suppose to prove otherwise. Thank you for the info I can't wait to see him and say hey Joey

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to aries?

Maybe aries is no longer convinced of GG's innocence

12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aries is working really hard on making real changes with this joke of a Vaad. She just knows she is waisting her time trying to accomplish it on this blog.I wish her the best of luck.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Why would a family owned business bring in an outsider as a part owner? It wouldn't be because they were at risk of losing their hashgacha unless they brought somebody shomer shabbos in would it?...

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They brought him in at least 7 years ago maybe more. You think they knew back then that Eisen would come in and try to run them out of town? Eisen was working for the ou back then.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, 7 years ago the Vaad already told them they needed to shape up, so they added another partner, a Rav with a good backround, hoping to satisfy the Vaad.

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok For the people reading these blogs.. Rabbi Ashkenazy does not own GG.. It is owned by the 4 siblings of the holacaust survivor.. None of them are Shomer Shabbos and they all eat treif!! One of them is married to a non-jew.. But what does this have to do with anything???

So there are 4 siblings now? I see, I only know about 3. And I have lived in this neighborhood for 12 years and as far as I can remember Rabbi Ashkenazy has been at GG since I moved here. as far as the rest of the shmutz you are spreading you must either have a PI following them around or you must live in their homes to know so much about them.

Whoops!!! Does that mean that you are not Shomer Shabbos either??????

12:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the VAAD wanted them to have a Shomer Shabbos partner and they got complied what is wrong with that? That is pretty accomodating if you think about it.

12:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can the Rabbonim say that GG broke the contract when the VAAD had already informed them that they were going to pull out? That is ridiculous.

That is like when the Yeshivas tell us we are not equipped to handle your child. I say stop hiding behind incompetent individuals and looking for loopholes to make them look good. The VAAD was pulling out anyway so the Rabbonim are only trying to get them on a technicality and therefore I don't believe they have the right to tell us not to shop there on this technicality.

I thought we left politicing and pontificating behind when I moved from Brooklyn to the Five Towns, but now I am not so sure. I am beginning to feel that I live in a fish bowl here as well.

1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want my VAAD fee back!

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a question I would like the Rabbonim to address. What happens to Rabbi Pincus the VAAD mashgiach that has been working at GG? Where is he going to get his parnasah now? Did you worry about him when you agreed with RYE? And GG didn't fire him so basically he is not entitled to unemployment. He was also not a GG employee, he is a VAAD employee. And since the VAAD does not have a payroll, he can't collect through them. And since the VAAD does not require any other supermarket to have a temidi here where else are they going to place him without firing someone else? Either way someone is going to lose parnasa.

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and did any body consider this that people will loose there parnasa???

or just being selfish, and making sure they have???

1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's kind of like when my wife tells me we have to shop at a particular clothing store (which happens to be the most expensive, and whose proprietors probably do far better than most of their customers) because they need the parnasah

1:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon 1:14am

Please do not insult our intelligence by even hinting that the Vaad would give a second thought to any individual’s parnassah when rendering these “important” decisions. If they did, RYE would not be in this position in the first instance, and his predecessor would not have been unemployed for the last five years. Many of these “Rabbis” are the very same people who idly sat by and watched the bloodbath at HAFTR this past year. For those who were not following, HAFTR, as has been their M.O. for years, abruptly terminated many high level Rabbonim and administrators (including their “Rosh Yeshiva”) at the end of last year without adequate warning or severance. Whoever can allow this to happen in a community, and still refer to themselves as “Rabbi,” is not qualified to be associated with anything remotely Jewish – let alone a Vaad “Hakashrus.”

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-----Original Message-----
From: "Aish Kodesh"
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2006 23:33:54
Subject: Kashrus Notice

We regret to inform you that as of Erev Shabbos, Gourmet Glatt has lost the Hechsher of the 5 Towns Vaad Hakashrus. Rav Weinberger has informed us that any items purchased before such time are able to be eaten. Similarly no kashering of dishes or pots is necessary. Rav Weinberger recommends that people should not continue to patronize this establishment.

Congrgation Aish Kodesh

2:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of these “Rabbis” are the very same people who idly sat by and watched the bloodbath at HAFTR this past year. For those who were not following, HAFTR, as has been their M.O. for years, abruptly terminated many high level Rabbonim and administrators (including their “Rosh Yeshiva”) at the end of last year without adequate warning or severance. Whoever can allow this to happen in a community, and still refer to themselves as “Rabbi,” is not qualified to be associated with anything remotely Jewish – let alone a Vaad “Hakashrus.”

"For those who were not following, HAFTR, as has been their M.O. for years, abruptly terminated many high level Rabbonim and administrators (including their “Rosh Yeshiva”) at the end of last year without adequate warning or severance."

