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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Why The OU-Yisroel Belsky & Star K-Moshe Heinneman Are Blasting The Shit Out Of Each Other

Kosher craze sweeping U.S.

Major food manufacturers, grocery chains compete for 9 billion dollar kosher market; analysts say market for kosher products growing at 15 percent per year

Associated Press


UOJ comments at the end of this article

When U.S. supermarket giant Albertsons hired Yaakov Yarmove more than three years ago, the company found a point man to navigate what might seem like an unlikely market for a grocery chain with stores in places like Cheyenne, Wyo., and Evanston, Ill.: kosher food.

Albertsons, one of America's largest grocery chains, has since dramatically expanded kosher aisles at hundreds of its supermarkets across the country.

The company has also launched more than two dozen kosher destination stores that include everything from bakeries to delis.

"There's a kosher awakening," said Yarmove, an observant Jew who is Albertson's corporate kosher, marketing and operations manager.

"Kosher was perceived as scary and foreign. Now it's perceived as chic. I think everybody is realizing that there is an opportunity," he added.

Bringing matzah to church

The Idaho-based Albertsons is just one of many companies around the country competing to get a lucrative slice of an approximately USD9 billion kosher industry that is growing at a rate of 15 percent a year.

Experts say the boom is being fueled by several factors, including vegetarians and younger customers looking for healthier and safer food – the same demographic that has helped the organic market take off. Plenty of these customers are not Jewish.

"When I take the matzahs to the church, they love it," said Ursula Torres, of Manhattan, who was buying 100 percent wheat matzos recently at Streit's, a Jewish landmark on New York's Lower East Side.

Marcia Mogelonsky, a senior research analyst with Mintel International Group, a Chicago-based consulting firm, recently completed a nationwide study in April that produced some surprising results about the kosher craze.


She found 55 percent of the people who buy kosher products believed the food was better for them – almost double the number in a similar study Mogelonsky conducted in 2003.

"They trust the kosher symbol like they'd trust the Good Housekeeping seal," she said.

Part of the trust, Mogelonsky said, is derived from how the animals are raised. There is a popularly-held myth that Jewish law forbids the use of antibiotics, additives, hormones or feeding animal byproducts to animals raised for kosher slaughter. But Jewish law has no such regulations.

Jewish for 'good food'
Manischewitz, one of the best-known kosher food companies in the world, is developing an advertising campaign that says their name is "Jewish for good food."

Hebrew National, a division of ConAgra Foods, has always touted that famous tagline found on its packages: "We answer to a higher authority." But over the summer, the company decided to move the "Finest Kosher Quality" seal to a more prominent spot on certain product packaging.

Lou Nieto, president of packaged meats at ConAgra, said two things are driving the double-digit growth at Hebrew National, which recently opened a new state-of-the-art kosher facility in Michigan.

"First and foremost is taste but number two is that it's 100 percent kosher beef – nothing artificial," said Nieto, who oversees the Hebrew National brand.

He added that sales were being bolstered by non-Jewish customers, who devour the company's popular hot dogs at hundreds of venues across the United Stat

To meet demand, the industry has undergone radical changes, recognizing that kosher food is more than matzo, gefilte fish and borscht.

The transformation was on display last month in New York at Kosherfest 2005, a convention that drew more than 6,100 retail and foodservice buyers, manufacturers and distributors from 36 countries.

"Anything that can be made kosher, is being made kosher," said Menachem Lubinsky, who founded Kosherfest. "Even the Chinese are going kosher."

Kosher dumpling wrappers – no problem. Asian sesame ginger noodle and Thai chili sauce? They got it. Italian kosher. It's in abundance. Penne rigate, lasagna, angel hair, and all enriched with soy protein. There is also a kosher energy drink called "Kabbalah."

And it seemed like almost everyone was selling humous, creating a war of the chick pea. If any one food is leading the kosher charge, it might be humous.

One of the biggest humous makers is Sabra Go Mediterranean, produced by Blue & White Food Products in New York.

