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January 17, 2012

Why Did Israel's Chief Rabbis Ban Häagen Dazs?

Haagen Daz cartonIsrael's Chief Rabbinate has banned Häagen Dazs ice cream, claiming the product is not kosher, even though the product sold today is the same as the product sold one year ago or two years ago when the Rabbinate approved it as kosher. Here's the story behind the story.

Haagen Daz carton

Rabbinate's new enemy: Häagen-Dazs
Senior Chief Rabbinate officials claim ice cream based on unsupervised liquid milk, therefore not kosher. Company marketing Häagen-Dazs in Israel: Product adheres to strict OU kashrut supervision
Ari Galahar • Ynet

Senior Chief Rabbinate officials have sent a letter to local rabbis, claiming that Häagen-Dazs ice cream is not kosher and therefore must not be marketed in Israel.

Following an inquiry by Ynet's local portal Mynet, the Shufersal supermarket chain announced that it would pull the ice cream from its shelves.

"The ice cream, which is sold in other stores as well, is based on pagan liquid milk (milk produced without Jewish supervision)," the letter explained, "and so it is sold in serious violations of kashrut procedures."
 
The letter added, "We will also the permit providers not to allow the sale of this product in supervised places. As long as the chain's management insists on selling them, the kashrut certificate may be revoked by law."
 
Rafi Yochai of the Rabbinate's kashrut division told Mynet that the two leading supermarket chains were violating procedures.
 
"Their stores have a kosher certificate, so every person observing kashrut is inclined to believe that all of the products sold in the store are kosher, when in fact that is not true because of the ice cream.
 
"We have already warned them three times on this matter, and this is the last time. As of the next time, we will start collecting fines of NIS 2,000 ($521) for each ice cream caught in their stores."

General Mills Israel, which markets Häagen-Dazs ice cream in the Jewish state, said in response that "the ice cream adheres to the strict and global OU kashrut supervision and is consumed by the religious and secular public in Israel and abroad.

"The Chief Rabbinate's announcement is nothing new. The super-premium ice cream is produced with liquid milk, which allows exceptional quality in product's texture and final taste."

That was Ynet's report.

Now, here's mine.

I asked the CEO of OU Ksher Rabbi Menachem Genack where Israel's Häagen Dazs is made and where the milk used in it comes from.

He told me the product is made in France. No changes were made in its processing over the past year.

Ben and Jerry's and many other ice creams use powdered milk to create the ice cream base. Häagen Dazs uses regular liquid milk.

There are two heterim, leniencies, commonly used today which allow the consumption of milk whose milking was not done under kosher supervision, and two older and much less accepted heterim for it that are used in tandem with one of the first two heterim to permit a form of unsupervised milk:

1. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (the leading American haredi rabbi from about 1960 until his death in 1986) and many, many other rabbis including Aharon Kotler held that because governments like the US require that all milk sold as cow's milk be actual cow's milk, and because the government spot checks dairies, and because non-kosher animals are not found in dairies or in the milking areas of farms, all commercially produced milk produced in the US (and Canada, Great Britain, Australia, etc.) has the status of halav yisrael, Jewish supervised milk. This milk is commonly referred to as halav stam or halav companies to distinguish it from halav yisrael milk produced with actual Jewish supervision.

2. Rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank (Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem in the mid-1900s, was also on the Eidah Charedis beit din for 60 years and was for a time its head) and fewer rabbis – many, many  fewer rabbis – than is the case with Rabbi Feinstein's heter, held that powdered milk made from milk that was not milked under Jewish supervision could be used, because the rabbinic prohibition against consuming otherwise kosher milk that was milked by a non-Jew without Jewish oversight does not apply to powdered milk because powdered milk did not exist almost 2000 years ago when this rabbinic prohibition was added. (Yes, children, King David, Moses, the Prophets and your ancestors all probably consumed unsupervised milk products. And the Maccabees and Hillel probably did, as well. But I digress.) Additionally, Rabbi Frank said, heter #3 (found immediately below) also could apply to powdered milk, making powdered milk kosher.  But he also held that heter #3 did not make liquid milk kosher – even though heter #3 was proposed long before powdered milk existed.

