Monday, December 1, 2008

Hechsherim- Help!!

Alright, I am thoroughly lost.
I come from America, okay? And not from NY- where there are all these strange hechsherim (kosher certification), like the chassidish hechshers, Kehilah Kashrus, the Lakewood hechsher, the others- I can't even keep those straight!

I come from out-of-town, where we rely on major national and international hechsherim, like the OU, the star-K, the circle-K, and so on.

And now- I'm here, in Israel. And thoroughly confused.

Belz Machzekei HaDaas, Agudas Yisroel, Petach Tikva Chasam Sofer, Bnei Brak Chasam Sofer, Landau, Badatz Aidah HaCharedit, Rubin...the list could go on forever.
And some hold by this, some hold by that- all agree that even the worst commonly- accepted (makes grammatical sense, I checked) Israeli hechsher is better than an American one (yep- heard that straight out from several people.)

To top it all off, I used to trust hechsherim. If the OU put a hechsher on something, I assumed they sent Mashgichim there, they checked it out, and then put a hechsher on the final product.

But here, it seems common that people find that the Badatz would put a hechsher on something, and later it's learned that they shouldn't have.

Or a hechsher is put on, but the company that put the hechsher on doesn't hold by it 100 percent. (Yep- heard this one from a reliable source too!)

I can barely figure out which ones I and my husband use, and then I get the phone calls from reliable friends- hey, new restaraunt- but it's under a hechsher that isn't the best...

To simplify, there is a website out- I just found it, after a few frustrating searches on the Internet for help. It's called Kosher In Jerusalem, and gives the hechsherim lists given out from Yeshivos/seminaries and Rabbinical organizations- like Aish, Neve, CRC, and so on.
So that helps a bit- at least it lists the organizers and which hechsherim are commonly held.

Still- a bunch of products that I use are not commonly held by others- like American products I can't find with a Badatz, but they have an OU...used in the US, but in Israel- a lower hechsher. I've tried to find an Israeli substitute- but to no avail. And my grocery store routinely stocks products with Sephardi hechsherim- stuff I know nothing about at all!

Anyone else have these hechsher problems? Any interesting stories about it?
I'd love to hear, because it's good to know I'm not the only one who needs Hechsher help!

4 comments:

Jonas said...

Two awesome websites to the rescue:
http://KosherInJerusalem.com
and
http://KosherInJerusalem.com/forum

nmf #7 said...

Jonas- thanks! Actually, if you read my post, I linked to that exact website!

Khusro said...

Jonas.and why should i read your article.and what kind of an article you are going to show me.THE PATHAN,S said.

Khusro said...

go to hell. dont mess with pathan people.