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Does anyone here know anything about the reliability of "Rabbi Barnett Hasden of Ner Tamid K in Staten Island, NY"?

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I strongly recommend that you ask your Rabbi questions like this. –  Isaac Moses Jan 23 '11 at 1:54
    
@issac wouldit be better if the question was which certification it's comparable to in terms of standards? –  yydl Jan 23 '11 at 2:33
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@yydl, The question is actually not so bad as-is. It asks for information that could be useful. I'd just recommend that you check with your Rabbi before acting on said information. I suppose the question could be objectivized a bit by rephrasing as "What do authoritative rabbis or organizations say about the reliability of this hechsher?" and/or "How does this hechsher's standards differ from those of more widely-known hechshers?" –  Isaac Moses Jan 24 '11 at 21:07
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@EllenGreenberg, Welcome to Judaism.SE! I converted your answer into a comment because it doesn't really answer the question. If you want to post a follow-up question, please do so here. Also, please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features, including the ability to post comments like this one. –  Isaac Moses Dec 16 '11 at 17:43
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As noted in a Mishpacha magazine article a few months ago, that included a round table discussion by several kashrus experts, the most acceptable hechshers are those who communicate and share information on policies and procedures, and even problems they experience, with the rabbis of other hechshers as well as local rabbeim. Those who keep quiet tend to be not recommended because rabbis have no basis for making a recommendation. –  Bruce James May 15 at 15:17
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5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

If I was to compare it to another hechsher, it would be Tablet K. There is a lot of rumour and controversy surrounding the reliability and acceptance of the Ner Tamid K (Rabbi Hasden). It is, in general, not considered as reliable as the OU/OK/CRC, but the best thing to do would be to ask your LOR (Local Orthodox Rabbi).

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Additional possibly relevant information: I have only ever seen Ner Tamid K on restaurants which have already lost their previous hashgacha over some other issue. –  Yitzchak May 13 at 14:06
    
I think that sources would make this answer useful. As it is now it's just rumor –  Shmuel Brin yesterday
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My understanding is it's generally not up to the usual standards you may be used to. I believe he is more lenient with the definition of kosher cheese than what passes these days.

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Well consider this:

Staten Island rabbi Dov Hazdan has been granting his own kosher certification to city Dunkin’ Donuts franchises that have served bacon, ham, and sausage, the trayf trifecta. “The meats all come prepackaged,” says Hazdan. “The employees have to wear gloves. I do not condone mixing kosher with nonkosher.” In Manhattan, Hazdan has also given his ner tamid K stamp to Pongal Vegetarian, an Indian restaurant that operates during the Jewish Sabbath

I'm really not sure what to make of the first one (I'm trying to be Melamed Zchus, but if someone else can actually state a justification that would be great), but the second one isn't a Kosher issue per se, it is more a problematic behavior on the part of the certifier.

The bottom line is that it is pretty clear from a story like this that this is a certifier that is very lenient (as compared to what people are generally used to in other certifications). Ask your own Rabbi if that approach is compatible with your general level of observance.

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+1 for your last paragraph. –  Double AA May 13 at 15:54
    
I'm guessing that he's assuming that if they regularly change gloves then no b'ein will ever end up on your donut. Do we know what items in the store the certification covered? –  Double AA May 13 at 15:56
    
@DoubleAA, I don't know what he certified, but if I had to guess, it would be the donuts (which are generally dairy). The meat goes into sandwiches sold separately. –  Yishai May 13 at 17:09
    
So if it's just the donuts and lets assume any ovens for the donuts are specialized, then there shouldn't be much of an issue. –  Double AA May 13 at 17:12
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@NoachmiFrankfurt, It is possible that the arrangement is basically it is all pre-made food, and order the Kosher stuff if you keep Kosher kind of thing. Not really sure what the gloves have to do with it, then. –  Yishai May 15 at 15:56
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I have spoken with Rabbi Barnett Hasdan myself and his response was that everything is under his strict kosher supervision. He is a student of the late Rav Moshe Feinshtein z"l and he told me that if I wanted to know if he was a ne'eman then I could call Rav Reuven Feinshtein shlit"a and ask him. He also informed me that Rav Reuven eats all of Amy's pareve products, but ONLY due to the fact that Rav Reuven is strict on Halav Yisrael and NOT because the cheese products are not kosher. Further, I am aware of Haredi mashgihim who work for the OU who also eat pareve Amy's products in their home, but avoid the dairy products due to the issue of them not being Halav Yisrael.

