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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Vaad's Letter Regarding Gourmet Glatt - UPDATED

Received via email:

The text:

The Vaad Hakashrus hereby notifies the community that we have terminated our kashruth supervision of Gourmet Glatt. This action was effective as of 4:00 pm on Friday, October 27th, 2006. A unanimous decision was made after the review and confirmation of serious halachic and contractual violations over time. The Vaad had attempted, on numerous occasions, to persuade Gourmet Glatt to rectify these situations but violations continued to occur. The Vaad bears the responsibility of maintaining the highest standard of kashruth. Our Vaad has achieved a reputable standing for its kashruth standards, integrity and reliability. To allow any lowering of these standards would be an abrogation of rabbinic duties and responsibilities.

It should be self evident that such a decision was not taken lightly. We recognize the effect upon the livelihoods of many people but as a Vaad Hakashruth we are primarily charged with the stewardship and maintenance of the highest standards of communal kashruth. After exploring many alternative avenues and solutions over an extended period of time, the Vaad has reluctantly taken the final step of removing its supervision and imprimatur.

Gourmet Glatt's acquisition of a second Hashgacha, in addition to being a violation of its contract and policies with the Vaad, is an affront to the unity of our community. When there is one universally recognized and accepted Hashgacha in a community, the kashruth standards are clear to all. When one local store takes on multiple hashgachot on their premises, then there is a threat to the uniform standards we have all worked so hard to achieve.

We hope and pray to Hashem that we will all come together as one for the sake of Heaven and for the sake of our wonderful community.
A couple of thoughts:

1. The letter includes no declaration of a boycott. Does this mean that the boycott declared by my Rav isn't in effect? Or is the boycott just for his congregants? Or was he merely making a friendly suggestion? I'm confused.

2. The letter was clearly a team effort. One way to tell is the alternation between "kashruth" and "kashrus" -- in some cases within the same sentence.

3. The letter puts the "second hasgacha" issue in the background and tries to make it all about kashrus (or kashruth). Unfortunately, the opening paragraph refers only to "serious halachic and contractual violations over time" without spelling out what they were.

More to come.

UPDATE:
Attention commenters:
I have started deleting inappropriate comments with a free hand. I will continue to do so, and if people continue to ignore my guidelines for civility in commenting, I will be forced to enable comment moderation. I know full well that enabling moderation does somewhat stagnate the flow of discussion, which would be a pity. So please, no character assassinations or rude comments.

268 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "contractual violation"should not have appeared in the letter.it is a private business matter.which has nothing to do with GG'S realationship with the customers.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gimme a break. The Vaad released a very responsive and carefully worded letter and you're critical of them for referencing the contract violation. Obviously, had the left it out, you (or someone critical like you) would have said how disingenuous it is of the vaad not to write anything about their contractual claim.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure they didn't lift those signatures from the school board election letter?

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very responsive? Are you blind?

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the unashamed blogger wears a yamuke at work, now he should be ashamed.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the rabbis should list and describe every occurrence which altogether gave rise to this response.

That way, we can nitpick about every one of them, and second-guess and halachic inferences that they make.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the explanation letter we've been waiting for? The Rabbis had the opportunity to restore my faith in their ability to lead but, with this sham of a letter, have miserably failed.

The only substance contained in this letter is the following vague sentence:

"The Vaad had attempted, on numerous occasions, to persuade Gourmet Glatt to rectify these situations but violations continued to occur."

I guess the Vaad is still trying to protect the Bolenders and not – chas v’shalom – spread loshon horah about the particulars of “numerous occasion” violations. G-d forbid, the Vaad should tell us what GG did wrong other than violate the contract/policy after being threatened. It reminds me of my Rebbe taking me by the ear and tossing me across the hall as a kid (I know, that explains a lot) and, when I verbally attacked him for his abuse, all the administration could focus on was the fact that I opened my mouth. Unreal.

If the Vaad had real evidence, they would have produced it in this letter. Truth is an absolute defense to defamation, so please save the fear of litigation theory. End of story. End of Bolender. End of faith in our community Rabbonim.

To Renegade Flatbush - I agree with your comments generally and, yes, maybe it's time we all decided that if we cannot listen to our Rabbis on this issue, perhaps we should not be listening to these same Rabbis on any issue at all.

To all those who are disenchanted with this insulting letter, do not lose faith in our religion. Realize that it is these particular representatives who are the problem, and not the institution as a whole. Many Rabbonim exist who are willing to take a stand on taboo issues such as kids at risk, child molestation, corrupt baatei diinim, kashrus, etc. Later tonight, I hope to introduce you to some so we can ensure that these feeling of rage resulting from the hypocrisy of certain individuals who purport to represent our faith, are not channeled towards our own personal Yiddishkeit. Let them live with their decisions and the destruction they have caused. Let us be constructive, work on ourselves and find new leaders who we can admire and respect.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:10pm

That's the precise fear. But if ever there was a time to rely on a "Koola," it is at a time when the alternative is to do what they have done. I do not look for "Koolas" to justify my actions, but if ever there was a time to apply "Koach D'Hetira Adif," this is the case. This only applies, of course, if GG wasn't in "flagrant" violation, but this is merely a response to 5:10, and perhaps not to reality.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there was a school board election letter signed by religious leaders of this community. I never saw this one on this blog.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON 5:13 - YOU ARE NUTS

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Victimized Rabbis said...
No Blind Faith:

Why the sudden concern over the parnassah of Rabbi Pincus? The Vaad has a history of stripping other (my apologies to these "others" for the use - and associated implication - of the word "other") Rabbonim from their Parnasa.

Case in Point:

RABBI MOSHE CHAIT

I have seen his name mentioned numerous times on these blogs, yet very few people seem to direct much attention to this Man. Rabbi Chait was thrown out on the street when RYE came to town and has not generated parnassah since that time. And not for lack of trying either. It is a real disgrace for this entire community that we can go back and forth with all this blog-mudslinging, yet not focus some energy on a REAL LIFE issue:

Let's ensure that both Rabbi Chait and Rabbi Pincus gain employment as a matter of top priority. Especially for those who support the Vaad and its actions, stop paying lip service to yourselves, and at least correct the collateral damage they have done to innocent Rabbonim who can no longer support their families. And for those concerned for the Bolenders parnasa, please show some concern for Rabbis Chait and Pincus. Even according to you, they too are victims.

So who's going to be the first to offer some constructive ideas to help an unemployed Rabbi find a job? First, the Rabbi without a job for five years. Then, but equally as important, the GG Mashgiach. Please show us all that this is not merely a game for everyone and that all of us are willing to stand up and doing something within our control.

What a great post i think its about time we put this blog to some good use.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of these rabbis were in the room at the same time to sign this letter.I have a bridge for sale.Any takers?

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently, all of the rabbis were in the room at the same time to agree on the action taken. The letter was probably circulated afterwards

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like some people are missing the point (and obviously aren't following OM's request for civility).

The letter was signed by almost ever rabbi in the community to make the point that they're all behind the vaad's actions. So, anyone who feels the vaad is misguided should not be singling out rabbi eisen without all of the rabbis who stand behind him.

Obviously Rabbi Reisman has nothing to do with this, because he's not part of the vaad and he didn't sign the letter.

6:06 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Attention commenters:
I have started deleting inappropriate comments with a free hand. I will continue to do so, and if people continue to ignore my guidelines for civility in commenting, I will be forced to enable comment moderation. I know full well that enabling moderation does somewhat stagnate the flow of discussion, which would be a pity. So please, no character assassinations or rude comments.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about R Nayman, R Speiegl, and any Kaminetsky (except R Lefkowitz)??

Also Weinberger is here, contrary to the claims that he is a political.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

acording to rabbi weinbergers speach on shabbos in his shul, he is very involved with community politics and the vaad.
i dont know how anyone can say that he is a-political.

when a rav stands up and tell his congregants dont eat at gg and bagel boss for no other reason than they are not under the vaad, that is all politics.

are no other hashgachas good???

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would assume that R Nayman and R Spiegel just didn't attend the meetings, but anyone who knows them would have to assume that they probably just haven't gotten involved at all, and it's no indication of their position on the matter.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For an ignoramus who has the gall to criticize the unanimous directives of ever rabbi in the community, it's reasonably for a rabbi to say that no other hashgachas are good

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not at all see why it is necessary to have one universally accepted Hashgacha in the Five Towns. The Five Towns is comprised of many different people along a wide array of religious observance even within "orthodoxy". Insisting on one hashgacha for all smacks of monopoly business and seems to have very little to do with halacha. I am inclined to disagree with the edict of the Five Towns Vaad. I challenge us all to individually ask our shuls' Rabbonim to verify the reliability of Gourmet Glatt's new certification and to do so without bias.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous HAGTBG said...

1. From my distant perch it seems quite clear that the straw that broke the camel's back and triggered the Vaad action was the second hasgacha.

2. About whether this is about "politics." If by politics one means there are power dynamics at work then, yes, this is political. So what? It is completely appropriate for the rabbinate to try to maintain unity in an area and a single standard.

3. About whether the Vaad poster is informative: Well, it lets you know the entire Vaad is behind the move but it tells you nothing about what led to it. There are two reasons that come to my mind: (a) the need to get a statement everyone would agree to out in a reasonable length of time, and (b) legal considerations.

4. About whether the Vaad can force someone to sell his store... of course they can't. But that isn't what they ever did: they threatened to remove their hechser.

5. About whether monopoly leads to bad decisions/is bad for the community: If the leadership is closed off from the laity then most certainly yes. It is important that, whereever possible, the community be able to take part in and observe how the leadership operates. But where the rabbinate has access and allows input, then a single standard has many, many obvious benefits.

6:41 PM  
Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

"Anonymous said...
This is the explanation letter we've been waiting for? The Rabbis had the opportunity to restore my faith in their ability to lead but, with this sham of a letter, have miserably failed....
G-d forbid, the Vaad should tell us what GG did wrong other than violate the contract/policy after being threatened."

I must be missing something. Isn't the purpose of the Vaad to oversee, and enforce what "THE VAAD" and thier rabbinic authority deem halachically acceptable standards? If so, then who cares what the infractions were, the Vaad obviously felt that they were serious enough to warrant the actions they took. Should you or anyone else find that these actions aren't warranted, well guess what? you're not a Rav on the Vaad, and no matter how much knowledge you may posess with regards to the laws of Kashrus (th?), you're still-NOT ON THE VAAD. Anyone who isn't a member's opinion has no weight whatsoever.

