Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Long Island rabbis accused of ‘Mafia-like’ methods in kosher turf battle


A clique of rabbis on Long Island are being accused of Mafia-like tactics to maintain what amounts to a monopoly over the local kosher certification process — sparking a twisted turf war that has outraged local residents and businesses alike, The Post has learned.

A lawsuit filed last month by Chimichurri Charcoal Chicken — located on the busy Rockaway Turnpike across from a McDonald’s — claims the rabbis behind the Vaad Hakashrus of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway ordered observant residents to stop eating at the chicken joint last year after it started using a competing certification service.



  1. It is anyone's constitutional right to organize or recommend a boycott based on religious reasonings. No court can interfere.

  2. these are financial reasonings, but using religion as a cover

  3. Defamation and slander can be the basis for a lawsuit, and is considered a civil wrong (i.e., a tort).

    In this case, Chimichurri claims that their reputation was harmed, when the defendants issued a defamatory statement regarding Chimichurri’s kosher food standards.

  4. Someone declaring a food establishment as failing to meet kosher standards is an issue that no American court can litigate. Since it, by definition, needs to resolve a religious question.

  5. Based on my research, there is legal precedent for courts to use neutral principles of law, to adjudicate claims of defamation.

    In this particular case, the court does not need to resolve a religious question, nor is it being asked to determine definitions of kosher, and is not actively involved in disputed doctrinal matters.

    This particular court will merely need to decide two questions:

    1. Does the first Amendment allow a person to make defamatory statements regarding someone’s kosher standards?

    2. Are the defendant’s particular statements considered defamatory?

  6. The only way those two questions can be answered, is to determine whether the allegedly defamatory statements were true or not. And whether they're true depends on a religious question. As such no American court can litigate it.

  7. I'll leave that for the court to decide.

  8. There's a consistent court history of cases against butei dinim (regarding kashrus, gittin and other issues) being dismissed unaddressed due to a conflict of church and state.

  9. The alleged defamation is not about kosher/not kosher. It is about specific factual claims, such as that store-owner x is related to kashrus supervisor y.

  10. I'll leave that for the court to decide.

  11. There's, additionally, the issur against using arkaos. Even if the non-Jewish courts would have entertained the case, it is forbidden by Jewish law to litigate it there.

  12. Who publicly claimed that store-owner x is related to kashrus supervisor y? (And why is it defamation to claim that? Because of a religious issue?)

  13. Proud Conservative MomMay 26, 2021 at 5:16 PM

    Slander, is a type of defamation.

    Defamation is an area of law that provides a civil remedy when someone's words end up causing harm to your reputation or your livelihood. Libel is a written or published defamatory statement, while slander is defamation that is spoken by the defendant.

  14. You aren't up to date on this case.
    The plaintiffs have been granted a Heter Arkaos, allowing them to attempt to recoup their losses, through any avenue, in any venue, manner, or form whatsoever.

  15. Who is the head of this Beis Din, whose letter you posted?

  16. You can think or say what you want about Rabbi Knopfler, and his Beis Din. However it doesn’t take away from the fact that his Beis Din has granted the plaintiffs a Heter Arkaos.

    I surmise that they don’t really care what you think about them and Rabbi Knopfler, since they’ve acted, and continue to act, in accordance with Halacha.

  17. Well, sure, any random three Jews (or rabbis) could technically under halacha constitute a Beis Din and give out Heter Arkaos'.

  18. You can read the lawsuit. It is all there.

  19. First of all, you should have a bit of Derech Eretz, for someone who might know how to learn Torah better than you.

    Second, I’ve met him personally, and I found him to be a serious Talmid Chacham, whose Beis Din is just as legitimate as the other Batei Din operating in Klal Yisrael.

    Third, the Halacaha regarding Dinei Torah, is that if the defendants don’t like the Beis Din they are called to, they always have a choice of picking an alternate Beis Din, or going the Zabla route, where each side pick one Dayan, and the two Dayanim then pick a third Dayan to adjudicate the case.