3. Rabbi Hezekiah da Silva (1659, Italy – 1698, Jerusalem), known after his work the  Pri Hadash, argued that one only needs to be concerned about non-supervised but otherwise kosher milk when the milk from non-kosher animals like horses or pigs is less expensive than the milk from kosher animals like cows, goats and sheep, or when milk from non-kosher animals is commonly milked and sold, but is difficult to sell because customers much prefer cow’s milk or goat milk or other milk from kosher species. When milk from kosher animals is less expensive than milk from non-kosher animals, he argues that we do not need to be concerned that non-Jews would add the more expensive milk from non-kosher animals into milk from kosher animals. In other words, if mare’s milk sells for $5 per 1/2 gallon, we don’t have to worry that the cow’s milk we buy for $2 per 1/2 gallon is adulterated with mare’s milk. (But if the cow’s milk sold for $5 per 1/2 gallon and mare’s milk sold for $2 per 1/2 gallon, we would have to worry that the unsupervised cow’s milk we want to buy is adulterated with non-kosher mare’s milk – and that would make halav yisrael, supervised kosher milk, mandatory. But this is not the case in the US or in any Western country - or in Israel.)

4. Rabbi Shimon ben Tzemach Duran (Spain, 1300s), known as the Tashbetz after the title of one of his books. The Tashbetz held that in places where there are no camels, no supervision of milk is necessary. Camel milk is the only commonly consumed non-kosher milk in the world, and it is consumed almost exclusively in Arab countries. Camels are the only non-kosher animals which can be "easily" milked. Pigs are almost impossible to milk. Mares are easier but not as easy as camels (and certainly not as easy as cows). In other words, in places where non-kosher animals are not usually milked, and where such animals are not usuallly found, no kosher supervision of milking was necessary – unless the non-kosher animal in question is a camel, in which case, supervision of all milking would be necessary to make sure camel's milk is not added into the cow's (or goat's or sheep's) milk.

Israel's Chief Rabbinate follows heter #2.

Häagen Dazs is produced following heter #1.

Somehow the Chief Rabbinate did not know this. It relied on the OU and other Diaspora kosher supervisions, thinking the milk used was either actual liquid halav yisrael milk or that the milk used was in powdered form – until it recently discovered that Häagen Dazs uses liquid milk not powdered milk, and that it is produced relying on heter #1.

Or perhaps the Chief Rabbinate did know it but allowed Häagen Dazs to be sold anyway. Then, after years passed, someone unaware of the original exception to the Rabbinate's general rule forbidding products made with liquid unsupervised cow's milk discovered how Häagen Dazs is made and made a stink.

Or perhaps this is mostly political, involving a fight between importers or brand owners or between rabbis.

What we do know is that the Häagen Dazs sold in Israel today is produced the same way in the same place as the Häagen Dazs sold in Israel last year or the year before.

The really odd thing is that milk from non-kosher animals is much lower in fat than milk from kosher animals, and any ice cream made with it would not be premium and certainly could not be sold as the super premium high in fat Häagen Dazs.

In other words, camels are not commerically raised or milked in France (at least on the type of scale necessary to impact this situation). Pigs are not commerically milked. And the milk from camels, pigs and mares all make terribly bad ice cream. On top of that, France has labeling laws that prohibit adulterating food, and dairies are supervised for compliance, cleanliness and health issues. And the cost of mare's milk or camel's milk is higher than cow's milk.

Rabbi Frank's heter has the least halakhic support. Ample reasons exist to rely on Rabbi Feinstein, the Pri Hadash and the Tashbetz – not the least of which is that it is very possible that Rabbi Frank would have allowed unsupervised liquid milk to used in ice cream (which was not commercially available in Israel on any wide scale when he was alive) because non-kosher milk makes horrible ice cream that has no commercial value, which means there is no financial incentive to adulterate the ice cream with milk from non-kosher animals in the first place. And any adulteration would ruin the ice cream and would be easily noticed by consumers.

That means there are three very good reasons to rule that Häagen Dazs is kosher and one extremely weak reason to rule that it is not.

So why did Israel's haredi-controlled chief rabbinate opt to keep following that one extremely weak reason?

I don't know.

Perhaps one day, we'll find out.

Comments

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If you mean SuperSol company, is how they spell their name in English, unless you are referring to the Chareidishe chain,ShufraSol something.

which is better Ben and Jerry's or HD?

Follow the money. See who stands to profit from this ruling, and you'll know why the ruling was changed.

Ben and Jerry's is better and they give back more to society. Their employees are required to volunteer and they get paid while volunteering. The company culture is very relaxed and they pay their bills on time.

Kosher, shmosher! What a bunch of crapola! Anybody that listens to morons about what they should eat based on ruling of other morons does not deserve to eat the delicious flavors offered by this great company. I think I am going to buy a pint, ITS SO DAMN GOOD! And not kosher? Even better.

I hope there are other brands of ice cream for the Israelis to eat. Here in the states we have many brands to choose from. I have not had Haagen-Dazs for years simply because I find it too rich with way too much fat for my tastes.

sam go back to being a non jew and stop reading jewish blogs....i smell bacon.

That bacon smell isn't coming from Sam. It's coming from you. Get out of the sun, fat boy. You're burning!