There is a story about a young Rav who was going to start his first position in another city, and went to the Rav of his own city for some final words of advice. The Rav pointed to the watchtower in the center of the town square and asked him if he knew why the clock was built so high. The answer the elder Rav gave, was, that if the clock were lower, each person that passed, and realized that the time didn't match the time on their own pocket or wrist watches, would reach up and adjust the time on the clock to correspond with the time on his or her own watch. However, when the clock is so high, the people adjust their timepeices to the watchtower's time.
I think the lesson is pretty clear. They're the Vaad the community put thier faith in, if you don't want to support them, don't, but don't sit back in your lay chair, and decide that such an overwhelming majority of Rabbonim in the community, who are supported by such an overwhelming majority of the community, are all getting together to destroy someone without proper justification, I don't believe any Rav would take such a decision lightly, let alone so many. I could understand your thinking this way, if it was one or two Rabbonim (I wouldn't neccessarily agree with you, but I could understand it) But to infer that all these Rabbonim are evil, is just pathetic.

7:06 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

I think the lesson is pretty clear. They're the Vaad the community put thier faith in, if you don't want to support them, don't, but don't sit back in your lay chair, and decide that such an overwhelming majority of Rabbonim in the community, who are supported by such an overwhelming majority of the community, are all getting together to destroy someone without proper justification, I don't believe any Rav would take such a decision lightly, let alone so many.
I actually agree. I am content with the Vaad's decision if so many local Rabbanim decided that the Kashrut violations were egregious enough that they had to take this sort of action. Had there been word in the letter of a boycott, I might have felt uneasy with the heavy-handedness of that decision. But I am perfectly comfortable to trust that a large group of local Rabbanim had good reasons that were well beyond simply political motivations.

As far as the call by individual Rabbanim for a boycott, I won't deny that I am still unsettled about the harshness of such an action. It's one thing to withdraw a hashgacha when the Kashrut standards of the certifying body are not being met, as has been done by the Vaad. But to take away congregants choice as to where to buy their groceries without an adequate explanation just sits poorly.

7:16 PM  
Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

Here's my take on that: I don't have a clue what GG's violations were, but if they are egregious enough to cause my Rav, to conclude that he should ask me to boycott them- "my Rav", who I trust enough for all my shailos, including Chayvei Krisus (t?), "my Rav", who would do anything to help a fellow jew, "my Rav", who spends hours during the most stressful times of the year to make sure that families have enough to eat for Yom Tov. If whatever GG's did was enough to push "my Rav" over the brink, and go against all that he stands for with regard to Ahavas (t) Yisroel, and ask (not rule, but ask) me, in so public a forum to boycott them....then I trust him enough to grant his request.

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heared a lot of Rabbonim who
signed were under a lot of pressure to sign!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have started deleting inappropriate comments

While I agree, in the intrest of fairness, please just identify what is inappropirate in your mund so that your bloggers who might tread on the line know.

From you previous post, I assume it is:

1- issues of Loshon Hara as well as Motzi Shem Ra (hard to define and police)

2 - rabid anti-Rabbanim rhetoric - is this only indvidual, or does it include the "group"?

7:33 PM  
Blogger No Blind Faith said...

anon 5:36,
I didn't mean to leave Rabbi Chait out, chas v'shalom, he also deserves our attention. I just meant to point out that the VAAD did not pull the Mashgiach out, and are waiting for the Bollenders to fire him so they can make a stink about it, because they are too "chicken" to do it themselves after they had all the flack about firing Rabbi Chat.

Thanks for the reminder.

7:41 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...


While I agree, in the intrest of fairness, please just identify what is inappropirate in your mund so that your bloggers who might tread on the line know.


To quote Justice Potter Stewart when he was asked about what falls into the category of pornography: "I know it when I see it". If you think a comment might be over the line and does nothing to further the civil discourse I am attempting to create a forum for here, then hold back and rephrase the comment.

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously Rabbi Reisman has nothing to do with this, because he's not part of the vaad and he didn't sign the letter.

My Rabbi didn't sign, and there are some other prominent Rabbonim that I don't see on the list either.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would assume that R Nayman and R Spiegel just didn't attend the meetings, but anyone who knows them would have to assume that they probably just haven't gotten involved at all, and it's no indication of their position on the matter.

Firstly you can't "ASSUME" anything and secondly you certainly have not been appointed to speak for them!

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For an ignoramus who has the gall to criticize the unanimous directives of ever rabbi in the community, it's reasonably for a rabbi to say that no other hashgachas are good


Whose the ignoramus? No one said "every" Rabbi in the community, learn how to read!!

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If what the Rabbonim wrote is true that GG had committed "Halachic" violations over time, then 1) why didn't they pull the hashgacha before and 2) why did the OU feel it was kosher enough for them to give Kashering classes at GG and 3) why did Rabbi Eisen himself give Kashering classes at GG and 4) why did the VAAD send other mashgichim to be be trained at GG?

Interesting questions aren't they?

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2. About whether this is about "politics." If by politics one means there are power dynamics at work then, yes, this is political. So what? It is completely appropriate for the rabbinate to try to maintain unity in an area and a single standard.

We have already concluded in all the blogs and all the posts that the VAAD has not maintained a "single standard" in the neighborhood.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4. About whether the Vaad can force someone to sell his store... of course they can't. But that isn't what they ever did: they threatened to remove their hechser.

No actually it was more like blackmail, "you have till Feb 1, 2007 to sell your store or we will pull the hechsher". That is like an employee or employer giving "notice". They were giving notice that they will no longer have the services of the VAAD and had to put in place another service agency. They could not wait till Feb 1, they had to do it within a reasonable amount of time so the customers could check it out and get comfortable with the new Hashgacha. In addition, since the VAAD felt that Mark Bollender was a wise guy and he obviously didn't get along with Rabbi Eisen, after consulting with numerous advisors, he came to the conclusion that having Rabbi Kravitz represent him at any VAAD meeting to answer questions would be much better since he is a RAV and a mashgiach and they would give him the courtesy accordingly.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5. About whether monopoly leads to bad decisions

This monopoly has been put in place to "control" the community. "Big Brother is watching". We discussed it from the very beginning what would happen if the Bollenders took another Hashgacha. A lot of people on this blog said straight out if the Bollenders don't like what the VAAD is telling them, let them take another Hashgacha and others were explaining that they can't do it because the VAAD has a monopoly in place here. When asked what would happen if the VAAD pulled their hashgacha, the answer was clearly given right here on the blog, way before it happened, that if the VAAD pulled the hashgacha without any investigation on the part of the Rabbonim, every Rabbi in town would tell their Kehillos to boycott GG. Look it up in the earlier blogs. This is the definition of a MONOPOLY! and low and behold this is exactly what happened. Not one Rav bothered to go into the store and speak to the other party or witnesses before making their decisions. Monopoly signed and sealed.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But to infer that all these Rabbonim are evil, is just pathetic.


No one is infering that these Rabbonim are evil, however we are saying that when they formed the VAAD they made a decision to stick together no matter what and that is what they are doing. Monopoly! It doesn't matter if they are right or wrong, they didn't take all issues into account they only took the VAAD's issue of whether or not they would lose control if they backed down and the answer to that question was "YES they would". Therefore they banded together and decided that GG would be the Kaparoh in the story.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Flatbushrenegade:

If GG were to donate a truckload of food right now to Yad Yeshaya, would "YOUR RAV" allow Yad Yeshaya to accept it?

8:21 PM  
Anonymous talmid said...

Once again I urge anybody who is not sure whether the vaad considered every angle and has particular concerns to please speak to your Rav. I did and am very satisfied that this has been handled properly. In fact, off of this blog I haven't heard a single person criticize the vaad for this.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rabbis have failed to take into account the fact that our community has a very large number of lay people who are great talmidei chachomim who are not just going to roll over and play dead because the rabbis egos are out of control.
This is not Lakewood,Skver or Monroe.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did and am very satisfied that this has been handled properly. In fact, off of this blog I haven't heard a single person criticize the vaad for this.

A single person? Listen to conversations on the trains.

that when they formed the VAAD they made a decision to stick together no matter what and that is what they are doing.

Don't really believe that there is any debate that they will stick together.I think they would openly state that in so many words.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't read the names that signed the letter. Can someone please type the names-or is there a way to expand it. I printed out -but came out the same size.

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

, R Speiegl, and any Kaminetsky (except R Lefkowitz)??


Someone who I know and trust told me that Rabbi Lefkowitz stated in response to their question that they could buy at GG.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and decide that such an overwhelming majority of Rabbonim in the community, who are supported by such an overwhelming majority of the community,

May be true-but what not have elections to the Vaad by the Jewish community-lets say pay $100 or $180 a year become a member of the Vaad with annual meetings of membership who wouldelect a Board andOfficers each year.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous ConfusedNeighbor said...

I find it strange that the rabbanim unanimously decided to act this way. There are 2 possibilities for this: 1) GG committed an act so heinous that not a single rav could dissent; 2) Tremendous political pressure was put on the rabbanim to reach a unified conclsuion. I'm really having trouble understanding how every single rav could reach the same decision when R' Kravitz, with his good credentials, gives the store his approval.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous talmid said...

sorry - I sleep on the train. But in my shul I haven't heard a single bad word about the vaad (even when the rabbi is not around)

9:21 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

ConfusedNeighbor said...

I find it strange that the rabbanim unanimously decided to act this way.


I don't. I expected them to do just this as soon as I heard that GG had contracted a new Hechsher. The bottom line is that the owners of GG painted the vaad into a corner and left them with no choice but to withdraw certification. I am quite sure that the owners were not surprised at all by the Vaad's withdrawal. I trust that Vaad acted correctly and justly. Had they called for a boycott, I would have felt unconfortable with that - as I mentioned, I do not feel it within their purview. But to withdraw their certification as a group is perfectly understandable. Did you expect to have a hung jury on this? The Vaad either decides as a group one way or another.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous your conscience said...

What is the matter with a monopoly?
I happen to love the fact that anywhere you go in the Five Towns you can depend on the kashrus of any establishment. I didn't hear of any other store complaining about the VAAD, restaurants included. So why is this seen as a vendetta? This is like the kid who says ALL the teachers pick on her ONLY. If she is right, then what is she doing to create that atmosphere in ALL the classes? If she is wrong, why is that her perception? There should be unity of one VAAD for all. It's something we can all count on. If there were not, and there would be many hechsherim, then we WOULD BE LIKE BROOKLYN, which is what some of the most vicious posts are accusing the VAAD of being.

