Ask David Kelsey!(Okay, I promise, this is my last food related post for at least the next eight hours).

The innocuous-looking heksher on the right, or a variation of it, is plastered on a huge percentage of the food products sold both in Israel and to Jewish stores and restaurants in the Diaspora. It is the heksher of the Jerusalem Badatz, the group responsible for the kashrut supervision of almost every major product in Israel.

But what exactly is Badatz? Unlike other large kashrut supervisors like OU, they have no website and no PR – yet their hashgacha is ubiquitous and their influence on Israeli society profound. Badatz is an acronym for Beit Din Tzedek, and acts as the high court for the ultra-Orthodox, fiercely anti-Zionist Edah ha-Charedit, a Charedi roof organization, based in Jerusalem, with other branches in Charedi strongholds around the world like Antwerp and New York. The Edah ha-Charedit is opposed to Zionism in general, but also the government of Israel and the Israeli Rabbinate, which it views as illegitimate.

Badatz itself does not only perform kosher supervision, but acts as the arbiter of halakhic law in many of the Charedi neighborhoods of Israel (Meah Shearim, Geulah, Bnei Brak) and uses the considerable clout it has thanks to its widespread hashgacha to attempt to sway the government and corporations to more strictly follow Jewish law. As such, it is seen by secular Israelis (and some non-Charedi religious Israelis) as an emblem of the power the Charedi establishment has in dictating the style of life in Israel. Israelis ask whose side one is on: Bagatz (the Israeli Supreme Court) or Badatz. An Israeli bumper sticker reads “BADATZ – A Symbol of Religious Coercion – Don’t Buy of Your Own Free Will!” Badatz has been instrumental in continuing to ensure the difficulty of finding non-kosher meat in Israel. In 1992, Badatz successfully forced Pepsi to pull an ad campaign showing man’s evolution from apes by threatening to remove its hashgacha from Pepsi products in Israel. More recently, Badatz boycotted a company for having a worker who was Jehovah’s Witness, and came out against a Charedi female taxi driver who drew the ire of a Naturei Karta rabbi in Meah Shearim.

But one evening Miriam was sent out to pick up a client who turned out not only to be male but also a Natorei Karta rabbi.

“This kind of mistake had happened a couple of times before,” says Balouka “and the drill was for Miriam to simply not open the cab door or windows and message the station to send another driver.”

This time, however, the rabbi didn’t wait for another cab and the next day, pashtilim (posters) appeared all over Mea Shearim informing the religious public that Online used women drivers and asking for the company to be put in herem [excommunication].

“Online [the cab company] met with Badatz,” says Balouka, “and asked for their support, but the testimony of the Natorei Karta apparently carried more weight. We tried to present the argument that we were offering a more kosher service, but they argued the future downfall of the Jewish family if women begin to get such freedom.”

A Badatz-affiliated rabbi who spoke to In Jerusalem refused to allow his name to be publicized, nor would he allow himself to be identified as a spokesperson for Badatz.

“It is assur [forbidden] for women to drive taxis. We allowed it for a temporary period. It is pritzut [licentiousness]. The Beit Din ruled two weeks ago that women are not allowed to work as taxi drivers.”

Some secular Israelis in response have called for a boycott against Badatz-supervised products, but the Badatz heksher is so widespread that boycotting it and still eating normally would be nigh-impossible.

All of which begs the question: how did a Charedi anti-Zionist organization not only become so powerful, but come to dominate kashrut supervision in the supposedly secular Zionist state?

About the author

michael

129 Comments

  • As an aside, the symbol you posted is from Rav Simcha Kook, Chief Rabbi of Rehovot, and thus is a Rabbanut (mehadrin) hashgacha, not the Edah Chareidis. Interestingly, the bumper sticker you link to has the Badatz Agudat Yisrael, another chareidi varietal – but also not the Edah Chareidis.

    I’m also curious as to how the Edah Chareidis became so powerful. There is no comparable organization in the US. No one takes the Agudah and their Moetzes too seriously these days, and would the OU try imposing the restrictions on food the Badatz does, any of a number of respected competitors would gladly take the business by offering to certify without the chumras (extra-strict rulings). Much in Israeli society seems much more extreme than in the US (on all sides); perhaps the Badatz’s power derives from that phenomenon.

  • Ummm… because the secular zionist state, being secular, could care less about kashrut?

    I don’t mean that as a provocative political statement, just that surely you would expect that the group of people most concerned with kashrut would be the orthodox?

    I never knew all that about Badatz hechshers… sounds similar to the “Beck” heschsher over here in Australia (in Melbourne). The Beck hechsher, under Kehillat Adass Yisroel of Melbourne, is supposedly the most stringent. I’m not saying it isn’t, just that the other rulings of the people associated with the hechsher – such as Rabbi beck – leave me a bit cold. My favourite is that redhead sheitels (even if you’re a natural redhead) and sheitels that are longer than shoulder length are assur… I guess because the good Rabbi has a thing for redheads with long hair?

