A Kosher for Passover Pesticide!

Pesticide- Certified Kosher for Passover

Pesticide- Certified Kosher for Passover

It is hard to believe but it is true. A pesticide which is not even supposed to be used indoors was certified kosher for passover. I am not just posting this to mock it. I want to ask how did it become OK for the OU to certify toilet cleaners and others to certify pesticides. It makes a mockery of kosher. It exposes kosher agencies as mercenaries willing to sell their stamp for a few bucks even when there is no possible rationale for requiring certification.

When I first spotted the kosher pesticide I wrote on FaceBook, “If anyone got paid for this hashgochah they should be forced to eat it.” I take that back. I really don’t want anyone’s death on my conscience.

OU Kosher Toilet Bowl CleanerBut maybe it is time for some pushback. Maybe there are some rabbis ready to declare that kosher agencies shouldn’t be trusted if they are greedy enough to mislead the public about what does and does not need certification. Maybe it is time for community rabbis and consumers to band together to stop profiteering by kosher agencies.

What ever happened to consideration for the finances of kosher consumers? The spread of certifications to products where they are not needed (pure salt, sugar, plain water and seltzer, unflavored coffee, etc.) raises the cost of keeping kosher.

The entire kosher industry depends on the integrity of the agencies. Should we trust mercenaries who profiteer when there is no basis in Jewish law. I would suspect someone who is corrupted this way of also being capable of passing over violations for the sake of the fee.


12 thoughts on “A Kosher for Passover Pesticide!

  1. Since Pirkei Avot season will soon be upon us:

    רבי צדוק אומר:, ואל תעשה עטרה להתגדל בה, ולא קרדום לחתוך בה; וכך היה הלל אומר: ודאשתמש בתגא, חלף. הא למדת, כל הנהנה מדברי תורה, נוטל חייו מן העולם.

    Rabbi Tzadok used to say: Do not make the Torah into a crown with which to aggrandize yourself, and don’t use it as a spade with which to dig into them. Like Hillel used to say: One who makes use of the crown of the Torah will perish. Which infers that any one who exploits the words of the Torah removes themselves from the living world.

    I suppose the modern version would be, “don’t make Torah into a business model or consumer good to profit.” – But that sounds less elegant.

  2. “how did it become OK for the OU to certify toilet cleaners and others to certify pesticides”. But you know the answer: a combination of frummer-than-you, & a-buck-to-be-made…

    • I look upon this as some silly marketing, but really, as with everything in life, it’s “Buyer Beware”. I doubt that any rabbi with credibility is urging his followers to buy these products. My husband’s rabbi says everything that a dog wouldn’t eat is okay to use for Pesach, and I think most people are aware of this.

      • We repeatedly see stringencies being redefined as the minimum standard. What is to prevent these silly hechsherim from morphing into requirements. I can predict that if this happens, it will be dealt with with shrugs, and that is what we do. In this as in many matters, the gap between halacha and practice will be widened.

    • This is the same OU led by Rabbis Genack and Weil who advocated for leniency at sentencing on behalf of a master of unconscionable greed and criminality, William Rapfogel. Rapfogel was convicted of stealing many millions of dollars from the truly destitute of New York.

      How can anyone even hope to trust such people as Genack and Weil or the OU, an agency led by them?

  3. Well, somewhat off topic, but did you hear about the heter app? Not sure if it’s a joke or for real, but you can find the least stringent psak in any area of halacha using this revolutionary technology. My daughter’s teacher was appalled!

      • Y’see, there’s always some and some, the chumra seekers, the heter seekers, and God help us if we all have to be together for yontif!
        BTW, I just don’t think the KP pesticide is any worse than, say, potato chips that are labelled gluten free. (Potato chips are inherently gluten free, as they have no flour.)

  4. Orthodox Toronto, Canada pedophile Harvey Ehrlich “pleaded guilty to three counts of gross indecency and admitted the facts of a fourth incident that date back to the 1970’s and 1980. At the time, Dr. Erlich was in his late teens to early twenties and was the conductor of a number of popular boys’ choirs in the Jewish community; the boys were choir members who ranged in age from 9 to 13. One incident involved brief fondling, three involved masturbation, and in the most serious matter, he performed fellatio on a 13 year old boy.”


  5. Um, I don’t see an OU on this. While I have plenty of criticism of the OU, this particular instance is not a case in point. It is, however, a pretty good condemnation of rabbi Simcha HaCohen Kook, who gave the hechsher right below the “כשר לפסח”. As a private hechsher, while he receives a salary as chief rabbi of Rehovot.

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