When you see the Woolmark label, you know you are getting 100% pure wool. When I see the teudah from the VAAD displayed in an establishment I know that I am getting the same quality.

Regarding the fact that a boycott was called; are we living in the boondocks? Is this the ONLY kosher establishment to shop in? As per the letter of the VAAD there were many instances of GG being warned and reprimanded for their practices (whatever they were). If I was warned that if I didn't shape up at work I would be fired, you can bet that I would ask what and where I needed to improve. I wouldn't just brush the criticism aside. Just like a parent does not like to punish their child but we do so to guide them into the right derech. It hurts us when we do it, but we do it nonetheless. The VAAD is the parent and they do what is necessary even though it hurts them as well as GG.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are R' Kravitz's credentials? Has any of the community Rabbonim bothered to check? Have they all ruled him as unreliable? If not, why can't we rely on his Hechsher?

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not saying this is exactly what happened, but this certainly makesfor a plausable explanation.

Rye doesn't like the owners of GG,and he kept looking for things top pick onthat he didn't look for in other stores. When he couldn't get the mashgichim he placed in GG to back him up he fired them (ex Rabbi Lerner)and put new ones in place.Ask the Vaad how many
Masgichim have worked for GG and why.When he found a thing to pick on he dragged Mark Bolender or sometimes Chaim Bolender to a meeting in front of the Rabbonim. After a while the Rabbonim got sick and tired of seeing Mark Bolender at these emergency meetings and they wondered why no other store owner was called in. It would seem like Bolender was blatantly not following the rules of the Vaad even though he had a answer for every issue that Rabbi Eisen brought up, they considered him a "mechutsif" and a wise guy. But they were still annoyed that they were being dragged down time after time to another meeting
involving GG.

This would explain why they write in their letter that they has serious halachic and contractual violations over time. They don't happen to write that he proved them wrong on all the issues &has meticulousdocumention on every meeting with the Vaad. The Rabbonim are only going by what RYE says and therefore they just banded together as they agreed to do when forming the Vaad to keep control of their Monopoly.

9:54 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

What are R' Kravitz's credentials? Has any of the community Rabbonim bothered to check? Have they all ruled him as unreliable? If not, why can't we rely on his Hechsher?


I think you're missing the point. When the Vaad withdrew its hechsher, they were not ruling on the reliability of Rabbi Kravitz's supervision. They were ruling on GG's actions.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mom of 4 read anon 954- this is the emes -let time go by and you will remember this post.

9:59 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

What are R' Kravitz's credentials? Has any of the community Rabbonim bothered to check? Have they all ruled him as unreliable? If not, why can't we rely on his Hechsher?


I'm sorry, anon, but I'm not inclined to believe that the Rabbonim who signed the letter that there were serious kashrut and contractual lapses by GG's owners did so because the owner was "a mechutsif". I'm not quite as cynical as you'd like me to be, apparently.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Romach said...

Orthomom,
Seems you beat me to posting the letter. As I mentioned in my most recent post, what I find troubling is that the vaad states that GG violated both halachic and contractual obligations.

But the only thing they mention, the only reasons they give in the letter, are those of a contractual nature (presumably the second hashgacha) but not the secular contractual ones.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your conscience said...
What is the matter with a monopoly?
I happen to love the fact that anywhere you go in the Five Towns you can depend on the kashrus of any establishment. I didn't hear of any other store complaining about the VAAD, restaurants included.

Have you spoken to the store owners? I have and many of them seem dissatisfied.One of the major complaints has been since RYE has come to town they can go for months without seeing him.Try calling Rabbi Eisen he will almost never answer the phone you have to leave a message and half the time he never calls back.The store owners are worried that RYE will pick them to be the next GG. If someone was to unite all the store owners and ask if they are happy with the current Vaad and specifically RYE without worrying about there parnasah you would hear the real story.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strange twist of history. About 20 years ago, Brach's in Queens lost the Vaad of Queens Hechsher, and hired a private local Rabbi, Rabbi Arielli, to give the hechsher. The Rabbonim said you couldn't buy at Brach's . But over the years most people came back to shop at the store. The Vaad of Queens gave the hechsher back a few years ago after they forced Sam Brach to sell the business to his daughter. Interesting how Brach's in 5Towns will benefit in the short run from the exact same situation that happened to his father.

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point is - is the store kosher or not? If this R' Kravitz is reliable, then there is no issue. So let's find out if he is reliable. And if he is, I can feel comfortable shopping there again and it will become apparent that it was not a matter of kashrus at all.

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

momof4 said...
ConfusedNeighbor said...

I find it strange that the rabbanim unanimously decided to act this way.

I don't. I expected them to do just this as soon as I heard that GG had contracted a new Hechsher. The bottom line is that the owners of GG painted the vaad into a corner
JUST THE OPPISITE ! THE VAAD GAVE THEM 4 MONTHS TO SELL THE STORE AND GET OUT OF TOWN.WHO PAINTED WHO INTO A CORNER ???

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do a google on Kravitz -quite impressive -overqualified for this job.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous your conscience said...

To Anon 9:54
When the kid that's picked on by EVERY teacher in school and they get in trouble, don't they always have an answer? Having an answer doesn't absolve you of wrongdoing. I remember GG pre-Rabbi Eisen. There were several instances when I saw something not quite right (I am being vague on purpose). I pointed it out to the management/owners and lo and behold the next time I came in to shop nothing was done to correct the situation. So don't put the blame on R' Eisen, things were not right before.

10:12 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

JUST THE OPPISITE ! THE VAAD GAVE THEM 4 MONTHS TO SELL THE STORE AND GET OUT OF TOWN.WHO PAINTED WHO INTO A CORNER ???

The Vaad gave them 4 months to sell the store IF they wanted to maintain the Vaad's hechsher. Gourmet Glatt obviously chose not to make that deal. That's perfectly fine, but then they must face the consequences of losing the hechsher of the Vaad.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May be true-but what not have elections to the Vaad by the Jewish community-lets say pay $100 or $180 a year become a member of the Vaad with annual meetings of membership who wouldelect a Board andOfficers each year.

The Vaad wants your money but thats all. They don't want to let the community have control.

10:13 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...


The Vaad wants your money but thats all. They don't want to let the community have control.


Um...do you really think that a Rabbinic body SHOULD give the community control? Sounds like a bad idea to me.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought The Vaad was created to make sure all stores have kosher supervision. i wasn't aware that they also can decide who can or can't maintain ownership.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Your conscience , Why dont you ask Pre Rabbi Eisen -Rabbi Chait what he thought about GG in fact his number is in the Staten Island phone book under Moshe Chait

10:18 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...


Anonymous said...

I thought The Vaad was created to make sure all stores have kosher supervision. i wasn't aware that they also can decide who can or can't maintain ownership.


If the Vaad feels the owner of a store is repeatedly subverting their ability to maintain proper supervision, then I do feel it is within their right to tell the owner, after repeated warning, that they can no longer maintain control of the store and have the Vaad's certification. Seems logical to me.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Rabbinic body should not give the community total control but at the sametime they shouldn't give total control to RYE. How often do all the Rabbi's go to Vaad meetings ? ask your rav over the last year how many meetings did they attend you will be surprised. The Rabbi's know very little about what goes on with the day to day operations of the Vaad. They couldn't even tell you how many hours a week RYE is in the five towns or should I should say how many times a month.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rabbis have failed to take into account the fact that our community has a very large number of lay people who are great talmidei chachomim who are not just going to roll over and play dead because the rabbis egos are out of control.
This is not Lakewood,Skver or Monroe.
9:05 PM

Actually, that's exactly what's going to happen. This will all calm down in a few weeks until the next "crisis" erupts and then more talk, talk, talk.

10:25 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

The Rabbinic body should not give the community total control but at the sametime they shouldn't give total control to RYE. How often do all the Rabbi's go to Vaad meetings ? ask your rav over the last year how many meetings did they attend you will be surprised. The Rabbi's know very little about what goes on with the day to day operations of the Vaad. They couldn't even tell you how many hours a week RYE is in the five towns or should I should say how many times a month.


I completely disagree. The very people who I trust to decide who is the right person to properly supervise my food are community Rabbanim. You hardly expect me to think a fellow community member with no credentials is in ANY position to make decisions about kashrut. The whole point of a Vaad is that if such a large group of community Rabbanim of all stripes can put their names behind a decision, the community can trust such a decision. I know I feel that way.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Comic Relief said...

To quote Justice Potter Stewart when he was asked about what falls into the category of pornography: "I know it when I see it".

You are obviously not very learned. They stole that line from Artscroll.

In his introduction to the English Chok Yisroel that is currently being rolled out, Nosson Scherman says about Shea Brander's graphics and design, "As was said in another context, I know it when I see it."

10:36 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...


You are obviously not very learned. They stole that line from Artscroll.


Yeah, well we all know that you're not learned unless you quote Artscroll.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Aryeh Lebowitz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous talmid said...

that people seem to be missing is that Rabbi Kravitz could have great credentials and really know his meat, but that doesn't mean that the hashgacha in this case is reliable. When certifying a store the mashgiach needs to be qualified, but the store owner must be trustworthy as well. The best mashgiach in the world cannot stop a dishonest storeowner from improprieties. If a respected hashgacha pulls their certification (or threatens to do so) due to problems with the owner, and a basic lack of trust for the owner, it is irresponsible for another hashgacha, no matter how knowledgeable to step into the situation without consulting with the previous hashgacha. Ask your local rabbi if any member of the vaad was contacted by Rabbi Kravitz in advance to find out what the issues are. I don't care how much he knows, I can't trust the hashgacha, as much as I may trust him.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why has the Vaad went into detail of contractual violations and not the "halachic ones". GG-Bolender should be asked to publish these on the web.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s a miracle that all the rabbis in town sign on this, in 15 years in this area I do not recall ever seeing that done before. The fact that there might be legal action is enough of a reason for the vaad not to air all their issues feelings publicly.
As far as I know none of the local rabbis are paid by the vaad, so it would seem that their motive here is simply to keep a high level of kasherus in the 5 towns.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The vaad must have lay people overseeing it.This has nothing to do with kashrut.There is a ton of money coming into the vaad.there must be lay oversight.