As if Haagen Dazs would alter the flavor of their ice cream with camel's milk, which has a strong and "acquired" taste.
Despite the blithering of successive CHABAD Rebbes, based on the actions and mental quality of the Chabad/and Chareidi society today is seems as if it is Halav Israel that pollutes the heart and mind.
Now I'll go get a 14-ounce (welcome to the 2012-pint) Haagen Dazs Coffee Ice Cream and thank Kosher Jesus from showing me the way away from the Frumma.

This completely ridiculous since the French are normally fastidious about food labeling and purity. I do not keep kosher - I figure if God truly cares about what I eat, he should not have made me a diabetic. I have enough restrictions on my diet.

devorah: "Ben and Jerry's is better and they give back more to society. Their employees are required to volunteer and they get paid while volunteering."

Required to volunteer? WTF???

I like the way you explained the different heterim as well as the basis for the new ban. Good job.

There is another very logical reason for ignoring this as well.....its all a bunch of made up BS by old men with OCD and a hatred for women and sex therefore go eat whatever ice cream your heart desires, personally DQ is my favourite.

Since a common pejorative for Orthodox in Israel is "dosi" maybe the rabbi-nuts thought that "Haagen Dazs" is an anti-religious slur.

These guys don't know what it means to enjoy life do they? And they just want to enslave the less fortunate among them to their crazy ways and control people with their supposed power. Very sad.

Nice Halakha lesson - agree with Yaakov and hope to see more.

When he was a bochur, Deremes 'worked' as a cholov supervisor upstate, at a large modern dairy.

One morning he arrived too early and found himself alone with no sign that the cows would be led in for milking for at least 15 minutes. Unfortunately his yetzer hora took over and he wondered what it would be like to have done to him what he would not dare ask any frum girl to do and which he believed shiksas did to sheigetzim.

Accordingly he attached himself to the 'udder sucker' and switched the machine on. After having the best 2 minutes of his life Deremes decided he better switch the machine off and get his pants back on before the shift workers led in the cows.

It was then that he realised that he was stuck in the machine. After trying everything and panicking a bit, he remembered he was carrying his cell phone. So he called directory assistance and obtained the phone number of the milking machine manufacturer's service department whom he then called.

"Git day," he said, "I am about to use a milking machine I bought from you. I cannot see how you disconnect it from the cow's udder?"

"Don't worry sir, this is state of the art technology." came the reply "The device will release automatically once it's collected two gallons."

As much as I think that it's stupid of the Rabbanut not to follow the various heterim for Chalav Nokhri - especially since they have all sorts of "caveat" hashgachas for gelatin, powdered milk, heter mekhira on Shemita, and kitniyot on Pesach - it is not a new policy. R. Bakshi Doron published a position paper in Tehumin decades ago, and the policy is available in the public domain.
Much as I'd like to, I don't think there's a money trail to be followed here.

I don't know why the rabbanut is all of a sudden kicking up a fuss about milk. Their non-glatt shechita leaves a lot to be desired, as does their lack of supervision of meat restaurants (there is no requirement to have a mashgiach temidi). Milk should be the last think on their minds!

Adams, all of Super Sol is now called Shufer Sal. The Charedi branch is called Yesh.

It's probably just some busybody wanting to make trouble, as in much of the frum world.

I'm shepping such nachas to see Shmarya finally make a halachic write up which is to the point and mostly accurate.

All you need to do now though is get a little read up on consumer regulations and you'll see why the Chief Rabbinate actions are logical, and that unless the FDA gets their act together there will be a major upheaval in the US Kosher market as Hashgachot need to start banning cholov stam.

Today in America, although the FDA is entitled legally to perform any test for adulteration, practically there is no standard test for adulteration. The FDA only tests for bacteria, presence of antibiotics, and somatic cell count (SCC). Additionally, the FDA no longer conducts test, but outsources pretty much all testing to state agencies. Although there is a FDA protocol the states need to conform to, it is reasonable to assume that not all states are fully diligent in their oversight, and that testing standards vary from state to state.

The upshot of the above is Rabbi Feinstein's heter probably no longer has any real halachic pertinence anymore (I am not sure if there actually was ever a time milk was tested in the states for adulteration per se). Although the introduction of sow milk is probably not a concern, as sows have a SCC count way higher than average cows, and a farmer who mixes it into his milk product risks the low SCC count bonus many dairies give to their suppliers (and also the practical consideration that sows are very difficult to milk) camel milk on average (according to studies done in the Emirates) have an average SCC of 260,000 which is very close to the 1-200,000 range of a healthy cow. That is as far as milk products go in the US where imports account for less than six percent of consumption.