    In this case, if the defendants didn’t like the idea of having the case heard by Rabbi Knopfler’s Beis Din, they had two other viable options, each of which are perfectly fine, and are Halacha compliant, and would not trigger the Beis Din giving a Heter Arkaos to the plaintiffs.

    However there is no Halachic option of ignoring a Hazmana to Beis Din, without offering an alternate method of adjudication. Anyone who ignores such a Hazmana, is considered a Mesareiv L’Din Torah, and in such a scenario the Halacha explicitly provides for a remedy for the plaintiff, which is to permit the plaintiff to turn to Arkaos.

    By ignoring Beis Din, and not complying with Halacha, the defendants have only themselves to blame for the ensuing Chilul Hashem; which is an extremely serious Aveirah. I would hate to be in their shoes, when their case is heard in Heaven.
    והוא רחום יכפר עון

  20. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 27, 2021 at 6:30 PM

    Just to continue with the famous celebrities with Jewish names - mark Knopfler is a very successful guitarist, whose father was a secular Jew who intermarried.
    In UK, Dominic Raab was deputy prime Minister when Boris Johnson was seriously ill with covid. Raab also had a Jewish father - but like the Torah predicted, was raised in his mother's religion.

  21. And how are you certain that the scenario you painted is what transpired in this case?

    Furthermore, even though I doubt either of us are the experts in hilchos butei dinim, but there is a famous case of a godol hador (on the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah) who was summoned to Rav Moshe's Beis Din and he responded that he has no obligation to go to a Din Torah. And even though Rav Moshe disagreed, this godol hador stood his halachic ground and there was no case conducted. He enumerated the halachic ground for refusing the summons. I have no idea if this case has a similar halachic scenario, but perhaps it does.

  22. How can I be certain, that the scenario I painted is what transpired in this case?
    It should be very simple.

    For one, the letters granting the plaintiffs a Heter Arkaos, spell out the outline of what allegedly transpired. If these allegations were false, then the defendants would be putting out PR, giving their version of the story.

    Moreover, if the defendants are truly interested in having their case heard in Beis Din, then they would publicize their agreement to adhere to Halacha, and how they wish to proceed in this matter: Badatz of Lakewood, another Beis Din, or Zabla.

    I take their lack of response as a confirmation of the basic facts, that in fact, sadly, they have no intent to resolve their differences in any Beis Din setting whatsoever.

    You don’t know my qualifications for discussing the intricacies of Choshen Mishpat Mishpat, and I don’t intend to elaborate on that in a public internet forum, since I made no claim of authority. I simply laid out known Halachos, which anyone who has a bit of experience in Halacha can confirm or deny.

    I also will not speculate if the current case has any parallel, with a historical case, where someone allegedly refused to come to the Beis Din of R’ Moshe Feinstein. I know exactly what you’re referring to, and I have no interest in rehashing an unfortunate saga from 40 years ago.

    You also don’t know if the plaintiff שליט"א in that case, received, or could have received, a Heter Arkaos from R’ Moshe. Perhaps, due his sensitivity, or לפנים משורת הדין, the plaintiff wasn’t interested in pursuing the matter in Arkaos, while in this case, the plaintiff is interested in a remedy, from wherever it might be available to him, even if it involves turning to Arkaos for relief.

  23. Please don't hijack this thread, with irrelevant comments.
    If you have nothing to say, say nothing.

  24. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 28, 2021 at 2:17 AM

    what is irrelevant - i am telling you about part of the Knopfler family

  25. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 28, 2021 at 2:20 AM

    Rav Moshe said Lo Tzeis Dino

  26. Proud Conservative MomMay 28, 2021 at 5:01 AM

    I once worked on a case that involved three Hazmanos ignored by Defendants sent by the prestigious Nevardak Bais Din in Boro Park. After the third Hazmanah was ignored by the Defendants, the Bais Din gave my father, the attorney handling the matter for the Plaintiffs, their blessing to take the matter to a secular Court.
    He won the case.
    It is unfortunate that it came to that.
    But there is a just reason why there is an option to turn to Arkaos!