11:19 PM  
Blogger No Blind Faith said...

What are R' Kravitz's credentials? Has any of the community Rabbonim bothered to check? Have they all ruled him as unreliable? If not, why can't we rely on his Hechsher?

Actually his credentials are quite good, and we can rely on his hechsher

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't hear of any other store complaining about the VAAD

Well hen you didn't ask them, but I did and many of them aren't happy with RYE either.

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In fact, off of this blog I haven't heard a single person criticize the vaad for this.

GO TO SHUL!!!

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So don't put the blame on R' Eisen, things were not right before.

And I suppose that only happens in GG and not in the other stores in town, give me a break.

11:36 PM  
Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

"Anonymous said...
Try calling Rabbi Eisen he will almost never answer the phone you have to leave a message and half the time he never calls back"

Wow, is that ever a load of BS. I don't live in the 5t, however, about 15 years ago when I had a Kashrus question, someone directed me to R' Eisen Shlit"a. He gave me the specific details about the product I was inquiring about. Even though he was not the Rav Hamachshir on the product. He took the time to investigate it for me, a total stranger. Since then he has become my Kashrus Hot-line. There has yet to be an instance where he hasn't either picked up the phone himself, or returned my call within a reasonable amount of time. Anyone who says R' Eisen ignores phone calls is an out and out liar.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

flatbushrenegade:
assume the following. any anti RYE comments or anti-vaad comments are from the GG ownership.

11:39 PM  
Blogger No Blind Faith said...

The Vaad gave them 4 months to sell the store IF they wanted to maintain the Vaad's hechsher. Gourmet Glatt obviously chose not to make that deal. That's perfectly fine, but then they must face the consequences of losing the hechsher of the Vaad.

Lets try making some sense here, why would they care who gave the hechsher on the store if they didn't own it any more? There was no deal, because it was a lose/lose proposition. There was nothing to gain for them in the kind of deal the VAAD handed them they literally said "you are out of here one way or another, either by selling or by losing the hechser".

Am I the only one that can see straight?

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comic Relief said...
To quote Justice Potter Stewart when he was asked about what falls into the category of pornography: "I know it when I see it".

You are obviously not very learned. They stole that line from Artscroll.

In his introduction to the English Chok Yisroel that is currently being rolled out, Nosson Scherman says about Shea Brander's graphics and design, "As was said in another context, I know it when I see it."

10:36 PM


the first Art Scroll came out in 1976.A few Years before that in Con Law I learnt Stewarts famous line.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The vaad must have lay people overseeing it.This has nothing to do with kashrut.There is a ton of money coming into the vaad.there must be lay oversight.

i beleive there are lay people on the vaad as well

11:41 PM  
Blogger No Blind Faith said...

If a respected hashgacha pulls their certification (or threatens to do so) due to problems with the owner, and a basic lack of trust for the owner, it is irresponsible for another hashgacha, no matter how knowledgeable to step into the situation without consulting with the previous hashgacha. Ask your local rabbi if any member of the vaad was contacted by Rabbi Kravitz in advance to find out what the issues are. I don't care how much he knows, I can't trust the hashgacha, as much as I may trust him.

Maybe he didn't call Rabbi Eisen because he didn't trust him, maybe because he told him not to give a hechsher on Nathan's and he didn't listen to him, and look what happened there. Not everyone is so forgiving of RYE after the two incidents in Flatbush as our Rabbonim in the neighborhood who hired him to oversee our Kashrus.

11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the only person who seems to see things balanced is OM.

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

momof4 said...

The Vaad wants your money but thats all. They don't want to let the community have control.

Um...do you really think that a Rabbinic body SHOULD give the community control? Sounds like a bad idea to me.


The finances should be community control-true halachik issues are Rabbinic.

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"
Lets try making some sense here, why would they care who gave the hechsher on the store if they didn't own it any more? There was no deal, because it was a lose/lose proposition. There was nothing to gain for them in the kind of deal the VAAD handed them they literally said "you are out of here one way or another, either by selling or by losing the hechser"."

Don't you get it? The point is that the Bolenders couldnt stay managing the store and keep a vaad hechsher. you say the vaad gave them no choice, but that was the Bolenders own fault. they were the ones who gave the vaad no choice in the first place. Are you saying that the Vaad should have tolerated a lower standard just to be fair to your sense of right and wrong.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, is that ever a load of BS. I don't live in the 5t, however, about 15 years ago when I had a Kashrus question, someone directed me to R' Eisen Shlit"a. He gave me the specific details about the product I was inquiring about. Even though he was not the Rav Hamachshir on the product. He took the time to investigate it for me, a total stranger. Since then he has become my Kashrus Hot-line. There has yet to be an instance where he hasn't either picked up the phone himself, or returned my call within a reasonable amount of time. Anyone who says R' Eisen ignores phone calls is an out and out liar.


Well, well the truth is finally out, I didn't think you lived here but you felt it was your business to butt in and tell us all your opinion and teach us what to do. I am glad that RYE was able to answer your specific Kashrus questions and that he has been keeping you kosher all these years. I am sure that the two of you are great friends. I am also sure that you were a great comfort to him when he messed up at Nathans and Kosher Stop.

Now can you please butt out of the 5 Towns issues and let us figure this out for ourselves, we have enough problems with the outsiders we are already forced to deal with, we don't need your help, thank you very much!!!!!!!

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seem to remember that it was Marshall who said it but, in any event, please refrain from minimizing the important role pornography plays in society by analogizing the Supreme Court Justice's quote to the Rabbinic role in society on a going forward basis.

As OM said, we need civility in commenting.

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now can you please butt out of the 5 Towns issues and let us figure this out for ourselves, we have enough problems with the outsiders we are already forced to deal with, we don't need your help, thank you very much!!!!!!!"

How dare you. This comment thread is not just for locals.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um...do you really think that a Rabbinic body SHOULD give the community control? Sounds like a bad idea to me.


Ummmm, when exactly did the community give over control to the group of Rabbonim?

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stand corrected. It WAS Stewart, 1964 (thank G-d for Google). But my point still remains.

11:53 PM  
Blogger No Blind Faith said...

Don't you get it? The point is that the Bolenders couldnt stay managing the store and keep a vaad hechsher. you say the vaad gave them no choice, but that was the Bolenders own fault. they were the ones who gave the vaad no choice in the first place. Are you saying that the Vaad should have tolerated a lower standard just to be fair to your sense of right and wrong.

I'm saying prove that whatever was going on at GG wasn't also happening at Supersol and Brachs. What exactly is the lower standard you are talking about? What exactly were the halachic violations that they refused to correct. I highly doubt that they would have left the hechsher on for even a minute if they truly violated halachic issues.

11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How dare you. This comment thread is not just for locals.

The thread might not be but the issue is, and we have enough discussion going on here trying to figure out for ourselves where we each stand and what we each need to do without Flatbush friend of Eisen preaching from the pulpit!

11:58 PM  
Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

"Anonymous said...
Ummmm, when exactly did the community give over control to the group of Rabbonim?"

When each kehilla accepted thier Rav, they agreed to subjugate themselves to that rav's authority.

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You back again?

12:02 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Flatbush Renegade stays. He has been nothing but respectful, and has brought some interesting perspective to the discussion - and I say that having been criticized by him. And if you persist in making these comments, yours will be the ones deleted.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes ma'am, mom

12:15 AM  
Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

Anonymous said...
"Well, well the truth is finally out, I didn't think you lived here"

Wow professor, the name didn't give it away? With your powers of deduction, Your wasting your time blogging, you should be working for the CIA.

" I am sure that the two of you are great friends."

Um, actually we're not, I wouldn't even know what he looked like, as I have never met the man, only spoken to him via telephone.

"Now can you please butt out of the 5 Towns issues and let us figure this out for ourselves, we have enough problems with the outsiders we are already forced to deal with, we don't need your help, thank you very much!!!!!!!"

Sure, I'll butt out, just as soon as the hostess asks me to. Unlike the troll you are, I comment under a handle, which the blog administartor has the option of blocking whenever she wishes.

OM, Please if you feel my outsiders view is unwelcome, by all means, let me know, you won't even have to block me, I'll stop commenting on my own.

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When each kehilla accepted thier Rav, they agreed to subjugate themselves to that rav's authority.

Well not quite, in many kehillas the Rav is hired and when the kehillas don't like the Rav, they find a new one.

12:16 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

yes ma'am, mom


:)

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So far no one has answered the question about the KEYS. Did the VAAD give the keys back to GG?

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well what about Rabbi Pincus, did the VAAD pull him out of GG?

12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

So far no one has answered the question about the KEYS. Did the VAAD give the keys back to GG?"

Thats because no one knows what the heck you are talking about. those of us who arent in GG's upper management dont know aboiut this stuff I guess.

12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Flatbush what are they saying about us in your neck of the woods?

12:22 AM  
Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

"Well not quite, in many kehillas the Rav is hired and when the kehillas don't like the Rav, they find a new one."

Fine, if he is removed from his post (and there are reams of teshuvot in the latter achronim with regards to exactly how this may be done). BUT as long as the Rav remains Rav, his congregants are subject to his authority.

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OM, deleting inappropriate posts at last.....isn't Teshuvah a wonderful thing?

I see we have many arrogant bigmouths who seem to know everything about our religion. May I suggest sometihng.... go to say, Rabbi Brown, R' blumenkrantz or R' Feitman or wait for R' Billet to come to town in a few weeks (just to give you some broad options) and sit down, one on one, and ask your questions, question their authority (to issue a boycott) and spell out your disenchantments. One word of advice though.......be prepared to be humbled beyond your wildest imagination.
Do you have any idea who you are dealing with??? You folks can't hold a candle to their character, mesiras nefesh for this community and certainly not their torah knowledge.

Why don't you stop typing and speak with them?!

12:31 AM  
Blogger flatbushrenegade said...

"Anonymous said...
So Flatbush what are they saying about us in your neck of the woods?"

I have not heard one word about this controversy in my neck of the woods. I go to three different shuls each day, and, unfortunately, spend way too much time hocking, and noone has mentioned anything about GG's, 5t, or Rabbi Eisen Shlt"a.

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

or wait for R' Billet to come to town in a few weeks

What are you saying R' Billet is not in town? How could he have signed the letter if he isn't here?

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look, we can debate this till the cows come home but the truth is those of us who wish to shop at GG will continue to do so no matter what is said here, and probably no matter what their Rabbonim said under the circumstance, and those who choose to boycott will do so.