  • Nice post — but it would’ve been better if you know what you were talking about. Badatz is not an organization, but just a set of initials. The logo you posted is Badatz R’ Kook/Ruben (yes, that Kook family), and the story was about Badatz Eida Chareidis/Chareidit. While you may not like EC (I believe you words were Anti-Zionist Chareidi), it might be worth noting that they’ve been around since the earliest days of Aliyah, before most of the Zionists.

  • wow, I’m more impressed with Michael’s ability to take a mundane topic and somehow manage to convey an anti-neturei Karta message. The Kosher wars are quite interesting, and those aligned with Neturei Karta need to get a clue, and for G-D sakes stop rockin those stockings that so…. 1890’s Shtetl.

  • Yeah… Just to fill in even more on what some other people were saying. Badatz just means Beit Din, it is the stamp of a rabbinic court. In Michael’s post I think he is refering to the BD”T Eidah Charaidit as has been pointed out. Though there are hundreds of Badatz hechshers in Israel, the edah charadis being only one of them. There are also Badatz all over the word, in Manchester England, in London, In NYC, just about any large Jewish community that is able to establish a Rabbinic Court. That Rabbinic court doesn’t actually usually do the certification themselves, but rather vouches for the supervisers, acknowledging a certain upheld halachik standard. That standard changes by community. If America were Israel, instead of your usual symbols you’d see BD”T OU, and BD”T of Cleveland, ect. You’d also probably see BD”T USCJ (United Synagog of Conservative Jewdaism) and even a reform BD”T. Basically, BD”T doesn’t mean much on it’s own, unless you know where it is coming from. It happens to be that the BD”T Eidah Charaidit is large and influential, but that’s because it’s the most strickt, following all the sometimes seemingly redicular stringencies that few if any hold completly. But because of the strictness it creats a catch all blanket that everyone will except regardless of where they hold. This is why Pepsi wanted them, because that means they could market to everyone and everyone.

  • Great article on Jewish Dupllcity – yours. How about an article on how gentiles shouldn’t have to pay a Jew tax on their packaged food? Or is it cause the OU is Zionist that YOU don’t mind?

  • Re: #3.

    No long red sheitels? Eek, I guess I’m not going to be going to Australia any time soon!

  • David Kelsey! Did you actually imply in your blog that we have editors here at Jewlicious? Ah ahaha hahha haha ah ah aha aha ahahhhaaaa ahaahhaaa.

    You must write for Heeb or something.

  • Grace: it’s only an issue if you want to belong to that segregated section of the community. You’d also have to have a shaved head under there, and never allowed to wear red…

  • Davids on to us

    The Jewish conspiricy to tax food in order to take over the world, he must be very brave indeed to risk the wrath of the elders

  • Okay, okay, so I got the wrong symbol — but everything in the article is about the Edah ha-Charedit heksher and organization. I’ll switch up the logo, though. Good ol’ having readers to spot that.

    And what the fuck is David Kelsey talking about? Next is he going to start telling us that reliable evidence PROVES that nobody was gassed at Auschwitz?

  • And geez, you go and carefully research a post and some punk tells you that you don’t know what you’re talking about? Trust me, I know the Edah’s pedigree, but it wasn’t really important to the main thrust, which is how a controversial anti-Zionist ultra-religious organization became so powerful in a state that is neither anti-Zionist nor ultra-religious.

    I’m not even commenting on the relative merits of Zionism or anti-Zionism, I’m commenting on the fact that it’s an odd juxtaposition. I mean, seriously, isn’t anybody else curious as to why an organization that forbids women to drive has such sway in a country where, well, women drive? However, anybody who’s reading weird conspiracy theories into it needs to calm down and stop copy-pasting from Stormfront.

  • You haven’t researched enough apparently. You’re coming at it only from the ignorant non-religious Shinui side and don’t even bother to bring an alternative view from the dos/haredi side. I think that tm at least inserts the token opposite explanation or opinion, but you’ve decided on pure rant instead.

    FWIW,
    this badatz operates in a very competitive environment, though under Israeli business laws, it probably would be considered a monopoly, the same way Coca Cola, Tnuva milk, Elite coffee, Straus Milky, etc… In any case, if a company doesn’t want to have a badatz hechser, no one is forcing them to pay big bucks for it, except their own greed to earn more money and profits. Not all Osem products have it, neither does Elite, Strauss and Tnuva. Only prodcuts that they want to sell to the ultra-orthodox warrant an extra outlay for a badatz hecsher.

    This post is typical auto-anti-semitism. There’s no difference in this, or Tommy Lapid deriding shomer shabbat toilet paper factories, or the KKK and it’s jew-tax claims.

  • Two quick answers:
    1) It doesn’t have so much sway – as the posts have pointed out, there are several organizations whose hashgacha is taken at least as seriously – and others not mentioned.

    2) The vast majority of Israeli households honor kashrut in some basic way. The totally anti-religious attitude of the left has kept the (Zionist) Chief Rabbinate in a state of perpetual limbo, so it has been unable to assert its authority even though it could (if it got its act together) validly claim to speak for a plurality of the Israeli public. Instead of supporting the religious folks who joined the Zionist enterprise, the lefties have unrelenting tried to impose their secular vision with an iron fist. It is now clear on many, many levels that this has backfired.

