On August 11th, YWN reported that Rabbi Shalom Levy grants kashrut certificates to a number of eateries in the north despite operating on shabbos. The rabbi explains that the mashgiach locks away the ‘kosher’ vessels when he leaves for shabbos, and only he has the key. While opening on shabbos is not ideal he maintains, by granting kosher supervision from Sunday through Thursday, many visitors and summer vacationers to the north are eating proper kosher food, while without his supervision, this would not be the case.
According to Rabbi Rafi Yochai, who heads the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Kashrut Fraud Division, granting a kosher certificate to a business operating on shabbos is contrary to the policy of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, hoping that the publicity given to his policy will prompt him to cease doing so in the future.
For the time being, as of the night of Wednesday, August 26, 2009, Rabbi Levy continues to give such supervision, ignoring the Chief Rabbinate’s protocol.
I would add in this case, what may be no less relevant than the halachic points for and against; a rabbi has opted to willingly act against the directives of the Chief Rabbinate, which is responsible for the kashrut nationwide. It appears the Rabbinate is powerless to take action.
Chief Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar Shlita may dismiss Rabbi Levy, but it appears such action is unlikely.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)