Personally I feel that loyal customers who go to the other stores because of the put upon boycott will go back very quickly to GG because they are used to better quality, more sanitary and cleaner conditions, and just plain a bigger and nicer place to shop.

So time will tell if GG will sink or float. My Rav did not sign the letter nor did he declare a boycott, so I am not in the same position as many of you. I told my kids, it is their choice whether they choose to eat in my house or not. THANK YOU VAAD FOR DIVIDING MY FAMILY!! Their Rav is behind the boycott! I will not leave my favorite stote to satisfy the VAAD's games especially after I spoke to the VAAD's mashgichim in the store. I am satisfied with the new Hechsher and I am dissappointed that the rabbonim did not conduct a proper investigation into the allegations against the Bollenders.

So this is the choice that I made and each of you are going to have to take all the information that was forced on you, decipher it and see what you come up with.

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" I am satisfied with the new Hechsher and I am dissappointed that the rabbonim did not conduct a proper investigation into the allegations against the Bollenders."

How do your purport to know whether the rabbonim conducted a proper investigation?

Have you ever heard of a hechsher declaring all of its findings and sharnig proof of a store's kashrus offenses before removing its hechsher. In the history of hechsherim in the US, I don't think you can find a single instance where a vaad hakashrus disclosed evidence of a store's wrongdoing, so the public could second-guess their decision. The purpose of a vaad is to throw their weight around in the interest of the community. If you don't belive in a vaad hakashrus, then you can go out any buy any product with a "K" and rely on the company's kosher convictions.

1:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of the Rabbonim that signed the letter asked the VAAD's mashgichim what they saw happening in the store. The witnesses to the facts were never questioned.

So please stop trying to twist my words and twist my meanings to make me sound like I don't believe in "a vaad hakashrus" on that I would rely on just any hechsher. You don't know me, and you don't know that I am super makpid. You also don't know that I checked out Rabbi Kravitz and that I did speak to the Mashgichim from the store as soon as all this broke out.

Don't go start judging me because I said I was dissappointed by the way the Rabbonim handled this mess, and don't judge my Kashrus standards, your a fool if you think you know anything about me or my standards which are extremely high, and so are those of Rabbi Kravitz who has and maintains a Top Notch reputation.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The purpose of a vaad is to throw their weight around in the interest of the community

Actually, the purpose of a VAAD is to supervise the Kashrus in a food store and not throw their weight around anywhere. That doesn't serve the interest of the community that just causes conflict as we see here in this community.

1:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who ever heard of a vaad proving to the general public that they gving a store owner the beenfit of the doubt? This is issue is between the vaad and the store and the vaad and the store owners all know exactly what the issues are.

And what does Rabbi Kravitz's reputation have to do with the credibility of the store owners? Absolutely nothing. And by walking into a time bomb like he did, Rabbi Kravitz certainly isn't doing much good for his own reputation.

There are two categories of consumers here - those who understand the purpose of a vaad and respect their decisionmaking, and those yentas who have grown so attached to the store that they don't want to hear or think about what the vaad said (and will rationalize the store owners' actions until the cows come home). I may not know what your kashrus standards are, but by the way you discard the dictate of your rabbonim, it's pretty obvious that you fall into the yenta category.

1:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actually, the purpose of a VAAD is to supervise the Kashrus in a food store and not throw their weight around anywhere. That doesn't serve the interest of the community that just causes conflict as we see here in this community."

If you consider it a notable conflict when 40 rabbonim do something that is resented by 3 owners of a store and few of their customers...

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the use of all this debate anyway? The few bloggers here will never be able to dig the bolenders out of this rut. If they were smart, they'd stop spinning tales and come clean. (the again, I can't wait to see what kind of spin they put in the paper this week.)

2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

117 comments is 11 hours, is that a record??

7:18 AM  
Anonymous S said...

this isn't the only O-community with more than a singular kasharus(t) agency. Even Crown Heights has numerous ones. CHK even gives it's greenlight to the Israeli guy on Central Ave near the defunct steak house- It's ok guys...you can go where you wanna go, eat where you wanna eat but don't forget about the shiduch prospects for your 9 year old

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Comic Relief said...

the first Art Scroll came out in 1976.A few Years before that in Con Law I learnt Stewarts [sic] famous line.

On the one hand I can't believe you are a lawyer b/c you don't have the intelligence to comprehend a simple joke.

OTOH, I can't believe you are anything but a lawyer b/c only a lawyer can be so literal and anal retentive.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Rabbonim are really so insistent on community support to one vaad in our town, then why if you ask them if you can go to a bar mitzvah at Sephardic Temple (Rabbi Croizer, a solo), Temple Beth K'El (Rabbi Crooizer and Kof-K) and I do not know the other conservative temples in the neighborhood and their hasgachos, but they all say yes. Rabbi Slansky a fine erlicha Jew has been doing samll catering jobs in Woodmere at Sons of Israel for over 20 years and no-one trashes him. Many caterers who come into our shuls before the shuls came up with the exclusive tie in deals with Chap A nosh did not have a Vaad of FT. I do not see the Rabbis getting together and signing a letter to tell anyone to stop sending their pre-schoolers to Tmeple Israel and Temple Sons of Israel where they are feed and there is no Vaad supervision. Am I too cynical to think that people would just ignore them or do't they care. I live in Lawrence and a few years ago vhery hard working askan in the neighborhood made a Bar Mitzvah meal on Shabbos in Temple Israel and all of the Rabbis I like and still respect had no problem walking into the Temple Israel with Streimels and black hats soley because Mr. Askan is a heavy hitter in town. What bothers me is the double standard. I think the community rabbis are most angry about the fact that GG would so obviously take a stand agaisnt them. But please if the Vaad is the only true source of food in our community then tell everyon in a community wide letter to stop eating at the local catered afairs when they don't have the Vaad. Since they profess to be concerned about OUR kasherus why have they been silent for 20 years on these other issues? Reb Moshe has two p'sakin agaisnt doing business via renting from Reform temples but this has occurred for years and the local families have never been warned about this problem. Please do not tell because Mrs So and So is frum and she runs the pre-school we should fee good. Kasheruth is not for the layman and not for a pre-school Moreh. Also I love this anon jazz because I have daughters and don't want to get creamed by shadchaninm

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Vaad gave them 4 months to sell the store IF they wanted to maintain the Vaad's hechsher. Gourmet Glatt obviously chose not to make that deal. That's perfectly fine, but then they must face the consequences of losing the hechsher of the Vaad.

Lets try making some sense here, why would they care who gave the hechsher on the store if they didn't own it any more? There was no deal, because it was a lose/lose proposition. There was nothing to gain for them in the kind of deal the VAAD handed them they literally said "you are out of here one way or another, either by selling or by losing the hechser".

Am I the only one that can see straight?

No, you are not the only one who sees this straight. When a business is given an ultimatim, shouldn't they have the right to try and stay in business? If this was your husband (and your family's parnusha) what would you do? Should GG have asked "permission" of the Vaad, that is telling them they have four months to remain in business,to take on another Hechser? Really, bloggers, does this make any sense to you? GG asking permission?? As if the Vaad would have said.." sure,Tatelahs, go get another hashgacha" We, as a community, have to see the whole picture, which, to my mind, still has not been presented by the Vaad.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is your family being split apart? Did your children's Rabbi say that they can't eat food in someone else's house without asking where it's from and that if they find out it came from GG after last Friday then they can't eat it?

That would be news to me.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Your conscience said...

To Anon 12:52
You said: I told my kids, it is their choice whether they choose to eat in my house or not. THANK YOU VAAD FOR DIVIDING MY FAMILY!! Their Rav is behind the boycott! I will not leave my favorite stote to satisfy the VAAD's games especially after I spoke to the VAAD's mashgichim in the store.

You are blaming the VAAD for dividing your family? You will not leave your favorite store even if it means that your kids won't eat in your home? That is like a second impending marriage when one says pick me or your kids, one of us has got to go - and you pick the betrothed!! is thicker than water, the saying goes. Pick your kids, not a store!!

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happend to Derech Eretz?
and respecting your parents?

What are these rabbis teaching their people?

This is a Busha beyond understanding!!!

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Your conscience said...

To Anon 10:20
Derech Eretz? Respecting your parents? Where is your DERECH ERETZ for the VAAD HARABONIM? Doesn't the Torah say that a Rebbe is like a father? Have derech eretz for your Rabbonim and your children will have DE for you. Also, as far as your kids listening to you about kashrus; if they feel that your home is not kosher enough for them how can you expect them to eat there? Derech eretz has nothing to do with it, halacha does!

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like we are back to "my hat is blacker than yours" again.

How about we put up a big wall to really divide the community? Oh wait, we already live in a ghetto.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Not a Posek said...

Doesn't the Torah say that a Rebbe is like a father?

No. Not explicitly and not in the way that you mean.

But the Torah does say Kabed es aveecha v'es eemecha l'maan yaarichun yamecha. In fact, it's part of the aseres hadibros.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is that so?

this community looks worse than Hollywood?

these are Rabbis?

Rabbis what's up with Tznius?
Isn't that Halachic?

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. Not explicitly and not in the way that you mean.

But the Torah does say Kabed es aveecha v'es eemecha l'maan yaarichun yamecha. In fact, it's part of the aseres hadibros.

10:41 AM

This is 100% true!

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Fox said...

As a Chicagoan, I don't have a dog in this fight, but I do agree that mentioning the second hechscher in the letter was probably a mistake. Halachic problems are enough to yank their approval; they shouldn't have "over-egged the pudding" by mentioning the second hechscher.

The CRC (Chicago Rabbinic Council) is obviously the primary hechscher in my area, and they supervise a large number of nationally-distributed products. However, there have always been individual stores here that sought an additional hechscher in order to appeal to a specific segment of the community. The CRC isn't happy, of course, but they understand that different kehillas may want their own rav's supervision, as well.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those people probably call it the CrC.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chicagoan,

There's a difference between getting a second hecsher that is more acceptable or appeals to a different consumer base, and getting a hechsher as a way around the first one's strictures.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about getting a 2nd one in anticipation of losing the 1st one due to a threat??

