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5 Tishrei 5760 - September 15, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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HaRav Chaim Kanievsky: "Prefer Food Products with the Hechsher of Shearis Yisroel."

by B. Rabinovitz

HaRav Chaim Kanievsky has requested that we choose food products bearing the kashrus seal of the badatz of Shearis Yisroel over those with other hechsherim. We are also instructed to ask store owners to stock food with this high quality hechsher, since no other hechsher can compare in quality with Shearis Yisroel. These remarks were made in response to questions from avreichim in the Negev regarding the "bread affair," which recently erupted in the chareidi communities and Torah and educational institutions in the South of Israel.

The bnei Torah community in the South, headed by the local roshei yeshiva and rabbonim, were deeply shocked by the libelous campaign led by Jerusalem's Angel Bakery for the purpose of undermining confidence in the special kashrus procedures employed by the badatz of Shearis Yisroel.

Shearis Yisroel was founded by maranan verabonon the gedolei haTorah and poskim, headed by Maran HaRav Eliezer Menachem Shach shlita. The bnei Torah community of the Negev was shocked by these charges.

Kashrus supervisors of Shearis in the south said that their statements were libelous, and attributed them to ulterior motives. They said that the purpose of the libel was to create a situation in which the parties would not have to comply with the request of roshei yeshiva in the Negev who asked Angel Bakery not to undermine the kashrus supervision of the bnei Torah community.

In the wake of the appeal of Negev roshei yeshiva -- HaRav Yissochor Meir, HaRav Chaim Kamil, HaRav Aviezer Piltz, and HaRav Y. Horowitz -- prominent avreichim in conjunction with the ALShI organization have been supplying all Torah educational institutions in the Negev as well as stores in chareidi neighborhoods with bread from the Margalit Bakery, which has the hechsher of Shearis. Their efforts have been successful until now.

However, some stores did not comply with the avreichim's requests to carry that bread. As a result, a number of avreichim turned to HaRav Chaim Kanievsky and asked him how to proceed. They asked whether the avreichim should demand that the stores also bring bread with a Shearis Yisroel hechsher or they can suffice with the other bread that also has a well-established mehadrin hechsher. He replied that they certainly should get the Shearis-supervised products.

They then said that certain avreichim did not know how to respond to avreichim who say the gedolei Yisroel have not issued instructions to prefer the hechsher of Shearis Yisroel. To this, HaRav Kanievsky replied: "Maran HaRav Shach, shlita issued such instructions a long time ago. In addition, the hechsher of Shearis is far more stringent than others, and there is no comparison between our hechsher and others."

He said this in a clear, resolute manner, telling the avreichim who inquired that they should prefer food products with the hechsher hamehudar of Shearis Yisroel. HaRav Kanievsky also explicitly gave his consent to the publication of these remarks in Yated Ne'eman.

It should be noted that on previous occasions, letters strengthening the Shearis kashrus network have been issued by Maran HaRav Eliezer Menachem Shach and Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv. Also, HaRav Aharon Leib Steinman, HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky and HaRav Pinchos Scheinberg have issued letters on this issue.

In their letter, maranan verabonon state, "The Shearis Yisroel organization, headed by HaRav Chaim Shaul Karelitz and its auxiliary kashrus committee, is doing outstanding work, and in a manner which maranan verabonon highly commend. It is needless to say that kashrus is one of the areas which requires strengthening, because many aspects of Torah are dependent upon it."

At the end of the letter, maranan verabonon call upon the bnei Torah community and its institutions to rally to the support of Shearis Yisroel and to be partners in its superior kashrus network. HaRav Reuven Yosef Gershonowitz, zt"l, wrote that he requests that "everyone sanctify himself and eat food products only bearing the hechsher hamehudar of Shearis."

Heads of ALShI (Avreichim Lema'an Shearis Yisroel) have decided to launch a country wide explanatory campaign in order to apprise those who are stringent in kashrus observance of the zechus and obligation to purchase food products bearing the Shearis kashrus supervision. In the campaign, they will enumerate various problems in food products lacking the Shearis hechsher.

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