Opinion: Bnei Torah Should Boycott Coca Cola


coke-coca-colaBy Yisroel Feldman, CA

You probably heard that this last Sunday at the Super Bowl game, Coke Cola ran a special advertisement.
One of the web pages that discusses it is: http://www.wnd.com/2014/02/coke-ad-sparks-outrage-praise-at-super-bowl/ and http://www.wnd.com/2014/02/coke-to-air-longer-version-of-controversial-ad/ Part of the ad was the showing of two Toeiva men playing with their “daughter.”  The showing of this scene was in the context of showing the many “diverse” forms of “American” “life,” and that they are all “beautiful.”   Obviously, this promoting here of Toeiva is really promoting FOUR levels of Toeiva:   1.)  Toeiva “relation” itself   2.)  Toeiva “marriage”   3.)  Toeiva adoption   4.)  That such a Toeiva setup is considered a “family”!

Expectedly, the big Toeiva promoting organization “GLAAD” had high praise for this advertisement. Quote:   “According  to GLAAD, this is the first Super Bowl ad to feature a [toeivah]  family. GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis responded to the ad: ‘Including a [toeivah] family in this ad is not only a step forward for the advertising industry, but a reflection of the growing majority of Americans from all walks of life who proudly support their [toeivah] friends, family and neighbors as integral parts of ‘America the Beautiful.”” (http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/02/02/coke-super-bowl/)

As the Coke Cola company was the one to “pioneer” such a blatant Toeiva promotion, I think that it is high time that we, as Bnei Torah need to boycott Coke Cola!. Besides the fact that Coke is the extreme epitome of garbage “food,” such extreme wickedness by the Coke company company against our Torah Hakdosha is obviously something we want no association with, Chas V’Shalom.  Of course, the Coke company is going to continue to do what they want and does not give the slightest hoot about what we say (just like the Toeiva people themselves are going to continue to do their thing and do not give the slightest hoot about what we say).  At the same time though, we do not need to give them the slightest bit of our support.

Yisroel Feldman, Novato, California

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Why are you fighting a losing battle ? Running around with your little bans and protests are meaningless. Move on. Get used to it. Its the Golus and thats where we’re living. Be happy its not Nazi Germany.

  2. You know, any of us can boycott anything we want. B’H we live in a free democracy where we have choice, not only of what to buy, but also what to say and how to daven, learn, and live. So if you wish to boycott Coke for the reasons set out above, knock yourself out. Me, it bothers me that they are huge supporters of Oxfam, and thus indirectly supporting BDS against the Jewish state. I may also choose not to buy their products.

    But when it comes to freedom of expression, or legislation that affects the rights of everyone who lives in the country, Be very very careful. We of all people should know it is a slippery slope. Deny rights to one group, and the same principle can easily be used to deny your rights and mine as Jews. It has happened before, repeatedly. If you don’t get this, you are missing the point of responsible citizenship in a democracy and perhaps you would be more comfortable somewhere where these principles that protect you and me are absent.

    Personally, if I have to choose between other people – no matter how much I disagree with their lifestyle or their choices – sharing the freedoms I take for granted, and being in a place where freedoms are revoked or withheld arbitrarily, I’d rather be here than waiting for the next pogrom.

  3. This is a total load of garbage.

    The ad shows two men with a girl. SO?
    Who is to say they are supporting all those things that GLAAD says they are? They kinda have an agenda, you know!

    Having seen the commercial twice, nothing says they are a toeva couple, anymore than a dad and uncle, or even a dad and step-dad bonding with their daughter.

    Mr. Friedman, save your rage for a real cause.

    Oh, and by the way. For the record, Coca-cola hasn’t said that their commercial is promoting any of the 4 levels.