  27. "the letters granting the plaintiffs a Heter Arkaos, spell out the outline of what allegedly transpired."

    The letters granting the plaintiffs a Heter Arkaos comes across as a PR release from the plaintiff rather than from a neutral beis din that hasn't yet heard the case. I outlined examples in a previous comment above. The letter discredits the beis din's neutrality.

    "If these allegations were false, then the defendants would be putting out PR, giving their version of the story... I take their lack of response as a confirmation of the basic facts"

    How do you know they haven't responded? Are they obligated to email you PR releases?

    "I also will not speculate if the current case has any parallel, with a historical case, where someone allegedly refused to come to the Beis Din of R’ Moshe Feinstein. I know exactly what you’re referring to, and I have no interest in rehashing an unfortunate saga from 40 years ago."

    The same way the summoned defendant zt"l (who was niftar 41 years ago) in the case had a halachic basis to decline participation in any beis din, it is also plausible the summoned defendant in this case has a halachic basis to decline participation in beis din.

  28. So why mention it if you don't know whether it is relevant?!

  29. no famous people in my family
    Why does the Torah bother telling us the names of the tribes of Ishmael? What relevance does that have to the beit medrash? They are not even Jewish.

  30. So you want to prove that naming all relatives is relevant for all discussions?!

  31. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 28, 2021 at 2:44 PM

    The context is that mr yisroel Reider was previously interested in a Jewish actor named Wallach, and went to some lengths in the discussion.

    However, i didn't realise he is moody and has his ups and downs before i wrote about knopfler.

    But it is still interesting about yishmael.

  32. Irrelevant means not related to the subject at hand.
    Since the subject at hand, is not about listing all people named "Knopfler", your comment is therefore irrelevant and unwelcome.

    But since you're so interested in the Knopflers, you can add to your list, Rabbi Berel Knopfler, Rabbi of the Sinai Synagogue on Woodstock Avenue, Golders Green, London
    and his brother, Rabbi Gavriel Knopfler, Rosh Yeshiva of Sha'rei Torah in Manchester.

  33. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 28, 2021 at 3:13 PM

    I know rav Berel shlita
    And know of his brother

  34. Once the defendant has snubbed the Beis Din, and refused to participate in the Beis Din process, the Beis Din is not part of the said litigation. A Beis Din does not need to maintain a stance of neutrality, in a case that they are not adjudicating, and are a party to the contempt the defendants have shown for them.

    The Beis Din has a right to issue a Heter Arkaos to the plaintiff, and the Beis Din has a right, or an obligation, to publicize why the Heter Arkaos was issued, as per the Shach. See Shulchan Aruch (YD 242:10) that a rabbi is not allowed to permit something that people perceive as being prohibited. However the Shach (s.v. 17) formulates a leniency, IF the rabbi provides a clear rationalization for his ruling.

    In this case, the Beis Din is merely defending their unusual ruling, of giving a Heter Arkaos, and explaining their Psak, is part and parcel of the halachic process.

    How do I know that the defendants haven't responded?
    If the defendants would have responded, then no Beis Din would be allowed to issue a Heter Arkaos, since there was no Siruv involved.
    If I missed something, you’re invited to update me.

  35. I’m consistently super focused on the subject of the relevant OP.

    If you hijack a thread, with irrelevant comments, as you’ve managed to do here, you’re doing a disservice to the readers interested in the topic of the OP.

    If you have nothing relevant to say, say nothing.

  36. No one is above Torah law, and one is not permitted to simply thumb his nose at Beis Din, by ignoring BD’s Hazmanah.

  37. You haven't sufficiently addressed the point that the same halachic rational utilized 45 years ago by the Rosh Yeshiva to not accept having a Din Torah by Rav Moshe, might equally apply in this case.

  38. I already said that I'm not going there.

  39. Proud Conservative MomMay 28, 2021 at 5:24 PM

    Absolutely 💯percent!!

