[Avodah] "everything was kosher"

Prof. Levine llevine at stevens.edu
Fri Mar 29 07:14:31 PDT 2013

At 05:41 AM 3/29/2013, R. Micha wrote:
>On Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 02:27:06PM -0400, Prof. Levine wrote:
>> Did they really *think* that everything was kosher and investigate or
>> simply use things without looking into the kashrus of what they were
>> using?  Did they rely upon Rav Alle,  "Alle essen dos" and not go any
>> further?  My understanding is that food technology today is much more
>> complicated than it was in the past,  but this does not mean that there
>> were no problems in the past.

> Didn't we discuss this in Fall 2011 in the thread you started titled
> "Halachic Policy Guidelines of the Kashrus Authority of Australia"?

> There is a reason why more countries (albeit far fewer observant Jews)
> rely on kashrus approval lists rather than full hekhsheirim. It's not
> ignorance.

In the past, and by this I mean 60 or 70 years ago, to the best of my
knowledge there were no lists generated by rabbinical organizations as
there are today. Thus, what I am talking about is not at all equivalent
to relying on kashrus approval lists. There were none to the best of
my knowledge in the "bad olds days." People used products based on I do
not know what basis.

BTW, I now remember that the pudding I was talking about that the
Rebbetzin told me was OK was My T Fine chocolate pudding. She insisted
the other flavors were not kosher. How she came to this conclusion I
do not know. And as I said, the same person gave supervision on all
of the flavors and he was not relied upon by most Orthodox people then.

At 05:41 AM 3/29/2013, Zev Sero wrote:
>On 28/03/2013 2:27 PM, Prof. Levine wrote:
>> Years ago a rebbitzen told me that only the chocolate flavor of a certain
>> brand of pudding was kosher,  despite the fact that the other flavors
>> manufactured by this company also had a K on it.  This seemed strange to
>> me,  so I wrote to the company.  They sent me information about the rabbi
>> who was behind the K.  This rabbi's supervisions were not considered
>> reliable by most observant Jews.  I wrote to him and asked him detailed
>> questions about the kashrus of the puddings he supervised.  His reply was,
>> "All of the flavors may be considered acceptable."  He supplied no specifics
>> regarding his basis for this statement and did not answer one of my
>> questions.
>> Based on this, I decided that the rebbitzen really did not have any basis
>> for saying the only the chocolate flavor was OK.

> The facts as you have presented them are insufficient to support that
> conclusion.  You presumed that the rebbetzin, or her informant (or his
> informant, etc.), could not have had information that you didn't.

After I did my investigation I contacted this rebbetzin and told her 
what I had found out.  She was taken aback and said she stop using 
the chocolate flavor pudding and that no one should use and of the 
puddings manufactured by this company,  since the person giving the 
hechsher was not reliable.

She clearly did not have the information that I had after I investigated.


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