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Friday, October 20, 2006

An Update on the 5T Kashrut Controversy

I have been a bit swamped with work due to a crushing Yom Tov-induced backlog, so please excuse the slower blogging schedule.

An update on a story I've been covering lately is in order:

The Jewish Star has a new article on the Gourmet Glatt Chicken Controversy that I have been covering. The story as reported has gone from a neat little explanation of no real wrongdoing, to rumors of alleged intentional wrongdoing, back to protestatations of innocence. Now the story has the owners of Gourmet Glatt responding to the kashrut questions with the hiring of a new hashgacha:
In a move that caught the Vaad Hakashrus of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway by
surprise, Gourmet Glatt Emporium announced that it has retained a second kashrus
certification.
Gourmet Glatt made the announcement in a statement sent to The Jewish Star. Vaad Hakashrus administrator Rabbi Yosef Eisen learned of the hiring of Rabbi Yehuda Kravitz from a reporter.
Rabbi Eisen said that Gourmet Glatt's hashgacha from the Vaad is "in jeopardy" and said the members of the Vaad would meet to "render a final decision."
Gourmet Glatt also announced that customers would be able to assuage fears of kashrut or business issues by supervising the store's activity for themselves, through the installation of video cameras throughout the store, with a feed to a publicly viewable internet site. Large advertisements in the local Jewish papers proclaim the store's new Hashgacha as well as the new surveillance system.

Not sure that a surveillance system or the new hashgacha is the cure to Gourmet Glatt's ills here. First, if there are questions of proper supervision, I find it difficult to believe that a live feed of some views of the interior of the store in question is going to be a panacea. I also don't personally feel that the new Hashgacha is quite as reassuring as the advertisements and statements on the part of the store seem to hope they will be. Especially if the Vaad drops the store's certification - which a source tells me they met tonight to consider.

Time will tell.

71 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone say MAFIA. Why can Brachs and SS have Reisman abut GG cant have an 2nd ???

5:36 AM  
Blogger MDmom said...

why is the vaad so afraid? do they think that this will be the beginning of a mutiny in the five towns? many kosher establishments and food products both in the united states and in israel have more than one hashgacha...

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If its Rabbi Kravitz former head of OU this added hasgacha is better thn Reismans. I will be in to shop this week again

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting really tired about all the "Old News that Fit to Print". If this new Blog is written by Mayer Fertig, new Editor and Publisher of the The Jewish Star, it's getting a bit old. I think I am going out for my shabbat needs and need to pick up a Jewish Week or 5TJT along with 2 challahs and some BBQ Chicken and Cholent, now thats News worthy..... A wonderful, no "loshon horah" Shabbat....

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Reisman doesnt give a hashgacha. that's why. it isnt certification, its a "recommended list". here, gg had violations, and had to come to an agreement about how to go forward with the vaads certification. to then go and hire another agency doesnt mean that the new hechsher is unreliable. just that GG isnt acting in good faith.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I am going out for my shabbat needs and need to pick up a Jewish Week or 5TJT along with 2 challahs and some BBQ Chicken and Cholent, now thats News worthy..... A wonderful, no "loshon horah" Shabbat....



then ,maybe you dont remember how the 5tjt started out. more loshon hora than fit to print. ever wonder why the feature is now called "heard in the bagel store..no more?"

7:43 AM  
Anonymous I got it all figured out said...

"etting really tired about all the "Old News that Fit to Print". If this new Blog is written by Mayer Fertig, new Editor and Publisher of the The Jewish Star, it's getting a bit old. "


Orthomom is Mayer Fertig.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this whole situation is out of hand.. lets look at this logically'

GG was told by the Vaad to sell their business within 4 mos..no other solution will be acceptd.
2. this is a local business for as long as i have lived in the five towns..a holocaust survivor built it up and now his children are the next generation.
3.According to the Vaad, they are still a Vaad approved business. There ARE NO KASHRUS ISSUES
4. So what is the story here. the story seems to be that Rabbi Eisen has a more personal issue with the owners, NOT THE KASHRUS
5 Why is the Vaad allowing this LOSHEN HORA to continue since there are NO KASHRUS ISSUES???

I personally called the Vaad yesterday and they said GG is Fine to shop in. I am told that since they were told by the Vaad to sell out within 4 mos they felt they had no choice but to add a second supervision. this should stop all consumer fears with now TWO supervisions on premises. I trust BOTH supervisions.

