Mar 19, 2017
Rabbis Take Sides In Pizza Battle

The battle over dough: Brooklyn Rabbis take sides in the brewing battle of neighboring kosher pizzerias in Crown Heights.

By COLlive reporter

There's lots of dough at stake...

Neighboring Jewish-owned dairy eateries in Brooklyn's Crown Heights section are each securing support from rabbis to back their claims in a dispute over pizza that's heating up like their ovens.

Owners of the established Basil Pizza & Wine Bar have been rattled in recent weeks since food entrepreneurs opened Calabria Pizza a stone's throw away, both sharing the corner of Kingston Avenue and Lincoln Place.

"Opening a specialty pizza shop serving beer and wine, literally next door, is major nerve," Danny Branover, one of Basil's owners, told COLlive.com.

Since opening in 2010, Basil bills itself as an Italian bistro that serves a trendy rotating menu of appetizers, salads, fish, entrees, homemade desserts and "wood burning oven creations" that attract kosher, vegetarian and non-kosher diners.

Calabria's owners Shmariahu Harel and Hillel Harel describe it as a fast food eatery with little wait time. The brothers pride themselves on their menu's simplicity, serving only 12'' and 16'' square pies using mozzarella cheese and the occasional parmesan, with optional toppings.

"Crown Heights is growing, and there is room for everyone," Hillel Harel told COLlive.com. "In Boro Park and other places you have pizza shops open right near each other and they serve the same items. We're not serving the same thing."

Branover isn't convinced. "Instead of being grateful for the groundwork we did in the neighborhood, and opening a complementary business, they are clearly targeting Basil's clients and attempting to harm its wellbeing," he said on Sunday.

Branover and his partner Mendel Schneerson took the Harels to Beis Din Beis Yoseph in Boro Park with both parties present and agreeing to a binding arbitration.

Beis Yoseph's dayan Rabbi Reuven Alt ruled that Calabria can serve any food except "specialty pizza." When Calabria decided upon "Roman-style pizza," Beis Yoseph said that is considered "specialty" too, and the permitted pies are only "New York-style pizza."

Harels claimed their recipe was modified to be "New York-style dough" and turned to Agudas Harabonim - the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada, who attested that Calabria's pies are "regular pizza with regular kind of dough and regular sauce, as all regular pizzerias do here in New York."

Agudas Harabonim's Rabbis Aryeh Ralbag, Chaim Krauss and Elimelech Lebowitz concluded that Calabria doesn't qualify as competition to Basil.

Beis Yoseph's rabbis didn't agree, and banned any kosher agency from certifying Calabria. Rabbi Lebowitz of Flatbush nevertheless went forward and granted Calabria his own kosher certification as a "kosher and cholov yisroel l'mehadrin" eatery.

In response, Beis Yoseph released a letter dated 17 Adar, 5777, that Calabria is "selling pizza that is forbidden for them to sell." It is therefore "forbidden to shop from their store... and all who assist them are assisting in a matter of transgression," they wrote.

"Since the Harels also own Chocolatte on the corner of Kingston Avenue and Eastern Parkway, this could also be in question due to the letter," Branover says.

Ideally, both Branover and the Harels should turn to the local Beis Din of Crown Heights (Badatz) to resolve the issue, but rabbis there aren't on speaking terms and run rival kosher certifications.

With rabbis offering differing views, it is left to the public to show which ruling they choose to follow as they go out to dine.



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Opinions and Comments
1
Why does ch need another pizza store...
OPEN UP A MEXICAN RESTAURANT
(3/19/2017 8:09:17 PM)
2
And we wonder
Why our precious kids are OTD ?!?
(3/19/2017 8:11:32 PM)
3
Aaron
BS"D The fact that they agreed to a Beth Din and when they lose run to another one raises real questions in my mind re their level of Yiras Shamayim and thus Kashrus standards. No respect for a second Beth Din stepping in when one has ruled ready
(3/19/2017 8:18:20 PM)
4
Danny
buy the place off of them make a real Pizza shop
(3/19/2017 8:19:01 PM)
5
Go calabria!!
At least they have jewish music! Thats my kind of hechsher ;)
(3/19/2017 8:20:24 PM)
6
Customer loses
I will not state which establishment I agree with, etc. It doesn't matter until the rabbis clarify.
BUT, the possibility of the customer having choices, and getting better quality or better price is now gone
(3/19/2017 8:20:55 PM)
7
Hilarious
I know we are in the month of Adar but this case is very funny. I can picture the Dayanim on both sides requesting pizza samples to determine who is right and who is wrong 😂