Thesr "Rabbis" also kept silence with the impact on kids who were in HAFTR more than a decade. HAFTR had a reputation of "chanoch lenaar al pi darko"-Rabbi Leibtags approach-was that as long as a child did not disturb others-no matter what the ability they would let the kid stay. Approximately last April HAFTR hired Rabbis Friedman and Eliach and made some sort of "cooperative" arrangement with RAMBAM called Machon Hatorah. Whatever Rabbis Friedman and Elaich came into the school and asked the existing administration to identify those who were notthe top for whatever reason. They intende to "cull" out in a sophisticated way many of students whose identity was with HAFTR for over a decade. Using the Freidman classic approach of "my way or the highway" or I don't care referring to 10th, 11th, 12th grade students what happens to them-as R. Freidman would say he is running a school-he does't care what happens to students-it is there problem he couldn't care if they are going to public school.
That is the approach that HAFTR switched to in the middle of many kids HS career. See how many kids were added to the "at risk" approach by going to public school or being forced to the "at risk" incubators of teenage delinquency.
Has anyone heard a word about the responsibility of schools to kids by these Rabbonim? I haven't has anyone seen a word about it in any blog? These Rabbonim ae aware of what HAFTR has done but has any peep been written. Omnly thing I've ever read was in Jewish Star about their termination of Rabbi Bajnon after 3 decades.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aish said you dont have to kasher your utensils, kitchen, etc..

are idiots, than it must be kosher.

we are just playing into these rabbis politics. we are sheep being led to the slaughterhouse.

they suck.

condem the vaad.

destroy the vaad.

bring down joey eisen.

its time for a change.

i want my vaad dues back.

stop funding this taliban terrorist orginization.

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did the Vaad pull GG's hashgacha? Is it because they have another Hashgacha-doesn't Rabbi Riesman also supervise Vaad places amd that is OK?

He doesn't take a penny for his Five Towns "recommended list", and it isn't a hechsher. He specifically does not give any local heschsherim, you can ask him until youre blue in the face, and trust me, many local stores have asked him, he WILL NOT give a hechsher to a local business.

His "recomeended list" is an unpaid recommendation for his kehilla only and he doesnt take a penny fron those on the list.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought R' Reisman isn't a member of teh Vaad, therefore I don't see any issue.

He can do and say as he pleases, not having to agree or disagree with the Vaad.

I personally disagree with that approach. Why should he be outside the vast, vast majority of community Rabbonim?

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Ashkanazi does not own a piece of GG. They give him big bucks so that they have a shomer shabbos person on the premises.. A

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon 1:36am

I didn't suggest that they cared, just the opposite!

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Ashkanazi does not own a piece of GG. They give him big bucks so that they have a shomer shabbos person on the premises.. A

And you are privy to this piece of information because you have seen the contract I suppose? Your a buffoon and a Motzi Shem Rah!

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are all baffons. Action speaks louder then words. Either put up or shut up.

10:15 AM  
Blogger aries2756 said...

You give me too much credit. I am not doing anything about the VAAD. I am too busy helping Kids which is what I do best.

My Rav is not involved. He is a Holocaust survivor and would not utter one bad word about another Jew.

I have been watching this blog and it has reduced me to tears to see the Loshon Horah and sometimes the nature of the vicious attacks here on this blog. How bitter one attacks Far Rockaway trying to cause a separation between the communities. How the names of the Rabbonim are bantered around, and on the other hand how as one blogger put it we are requested to have blind faith.

This whole issue has been blown out of proportion but has opened up several other issues that really needs to be looked at seriously with dignity and bederech hatorah in a way that will be a kidush Hashem and not a chilul Hashem.

The community is entitled to answers especially if it is expected to support an organization.

However for my own peace of mind and to be able to make my own decisions regarding the Kashrus factor I did do my own ivestigations.

I decided not to post any longer to this blog because it didn't seem like anyone really wanted to know the facts that I discovered, and it seemed to only and more fuel to the fire. I thought I was helping by offering information I was discovering but instead I was hurting the support I desperately need for the AT-RISK kids that I help, which as you read here on the blog, the numbers are constantly growing.

No one was interested in knowing that I spoke to Rabbi Paltiel myself, I spoke to Rabbi Pincus myself, I spoke to Rabbi Kravitz myself and many others so I am very happy and satisfied with the decision that I have made.

I wish that each and every one of you get involved in the Kashrus of your own individual families and not leave it up to someone else. Ask to speak to the mashgichim in every store. See the level of supervision in every store, ask to understand the checks and balance system. Ask how often the Rav Hamachsher shows up to double check.

Go to the shelves and randomly pick up items to check the hechsher, see if they meet your own standards. Then decide if you wish to shop there.

If it is price you are looking for, make a list of 10-15 items you normally buy and leave 4 columns next to it. Go to each of the 4 kosher supermarkets in town. Check the prices on each of the items, then go home and tally up the score. You can check each individual item and then the total for the whole shopping list. You can then compare which store is more econonomical for you item by item or bottom line. That is really the only way to know. But no one is ripping anyone off. No one is putting a gun to anyone's head and forcing you to buy in any store. We each have a choice where we buy. I personally prefer GG and I will continue to shop there. Each of you have to make a family decision.

Rabbi Kravitz's father was the Rosh Yeshiva of RJJ on the Lower East Side. He was a personal friend of Rav Moshe Feinstien z"tl and of my father-in-law z"tl. He was in good company and was brought up an eirlich yid. I have researched his background and am satisfied with his hashgacha.

As another blogger so vividly pointed out. GG is the only store with Mashgichim Temidim, that means something to me. If you don't need that, its up to you. Its an extra bit of Kashrus supervision that makes the grade for me, I personally don't understand why it is not required at the other stores when RYE so simply pointed out that "mistakes happen". He is right, mistakes do happen and I think the odds are better in my favor when there are mashgichim around.

So that is my personal decision and I am not going to tell anyone else what to do. You have to use your intelligent minds and your yiddishe hearts to figure it out on your own.

Hatzlocha to all.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm convinced that all of our rabbis are wrong, but how do the Bolender's think they're going to win over the 99.9% of people in the community who don't read this blog, and especially the 80% of the community who respect their rabbis?

