Noam MK Avi Maoz complained about the kashrus reforms of Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana from the Knesset plenum on Tuesday, relating a specific example of a kashrus supervision incident that already occurred due to Kahana’s interference.
Kahana announced elections for the municipal Rav of the northern town of Hatzor HaGlilit a number of weeks ago due to the “too strict” kashrus standards of HaRav Shmuel Eliyahu.
The incident began after Hatzor’s Rav, HaRav Mordechai Di’i, z’l, passed away several months ago and the city’s kashrus supervision was transferred to HaRav Shmuel Eliyahu, one of the leading Dati Leumi Rabbanim in Israel and Chief Rabbi of Tzfas, which is only 15 minutes away from Hatzor.
A number of weeks ago, Tzfas kashrus supervisors carried out an inspection of the Pri HaGalil broccoli processing factory and found a high level of insect infestation. HaRav Di’i, z’l, reportedly said in the past that the broccoli is fine (regarding insect infestation) but HaRav Eliyahu determined that since over 50% of the broccoli was infested,he could not grant it a hechsher unless conditions were improved. In the wake of HaRav Eliyahu’s decision, Kahana called for elections for a new Rav of Hatzor.
Kahana’s announcement of new elections, which will remove HaRav Eliyahu from his position [of supervising Hatzor’s kashrus), is an example of what will happen after the kashrus reforms will go into effect, Maoz said.
“This is a prime example of what is going to happen in the state of Israel if, chalilah, Kahana’s dangerous kashrus reforms are implemented,” he said. “A factory that is unsatisfied with the decision of its supervisory body will simply look for another supervisory body that will be more lenient.”
“Kashrus bodies will be business entities with economic interests that will be careful not to make things difficult for business owners in order not to lose their business. This is in contrast to the Rabbanut, which has no interests except for kashrus supervision. There will be no one to take responsibility for kashrus failures to the public. We’re ceding control of the Jewish identity of the state of Israel – its kashrus,” Maoz sadly concluded.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)