Now we see why Bes Dins are laughed at....
(3/19/2017 8:27:02 PM)
8
Haha!
That is all.
(3/19/2017 8:31:27 PM)
9
We've Come a Long Way...
So we found something else to fight about. Our community has had many disputes, the community has been embroiled in many controversies over the years about serious issues such as whether the Rebbe is Moshiach, or about the Rabonim of the community or about what would be the Rebbe's position about the Eiruv.
But now, Pizza.
(3/19/2017 8:32:50 PM)
10
Horrible
Bad things happen to those who against go any rov,, we should not eat there
(3/19/2017 8:34:38 PM)
11
Don't get it
Both shops are totally different one is a fast food pizza shop and the other is a sit down full menu restaurant if anything the other resstaurant is similar to basil. Calabria is very different then basil. Basil is making a fuss out of nothing most places in Brooklyn have more then one eatery on the same block deal with it or get out of the kitchen
(3/19/2017 8:44:50 PM)
12
Absolutely insane
We all know Branover has enough money BH and basil is his hobby so enjoy and let others be and make Parnassah if HaShem wants plus
They aren't taking away your business ppl love basil for everything about it and don't come just for the pizza it's the ambiance and unique other specialty foods that draw ppl to basil mostly from out of ch so trust in HaShem and don't worry even naturally ppl will continue filling up basil
Let this new pizza shop try and see
It's a diff crowd their calling to their pizza store
It's in no way competition to basil and the customers for a basil bite vs a Calabria bite are so diff so pls live and let live and let the love of yidden especially Lubavitcher Chassidim rise!!!
(3/19/2017 8:52:36 PM)
13
ridiculous
its just so stupid. Basil isn't only known for their pizza, they have a whole menu of delicious food. Calabria is strictly pizza and they have a right to open. for example is a Falafel store would open on the same block as Kingston Pizza doesn't mean they cant open because Kingston Pizza sells Falafel..... so in my opinion anyone who wants to eat there go ahead, if not, not.
(3/19/2017 8:56:10 PM)
14
These "rabbis" signed against our rabbonim
https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/pdaxs.religion.jewish/fPQc2Uf36es
(3/19/2017 9:08:41 PM)
15
faithful basil customer
It's disgusting in principal, moral value and business ethic to open a pizza place directly across the street. Basil has been good to me and my many business meetings there, they will continue to have my support.
(3/19/2017 9:10:00 PM)
16
??
Really? These issues are so old already, rabbanim not talking hashgacha not good or yes good because of personal issues between rabbis, this is so immature every family deserves to make a parnassa theres no one person allowed to control thr business industry, besides i went to calabria and their pizza is not even close to being the same as basil its a different pizza different place different everything! So i really dont get it.....
(3/19/2017 9:14:31 PM)
17
Calabria
I went in calabria this afternoon the pizza is very good but it's completely not a restaurant
I think Dani should be happy it will bring him alot of business
Btw Basil was packeddd
I don't get it this is America there is enough for everyone
(3/19/2017 9:20:47 PM)
18
Triangle K
Ask your local Rabbi if RalbagTriangle K's standards are upto yours.
(3/19/2017 9:20:49 PM)
19
Pathetic
I will eat at both.
(3/19/2017 9:22:35 PM)
20
Fresser Rebbe Says
Rabbis have always been rolling in dough.
(3/19/2017 9:24:44 PM)
21
Will only eat there if...
All u need is one Beis din to say it's not ok, and I won't eat there. Just saying
(3/19/2017 9:25:05 PM)
22
Hechsher?

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Rabbis Tendler and Ralbag in contempt of Beis Din
10/15/98RAbonim
Rabbinical contempt citation against Rabbi Moshe Tendler and Ralbag and
associates


By the grace of G-d, 3rd day of the week of the Torah-portion
[Shoftim, which includes the words] "Righteousness, [only]
righteousness shall you pursue," 3 Ellul, 5758

To the respected Rabbis, outstanding Torah scholars, righteous
[Torah] judges who sit in judgement, may you merit eternal life and
enjoy limitless good and blessing all your lives for ever!

Greetings and best wishes for your welfare:

To our deep regret, we are compelled to disturb you with a most
painful subject, for matters have gotten totally out of hand.
"Torah, Torah! Mourn for the desecration of Your Name!" by five
"Rabbis" who sign under the heading of "Agudas Horabbonim," while
the overwhelming majority of Agudas Horabbonim members are
completely unaware.

The names of these members of Agudas Horabbonim are: Rabbi Moshe
David Tendler, Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag, Rabbi David Aharon Brisman,
Rabbi Chaim Kraus and Rabbi Elimelech Zalman Lebowitz. These Rabbis
have sought to undermine the authority of the Rabbonim of the Beth
Din of Crown Heights, who have ruled (for the board of Yeshivas
Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch) concerning the Weinstock legacy, that
resorting to surrogate court in order to obtain payment of the
legatee's portion is not considered as resorting to secular courts.
Rabbi Pinchas Hirschprung, ZaTzaL, agreed to this ruling, and Rabbi
Moshe Feinstein, ZaTzaL (in his responsum to his son-in-law, Rabbi
Tendler, himself), ruled the same, as explicitly stated in Igros
Moshe, Choshen Mishpat II, 11, that surrogate court is not in the
same category as other secular courts, and no permit is even
required from a Beth Din to use such a court. This is well-known in
the circles of Rabbonim involved in issuing Halachic decisions. The
issue has already been explained at length in the Beth Din's letter
of 15 Ellul, 5757, to Rabbi Hirschprung, ZaTzaL, who agreed to it.

It is indeed astounding: In their letter of 6 Nissan this year, the
five Rabbis issued a ruling against us. After extended discussion
with them and a general meeting of many Rabbonim who are members of
Agudas Horabbonim and expressed amazement at this ruling, four of
the five backed down (with the exception of R. Tendler, who was not
present at the meeting). Announcing regret for their unjust deed,
they wrote a letter dated 5 Tammuz, together with R. Tendler, that
their ruling is null and void and without any validity at all. Yet
they had not the slightest shade of embarrassment to reconfirm
suddenly, on 21 Menachem Av, 5758, their ruling of 6 Nissan, 5758,
although nothing had changed in the judicial processes concerning
the above legacy.

This too is astounding: How do Rabbis of other communities, who do
not have even minimal knowledge of what is going on here in our
community, dare to interfere and express an opinion against a
ruling of Rabbonim of a community and its established Beth Din?
This is especially so when Rabbi Hirschprung, ZaTzaL, agreed to the
ruling, and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, ZaTzaL, ruled similarly (both of
whom were presidents of Agudas Horabbonim). Nevertheless, these
Rabbis have decided to take issue with this without any basis or
source, and to write a warning, notice of contempt of court etc. to
a Beth Din whose rulings do not find favor with them! Such a step
has no precedent in Jewish history. It is outrageous! Those trying
to sue the members of the Beth Din of Crown Heights through the
above Rabbis are themselves in contempt of court [for refusing to
come before a Beth Din to determine the claims of others against
them], and how do they have the gall to sue the Beth Din itself?
According to this, any individual involved in Halachic court
proceedings who does not agree to the law decision of the Rabbonim
would summon the Beth Din to a Din Torah [before other Rabbonim].
Who has ever heard of or seen such a thing?