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and especially the 80% of the community who respect their rabbis?


Is that true?
How many Rabbis would get that much approval in a secret ballot?

to pick 4 at random alphabetically would Billet, Flaum, Lefkowitz, Teitelbaum?
Obviously, Chill would not have gotten 80% approval in YINW.
Is that really true?

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the rabbis are terrible. After all, if Bolender keeps telling us so on this blog with 30-40 consecutive relentless comments it must be true. Bolender is a big tzadik (as evidenced by his great fun habit of hanging up bounced checks) and all of the rabbis that were hired by their congregations and have been here for years are terrible people, without a single exception. This sounds reasonable.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Bolender has no problem with the Vaad Rabbis only Rabbi Eisen- who has a talent of distorting the facts and poisening the heads of the Rabbis.Hatzlacha GG

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We owe our support to GG in time of need. They were instrumental in keeping prices down and giving us quality along with it.My support is not against the Vaad Ruvs but against Rabbi Eisen. Wurtzberger

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Kravitz Is not the son of The Rosh Hayeshiva of RJJ.He is the son of a different Rabbi Kravitz who was also a rebbe in RJJ.Rabbi Avrohom Kravitz.Anbody who went to RJJ will tell you that his father was in emunas hashem probably the godol hador.It is very easy to have emunah when you have a part time job that pays over $100k.a big house in Lawrence or Flatbush,a fancy car,free Peasach at a hotel..you cannot even concieve the yesurim that he went through.Yet,his emunah always grew greater.we should be honored to have the son of this man supervising kashrus in our community.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the amount of customers this morning at 10 am... i would say the people have indicated their choice.. the store had over 30 customers..not bad for a usual sunday.. I generally shop on sunday( my quiet time ) and there were more people than normal shopping that early...

12:40 PM  
Blogger happywithhislot said...

vaad has pulled the hashgacha

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

feel bad for the heimishe challah guy and ossies. they invested in this operation.
ps. th sushi was damn good, and so where thier roast chickens.
Brachs and supersol look absolutely filthy compared to glatt emporium. I guess cleanliness is irrelevant in this issue.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Have to agree

The challah that they have Nobody Beats it.

What Now?

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 12:39,

I think your Kinah is showing. Did you go to RJJ? Is that why you know so much?

And did anyone ever hear the Bollenders say one bad word against any Rav in the neighborhood? I certainly didn't. So once again assumptions and gossip!!! Pure L"H and lies being spread to validate the VAAD's decision.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont feel bad for the poor challah guy or Ossies they are better off without Eisen distorted facts to the Rabbis on gg. KMNSKY

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its time for the entire community to unite we must get rid of Joey Eisen. The time has come for him to go. He has been living off our shul dues for too long and is never to be found.We should have a community meeting like we did five years ago in Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst to find out how this Vaad is being run.I just urge you not to throw chairs this time. We need change. For all you people who moved in after the Five Town Vaad merged with Far Rockaway I wan't you to know the reason for the merger was to create shalom in the community. To try and get Reisman to stop telling his cronies not to shop in the Five Town stores five years later look how well that worked out.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DEAR FELLOW BLOGGERS...GG IS OPEN AND QUITE BUSY TODAY. I GUESS WE KNOW WHAT PEOPLE REALLY THINK ABOUT FOLLIOWING BLINDLY.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Yeshivas don't listen the Rebbeim and you really expect the community to? Ask anyone who tried to get their kid into a school or back into a school and asked their Rav to intervene. No luck, so if something as important as keeping a child in Yeshiva instead of sending him/her to Public School or even Chas V'sholom having him roam the streets, our choshuv Rebbeim cannot accomplish or have any clout about, do you really think that because they are backing the VAAD it is going to really mean anything? If the Roshei Yeshivas don't respect our Rabbanim in times of crisis regarding our children how much importance should we give this political cat and mouse game they are playing with the VAAD?

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 3:44...Could it be that the Yeshivas are a worse group than the VAAD &/or the Rabonnim?? It seems so to me.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THEY ALL STINK. NOT AN HONEST ONE AMONG THEM RIGHT NOW. ITS JUST BUSINESS AS USUAL.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

joey eisen must go.

end the vaads reign of terror on us.

we dont want reisman people here. keep them in far crockaway. they suck.

keep the five towns pure.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

keep the five towns pure.


A little to racist for my blood. How about live and let live

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that has to be one of the most stupid comments seen here yet..

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The Yeshivas don't listen the Rebbeim and you really expect the community to? Ask anyone who tried to get their kid into a school or back into a school and asked their Rav to intervene. No luck, so if something as important as keeping a child in Yeshiva instead of sending him/her to Public School or even Chas V'sholom having him roam the streets, our choshuv Rebbeim cannot accomplish or have any clout about, do you really think that because they are backing the VAAD it is going to really mean anything? If the Roshei Yeshivas don't respect our Rabbanim in times of crisis regarding our children how much importance should we give this political cat and mouse game they are playing with the VAAD?