    3) Again, most homes in Israel respect kashrut in some way – so the notion that making pork hard to come by is some hardship on the general populace is an ENORMOUS stretch. In addition, it’s simply not true – it’s been more than a decade since the secularists overturned the “status quo” agreements on Sabbath and kashrut matters – the malls are all open and pork can be found easily in all major cities.

    So you are whining about “fundamentalist oppression of the majority” that never existed, and doesn’t now.

  • Yes…I’m coming at it from the anti-religious Shinui side…that’s why I’m Orthodox and don’t agree with Shinui. Thanks josh! My life would be so confusing without you in your infinite wisdom to tell me what I think!

    Trust me, this is not a rant. This is me wondering how the Edah ha-Charedit, aligned with such not-nice people as the Naturei Karta, is so ubiquitous.

    Wow, and now I’ve been called an anti-Semite! By a Jew! For writing about Israeli kashrut politics! Josh, for a grown man, you’re quite the fucking crybaby.

  • Ben David, do you ever think about what you’re saying? Hi! My name is Michael! I am an Orthodox Jew! I keep kosher! I eat Badatz-hekshered products all the time!

    Did I ever claim making unkosher meat unavailable was a hardship? No! I merely mentioned that this is one of the things Badatz has been instrumental in. Can you read anything without inserting your own “the secular are going to steal my children” bias?

    I was writing about Badatz, and the controversy Badatz has raised in Israeli society. I am not “whining about fundamentalist oppression of the majority,” I am pointing out what some Israelis think re: Badatz and the Edah ha-Charedit, without saying that is my personal opinion.

    Geez. I get called both secular and an anti-Semite in one day, when I am neither. You guys are awesomely perceptive.

  • Ouch,
    can’t take some criticism with an artik? This isn’t your private blog, and FWIW, just because you are orthodox, doesn’t make you a tzaddik or an expert either any more than me, NK, shinui, or erev rav. So you’re not an anti-semite, just anti-haredi? Or just anti-neturei karta?

    I’m no friend of NK. I just question why some people need to rehash that issue.

  • Yes. I am indeed anti-Naturei Karta. There. I said it. And why is it bad to “rehash” it? You “rehash” your own theory that the secular Israeli lobby is destroying Orthodoxy in Israel. And when did I say or imply that this was my own private blog?

    Constructive criticism is one thing, calling me an anti-Semite is another thing entirely. You seem not to know the difference.

  • Anti- zionist and powerful in Israel? That’s odd! Sounds like Badatz has liberally usurped authority. Worse still, their vigilance is misplaced; in the female cab driver case for instance! Their vigilance may be counterproductive to the interest of fairness especially because they interpret and set the standards. With such unchecked power, aggrieved parties have no recourse!

  • Did I call you an anti-semite???

    From what movie is this:
    “Hello, do you speak English?
    Hey, what country do you think this is?”

    Did I call you an anti-semite??? or did I claim that your ‘post’ was anti-semitic? There is a major difference and I know it.

  • thanks for the Jew tax link. I had so forgotten about that (must have blocked out the memory of the time someone actually said that) I thought we were talking about being taxed for being Jewish.

  • And what’s this about secular Israeli lobby theory. That wasn’t me and I am not BenDavid, though I do agree with his post and that over the years, everyone, secular and religious notwithstanding, should have been doing more hithabrut then hitnatkut.

  • Thanks for changing your Badatz logo in response to my criticism of your piece. The original is still on my piece at my site.

    Please continue to revise all posts following my criticism of something your wrote, as my word and rebuke is apparently feared and obeyed by the Camp Counselors at Jewlicious.

    As it should be.

    Print is still king, is it not?

  • Actually, I changed the logo in response of other people correctly pointing out that it was the logo of a different Badatz then the one I was writing about.

    I put the Evil Jew Tax to make fun of your weird little Jew Tax claims. The post itself has not been revised. So don’t get too puffed up now, chile.

  • David K, feared obeyed? from a prissy little NY Yuppy?? For g-d sakes you contribute to Heeb.. Don’t worry we hardly take you seriously

  • Idit, it’s best to ignore “Jew” comments, in my humble opinion.

    Michael, when do we ever fight? I remember when you used to agree with me more often than not.

    Also, don’t worry about the name-calling, it’s reflexive on their part. The good thing is that it sharpens your mind because you have to anticipate it. What I find most interesting is their defense of the Neturei Karta who proudly stand alongside Arafat and his successors.

    “The post is antisemitic.” What’s wrong with you, Josh? There is only one antisemitic comment in this entire post and discussion and it contains the word “tax.”

    Michael, your question is one that has been around since the founding of the state and the realization by the majority of non-Orthodox Israelis that certain key aspects of their lives would be addressed by Haredim. I presume whether the haredim or Zionist or not is irrelevant within the hierarchy of the Haredi world, since the emphasis lies upon other things. It may be that many consider the strictness of these groups to be such that it leaves little doubt about the kashrut of the product.

    A couple more things: Ben David, the secular Left is what enables and enabled the Orthodox community in Israel to thrive and achieve its present state of strengh. Don’t ever forget that, Ben David, the state was founded by secular Jews.