If THERE ARE NO KASHRUS ISSUES and there is a personal problem between Rabbi Eisen and the owners, may i make a suggestion?

Remove Rabbi Eisen from that one particular store and assign another Rabbi. This seems to me to be a viable alternative that will allow the Vaad to really see what is going on here.

There has been too much LH and it doesnt look good for our little community... please put an end to all this loshen hora and let us move on with what really matters in the Five Towns...Bracha66

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mayer-this one's for you-self promotion is the lowest form of self-esteem-a fellow journalist-not so "anonymous"

9:33 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Full dosclosure:

I'm not in any way involved in the Jewish Star, nor am I Mayer Fertig or any relative or friend of his. I am, however, thrilled to see a local Jewish paper start to cover a story and then actually follow through, wherever it may go. When I start covering a story, I like to give my readers periodic updates so that they can follow the story. I am thrilled to see the Jewish Star using the same route to informing their readers.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm...we have different definitions of "full disclosure" (and different spellings, too).

10:01 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...


Anonymous said...

Hmm...we have different definitions of "full disclosure"


We'll just have to agree to disagree on the matter.

(and different spellings, too).

cute

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a wonderful lesson in L"H we are teaching our children...I cant wait to see the next generation!!

10:15 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Anonymous said...
Mayer-this one's for you-self promotion is the lowest form of self-esteem-a fellow journalist-not so "anonymous""


Actually, posting preachy, self-important anonymous blog comments is the lowest form of self esteem.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anyone who reads my blog knows how I feel about anonymous critics who take potshots at individuals in the news - which unfortunately seems to be a far too common occurence." -orthomom (anonymous blogger)

10:42 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who reads my blog knows how I feel about anonymous critics who take potshots at individuals in the news - which unfortunately seems to be a far too common occurence." -orthomom (anonymous blogger)


Yeah, and if you would quote the rest of that post - instead of quoting it selectively - you would note that I said a news outlet is vastly diferent in terms of the credibility they project than an anonymous blog. As I mentioned in the same post, I don't in any fashion overestimate the credibility that I have as an anonymous blogger. And in my opinion, it's not much.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to orthomom:

I applaud your attempt to bring to light interesting issues in our town.. You are certainly intitled to your opinion. This is America, after all. By the way, I was in GG this morning...so apparently the Vaad Hasgacha is still in place. What does this tell us? since the Vaad met last evening, perhaps they are beginning to see this situation for what it really is... a personal vendetta of one of their machgiachim with the owners of GG. If they truly believed all the LH and saw it with their own eyes, would they have allowed to store to remain open and under theie supervision? i think not. Good Shabbos to all.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pardon any of my earlier typos. the chicken soup fogged my reading glasses... once again. good shabbos

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pardon any of my earlier typos. the chicken soup fogged my reading glasses... once again. good shabbos

11:31 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

This whole comment string is starting to sound like a Berkeley University echo chamber about Bush administration conspiracies. What Loshon horah? What is anyone talking aobut? The only loshon horah is the tongue wagging that goes on at weekly shabbos tables when bored couples sit around with neighbors yenting about anything and everyone.

OM has not printed or repirnted any loshon horah. Neither has the Jewish Star or FTJT. Only the facts, as they unfold, are being reported. My sense is that the Jewish Star handed the Vaad a gift by reporting their word-for-word party line in their first report, after the Vaad handed GG a gift of backing off.


Since then, and only since then, have all the related parties seem to be mucking things up by not explaining what they really have to say. I did notice that GG has launched an ad campaign. Good move. They also brought in another hashgacha. Bad move. Why muddy the waters with every two-bit kashrus parasite in the country who will smell that the five towns is up for grabs and start to inundate every food proprietor with their phony machmirus and shoddy home made supervision?

Let GG and the Vaad uniformly put an end to everything by issuing a joint press release that details facts, resolutions, and future contingencies. Until that happens, the fuel of any news stroy will perpetuate because people are wont to talk and pontificate despite knowing less than half the story --

(NOTE: I do not claim to know the "whole" story either. I do know that this until now has never been a kashrus issue; Only an issue of poor communication, knee-jerk defensiveness, and a touch of ego and misguided optimism over the qualities of the public to not speculate on events that are not being clearly articualated.)

