Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Badatz Boycott

For many years, the gold standard in kashrus has been the Badatz Eidah Charedis. If you wanted food of the highest halachic standard, if you wanted food that you can be sure that all your guests will eat, that's the hechsher you would get.

But that is changing.

It's gradually been dawning on people that the appalling anti-IDF and anti-Israel incitement, which has grown especially widespread recently, and which is produced by Peleg in conjunction with the Eidah Charedis, is being effectively funded by the Badatz hechsher (which is how the Edah Charedis receives its funding). So when you buy food with a Badatz Edah Charedis hechsher, you are funding incitement such as this:



Not an appealing thought. And one must wonder whether this outweighs any potential kashrus advantage in the food. In any case, as a result, there is now a concerted effort to boycott the Badatz Edah Charedis hechsher (not to be confused with other Badatzes). This includes rallies outside of food corporations such as Osem, and the distribution of the video below (people reading this via email subscription will need to visit www.RationalistJudaism.com to see the video):


I don't know how effective this will be, since it's difficult to get people to change their shopping habits and the hechsher is so widespread. Perhaps it would be helpful to compile a list of foods with which there is a non-Edah Charedis alternative to Badatz. Then you could say, "Instead of buying Bamba, buy ___".

Whatever one thinks of this, the fact is that for anyone selling food products or producing an event, you can no longer assume that your consumers or guests will be happy if you get an Edah Charedis hechsher. They may refuse to eat the food.

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Today is Giving Tuesday! You can contribute to your favorite Biblical Museum of Natural History at this link.

32 comments:

  1. Most people in the know consider Badatz Mehadrin (Rav Rubin of Rechovot) as AT LEAST as good as the hechsher of the Eidah.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been deliberately buying non-Edah Charedit hechshers wherever possible for over five years now.

    Sadly, it's not always possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here! It's nice to finally have company!

      Delete
  3. Whereas the demonstration are undoubtedly reprehensible, where do you see that Eida money funds them (as apposed to Eida members/employees personally beliefs)?

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  4. I have no problem with this but wonder how it is different from those anti-Semites who claim that the OU and other common hechshers are kosher taxes that they are forced to pay? (Except in their case they really cannot avoid doing so!) See https://www.snopes.com/racial/business/kosher.asp

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A hechsher is not a tax - it is a business expense made by the producer in the hope of increasing sales. But it DOES bring money into the Eidah - both the organization and members who are employed as mashgichim.

      Delete
    2. A hechsher is marketing. From the company's point of view, paying for the hechsher is like paying the guy who designs the package the food comes in. It makes it more appealing to the consumer. If you don't like the guy who designs the packaging and can get lots of people to stop buying the food because of it, the company will switch designers and he will lose money.

      Delete
    3. In general, I don't understand why you think that a boycott is immoral. The morality thereof is determined based on the purpose of the boycott. Just as an extreme example, would you, zdub, be opposed to boycotting a store owned by a pro-Nazi organization?

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    4. Its politics, like BDS. The thinking there is that if you can bully people into avoiding products that are made in the Shomron, then companies located there will move out and the area will go back to being desolate wasteland, as such people prefer. That's the same thinking here. Bully companies so that the Badatz, and with them the Charedim, will become weakened pushovers who can be taken advantage of by more enlightened Jews who are smarter than them.

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    5. You still have not answered the question of whether boycotting Nazis is immoral. Since I assume you are OK with boycotting Nazis, you should stop saying boycotts are immoral and instead stick to defending Badatz and the Eidah Charedis (which is also opposed to your Shomron settlements).

      Delete
  5. Rabbi Slifkin,
    Have you looked into or opined on the new independent non-heksher heksher Hashgacha Pratit?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would love if there was a massive protest in front of their yeshivot. Chain the doors shut and not let them come in at all. Then protest in front of Rav Aurbachs house as well and block of his entrance.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Rav A. Rubin is a Slonimer hasid and the Rav of the Poalei Agudat Yisrael shul in Rehovot, which has Hallel and non-Hallel minyanim on Yom Ha'atzmaut. If you're going to choose mehadrin certification based on politics, his Badatz Mehadrin would be a good choice.

