Minister Kahana meets Rabbi Druckman,
Minister Kahana meets Rabbi Druckman,spokesperson

Leading religious Zionist rabbis, including Rabbi Chaim Druckman, signed a letter criticizing Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana's intention to open the kashrut market to competition despite the objections of the Chief Rabbinate.

The rabbis wrote that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is the only body authorized to conduct religious affairs in the country. "In light of this, any change in matters of religion should be coordinated and agreed upon with it."

The rabbis recognize the need to make improvements in the field of kashrut, but note that "only a kashrut plan that is done at the discretion and consent of the Chief Rabbinate is legitimate and acceptable to the people of Israel."

The letter was signed by Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Rabbi Eitan Eisman and Rabbi Yosef Artziel.

Earlier, Minister Kahana defended himself in the Knesset plenum from critics of his moves to reform the kashrut industry.

"Everyone who poured insults on me yesterday, what do you actually say? That the Chief Rabbinate in Israel trusts kosher bodies abroad, trusts rabbis abroad, whom I do not doubt, G-d forbid, but it does not trust our rabbis, the rabbis of the Nation of Israel, rabbis whom the Chief Rabbinate of Israel authorized, they we do not trust," Kahana said.

The Minister turned to the haredi MKs and said, "Now I ask you, my fellow Knesset members, what are you afraid of? Anyone with eyes in their head understands that our kashrut system is sick, very sick and needs to be put in order. My plan will put it in order, open it to competition, put it under the regulation of the chief rabbinate, under the supervision of the chief rabbinate similar to what happens abroad, and thanks to this plan people, more people, will eat kosher, and their kashrut will be more kosher."