But once we move to the international food supply, the problem is further compounded because aside from the concern of non-kosher MILK in regular milk supply, it is a dirty industry secret that nobody really knows anymore WHAT ACTUALLY IS inside the milk. Indian milk is heavily exported throughout the world, and as far back as 2007 the FDA knew that Indian milk was being adulterated with water and fats and there was a significant presence of synthetic milk which is produced from ingredients such as pulverised detergent, sodium hydroxide, vegetable oil, salt and UREA! Initial FDA testing in 2007 indicated that up to a quarter of Indian milk was adulterated, yet it took until last year for them to launch a full fact finding mission in which they were treated with a live demonstration of synthetic milk being manufactured, and discovered that a full 68%!!! of the milk supply was contaminated. It took until today (literally - Jan 17 2011) for the FDA India to announce a new testing regime for milk. As most readers will remember, hundreds of children in China were sickened because of melamine being mixed in milk by one of the largest state milk suppliers. In light of the pervasiveness of adulterated milk in other countries, one has to be mindful that even in the United States adulteration in milk is not tested for per se; it might be discovered through the standard SCC test, but most likely only through a snitch.

Based on the above, even for food products manufactured in the states, Rabbi Feinstein's heter probably doesn't apply, and the only fully applicable hetter would be that of the Tashbatz. Additionally, even in the US, the 6% of imported milk product is unacceptably high if one wanted to rely on the heter of of bottul b'shishim (which would only allow a cap of 1.66%). However, once we start moving into internationally manufactured products, such as Haagen Dazs (which unless I'm mistaken is manufactured in multiple locations around the world) there is no hetter which can permit the use of non-cholov yisroel milk, if the manufacturing facility is in a country which imports a significant portion of its dairy. Although in such countries, hetter number two for milk powder would probably still be valid, considering the extent of milk adulteration in the international milk supply, even that hetter probably demands review.

So to cap it up, for Haagen Dazs produced in the US there exists a valid thought very tenuous heter which allows the OU to certify it. However when you're going to Israel where Haagen Dazs is imported from multiple locations, it is too messy for the Rabbanut to start specifying that the Ice Cream is permitted depending on manufacturing location and finds it preferable to just issue a blanket ban.

In other words Shmarya, the Rabbi's actually know what they're doing.

Shmarya:

My understanding of Frank's heter on non-fat dry milk (powdered milk) is that he held the gezeira was only against liquid milk, not that powdered milk didn't exist. Rather, he showed that it couldn't be a matter of kashrut (butter had no gezeira) and prior to the gezeira on gevinat achum, cheese also had no gezeira. Also, the halacha l'meise was that you could buy butter from a non-Jew, but you could not buy liquid milk, even if before you took it from them they made it into butter in front of you.

So, he reasoned that the form of the milk was the key, and powdered milk should be permitted. This is how I learned it, though I am certainly subject to correction.

Posted by: Kvelling | January 17, 2012 at 04:48 AM

You're a poster child for what happens when someone learns halakha on a superficial basis, works in the kashrut business and thinks the crap he hears from the businessmen calling themselves rabbis who run the OU, OK, etc., is actually the halakha, and doesn't understand how halakha and paskening is supposed to work.

Simply put, it isn't the possibility of adulteration that is a problem – it is the PROBABILITY of adulteration.

Halav yisrael milk does not have a mashgiach temidi, a rabbi or rabbi's surrogate watching 24/7 as the cows are milked.

All halakha requires is that a Jews be in the general area in way that he or she could pop in at any moment, even if that means the Jew never pops in that day or he/she pops in for a moment and leaves.

Therefore, the possibility that a batch of milk may be tested – by the state, by private consumer agencies, by competing dairies, etc. is enough to qualify.

Past that, none of the substances you mention that were supposedly found in Indian milk make the milk treife. They are not foods, not substances people (or dogs) eat, and their taste has to be disguised because it is otherwise foul.

Your grasp of food purity laws in countries like France and Germany is simply wrong.

And you are assuming that the percentage of non-milk product added to foreign milk automatically makes the entire batch of foreign milk treife, which is not so. And then you compound your error by assuming that when that batch is added to a much larger batch of kosher milk, the whole thing becomes treife. But that simply is not true.

The milk people buy in grocery stores in the US, Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, etc., is kosher. It is not adulterated. Each of these governments has strict laws fines for violating them, along with the possibility of civil suits and many other mechanisms to make adulteration extremely unlikely.

In short, you're one step this side of an ignoramus – and that makes you the perfect OK mashgiach and Chabad shaliach or other similar flunkie of a kosher supervising agency.

These companies masquerading as Jewish community non-profits have created a generation of ignoramuses.

And they should all be ashamed.

Hmm... the above was not very well stated. To recap:

R. Frank held that the liquid form was the only thing under the gezeira but not because other forms didn't exist.

He brought the cases of cheese and butter. Cheese had its own later gezeira (in certain places) and butter had none.

