Does anyone here know anything about the reliability of "Rabbi Barnett Hasden of Ner Tamid K in Staten Island, NY"?
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).
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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Well consider this:
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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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:
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.
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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.
protected by Shmuel Brin May 15 at 17:44
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