"Today, all the hippies buy this stuff," said Nissim Ohana, who distributes Sabra products and has been selling kosher food for 20 years in the United States. "Humous has become a very hot item.

At Streit's, the venerable New York company is adapting to the changing environment, producing Mediterranean, Spelt and five-grain matzos, along with spreads like sundried tomato morsels.

"Chains carry it," said Alan Adler, director of operations at Streit's, which has been making matzos since 1925. "Our products are on the shelf year round. We are having trouble baking enough matzos."

In two decades, Ohana, an Israeli, has seen the number of Brooklyn stores purchasing his kosher food rise from 16 to more than 200.

"Five years ago, it wouldn't have sold," said Frank Widdi of Met Foodmarkets in Brooklyn. Widdi, a Palestinian, now has two separate refrigerators with humous, including one for Sabra which he gets from Ohana.

A Palestinian selling kosher humous?

"Business is business," Ohana says.



Rabbis Rule Romaine Lettuce Off Limits to Kosher Consumers

Kosher Today-New York


A cross-section of Orthodox rabbis ruled last week that “it is forbidden” to eat romaine lettuce and several other packaged vegetables, including Spring Mix and Baby Spinach, because of insect infestation. The 30 rabbis, however, noted that “this prohibition does not apply to iceberg lettuce, cabbage or greenhouse vegetables provided they are under a reliable, expert hashgacha.” According to several rabbis reached by Kosher Today, a key target of the edict published in many Jewish newspapers was Fresh Express, whose certifying rabbis have since withdrawn their certification. A spokesman for the Orthodox Union said that while the US grown romaine lettuce was off limits, it approved the romaine lettuce grown in hothouses by Alei Katif, which after having being evicted from the Gaza Strip was said to have resumed production in Israel’s Negev Desert. The letter by the rabbis singled out pre-washed romaine lettuce, romaine hearts, romaine mixes (European, Italian, Greener Selection) and Fresh Leafy Salads (such as Spring Mix and Baby Spinach).

The letter noted: “It is unfortunately our duty to inform you that insect infestation was found in most packages, regardless of the company or the supervising authority…Caterers, restaurants and stores that offer these products are guilty of offering food that is forbidden by Torah law.”

UOJ comments

The OU lead by Yisroel Belsky was on the attack. The Star-K, Moshe Heinneman's organization was permitting it.
As we can see from the numbers, "Kosher" is a multi-billion dollar business.

Moshe Heinneman was relying on a p'sak "he said" was told to him by Rabbi Aron Kotler z"l. UOJ called the Kotler & Schwartzman families and none of them knew of this psak by RAK, which would permit eating lettuce that normally had bug infestation in excess of ten percent of the time checked; providing that a particular batch of lettuce was checked and found bug free.
In other words, Heinnemann claims RAK told him you can go by a particular batch; if there is less than ten percent of bugs found, you may eat them.
The OU and gang, say you go by the type of vegetable, if generally there are bugs, you must clean them all or throw them out.

I called Heinneman and asked him the following.

1-When did RAK tell you about this p'sak?
2-How old were you at the time of the p'sak?
3-Why would you have asked this shaila, if the shaila of bugs in Romaine lettuce was on no one's radar screen in the early sixties?( thinking he had asked him in the sixties)

Moshe Heinneman is 67 years old, RAK was niftar in 1962. Assuming Heinneman asked him the shaila that "no one knows about" in 1962, that would put Heinneman at 24 years old. The problem is Heinneman said he asked RAK this shaila the year he came to Lakewood, when he was 18 years old. Counting backwards, this would be circa 1956.
Who in the world was thinking about bugs in lettuce in 1956?????
The whole bug "epidemic" is maybe ten years old!!!

The OU is losing market share to Heinneman, they seem way to eager to do him in.
Heinneman's p'sak from RAK sounds really questionable to me at best, and a friggin lie at worst.
When money is involved everything is possible.

Tell me what you think!

39 Comments:

Anonymous sechel said...

I'll stick to iceberg lettuce.no bugs.But the whole thing can make you 'buggy.'

Monday, December 19, 2005 7:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Boog said...