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

iI dont know if R Eisen have a vendetta for GG but this is not the 1st time they did something wrong. A few years back they were not allowwed to open after pesach for 3 days because they were handling chametz on pesach. They did this so they could be open right after pesach. Since then the vaad has been wary of them and rightfully so. So whatever happened with the chicken 'it smells badly" and they should sell their business to others who have more integrity

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Ear to the Sidewalk... said...

It is still very funny to sit here and read all these posts, week after week, and still have people not able to get their heads out of the sand.

I do not know R Reisman, nor do I know if he has an issue with GG, but what I do know, because I called Empire and asked, is that a consumer contacted Empire about a product that was labled as Empire and bought at GG -- Empire, alerted the Vaad, after they personally inspected the product in question and determained it was not an Empire chicken, no matter what the GG label said.

Also, R Reisman went to GG personally and found another chicken that was labeled improperly. This is not disputed by Mr. Bolander. Just ask him.

So why do ppl continue to have these wild conspirancy theories about the Jewish Star, R' Reisman, Orthomom, Deep Throat and Karl Rove?

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Ear to the Sidewalk... said...

My appologies..

In my haste.. made a typo..or 2

I did mean to refer to R' Eisen in both instances in the previous post.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's clear that the vaad has had an issue with the owners of GG for a long time. On at least several occassions, there have been circumstances that left the vaad with the impression that the chazakah that applied to other storeowners could not be equally be assumed with respect to the GG owners.

In light of the Monsey incident, it's very understandable and reasonable for the vaad to question the credibility of storeowners regardless of the level of supervision by the vaad and its mashgichim.

Unfortunately, GG's hiring of an additional hechsher (that doesn't even have much regonition in the area) only clouds the matter further and does not respond to the issue that concerns the vaad - namely the credibility of the owners.

What the issues have been, whether or not there were clear and obvious violations and how they have been responded to or denied - IS ALL IRRELEVANT so long as the vaad has concerns about the credibility of the owners.

As long as the vaad has concerns about the credibility of the owners (regardless if the owners have a defense for all of their actions, and regardless if there are members in the community who resent the vaad's approach), it is the vaad's responsibility to resolve the matter to the vaad's satisfaction - either by pulling their hechsher or requiring more credibile ownership if their hechsher is to remain.

Anyone who thinks the vaad is misguided in taking this approach ought to refresh their memory and read up again about the monsey incident.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot understand how tis fellow,Rabbi Kravitz can live in NY and be the head of the Vaad Hakashrus of Mexico City.Something smells fishy.
These privately owned hechsherim are always owned by thugs and incopetents.A perfect (but not only)example is Monsey.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Vaad of the Five towns and far rockaway is only known as a local Hashgacha. They are not World recognized/ contrary to the bloggers....the additonal supervision is a well respected long time OU MASHGIACH. Call the OU and find out about him.. the Vaad is only upset because now there is an additional player on their home turf. Does the word MONOPOLY ring any bells.. I am an attorney who lives in town and practices in Brooklyn. If any GG owners want to speak to me personally about legal issues... I will drop off my card at your store. The Vaad cannot INSIST that any store owner sell.(though I am sure they will deny this allegation..).Federal Laws supercede religious laws. Good Shabbos

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"iI dont know if R Eisen have a vendetta for GG but this is not the 1st time they did something wrong. A few years back they were not allowwed to open after pesach for 3 days because they were handling chametz on pesach. They did this so they could be open right after pesach. Since then the vaad has been wary of them and rightfully so. So whatever happened with the chicken 'it smells badly" and they should sell their business to others who have more integrity "

12:08 PM

in response.. Once again LH" spoken by some supposedly "frum" individual. Go back and check your facts...GG was never closed by the Vaad or any other agency.. Ask the Vaad for the exact dates you claim they could not open after that pesach. then go to the GG owners and ask them to forive you for spreading more LH" Shame on YOu...

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one should check the contract between the vaad and GG It is my understanding that they were not permitted to take another hechsher at the same time as the vaad Al PEA the contract they broke that contract. As to selling the store it might have been like this you have broken the trust and a good sugesstion woould be to sell or lose your hechsher. It is not an Monopoly it is a Standard that all stores have to follow. What was good in the 5 towns is that you could eat everyhere and if your friend buys at one store you dont have to ask which store he or she buys at just assume it is under the vaad that we all hold from. Now some will a some will not buy at gourmet glatt under the new hecsher if the vaad pulls out and for those who dont, will now question their friends. This should not be like in many other places ( like yerusalim) that some eat and some dont eat from a particular hechser. good luck to us all

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"to then go and hire another agency doesnt mean that the new hechsher is unreliable. just that GG isnt acting in good faith"

Why is this not acting in good faith? They didn't fire the VAAD, they added another set of eyes and ears. what's wrong with that?