THEREFORE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH WHAT IS STATED IN THE SHULCHAN ARUCH
(YOREH DEIA 334:39) THAT "IF SOMEONE EXCOMMUNICATES ANOTHER WITHOUT
JUSTIFICATION, AND THE OTHER DECLARES TO HIM, 'IT REVERTS BACK!' -
THE EXCOMMUNICATION BY THE SECOND IS CONSIDERED EXCOMMUNICATION,"
AND AS EXPLAINED IN ARUCH HASHULCHAN THAT THIS IS EVEN IF THEY ARE
EQUAL IN STATURE (HOW MUCH MORE SO CONCERNING RABBONIM WHO HAVE
BEEN APPOINTED BY THE COMMUNITY, WHO ARE IN THE HALACHIC CATEGORY
OF VETERAN EXPERTS - SEE PIS'CHEI TESHUVA ON YOREH DEIA 243:3), WE,
THE UNDERSIGNED, DECLARE "IT REVERTS BACK!" AND FALLS UPON THEM AND
UPON THEIR HEADS, OF THE RABBIS MOSHE DAVID TENDLER, ARYEH RALBAG,
DAVID AHARON BRISMAN, CHAIM KRAUS, AND ELIMELECH ZALMAN LEBOWITZ -
AND THEIR HALACHIC STATUS IS STATED IN SHULCHAN ARUCH (IBID.
PARAGR. 2) THAT "ONE SHOULD NOT SIT WITHIN THEIR FOUR CUBITS" ETC.

We deeply regret having to write this letter during these days of
mercy and forgiveness, but there is no greater desecration of G-d's
name than when there are such Rabbis who exploit the Torah crown to
issue rulings without any basis or source and, on the contrary, in
contradiction to the Halacha and basic human civility, thereby
assisting trangressors who refuse to obey Torah law and stir up
quarrel, dissension and hatred in our community.

May G-d grant us the privilege that very soon shall be fulfilled
His promise of "I shall restore your judges as originally," and
they shall judge our people with justice and righteousness, and may
we all be written and sealed in the book of the righteous
immediately for good and happy life.

To the above we affix our signatures:

Yehuda Kalman Marlow Avrohom Osdoba

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, AGREE TO ALL THE ABOVE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH
WHAT IS STATED IN THE SHULCHAN ARUCH (YOREH DEIA, CH.334), "ONE WHO
DISGRACES THE SAGE" (IBID. PARAGRAPH 43:1), AND ALSO, "ONE WHO
EXCOMMUNICATES SOMEONE NOT LIABLE TO EXCOMMUNICATION" (ibid. 22),
WHICH REFERS TO THE 24 CATEGORIES FOR WHICH EXCOMMUNICATION IS
GIVEN, THEREFORE THERE SHALL APPLY TO THE ABOVE-MENTIONED RABBIS,
TENDLER, ARYEH RALBAG, BRISMAN, KRAUS AND LEBOWITZ, EVERYTHING
STATED THERE IN PARAGRAPH 2, THAT "ONE SHOULD NOT SIT WITHIN THEIR
FOUR CUBITS" ETC. ETC.

To the above we affix our signatures:

Nisen Mangel Yitzchok HaKohen Hendel Ahron Yaakov Schwei

Sign in to reply
Sign in - Desktop
(3/19/2017 9:31:36 PM)
23
calabria
is wrong its against halacha to open the same store near each other.
you know what the owner should do. he should switch chocolate and calabria locatoins. by the jcm he should sell the pizza clabria and near basil put chocolate
(3/19/2017 9:42:09 PM)
24
Whether you agree with the psak or not
Whether you agree with the psak or not, these two parties went to binding arbitration at a mutually agreed to Beis Din and one of them is clearly violating that psak, and therefore Jewish Law. The chutzpah wasn't that they opened up across the street from Basil, it's that they are openly disobeying a binding agreement adjudicated by qualified rabbis. Trust me, I want to taste their pizza but I will never walk in there.
(3/19/2017 10:02:25 PM)
25
No!
I will only eat there if they cut my pizza into a triangle!
(3/19/2017 10:04:58 PM)
26
Enough for both!
I've been to Basil various times and the wait was too long. Clearly business is booming. I don't think Basil can accommodate everyone and is definitely remotely different than Calabria who just has pizza, even if it is unique.
I don't think Basil should have a monopoly, be pleased they are so busy and full and allow another eatery to accommodate the overflow.
(3/19/2017 10:13:02 PM)
27
Basil are cry babies.
Why can't they sell pizza? Maybe they should shut down Dean Street cafe cause they also sell coffee in Northern Crown heights?
(3/19/2017 10:35:18 PM)
28
23 has a point - they could switch locations
But don't forget that OK pulled their hashgacha for violations, and someone else ran in immediate to give his hashgacha. FYI, CHK had always been on a red background, not black, and there is no oval around their logo.
(3/19/2017 10:35:32 PM)
29
PIZZA WAR
I'm not prepared to even read the arguments. There's enough people in Crown Heights & its environs to support both Pizza Stores. Enough said...grow up everyone!
(3/19/2017 10:38:05 PM)
30
Dina D'malchusa
The law of the land permits free competition, which is for the benefit of the consumer.
(3/19/2017 10:48:14 PM)
31
What basil is all about
As Danny bronover said that the purpose of his basil & bakery which he was in the process of opening is so that "Jews & non Jews can mingle over food".
the whole reason we must eat kosher is so we shouldn't eat together with goim etc.. As it's written in shilchan aruch.
Comes mr branover & says that his goal is for Jews & non Jews to mingle over food..
Besides the fact that there's non Jewish music playing in & outside basil all the time.