3:44 PM


Anonymous said...
Anon 3:44...Could it be that the Yeshivas are a worse group than the VAAD &/or the Rabonnim?? It seems so to me


Certainly the Yeshivas are far more important isue than any Vaad. If there were no Vaad-there would be no real impact-local stores would have huge Kosher sections under recognizeable hashgacha. But the turning away and pushing "off the derech" is a major issue. Whether or not kosher sushi is available in the 5T's is not really crucial-kids being pushed out of Yeshivas and forced to get their chinuch from Central Ave is a crucial issue. Problem no money in training our least succesful-plenty of moolah schmoolah from Kashrut.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading the blog regarding Gourmet Glatt and it is very disturbing to read because there are people who are personally attacking the parties involved in this dispute. We are aware of the issues regarding the Vaad and the establishments it supervises. Instead of attacking people, let's find a way to create more trust between all of the stakeholders in our community. We have many bright and talented people in our community, who can find solutions to the problems mentioned throughout the blog instead of just venting anger and frustration with the Vaad and the establishments that it supervises.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Heinrich said...

"keep the five towns pure. "

Adolph....is that you?

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the intense political maneuvering rages on, the average community member (like me) faces a challenging dilemma. The question is simple:

As self-proclaimed Torah-Jews, do we have an obligation to blindly follow this harsh Rabbinic decree/boycott, even though each of the following applies?

(a) the Rabbonim in question are parties in interest to the underlying dispute;

(b) the decree is one which will undoubtedly have the impact of stripping the Bolender family of (w) years of good-will established and maintained with (some or most of) its clientele, (x) the operating and capital funds (and related) effort expended in connection with growing a successful business within our community, (y) their longstanding reputation and livelihood (“parnasa”) on a going forward basis and, finally, (z) the pride and dignity which -- by default (i.e., unless otherwise “earned”) -- each and every one of us deserves as human beings; and

(c) a reasonable basis exists for a reasonable person to conclude that Rabbinic judgment may be skewed, and possibly motivated by politics, greed and personal bias?

The answer, though, is extremely difficult, and the very people who would ordinarily be available to guide us in dealing with challenging questions of this nature are clearly disqualified from offering an objective opinion in this instance, given their personal involvement in this litigious matter.

By way of introduction:

Approximately five years ago, after a couple (?) of community Rabbonim raised issues about the Vaad operations and a desire for “unity” among FR and the FT (triggered by a desire to be separate?), Rabbi Reisman, Rabbi Hain and Rabbi Billet formed an alliance for a unified FT/FR Vaad Hakashrus. Only one person existed who would meet the approval of these (politically motivated?) otherwise incongruous Rabbonim, and that person was Yossi Eisen, then an employee of the OU. (So if you think it’s a miracle that the Vaad (Reisman, Hain, Billet) is unified for once, think again; the Vaad has no choice but to be unified in this regard – after reading the below paragraph, you’ll understand why they would not be able to look themselves in the mirror if they are convinced otherwise.)

Rabbi Chait, the head of the FT Vaad for years prior to that date, who is indisputably an ehrlich and mentchlich individual (and who was compensated half of what RYE is receiving and operated the Vaad with little to no overhead), was – in effect (but not technically) removed from his position by intimidation. Once RYE was on the scene, RMC was immediately deemed irrelevant by the Vaad, and his work-life was intentionally made so incredibly miserable that any person with an ounce of pride would have resigned under such conditions and, in fact, that’s exactly what Rabbi Chait is purported to have done. Insiders, however, are fully aware of the audacity and corruption perpetrated by individuals (NOT the Vaad as a whole) at the highest levels, and Rabbi Chait was offered a “slap-in-the-face” severance package in exchange for keeping his lips united (ironically, the only thing the Vaad managed to successfully keep united). Thinking that gaining new employment within the field of Kashrus would not be too difficult, Rabbi Chait opted not to fight or negotiate with the terrorists, and agreed to the terms.

Regrettably, to this day, Rabbi Chait refuses to detail the precise facts surrounding his departure due to looming threats that the Vaad will take action against him under the confidentiality provisions of his severance agreement. All we know is that he has been unemployed since such departure. The above information was conveyed to me from a reliable Vaad insider and, therefore, should not be relied on as “fact.” Please go ahead and call Rabbi Chait directly for more information on this issue (his first name is Moshe, and he lives in Staten Island), and please try to convince him to publicize the story because it is ripe for exposure due to its relevance -- as it directly relates to the veracity of the Vaad generally, and whether a robotic, herd-like reaction to the Rabbinic decree is warranted.

Deep, deep breath…

Now, this serious GG issue is unfortunately -- but understandably -- facilitating a great deal of divisiveness within our community, so please allow me to attempt to approach this in a fair and balanced manner and, to the extent within my reasonable control, limit the gratuitous personal attacks to ones which are arguably essential.

The Gemara in few places in Shas tells us the Rav Pappa was a businessman in the beer industry. In Meseches Shabbos, the Gemara quotes Rav Pappa's authoritative opinion that the consumption of beer is healthier than the consumption of wine. Later in Meseches Shabbos (118b), Rav Pappa is quoted as saying that his "cheilek" should be with those who were "wrongfully suspected of impropriety" (i.e., the pain and suffering in this world from false accusations should serve as a merit in the world to come). The meforshim explain that these two Gemaros in Meseches Shabbos are interrelated. Rav Pappa himself - although his intentions were pure - was subjected to harsh criticism for his seemingly self-serving ruling that beer is healthier than wine. Thus, his statement about having a cheilek with those "wrongfully suspected of impropriety" was based on personal experience in rendering a decision which was - ostensibly - beneficial to his personal business interests.

