Monday, May 31, 2010

Geirus Daas Torah against MK Amsalem



    Tnuva, Israel’s largest dairy cooperative, which produces a sizable mehadrin line, insists the allegations are baseless but Yad L’Achim’s Rabbi Sholom Dov Lifshitz insists his organization’s information has been confirmed.

    This story begins in Kibbutz Herdoff in the Lower Galil, a community located in the Jezreel Valley Region. The community, which was founded about 30 years ago boasts a profitable organic industry, but Yad L’Achim explains things are not as innocent as they appear, reporting the community follows Anthroposophy, a spiritual philosophy founded by Rudolf Steiner, which R’ Lifshitz explains is avoda zara (idol worship) by every Torah definition of the word. So what’s the connection to the largest dairy, mehadrin consumers and Israel’s dairy industry?

    According to the weekly Sha’ah Tovah Magazine, Tnuva operates a production line in the community, producing its ‘gevina shel pa’am’ (old fashion cheese) line which bears a Tnuva mehadrin kashrut.

    Rabbi Lifshitz explains that consumers buying the products, including frum mehadrin-seeking shoppers, are directly funding avoda zara and in this case, community efforts to increase their numbers, outreach programs targeting Jewish children. He explains the community has an educational system inculcating children with its philosophy, and is quite active in promoting its agenda.

    The report further adds that the word “kosher” does not appear on these products for a simple reason, such a claim would by state law compel a kashrut supervision by the local rabbinate as well. This would demand listing the place of origin and other facts that Tnuva does not wish to advertise. Therefore, the products only bear a ‘vaad mehadrin Tnuva’ claim, omitting the word “kosher”. Yad L’Achim insists this is to circumvent the need to tell consumers the mehadrin products originate in the idol worshipping kibbutz.

    There is a code used for these products, which appears in the form of English letters, making it even less intelligible to many shoppers to whom English is foreign, or even the English speakers, who remain clueless as to the code.

    Tnuva rejects Yad L’Achim’s allegations, insisting that the production line is not rented from the community, but owned outright by Tnuva and therefore, there is no connection to the community and its lifestyle. Furthermore, anything pertaining to kashrut is in line with the regulations of the Vaad Mehadrin and Rav Whitman, Tnuva’s rav, the firm’s officials explain.

    The company does not deny that the place of manufacture of the product line does not appear on the finished product, but for an entirely different reason. They explain Kibbutz Herdoff is known for its organic products and putting the community’s name on non-organic products would have an adverse impact on its image. Products exhibit the “Vaad Mehadrin Tnuva” which is an appointed body by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate, thereby satisfying the law and the word “kosher” is superfluous since it says “Vaad Mehadrin” which must obviously be kosher too.

    Rav Lifshitz is adamant, insisting Yad L’Achim gathered the facts and it can prove the case. He further adds that Yad L’Achim approached the Eida Chareidit, which was approached by the kibbutz to give a hechsher on its organic products. Lifshitz admits that halachically they are okay by-and-large, however, after explaining the situation the Eida complied with the Yad L’Achim request and rejected the kibbutz as a potential client, realizing by doing so, the religious community would be supporting a community that supports and promotes idol worship.

  2. Posting wallpaper like this is far easier than refuting the book... Typical for Ashkenazic Haredim.

    You can learn a lot more from who has NOT signed it than from who has signed it. Not signed: Rav Ovadia Yosef, Rav Mazuz (of course), and nearly all Sephardic gedolim. Plus the entire Religious Zionist Torah world, who endorse it.

    I have the book in front of me. It has haskamot from: R. Meir Mazuz, Rav Shear Yashuv Cohen, Rav Shlomo Daichovsky, Rav Dov Lior, Rav Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg, R. Eliyahu Abergel, R. Nachum Rabinovitch, Rav Yaakov Ariel, R. Zephaniah Drori, six Sephardic city and community rabbis from the Negev, R. Aryeh Shtern of Makhon Halakhah Berurah.

    In terms of haskamot, they illustrate that the large majority of the Torah world in Israel does not agree with the condemnation featured in this picture, and does not consider those who signed it to be their leaders.

    But the book itself is far more impressive than the haskamot. Having read every serious book published on the topic of giyyur in recent years, I find this to be the most thorough, comprehensive and well-thought-out presentations of the very real topics at hand, namely defining kabbalat ha-mitzvot, conversion for marriage, and zera yisrael.

  3. The Rashkbhag signed, and as far as many of us are concerned that is all that counts.

  4. Are you able to fit the entire text into the photo? Thank you.

  5. The signers are the rabbis of Degel Hatora party (Mostly Ashkenazi, Lithuanian, ultra-orthodox political party) , why someone in his right mind would think they represent the collective daas Torah ?

  6. Some of the signatories received money from Tropper so it allows us to question their judgment.

    It is interesting that they are calling those who do not agree with them names. Megale panim shelo kahalacha/giving false interpretation of the Torah (rabbi Elyashiv at al), Mored/Rebel (Lipkovitz), Apikoros (Kanievsky)

    Which is basically most of Shas , all of the Dati Leumi and many of the Chassidic sects.

  7. Yes, they are writing off "most of Shas and all of Dati Leumi."

    That pretty much says it all!

    I don't think people need to worry much anymore about various positions on geirus being "contrary to Daas Torah" or against halachah just because of the strident opposition from ONE world of Torah out of many.

  8. Here's an article on the background to the pashkvil:,7340,L-3898951,00.html


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