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Remove Rabbi Eisen from that one particular store and assign another Rabbi. This seems to me to be a viable alternative that will allow the Vaad to really see what is going on here."

I never thought of that, but that sounds like it might be a very good compromise.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why muddy the waters with every two-bit kashrus parasite in the country who will smell that the five towns is up for grabs and start to inundate every food proprietor with their phony machmirus and shoddy home made supervision"

No L"H, what do you call this? Do you have a problem with Rabbi Kravitz? Personally I see it as an extra pair of eyes and ears to be able to answer any of RYE's questions and accusations. This will bring validity to the table where the VAAD is concerned because maybe they were swayed by RYE's frumkeit and credentials over that of the Bolender's. Perhap's Rabbi Kravitz or his Mashgiach being able to answer to the VAAD's board on any issues RYE raises, can finally put an end to the issues between RYE and the Bolenders.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Lawyer of 12:48 -

It is not a monopoly for the Vaad to impose its rules and standards on a client, that voluntarly subscribes to their Hashgocha services.

To say that these are our standrds and if you don't like them , we will revoke our certification, is simple contract law. You may have learned this your first year of law school.

People here keep saying monopoly, however I cant understand what their confusion is. These stores subscribe to the Vaad and pay their fees. If they don't want to, they can stop and hire another Hashgocha. They can also add another, as long as that is not outside the scope of the agreement signed with the Vaad.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A few years back they were not allowwed to open after pesach for 3 days because they were handling chametz on pesach. They did this so they could be open right after pesach."

Actually this is misinformation and I actually asked the Bolenders about this story. It was an issue of one of the workers uncovering a shelf at the end of Chol Homoed in preparation for the end of pesach opening of the store. That employee was immediately fired as soon as it was brought to the owner's attention.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Also, R Reisman went to GG personally and found another chicken that was labeled improperly. This is not disputed by Mr. Bolander. Just ask him."

And RYE said "mistakes happen", ask him, I did.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I did mean to refer to R' Eisen in both instances in the previous post. "

I did ask, and he said that RYE has not as yet produced the chicken in question, nor has he produces the person, or the receipt for the original chicken proving that it was bought from his store.

So if this is in fact what happened why has the evidence not been produced? Why can't the accused see the evidence so he can at least figure out what happened or what he is accuse of? Don't you think there is somthing wrong with that? What is the secrecy about? How can you accuse a person of something and not show him the proof of what you are talking about?

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately, GG's hiring of an additional hechsher (that doesn't even have much regonition in the area) only clouds the matter further and does not respond to the issue that concerns the vaad - namely the credibility of the owners."

RYE didn't have much recognition in this area before he got here either. We were provided with enough information to do our own investigation of his credentials.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As long as the vaad has concerns about the credibility of the owners (regardless if the owners have a defense for all of their actions, and regardless if there are members in the community who resent the vaad's approach), it is the vaad's responsibility to resolve the matter to the vaad's satisfaction - either by pulling their hechsher or requiring more credibile ownership if their hechsher is to remain. "

That is the most ridiculous thing anyone has ever said here on this blog. The VAAD has no legal nor halachic right to force any store to sell or change ownership. The fact that the took an additional reliable mashgiach and placed him on the premises so the VAAD can have another frum and unquestionably credible person to supervise and rely upon to follow the VAAD's guidelines should be sufficient enough proof that the Bolenders are acting in good faith. Once again, the Bolenders did not fire the VAAD, they simply added an additional Mashgiach to what they already have, which is way more than any other store in the neighborhood. No one else in the neighborhood has a temidi on premises. We are all relying on the goyim in each store to accept all the deliveries. How is that different from shopping in Stop and Shop or Key Food?

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anyone who thinks the vaad is misguided in taking this approach ought to refresh their memory and read up again about the monsey incident."

Yes the Monsey incident where the VAAD mashgichim trusted the guy who "looked the part, looked frum and supposedly was above reproach". See where that got them. If the guy wore a kippah serugha, they would never have given him the leeway they gave that guy. Just my point.