Basil is one of the most successful businesses in crown heights so what does he care if another person makes a couple of bucks?
& I don't believe basil will make a penny less bc of Calabria, it's completely different to basil.
It's just the people who can't handle the fact that someone is doing something they don't like for whatever reason.
(3/19/2017 10:59:35 PM)
32
Old Tricks
This is not the first time that this "Bais Din" issued an arbitrary ruling on behalf of one of their surrogates.

The Harels are being mislead by their To'en.
(3/19/2017 11:13:48 PM)
33
We The Youth
I give up on the human species. Im done.
there is no hope afterall
I surrender.
(3/19/2017 11:34:14 PM)
34
2nd to last paragraph
How can it be that the "rabbis [of the Crown Heights beis din] aren't on speaking terms" ?
(3/19/2017 11:35:18 PM)
35
In addition to 26's point:
There are other stores on Kingston that have opened in clear violation of Hasogas Gvul, and nothing was said or done.

The only way this is different is that there's a hechsher to use as a bargaining chip.

It's sad that this is being taken advantage of.

As an aside, maybe a little pizza store across from Basil will encourage the people at Basil to improve their famed "service".
(3/20/2017 12:09:25 AM)
36
This is just one more casualty of the infighting within CH
If the CH BD was functioning this would have been avoided, like it was in the old days.

How terribly sad
(3/20/2017 1:40:31 AM)
37
Yechi/ Tsfati
I only want to eat in the restaurant that let's me announce Yechi!☺
(3/20/2017 3:21:38 AM)
38
It is a real low for crown heights that we would use triangle- k Rov to use as a hechsher
(3/20/2017 3:33:56 AM)
39
A Beis Din is not Lucky Dip!
The Harels didn't like the psak so they found a BD that agrees with them? I'm not a fan of Basil (except their fries!) but I wouldn't eat at Calabria. If they agreed to abide by a BD and lost, tough.

It happened to us decades ago, we were far from happy, we knew the BD was bought off but we adhered to the psak. And everything turned out OK - more importantly, we have raised every one of our children to be shluchim, yirei shamayim etc. You don't shop around if you don't get the psak you want, it's a one-shot deal. You get the reward in other ways.
(3/20/2017 4:07:49 AM)
40
disgusting
one is a high class restaurant the other a fast food no comparison LIVE AND LET LIVE
(3/20/2017 4:47:39 AM)
41
Another One
Another dysfunctional Chilul HaShem in the village.
(3/20/2017 4:49:01 AM)
42
you dont get the point
you don't go open a store right next door I don't care if Danny is a billionaire. the point is he's a business man and why should he have to pump more money in because someone decided to open right next door how would you feel
(3/20/2017 4:58:34 AM)
43
Hechseher
I think it important to remember here that Ralbag's hechsher is Triangle K which most people don't hold of, (they give a Hechsher to Hebrew National). It's also mentionable that Elimelech Leibowitz put his "Badatz Glatt Kosher" hechsher on non-glatt meat that was sold in Costco for months and months. Are these really the rabbonim we want to bring into out homes?
(3/20/2017 5:03:11 AM)
44
basil
I have been there 3x and don't see the appeal they are obnoxious and their service is terrible prices expensive and portions are small. maybe people like the atmosphere or the owners cater to "certain types" but they don't own the block and while i understand their upset. i don't have a lot of sympathy. if they treat their customers well they have nothing to worry about it. personally i won't go back.
(3/20/2017 5:18:25 AM)
45
Din torah
Please help me understand, under what circumstances did Rabbis Ralbag and Lebovitz step in. Exactly how were they Incorporated into this din Torah? If in fact they mixed in without going through the proper channels prescribed by the shulchan aruch and did not hear both sides then the shulchan aruch has very choice words for them and they are not flattering.
(3/20/2017 5:24:27 AM)
46
HECHSHER
THE HECHSHER IS A VERY WEAK HECHSHER. THEY CERTIFY PRODUCTS THAT ORTHODOX JEWS STAY MILES AWAY FROM. WE WOULD BE BETTER OF HAVING NO HECHSHER PERIOD THAN HAVING THIS HECHSHER. THAT WAY WE COULD RELY ON THE OWNERS INTEGRITY AND MAKE OUR DECISION WHETHER TO EAT THERE OR NOT. WITH THIS HECHSHER NOBODY WHO IS EVEN SLIGHTLY STRINGENT WOULD STEP IN THERE.
(3/20/2017 5:32:44 AM)
47
Let's look at this reasonably........
The prices at Basil are OUTRAGEOUS. When they started, the prices were on the high side, but once they got popular they said, Hey people are coming so why not raise prices even more and they still came. (Look at what a soup costs - almost $20!) This cachet sells around affluent New York Jews etc. but it is way TOO expensive for local people and families in this neighborhood.