    Yes, one could say that it’s blowing up in their face. Let’s see: they support Orthodox authority over key civil laws like marriage; they agree to Hesder yeshivas and non-service for Orthodox; they subsidize large families; they ensure public transport doesn’t work on the only day off from work; they subsidize settlements with money, diplomatic and political capital, the IDF, and soldiers’ lives and limbs; and they postpone a disengagement until after a day of rememberance out of respect for Orthodox requests.

    Yup, it sounds to me like they simply want to undermine those Orthodox and now it’s blowing up in their faces. Or perhaps if you bend over enough, somebody acts like a child when you say, “My back is hurting, would you mind if I moved a little.”

  • Wait a minute, wtf? You actually put “Jew tax” in your image? It’s not enough that we’re going to be #1 on Google for “Jew tax?”

  • KOl hakavod that the supposedly scular state adheres to what could be the strictest of standards. remeber the MK member who tried to have bread during pesach?
    It is the same ideology that forces even the most chiloni of eating establishments to serve matzah instead of bread. Its what makes Israel the unique country that it is.
    Good by the commnetator who pointed out about Rav kook – but i also wanna know when was the last time yous saw the beis din tzedek say or publish anything that was anti-zionist?

  • It’s true, TM, we did agree a lot back in the day. I meant fight in the general “disagree with each other about key issues which nobody needs to be reminded of” sense.

    It is true that Israel was founded by secular Jews, although it would be hard to dispute that many of them were religious in their own way.

    Although I don’t want to get into this now, really, TM, I should point out that an ever-increasing number of secular Israelis are chumping their way out of IDF service as well. The man whose house I’m staying in is a secular Israel, a high school teacher, and spent most of his life in the military — and he says sometimes up to 30% of his entirely secular classes do not serve in the IDF. Non-service is no longer the domain of the religious.

    And again, you’re mixing together the Orthodox into one big group when Israeli Orthodoxy is in no way a monolith. Sure, many Israelis direct a good deal of animosity towards Charedim, but I don’t hear many complaints about the kippah srugah, dati leumi Orthodox who work, serve in the military, vote and in general fully participate in Israeli life. And there’s more of them than Charedim – only between 18 and 20 percent of Israelis would self-identify as Charedim, while another 30% are Orthodox/firmly traditional.

  • wow! some people are just itchin’ for a fight.

    Am I the only person that read this post and thought “hmmm…that is interesting”?

  • Bigbaldhead, you are absolutely right.

    Michael, I’m afraid there are far fewer haredim/Orthodox. Traditional doesn’t count because they wouldn’t eat in their home…

    And I am not lumping all Orthodox into one group in that post. I am lumping all the secular Israelis into one post and my point is to Ben David to show a little gratitude and stop twisting history.

  • Bigbaldhead – yes. That’s all I was really trying to say with the post. Seriously. I just wanted to maybe make people think a little. Mazal tov.

  • Not anyone, just you. Now doesn’t that make you feel important? And for the record, you didn’t so much “question my assault on the ultra-Orthodox” as you did “refer to a discredited anti-Semitic canard, making a fool of yourself in the process.”

  • Also, as far as your latest masturbation on your blog, do you realize that we’re making fun of you with the “EVIL JEW TAX” thing? I promise, we’re not scared of you, we’re amused by you.

  • Your opinion (and lame attempt at humor) has been noted and disregarded. Thank you. Doesn’t Heeb need some new articles or something? Go away.

  • Michael, if you tell people to go away, Laya thinks you’re being a poor host.

    David, you are such a young rebel and think so clearly out of the box! 😆

  • Yo Kelsey, “semetic?” Didn’t I already tell you we don’t have no stinkin editors? Get thee to a dictionary! And yeah, you pegged us there – we are indeed Weisenthal Storm Troopers. Apparently, your research skills are as impressive as your spelling skills.

  • The Kashruth thing is an outgrowth of the growth of Orthodoxy and to some extent as well Conservative Jewry. It is mixed blessing but growth is growth. I suck.

  • Seriously, this post, especialy the gif “evil jew tax” seems to unecessarily bait people or perhaps incite some kind of response against those who are doing a very vauluable service. Just because you made a discovery doesnt mean you can incite a revolt based on differing ideologies – ultimately the goal is a achieved. what is the alternative? Do you mr michael want to be the leading kashrus authority in israel? go ahead, no one is stopping you.

  • micheal you are a devil!!! (just in case secular n anti-semite wasnt enough). actually u r not not an orthodox guy – i think u r really that woman cab driver!!!

  • on a less serious note:) i think that maybe this is the way it shud be – keep kashrus away frm politics. somthing has the highest standart of kashrus so u ll eat it! they have they re thing w/nk ( there is nobody on this site to support nk views i hope) argue w/them or deceide not to have anything to do w/them. but leave kashrus out of that. this shud be only wether it is kosher or not.