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If that was the idea, then they would have been a little more open with the vaad.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the following email sent 11/1/06 to YIW membership, Rabbi Billet advises:

The Vaad Hakashrut of the Five Towns has removed its certification from Gourmet Glatt as of the close of business on Friday afternoon , October 27th.Products bought in Gourmet Glatt until then have the reliable certification of the Vaad Hakashrut and consumers can rely on any product purchased up to that time . The Vaad had valid reasons- all in the best interest of the Kosher consumer who wants impeccable Kashrut standards- for taking this action. I can no longer recommend or rely on the Kashrut standards at that establishment I fully support the decision and support the Vaad as the sole authorized communal Kashrut organization for the Five Towns/Far Rockaway area.
Many people have raised questions about the new Bagel Boss in town. It is not under the supervision of the Vaad . The Vaad supervises every store in the neighborhood under its jurisdiction on a daily basis. We have three Vaad supervised Bagel stores in the Five Towns which are strategically spread apart and very reliably Kosher. I strongly urge you to support the concept of community Kashrut (one high standard for all Kosher establishments) and to patronize Vaad supervised stores for your Kosher shopping.
Rabbi Hershel Billet

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Your conscience said...

But the Torah does say Kabed es aveecha v'es eemecha l'maan yaarichun yamecha. In fact, it's part of the aseres hadibros

I will respond by telling you of an incident when I was a teenager. A Lubavitch man was handing out candlesticks and stopped me. He asked if I light candles for Shabbos. I said "No, I don't but my mother does. I had asked my father and he told me that is not our minhag." He responded by asking "If your father told you to turn on the lights on Shabbos would you listen?" So, if your father asks you to eat something which you do not consider kosher, is it a lack of derech eretz to disobey?

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may not know what your kashrus standards are, but by the way you discard the dictate of your rabbonim, it's pretty obvious that you fall into the yenta category.


Actually, you are the "YENTA" here because if you weren't looking to stir up trouble and just foist your opinion on me and the others reading your post, you would have politely recognized that I said my Rav did not sign the letter, and did not approve the boycot.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who ever heard of a vaad proving to the general public that they gving a store owner the beenfit of the doubt?

It wasn't the VAAD who should have given the the store owners the benefit of the doubt, but the Rabbonim possibly should have "Dan the Kaf Zchus" before forcing the sale and backing everyone into a corner they couldn't crawl out of. The position taken that they can't stay NO MATTER WHAT left them with no options. They would either lose the store or lose the hechser, so they were going to lose in either case. If you were faced with losing your business what actions would you take?

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And by walking into a time bomb like he did, Rabbi Kravitz certainly isn't doing much good for his own reputation.


On the contrary, there was no KASHRUS issue in the store. He came in checked out the store made some changes of his own and now they are following his rules which might be even more stringent than that of the VAAD. For one thing he IS PRESENT AT THE SCENE, which RYE wasn't and he has a well seasoned mashgiach there too. So why would you saying anything so foolish as to even imply anything or anyone would attempt to defame Rabbi Kravitz. Not one Rav in this community would say one bad word against this ehrlich yid. And I am sure that they would assur you and anyone else from doing so.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you consider it a notable conflict when 40 rabbonim do something that is resented by 3 owners of a store and few of their customers...


I beg to differ, It is more than a "few" customers. And if and when this plays itself out in court and the actual documents are given into evidence, and the VAAD mashgichim are called to testify, and the whole truth whatever it may be comes out, then we will see if it is a notable conflict or not. For one thing whoever wishes to attend the hearing, and I for one will be there, can go. It would be impossible for the VAAD to ask for a closed hearing since this whole scenario was played out in the public sector and Mr. Novack would be a fool to agree to have it in a closed session.

If in fact the witnesses bear testimony to the fact that Eisen was biased against GG and that is why they were pulled from the store one after the other, then the Rabbonim will have new information that they didn't have before, because they hadn't spoken to any of the witnesses. In addition the community will have information that they hadn't heard before and that is testimony given in a court of law by VAAD mashgichim who were present. That is Frum Yiddin who were placed at the scene by the VAAD, who are disagreeing with RYE. The Rabbonim were not at the scene and can not bear witness, the mashgichim are "eidim".

What happens then? If a whole new story comes out in court with documentation and testimony from eyewitnesses. What will the community think and feel about boycotting this store, and about the VAAD trying to force this family out of business because of a "personal conflict" between RYE and the family?

That is all I am asking. I have nothing against the Rabbonim in this community. I respect the Rabbonim in this community, however, I have a problem with the fact that no one spoke to the eye witnesses, the "eidem" to get a full account of what was going on. And my common sense and my yiddish heart still tells me that when an agency gives you notice that they are pulling out, you get another agency to take their place. That is not breaking the "contract".

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the use of all this debate anyway? The few bloggers here will never be able to dig the bolenders out of this rut. If they were smart, they'd stop spinning tales and come clean. (the again, I can't wait to see what kind of spin they put in the paper this week.)

Why are you such a cynic? If you can't wait, why are you such a chicken, what you afraid of? Go into the store like a Mench and ask them whatever it is you want to know. You want to see their file on the VAAD, they will show it to you. You want to ask Rabbi Pinchus what was going on, you can talk to him. Stop speculating and hiding behind your keyboard!

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't read every post so I apologize if this is repetitive


just to comment on how this second hashgacha came to be . The vaad unfortunately had so many problems with this particular store over the years that they finally had to say enough. so instead of creating all kinds of immediate drama by pulling the hashgacha and leaving that store with nothing, they said that the vaad will fulfill the current teudah but will not renew it. This gave the owners a chance to sell it perhaps or to figure out their situation. Bringing in a 2nd hashgacha was only a problem because they did it while the vaad was still there which you can't have according to the contract, hence the "contractual" violation. if they had brought the other hashgacha the day after the teudah expired, the rabbis opinion of the store and their stance wouldn't change but there would have been no "contractual" violation,you would have just had a statement from the rabbi's saying that the vaad no longer supervises this store and that they agree with the vaad's decision.

in terms of what they did or didn't do to warrant not being renewed:

people have to understand that kashrus is about nemanus (believability) that the store owner will act in an ethical and moral manner. it has as much to do with shechita as it does with how you are as a business person. the situation mentioned above about GG trying to pass off meat from one hechsher as another should have you very concerned. If they are willing to do that to make a sale then where does that slope end. You can't say for sure that a monsey situation would happen down the road , but you can't say you'd be shocked if it did. remember about that case, it was done by design and on purpose, it wasn't an innocent mistake.

These store owners were the problem not the vaad

If, for example, you had heard that the dept of health had come in and found them guilty of certain unethical behavior ( i.e. injecting meat with red dye to make it seem fresher or playing with expiration dates, or issues with cleanliness)
you would be leery of going in there once it re-opened if the same owners were there, figuring that if it's the same owners it could happen again. A new hashgacha should give you the same pause.

You don't know that over time this new individual hashgacha won't have the same issues with them. Please don't tell me that "if there was a problem with the store, this individual wouldn't have taken the job" we all know that at the beginning of any relationship it's filled with optimism and positive hopes. In a year or so then this new rabbi will have a better sense of what the real deal is.

as a side point, it's amazing how involved people want to be in the process when it undoes what they are used to doing . people have no problem eating in the stores that the vaad allows, nobody seems concerned what the standards are when the vaad says yes. we all say "sounds good" and we're in. Then, rabbis are believable. When you eat chametz post pesach, no one cries out to see the person who the chametz was sold to and questions whether this is being done correctly, we only complain about the one store we can't go to for a week and lament how "machmir" this rav is getting.
We all carry on shabbos without any real research as to what leniencies are in place to allow the creation of a community eruv, then the rabbi's judgement is credible. It just seems a little inconsistent, that's all

I enjoy a good debate but it seems like there is such anger laced into these posts that one has to stop and be honest with oneself as to why they are so up in arms . is it because they are such beacons of halchick truth that they can't bear to see injustice or is it perhaps because they don't like the idea of rabbis telling them how to live their life and if a situation comes up where they can vent on that issue they will.

I cannot say that there are no political games in the whole world of kashrus. what I can say is that in this case, in this community, I feel the right thing is being done and it's being done with achdus from the rabbonim and the benefit of the doubt should fall with the vaad not against it.

thanks so much for the chance to post.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is your family being split apart? Did your children's Rabbi say that they can't eat food in someone else's house without asking where it's from and that if they find out it came from GG after last Friday then they can't eat it?

That would be news to me.

Well ask your Rabbis how far they mean to go with the Boycott? Ask them if your parents buy from GG, does that mean you can't eat there and see what they say. My kids said they won't eat by me, and I said that was their choice! Fools they be!

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon 10:20
Derech Eretz? Respecting your parents? Where is your DERECH ERETZ for the VAAD HARABONIM? Doesn't the Torah say that a Rebbe is like a father? Have derech eretz for your Rabbonim and your children will have DE for you. Also, as far as your kids listening to you about kashrus; if they feel that your home is not kosher enough for them how can you expect them to eat there? Derech eretz has nothing to do with it, halacha does!

If you recall this wasn't a matter of "KASHRUS" remember, everything you bought till now is fine, you don't have to kasher your pots. And my Rav didn't call for a boycott, nor did he sign the letter. By the way, the letter does not call for a boycott it just says that the hechsher was removed.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a difference between getting a second hecsher that is more acceptable or appeals to a different consumer base, and getting a hechsher as a way around the first one's strictures.

It wasn't around the "first one's strictures" the first one gave notice that they were pulling out!

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If that was the idea, then they would have been a little more open with the vaad.

Are you kidding me? The VAAD made themselves "the enemy" they took away the Keys from the owner, they told them to get out of town, they tried to force them to sell the store, and told them in no uncertain terms that they were pulling the hechser, GOOD BYE.

What did you expect them to do give them the deed to the store? Tell them their game plan, do you have any business sense at all?

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the following email sent 11/1/06 to YIW membership, Rabbi Billet advises:

It looks like Rabbi Billet did not call for a boycott, that's generous of him and interesting. It is also interesting that one blogger had mentioned that he was out of town yet his signature appeared on the VAAD letter. How did that happen?

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If your father told you to turn on the lights on Shabbos would you listen?" So, if your father asks you to eat something which you do not consider kosher, is it a lack of derech eretz to disobey?