He brought the halacha that one could not buy liquid milk from a non-Jew even if they watched them make it into butter before taking it (kashrut proof, since it is held only kosher milk can be made into butter).

He concludes, therefore, that only liquid milk was covered by the gezeira, and allows powdered milk.

My understanding of Frank's heter on non-fat dry milk (powdered milk) is that he held the gezeira was only against liquid milk, not that powdered milk didn't exist. Rather, he showed that it couldn't be a matter of kashrut (butter had no gezeira) and prior to the gezeira on gevinat achum, cheese also had no gezeira. Also, the halacha l'meise was that you could buy butter from a non-Jew, but you could not buy liquid milk, even if before you took it from them they made it into butter in front of you.

So, he reasoned that the form of the milk was the key, and powdered milk should be permitted. This is how I learned it, though I am certainly subject to correction.

Posted by: Yaakov | January 17, 2012 at 05:10 AM

No way, no how.

There was no gezeira on cheese for many good reasons. One of those reasons is that only milk from kosher animals can be made into cheese. The Rema mentions this clearly.

Butter, too, can't be made from non-kosher milk because the fat content is too low.

However, all milk can be made into powder.

What he reasoned is what I wrote – there was no powdered milk when the gezeira was made and the what we call "powdered milk" is really not milk, it's a dry substance and a solid, not a wet liquid. Therefore its form has changed, just as cheese is not milk because its form has changed, and it needed to be coverd by a separate gezeira as a result.

Kvelling:

Even ignoring other problems with your comment, your inference:

Based on [behavior in other countries], even for food products manufactured in the states, Rabbi Feinstein's heter probably doesn't apply…

Is not supported by the premises. R. Feinstein's heter was based on the idea that it was more risky for the business selling milk to adulterate it than it was profitable for them to do so. That is, the risk/benefit analysis argues against adulteration. This was in turn based on both the risk of governmental sanction and damage to reputation. Your own logic adds weight to the second. With all the publicity of the melamine scandal in China, no rational businessman would take the risk.

Unfortunately, all of the mashgichim I have spoken with agree that non-Jewish owned facilities are careful to follow the rules but they have to be specially vigilant with Jewish owned plants because they get gamed.

Personally I will trust "the goyim" on this.

Shmarya:

I don't have the responsum to refer to, and I learned it in a shiur, so I can't say that I am correct. I will defer.

Interesting review Shmarya. Thank you.

I'm trying to find gezeirot or takanot beit Shammai which you've previously mentioned were obtained through force (milk, wine, bread...). Could you please point me to a source where they can be found?

Devorah,
One comparison between the ingredients in "socially conscious" Ben & Jerry's shows them to be an utter fraud. They claim "all-natural" but their ice cream contains guar gum, carageenen and many other fillers. Haagen Dasz has NONE of these fillers and freezing agents. They use milk, cream, and flavors and that's it. No vegatable gums to soup up the ice cream. Like everything else these hucksters Ben & Jerry have ever done, their ice cream is crap.


BTW: Ben & Jerry's was sold by these (I'm ashamed to say) Jewish hucksters to Unilever, a multi-national large corporation. Ben & Jerry are right up there with the Kotlers and the Ner Israel guys as far as lies and hucksterism.

"pagan liquid milk" almost cam flying out my nose.

Mmmmmmmmm... looooove HD!

B&J too. Ever had Schweddy Balls?

"pagan liquid milk"

The devil's cream.

Unfortunately, kashrut has been transformed from the spiritual to the corrupt, petty and political by ego-maniacal rabbis. Kosher foods are displayed like breasts on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. The rabbis toss their hechshir beads to whomever pleases them the most.

The laws of kashrut as stated in the Torah are not overly complex. God made it simple enough for all of us to understand. The rabbis throughout history have developed kashrut into an incredibly complex system of rules, regulations, interpretations, etc. The rabbis took checkers and changed it into Dungeons and Dragons.

You want kashrut? Trust your mother, trust your wife, trust yourself. Don't listen to the rabbis.

Never heard about any one milking a pig, did drunk camel milk during my deployment - taste salty cannot imagine any one is using it for ice-cream, on top of it is expensive, and camels are hard to milk. Rabbits should go out into this world before they Make An Assumption morons.
I will trust most poorest gamble rabbit then those rich fat pigs in Jerusalem, or Williamsburg.

If you look to the gemorah, it is obvious that (unlike for wine and bread) there is no special supervision requirement for milk. The same rules apply as to any other food products bought. So unsupervised milk is no different from unsupervised beer or cola. If there is no good reason to assume that a particular product contains non kosher ingredients then one can assume it is kosher. One does not have to have regard to far fetched possibilities of either deliberate or accidental contamination.

