Monday, November 5, 2007

Chief Rabbinate ordains substitute kashrut supervisors


This is a direct result of the pressure put upon them by the Tzohar Rabbis, who said they would establish their own Kashrut Certificate if the court order was not followed. The Rabbinate had to bend to the will of the state, after all, they are a POLITICALLY APPOINTED (not religiously appointed) group. They also were facing a complete defection of the Religious Zionist rabbis and the very real possibility that the Rabbinate would completely lose it's authority in Israel.

Following High Court ruling, Chief Rabbinate authorizes rabbis to grant kashrut certificates to businesses which practice heter mechira (selling permit). Tzohar rabbis welcome decision, hope it 'will make the alternative apparatus redundant',7340,L-3467466,00.html
Neta Sela
Published: 11.04.07, 13:29 / Israel Jewish Scene

Eight days after the High Court's ruling, the Chief Rabbinate obeyed the decision and authorized five rabbis to grant kashrut certificates to businesses which practice heter mechira in area where local rabbis refused to do so.

Tzohar's alternative kashrut apparatus launched / Kobi Nahshoni
Rabbinic organization's Supervision Certificates already distributed to many business. Tzohar emphasize they do not wish to challenge the Chief Rabbinate's authority

According to the Council, each rabbi will deal with the issues his area. In areas that are not under the jurisdiction of the five rabbis – the issue will be determined by the Council.

In addition, the Council's members set up a clear criteria so that the authority of "mara de-atra" ("master of the house") on issues that are not shmita-related.

Yet, the rabbis protested the High Court's intervention and attacked Tzohar and the organizations that "used the crisis to clash with the Chief Rabbinate's authority."

Tzohar organization said in response, "We are satisfied with the Rabbinate's decision. We will continue to operate the alternate kashrut apparatus until we are convinced that every business that wants a certificate based on heter mechira receives it. We did not establish an alternative rabbinate; we will be happy if the Rabbinate fulfills its mandate and make our apparatus unnecessary."

Chairman of the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, MK Menachem Ben Sasson, congratulated the Chief Rabbinate's decision that put an end to the crisis. Ben Sasson said, however, that "the Knesset must pursue a legislative solution so we will not have to face such hurdles again in the next shmita year."

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