While we all know that we cannot "paskin" halacha based on stories in the Gemara, we may, however, take direction and learn valuable lessons from its content. Rav Pappa's statement was the subject of criticism – yet, he was not deemed beyond reproach and neither the Gemara nor the Meforshim negatively comment on the fact that a great Amora was criticized for his self-serving statement. All of us - even the most respected Rabbonim - are human beings, and both we and they must recognize that fact. They must recognize that while their rulings on Hilchos Shabbos, Hilchos Tznius, Hilchos Pesach and the like are halachically binding on the tzibur, a ruling in "dinei mammonos," particularly where the very same group of people are intimately involved as adversarial parties, does not fall within the category of rulings which we must blindly follow based on Emunas Chachomim.

As an aside, I would like to respond to the following, only because it relates to the above issue of Emunas Chachomim:

Anonymous Said:

"Just so everyone here knows, there are several Rabbi's including many listed above who are aware of this blog and read what you right. Although you are anonymous you should still be embarrassed."

Unfortunately, we live amongst too many community members (but hopefully not like-minded Rabbonim) who echo the sentiments expressed by the above-quoted commenter on this very blog a few days ago.

Here's the problem. The underlying question itself for those of us who live in this community, and particularly for those who shop at GG, is whether or not - as "frum" Jews - we are obligated to adhere to the second of the two-prong ruling espoused by the Vaad this past Shabbos. To be clear, this ruling not only served as a "bulletin" that GG was no longer under Vaad supervision (which in of itself would have been non-controversial and well within the Vaad’s right), but also included an "order" to boycott the supermarket on the basis of trust in Chachomim and the violation by GG of Vaad policy after it squared its Hashgacha, but specifically not on the grounds of any particular Kashrus violation. (By the way, if “Emunas Chachomim” alone is sufficient reason to follow the “leaders,” why the need to justify this venomous attack on other Jews on the basis of “violation of Vaad policy?”)

There is a biblical requirement ("Lo Sasur") to listen to (or, technically, to not deviate or stray from) the words of the "Rabanon." One of the ten commandments, though, is “Anochi Hashem Alokecha.” When someone expresses or believes that the we should be more "embarrassed" because Rabbis are perusing our comments, that implies to some extent that we need to have a higher regard for such Rabbonim than we have for G-d. If comments were not made anonymously, I can certainly understand the real-life (i.e., this world) practical consequences of your Rov reading your harsh criticism, and the idea that – as a result – one should be embarrassed (or “afraid,” as the case may be). But frankly, I suspect that on a subconscious level, this commenter – and others who did not object to this commenter’s comments on this basis – believe that Rabbonim are held to have assumed the role of G-d in today’s society, and are not merely human messengers charged with carrying out what they believe to be the will of G-d.

If a poster is not ashamed to comment anonymously knowing that G-d is watching, why would that commenter be ashamed because a Rabbi is reading the comments? And if the commenter believes that she or he is not acting properly in commenting, unless the Rabbis are above G-d in the pecking order, why would the commenter suddenly be ashamed because of Rabbinic blog-supervision?

The question is - if the Rabbis are indeed beyond reproach, and their word is binding on each and every one of us by the Torah, why isn't that sufficient to deter these commenters? And if the Rabbis are indeed on the G-d level (or above), as the commenter (and some Rabbonim) transparently implied then, yes, I agree that we should be embarrassed and yes, I agree that we should blindly follow their tyrannical decree.

My point is that many of us believe that, although it is essential that we listen to the Rabbis as a matter of Torah law, such biblical requirement is not applicable to all situations without exception. In this case, for example, the Rabbonim themselves (as mentioned above) are parties in interest to this dispute and, clearly, as with any dispute, one side is not automatically awarded summary judgment by virtue of the fact that they are ordained Rabbis.

Even if GG is dead wrong, this is a bona-fide dispute between the Vaad and GG which should be handled at a hearing with knowledgeable arbiters who are NOT part of the Vaad of the Five Towns/Far Rockaway. The part of the ruling in which the Vaad determined to “yank the Hechsher” is totally appropriate and should have been announced from the pulpit and published in the newspapers. But the part about BOYCOTTING the supermarket – something which is completely and totally beyond the jurisdictional reach of any person who is a party to the dispute - really calls into question the motives of the Rabbonim in the first instance.

And, in fact, to make matters more complicated, at least one reputable Rabbi (and I'm sure others will emerge as well) stands opposed to the boycott and has agreed to provide GG with a kashrus certification, notwithstanding the violation of Vaad policy. In this instance, I would highly doubt that blind faith in Rabbonim is applicable, and we have a duty to look beyond the words - and look to the facts.

Moreover, but less important to the issue at hand, one can argue that this seemingly baseless blanket ruling puts every storeowner at risk of being subjected to the dictatorship of community Rabbonim comprising the Vaad and, if objective thoughts are not publicly expressed, the Vaad can use this case as a hammer to impose unreasonable kashrus and non-kashrus related standards in the future.

THINK OF THIS AS YOUR BUSINESS, YOUR PARNASA AND YOUR REPUTATION. THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WOULD REACT IF RABBIS WHO WERE INTERESTED PARTIES GOT UP IN FRONT OF HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE AND DEFAMED YOUR CHARACTER AND RUINED YOUR BUSINESS. WOULD YOU WANT YOUR COMMUNITY TO STAND BY IDLY AND WATCH THIS UNFOLD FOR SPORT? WOULD YOU WANT EVERYONE TO HIDE BEHIND THE “HE TOLD ME TO DO THIS, I DON’T THINK FOR MYSELF” APPROACH? AND DON’T GET ME WRONG – I DON’T DOUBT THAT YOU WOULD HAVE USED BETTER BUSINESS JUDGMENT THAN BOLENDER; WE, AS “MAINSTREAM” COMMUNITY MEMBERS, KNOW AND UNDERSTAND RABBIS, AND ARE FULLY AWARE THAT A FEW STROKES OF THE BEARDS AND A FEW BUCKS WOULD HAVE GONE A LONG WAY. AND, OF COURSE, IF WE DIDN’T WANT TO FLAME THE FIRES, WE WOULD NOT HAVE ENGAGED A SECOND HASHGACHA UNTIL THIS MATTER WAS RESOLVED.