  4. Boycotting a company for its advertising although is a right can be a slippery slope for those that advertise their intent. Yisroel Feldman needs to investigate all the various soft drink companies that promote in their company various unacceptable halachic practices as well as their policies towards Israel and other political and religious practices. Unfortunately society today has adopted many practices that are anti our way of a proper Jewish life. If we boycott Coke then we should investigate where all the various Jewish Brands buy their equipment and ingredients and check if they are from companies and farms and sources that follow halacha. Ain Ledovor Sof

  5. How would you feel if people were equally as upset about the two frum guys that were shown in the ad? Would that be justifiable to you also?
    I think it’s time to grow up. These people didn’t choose to be the way they are. If they had the opportunity to be straight they would take it in a second. Just live and let live. Once everything in your Avodas Hashem is perfect you can start worrying about everyone else’s

  6. And what about a Ben Torah like yourself watching the Super Bowl – with the commercials? Why don’t you practice the kedusha first before worrying about a coke boycott.

  7. Maybe we should boycott the states that have passed toeiva marriage bills. These state include New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois among others. Or maybe we should boycott the Superbowl. or maybe we should boycott the OU who gives a hashgacha on Coca Cola. Yeah… that’ll send a message.

  8. Coca-Cola was one of the first major companies to make its products kosher. Coca-Cola gave up a huge amount of business by entering into the soft drink market in Israel during the 1960s. It was not allowed to be sold in most Arab countries until the 1990s. Its biggest stockholder is Warren Buffett’s investment company Berkshire Hathaway; Buffett is a tremendous friend to the Am Yisrael. And the ad in question included an American Jewish girl singing in Hebrew.

    The advocacy of a boycott against a business that has been so good to us shows a tremendous lack of hakarat hatov. Even the right wing bigots who objected to the ad were upset only about the singing in multiple languages; as Jews are expected to know multiple languages we should be supportive of such! I have gone out of my way to purchase Coca-Cola products ever since they defied the Arab boycott and will continue to do so.

  9. Many chareidim in the US do not drink Coca Cola anyhow. In Israel they wouldn’t dare run such ads on their bottles because they know that Rav Landau would immediately remove his hechsher.

  10. Oib azoy, get ready to boycott everything.

    Unfortunately, this is becoming the way – and ultimately the end – of the world.

    Bereishis Rabba 26:5

    Rabbi Huna in the name of Rebbi said, “the generation of the flood was not eradicated from the world until they wrote marriage contracts for toeivah and bestiality.”

  11. This sounds ridiculous. Why were “bnei torah” watching the super bowl? And if they were TV watchers they would see the many other ads that deliver the same message. We live in a Christian country that no longer has any morals. Why is that a big surprise? Maybe we should also boycott receiving mail because some of the carriers are of a different orientation that we do not agree with? Etc. Etc. Etc.

  12. with all due respect, this is insane. if you want to boycott all companies that are against toeiva marriage. you would have to boycott GOOGLE, STARBUCKS, APPLE, NIKE, FACEBOOK, AT&T, MASTERCARD, MICROSOFT, JETBLUE AND MUCH MORE. They all supported the supreme court decision on toevah marriage. so sorry, this post doesn’t work

  13. What you say makes sense. Are you asking for the ban to be on just Coca Cola soft drink or all Coca Cola brands listed below?

