The Matzav Rant: When Baalei Batim Stick Their Noses Into Kashrus


kosher-poultry1By Shmuel Miskin

I know that the title to this rant is a bit rash, but recent revelations in the world of kashrus call for somewhat of an outcry as well as a concerted effort to ensure that those who are out in the field certifying our stores, companies and products have the ability and peace of mind to do their jobs unhindered.

In various instances, business owners have hired a rav hamchshir or kashrus organization to certify his store or product, but then proceed to meddle in the kashrus affairs. It should be understood that once a rav hamachshir is hired, all kashrus matters in a company or store are now in the sole jurisdiction of the rav hamachshir. The business owner, whether he is a baal habayis, a talmid chochom or very wealthy and influential, has no right to dictate or say how the kashrus aspects of the company should be run.

If an owner hires a rav hamachsir and disagrees with his policies or wishes to make changes, then the owner should find a new rav hamachsir. But never should a business owner be allowed to:

a) fire mashgichim or shochtim on his own, without the rav hamachshir‘s knowledge and consent.

b) bring in other mashgichim or agencies without the current rav hamchshir‘s knowledge and consent.

c) disrespect the rav hamachshir or turn to legal recourse because of his beliefs of the way the kashrus matters at his company or store should operate.

d) give bonuses as incentives to shochtim for faster performance, which could possibly compromise kashrus.

If we allow business owners to do what they want and disregard their own rabbonim machshirim, we might as well shut down the kosher food industry and just eat food from our homes. We cannot, and should not, tolerate business owners who think they know better than their rabbonim machshirim.

I was gratified to learn that, in a recent instance, a baal habayis who owns a company crossed the line in his dealings with his rav hamachsir and a number of hashgachos, in response, took on a policy not to use products from that company until that matter was settled. That type of unity in protecting mashgichim in the field is what is needed to make sure that those who are responsible for the kashrus of the products we eat and bring into our homes have the freedom, ability and peace of mind to carry out their sacred task each day.

{Shmuel Newscenter}


  1. This has to be specified.
    And its not a bit harsh.
    Just look at all the comments and blogs with unknown people saying “dai’ous” to Kashris agencies how to run their hashgachas.
    We know this and we know that. This is no good and that is no good. Then they try to blacken these agencies.

  2. Wow, very interesting to hear this perspective. I’m curious to know if Mr. Miskin has ever been in the kosher food industry. If he was, he would know the other side of the story. Not that of Baalei batim “interfering” in kashrus, but rather trying to save their business from a Kashrus mafia who hold the key to any food business and use that to blackmail owners. They are there not only to provide a hechsher, but also make a heavy profit, stroke their egos, and to take total control of someone else’s business without any consequence to the kashrus. We are not even going to discuss how often a kashrus org. is in the pocket of a competitor and is used to destroy said competitor.

  3. this is not to say that all kashrus agencies are bad and all businessmen are tzadikim. just know to take everything with a grain of salt and not believe everything you hear.

  4. If it was true that a balabus sticks his nose into kashrus in any way that jepordizes kashrus, and any hashgocha leaves because of this, they usually say that they are leaving because they cannot take responsibility for the kashrus or they resign due to violations. If neither have been specified, it “may just be” it was due to polotics, or business decisions (if anyone can imagine those 2 things exist in the perfect world of kashrus!!!!)
    They way i see it, kashrus is as much of a business as is any…
    I also think our heimish websites should cease from giving one sided arguements a venue, and just report the news

  5. to # 4, please tell us which ones are tzaddikim that have no alterior motives, only to provide reliable kashrus, and then Miskin can rant about balabatim having no right or say in how other people run their businesses, and disallow any input, even if the kashrus agency has their employees strike, slow down, make new demands or do as they please – and if anyone objects – that person is interfering in “kashrus”. if he wishes to run his business, he should be shunned and publicly embarrased. How dare he think of hiring additional or other hashgochas? how dare he request that a bais din get involved! doesnt he know that its the kashrus organization that built the company and now is the only one who can decide how the business is run !!!!

  6. hey , the mashgiach himself is a bal habayis in most cases so why are you using the prefix of bal habayis . just say that if **anyone hires a mashgiach** …..