I challenge anyone reading this who is a yireh shamayim to simply pick up a phone and call Rabbi Hasdan yourself. If after a conversation with this obviously religious (read, "Orthodox") Jewish man you are still not satisfied then by all means feel free to continue to abstain from eating the products he supervises. However, it is does not become all of a sudden mutar to spread rumors about his kosher certification which almost certainly jeopardizes his parnasah. To do so is a very grave sin.

The politics and arguments over kashrus certification are almost never le-shem shamayim. Anyone who knows about the intense competition and mud-slinging which often accompanies the determination of who is a religious enough Jew to supervise kosher food and who is not knows this to be the case.

The words which the Ramba"m wrote in a letter to his son, Rabbenu Avraham ring very true to this discussion:

“Do not engage in mahloqeth which makes one’s nefesh disgusting...Mahloqeth destroys bodily health, peace of mind, and money. What is left? I have seen pure ones blackened, families plagued and communities disbanded, pious ones lost, the faithful destroyed, the honorable undeservedly shamed - all from mahloqeth. Prophets have prophesied, the wise offered insight and philosophers probed, but they still have not plumbed the awful horrors of mahloqeth..."

“Therefore, despise mahloqeth and flee it. Distance yourself from all its lovers and friends. Be proud of restraint. Know the greatness of forbearance, which is genuine gevurah and victory. In this manner, you will be sanctified even in the eyes of your enemies, who will appreciate your greatness of spirit..."

Mori Yusef Qafih z"l once stated that many of the differences in halakhah which we face between religious Jews are merely DeRabbanan, while the issur of arousing a mahloqeth is from the Torah itself. Think about this.

May we all be zokheh to put away damaging speech, distance ourselves completely from mahloqeth, and treat each other with the dignity and respect due a fellow Jew.

Kol tuv.

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Did you call R' Reuvein Feinstein? –  Shmuel Brin Oct 28 '13 at 5:08
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Did R' Reuvein Feinstein say that his cheese is fine, or he just told him that he keeps Chalav Yisrael to avoid upsetting him. Also, Hillel and Shammai had disagreements in Derabanan cases also, and each probably kept his own halacha. Also, since I'm not in the Kashrus industry, I don't know which "leading" questions should be asked (Btw, every hashgacha has lenincies, so the same could be said about them all). –  Shmuel Brin Oct 28 '13 at 5:13
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@DoubleAA 1. When he said "I saw a Chareidi eating somewhere" he implies that that's enough a heshcher. It's like saying "I found a guy with a kippa eating somewhere". –  Shmuel Brin Oct 28 '13 at 17:10
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@DoubleAA That's what the Rov of he told the rov of the hechsher personally. If he told it publicly, it would be a different story. –  Shmuel Brin Oct 28 '13 at 17:11
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@Maimonist please hold the ad hominem out of this. –  Double AA Oct 28 '13 at 18:04
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I think some specific issues rather than vague generalities would be more productive. Yoplait states that Rabbi Hasden certifies their Yogurt, and that it contains gelatin derived from Kosher beef.

(note that Yoplait only has a KD, not a certified symbol)

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Why would gelatin be a problem with milk? It's from bones. You've only said enough to someone who doesn't know anything about Kashrut. –  Double AA May 13 at 13:34
    
There are two opinions in Gelatin - one is that it has to be from Kosher slaughtered animals, and the other is that it doesn't (it is so far from food anymore that it doesn't even need to be Kosher). However, in any event (especially according to the second) it would be Pareve. You can find opinions that make it meat, but you would have to look far and wide to find a certifier that wouldn't call it pareve. However, for a company the size of Yoplait, I wonder where they get all that Kosher product from. Anyone considering eating this should call the Rabbi and see if he is using opinion #2. –  Yishai May 13 at 15:33
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@Yishai Or option 2b) bones of Nevelah aren't assur to begin with (ShA YD 99). Nothing to do with how processed it is. –  Double AA May 13 at 15:59
    
@DoubleAA, Gelatin isn't just made from the bones though. –  Yishai May 13 at 17:03
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@CodeswithHammer KD is not tradmarked IIUC. Anyone can write it on their products. –  Double AA May 15 at 18:48
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protected by Shmuel Brin May 15 at 17:44

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