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Israel: Supreme Court Rules on Kashrus Issue

kosher.gifThe Supreme Court last week issued a temporary injunction ordering the Chief Rabbinate to halt the practice by which restaurants and caterers pay their mashgiach directly, as has been the practice under the Rabbinate supervision for many years.

The court is calling for establishing work standards for mashgichim, as well as qualifications, including an exam permitting candidates to exhibit a proficiency in kashrus matters and thereby being certified.

The court ruled the Chief Rabbinate, religious councils, and the Ministry of Religious Services have not maintained a proper defined standard since 2004 and have ignored previous court rulings on the matter of kashrus.

YWN hopes to continue probing this matter, seeking to learn the High Court’s ruling in detail. Only limited information is available today, erev Shabbos.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

6 Responses

  1. How many times do we go into restaurants or to a catered affair where the “mashgiach” or rather the only guy there with a yarmulka is an am haaretz gamur who doesn’t know what to even look for. Standards would be a major improvement.

  2. My experience is that the situation in the U.S. is often similar. Because the business (i.e., food store, restaurant, caterer, etc.) pays the Kashrus organization, the Rav Hamachshir or Mashgiach (who is an employee of that organization) will find Heteirim to justify and/or ignore questionable practices that cast doubts on Kashrus.

    Perhaps our Gedolim, or the Kashrus organizations themselves, can find ways to avoid these conflicts of interest in the future.

  3. The reason that the Rabbanut was doing this, was so that the mashgichim would not get the benefits of being government workers. This was grossly unfair to the mashgichim on several counts#1 they did not get the benefits they deserved such as vacations, clothing allowance (clothes get ruined in a kitchen)sick days etc.
    It also made the mashgichim live in fear of being strict with the owners for fear of dismissal or cuts in pay etc.It also took away their negotiating power. It also gave the owner the option to make the mashgiach do all kinds of other work like running the cash register, being in charge of the stock room etc which took the mashgiach out of the kitchen at crucial times.

  4. I’d rather have an am ha’aretz who is trained in what to look for and will immediately call for someone higher up if there’s any question, than a talmid chacham who doesn’t understand the business, and may try to kler the shailoh himself before bringing in a supervisor.

  5. to an Israeli Yid #4

    that is NOT the o-u policy.

    sure that may be halacha, but its not practised here in the us, nor is it practiced in israel (apparently).

    the only ou mashgichim on payroll are those revolving from company to company, from plant to plant. those that are fixed at one plant or another are paid by the plant (unless the plant wants to go through the headache of adding it to the ou’s bills, and reimbursing, and etc. rarely, if ever!)

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