BUT ALL THIS WAS BAD BUSINESS JUDGMENT – NOT BAD JEWISH BEHAVIOR. FROM A COMMON SENSE PERSPECTIVE, WITHOUT GETTING INTO POLITICS ABOUT HOW RABBIS REACT, IF YOU OR I WERE PARTIES TO A CONTRACT, AND THE COUNTERPARTY THREATENED TO BREACH (OR EXERCISE ITS REMEDIES, AS THE CASE MAY BE) WOULD YOU STILL FOLLOW THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE DOCUMENT IN LIGHT OF THE REPUDIATED BREACH? NOT A CHANCE IN HELL.

And to make matters worse, in addition to the fact that they are parties in interest, the impact of their harsh rhetoric this past Shabbos will – as mentioned earlier -- destroy a family and its business. So, to take this one step further, not only do we have an “exemption” from this general " follow the words of the Rabbis" rule but, to the contrary, each and every one of us has an OBLIGATION – a far greater obligation than “Lo Sasur;” namely, to NOT follow their words blindly if - to a sensible and reasonable person - the words seem self-serving, motivated by greed, power and personal biases and, worst of all, the desire to seek revenge against a individual who they deem to be uncooperative.

The Vaad has every right - and should - have a policy prohibiting outside Hashgochos on premises. But how can we all sit by idly - acting robotically - when these humans (i.e., not “G-ds”) stand up in front of hundreds of people and not only inform them that the Vaad Hashgacha has been pulled (which is fine), but also tell their congregants to ruin people's lives because of a non-kashrus related violation? If it was kashrus related, fine, produce the evidence, tell us to call a kinus gathering, tehillim group and toiveling party and we’ll never shop there again. But to say “no, everything is 100% fine from a kashrus perspective, but you are forbidden from shopping in that establishment” has the stench of something very, very foul. Period.

I have great respect for many of the local Rabbonim who have issued this seemingly outrageous proclamation. My only point is that - based on their words alone - they have portrayed themselves as mobster villains who want to impose their will on a community simply because someone else has stepped on their turf. When a Rabbinic proclamation is not accompanied by any reasonable basis and, in fact, is offered with unreasonable basis, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to question these words and the motivation for this ruling, particularly if the consequences of carrying out their words are potentially destructive to real people. We cannot and should not hide behind "well, the Rabbis said...blah, blah, blah" - we should all stand up and demand an explanation - a complete and accurate report.

And since it is now clear that this blog has attracted Rabbinic attention, let me direct a loud and clear message at the drafters of the "letter" rumored to be issued by the Rabbis this week in connection with this Rabbinic scandal:

BE CLEAR. TELL THE COMMUNITY ABOUT ALL THE GG VIOLATIONS. TELL THE COMMUNITY IF AND WHEN GG WAS THREATENED, WHO EXACTLY DELIVERED THE THREAT AND WHAT PRECISELY WAS THE NATURE OF THE THREAT.

DO NOT BLUR THE UNDERLYING AND CENTRAL ISSUE BY MERELY FOCUSING ON THE ADDITIONAL HECHSHER. WE ALL KNOW ABOUT THAT ALREADY, WE ALL KNOW THAT BOLENDER ONLY STUPIDLY DID THAT AFTER HE FELT HE WAS MISTREATED BY THE RABBIS, AND WE ALL KNOW THAT THE FIRST PRONG OF YOUR RULING WAS APPROPRIATE. BUT IF NOTHING WAS WRONG WITH GG BEFORE THEY ENGAGED KRAVITZ, THE RABBONIM MUST APOLOGIZE TO THE COMMUNITY FOR NOT CONVEYING THAT FACT TO US LOUD AND CLEAR ONCE INFORMATION WAS LEAKED, REGARDLESS OF WHICH “SIDE” LEAKED THE INFORMATION.

IT IS VERY UNDERSTANDABLE AND COMMENDABLE THAT – UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES - THE VAAD WOULD NOT WANT TO PUBLICIZE TRANSGRESSIONS AND WOULD PREFER TO HANDLE A SENSITIVE MATTER PRIVATELY AND QUIETLY. BUT ONCE OUT IN THE OPEN - WHAT EXCUSE DID YOU HAVE FOR NOT FULLY DISCLOSING HOW THIS ALL WENT DOWN? (AND PLEASE DO NOT TELL US YOU WERE NOT AWARE THAT THIS WAS IN THE OPEN BECAUSE, IF THAT’S THE CASE, YOUR ROLE AS A COMMUNITY LEADER IN THE FIRST PLACE SHOULD BE QUESTIONED ON THE GROUNDS THAT YOU ARE COMPLETELY OUR OF TOUCH WITH YOUR CONGREGANTS.)