  • and tm i ve checked google and “we” didnt make the top in “jew tax”. not even in images. 🙁

  • Just a few things,
    michael,
    I, personally, don’t forget one day that the trojan horse that founded the current state was filled with rabid secular ashkenazim who were not lovers of Judaism or the religious. The world religious at the time were so friggin uptight with themselves that someone else had to do this awesome work instead of them and no one will ever be able to take this incredible, unprecedented acheivement away from the seculars. That these secular founders committed a spiritual holocaust by almost annihilating the rich sefardi culture and Judaism is not to be forgiven yet, though one day, we’ll understand how it was necessary part of the transition.
    Nonetheless, it’s time for the secular ashkenazim to relinquish their last grips on power and hand over the country back to the Jews (as opposed to ‘Israelis’) after 2000 years. The governemnt is corrupt, the media is corrupt, and the secular kids are starting to kill each other like the goyim do in the ‘west’.

    middle,
    I’ve calmed down now.

    michael,
    I know that once again this coming yom kippur, I will have a tough time begging for mercy. Please accept my apologies, I was reading too much into what I perceive as a somewhat antagonistic post.

  • ck u r so sweet! u googled me? u have time for such things? and u r not a trust fund baby?
    anyway i wish u that u shud better claims to fame than my humble ybocherkite.

  • I think you folks should have a rule that only someone who knows something about a subject can write about it

    Michael’s use of terminology was SO off and lack of understanding SO clear that this post should never have seen the light of day

    Don’t you check with someone

    irresponsible

  • Josh, you know, maybe you have a point. I’m sorry for calling you a fucking crybaby. And it is true that the secular government in Israel has done some bad things, especially to religious Sephardim and Mizrachim.

    Moose, what can I say? I just love cuss words sometimes. Damn.

    Okay, can I get some kind of award for being called, all in one post, an anti-Orthodox secular duplicitous anti-Semitic devil woman cab driver who swears too much?

  • Sarah, that’s why Al Gore hashem invented the Internet. If you have issues with what Michael wrote, by all means share them with us. If you can prove Michael wrong, we’ll retract the errors. We’ve done it before ya know. If we had more advertisers maybe we could hire an editor and fact check Michael and teach David Kelsey how to speak/write English good.

  • I think we should have a rule that commentors who have knee-jerk reactions to anything critical of anything religious should refrain from making wild accusations that they can’t even bother to back up.

  • ok i promise to try bli neder to write longer and fewer comment.
    i just wanted to say – michael, i like yr post and if u didnt check all yr facts that only prooves that jewlicious is not a newsroom but a place where jews hang around together. i totally hear you just expressing yr own opinion on the matter. it might look like an odd juxtaposition but i hope it s not. as i said above i hope its making distiction b/w what’s politics and what’s not.

  • Thanks for the vote of confidence, ybocher. What I don’t understand is how wrong my facts could be…I mean, nothing I said about the Badatz Edah ha-Charedit is untrue. And as far as terminology, I, uh, didn’t really use any other than “Badatz,” meaning the particular Badatz of the Edah ha-Charedit, and “hashgacha,” neither of which were misused. I think somebody’s just sensitive.

  • ck! can we pleeeeaaas declare today the official annual michael’s chops busting day? or maybe a week? or a month? i know lets have a seperate post where people can come and just drop few lines about michael. and u ll edit it and do fact checking.

  • I would gladly bum rush the bejeezus out of Michael. But seriously, what did he say that was innaccurate? I don’t see any nefarious agenda at play here and I know we both enjoy the fruit of demonstrably kosher hashgachas, regardless of the underlying politics.

    And NO. For the last time, we don’t have editors, or offices, or a support staff. I don’t even have a personal assistant to go out and get me lattés G*d damn it! I will however eagerly await the arrival of a big fat cheque from Michael Steinhardt which I am sure is in the mail and will arrive any day now. Then we’ll have fact checkers and like standards that would prevent us making errors and using terms like “piss off already!” or “shut the fuck up douchebag.”

    Just sayin’

  • Agenda? The guy wrote something that actually raises some interesting questions and people are attacking him personally.

    How about this folks: provide input into the discussion or simply keep quiet. Michael seems like a solid young man who is experiencing Israel in a very interesting way. I find this compelling. If any of you have something to add in the way of educating all of us, including Michael, you are free to do so.

    Josh, are you Sephardic? The country sought to quickly integrate a new culture, but what can you do, some Sephardim were going to the Baba Sali on the one hand and some were wearing Shtreimels in Jerusalem on the other and some became completely secular and some married Ashkenazim, and some became Presidents of the State of Israel, and some became IDF Chiefs of Staff, and some remained poor in develoment towns and some made tons of money opening hummous restaurants across the country.

    What is your point again? Oh yeah, that those pesky secular Jews created the modern state of Israel and revived the Hebrew language. Very kind of you to thank those of us who descend from that ideology and belief system. 😉

  • It’s something to talk about I suppose. For those who keep kosher, there is this level of strictness that you would only eat anything if it had a hechsher, a ‘reliable’ hechsher. I am a little more liberal, w/ many health food items I don’t make that big a selection process, if it is an herbal tincture or things like squeezed vegetable juice, (Yuck!! ), just kidding, love the veges.

    One could argue that most of the processed foods wherever they are suck, but I am guity of same.
    I have those oat bran pretzels w/ soy all the time now, sheesh.