That man was a fool, follow my thought process.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your kids made the decision not to eat by you, but did the RAbbi tell them to do that? Maybe you should have them speak to their Rabbi and clarify whether he meant to be so stringent. I think the Rabbi would quickly consent.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't believe everything you read. Rabbi Billet is in town.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't believe everything you read. Rabbi Billet is in town.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"in terms of what they did or didn't do to warrant not being renewed:

people have to understand that kashrus is about nemanus (believability) that the store owner will act in an ethical and moral manner. it has as much to do with shechita as it does with how you are as a business person. the situation mentioned above about GG trying to pass off meat from one hechsher as another should have you very concerned. If they are willing to do that to make a sale then where does that slope end. You can't say for sure that a monsey situation would happen down the road , but you can't say you'd be shocked if it did. remember about that case, it was done by design and on purpose, it wasn't an innocent mistake."

This was not proven, because neither the chicken, the customer, nor the receipt was produced to prove that the item in question was actually purchased from GG.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proven to the satisfaction of you, me, the store owner or the vaad?

If you rely on the vaad for anything, you're accepting their judgement for face value. If you have more trust in bolender than in the vaad, then you shouldn't be purchasing any prepared food in the neighborhood, other than from gourmet glatt

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bringing in a 2nd hashgacha was only a problem because they did it while the vaad was still there which you can't have according to the contract, hence the "contractual" violation. if they had brought the other hashgacha the day after the teudah expired, the rabbis opinion of the store and their stance wouldn't change but there would have been no "contractual" violation,you would have just had a statement from the rabbi's saying that the vaad no longer supervises this store and that they agree with the vaad's decision."

Since they were left with no choice but to bring in a second hechsher they had to do it in a way for the consumers to build trust in the new hechsher. THEY WERE LEFT WITH NO CHOICE, by the VAAD so in essence the VAAD forced them into whatever contractual difficulties that developed.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... certainly not grounds for a breach of contract suit against the vaad

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These store owners were the problem not the vaad


That statement in itself is debatable and is your own individual opinion. In my own humble opinion, I would think that if the store owners where in fact the problem, the OU would never have conducted a Kashrus class in their meat department which was coverd worldwide by the Jewish Press.

And in addition, once again, if the Store Owners were the problem, why would the VAAD not only conduct Kashrus classes in the store, but also send other mashgichim to this particular store for training. Your concept is full of holes and doesn't hold water. sorry!

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your kids made the decision not to eat by you, but did the RAbbi tell them to do that? Maybe you should have them speak to their Rabbi and clarify whether he meant to be so stringent. I think the Rabbi would quickly consent.

That would be interesting to find out, wouldn't that be hypocrital then? Also no one answered the question that someone posted about Yad Yeshaya. Would they be allowed to accept food from GG?

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Since they were left with no choice but to bring in a second hechsher they had to do it in a way for the consumers to build trust in the new hechsher. THEY WERE LEFT WITH NO CHOICE, by the VAAD so in essence the VAAD forced them into whatever contractual difficulties that developed."

bringing it in a few months before does not really build up trust. you either trust it based on it's past history and credentials or you don't. i don't believe having it there for a few months makes a big difference. they could have just as easily used one of their ads to announce that when the vaad leaves in a few months that there will be no lapse in supervision b/c of this new person who people would either trust or not.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you rely on the vaad for anything, you're accepting their judgement for face value. If you have more trust in bolender than in the vaad, then you shouldn't be purchasing any prepared food in the neighborhood, other than from gourmet glatt


Why is that, did you just become my boss?

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

certainly not grounds for a breach of contract suit against the vaad

How about defamation of charachter, and loss of business?

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bringing it in a few months before does not really build up trust. you either trust it based on it's past history and credentials or you don't. i don't believe having it there for a few months makes a big difference. they could have just as easily used one of their ads to announce that when the vaad leaves in a few months that there will be no lapse in supervision b/c of this new person who people would either trust or not.


Not really it gave whoever wanted to an opportunity not only to do research on him, but also to meet him and his mashgiach in person and speak to him about the store and if he found anything wrong with it, and also about his background and what he planned to do in the store. Also by coming in to speak with him, it gave people an opportunity to speak to Rabbi Pincus, the VAAD mashgiach.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you rely on the vaad for anything, you're accepting their judgement for face value. If you have more trust in bolender than in the vaad, then you shouldn't be purchasing any prepared food in the neighborhood, other than from gourmet glatt


Why is that, did you just become my boss?"


I don't know who your boss is, but in the area of kashrus, G-d is my boss.

Regardless, trusting the vaad only when its conveninient for you (and ranking them out at other times) is somewhat hypocritical. If the vaad is of such poor charachter, you shouldn't be eating out in this neighborhood.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the problem with GG is that every decision they make is driven purely by business.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regardless, trusting the vaad only when its conveninient for you (and ranking them out at other times) is somewhat hypocritical. If the vaad is of such poor charachter, you shouldn't be eating out in this neighborhood.

Well firstly Hashem is my one and only boss as well. And it is foolish of you to assume that I trust the VAAD only when it is convenient for me. I actually talk to mashgichim, I actually check labels, I actually do more than rely on the sticker pasted on the window of the establishments!

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the problem with GG is that every decision they make is driven purely by business.

That is a ridiculous comment since you don't reside in their hearts or minds, but if you are a businessman what drives and motivates you?

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I agree just because the VAAD has a sticker on the window doesn't mean that I trust or use everything in the store.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the VAAD allow triangle K, or Torah K products in the stores? How come they don't send out Kashrus notices to the neighborhood. What was the talk about the Hawain punch are you allowed to use the big bottles or the small bottle or the cans?

Just because they don't give a hechsher to an establishment doesn't mean they shouldn't make us aware when a product isn't kosher or under a reliable hechsher.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, i meant Tablet K, what about the kosher bakery items at Stop and Shop, I heard that wasn't a reliable hechsher and I won't use it. Does anyone use it. Do the Rabbonim tell their Kehillas not to buy any fresh bakery items from Stop and Shop?

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why should the vaad tell anyone not to buy baked goods at Stop & Shop? They don't certify them.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct they don't certify them, but they are supposed to be in charge of the kashrush in the community and even if they themselves under the heading of the "VAAD" don't put out a proclomation to be careful what you buy at this store, the Rabbonim of the community, considering the boycott they issued on a Jewish Kosher store, should at least warn the community about an unreliable hechsher or a hechsher that the VAAD or the Rabbonim don't approve of.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone please answer my question about Yad Yeshaya, maybe OM, can you check this out?

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kashrus organizations are generally careful not to publicly pass judgement on other hechsherim (for good legal reasons).

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can understand that, what about the Rabbonim individually to their own Kehillas?

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Individual rabbonim have the same concerns about making public statements about hechsherim, but I don't know of any rabbonim who wouldn't generally respond when asked for their opinion about a particular hechsher.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read the VAAD notice and Rabbi Billets notice. Do they mean that i can not buy ordinary grocery items at GG?? I buy them at key food so why not at GG? Is if an issue og Morrris (you you know maris eyan)?

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Victimized Rabbis said...
"No Blind Faith:

Why the sudden concern over the parnassah of Rabbi Pincus? The Vaad has a history of stripping other (my apologies to these "others" for the use - and associated implication - of the word "other") Rabbonim from their Parnasa.

Case in Point:

RABBI MOSHE CHAIT

I have seen his name mentioned numerous times on these blogs, yet very few people seem to direct much attention to this Man. Rabbi Chait was thrown out on the street when RYE came to town and has not generated parnassah since that time. And not for lack of trying either. It is a real disgrace for this entire community that we can go back and forth with all this blog-mudslinging, yet not focus some energy on a REAL LIFE issue:

Let's ensure that both Rabbi Chait and Rabbi Pincus gain employment as a matter of top priority. Especially for those who support the Vaad and its actions, stop paying lip service to yourselves, and at least correct the collateral damage they have done to innocent Rabbonim who can no longer support their families. And for those concerned for the Bolenders parnasa, please show some concern for Rabbis Chait and Pincus. Even according to you, they too are victims.

So who's going to be the first to offer some constructive ideas to help an unemployed Rabbi find a job? First, the Rabbi without a job for five years. Then, but equally as important, the GG Mashgiach. Please show us all that this is not merely a game for everyone and that all of us are willing to stand up and doing something within our control."

What a great post i think its about time we put this blog to some good use.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When each kehilla accepted thier Rav, they agreed to subjugate themselves to that rav's authority.

The schul as an entity agrees to accept the Rav's Halachik judgement-mot the individuals-I believe many ask sheilas of their Rosh Yeshiva not the local synagogue Rav.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I suggest sometihng.... go to say, Rabbi Brown, R' blumenkrantz or R' Feitman or wait for R' Billet to come to town in a few weeks (just to give you some broad options) and sit down, one on one, and ask your questions, question their authority (to issue a boycott) and spell out your disenchantments. One word of advice though.......be prepared to be humbled beyond your wildest imagination.
Do you have any idea who you are dealing with??? You folks can't hold a candle to their character, mesiras nefesh for this community and certainly not their torah knowledge

All good people but don't exaggerate=their primary skill is not necessarily superb Torah knowledge-they are all at least adequate-the skill necessary to be a good pulpit Rav is political-thus for example both Rabbis Billet and Hain were Presidents of Student Councils at YU.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I definitely agree about trying to secure a job for both Rabbi Chait and Rabbi Pincus, does anyone want to address this question to their Rabbi?

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found out that Brach's, Chosen Island, Wok Tov, Sharmel's, Chap a Nosh, among others all have hashgacha from Rabbi Reisman but since they don't advertise it, it is not considered a breach of contract.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I just found out that Brach's, Chosen Island, Wok Tov, Sharmel's, Chap a Nosh, among others all have hashgacha from Rabbi Reisman but since they don't advertise it, it is not considered a breach of contract.


Please. You are way off. R reisman does not ever give local hashgacha. he takes no money for a list he calls his "recommended list". He only gived hashgachas out of the 5T and FR.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have Rabbi Chait's phone number? I would like to ask him some questions and see if he had any difficulties with GG. Since I am a loyal customer and GG claims that RYE is biased against them, and I believe Rabbi Pincus and Rabbi Ashkenazy, I would feel more secure hearing from Rabbi Chait.

I just spoke to yet another community member who is sticking up for the VAAD, the same VAAD that fired Rabbi Chait and who also told me that one Rabbi told him that obviously GG is in the wrong because the file on GG is "this" thick while no other file on any other business comes close.

I figure that instead of debating with all of you here, who are yelling at me that I must listen to the VAAD and their psak, because GG is trying to "bust" the VAAD to kingdom come, I should actually just check with Rabbi Chait and see if he concurs with the current VAAD's finding or if he did not have the same issues with GG when he was in charge. This will settle the issue in my mind whether GG is being picked on or not.