So in the West (but not necessarily in the East in the 14th century) it is far fetched to assume that milk has been contaminated by camels milk. It is far fetched to assume that it has been contaminated by pig or horse milk (since these animals are dangerous and hard to milk) and it is far fetched to assume a farmer would risk doing so because he would risk government fines and his livelihood. So reasons 1, 3 & 4 mentioned are really all the same argument. (Reason 2 is nonsense).

So why is now supervision of milk so important to Hareidim when it need not be any different to beer? The answer has nothing to do with kashrus and reflects very poorly on Jews. The reason why people struggle with understanding the rationale behind milk supervision is because they look at it as a kashrus issue when it is not and has never been so.

It has to do with milk price gauging which became a particular problem about 150 years ago. Most Western countries recognized the importance milk plays in child development seek to prevent milk price gauging by price control so as to keep prices low. So for example New York State has its own such laws.

Unfortunately Hareidim from the backward parts of Eastern Europe have not reached that ethical level. Rather then viewing milk price gauging as a problem they see it as an opportunity which they are happy to take advantage of.

The same situation arises with the Hareidi campaign against European attempts to require stunning of animals before slaughter. The Europeans have made it quite clear that only slaughter will be prohibited on their territory and they will allow importation of kosher meat from outside Europe, so you may wonder why the Hareidim complain? The reason they complain is because of the fear of loss of revenue from shechita. The Hareidim invented the concept of Shechita Chutz (foreign slaughter) for that reason.

Economic exploitation of their own flock has always been a something that the Hareidi rabbinate can be relied upon.

reading on wikipedia about camel's milk , it quotes that cheese from camel milk is a possibility.
"Recent advances in cheese making technology have made it possible to coagulate camel milk with a vegetable rennet and camel rennet."

As well when i was in Dubai UAE in transit at the airportin the dutyfree they sold chocolates, made with Camel's milk.I researched it and apparently they send the camel milk to a chocalatier in Austria (MANNER) which blends the milk in the chocolate and sends it back to UAE in bulk so they can package it, next time you have a craving you Chocoholics , check the Kashruth

I would like to clarify some points which I did not see in the earlier comments.

1. R' Moishe never intended to give a blank hetter to "corporate milk" and it was only meant for places where no supervised milk was available. Had he known that so many people today in places like NY where supervised milk is easily found take his bedieved hetter as a licence to use cholov akum, I doubt he would have ever published his teshuva

2. There is another problem with milk today which never existed in his days. In order to maximise milk production certain procedures are carried out on a substantial number of cows (not a majority but I believe 30/40%) which in effect renders them treif. Milk from such cows is considered treif. In England for instance, cows used for kosher milk carry a passport showing all operations carried out on them to avoid this problem.

So basically, in our time, even cows milk can frequently be treif and in places like Israel or other major Jewish centres there is absolutely no reason why anyone should look to heteirim.

Oh, I wish I had the problems of Israel's Chief Rabbinate.... and Rothschild's money

Kvelling, the OU has answered your concerns and holds that R' Moshe's heter is still valid. This is about the third time in 3 weeks that I've heard the "FDA supervision is no longer applicable" argument. You think the OU never heard it? I'll see if I can find the link.

Speaking as someone who lives in a dairy farming area and has relatives who are or have been dairy farmers, there is no practical reason to believe there is any adulteration. Do you really think they keep pigs in the cow barns, or that pigs fit on the milking machines? Never mind that there is no profit in milking pigs (Holsteins have been bred to maximize milk production) and non-kosher consumers would be equally grossed out by the idea. Consumers expect cow's milk. Period.

Haagen-Dazs has always been chalav stam, and this has always been the OU's standard. I refuse to believe they are really so stupid as to not know that non-haredi kashrut agencies in chu"l are not makpid on CY. So why now?

"Why now?" question could be best answered - Because they Can do it Now.

In the past they did not have sufficient power and customer base to do it and now they have.

Somehow I knew that instead of saying "wow that's some interesting information I never knew," you would launch a tirade spewing forth whatever tangentially related axis of thought crossed your mind.

Firstly, I have never worked in Kashrus. Secondly, I detailed primarily the manifold aspects of international dairy supply, which you seem to mostly ignore. Thirdly I mentioned that fats, which often is straight up treif, is used in milk adulteration (the recipe I mentioned pertained to synthetic milk).

And most importantly, I too was referring entirely to probability. The fact that adulteration tests can be taken doesn't mitigate that they never are. If you would like an illustration of why this is so, think of how you didn't blink to inflate your income on your last credit card application, even though it is a federal offense to do so and the application itself warns you as much. Therefore although it is probably safe to assume dairy processors don't adulterate milk, it is most reasonable that dairy FARMS do, because were there ever a test and it detected adulteration they would hear about it way before inspection would ever hit their farm. In general, anyone who is aware about weakening trends in the enforcement powers of the FDA and USDA will realize it is problematic to assume they possess effective deterrent power.

