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)