  • What, you think Kashurth supervision is like a simple dummy job? You think the pressure of being repsponsible for whether people unwittingly commit greivous sin is something to sneeze at? The Michael bashing is not an issue – he aint no victim. People are callingo n him for a scrapped together rant that calls into question certain theological relgiopoltical differences, where there is not only a viable alternative, but the current system is the best which they have. I dont see anyone in the “secular” israeli government aruging with the standards of the Beit Din Zedek (and regardless of the the Badatz rabbis own political views) they have an task of much greater importance and significance, and yes it is an expesive one if it is to be done right.
    Why do you think kosher food is so expensive in the US? Why do you think strictly jewish brands cost more? Do you see anyone fighting the standards of the supervision? Or do they concede the price to pay for living a kosher lifestyle?

  • Gasp! What? A weblog that doesn’t employ a full-time staff of writers and editors to ensure that every fact is correct and correctly spelled? Shondabooshacherpah. That’s it, I’m leaking this wild story to Bob Woodward. I think I can see the offices of the WashPost from here…let me take a jog down to the corner, and we’ll git r done.

    ck, #35…you kiss your muffti mother with that mouth? Geez…

  • You know, I always laugh when someone says that, because my mom taught me how to swear, and swear profusely, from a very young age. But of course, my mom isn’t The Mighty Brakha.

  • Esther, thats fine and dandy, but when the website comes across as one of a higher quality and purpose, the writing comes with a responsibility to acknowlege its own self proclaimed authority. Is every web log believeable? Is every blog to not be taken seriously? How does anyone know then ?

  • Town Crier, I’m sure you realize that lots of people don’t take blogs at all seriously, and frankly, I blame the name. Blog.

    I see your point, but I can really only be responsible for the posts I write. I am glad to know that we’re coming across as having a higher quality and purpose, though…

  • Cmon, you know every writer thakes themselves seriously, and i highly doubt michael did not have a toungue in cheek mindset – especially when posting about the “evil jew tax” which is grossly misleading and could possibly lead to a turnoff for the less informed.
    And yes, the group blogs with the funky desins carry a little more weight than the cookie cutter personal rants. its a psych out thing.

  • Town Crier: Self proclaimed authority?? Please! In fact read the following quoted from this post:

    We take news stories and add our own snarky commentary, or sometimes we write pretentious opinion pieces for which we are totally unqualified, or we write shallow self-important posts, as if our “feelings” about stuff mean anything to anybody.

    Where did you get the impression that we were self-proclaimed authorities? If anything we’re self proclaimed idiots, barely a year old. Don’t blame me if people keep coming to our little under-funded blog. And by “idiots” of course, I am speaking only for myself. And maybe Michael. Definitely Muffti when he’s drunk and themiddle whenever he disagrees with me. Esther and Laya are both gracious, kind and more sublime than we deserve. But I digress. Really, you should pay more attention or in lieu of that, cite specific instances when we claimed to be authorities on anything other than the superiority of my Mom Brakha’s Moroccan cuisine.

  • fine, bad choice of words. but how many people ever read actually disclaimers?
    what of uninformed people who search for kashruth and land on that missive?
    My point still stands, even if Jewlicuos is intetionally snarky. The post undeniably reaks of unfounded anti haredism, using a very good thing they do against them.

  • The Town Crier: I love Haredim. Put a black suit and shtreimel on Michael and you would swear he was a Haredi. Michael simply reported a story and added some minro commentary. Nothing he wrote is untrue and even I, Zionist that I am, have no objection to benign anti-Zionist haredim because their presence in Israel predates that of the Zionists. This does not apply to neturei karta who are, one and all, enormous cock suckers.

  • Town Crier, you’ve been complaining because you think this is an anti-Haredi post?

    Sheesh! This is like gentle and stuff. Real gentle.

  • As TM will surely attest, I do not stand by idly and watch senseless Heredi bashing, no matter what my personal views of them may be. it’s a cheap shot and a forum where they cannot defend themselves unless a few yeshiva boys happen to accidentally wind up here while searching for “jewish boobies” or God knows what else while at the internet cafe. That having been said even *I* did not find this post to be offensive. sorry folks.

  • Yo Town Crier: I promise you, Michael is definitely pro kashrut – he keeps strictly kosher. The Evil Jew Tax thing was added afterwards in response to this dude in post #7. Read thepost, check out his blog (click on his name) and understand how this eminent writer for heeb and forward inspired this sarcastic modification of the graphic. Now, speaking of badatz, Laya, next time Michael’s in JTown, take him to the badatz falafel place near machaneh yehudah, you know, the one that moby, Harry (He Knows Thingsâ„¢) and I ate at. Mmmmmm.

  • oh laya i see that we not bashing hareidim but just yeshiva boys?
    i just wanted to say that u guys so prolific that i have no time left to browse for anything else. oh maybe just to google frank sinatra whoever he was.
    and ttc how in the world is this post underminig kashrus. wait let me read it again… oh, and again, one sec… nop sorry. can anybody chip in for my forensic classes – i just dont see it. where does it say that they dont know halacha or that they hire lame mashgichim or that they have lack of neemanus in anyway. i just see michael saying that it is amazing paradox that in seemingly secular state people are somehow still care about kashrus to the extend that the badatz becomes kinda powerful. and they might not be biggest herzl cheerleaders.
    esther u mean muffti and ck are related???

