The Chief Rabbinate of Israel Council is scheduled to convene on Monday, 12 Tammuz, at the behest of the steering committee addressing reforms in the kashrus system after the rabbonim serving on the committee did an about face regarding demands for changes to the plan.
The bottom line is that it was revealed that the kashrus plan was collapsing after all the rabbis who signed the outline reneged and set conditions, mainly corrections required by Rabbi Mordechai Bistritzky, one of Tzefas’ Chief Rabbis, who claims that the plan is full of holes.
It should be noted that one of the reasons that leads Rabbi Bistritzky to oppose the proposed outline is the fact that the chareidim in Tzefas and the tourists who view the mehadrin local Rabbanut on a very high level, no less so than the leading badatzim. Hence, Rabbi Bistritzky feels an obligation to maintain the integrity of the mehadrin kashrus.
One of the areas the rabbonim realize must be corrected is the conflict of interest, by which stores pay the mashgiach’s salary. The Chief Rabbinate is aware this must change in all areas around the country.
Under the new plan, the mashgichim will be paid by four non-profit companies which will be selected via a nationwide tender. In addition, they Chief Rabbinate realizes the need to beef up regulation and monitoring of local religious councils, which are responsible for kashrus around the country.
The Chief Rabbinate’s exclusive hold over kashrus is being threatened as Tzohar Rabbonim has launched its own independent system. Unlike badatz hechsherim, which are only given to an establishment after it has local Rabbanut kashrus, Tzohar operates in place of local rabbinates. Just last week, leading dati leumi posek HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Ariel issued a psak that the Tzohar kashrus is a lower standard than the Chief Rabbinate and one may not eat from stores under its supervision for fear of eating treif.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)