Heineman is the only Kashrus supervisor I know that has a Birchas Ha'esek hanging on his office wall! Enough said!

His end-around of Chaimovitz and pushing him out of the Midwest Schechita plant a few years ago and giving it's control over to the goyishe owner! who called all the shots regarding production and then installed heineman as the big cahuna is well known and documented among all of the Kashrus Supervisory organizations, but none of them uttered a peep.

You want Scandal, there is ah scandal. How many Frum Yidden are eating treife meat from that plant that has heine's hechsher on it? And you're talking to us about buggy water, lettuce, and Indian Hair sheitlach?

Where the hell are you? Belsky? Reisman? Scheinerman of kehila kashrus?, OU? OK? You guys sure as hell know the scoop with heine, why don't you speak up? This guy is all about the gelt. What are you guys afraid of?

Monday, December 19, 2005 9:25:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Boog,

OK I know what you think, calm down.
Hey, Gross, we need to get Hatzoloh standing by at Boog's place, I'm starting to worry about him.
This blog is not for the faint of heart.

Monday, December 19, 2005 9:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Boog said...

OU;

I'm OK now that I've taken a few sips of madonna kabbalah water.

Do check out the Heine Hechsher story on meat from that mid-west plant.

Monday, December 19, 2005 9:45:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Boog,

You are good, got me to laugh after a miserable day at the office.
I will look into it, give me some leads....

Monday, December 19, 2005 9:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bug off

Monday, December 19, 2005 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous seeker said...

Hasgacha organizations should be all non for profit for the sole benefit of the Jewish community.The masgichim should be given a good salary for their time and effort. There is nothing wrong with a Rav making a decent salary. However, nobody can handle the amounts of money being thrown around.Not for profit is key to this dillema.Its not a race to see which hasgacha can get the most food products signed up. Its about providing kosher food. Its easy today due to technology,almost anything can be kosher today. Animal by products are thing of the past.I can't understand why rav Heneman needs to bring a Pasak from Rak. Isn't he a posek himself?
Solve the problem the old fashioned way,namely bring sources from the Shulchan aruch to back up your Posak. Since when did Rak replace the shulchan aruch. Will the real Poskim stand up?If you have an opinion, prove it from the relevant sources like old fashioned Poskim.Its all in the shuchan aruch! Whats the problem.
Are you a posek or not?Rommaine lettuce has always been a problem with bugs. On pasach i only use the stalks which i was told is bug free.A posek that i respect is Rav Abadi. He poskens the way he sees fit. I wonder what he thinks about this whole dillema?He was a close student of Rak, he probably knew him better than any Kotler today.Kasrut and hugh amounts of money never mixed well. All hasgachas should be not for profit lesham shamayim.Its plain crazy.Does anyone agree with me?

Monday, December 19, 2005 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Seeker,
You make some valid points, but kashrus involves much more than animal by-products like the issur of bosor v'chalav...and is very difficult to rely on anyone, even so-called frum people when big money is involved.

That's why R' Yitzchok is dead broke, and was figuratively kicked out of Lakewood, he never let anything or anyone influence his opinion other than the emes.

Need to get some sleep, more tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 12:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Star-K has an interesting twist to kashrus. You can fool all the people all the time.

The OU for a little while didn't accept any Star-K ingredients, after a while the top eschelons in the kashrus division said enough is enough "Kovod Hatorah" & $$$$$.

The OU & the others know that the Star-K's Hashgochas at Foremost, Far East CHINA etc are all a farce and they don't stop using it in toto "they are guilty" not the Star-K.
They falsly believe that they can't legaly bar the Stra-K's certified ingredients- "if you can't rely on it's kosher standards-you can't accept it"
Who's on the take?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 4:32:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

EVERYONE!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 4:46:00 PM  
Anonymous yaakov said...

I'm looking forward to the time when actual ham will be kosher.

Don't worry, it will have a metal tag certifying it as kosher.

Courtesy of a "Gadol Hador".

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 5:26:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

Sins of Commission and Omission...heinenman and all of the other kashrus organizations that are complicit in this incredible cover-up.