YOU COULD NOT HAVE BEEN PROTECTING BOLENDER ANYMORE, BECAUSE BOLENDER CLEARLY HAD NO INTEREST IN BEING PROTECTED AND, IN ANY EVENT, EVERY PERSON WORLDWIDE WITH INTERNET ACCESS KNEW ABOUT THIS FOR WEEKS. AND IF INDEED REAL KASHRUS VIOLATIONS EXIST(ED), YET THE VAAD NEVERTHELESS DETERMINED TO WITHHOLD THIS INFORMATION FROM THE COMMUNITY, THE ENTIRE VAAD IS NO BETTER THAN THE MONSEY STOREOWNER IN THAT BOTH KNOWINGLY CAUSED A COMMUNITY TO EAT TAINTED FOOD PRODUCTS (AND, AS RECENTLY AS YESTERDAY, ALL THE RABBONIM CONTINUED TO MAINTAIN THAT ALL FOOD PRODUCTS SOLD BY GOURMET GLATT WERE KOSHER UP UNTIL FRIDAY AFTERNOON).

If, after drafting and proofing the letter you realize that it's a bunch of illusory fluff which will only serve to satisfy the drafting attorney’s legal bill, save some trees and stamps and file the letter away with the simcha guidelines. And then we’ll anxiously await a pulpit apology for the Vaad deception and the defamation it perpetrated on an entire community. But do not – PLEASE – insult all of us by focusing on what you already said from the pulpit about the additional Hechsher violation. We all know and understand that rules are rules and a Hechsher can be “yanked” on that basis alone.

WHAT WE NEED TO HEAR IS (I) IF AND WHY GG WAS THREATENED IN THE FIRST INSTANCE, AND (II) WHAT VIOLATION DID GG TRANGRESS WHICH TRANSFORMED YOUR WITHDRWAL INTO AN ALL OUT BOYCOTT?

PLEASE HELP RESTORE OUR FAITH IN THE CHOCHOMIM. PLEASE DO NOT LET US DOWN WITH A SUBSTANTIVELY BLANK LETTER FILLED WITH DOUBLE-TALK AND IRRELEVANT FACTS.

On that note (of irrelevant facts), I would like to address the attacks on the Bolenders personally, and the audacity of some in this community to question how they conduct their personal lives:

The Bolenders live in Port Washington and, at least at one point, were members of the local Chabad. Some say they are Shomer Shabbos, some say they are not. Either way, this moot issue must be put to bed once and for all: IT IS ENTIRELY IRRELEVANT TO THE ISSUE AT HAND. If the Vaad believes it is essential or important for the owner of a store bearing its certification to be Shomer Shabbos, let it adopt a policy to that effect. If you, as a consumer, believe Bolender not to be trustworthy on this basis, it MUST follow that you believe THE VAAD to be untrustworthy since The Vaad has always certified food establishments with non-Shomer Shabbos owners.

So enough with this particular personal topic already; the lowest form of religion is when “frumkeit” is used as a weapon in the form of total and complete hypocrisy. Nothing about discussing the GG issue is “Loshon Hora,” as it directly impacts how we must make decisions – one way or another - except for matters which are just plainly and simply, black and white, clear as day irrelevant to the underlying issue. For example, and for purposes of this hypothetical only, if Moshe Teitelbaum is a complete “Am Ha’aretz,” but the Halacha clearly states that an Am Ha’aretz can serve as the leader of a Kehillah, highlighting the fact that his Torah knowledge is equivalent to a Yeshiva Ketana fourth grader would be Loshon Hora – even if true. Just an example, not an ad hominem attack.

Finally, if you would like me to review the letter on your behalf prior to distribution, feel free to send it to OrthoMom – she’ll know where to find me.


Anonymous (but not ashamed)

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole scandal boils down to one thing.
The rabbis are guilty of shefichas domim.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again the bloggers writing about GG being busy are most likely the owners themselves.. I went by GG twice today, both times they were empty!!!! Then I went to shop at Brachs and the parking lot was full. I went in and it was extremely busy....So who are they kidding??????

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing you forgot to mention in your very professional address which I fully agree with and admire. The Rabbis heard only one side of the story the VAAD's side and never bother to call the Bolenders in to hear their version. How can any Rav worth his smicha possibly paskin on such a sensitive issue without speaking to BOTH parties involved?

This boggles my mind and causes me much frustration and a sense of disrespect for the Rabbonim in question.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, who are those Bolenders kidding trying to earn a living in this town? The Rabbis said "get out!" How dare they attempt to try to stay afloat somehow.

Who are YOU kidding, Sherlock???

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's funny anon 8:43, when I went by the parking lot was full! Maybe you should have stayed parked there all day long and video tape the action.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SO he who writes the longest comment believes that he should be listened to?! The constant chatter about the biased rabbis is absurd. none of them recieve a penny from the vaad. They hired Rabbi Eisen and his team of mashgichim who all have to answer to the local rabbonim - thus the meetings before anything was pulled.
Also, the idea that this was done without any outside unbiased kashrus proffessional is simply misinformed. One of the biggest names in kashrus was consulted and supported pulling the hashgacha from GG before there was ever a second hashgacha. Don't trust things you read on a blog. Speak to your rabbi who you probably know to be an upstanding and honest person, blogs notwithstanding.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And who are you kidding, why don't you round up your posse, get on your horses and run 'em right out. Who do you think you are and where do you think you live, Russia?

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, anon 8:43pm.

I intentionally omitted that tidbit because my understanding was (and is) that Bolender did have the opportunity to speak to the Vaad about this issue (but, to me, that's neither here nor there).

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One of the biggest names in kashrus was consulted and supported pulling the hashgacha from GG before there was ever a second hashgacha."

Since you are privy to this information maybe you can share that name with us? We are all starving for information and you seem to know it all, so give it up.

