Monday, May 7, 2007

Second kashruth scandal erupts in Monsey, this time over fruit

Second kashruth scandal erupts in Monsey, this time over fruit
By Rabbi Lamech Somayach Meshumad Meshubach
Mashgiach Ruchini of Yeshiva Aishes Eish Hatorah
Special to

Another scandal has erupted in the Orthodox community of Monsey, NY over the kashruth labeling of fruit in local groceries. Residents are in uproar over fruit under supervision of Rabbi Tzvi Jacobs that was labeled as pareve Yisroel.

“We are furious!” said Moshe Silberstein, a member of the Viznitzer Hassidim. “Parve Yisroel means that the fruit was picked by a Jew in a state of ritual purity. Having the name of Tzvi Jacobs means that no woman handled our bananas during her period!”

People were angry when they discovered the fruit was not from a secret Hassidic Jewish plantation but was actually picked by Mexican migrant laborers in California. The scandal was held back for a period of hours as the original gossips who knew were tracked down and threatened with expulsion if they shared, but one yenta let it slip while reading a shidduch for the rebbes grandson and the tide of news could not be contained any longer.

“They had a secret factory set up in Nyak, solely for removing the Chiquita stickers and putting on the ones that said 'Koysher parvah yisroel' from Rabbi Jacobs. First it was Shevachs chicken, and now this!” said a Monsey Kollel wife who chose to remain anonymous.
While many people can claim they escaped eating the treif chicken from Shevachs, it seems the fruit scandal has pervaded every corner, with almost no person left untouched.

“It was the most beautifully tasty fruit in five counties, I don't know a single person who didn't buy this fruit at one of the local stores,” said Mordechai Swiaticky, Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Somayach and local Schnorrer.

The response in the mainstream news was incredulous and the television waves were again bombarded with images of frum Jews immersing their fruit bowls and paring knives in boiling water all over Rockland County and also nearby Kiryas Yoel.

The scandal seemed a repeat from a kashruth scandal that erupted over Shevachs chicken, which had the best tasting chicken in town but never seemed to order supplies from the kosher butcher company whose chicken they purportedly were selling. That scandal was discovered when an insomnolent Hassidic man observed a crane lifting the entire freezer off the ground, with the supervisors lock intact and a truck from Perdue Chicken unloading delicious breast meat that only cost a third as much as regular kosher chicken.

Before he fled town, Mr. Shevach was reported as saying the profit margins had been incredible and he had already paid off the mortgage on his mansion, a high-ranch, which is now back on the real-estate market.

“The amazing thing about the chicken was that everyone ate it, and loved how it tasted better than the frum chickn and nobody knew why. But this fruit really affected everyones' neshama in the way a chicken doesn't,” said Mordechai Tenovitch, Grandson of Moshe Tenovitch.