Rabbanut: “Israel’s Kashrus To Be Managed By Political Appointee, We Won’t Cooperate”

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Illustrative. Members of the Council of the Rabbanut at the Kosel.

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Following the approval of the budget of the Lapid-Leiberman-Bennett government on Monday, which includes the kashrus reforms that Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana formulated, the members of the Council of the Rabbanut, headed by HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef, published a letter excoriating the plan.

The letter noted that some of the reforms are contrary to halacha and the Rabbanut will not cooperate with the plan.

“The Rabbanut outright rejects the Religious Affairs Ministry’s dangerous initiative to destroy kashrus and Judaism in Israel,” the letter stated.

“This is part of a general trend of harming religious services, kashrus, marriage and giyur with the ultimate goal of the abolition of Israel’s Jewish identity.”

The letter then detailed the main points of Kahana’s plan:

  • Abolition of the Rabbanut’s authority to issues kashrus certificates.
  • Abolition of the authority of local Rabbanim to issue kashrus certificates.
  • Political appointment of a civil servant who will be in charge of the kashrus system, and in actuality will be the one to issue kashrus certificates.
  • Revocation of the Rabbanut’s authority to recognize kosher organizations abroad.
  • The political appointee will issues kashrus certificates for imported products.

The letter then continued to say: “Apart from the above, the government of Israel made a snap decision to change Israel’s Jewish identity without allowing the possibility of Knesset members to hold a debate on the matter.”

“This is a comprehensive and dangerous plan that was formulated without coordination and consultation with the bodies legally authorized for the issue – the Rabbanut, local Rabbanim and religious councils, while ignoring the reports of the Rabbanut.”

“The decision purports to entrust the so-called kashrus authority to the Rabbanut when in actuality it will be entrusted to a political figure appointed by the minister.”

The letter also noted that according to halacha, a Rav is forbidden to be involved with kashrus outside his area in a place where another Rav is serving.

“The Council of the Rabbanut was established [also legally] to guide halacha for the people and therefore we will not cooperate with the decision to transform it into a council that accepts dictates in order to implement political policies contrary to halacha. Halachic principles are not negotiable. Toras Yisrael cannot be replaced.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


9 COMMENTS

  1. I commend the Rabbanut for standing up for its position. On the other hand, some of the points they make seem to be a strech. For instance, their letter reportedly states that ‘according to halacha, a Rav is forbidden to be involved with kashrus outside his area in a place where another Rav is serving’. Virtually every charedi hechsher in Israel and many major hechsherim in the US operate nationally and provide hechsherim in places where another rav is serving. So, kol hakavod, techezakna yedeichem, but please don’t overegg the pudding.

  2. What a crock of chulent. If anyone believes the current hashgacha system managed by the Rabbanut is free of “politics”, I have a chulent stand to sell you

  3. Rabbanut, by definition, is run by political appointees. They should look at their own paychecks. To work for the rabbanut in Israel, means you are a civil servant. There are independent rabbinical organizations which give hecksherim, but they are not funded or controlled by the government. If you don’t want a sovereign state controlled by Jews who have largely rejected Torah, then you should be joining Satmar, Neteurei Karta and the other non-zionists, and expect to give up being paid by the Israeli taxpayers.

  4. The letter noted that some of the reforms are contrary to halacha

    I cant think of any halacha that any of the reforms violate. The supremacy of Hechal Shlomo is not a halacha.

  5. The rule they cite is not about kashrus at all, it’s about hasogas gevul, by encroaching on a local rav’s parnassa. Since Israeli rabbanim are salaried public servants, and are therefore not even allowed to charge people for their services, that whole concept is not relevant. Competing with a local rav’s hechsher doesn’t harm him financially, at least not unless he’s breaking the law and secretly shaking business owners down for extra off-the-books income, so he has no grounds for complaint. Turning into some kind of halachic rule is just megaleh panim batorah shelo kehalacha.

  6. the ultimate goal of the abolition of Israel’s Jewish identity which is exactly why bennett has permanently shuttered Israel’s borders to all foreigners so as not to be infiltrated by Frum Jews, but gleefully welcomes heathen politicians & heathen athletes into Israel.

  7. @Yagel,
    I’m afraid you’ve misunderstood…

    When you buy a product in Israel, it will always have the hechsher of the local Rabbanut where the product was manufactured. The fact that it may have an additional, PRIVATE hechsher is a side matter in that regard. You will not find a hechsher of Rabbanut Tzfat, for example, on a product that was manufactured etc. in Jerusalem…

    Over here, they want to provide hechshers on products produced/manufactured all over Israel, despite there being a local Rabbinate that may be opposed to that certification being granted. This practice of giving jurisdiction of a halachic nature to a body foreign to a given location is against halacha.