As well I never made any reference to purity laws in any particular country, not France nor Germany, and neither would it be relevant. I pointed out a valid point, that whenever a country becomes a dairy importer to proportionate extent does its purity laws become moot.

To Yaakov -
I'm not advocating the demise of Rav Feinstein's heter. I think it should be propped up to the extent possible, but that being said it does sit on shaky ground. Recent trends of the last decade invalidate your reasoning; the FDA's enforcement powers are severely curtailed unless they have smoking gun evidence adulteration was committed, they never test for it per se, and meat packers regularly continue to sell meat with no appreciable impact to their business despite all the health violations they are slapped with, even when the information is published in the media.

In essence, Rav Feinstein's hetter is perfect in thoery, but the problem is that the FDA's power in practice does not match what they are in theory.

I guess the real reason for this ruling was the chief rabinate hated to spoon with his wife.

1. R' Moishe never intended to give a blank hetter to "corporate milk" and it was only meant for places where no supervised milk was available. Had he known that so many people today in places like NY where supervised milk is easily found take his bedieved hetter as a licence to use cholov akum, I doubt he would have ever published his teshuva

2. There is another problem with milk today which never existed in his days. In order to maximise milk production certain procedures are carried out on a substantial number of cows (not a majority but I believe 30/40%) which in effect renders them treif. Milk from such cows is considered treif. In England for instance, cows used for kosher milk carry a passport showing all operations carried out on them to avoid this problem.

So basically, in our time, even cows milk can frequently be treif and in places like Israel or other major Jewish centres there is absolutely no reason why anyone should look to heteirim.

Posted by: CJL | January 17, 2012 at 11:50 AM


Sheer idiocy.

Many poskim hold that procedure is not a kashrut problem.

Past that, the animals live for more than one year after having it, meaning they do not meet the classical definition of treife.

At the same time, we all regularly consume chicken that would never live six months, let alone one year.

If you want to worry about something, try worrying about that.

…In essence, Rav Feinstein's hetter is perfect in thoery, but the problem is that the FDA's power in practice does not match what they are in theory.

Posted by: Do you really want to start with this | January 17, 2012 at 04:50 PM

Please.

The problem is that you are a dishonest idiot who does not understand the halakha or the process or much, if anything, else.

Now process: the FDA does not need the vast power your idiotically think it needs, and Rav Moshe NEVER said it did.

What he said is based on halakha that you are too dull to understand – all that is necessary is the possibility that adulteration could be discovered.

That possibility does exist in more ways than it did when Rav Moshe originally ruled, from state inspections, competitors' testing, labeling laws, insurance liability, etc., along the fact that kosher milk adulterated with non-kosher milk will not function properly in cooking, cheese making, etc., and the adulteration would also be discovered that way.

And then there is the difficulty obtaining non-kosher milk, the fact that the little available is much more expensive than kosher milk, and that there is no financial, taste or functional benefit to such adulteration.

That you cannot or will not understand this does not change the facts.

Also, if you post a comment using anything other than your legal name, expect that it will be deleted.

You don't get to anonymously torture people and confuse them.

You use your real name or you're done.

1. R' Moishe never intended to give a blank hetter to "corporate milk" and it was only meant for places where no supervised milk was available. Had he known that so many people today in places like NY where supervised milk is easily found take his bedieved hetter as a licence to use cholov akum, I doubt he would have ever published his teshuva

Idiot.

Rav Moshe ruled several times in support of unsupervised milk, the first in 1956, the last in the 1970s or early 80s, so there isn't one teshuva as you claim.

Secondly, Rav Moshe was very clear.

If halav yisrael is more expensive, lower quality or difficult to find, unsupervised milk can be consumed at will.

And that is true even if NYC is flooded with halav yisrael milk – as he also made clear.

Excuse me, are you a Rav that you can Poskin Halacha to the public? Just merely printing every dissenting opinion without the other sides of the issues makes you a lying fool. Of course most of the Orthodox world knows that about you already.

FDA may not do much checking ,but the USDA certainly does.

Excuse me, are you a Rav that you can Poskin Halacha to the public? Just merely printing every dissenting opinion without the other sides of the issues makes you a lying fool. Of course most of the Orthodox world knows that about you already.

Posted by: Yaakov | January 17, 2012 at 11:31 PM

If you're addressing me, what I posted are the heterim poskim rely on along with the MAJORITY halakhic decision.