So can anyone out there please help me out and get me Rabbi Chait's number?

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please. You are way off. R reisman does not ever give local hashgacha. he takes no money for a list he calls his "recommended list". He only gived hashgachas out of the 5T and FR.


That's not what I heard. I was told that if you call those stores they will tell you straight out that they have Rabbi Reisman's Hashgacha! Try it!

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 7:52

I guess you don't have any idea who the other above mentioned Rabbonim are!!

R' Brown's primary skill is not superb torah knowledge? Are you crazy? And R' Blumenkrantz is just adequate?

Like I said before you run off with your mouth....have a little sit down with them. Idiot.

8:52 PM  
Blogger LI Reader said...

To repeat a request made by someone else earlier -- would someone PLEASE print the names (and affiliations) of the rabbis who signed the Vaad's letter.

Thanks!

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Moshe Chait I believe lives in Staten Island.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can call it what you want, but I just went in to one of the restaurants and asked point blank if they are under Rabbi Reisman's Hashgacha and they proudly said YES. I asked if he comes in at times to check and they said "YES", I asked if he charges and they said "NO".

So he offers free Hashgacha, but it is still Hashgacha and it is separate from the VAAD, and it is a second Hashgacha that certain stores have to please certain customers that won't use them if they didn't have it.

They follow Rabbi Reisman's rules and edicts, they change things or get rid of products that don't meet his criteria. Now that is a second Hashgacha outside of the VAAD's and that is breaking the contract as well.

I would like the opinion of any attorneys out there. Does it matter if you do this quietly or if you do this publicly? Is this breaking the rules of the contract or not? Is it publicly if you appear on Rabbi Reisman's monthly list?

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Moshe Chait I believe lives in Staten Island.

I tried looking it up on the internet and didn't find it listed.

But I am so drained from all of this, and I feel that if Rabbi Chait says that GG gave him as much trouble as the VAAD claims he has been giving them, then I will just give in and shop in Brooklyn.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about why I am fighting and debating so hard here. It is not that I have anything against any of the Rabbonim in town. It is because you are so viciously accusing, assuming, pretending that you know, spreading L"H, spouting halacha or what you believe is halacha, telling me what I should or shouldn't do, believing you know my kashrus level, telling me to move out of town, telling me where I should shop or not, telling me where I should eat or not, telling me who I trust, telling me who I respect, telling me who I should trust, telling me who I should respect, the chutzpah, abrasiveness, level of hypocricy, and the way everyone assumes that they either know it all or can figure it out, is just SOOOOOOOOOOOOO frustrating that it just draws me or many of us in to the debate to just ANSWER BACK and prove you wrong.

You just refuse to allow anyone with any intelligence or brain to come to their own conclusion whether that is to listen to the VAAD, or the Rabbonim or their common sense or whatever, without you shoving your opinion or your will down our throats. That is the problem here.

EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OWN OPINION!!! and the fact that you just keep spouting more and more what we should and shouldn't do, just keeps us coming back to argue with you why we shouldn't.

We are all well aware of which shuls we belong to and what each of our Rabbonim have said in those shuls. We each know how to interpret what was said and if we don't we know how to ask a question, so we don't have to be told by any of the more forceful of you bloggers what to do and how we should go about doing it.

If you have some real information that is valid and that you know first hand and is not hearsay I would love to know it, otherwise I for one, would appreciate not hearing anymore L"H, or spreading anymore information that you heard from "someone" or from "a reliable source". No more sources please. Unless you read something posted from the VAAD, or heard something directly from the Bolenders, RYE, RK, the VAAD Mashgiach, basically any witnesses or players, it isn't shayach, it is only making things worse.

So we know that the VAAD has their agenda and GG has theirs and we are all the pawns caught in the middle. So some of us are going to be white pawns and some of us are going to be black pawns. Someone is going to win the battle and someone is going to lose, but in the end WE the community will be the biggest losers, because where we once was a community of live and let live, we became a L"H mongers, and spreaders of evil and viciousness. We haves said horrendous and horrible things about Yiddin whether they are Rabbonim or just plain ordinary Jews, and we are all going to have to give a din v'cheshbon for it, because although we may be anon here on the blog, Hashem knows everything we say, think and do.

So where do we go from here?

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Victimized Rabbis said...

Absolutely fascinating that the one commenter on this blog who expressed some interest in contacting Rabbi Chait, only did so to dig up info on GG dating back more than five years, and not to offer assistance in the Rabbi’s unsuccessful job search.

I don't mean to minimize Kashrus issues - every Mitzvah and every Issur is important - but if Monsey is willing to call for Kinus gatherings and Tehillim groups to atone for the unintentional consumption of non-Kosher meat, then every single person in this community should be obligated to perform “Kriah” (tearing, not reading) on the lack of Parnasa endured by Rabbi Chait for the last five years (not to mention Rabbi Pincus) at the hands of the Vaad.

How absolutely pathetic. As one Rov recently wrote to me via e-mail in a different (but similar) context, this is precisely “the type of element that destroys our children...and much more with their stature and incredible twisting of Torah... stand up to the “Daas Torah,” present the Torah’s views and explain that the present “Torah” is wrong and treife.”

I think everyone needs to start using “treife” in the proper context. As compared to the other pressing issues which are being ignored by Rabbinic leadership in our community and other frum communities, this Vaad/GG scandal – as it relates to halachic standards - is as Kosher as Rabbi Reisman's saliva.

I am ashamed. Very, very ashamed.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I would like the opinion of any attorneys out there. Does it matter if you do this quietly or if you do this publicly? Is this breaking the rules of the contract or not? Is it publicly if you appear on Rabbi Reisman's monthly list?"

How would an attorney be able to answer this without having seen the contract?

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How would an attorney be able to answer this without having seen the contract

Well the reason being stated by the VAAD for pulling the Hechsher at this time was that they took on another Hechsher which is against the stipulations of the contract. Having said that publicly and using that for the basis of pulling the Hashgacha before the February 1, deadline, I am asking in fact if other stores who have Rabbi Reisman's hashgacha or not in fact also violating that same stipulation.

And even if they weren't violating the "letter of the law" if you will it would certainly seem that they are violating the same "spirit of the law" but it is looked away because A. it is Rabbi Reisman and B. it is not GG.

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. How would an attorney know the answer to that without seeing the contract?

2. Who cares? We know there were plenty of issues aside from the contractual story.

1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long time member of AILI (R. Reisman), I am deeply disturbed by what I have been reading these last few weeks.
A few facts
1. Rabbi Reisman IS NOT a member of the Vaad
2. Rabbi Reisman's list, is,was, and always wil be RECOMENDATIONS, and nothing else.
3. Rabbi Reisman has never approached a store owner to give hic recommendations. Store owners MUST call and invite him in. That means THEY WANT HIM. They enjoy the increased volume (ask Chosen & Wok Tov how much their business increased).
4. Rabbi Reisman DOES NOT GET A PENNY for this. He does it as a SERVICE FOR HIS KEHILLA, and his Kehilla only. He says this over and over again, in PUBLIC. If people did not want to listen to him, why does the Agudah have over 360 FAMILIES?. Why is the shul open from 4:00 AM to after midnight, EVERY NIGHT? No one is forced to listen to his recommendations, whether they daven at the Agudah or not. We even give aliyos to members that do not only follow the list! (ha,, ha)
5. Rabbi Reisman is a frum erliche yid, who does everything L'shem Shamayim. Just beacause he is "TOO FRUM" for some of the 5T, doesn't mean he isn't right. In fact, if it bothers you, then he probably is right. Because as frum Jews we are supposed to follow Daas Torah, whether we like it or not. You cannot pick or choose which halachot you will keep, or which ones you will try to find a way around. Kashrus is just anoher one of those things, like no mixed swimming,tznius, etc.
This and all the other posts are supposed to be about GG, and nothing else.

4:34 AM  
Blogger LI Reader said...

Okay; if no one wants to type out each name on the Vaad letter, is there at least some place on the web where we can see it at a large enough size so the names are readable?

Orthomom?

5:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4. Rabbi Reisman DOES NOT GET A PENNY for this. He does it as a SERVICE FOR HIS KEHILLA, and his Kehilla only.

Do the store owners pay for this service? If so, to whom?

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Names:

R Bender - Darchai
R Billet - Yiw
R Blumenkrantz
R Blumenstein - YI Hewlett
R Brafman - Yeshiva of FR
R Bressler HILI MB
R Brown AI of West Law
Rabbi Chill YIFR
R Feifer AI Bayswater
R Feitman Bais Yehuda Tzvi
R Feuer YIWB
R Flaum - White Shul
R Frost - (Cant read)
R Frankel - AI 5T
R Ginzburg CCTC
R Greenberg - Co Bais Avroham
R Hain
R Halpern Shor Yoshuv
R Horowitz - Bostnoner
R Israeli (cant read)
R Katzenstein - YG 5T
R Lefkowitz - Anchai Chesed
R Leibowitz - ?? North Woodmere
R maryles - YINW
R Richmond - Baos Tefillah
R Rosner - Ephraim Yizchok
R Rubin - Kehillas Jacob
R Shapiro - Or Torah
R Titelbaum YILC
R Topp YIW
R S Wienberg (cant read)
R D Weinberger - Sharry
R M Weinberger - Aish Kodesh
R Wolowick - chabad
R Y Eisen - VAAD

7:49 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...


Anonymous said...

4. Rabbi Reisman DOES NOT GET A PENNY for this. He does it as a SERVICE FOR HIS KEHILLA, and his Kehilla only.

Do the store owners pay for this service? If so, to whom?


I have actually done some research on this question since it has come up so many times here. According to the information I have received, Rabbi Reisman provides a Hasgacha is Brooklyn. He refuses to provide any sort of paid Hasgacha locally. His list is solely a list of stores that are recommended for his congregation to eat at (i.e., a scrupulous standard of kashrut). Everyone I contacted about this was was extremely firm on the matter - Rabbi Reisman does this solely for his own Kehilla, and does not take a penny for this.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RABBI REISMANS LIST IS IN NO WAY OR FORM A HASGACHA. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT. HIS HASHGACHA DOES NOT VIOLATE ANY CONTRACTS BECAUSE HE DOESNT PROVIDE ANYONE CERTIFICATION. END OF DISCUSSION.

8:28 AM  

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