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)