I may be an idiot, but not because you think so. However, to be called an idiot by Shmarya is a badge of honour for anyone striving to be a shoimer toire umitzvois.

Please give references to R' Moishes later teshuvos that allowed milk for all sorts of reasons of convenience. Amongst frum circles it is accepted that R' Moishe was choizer and I heard this from someone reliable who is a kashrus specialist.

Just because many are mattir the operations on cows and do not consider them treif, many others do not accept this, so anyone with a semblance of wanting to adhere to kashrus fully does not rely on this.

Shmarya:

I know that you can tell this but just to be clear to bystanders: that Yaakov (of January 17, 2012 at 11:31 PM) is not me.

Haven't read the article yet. I predict that there is a dispute over the rabbi's logo fee.

Thanks Shmarya. That was the most comprehensive explanation of chalav yisrael that I've seen.

Shmaraya, this is nothing more than a shakedown for money, the Rabanut are nothing more than a bunch of corrupted old men. Having said that, I hear my pint of HD Rum Raisin calling me from the freezer, gotta go.....

Mare's milk is consumed over much of the Turkic speaking world of Central Asia. It was once consumed in Vilna province by Tatar and Kalmyk cavalrymen in the Czar's army. Local farmers were providing quantities of mare's milk for them- hence the concern among the rabbinate of admixtures.

A more serious issue was raised over milk from cows that were treated by pricking their stomachs to relieve trapped gases- referred to by farmers as "the bloats". While this practice is known for generations rabbis like R> Yudel Shain seem to think this practice renders the cows and their milk products as treife.

Few pointers that could enlighten some:

1) HD products sold outside the Americas is exclusively made entirely in a single plant in France near Strasbourg, from local products.

2)As a matter of fact HD uses what we call in the industry "cream" which is a very thick milk with about 7-8% fat content (compared to the max 3% homogenized milk typical in retail) some consider that cream "butter" but it possible that a dairy liquid is added as well, I would need to double Check. My understanding until today based on conversation I had with a relative of the mashgiach for the OU at the plant in France is that this "cream" is considered "butter" and it is the base for the dairy content of all ice cream products produced at the plant,therefore it might be under the heter that butter is de facto kosher without needed supervision (unlike milk).
3) from supermarket shelf products to wholesale batches used in HD retail shops (ice cream products only, cakes and other non frozen items not included) All over Europe, middle east, Asia; all HD products are "made in France"
The only known exception to this rule is a license in Japan for specific Asian favors which are specific to that market and which is not available outside Asia.
4) all HD products sold in Israel are made at the aforementioned french plant and very little has changed in the way the plant has manufactured it's products sinc it opened in 1993.

So my personal conclusion is that it's a $$$$ issue or politics.

As for the surgery done on cows to turn over their stomachs to relieve their gases and optimize their output, it is considered a serious problem within the world of kosher dairy experts, it has already passed the 50% threshold of the herd in some places around the world.
It is considered a matter of time until most mainstream kosher certifications are forced to require cholov yisroel milk for all dairy products they certify.

When Something like this happens in Israel, the most obvious apparent reasons to westerners are usually incorrect. Israel is riddled with graft and corruption. There is terrible price gouging of dairy products here and the government may entertain allowing imports of dairy products to break the local monopoly. The local dairy cartel would love to see a precedent for restricting imports. The Rabbinate is too lazy to supervise the kashrus of imported dairy products just like they are too lazy to properly supervise their "certified" restaurants and kiosks. Laziness on part of the Rabbinate and greed on the part of the dairy monolpoly provide a fertile breeding ground for such abuse. This is business as usual in Israel. One thing you can be sure of, the Rabbinate's decision was not taken on sincere Halachic grounds to protect the public.

YOU ARE ALL MISSING THE POINT!!!

THE FOUNDER OF HAAGEN DAZS DIES 3 YEARS AGO.

HE BASICALLY DONATED 90% OF HIS PROFITS TO THE BIGWIGS IN ISRAEL. HE ALSO HOSTED THE ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER AND OTHER OFFICIALS REGULARLY IN HIS ALPNE, NJ HOME.

HIS DAUGHTER DOES NOT GIVE LIKE HE DID.

IT WAS THE MONEY SUPPLY - NOT THE MILK SUPPLY.

I'm sorry to 'scream', but it was painful to read all the history (while accurate and interesting). The reality is so, so, simple. When one of your first posters said, 'follow the money', it is my guess that even he did not think the comment implied the money from the founders.

Look at the company history. Consider a house in Alpine that had every single inch of wall space filled with thank you plaques, letters, etc. from Israeli politicians.

No more money, no more Kosher.

Several comments insist that milking pigs is rare and difficult. Not so. It happens all the time in Williamsburg and KJ when the Vaad extorts molesters.

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