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  8. In the past various groups already have tried to boycott Badatz for various reasons. It never worked and will not. People who are serious about kashruth will not change their preferred hecksher for political reason. The video mocking a peyoty guy will likely backlash and cause more orthodox people look for Badatz. By the way, many products have other heckshers like OU in addition to Badatz, which people would not want to hurt even if they disagree with Eida.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can work now, since the Eida has gone over the edge.
      There's no lack of kosher items in Israel, and with so many competing hashgachos, it's east nowadays to avoid Badatz products.

      Delete
    2. Your last point is an interesting one. I have seen some products with as many as six hechsherim, and certainly many have two or three, including the Badatz. So are those included in the boycott or not?

      Delete
  9. In the United States, boycotting company X because it does business with the targeted company Y is called a "secondary boycott" and in the picketing context is illegal under the NLRA. One is only permitted to picket the targeted company (the Badatz, in this case) not the companies they do business with (Osem etc.)

    One can make all the (meaningless) distinctions he wants. In its philosophical framework, the US's distinction between the target and the secondary reflects a maturity and enlightenment that many others, including proponents of BDS or this new proposal [two sides of the same coin] obviously don't have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That only applies to a labor / union dispute.
      Not to a political dispute.
      That means Moslems can boycott Jewish items, or leftists can boycott Jews and trump hotels.

      Delete
    2. The point is, if someone has a problem with Badatz, he should stand outside their office and picket. No problem. To attempt to bully other companies is wrong. That's a BDS tactic.

      Its a moot point because it wont work, but the point should be noted.

      Delete
    3. "To attempt to bully other companies is wrong. That's a BDS tactic."

      Boycotting businesses is 100% a legitimate and legal tactic.

      Delete
    4. To Meir Moses:
      You are not appreciating the point. DF is contrasting boycotting a company for what it does (legitimate) vs. boycotting a company to get it to stop doing business with another entity (illegitimate).

      Delete
    5. Then why does anyone have any tainahs on BDS supporters?

      And besides, you're missing the point. No one disagrees that opponents should boycott a business they don't like. If you don't like the New York Times, then don't buy their product. No one would contest that. But should you stop using American Standard because they installed the fixtures in the NYT bathrooms? That's what one is suggesting when he suggests not using (say) Osem because they buy their hechsher from Badatz. Whether illegal or merely immoral, one should not drag in third parties and extend disputes further than they need to be.

      Delete
  10. I would love if Jews would not try to find ways to make the life of other Jews miserable. Why can't we sit together, talk and find solutions without boycotts and so on?

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is all a mistake...in all the 70 years of the state(and before) the בד"ץ will always rwceive a police permit for every demonstration. This is only rabbi auerbach the the erwv rav of בחורים he can assemble...sometimes the neturi karta factions.

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  12. I'm no friend of the Bedatz, but...as far as a I know the facts of this post are wrong. For many many decades now the Bedatz has only signed off on protests wirh a police permit. The current protests are Peleg plus some extreme factions. The makers of the video reveal their misunderstanding in how they dress their actor. Long Yerushalmi Peyos, then short jacket. Basically only BTs dress like that. They've misunderstood the social dynamics. Unless the boycott is against all anti Zionist hechsherim it's a mistake.... If the boycott is mistaken (and effective) it can affect the livelihoods of many small and large businesses. Not an issue to get wrong, and one that could hurt many innocent people....

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  13. So one should boycott the Badatz Hechser because of NK violence, but Charedim should be smart enough to visit and donate to the Biblical Museum even though they thereby financially support one of their greatest nemeses... ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must have missed the news reports about Rabbi Slifkin and his students carrying out violent demonstrations.

      Delete
    2. No.
      That's not what he's saying.

      Delete
  14. In order to really determine if a good is kosher it is necessary, not only to have a deep understanding off the laws and principles of kashrut, but of food chemistry and modern food technology which has become increasingly complex. Most kashrut organizations cannot afford to have the professional staff required, much less to seems them to the many distant countries where much out the Food we consume is produced. The Eidah Chareidit is one of the few who do and so I consider its hechsher to be very reliable. As a modern orthodox Jew I abhor the anti IDF antics of the chareidi community but I am not convinced that boycotting the Eidah Chareidit's hechsher will point a stop to it.

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  15. What does that mean, anti-IDF. They just don't want to be drafted. It's like that other silly term anti-Israel, any time anybody has the slightest criticism of the government.

    ReplyDelete

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