    Bacardi Mixers *
    Bacardi Premium Mixers *
    Bright And Early
    Caffeine-free Barq’s
    Caffeine-free Coca-Cola
    Caffeine-free Diet Coke
    cherry Coke
    Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla
    Coca-Cola Cherry Zero
    Coca-Cola Zero
    Coca-Cola Zero Caffeine-Free
    Cumberland Gap
    DANNON *
    Delaware Punch
    diet Barq’s
    Diet cherry Coke
    Diet Coke
    Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla
    Diet Coke with Lime
    Diet Coke with Splenda
    Diet Fuze Tea
    diet Inca Kola
    Diet Master Pour
    Diet Northern Neck
    Diet Sprite
    Diet Sprite Zero
    Dr Pepper*
    Evian *
    Fanta Sugar Free
    Fanta Zero
    Five Alive
    Flavor Rage
    Full Throttle
    glacéau fruitwater
    glacéau smartwater
    glacéau vitaminenergy
    glacéau vitaminwater
    glacéau vitaminwater zero
    Gold Peak
    Honest Ade
    Honest Fizz
    Honest Kids
    Honest Tea
    Honest Tea Zero
    Illy *
    Inca Kola
    Java Monster*
    Master Chill
    Master Pour
    Mello Yello
    Mello Yello Zero
    Mezzo Mix
    Minute Maid
    Minute Maid Enhanced
    Minute Maid Fruit Falls
    Minute Maid Juices To Go
    Minute Maid Light
    Minute Maid Orchards
    Monster *
    Northern Neck
    Peace Tea *
    Pepe Rico
    Pibb Xtra
    Pibb Zero
    Red Flash
    Southern Sun
    Sprite Zero
    Sugar Free Full Throttle
    Sugar Free NOS
    Sugar Free Sprite
    Vanilla Coke
    Vanilla Coke Zero
    Vault Zero
    Worx Energy *
    Zico *

    The trademarks listed above are owned or used under license(*) by The Coca-Cola Company and its related affiliates as of August 31, 2012. These trademarks may be owned or licensed in select locations only.

  14. A couple of points:
    1) During the Arab boycott of Israel in the 60’s and 70’s, Coke was the company that chose to sell in Israel. For that reason, the Arab countries refused to allow it to be sold. Coke chose to do what was right over what was profitable.

    2. The Superbowl ad also showed a young man in a yarmulkah. The shot was from behind so the yarmulkah was clearly visible.

    3. Every year Coke cooperates with kashrut authorities to make Coke kosher for Pesach, despite having kept their formula secret from all others over the years.

    Maybe we should think again before we start boycotting Coke. It’s very fashionable to call for this sort of boycott, but maybe we should think again instead of just reacting thoughtlessly.

  15. As you breifly alluded,if you give a hoot about your health, you should cut out soda for health reasons alone. A harvard study linked sugar to 150 different diseases. More recently caramel coloring was proclaimed a carcinogen. People simply do not understand (or don’t want to understand) how they are shaving off years off their life with constant soda consumption. Not convinced? Go 30 days without soda and see how you feel. Guaranteed you will sleep better, be more energized, and be able to think clearer. If not, you can go back to the soda addiction and let your body slowly fall apart ?? ?????.

  16. By this logic, we should also not support Obama or most other politicians, (and probably many other people & companies) because they give their support to this Toaiva.

  17. Couldn’t agree more. Of course, I think ads are irrelevant. I think you should boycott all companies that support toeivah “marriage”. Goodbye Pepsi, General Mills, P&G, Sony, Toyota, and pretty much every other company that sells products in America. Maybe move onto an Amish farm and grow your own food and make your own utensils and other products. Before you do, please give me your computer and phone. Thank you

  18. If anyone is going to boycott coca-cola, for their benefit i have listed here a bunch more brands that should be boycotted because they are owned by coca-cola;
    vitamin water
    minute maid
    nestea (and maybe nestle for doing business with coca cola, they have too many brands to list so heres a link to the list on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestle)
    the coca cola theme park
    and colombia pictures (thats alot of movies i know true bnei torah would never watch anyway but just incase…. unless you say ein issur chal al issur so the issue of coca cola will not be chal on the issur of movies)

  19. Sadly, VERY sadly, this is the way that American society and most of the Western world is moving.
    One of two things will happen: either Western civilization will collapse, as happened to so many civilizations when they lost their natural sense of morality and followed the path of hefkeyrus, or their civilizations will not collapse, but frum Yiddin will simply have to refrain from these sick behaviors, just as we don’t eat their foods or wear their un-tzniyus clothing.
    This is just **another** abomination that is becoming “accepted” by a world that want pleasure rather than morality. We don’t have to buy into it.

  20. To #37 – Dani,
    That is the most profound statement here, “either Western civilization will collapse, … or their civilizations will not collapse” ! Profound!

