Artichokes ready to harvest
Artichokes ready to harvestiStock

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel, which is waging a quiet battle against restaurants and businesses joining the Tzohar Rabbinical Association alternate kashrut network, informs the public that a product prohibited by the Chief Rabbinate for consumption is being served in a restaurant enjoying Tzohar certification.

The product is an artichoke imported from Italy. Laboratory tests conducted by the Chief Rabbinate found them highly infested, and they were therefore not approved by the Chief Rabbinate's import department.

Chief Rabbinate enforcement head Rabbi Rafi Yochai published a document last year warning rabbis and kashrut inspectors not to use artichokes of that type.

Religious Zionist Rabbi Rafi Yochai
Religious Zionist Rabbi Rafi YochaiAmichai Kreiger

In recent days, after it became known that a restaurant in the center of the country using the Tzohar kashrut service was serving the artichokes, the Chief Rabbinate emphasized that the ban is still valid.

The Tzohar rabbis' organization said in response: "Tzohar Food Control does not restrict businesses under its supervision to ordering raw materials from one supplier or another as long as the product is under reliable kosher authority. In this case, the product receives kashrut from Milan Chief Rabbi Avraham Hazan, a great Torah scholar who is also counted among the Chief Rabbinate kashrut providers. In addition, the product receives kashrut from a number of reliable kashrut bodies throughout Europe, among them ORD and kashrut bodies in Italy working day and night to provide Kosher food to the Jews of Europe.

"Tzohar Food Inspection supervisors, led by Kashrus Department head Rabbi Oren Duvdevani, are meticulous and uncompromising supervisors of the products in the businesses to provide diners the right to enjoy kosher food and to increase kosher food in Israel."