What do the rest of you think, if he knows this to be true, shouldn't he share this information with us, otherwise I believe he is bluffing.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:25....Excellent post.

8:24....what about right now!?!?

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 8:46, actually they didn't, but I meant that the Rabbonim who made the announcements to their Kehillos, those who all met together and made this decision to call for a boycott, not one of them met with the Bolenders and heard their side of the story.

In addition, since the VAAD had already informed GG that they were pulling their hechsher as of 2/1, they didn't actually break the contract they just pre-empted the action.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all of you involved in the LH

as i should say LOSHON HORA community
ALL of you who are following the Boycott

are guilty of SHEFICHAS DOMIM

Rabbis can you take the responsibility??

What goes around comes around
take it in mind

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, anon 8:45pm, to answer your question.

As for the balance of your comments, it's good you kept it short because it was highly unresponsive to anything I wrote, and only served to further blur what the Rabbis did and did not do to reach their boycott conclusion -something which they continue to refuse to tell us publicly. But thank you, because now we know that:

1. Sensible e-mails are - in your view - "chatter."

2. "No Rabbi receives a penny from the Vaad" -- This is something that I never alleged (other than in a side remark about what I would have attempted in Bollender's position). Interesting that you picked that one subtle point to defend them on.

3. "Meetings were held before anything was pulled." Um, OK. So? Did you read my post? I had no issue with the "pulling."

4. "Also, the idea that this was done without any outside unbiased kashrus proffessional is simply misinformed. One of the biggest names in kashrus was consulted and supported pulling the hashgacha from GG before there was ever a second hashgacha." Um, OK. So? Did you read my post? I had no issue with the "pulling."


5. "Don't trust things you read on a blog." Thanks for the advice.

6. "Speak to your rabbi who you probably know to be an upstanding and honest person, blogs notwithstanding." Already did, but thanks again.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One part of the puzzle that the Bolenders, um, I mean the GG customers who support their store and comment frequently on this blog, have not clarified is why Rabbi Eisen has something against them but not against the other major kosher supermarkets? Why would he be out to get them? Also, is there a reason that the rabbis of the community have something against GG or were all of them just completely convinced by Rabbi Eisen's supposedly biased view? Can anybody (especially the Bolenders who apparently read this) shed light on this?

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something went terribly wrong at GG. Rabbi Eisen was on watch, perhaps on watch from Brooklyn, but still, on watch. The "very stringent" standards and practices he implemented and was charged with overseeing failed. He obviously isn't about to say that it was his fault, though any unbiased view of the situation would clearly indicate that the Vaad was somewhat "asleep at the wheel". So, what to do? The best defense is a good offense, no matter how offensive it is. Get rid of the Bolenders. Sell a story to the Rabbonim who want nothing more than a peaceful community and as a bonus, make Gourmet Glatt an example to any other storekeeper who's thinking about a second hashgacha. Ba da bing!!!

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:31...I don't recall hearing or seeing where the Bolenders have said that they read, comment, or even know about this blog. I do know that at least 2 Rabbonim have mentioned the comments on this and other blogs.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is why Rabbi Eisen has something against them but not against the other major kosher supermarkets?

Maybe its because they know about "treiben", kashering meat and RYE admittedly "knows nothing about meat"? Can it be that he is embarrassed about being upstaged by this family? Shouldn't the head of the VAAD know more about kashrus than anyone in the community he is supervising?

I believe this is where this all started and that is why the Rabbonim are backing him up. It is a matter of not humiliating the RAV.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now a new Kashruth authority has moved in Rabbi Kravitz from the OU. Check out a google on him.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wish they can work this out so I can shop where I like to.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a non kosher person and I think it is a very clean facility to shop in

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Mickey said...

since the commment section is laden with wild specualtion i will add my own. have you noticed that since brachs has opened, supersol is empty? and since CG's makeover it is emptier! i smell a rat

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe it is the VAAD's place to tell the consumers where they can or can't eat. And since it wasn't a Kashrus issue, and since the Rabbonim did not bother to speak to the Bollenders but made up their minds purely by speaking only to their own peers who were "nogeah b'davar" involved and obvioulsy biased, it was not a fair and unbiased conclusion that they arrived at.

Having said that, but still respecting the Rebbeim in this community, but also realizing that this isn't a community such as Lakewood that is RUN by the Rebbeim, I have to make up my own mind on this issue and as long as Rabbi Kravitz is there, so am I.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Aish Kodesh"
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2006 23:33:54
Subject: Kashrus Notice

"We regret to inform you that as of Erev Shabbos, Gourmet Glatt has lost the Hechsher of the 5 Towns Vaad Hakashrus. Rav Weinberger has informed us that any items purchased before such time are able to be eaten. Similarly no kashering of dishes or pots is necessary. Rav Weinberger recommends that people should not continue to patronize this establishment."



The above memo is the best reason to continue shopping at GG! I guess they’ll have to import their kool-aid from somewhere else from now on.

12:01 PM  
Blogger No Blind Faith said...

If after all these Rabbonim speak to the Bolenders and the VAAD mashgiach Rabbi Pinchas and the former VAAD mashgichim that worked in the store, and the people from Ossie's and Korn's who are non-biased, and they still come to the same conclusion unilaterally, then I will listen to their decision.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why is ossie's unbiased? if gg loses its hechsher their store is negatively affected with fewer customers.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well if you think that they are biased and they aren't going to tell the truth then you shouldn't buy their products no matter where they are sold

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