Every store should be treated the same and have the same stringent rules. Why do the other stores only require a "yotzei v'nichnas"? All stores who cook on the premises should require a temidi, don't you think? Learn a lesson from Monsey no one should rely on the owner, a Mashgiach is needed in every store, the owner has a vested interest in the bottom line ($$$$$).

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I cannot understand how tis fellow,Rabbi Kravitz can live in NY and be the head of the Vaad Hakashrus of Mexico City.Something smells fishy."

And doesn't Rabbi Weinreb, the head of the OU live in Baltimore? What is your point? Did you research how the VAAD is run? Who the masgichim are and how they are trained and placed? Do you know anything about the operation or how he runs his business before you start sniffing and stick your nose about?

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"one should check the contract between the vaad and GG It is my understanding that they were not permitted to take another hechsher at the same time as the vaad Al PEA the contract they broke that contract."

How would "one" know this? Isn't this once again "private" and not public knowledge outside the daled amos of the VAAD? Is this a new leak? How convenient.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"People here keep saying monopoly, however I cant understand what their confusion is. These stores subscribe to the Vaad and pay their fees. If they don't want to, they can stop and hire another Hashgocha. They can also add another, as long as that is not outside the scope of the agreement signed with the Vaad."

Actually it is a "MONOPOLY" because the way the VAAD is designed, the Rabbonim have agreed to not "allow" any other hashgacha into the neighborhood and that if any store took upon themselves to fire the VAAD and take another Hashgacha they would advise their Kehilla's not to patronize that store, just as R' Reisman has advised his Kehilla by not putting GG on his "approved" list. Look what controversy that stirred up in the month of Tishrei. All this L"H, Motzi shem rah, and richilus. Imagine if someone actually fired the VAAD, all hell would break loose.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And doesn't Rabbi Weinreb, the head of the OU live in Baltimore?"

Actually I think he moved to new york when he took the OU job, but maybe someone can confirm that.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one can know about the contract not allowing an additional hashgacha if "one" owns any food establishment in the five towns or far rockaway that is under the vaad because it is standard language in all vaad contracts. This isn't a leak - it is well established fact

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so, as i understand it,,,,, the contract states that any business that signs on with the vaad can only use the vaad?? isnt this the very definition of MONOPOLY?????.. also, as an attorney.. how is this not a violation of Federal RICO LAWS. Maybe someone should inform the Vaad they are in dangerous territory...much more dangerous than the L"H they are promoting.? i wonder if any government attorneys more familiar with RICO live in the five towns? also, as a five town resident and a "frum" jew,,, i am personally disgusted with all I read... I truly believe this is not what we want the goyim in the world to see and believe about us..

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I shopped at gg today.. the vaad is still there! so why is everyone saying that gg "fired" the Vaad? once again loshen hora for shabbos.....How disgusting!! shabbat shalom. bracha66

4:24 PM  
Blogger kamen said...

I did some due diligence on Rabbi Kravitz .He and Rabbi Belsky ran the entire meat industry for the OU in years 2002-2004.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous 3L @ NYU said...

so, as i understand it,,,,, the contract states that any business that signs on with the vaad can only use the vaad?? isnt this the very definition of MONOPOLY?????..

No. It is the very definition of an 'exclusivity contract.' Perfectly legal in every business except where public policy would force the opposite result. For example, a doctor cannot enter into an exclusive contract with a certain pharmaceutical company. S/He must allow patients aaccess to all brands of proper medication. CAn the same be said for hashgachos?

A monopoly has to do with controlling a market and price-fixing.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt Federal RICO law will apply because religious groups are usaully exempt from anti-trust cases. There was one case about Catholic University firing a tenured prof and the US Sup. Court upheld a religious institution's rights under the separation clause. On the other hand the NY Court of Appeals came down with a case yesterday definig when a religious institution acts in more secular way so maybe the Vaad (which is a fictitious entity) could be liable.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how much loshon horah about a subject no one knows anything about was repeated this shabbos at shabbos tables across the five towns?

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no RICO here. Oy....

No one is forced to take the Vaad, no one is forced to be Kosher.

The OK or Chof-K would come into town and give a Hashgocha if they were paid, and no Rav in town, or the Vaad could stop it or credably tell ppl not to shop/eat there.


(I didn't mention the OU, because Steve Savitsky wouldn't allow them to come into the 5T and the Star-K because they, as a local Balt. Hashgocha, wouldn't mix into local politics.)

