Chief Rabbinate on Schita, Opening Shabbat & Keter Kashrut

Chief Rabbinate of Israel

Chief Rabbinate of Israel

Chief Rabbinate Statement on Schita
Following the damaging report appearing in Yediot Achronot, which was translated and published by JKN, the Chief Rabbinate has released a statement regarding its schita and standard of meat. The original Hebrew text appears on the website following this translation.


One may eat the meat imported from abroad by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, both the glatt and the regular schita, and there is no need for concern since the teams sent abroad are experts in the field and all G-d fearing individuals. They are proficient in checking knives and detecting the slightest problem that may arise. They are also expert in the field of checking lungs and other internal organs.

In addition, those responsible for treibering (de-veining), salting and soaking are knowledgeable and skilled in their fields, working under a team leader who is responsible for them. The team leader regularly reports to the Chief Rabbinate on the operations ongoing abroad.

We take this opportunity to give a vote of confidence to Rabbi Yaakov Sabag Shlita, who heads the National Kashrut Division, and Rabbi Ezra Hariri Raful Shlita, who heads the overseas schita department, both working tirelessly in tandem with rabbonim and poskim (halachic decision-makers) to ensure the end product complies with kashrut and standards for those to eat and enjoy and to maintain a proper kosher home.

This has been the case for decades, and we are constantly improving where and when necessary, and of late, we have improved our internal audits and reviewed all operating protocol.

May Hashem grant us a blessed year and may we be inscribed in the book of good life.

Chief Rabbis Moshe Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger.



shabbos2.    More on Kashrus and Opening on Shabbos

On August 11th, I reported for Yeshiva World News ( that Rabbi Shalom Levy grants kashrut certificates to a number of eateries in the north despite operating on shabbat. The rabbi explains that the mashgiach locks away the ‘kosher’ vessels when he leaves for shabbat, and only he has the key. While opening on shabbat 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.

keter-kashrut-meat13.    Keter Kashrut versus the Chief Rabbinate of Israel
In the beginning of September, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel will appear at a hearing before the Supreme Court, prompted by a bizarre chain of events.

The head of the unauthorized Keter Kashrut organization has turned the tables on the Chief Rabbinate, summoning the nation’s kosher certifying agency to Israel’s highest court to justify why Keter Kashrut is labeled “unauthorized” and therefore, removed from many stores.

Keter Kashrut maintains that just like the Chief Rabbinate permits many other agencies to provide kosher certification in addition to the local religious councils, such as the many legitimate badatz agencies, it too should be permitted to do so. Keter is demanding to understand why it is deemed illegitimate while others are not, placing the burden of proof on the Chief Rabbinate.

Some time ago I gave testimony to Rabbi Rafi Yochai of the Rabbinate’s Kashrut Fraud Division based on my hours pounding the pavement, documenting countless hours in stores with Keter Kashrut certificates, never actually seeing a mashgiach, never succeeding in contacting one by phone, and never seeing any signs of life from the so-called mehadrin kosher supervising agency.

I can only hope it will assist Rabbi Yochai and his colleagues in their case to oust Keter Kashrut from the Israel kosher scene.

One comment

  • Nadav
    August 27, 2009 - 18:07 | Permalink

    Maybe you could link to the yediot article mentioned in the first item…

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