  21. It’s sad to see such weak,give up,
    They stood up for Israel ,responses
    It’s not our job to accomplish anything (that’s for H ‘ashem)
    but we’re still not absolved from trying

  22. Soda should not be part of our diets in the first place. Soda among other sugary snacks and candy are implicated in the high rates of obesity and cancer in the US and other parts of the world.

  23. I’m not sure who is the problem cokes ad company which are not baalie bichera or you who is one and going to wach the game because that is also a toava and maybe boarding avoda Zara and definitely bitel Torah.

  24. To me, it sounds like the author of this article just doesn’t like coke, because of it being ‘garbage food’. If that’s the case, then put together another no shychus article about how bad coke is, as opposed to writing about a stupid add they aired!!!

  25. you must live in a very tiny world, i am in no way in favor of toeiva relationships, but get reaal, there is a reasl world out there, and there are far bigger things out there that need our attention, viv a vis boycotts. you must have really nothing to do in life but to come up with inane resposes to everyday life situations, and realties. mw…nyc

  26. I fully understand this point of view, however, remember that Coke, their credit, sold their products to Eretz Yisroel while giving up the right to sell to the arab countries (back in the 70’s). Misguided that they are is no reason not to show Hakoras Hatov.

  27. With this article’s negligent ways, I will now indeed enjoy my coke with a very much even more intelligent smile. Toevah is not an issue for the non-Jewish population to discuss and if Coke is for an egalitarian society, I am for Coke. Thanks.

  28. Number 31 they do not have formula but the ingredients only
    And for Passover there are only one or two bottlers that are kosher for Passover

  29. I am surprised to see the degree of negative reaction to R. Feldman’s proposal here.

    I salute him for having the proper hergesh of outrage to such a thing, and feeling compelled to do something about it. ????? ???? ??????!

    It seems that some people are addicted to Coca Cola and cannot fathom a life without it, and I think that is coloring their reactions here.

    I do not buy it because it is unhealthy and this is an additional reason not to do so.

    I propose that Reb Feldman speak to gedolim about the idea and see what they think.

    Keep up the good work R. Yisroel!

  30. WE all know Coke is like poison for you body, now we know that they support things that are bad for your soul too.
    No need to boycott, but we would probably be a lot better of without it.

  31. Why not instead focus your energy toward getting Coke to open a factory in Israel settlement area? Then your chances of a boycott will increase.

  32. ????? ????? ?????

    They have been damaging bodies for decades, now they are accelerating erosion in the spiritual realm.

    Is it good for Israel to have unhealthy drinks sold there? ?? ?????? ??? ??????!

  33. we should all boycott coca cola because recent studies have shown that high fructose corn syrup is literally deadly. Just do a quick google search and you’ll find loads of articles on the subject. I’m no health freak, but I don’t see why drinking soda doesn’t violate venishmartem meod lenafshoseichem.

  34. To Comment #15. from “Charlie Hall” and Comment #31. from “Oldtimer” and Comment #46. from “i-remember”:

    Thank you very, very much for your 100% correct observations! In fact, after I had submitted my remarks to the Matzav editor’s desk, I realized that right in those remarks themselves, I should have discussed this crucial part of the picture of the heavy debt of Hakores HaTov – the heavy debt of appreciation that we owe the Coca Cola Corporation. That I forgot to do this was certainly wrong, and for that, I definitely do owe the Coke company an apology.

    As you related, there are a number of areas where the Coke company has done good for us:

    1.) They accomodate and work with our OU Kashrus agency to ensure their products have general all year Kosher certification and specific Pesach Kosher certification.

    2.) In the early years of Israel’s development, despite heavy opposition, they gladly marketed their products there, even though this meant that the Arab countries prohibited their markets.

    3.) The Super Bowl ad, as gravely problematic as it was, DID also show scenes of obviously Jewish people.

