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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
@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
With the exception of cheeses, lentils, beans, etc. are the remainder of the products like the oriental noodle bowl reliably kosher? Tablet K is a fairly reliable hecksher. –  user1093 Dec 16 '11 at 17:30
@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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3 Answers

up vote 5 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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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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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
How do you know that the Mashgichim are Chareidi? What defines "Chareidi" anyways? –  Shmuel Brin Oct 28 '13 at 5:09
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
@ShmuelBrin Your second comment is unproductive. Your third comments is clearly addressed in the post ("but ONLY due to the fact that Rav Reuven is strict on Halav Yisrael and NOT because the cheese products are not kosher"). Your first comment is valid. –  Double AA Oct 28 '13 at 6:31
No, I have not yet contacted him, but in all honesty I do not need to. This is like Rash"i's comment on the parashah of the spies, i.e. I already asked if I could take the donkey on the hills, rocks, etc. and was told yes each time. In other words, if he is willing to claim something - in our times of unprecedented telecommunications - about Rav Feinshtein then I can trust that the statement is true. That is, unless we have completely lost the trust which the halakhah ascribes to Jews who are shomrei Torah u-Misswoth, has wa-shalom. Kol tuv. –  Maimonist Oct 28 '13 at 11:36
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