Kashrus-Gate.

yaakov...you are already eating "ham" if you're eating any meat that has the Star-K hasgocho on it.

These same rabbi's of the Brooklyn-Boro Park Kashrus organizations that get their kapotes twisted into a bangle over bugsy Romaine lettuce, Indian wigs, and the Flatbush Eruv, all the while letting one of their own get away with this incredible Machate Es Harabim.

More to follow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 5:36:00 PM  
Anonymous baalbatish said...

Heineman had a heschsher on Levitt meat in Montreal. Levitt was a mechallel Shabbes. Levitt's meat was not eaten by 99% of the frum crowd. Frum people outside of Montreal were eating Levitt's based on Heinneman's hechsher. He only came once to Montreal to check the plant.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 8:59:00 PM  
Anonymous HB said...

I was unaware to the extent Heinneman's hashgocha is worthless.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 9:11:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

The OU is guilty of misleading the public on the necessity of needing hechsherim on non-edibles such as laundry detergent.....
They have led the way in an anything goes policy; as long as a company is willing to pay for something, we're going to sell it to them.
They created this monkey, and now it's on all of our backs.
For shame.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 9:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets not get carried away with all these accusations. Because its written here does not mean its 100% true.Please lets use a little sense.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 9:17:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon,9:17,
What part of the writings are you disputing?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 9:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im disputing what baalbatish said, and hb response.Because baalabatish
said it doesn't mean its true, and
hb doesn't have to take it as if its from har sinai as such.I do agree as to what seeker said above.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 9:26:00 PM  
Anonymous seeker said...

The public should support a very fine kollel in israel run by Harav Yitzchak Abadi.Here is a posek not afraid to posken how he sees fit.
A close student of Rabbi aaron Kotler,Zl.He is a rav that learns, teaches and poskens for Klal Yisrael.We need poskim that know how to posken.Practical halacha is Rav abadi area of expertise.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 9:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does your wife's pussy need a hechsher?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 10:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Boog said...

It is really incredible that no one has had the guts to blow the whistle on little heinee-man, until these few postings on the UOJ blog. The story on how he screwed Chaimowitz and turned that plant into a treif meat factory has been pushed under the rug by all of the Kashrus agencies.

Mention this topic and heineeman's involvement to Reisman, Scheinerman and other Kashrus Machers and a glazed look comes over their faces. But Reisman holds court every Saturday night with his Navi Shiur, smugly lecturing his audience to discern right from wrong in the Paths of the Prophets and Scheinerman never misses an opportunity to find a bug crawling on your lettuce leaf and screaming his hatred for those Apikorsim that want to build an Eruv in Flatbush and shouts about the Kefira being spread by the Y.U. Rabbi's.

You fake, phony, Shmucks! Here before you and shoulder-to-shoulder with you is a heinne-man Star-K giving out hashgochos which aren't worth shit and transgressing the Lifnei EEvare, BIG TIME!! Who knows how many people have eaten meat with his Star-K hashgocho on it and might as well have gone to McDonalds.

How many of your congregants have eaten and are eating, right now, Star-K, heinee-man hashgocho-meat?

Do you know? DO YOU CARE?

I doubt it. I know you sleep well, Keser Torah Sweet Princes.

Shomanto, Oveeso, Koseeso, Va'Yeetosh...finish the posuk, guys.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 10:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Ziggy Popponstopper said...

I don't get it. Why is Heinneman's supervision being blasted? Who says it is treif and what is the evidence?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 11:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Sephardic Husband said...

anon-10-12,
all meat need a hecksher if you intend to eat it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

If you are able to give money to a chashuva rov, and a real posek, Rav Yitzchok Abadi is a wonderful choice.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 11:39:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Boog,

Hatzoloh is on the way!(:

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous lakewood mivah raid said...

Gissy is the man!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If your wife's pussy needs a hecksher, that raises another interesting issue: if she has a Yeast infection, even with a hecksher, can you eat it on Pesach?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 11:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Boog said...

