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 The Hechsher of the “EEI”

By: Rabbi Zev Shandalov

The Shulchan Aruch goes to great lengths to give detailed information relative to the laws of Kosher. In order to provide the consumer with kosher food, many agencies around the world work to ensure that standards are met and enforced for reliable Hashgacha. However, there is one Hashgacha that people rely on that, in fact, is a very dangerous one upon which to rely. It is the hechsher of the "EEI." This acronym stands for "Everyone Eats It."

Otherwise observant individuals, who would not think of doing anything that was not sanctioned by Shulchan Aruch, will think nothing of eating certain items without Hashgacha, since, after all, "everyone eats it." Examples of this are almost too numerous, but a few examples will suffice for illustrative purposes.

Going to a movie and eating the popcorn: One person may ask an individual behind a counter what oil and popcorn is being used. This person, upon seeing a reliable Hechsher will then proceed to buy the popcorn. Never mind the fact that the day before, they may have used treif oil! Once one person sees another eating it, suddenly, the popcorn is under the "EEI."

Fish...what could be so bad about kosher fish? As long as it is baked or cooked with kosher ingredients, obviously, it must be fine to eat. Once again, some individuals, who only live their lives by the Shulchan Aruch, will walk into non-Kosher restaurants, ask about the way the fish is prepared and decide that it must be fine to eat. Others, upon hearing from these individuals about how easy it was to get "kosher fish" in a treif restaurant, decide for themselves that kosher fish in a treif restaurant is supervised by the "EEI."

Gum: Oh, come on! What could possibly be wrong with gum?? The answer is that PLENTY could be wrong, and just because many people chew gum with no regard for it having a hechsher or not, it, once again, falls under the purview of the EEI."

While the tone of this particular Halacha Tip may seem somewhat sarcastic, the intent is no less serious than any other of the 371 before this one! One may not permit to himself or to others that which is not permitted. We all read labels to look at carbs, fat, calories and a whole host of other things. The first thing to look for is a RELIABLE Hashgacha.

Never rely on the "EEI" !



HaRav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Shlit"a
Rosh Beth Din

HaRav Yona Reiss, Shlit"a
Av Beth Din


Rabbi Sholem Fishbane
Kashruth Administrator

Rabbi Levi Mostofsky
Executive Director

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