A reasonably priced food (pizza) store, north of Eastern Parkway, is what is needed for our growing (and not rich) community. This will not at all affect those foodies who come to CH to be fleeced but might just be an option for our overburdened neighborhood.
(3/20/2017 5:33:39 AM)
48
question
how would the harels react if someone were to park a food cart adjacent to chocolate and sell cut rate coffee and croissants. just askin'.
(3/20/2017 5:35:59 AM)
49
Clarification from Calabria
The psak allowed us to Sell "Regular Pizza and other foods" and also to sell "New York Style Pizza", we are following their psak word to word, and we made the necessary adjustments to do exactly what we were told.
The Beis Yosef Beis Din didn't want to come and see the pizzas that we do, or to farther specify, so we invited another Beis Din to tell us weather or not what we do is right, and is according to the Psak, and we received a positive answer.
(3/20/2017 5:43:10 AM)
50
Falafel
Can the Israelis please open falafel. We need delicious falafel in our neighborhood!
(3/20/2017 5:44:50 AM)
51
SERIOUSLY
WE ARE OVERLOOKING THE CHOLENT CRISIS IN 770
(3/20/2017 5:46:51 AM)
52
Rabbinical Council of Chicago
The Triangle K was added to the not-acceptable category. I really tried on this one, but I cannot call it reliable.
If you have used Triangle K products in the past, you do not need to kasher your dishes, and if you are in an extremely awkward situation where you feel you will embarrass someone by not eating a Triangle K product, there is room to be lenient and to eat it. But on a regular basis, Triangle K does not meet the standards of the Anshe Sholom community.
Some products are reliably kosher even with a Triangle K: 1) Any product that does not need supervision in the first place, such as pure, non-grape, fruit juice, is still kosher with a Triangle K. 2) A rabbi from a reliable supervision told me that Sunchips with a Triangle K are acceptable. I take his word for it. 3) Some simple products without a risk of grape, oil or meat products are OK with Triangle K supervision: apple sauce, cranberry sauce, and we will continue to indicate this in our Community Standards of Kashrut available online and on the front table in the shul
(3/20/2017 5:53:42 AM)
53
and again
sounds like who has the tallest menorah.
(3/20/2017 6:24:02 AM)
54
Pizza shmeeZa
When is the new bakery on Albany and and Sterling opening?
(3/20/2017 6:33:20 AM)
55
just sell it to Mochkin
He will operate it with out a Hechsher and call it Kretchme North
(3/20/2017 6:38:36 AM)
56
Opinion
When Basil opened up they said specifically that they are not catering exclusively to the frum community.

They do not use Badatz as a hechsher so that they can go by their own standards ( Non-Jewish music etc)

I don't see why the Community needs to defend Basil.

Their food is great but I have never walked in and felt welcome. Depending on the mood of some staff, that is how you are going to be treated.

People go out for a good pleasant time.
(3/20/2017 6:43:33 AM)
57
Whaa?
Liebowitz rules it's permissible then makes $$$ giving his certification?

@ #5 Are they still using the Tanya on their ceiling as a "edgy" design element to sell more pizza? #nothankyou
(3/20/2017 6:57:49 AM)
58
Suddenly basil wants to follow Rabbonim and Halachos?
DONT EVEN SAY THAT! I do not let me kids go there, and one one should.
Blasting non Jewish music... not only to their customers, but so the ENTIRE Kingston avenue has to listen to it.
It's all nice that U want us to follow ur request and follow the decision of Rabbonim, but first focus on YOURSELVES following the Rabbonim- Halacha and not blast mom Jewish music in a Lubavitch community with kids that come to ur restaurant.
(3/20/2017 7:08:56 AM)
59
Hebrew national
calabria has the same hechser as Hebrew national.
(3/20/2017 7:18:12 AM)
60
A Cut above the Rest!
Basil prides itself as an exclusive eatery,as one can see on their home page BasilNY.com, that pictures of any Pizza. Danny should have taken the high road and not lower his standards, to being a "Pizza Store", the Harels are only too happy to squabble with Danny.
(3/20/2017 7:21:55 AM)
61
My humble opinion
Calabria should make peace with Danny B. and get a proper hechsher and start selling triangle slices
(3/20/2017 7:35:04 AM)
62
Certifying Rabbis
I wonder how the certifying rabbis of chocolatte are going to react to the latest letter of the bais din. If I read the letter correctly any person or entity lending a hand to Calabria whether it be directly or indirectly is in blatant contempt of Torah and is branded as one who does not uphold torah etc.
(3/20/2017 7:35:10 AM)
63
To 26
So in order to improve basil's service we resort to disobeying halacha?
(3/20/2017 7:38:16 AM)
64
To 36
The check BD gives chocolatte a hasgacha so how do you propose they get involved when they are connected to one party. That is exactly why the din Torah was handled by an outside party as the shulchan aruch dictates.
(3/20/2017 7:41:05 AM)
65
Rlabag/lebovitz
Even modox don't use this hechsher
(3/20/2017 7:43:15 AM)
66
What would the Rebbe say?
I think everyone should stop and think what the Rebbe would say to this. I think I would be more than correct to say the Rebbe would be horrified. It's because of baseless hatred like this that brought down the 2nd Beis hamikdash. We are in a state where we need only moshiach. Please let's try to act with the principle of VeOhavta Lereacha Kemocha! Let's not bash one another.
(3/20/2017 7:49:52 AM)
67
Pizza'd mind boggling rhetoric ...take 7
- Those comments here already posted, about I will NOT eat here or there - are baseless as they BOTH cater to mostly outsiders, or lubabs that simply don't give a hoot anymore about all the ridiculous machlokis. Personally am in THAT camp as most of CH is.
- Your NOT going to one or the other will make absolutely NO difference to either one.
- Both have great food, its nice to have another choice.
- Rabbonim's psak are totally meaningless, and have burnt there bridges with most. If you think otherwise your head is in the sand. This is all THERE doing, I might add.
- That said, Basil was stupid to go after Calabria. Just a silly move, had they shut up and just moved on it would have shown way more class. Personally, I am surprised but what can I say, perhaps it was a truly poor judgment call indeed.
(3/20/2017 7:50:09 AM)
68
Alcohol
For all those saying Calabria is fast food, how many fast food places serve alcohol?
(3/20/2017 7:50:54 AM)
69
Agree with number 50
We need Authentic Israeli Cuisine, Falafel With Hummus, Tehina, Chips, pickles, cabbage and fried eggplant like in Shuk Machane Yehuda!!
(3/20/2017 7:56:48 AM)
70
New York pizza?
Ess in gezunte heit but dont call it pizza. NY pizza is the equivalent of jarred gefilte fish - a poor imitation of the real thing. Some is tastier than others and all fill the bill as food but it is never great. When I first saw that oregano and parmesan were put on the table to be sprinkled on cooked pizza I thought it was strange. The flavors should come from cooking. Tomato sauce should be a rich blend of seasonings and taste like tomatoes! Hot pepper flakes are an abominable addition to pizza which would never be found in Italy.
(3/20/2017 8:05:13 AM)
71
Unity or fight
If the rabbis are not in unity with each other and therefore there becomes a division on hechshers which one is better for various reasons of their own, then how can they expect to have peace n unity in our community, same with basil and calabria, they can choose to fight or cab choose to unite especially when its not a competition.
(3/20/2017 8:16:35 AM)
72
Rabbi Lebowitz- Not reliable hashgacha
Rabbi Lebowitz isn't a reliable Rov Hamachshir. I've spoken to many people in the kashrus field and they said he ain't reliable. Stay away from this place.
(3/20/2017 8:21:35 AM)
73
This is a joke
I have read every comment and the whole article and I'm laughing away. I can't believe we are arguing over something so ridiculous as pizza. These guys are professional business men and are acting like a bunch of 5-year-olds!
(3/20/2017 8:31:11 AM)
74
Finally taken to task
The harel brothers are finally being taken to task for their business modus operandi. It's no secret, it's been their way of doing business all along, open a competing business adjacent to an existing establishment cut their prices and cause losses to an existing business that invested time effort and money to establish itself. Don't be fooled by "it's not me, it's my brother" bluff. They are doing it to Mendy's with ESS and bench and are now doing it to Basil. I commend the owners of Basil for not taking it lieing down.yesh din vyesh dayan.
(3/20/2017 8:35:43 AM)
75
Harels
I have reliable information that they sent their people into Basil and grilled the staff as to what pizzas sell, which are popular, etc.
Next thing you know, they are opening up a shop six feet away.
(3/20/2017 8:36:36 AM)
76
Basil have ch Badatz hechesher???
Basil have ch Badatz hechesher???
(3/20/2017 8:46:52 AM)
77
Just saying
I am a Bubbie who is very careful with kashrus living here in Crown Heights and I learned decades ago not to trust / buy the Triangle K.
(3/20/2017 9:00:33 AM)
78
Rabbi Lebovitz
Rabbi Lebovitz certifies Tomer meats which Orthodox Jews ALLEGEDLY deem to be neveilos and treifois. Is that the standards we are stooping to? Who is advising the owners of Calabria? Shooting themselves in the foot.
(3/20/2017 9:01:32 AM)
79
Agree with number 72
This Hashgacha is not just not reliable, its the equivalent of triangle K which everyone knows is not a good certification at all not even the modern orthodox eat that. its like OR
(3/20/2017 9:14:57 AM)
80
another perspective
In my community, there were two long-standing bakeries within close proximity. When a new bakery opened a few blocks away, the beis din ruled that they MUST open on the same block, so as not to draw customers away from the area.