People on this blog love to throw round big works, RICO, monopoly, Loshen Harah, etc... none of which seems to apply here, yet makes their posts seems smart, but with careful reading, not so much.....

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole comment thread is joke.

It's so obvious that the commenters defending GG are somehow nogeah b'davar. There has been close to no objectivity expressed on the part of GG's defenders here. I just read this comment threat from top to bottom and it's clear that only a person with a vendetta against the vaad would be carrying with the venomous attacks against the vaads credibility (above). Because the average objective person relies on the vaad every day, knows little about the way they operate and has no logical reason to criticize them.

So for those who are wasting their time trying to convince the GG's defenders here that the vaad's actions are justified - give it up - don't waste your time - it's obvious that the GG people commenting here are fighting for their business and credibility and will stop at nothing to defend their actions and their business.

The vaad is a community organization and represents a cross-section of highly respected rabbis in the community, who are involved in and acutely familiar with the operations of the vaad - so the vaad clearly doesn't need people to defend its actions through a blog (unless we've lost respect for all of our community's rabbis).

For those who spend so much time defending GG's honor and credibility here, it's a bit disingenuous to spend so much time defending the store here, as though you have no personal interest in vaad-bashing. It's illogical that any individual would waste so much time responding to each anti-GG or pro-vaad comment here, without having a personal agenda and stake in GG's credibility. (What kind of objective person responds to every issue that is raised by running to get an "explanation" from the Bolenders? Anyone who is really objective, without an agenda, would not have time to hunt down the Bolenders for a rebuttal each time a question is raised here.)

2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because the average objective person relies on the vaad every day, knows little about the way they operate and has no logical reason to criticize them.


That is exacly why the VAAD needs some sunlight on its operation.

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The OK or Chof-K would come into town and give a Hashgocha if they were paid, and no Rav in town, or the Vaad could stop it or credably tell ppl not to shop/eat there."

Of course they could stop it by telling their congregants not to shop...Rabbi R has been doing it for years.!


"I didn't mention the OU, because Steve Savitsky wouldn't allow them to come into the 5T and the Star-K because they, as a local Balt. Hashgocha, wouldn't mix into local politics.)" How absurd!

is this person for real?? They are totally contradiciting their own comments. Let this issue die already. There is obviously no truth to any of it or the store would have had their hashgacha pulled.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That is exacly why the VAAD needs some sunlight on its operation."

Maybe, but the point was that there is no reason to ascribe any credibility to the GG-defenders on this blog

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOR TO THE VAAD DEFENDERS EITHER. and at least GG is trying to do some teshuva, VAAD is still to holy to admit failure.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe with new ownership, we will finally be able to lower the prices that are absurd just because you are shopping in gourmet glatt. I recall how they would take a product that has a suggested retail price on it and put a sticker over it with an even higher price. There is no stopping what they would do to make extra profit.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the saying " the grass is always greener" mean anything? If you dont like their prices..shop wherever you wish! no one is holding a gun to your head to shop at GG.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion the quality is much better at GG then anywhere else, as well as the cleaniness

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did some research on the web about the "new Rabbi in town-Kravitz". Kravitz was the head of the OU meat industry and a world reknowned lecturer on nikkur.I asked my Rabbi and he said his certification is highly recommended. I was surprised when I heard this because my Rabbi is part of the Vaad.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if the vaad accepts this double hashgacha, then that is the end of the vaad!!!!

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if the vaad accepts this double hashgacha, then that is the end of the vaad

yea

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Curious George pet Man in the Yellow Hat said...

I understand that all the Rabbonim in Town endorse and back the Vaad. But is there a main player behind all of it? - a rich baal habos or a firebrand Rabbi (like R Reisman)?
Thanks

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I understand that all the Rabbonim in Town endorse and back the Vaad. But is there a main player behind all of it? - a rich baal habos or a firebrand Rabbi (like R Reisman)?"

As I understand it, The new vaad (post merger w/ FR) was supposed to be a stand alone org, indpendent of any indvidual, and that is why RYE an alleged kashrut expert was hired, so no indvidual was bigger then the vaad, but it has been a failure, and now we are regressing instead of moving ahead.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how has the vaad failed (other than by upsetting one store owner who it doesn't see eye to eye with)?

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The very fact that we are even having this conversation is proof of the VAAD failure. This new VAAD ws supposed to end the FR/5Towns seperation. It seems to me that now it is worse then ever.

