[Avodah] Hechsheirim and issues other than kashrus

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Thu Jul 29 12:37:42 PDT 2021

On an Areivim thread about Ben & Jerry's and the Kof-K, on Wed, Jul 28
at 5:44 IDT, Simon Montagu wrote:
>                                              I believe that kashrut
> supervision organizations should limit themselves to supervising kashrut
> and not attempt to police other policies of food companies not connected to
> the food. To do otherwise is a dangerous slippery slope at the end of which
> I can imagine it a mashgiah saying "If you want a hechsher you have to vote
> Yahadut Hatorah."

While one has to be careful what the cause is, I think a hekhsher can NOT
simply limit themselves to the food.

They are still mechuyavim in lifnei iver and mesayeia liydei overei

I am not claiming that I can find a black-letter issur in supporting a
company that pulls out of the "Occupied Palestinian Territories" [sic].
But RSM made a general statement about "attempt[ing] to police other
policies of food companies not connected to the food."

There are famous past cases. Like the glatt yacht, which offered kosher
food and mixed dancing while you traveled down the Hudson River. Or
the place in Queens that offered belly dancers as entertainment. Both
situations where the hashgachah was pulled.

So, is a machgiach likely to run afowl of

Rav Moshe (IM YD 1:71) permits a caterer to host a wedding with mixed
dancing because: It's not lifnei iver, because they would otherwise go
elsewhere -- your agreement is not a necessary condition for the sin.
(IOQ, it's not shenei ivrei nahar.) It's not even mesayeia, because the
rabbanan didn't prohibit aiding meizidim. Nor did they prohibit making
available something that is primarily used for heter, that might also be
used otherwise. And the primary function of the wedding hall is providing
dinner. (I could question that.)

Based on the IM, R Aaron Levine (Moral Issues in the Marketplace and
Jewish Life, pp 49-59), in his discussion of "Glatt Boat" [sic], would
allow continuing to give a hekhsher to the boat.

(H/T R Gil Student)

Seems that while there may be exceptions, these two issurim aren't likely
going to force a hekhsher to take an issue unrelated to the food into
account. But it's not impossible. CYLOR, but then, if you're making
decisions for a hekhsher, that might involve a mirror.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 One doesn't learn mussar to be a tzaddik,
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   but to become a tzaddik.
Author: Widen Your Tent                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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