I see this in the same light. With these so close to each other, as well as the other new eateries down there, people are more like to wander down to the area to see what's open and has space available at the time.
(3/20/2017 9:17:45 AM)
81
not smart of basil
a dine-in restaurant of any kind would hurt basil much more than a simple pizza shop.
(3/20/2017 9:26:39 AM)
82
Wolfy
I find all of this back-and-forth over what hechsher matters ironic because CH Anash fully supported a pizza shop without any hashgocha whatsoever ("The Kretchme") for like 10 years.
(3/20/2017 9:34:00 AM)
83
Hashgacha
Please don't try using hashacha to blackmail people.
This is corrupt
Hashgacha is for KOSHER.
there kitchen is open they are posting all ingredients no other store in crown heights do that
(3/20/2017 9:42:25 AM)
84
Good pizza
As long as the pizza is good i am your customer
(3/20/2017 9:46:23 AM)
85
with the old breed
wow if only you guys cared so much for your children...I guess all it takes is a little bit of dough to see the truth.
(3/20/2017 10:05:17 AM)
86
Different
I don't get how the they care about a difference in texture of the dough but don't seem to mention anything about the difference in everything else about the places, Full service vs pizza store, decor etc etc
(3/20/2017 10:08:10 AM)
87
to #9
Just to clarify. In Lubavitch there has never been an issue if the REBBE is Moshiach. Thats a given!! Its only how to spread the news.
(3/20/2017 10:57:21 AM)
88
Pizza w/o Hashgacha
I ate at Kretchme for many years with no hashgacha. If you trust the owners then great, and if not no hasgacha will magically make it kosher. Basil was wrong to make problems and Calabria was wrong to go psak-shopping. Until the CH rabbonim (who we actually DO have to respect and listen to) issue a psak, enjoy your pizza.
(3/20/2017 11:01:24 AM)
89
A Yid
While I happen personally not to agree with the Beis Yosef Beis Din's ruling, Aryeh Ralbag and Chaim Krauss are the lowest of the low. They sell rulings. For $1,000. they will rule anything you want. Their ruling is worthless.
(3/20/2017 11:15:11 AM)
90
A Yid
Aryeh Ralbag is the rav hamachshir of Hebrew National. If you would eat Hebrew National maybe you should consider his ruling, otherwise no.
(3/20/2017 11:26:44 AM)
91
Joe
BS"D
you are off the wall # 73 etc if you think this is about pizza-this is about respect for a Beth Din which in turn is the very foundation of Yiddishkeirt
(3/20/2017 11:30:18 AM)
92
To #s 50 & 69
There was a traditional Isreali Falafal joint right up the block, no one went there, now they're closed...
(3/20/2017 12:11:42 PM)
93
to #88
True, you may trust the proprietor of the joint if he is a G-D fearing Jew. But if the proprietor does not listen to a din torah and has a letter of contempt issued against him then brings in a bais din of questionable integrity that used shady and unscrupulous tactics to circumvent a psak of a din torah handled by a bonafide bais din, that's a totally different story. I am not a rav but I believe that they surrender their chazakah of eid echad neeman b'isurin status in this case.
(3/20/2017 12:39:05 PM)
94
Triangle K
I remember the days traveling by air without food and the only item available on the aircraft was lays potato chips that had an ou. I know there are people out there that only eat a heimishe hechsher but "intervegins" I allowed myself these chips. Then these potato chips got the certification of triangle K, not I nor my fellow travelers touched it.
(3/20/2017 12:44:47 PM)
95
to #73
Any business created on the premise of not listening to halacha will not succeed. Whether the owners are five years old or 50 years old. You're missing the point.
(3/20/2017 12:47:48 PM)
96
LOL
im out to bennys brick oven!!!
(3/20/2017 12:57:21 PM)
97
Pizza issue
I support the rabbonim that give chocolatte a hechsher and I will remain sitting on the fence with this issue til the rabbonim tune in and make a clarification.
(3/20/2017 1:04:54 PM)
98
amazed
Amazed that this is depicted as a dispute among Rabbis In Pizza Battle. On one side is a Beis Din who was authorized by the parties to rule after hearing both sides; on the other are three "rabbis"who have absolutely no standing in this case,except that one wants to give a "Hechsher". Not at all surprising that .... was applied to that "Beis Din"
(3/20/2017 1:28:44 PM)
99
Mind thoust own business
For all those of you saying that Mr Branower should just let Calabria be given the fact that basil is just his 'hobby' I'd like to tell you that whether it's his only source of income or whether it's a pure experiment that's absolutely not your business to mind to, are you paying his bills? Do you know for certain what he does with his earnings? Maybe he helps needy families? Maybe he donates 50% to charities YOU might unfortunately be recieving from, you never know and what and how Mr branower and his partners distribute their basil earnings and so you should never judge or assume it's just a 'hobby'.
(3/20/2017 2:16:33 PM)
100
#79
Orthodox Reunion?
(3/20/2017 2:49:28 PM)
101
Out of towner
This is why I encourage people to move out of CH. Yes I know its holy. Yes I know there are many amazing people and orginazations.

