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26 Shevat 5760 - February 2, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Belz Kashrus Mashgiach Attacked

by A. Cohen

The heads of the mehadrin kashrus committees in Israel have expressed shock and disgust over the brutal behavior of a company owner who beat a kashrus mashgiach after its hechsher had been rescinded for cause.

The incident occurred last week, when the mashgiach of Kehal Machzikei Hadas of Belz arrived for a routine check in the spice and legume packing plant, Tavlinei Hakfar in Ashdod. The mashgiach entered the factory and noticed that the workers were packing dried fruits and legumes in packages with the kashrus seal although the products had not been approved the BaDaTz Machzikei Hadas of Belz.

The mashgiach asked the owner of the company to stop packaging the products which had not been approved. The owner refused, and ordered the workers to continue their work.

The mashgiach, Rav Binyomin Yakobovitz, called the nationwide supervisor of Machzikei Hadas and HaRav Yosef Mordechai Zilber, who is responsible for raw materials used by factories, and reported the incident. HaRav Zilber immediately sent a fax to the owner of the company canceling its hechsher.

Upon receipt of the fax, the owner grabbed the mashgiach and began to beat him. He grabbed a stick and beat the mashgiach with it, stopping only when workers and customers intervened. But he then locked the mashgiach in a room.

The mashgiach reported this incident of brutality to the offices of the BaDaTz, who then called the police, who came and unlocked the mashgiach.

Thursday night, the beis din of the BaDaTz Machzikei Hadas met to discuss this serious incident and other situations in which mashgichim and those issuing kashrus certificates encounter violence and threats. The beis din instructed the mashgiach to file an immediate complaint against the company owner with the police.

Thursday night, when the heads of mehadrin kashrus committees learned about the incident, they decided to act together in order to combat this phenomenon of aggressive company owners and to prevent them from receiving kashrus certification.

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