8 Kislev 5771
November 15, 2010
The left-wing Meretz Party has put forward a bill in Knesset seeking to remove the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s control over kashrut, seeking to grant the authority to issue kashrut certificates to the Knesset.
The members of Knesset of the Meretz Party feel that the time is right to push for such a change, insisting a kashrut certificate must be granted to any kosher establishment, even if the restaurant operates on Shabbat – insisting a restaurant can indeed be kosher despite violating the Sabbath.
Lawmakers are resting heavily on a case in which the secular courts have compelled the Chief Rabbinate to issue a kashrut certificate to an Ashdod bakery owned by a Messianic Jewess, seeking to use that case and a growing anti-religious momentum to amend the state’s 1983 kosher law.
Meretz maintains that because Penina Conforti is a Messianic Jew, the Rabbinate yanked her kosher certificate and this is unacceptable.
The Chief Rabbinate maintained all along that there is no problem granting kosher certification to Conforti’s stores, but because of her religious realities, halacha demands the constant presence of a mashgiach. Proponents of Conforti shouted discrimination, pointing out other stores with a regular non-mehadrin Rabbinate hechsher are not compelled to maintain a constant presence of a kosher inspector (mashgiach).