Fruit and Vegetable Harvesting on Shabbos Casts Doubt on Rabbanut Kashrus


In a letter that was published by the Mazhirei Shabbos organization, which is funded by the Eidah Charedis, Shabbos activist Avraham Arazi reported that immense levels of Shabbos desecration are taking place in the fields in which kosher fruits and vegetables are picked.

The fields, which according to Arazi, supply produce to restaurants that are under Rabbanut supervision, are guilty of desecrating the Shabbos as they have been hiring workers to pick the fruits and vegetables on Shabbos as well as on weekdays.

In a letter that Arazi sent to the Israeli press, he said: “I recently witnessed the broken system in which workers harvest fruits and vegetables on Shabbos. I was shocked to my core to learn that we the public, are guilty of desecrating the Shabbos by eating produce that has made its way to supermarkets and restaurants who use the Kashrus of the Rabbanut. This produce was picked on Shabbos and we had no idea.”

Arazi continued and  said: “While things like Orlah are strictly enforced the timing of picking fruits is not enforced. Thus many irreligious farm owners see no problem with picking the fruit on Shabbos.

Arazi specified three locations in which farms desecrate the Shabbos in order keep up with the markets, they were Lachish, Mivtahim and Ein Yahav. “The food is picked in these places and trucks await the produce, load it up and deliver it on Shabbos during the afternoon. These trucks go to all parts of the country, even to the Shuk in Mahane Yehuda until recently when a public outcry shut the operation in Jerusalem down.”

razi asked the Rabbanut to outlaw any acceptance of produce early in the week prior to Monday morning. “This is the only way that we will convince the farmers to stop harvesting and shipping their produce on Shabbos.”

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel responded and said: “This is a very serious matter and has wide reaching ramifications. We are currently discussing the matter at length and we hope to soon implement a Kashrus reform in an effort to reestablish the rules and regulations regarding many issues currently affecting kashrus.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Would picking the fruits on Shabbos affect their kashrus? My understanding of these halachos is that any fruit which was picked on shabbos may not be eaten on that shabbos, and then also after shabbos, but only for the time which it would take to pick the fruit. So unless these fruits which were picked on Shabbos are then serves before Sunday morning, I don’t see how it would impact their kashrus. And from what i know, fruits and vegetables are usually served many days, if not weeks, after they are picked.

  2. Hey Yankelle,
    I do not know if you are correct, but if these complainers can convince their followers that this is truly an issue they will be able to get a lot of their boys on the payroll as kosher supervisors on the farm.

  3. Yankelle,
    Thank you for your post. I also wondered the same thing. I don’t think the fruit is forbidden for ever only to the worker.
    That does not mean that we should ‘support’ a chillul shabbos by purchasing the fruit that was harvested on shabbos.

  4. I guess ir the Chief Rabinate is looking in to it – there must be a reason – Yankelle – don’t u think?

    Perhaps YWN can ask the Rabbanut why it is serious or the Eida Charerdis

    BTW – I lived in Teveria for a whilw yrs aga- and we didn’t buy milk in the beginning of the week for the same reason – so I guess there are Halachic things u just don’t know