  • laya i know u were joking. but be careful 😉 unfortunately i havent been to jerusalem internet places or any other place in israel for last 8 years. but the good news is that u guys made me miss israel so much that i m tryink to figure out how to get there soon.
    anyway whaere i sit we have some bochurim sitting at night – yes they re lost but it s only b/c they were not exposed to jewlicious yet. i m working on it. one bocher at a time.

  • That’ll be the day, when the closed boths at the shaddy Internet cafe’s by crack square are filled with Charaidem reading and posting on Jewlicious.

  • This is what we call “grasping at straws.” Since when does Jewlicious claim to be foul-language free? Since when does Jewlicious claim to be, well, anything other than 100% Kosher?

  • I know! When did it all of a sudden become Criticize Jewlicious For Failing to Live Up To The Image I Projected Upon It Week? Did I not get that memo?

  • THE RABBIS AND THE FRUM ARE THE ONLY THING KEEPING ISRAEL IN EXISTENCE. IT IS PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO INSULT TRUE JEWS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR SUICIDE BOMBINGS ALL OVER THE WORLD, THAT’S WHY PEOPLE ARE ANGRY AT US (LOOK AT THE WHORE ON THE UPPER RIGHT HAND CORNER OF YOUR SITE, IS THIS HOW WE JEWS SHOULD REALLY DEPICT OURSELVES??? SHE’S A NASTY C_ _ T (LITERALLY)!!!! I’D RATHER HAVE A SHIKSA ANY DAY OF THE YEAR.

  • Um, Simon, just as a dispassionate observer… what makes you refer to the quite lovely, modestly-dressed lass at the upper right as a “nasty c__t” and to claim that you’d “rather have a shiksa any day of the year”?

    I think, m’boy, that YOU have some issues with being a Jew. (Caps intentional.)

  • Actually, “simon,” if you’re so frum and you get it, then it’s more like this: Yes, you’re right, the Rabbis and the frum are keeping things going, but they are also MORE RESPONSIBLE for the bad…and so check out the gemorrah in Shabbos that talks about the Destruction – the Tzadikkim bear more responsiblity…not that people who know a little shouldn’t be better and learn a little more…but the real cause is from the one’s who really know (and I’ll put myself in the category – I should behave better)…but picking on a chick for wearing a tight shirt when she’s 18 and doesn’t really know better cuz all she did was go to Day school and didn’t get it yet???? How about asking what’s going on at a famous Yeshiva, how they’re fighting over kovod and ruining a once great institution and possibly causing Tzunami????? Just curios…do the words “machon shlomo” mean anything to you? Hmmmm????

  • Simon, Simon, Simon, you are trying my patience. I am not even going to address your last comment, what you said was mamash awful. I’m just going to repeat Ahavat Chinam, over and over …

  • RE(#05)
    FIRST OF ALL, I GIVE YOU CREDIT FOR COMMENTING INSTEAD OF MICHAEL. (APPARENTLY HE HASN’T BEEN BAR-MITZVA’D YET AND STILL NEEDS PARENTAL SUPERVISION). AS FOR THE WHORE, IF YOU THINK HER DRESS IS SO APPROPRIATE, WHY NOT DRESS YOUR SON THE SAME WAY -NUMEROUS BODY PIERCINGS ESPECIALLY ON THE MOUTH AND AN ULTRA-TIGHT T-SHIRT…

  • Michael’s Dad, I have difficulty believing he isn’t some child who can’t find the Caps Lock button. I’m afraid the Jews require a more, uh, judicious type of thinker to lead us anywhere.

  • An Open Letter to Jewlicious:

    I think we both learned something from all this. But just in case, I’ll tell you what your lesson is:
    As Abu Gingy, the thoughtful author of http://defenestrationof.blogspot.com/ pointed out (with a wonderful source I will later reference) , it would probably be better to have a discussion without calling each other an “anti-Semite.” Jewlicious, specifically Middle Man, of course, started this pissing contest in a thread about Morel, and started it very quickly – guess history isn’t your thing, is it Middle Man? Of course not, or you wouldn’t have needed to grasp so quickly at that most desperate of overused trump cards. But I understand. History is boring for the authors of the Barbie of Jewish group blogs.
    But if we must resort to such behavior – won’t you now admit that hurling anti-Semitic labels and even employing anti-Semitic imagery need not be so serious and heavy handed? Look how much fun you have had with it!

    But it is a bit silly, is it not?

    I would refer you (or at least any of your readers whose minds can digest anything more substantial than recycled pop culture shorts) to Godwin’s Law .

    According to Wikipedia, it goes as follow:

    “Godwin’s law (also Godwin’s rule of Nazi analogies) is an adage in Internet culture that was originated by Mike Godwin in 1990. The law states that:
    As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1 (i.e. certainty).
    There is a tradition in many Usenet newsgroups that once such a comparison is made, the thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. In addition, it is considered poor form to invoke the law explicitly. Godwin’s law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups. Many people understand Godwin’s law to mean this, although (as is clear from the statement of the law above) this is not the original formulation.”
    As I am not a mean spirited fellow, but believe in the power of tsuva (repentence), I offer the following: As soon as Jewlicious unequivocally admits the error their ways on this single issue, I will agree to a truce.
    I am not concerned about the unremitting foul language or personal attacks made by those at Jewlicious, many of whom hide behind anonymity and semi-anonymity because of their pride in this site.
    But in order for a truce to be had, the provocative (in a settlement building sort of way) of all discussions on anything Jewish, your hurling and inferring the term “anti-Semite”, has to be publicly retracted, and a commitment to limit its employment in general must be made.
    This is my offer. I think it is fair, and hope you will as well.