UO;

Hatzoloh for whom? Not I. This is very serious stuff and not to make a joke of.

I suggest you contact your Deep Nose to corroborate. You've got enough material here with heinee-man to fill several lengthy blogs.

If you want to be a Crusader and make an impact for the good, this heinee is your meal-ticket.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 6:34:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Boog,

Just like to calm down my friends in times of stress with humor.
I'm as pissed off as you are.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous boog said...

No, prob. One of these days we (and DK, Gross) should get together and make a L'Chaim.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uoj knows rabbi heinemann as intimately as he knows everything else.

not much.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 8:57:00 AM  
Anonymous boog said...

Actually, anon, I was the one to bring heinee-man's IPO to this blog.

So if you want to roast or compliment, send it this way.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Ah, Boog, you lifted a heavy burden from my shoulders.

I get all bent out of shape when I have to respond to moronic anonymous shitheads.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 1:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

moronic?

Someone goes to ner ponzi and thinks he knows everybody and everything.

All it takes is taking oneself SO seriously, a little money and a lot of chutzpah.

Bring your trainloads of plaque to a dentist.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon,

Thanks for the smile. I don't have dental insurance and my dentist refuses to bill my shul and write it off his taxes.

What A shaigetz of a dentist I lucked out with. Anti-semite that he is.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 11:44:00 PM  
Anonymous emeslyaakov said...

As has been pointed out, Kashrus in America (and probably everywhere else) is a mess, because consumers are far from the production. Money is on everyone's mind, producer and consumer and rav hamachshir.

Saying nonprofit shows ignorance of taxlaws and economic facts. A nonprofit corporation is one which does not make profit to pay dividends to its shareholders. If the taxdeductible nonprofit corporation (which could be you shul, your kashrus org or anything else that sounds like it is for the public good) raises a million dollars through donations let us say to wipe out illiteracy - and has to hire teachers to wipe out the literacy, and spends all of the money to hire two teachers (who technically are not the officers, incorporators or board members) so that they get 500,000 each, it is a nonprofit corporation. This can work for a lot of things.

The problem is that corrupt people are running almost all of these organisations.

By the way, Rav Belsky does not run, is not in charge of, and does not have the final say in the OU. He is a paid consultant. Genack is the Rabbinic head and he probably can't do whatever he likes either, but he can override Rav Belsky.

Meat may be the biggest problem because there is the most money in it. There was a small Sephardic shechita in Los Angeles for a short period of time which only gave hechsher to "real glatt" (i.e. no sirchos, unlike the usual glatt which can have up to 3 sirchos - I am not kidding). A Rav, Shochet, the owner of the meat plant and the purveyor of the meat were all present (on the day that i was there, and I think usually when they shechted). Out of 40 animals slaughtered, only 4 were truly glatt. With that low yield, I asked the Rav how much more did the real glatt kosher meat cost than treph. He said 25 cents per pound. It took 4 hours to shecht and check those 40 animals. In a big plant, each shochet or each team of two is shechting more than that in an hour. Heineman may be no good, but that does not mean that Rubashkin is better (even aside from the issue of christian lubab shochetim). In fact the representative of the Israeli rabbinate (Rav Sason Greidi who told this story directly to me) who was sent to inspect the plant got into an argument about the nicks in a knife (which would render the meat neveilah) first with the shochet and then with the person in charge of checking knives and for this reason the israeli Rabbinate does not approve the meat.

The fact is thatmoney has driven other areas of kashrus against the wall. It is assur to eat bishul akum (food cooked by a goy). Many people don't eat Pat Akum (bread baked by a goy). If a Jew throws a chip of the wood, this is b'dieved style pat yisroel. According to the Ramo (i.e. only ashkenazim can use this heter and it isn't that great) if a jew lights the fire, even before the pot is on, it is not bishul akum. Some extended this to turning on the pilot light.