However, I dont want my children growing up in a place where people fight like cats and dogs. 2 people cant just deal with it on thier own. No. Let everybody know about it. Lets comment how this rav and that beis down is worthless. Lets talk loshen hara at our shabbos tables for the next 3 weeks. Let are kids discuss it to, and know how important this all is.
Then people say this is the " foundation of yidishkiet"
Enjoy your yidishkiet people. Enjoy. Keep fighting...
(3/20/2017 2:56:14 PM)
102
Grow Up
Seriously we font have enough to foght over?!??! Has anyone seen Kings Highway?!?! There are 20 restaurants within a 2 block radius
(3/20/2017 3:36:24 PM)
103
oishhhhh
Why is there always machlokes about everything?!?!?!?!
(3/20/2017 3:44:12 PM)
104
What?
So the same thing with Kingston pizza and benny bricks oven.
(3/20/2017 3:46:25 PM)
105
I second the motion of #97
Let's hear from the Rabbonim giving a hechsher to the harel brothers at chocolatte as to their reliability inasmuch as they're integrity and trustworthiness has been put into serious doubt with their latest moves

(3/20/2017 3:48:48 PM)
106
To #102
There are also 25000 in that 2 block radius and 175000 Jews in Flatbush frequenting those restaurants. Duh
(3/20/2017 4:31:27 PM)
107
So glad.
I am so happy that they have opened up, after travelling to New York before my wedding, I went to visit basil, unfortunately a waiter dropped my phone in water, it no longer works after calling the manager I was rudely told she was not the manager call soon, and hung up.

I sent an email and complained. Sadly I believe that they felt that they had become so popular and ran the monopoly that they didn't need to appreciate customers anymore. Anyway, ultimately I believe with a competitor across the street they will have to step up there game and start behaving correctly to customers.

Competition is good for everyone.

Yehuda Rose
England
(3/20/2017 4:36:06 PM)
108
Dear COLLIVE
I thank God for constantly providing you with exciting "controversial" material to keep your readers engaged.

God Bless You.
(3/20/2017 5:12:15 PM)
109
where is the justice
Four pizza shops in Crown Heights but not a single steakhouse where is the justice???
(3/20/2017 5:21:58 PM)
110
to #97
this past week haftorah, eliyahu hanavi tells the yidden not to stand on the fence
(3/20/2017 6:28:18 PM)
111
Solomon
BS"D
let one open for a week then the next week close and the other open for a week
(3/20/2017 6:31:32 PM)
112
Solution
Switch places

Ess and bentch in the Calabria place ( fair for Basil)
And
Calabria in the ess and bentcht ( fair for Mendy's)
(3/20/2017 6:45:23 PM)
113
joke
I was going to tell you a joke about pizza. But nevermind, its too cheesy.
(3/20/2017 7:19:14 PM)
114
War on Pizza
We must resist!
(3/20/2017 7:19:17 PM)
115
Beis Yoseph has jurisdiction of the case
If both sides already agreed to the jurisdiction of Beis Yoseph Beis Din, how can Agudas Harrabonim mix in against the expresses decision of the beis din both sides previously agreed to?
(3/20/2017 8:23:07 PM)
116
To #109
There is. Izzy's Stakehouse.
(3/20/2017 9:16:23 PM)
117
Judgment