  • An Open Letter to David Kelsey:

    As the student of history you repeatedly remind everyone that you are, perhaps you will be able to appreciate the general historical truth that truces are only declared when one or both sides feel threatened.

    One pompous history student who disagrees with some Jewlicious posters and, in a stunning display of needling wit calls Jewlicious “the Barbie of Jewish group blogs” does not really constitute a threat. In order to be a threat, you would have to be taken seriously.

    One would hope that your lesson was that presumptiousness, pomposity and unjustified narcissism don’t get you much respect from other people. But evidently it wasn’t.

  • I have always hated those cowards who act as a group and deny individual responsibility.

    But your group will not always be your outlet for publishing, will it?

    But we will see if you are so tough and flip when you are outside the confines of your group blog, and in the larger, if still shockingly small world, as individual writers who can no longer hide professionally under the thin veil of alias.

    You insist on leveling and standing by your foul mouthed personal attacks.

    Very well.

    If I have my way, you will be standing behind them for a long time.

    There are reasons this isn’t done in the publishing world outside of your blog. And I doubt you don’t have ambitions outside of your blog.

    We will see if there is no professional cost for your personal attacks and name-calling.

  • “But your group will not always be your outlet for publishing, will it?”

    Am I right to read this as a compliment?

    “We will see if there is not professional cost for your personal attacks and name-calling.”

    Am I wrong to read this as a threat?

  • Kelsey, you write for HEEB, my 4-year old cousin’s drawings have more substance then the majority of articles in that magazine, and she can’t even color in the lines. Now shouldn’t your over inflated yuppy ego be at some sort of new age poetry event or something, or perhaps a film festival with movies about gay cowboys eating pudding.

  • Shit! I’ll never get that job with Heeb now that Kelsey’s on the warpath! There goes my career!

    I think I smell impotent fury, and it ain’t coming from Jewlicious…

  • Yo, Kelsey, not to sound like I have no life or anything, but I checked out your blog and guess what? If it wasn’t for Jewlicious, you would have, like, NO comments? Surprise, surprise…

  • David Kelsey:
    Wow. That may well have been both the saddest and funniest thing I have ever read, ever.

    The only person who is anonymous here is themiddle, and I respect his reasons for remaining so. Believe me they have nothing to do with hiding from the likes of you and your ilk.

    The rest of us are very visible. And, like Judaism itself, we are not a monolith. For instance, I called you a cunt, but I know that laya immediately took umbrage with that designation. I don’t recall anyone else using foul language against you. They certainly, and justifiably however laughed at you and mocked your self-important blather.

    Look, I’m just an ignorant Moroccn Jew. I never had the benefit of a fine ejumucation such as one afforded to individuals who attend City University of New York. Others more erudite than I can use multi-syllabic expletives like “impotent fury” or “presumptiousness, pomposity and unjustified narcissism” or even “moron.” But in the mean streets where I grew up, one could rely on the simple but highly evocative “cunt” to say the same thing. If that offends you, perhaps you ought to look beyond your high brow world view and understand whereI am coming from lest some of your more evolved hipster friends brand you a classist.

    OK, so what was I saying again? Oh yes. David Kelsey is a cunt. You may not know this, but all of us here are otherwise gainfully employed. No one who writes for Jewlicious has ever expressed to me the desire to write for Heeb or The Forward or the Villager or Downtown Express or any of the other myriad publications where you no doubt have massive shlepp (as befits your status as a published writer and CUNY history student).

    But whatever, I thank you David for an awesome, awesome, post-shabbat laugh. Please next time threaten us with something a little more realistic and try not to come off sounding like such a jackass.

  • Aw, ck, I never knew you thought of me as more erudite than you. Although I guess “moron” has a tad more class than “c – – t.”

  • Town Crier: Oh no. We do? Dang. I so want to be universally adored. Oh well, guess thats the price I pay for being me.

  • Both the article and the comments exhibit the degree of misunderstanding as well as lack of knowlege. The emblem displayed Is that of the Eda Charedit. Badatz is an organization – the legal arm (court) of the Eda. The term Badatz is used by many other rabbinical courts as well but the public generally thinks of it in relatiuonship to the Eda.The Eda has such extensive supervision despite charging for its services because it can be trusted! Many other supervisiors rely upon disputable rulings acceptable to only a segment of the population. Everything the Eda supercies is absolutely kosher without any doubts. The Eda cooperates with the establishmentr rabbinate in many ways. In some cases they even rely on each others supervisers so the claim of extreme anti-Zionism is put pad. No one forces anyone to but food with their hechsher or obey any other ruling. It is strictly a voluntary situation based largely on the fact that they are trusted because they have proven themselves trustworthy.

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