The Shuk', a.k.a. 'Machane Yehuda' in Jerusalem, is rapidly becoming Jerusalem's Soho neighborhood offering a variety of eateries and entertainment venues. It is not my place to lecture readers as to the suitability of The Shuk during nighttime hours, but I do feel responsible to point out that not every restaurant, pub or food stand has a hashgacha and one must be alert and look for a valid teudat hechsher. A valid hechsher must display the name and address of the store and it must match the sign displayed at that store. It must also display a valid date. All too often some unscrupulous individuals will conveniently cover the expiration date on the certificate with a sign, commonly the ones announcing Shabbos candle lighting time or a photo of a dead Torah giant. Baba Sali ZT"L and the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZT"L are favorites, commonly displayed by shuk vendors. In addition, one may see a business selling an item but the teudat kashrus displays an address from another branch of the business. This is not valid as another teudat kashrus is issued with a correct address if the certificate is authentic for that location. A photocopy is a non-starter. For those shoppers in the shuk who insist on buying from a store with an Eida Chareidis hechsher, be advised all but one store in the shuk lost its hashgacha from the Eida Chareidit. This includes the very large store in the Iraqi shuk and the first store in the closed street, on the left, when one heads from Yaffa Street towards Agripas Street. While the latter continues to display extremely large Eida Chareidis logo signs, he DOES NOT have a valid teudat kashrus and without it, the signs are meaningless, apparently intended to deceive the public into believing he still has a hechsher when he does not. When I asked to see the teudat kashrut, I was given excuses, which ultimately led to the persons asked becoming belligerent. One must get the painful message. Not everyone with a kippa/yarmulke is necessarily honest. I am not here to judge, but simply to report the current reality, in this case for those paying a bit more for Eida Chareidis produce, but in fact, you do not know what you are buying since the Eida Chareidis removed the hechsher from a number of booths in Machane Yehuda. Wherever one shops, one MUST stop, literally for no more than a few seconds, towards determining if the business still has a valid hashgacha that meets your standards.
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