Until you know all the facts you are forbidden from judging
The psak is not clear at alll
(3/20/2017 9:30:49 PM)
118
Food Food Food
To my fellow shluchim reading all this, Ashrenu mAh tov chelkenu for bagels tomato sauce and frozen cheese...
(3/20/2017 9:49:59 PM)
119
Munchkin hechsher
Why don't they just get the "muchkin hechsher"??
(3/20/2017 10:01:00 PM)
120
i wonder if the ppl involved in this machlokes read these comments... cuz...
okay people, listen up.
ya'll just gotta grow up, quit squabbling like babies, and get your acts together.
basil and Calabria sit down and have a peaceful schmooze, figure your lives put, eat pizza, and quit getting the whole world involved in your business!
CH beis din, mach sholom and make a psak al pi the Rebbes horaos.
in the mean time, ill be at pomedoris (yes I still call it that ;) )
NOTICE: a farkakte food fight is getting the most comments on COL...
btw agreed %100 #112 #101 #96 #188
THE DRAMA OF CH.... the machla of lubavitch


(3/20/2017 10:28:09 PM)
121
amazed
to 115 Beis Yoseph has jurisdiction of the case
see 98
(3/21/2017 6:44:33 AM)
122
I do not understand how ...
How can there be so many comments which are oblivious to the fact that they asked a beis din, and the beis din ruled, and one party is rebelling. how can frum people disregard that and write the myriads of comments above which say "competition is good" - do we not follow halacha? was there something wrong with the beis din? I think COL LIve owes an explanation at least if we are even frum at all? Do we not respect a beis din? was the Beis din somehow at fault? how can we publish so much negativity about following a beis din ruling?
(3/21/2017 6:56:56 AM)
123
to 116
its not a steakhouse at all, its a smokehouse. its a great greasy food joint but is the furthest thing from a steakhouse
(3/21/2017 7:02:55 AM)
124
to #118
Thank gd im not a farmer and on shlichus so we have better things to fight over, like a shliach moving in to neighborhood 15 miles away taking away our money, and then waiting 15 years to put our child in that exact area. The excuse that it wasnt ripe or ready for a shliach until now!
(3/21/2017 7:04:32 AM)
125
War of David and Goliath
It's not about Rabbonim, or Kashrus, it's simply The Bully or the Underdog!
Most people side with the underdog.
(3/21/2017 7:27:24 AM)
126
My opinion
1)#113 that wasn't appropriate everyone is arguing and you have to come make jokes like that honestly go fly a kite! 2) crown heights does need more steakhouses rather than pizza shops the owner isn't being clever! 3) basil has the right to be upset.4) #117 I'm sure you never judge right!#111 that's not practical at all first of all they would lose out on a lot of money and second of all it just won't work!#103 agree !
(3/21/2017 7:31:30 AM)
127
Should Leave Bread Only
Sicha about Hasagas gvul!
Before you comment,
Let's research the halochos
Only then can we express our views

(3/21/2017 7:51:38 AM)
128
to Comment 118
Instead have din torahs about being able to hold on to shtochim of shlichus for your ainiklach
(3/21/2017 8:20:56 AM)
129
not relevant
to 127
you dont have to learn the halochos. The only opinion of halachos that matters is that of the Beis Din accepted by the parties- Beis Din Beis Yosef
(3/21/2017 1:09:27 PM)
130
Post 125
When 2 parties have a disagreement and they go on an equal footing to a bais din not in crown heights in order to guarantee neutrality 1 party wins 1 party loses. Why do posters automatically react with comments that undermine the process. I fail to comprehend the scenario your painting. Who is the bully. Where is the underdog. When someone flexes his muscles or swings his weight around then you'd have a point. To my knowledge this thing was done on the up and up. If you have any further info please post. Thank you
(3/21/2017 4:31:48 PM)
131
In what way is Calabria not following the psak?
It clearly says they can sell regular pizza and other foods.
(3/21/2017 4:36:10 PM)
132
131
Why don't you read the psak before asking a fairly obvious question. I'm not an expert on pizza but I see many pizzas for sale that are not regular new York style pizzas sold in a regular pizza shop. I believe the psak reads they no specialty pizza be sold.
(3/21/2017 4:52:06 PM)
133
there are enought people who cannot eat wheat, make other stuff
(3/21/2017 7:40:25 PM)
134
I don't see why people are laughing...
...I am crying over the bad-mouthing and negativity. We need Moshiach, not Machlokes. Why are Yidden fighting???
(3/21/2017 9:14:14 PM)
135
pathethic
all these Bais dins reminds me of divorce battles. This is ridiculous, sad, pathetic and a chilul Hashem, only ONE Beis Din decides and that is the first one that paskened

Basil can relax, it wont loose from Calabria, its totally different styles
(3/21/2017 10:36:58 PM)
136
to 131
They arent selling regular pizza. They are selling square specialty slices
(3/22/2017 7:05:54 AM)
137
I saw square pizzas at:
Amnon's
Dagan's
Pizza Time
Benny's
J2

Are those considered regular pizza shops, than Calabria too.
(3/22/2017 10:30:39 AM)
138
In a few weeks they will both be closed for pesach
and nobody will be buying any kind of pizza cut into shape. what will the fight be about for these 8 days, who has a right to advertise a chol hamoed extravaganza on which page of the paper? what invective will be tossed around after pesach, he bought his chametz back from the goy too early? he didnt sell it at all? he is selling hebrew national sausage on the pizzas? what will happen with all this stupidity once adar finishes?
(3/22/2017 11:27:50 AM)
139
to 23
yeah! because that takes absolutely time or money at all............
(3/23/2017 2:21:12 PM)
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