The bad news in Israel keeps piling up. Religious tensions, Iran’s
nuclear program and regional instability are all worrying enough – but now
Häagen-Dazs ice cream in Israel is under threat, and may become a rarity on
According to a recent kashrut update from the Chief
Rabbinate, Häagen-Dazs is not approved by the State Rabbinical Authority, and
stores and outlets with kashrut certification that continue to sell the ice
cream could lose their kashrut license.RELATED:
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In an update sent by the
rabbinate on Sunday, the kashrut department said that because Häagen-Dazs is
made with unsupervised liquid milk, as opposed to milk powder, the marketing and
sale of the ice cream in establishments and outlets with kashrut certification
is not acceptable and constitutes “a severe infringement of kashrut
“We request from those providing kashrut certificates not to
permit the sale of this product in places with [kashrut] supervision,” the
notice read. “One should not take into account the opinion of kashrut advisers
in this matter who request to continue selling this product, and if the
management of any chain insists on selling them it is possible that ‘kashrut
[license] withdrawal’ may be enacted against them, according to the
Milk produced by non-Jews without Jewish supervision was forbidden
by the sages of the Talmud due to a concern that it may be adulterated with milk
from a non-kosher animal.
Although arbiters of Jewish law, in particular
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (1895- 1986), have permitted the consumption of
unsupervised milk if supervised milk is significantly more expensive or
unavailable, it is seen as a less ideal, and the kashrut authorities in Israel
do not permit kosher certificates to be issued for products using unsupervised
Powdered milk from an unsupervised source is, however, permitted
according to a ruling of Rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank (1873–1960), a former chief
rabbi of Jerusalem, who held that there is less of a suspicion that someone will
go to the bother of adulterating powdered milk.
Others, however, still
forbid unsupervised powdered milk.
The timing of the rabbinate’s notice
is unclear. Although Rafi Yochai of the rabbinate’s kashrut division stated the
notice about Häagen Dazs has been issued several times, General Mills Israel
said the ice cream has always been produced with liquid milk.
they have different considerations,” said Yochai. “There, the majority of milk
is unsupervised so there’s less choice.
But here, we are living in Eretz
Hakodesh [the Holy Land], the majority of the milk produced is supervised, so
there’s less reason to permit these products,” he said.
choice here that we don’t need to rely on this leniency,” Yohai
Asked what Häagen-Dazs lovers should do instead, he replied, “Love
God more than ice-cream.”
General Mills, which markets Häagen-Dazs in
Israel, underlined that the ice cream bears kosher certification from the
Orthodox Union in the US and pointed out that it is “consumed by the religious
and sec ular communities in Israel and abroad.”
Häagen-Dazs ice cream is made from liquid milk, which provides for an
outstanding level of quality in the texture and taste of the product,” the
company added as an aside.
The OU said in response to the rabbinate
notice that it continues to give a kashrut certification to Häagen-Dazs “in line
with the ruling of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein for people who are not particular about
consuming only supervised milk.”
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