(PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
Some three hundred mashgichei kashrus took part in a protest outside the Treasury Building in Yerushalayim on Wednesday, 28 Tammuz, decrying the planned change in their status, soon to become employees of a manpower company.
This is part of the kashrus reform implemented by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, seeking to end the long-standing arrangement by which mashgichim are employed by the stores they supervise, which many viewed as a conflict of interests.
The nation’s religious councils, the local arm of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, do not wish to employ the mashgichim due to the associated costs of paying Bituach Leumi and social benefits. Therefore, the mashgichim are being thrown to the mercy of manpower agencies, which generally do not provide any or few social benefits.
The 300 mashgichim demanded that the state authorities renege on the intention to employ them through manpower companies, which they insist would be “offensive and one-sided, and which would harm the conditions of their employment and might even harm the level of kashrus”.
The protestors were joined at some point by MK (Shas) Danny Saida, who received applause, and addressed the protest. “I am new to the Knesset, but I can tell you that I know that it is going in the right direction, because I saw the determined gaze and body movements of Rabbi Aryeh [Deri] in a faction meeting,” Saida said. “The moment he leads the struggle, I am calm.”
Saida added, “You must have Siyata Dishmaya.
We are one of the greatest powers in the world, and all thanks to the Jewish brain – and how is the Jewish brain? From observing kashrus and avoiding the ‘timtum’ (spiritual contamination) that is affiliated with ingesting non-kosher”.
At one point, mashgichim blocked the car of Deputy Health Minister MK Yaakov Litzman.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)