  40. Which is fine. But you, then, cannot dismiss out of hand the possibility there's a valid equivalence on that point between these two cases.

  41. You also don’t know if the plaintiff שליט"א in that case, received, or could have received, a Heter Arkaos from R’ Moshe.

  42. Except that the other Gedolim did effectively accept there was a valid argument to not accepting a Din Torah. They made that clear when the corpus of Gedolei Yisroel, while the second party to Rav Moshe's hazmana (who succeeded the Rosh Yeshiva's position upon his petira in 1980) was still actively maintaining his stand that he has no obligation to accept a Din Torah, he was nevertheless appointed by the other Gedolim to their highest rabbinic body, namely the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah.

  43. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 28, 2021 at 6:56 PM

    thank you for removing my comments
    perhaps you should remove this rosh yeshiva of the notzrim from your blog too:

  44. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 28, 2021 at 7:42 PM

    Really t

  45. Your comment was totally irrelevant to the discussion
    ok I removed the post

  46. Also here, he is referred to as "HaRav"


  47. https://daattorah.blogspot.com/2012/06/defending-rav-gestetners-bitul-seruv.html?m=1

    Even though it's defending his claims, it should be removed as he has no validity as a rav.

  48. Torah thought daf hayomi
    Yoma 49a
    “They raised the following objection [Zeb. 16a]: A lay Israelite, an onen, one inebriate or one with a blemish are invalidated for the receiving, the carrying, and the sprinkling of the blood, and so is one seated, and the left hand. This is a refutation. But R. Shesheth himself has asked this question in refutation [Hence he obviously knew the Mishnah, how then could he have given the wrong answer!]. For R. Shesheth said to the Amora of R. Hisda who asked of R. Hisda: May the blood be carried by a lay Israelite? He answered: It is proper and a scriptural verse supports me: “They slaughtered וישחטו the passover sacrifice הפסח, and the priests [received its blood] from them and dashed it ויזרקו הכהנים מידם while the Levites flayed the animals מפשיטים” (2 Chronicles 35:11) [i.e., the blood which they received at the altar side from those who killed the passover, namely, lay Israelites who are fit for slaughtering sacrifices, v. Supra 43a.]. “
    My theory. The blood of the sacrificed animal becomes sanctified only when the gushing blood from the slaughtering flows into a holy vessel held by a priest. Blood on the floor, for example, that never entered the holy vessel held by a priest was never sanctified and is not important. “The bull shall be slaughtered before the Lord; and Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall offer והקריבו the blood, dashing the blood against all sides of the altar which is at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.” (Leviticus 1:5).

    ויקרא פרשת ויקרא פרק א פסוק ה
    וְשָׁחַט אֶת בֶּן הַבָּקָר לִפְנֵי יְקֹוָק וְהִקְרִיבוּ בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֲנִים אֶת הַדָּם וְזָרְקוּ אֶת הַדָּם עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ סָבִיב אֲשֶׁר פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד:
    רש"י ויקרא פרשת ויקרא פרק א פסוק ה
    ושחט, והקריבו, הכהנים - מקבלה ואילך מצות כהונה, למד על השחיטה שכשרה בזר:
    לפני ה' - בעזרה:
    והקריבו - זו קבלה שהיא הראשונה ומשמעה לשון הולכה, למדנו ששתיהן בבני אהרן:
    בני אהרן - יכול חללים, תלמוד לומר הכהנים:
    Blood that was never sanctified that spilled on the floor is of no concern. A priest should not scoop it up and put it in a holy vessel. It must be thrown out.

    My theory. A woman sanctified in a marriage cannot be simply thrown out. If she were not sanctified in a marriage, yes, she can be simply thrown out. In the K-G garbage heter Rabbi Greenblatt shows fake/phony PhD psychology letter that Tamar Epstein’s original sanctification of marriage to Aaron can be cancelled. Terrible.

    Today we see demonic NYT and Haaretz news accounts to attack Israel. Yes, my SCOTUS 20-8096 is on public view.


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