The ou and others for decades came up with rather poor heterim for bishul akum, but with people getting frummer, ther is money in Pat Yisroel and Bishul Yisroel, so heineman came up with the brilliant idea that if a jew lit a lightbulb inside the oven, it would add a little heat just like the wood chip, and the food would be pat yisroel or bishul yisroel. this heter is totally bogus, and no one who wanted to be makpid would be somech on this if all were known. Genack for the ou said (in a public shiur at the lakewood style kollel in Los Angeles that since bishul akum does not apply to food which is not oleh al shulchan melachim (i.e. is not used on the kings table), if it is not prepared in the same way that it would be prepared for a state dinner, bihuk akum is not applicable.

I challenged him saying that if s, unless it is prepared by a professional chef, bishul akum, according to Genacks reasoning, would not apply. This is of course ludicrous because the whole purpose of the ban is to keep you from fratenising with your neighbors daughter, not to keep you from fratenising with the king.

What about the matzos? What about the hashgochos where the hechsher doesn't even know that the plant exists? (This happened in the case of heinz vegetarian vegetable beans which contained pork.) What about the labels being under the contorl of the company. (When season packaged squid with a kosher lepesach label, the ou's excuse was yes there was a mashgiach temidi at the plant, and the squid was not canned at the plant. It was canned elsewhere and just the label was put on at that plant. This means that the whole labelling system of indicating a hechser is bogus.

what about beachnut which received a federal indictment for criminal fraud for (over a period of 5 years) selling coloured sugar water with a label claiming it was apple juice. The ou claimed to have a mashgiach there too, and he duly noted that the barrels that came in were labeled apple juice.

Does this mean that others are better? of course not. years ago, a scanda occured when a little kid licked the chocolate off of a Paskez chocolate covered graham cracker and discovered the word nabisco etched into the graham cracker. At the time, not a single nabisco product had any kind of hechsher.

The problem will only be solved when people take responsibility for their own food. It takes getting used to and at first takes a little bit of time, but it is possible to prepare an entire shabbes from scratch including grinding your own flour and making your own grapejuice in twop hours. (It may be best to shecht your chicken the night before.)

In a small part of the time that people spend either in front of the tv screen or the computer screen surfing, they could make totally kosher, much healthier food.

Monday, May 15, 2006 6:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Jon said...

I am a newcomer to this blog and as a result this might go unnoticed but the opinion R' Heineman is saying is not made up at all. Perhaps your semicha is not from such a real institution after all, or you just didn't learn hilchos tolaaim. I suggest you look at some responsa regarding miut hamatzui and how to determine it. A good place to start is the OU HANDBOOK ITSELF which states the opinion followed by R' Heineman and says that R' Shachter (the POSEK FOR THE OU ALONG WITH R" BELSKY) also favours this view but the OU has decided to follow to more stringent opinion of R' Belsky. So I don't know if RAK said it or not but the OU definately did...maybe a little research next time you diatribe and accuse people of all sorts of things?

Thursday, May 25, 2006 5:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I learnt Hilchos Pesach from Rav Heinemann in Ner Yisrael he said we don't use Romaine lettuce for the seder because Rav Aharon Kotler forbade it because of insects. I still have the notes.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 3:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three points to Emes (I take his name b'loshon sagi nohor):

1. It would behoove you to refer to Rabbi Genack as Rabbi, not "Genack". Even if he wasn't a huge talmid chochom (which he is), just a regular rabbi, you still should call him rabbi. Let me remind you (and many other people here) that the Gemoro defines an apikoros as someone who denigrates talmidei chachomim.

2. You report your question/challenge to him at the shiur in LA with great objectivity (NOT). It's difficult to enter into a halochic discussion in this forum without knowing exactly what he was saying, but your reasoning for calling it ludicrous ("because the whole purpose of the ban is to keep you from fratenising (sic) with your neighbors daughter, not to keep you from fratenising (sic) with the king") shows that you are an am ho'oretz midoraiso. Halacha is halacha, and one does not determine halacha by examining the underlying reasons given in the Torah. According to you, eating at a kosher restaurant or even in your own home with a goy would be osur.

3. Saying that corrupt people run almost all of these organizations is over the top.I personally know people in two big ones, and they are totally reliable.

Thursday, August 10, 2006 6:19:00 AM  

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