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the owners of GG is an arrogant guy who wants what he wants with no regard for others..He is not kosher either are the rest of the siblings.. As a matter of fact one is married to a non jew.. They think they can get away with everything with the al mighty dollar but this is not how it works here!! Soon enough all the truth will come out!!

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One of the owners of GG is an arrogant guy who wants what he wants with no regard for others..He is not kosher either are the rest of the siblings.. As a matter of fact one is married to a non jew.. They think they can get away with everything with the al mighty dollar but this is not how it works here!! Soon enough all the truth will come out!!"

Well this is a very interesting piece of news and since it comes from "anon 9:51" it has no more validity than any other L"H or rumor started to besmerch another person. If you are hiding behind anonymity and not saying who you are or providing proof or what you know, or why it is even relevant to what is going on, then you are simply spreading more L"H and being Motzi shem rah.

So it is very clear that you just want to add more fuel to the fire and we are going to want to squish it, because their personal lives are not in question here, it is the store that is in question.

Are you saying that you never ate in "La Mere" in the city? That is owned by a frenchman, an "achte goy!". Do you then agree with RYE that every store should post whether or not they are Shomer Shabbos? Maybe we should put Yellow Stars on the windows?

Maybe we should close down all the restaurants and eat at home? Maybe we should all go to IOWA and shecht our own meat and chickens and not rely on anyone's hashgacha, after all no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors. Everyone has skeletons in their closet Right RYE?

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Eliyahoo William Dwek said...

When ‘dayanim’, ‘rabbis’ and false ‘mekubalim’ use the Torah for their own power and commercial profit, this behaviour is abhorrent.

No other ‘rabbi’ will ever act against another ‘rabbi’ - even when he knows his colleague is clearly desecrating the Torah. Each rabbi is only worried about losing his own position.

Therefore, the ‘rabbi’, ‘dayyan’ or false ‘mekubal’ (‘kabbalist’) will never effect justice. And he will never truly stand for the Torah or the Honour of Hashem. His pocket will always prevail.

The Torah must never be used for commercial gain and profit. Amm israel can only be lead by those who have the necessary love and respect of Hashem and the Torah.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Eliyahoo William Dwek said...

Any man who chooses to be a ‘rabbi’ (‘true teacher’ of Torah) or a ‘dayan’ (‘judge’), or a ‘mekubal’ (‘kabbalist’) should be doing so Voluntarily. Out of his pure love for Hashem and the Torah. And his Ahavat Yisrael.

If he refuses to do community work voluntarily, and wants and accepts payment for everything he does, such a man should not be leading a community. He should get a job and earn a living. He can collect milk bottles or clean the windows. That is what is called ‘earning a living’.

Torah is learned, studied and taught: out of Love. Voluntarily. But the ‘rabbis’ have turned the Torah into their ‘Profession’, from which they earn money.

We are commanded in the Shema to:

‘LOVE Hashem, your G-d, WITH ALL YOUR HEART, and with all your soul and with all your might.’

‘VE’AHAVTA et Hashem Elokecha BECHOL LEVAVECHA uvechol nafshecha uvechol meodecha.’ (Devarim, Vaethanan, 6:4-5)

Is the ordinary man or woman PAID to pray to Hashem, or to say some words of Torah? No. Has veshalom! But the rabbis are. These men can give ‘lovely’ shiurim that they have rehearsed. But they would not give a shiur without being paid for it.

The true hachamim and rabbis of old, all actually worked at proper jobs and professions.

Wake up! Even a little child could have worked this out. These salaried men can never truly stand for the Torah, because in a case of conflict between a correct course of action according to the Torah, and the rabbi or rav’s pocket – his pocket and position will always prevail.

Pirkei Avot: (2:2)
“Raban Gamliel beno shel Rabi Yehuda HaNassi omer: yafeh talmud Torah im derech eretz, sheyegiat shenaihem mashkachat avon. Vechol Torah she’ein imah melacha sofa betailah ve’goreret avon. Vechol haoskim im hatzibbur yiheyu imahem leShem Shamayim……”

“Rabban Gamliel, the son of Rabi Yehuda HaNassi, said: It is good to combine Torah study with a worldly occupation, for working at them both drives sin from the mind. All Torah without an occupation will in the end fail and lead to sin. And let all who work for the community do so for the sake of Heaven………”

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