    L’Aniyus Daati, obviously employing tremendous tact upon guidance of our Gedolay Torah, we would need to somehow convey to the Coke company that we certainly very deeply appreciate and honor the wonderful respect and support that they have given us through the years. As an integral part of this, an integral part of this respect and support of us IS respect and support of our Divinely instructed task of bringing spirituality and morality to the world. The same G-D Who instructs us to eat only Kosher food equally instructs us to have only morally proper relationships. In fact, the place in the Bible of the laws of eating Kosher are in the Book of Leviticus; a few pages further in this same Book of Leviticus are the laws of morally proper relationships — where the act of Toeiva is condemned in the most strongest terms!!

    Furthermore, the rules of eating only Kosher are obligatory only on the Bnei Yisroel; however, the rules of not having Toeiva and other morally repungent relationships are the sacred obligations of ALL of humanity!

  35. To Comment #4. from “Yichusdik”:

    (A couple of years ago in a long detailed essay at http://matzav.com/making-a-kiddush-hashem-social-issues-and-politics, I discussed this very objection that you are saying of: “We cannot oppose Toeiva, for on the contrary, we must always oppose all discrimination; otherwise, how would we like it if ‘they’ were to discriminate against us Jews?” So, B’Ezras Hashem, I will quote here what I wrote over there.)

    The various issues of discrimination and civil rights that came out in the Twentieth Century all centered around one fundamental principle, which is certainly reflective of what our Torah teaches us. It is that as HaShem created everyone in the world, then obviously HaShem created every person and placed every person here in this world for a reason. Therefore, every person, no matter who he of she is, has value, and no person, no matter who he of she is, should ever be abused or hurt in any way or held back from being able to achieve what HaShem put him or her here to achieve.

    The placing of the Toeiva so-called “rights” business in together with the other civil rights/discrimination cases is a severely wrong error. For the opposition to Toeiva is not trying to, Chas V’Shalom, hurt any person because of who he or she is; rather, the opposition to Toeiva is just simply saying to every person, no matter who he or she is: “Do not do bad things!”

    So on the contrary, because we immensely respect and value every person, no matter who he is, or who she is, we say to him, and we say to her: “Do not do this terrible thing of Toeiva, which so very horribly ruins a person and ruins the world!”

    B’Ezras HaShem, I would like to conclude this part of the discussion with a little story that Rav Avigdor Miller, ZT’L, liked to relate many times. He reported about his Rebbe, Rav Issac Sher, ZT’L, who was one of the Rosh Yeshivas – one of the chancellors – of the famed prominent Yeshiva of Slabodkia in Lithuania. Rav Sher had a special project that he devoted his life to; this was working on the Inyan of G’dulas HaAdam – the subject of the greatness of man. This is the endeavor of learning about and delving into and contemplating on and understanding and teaching and expounding and conveying to others the realization of the infinite greatness that HaShem implants in every human being.

    In his latter years, Rav Sher moved to Eretz Yisroel. When he embarked on his journey, his Talmidim – his students – from the yeshiva accompanied him to the train station. On the way there and as they were waiting to board the train, Rav Sher taught his students further lessons in this subject of G’dulas HaAdam. When the boarding time arrived and Rav Sher got on the train, from his seat, he continued his lecture, speaking to his students through the open window! When the train began to move, he continued right on talking, and his students slowly walked right alongside the train car by his open window.

    At this though, one of the officers on the platform came over and roughly pushed the students away. [Evidently, the way that he angrily shoved them showed that he did not do this from any concerns of safety (that it was dangerous for them to be walking next to a moving train), but rather that he did not like seeing such intense religious activity or he maybe even had an attitude of Sinas Yisroel.] At this, Rav Sher pointedly remarked: “We’re trying to make him great (I.e., we are trying to say how good and great he is) — and he doesn’t let us!”

    Yes, this one line can really be the summation of our efforts to instill Torah values in people and the opposition we get: We are trying to show and bring out how very great and wonderful people really are, and yet, they don’t want us to do it!

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