Minister Kahana at Knesset debate
Minister Kahana at Knesset debate Arutz Sheva

The Committee on Special National Infrastructure Projects and Jewish Religious Service discussed this morning (Thursday) Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana's kashrut reforms to include them as part of the Arrangements Law.

Committee chair MK Yulia Malinovsky presented to the committee members a variety of non-edible products and some of them were even purchased in non-kosher supermarkets. All of them had a kashrut certificate on them. The chairman of the committee presented a variety of non-food products such as bleach, dish soap, toothpicks and more that have certifications that they are kosher.

"Even toilet cleaner is kosher. This issue concerns not only the religious, but all Israeli citizens," Malinovskiy said, explaining the need for the reforms.

"We do not know how long the kashrut supervises spends with each business and where he supervises at the same time. It creates duplication and hurts the quality of the oversight. We all need the certification and pay a lot of money for it whether we are religious or not. It affects us all everywhere. We learned that there is a procedure for a hotel that wants to be kosher and according to which the supervisor should get a hotel room for him and his family on the weekend. It is clear that we pay for it," she said.

The haredi MKs from the Shas and United Torah Judaism parties are boycotting the debate. but on the other hand MK Avi Maoz from the Religious Zionism Party is actively participating in the debate.

MK Moshe Tur-Paz from Yesh Atid responded to the boycott of the debate by the haredi MKs and said, "Now, during the debate on the kashrut reform, as part of the moves that will lead to improving kashrut, competition and lowering the cost of living at the local level, representatives of the haredi parties decided to boycott the debate and not come. .That's what a militant opposition looks like."

At the start of the debate, Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana, presented to the committee the kashrut program that will change the structure of the kashrut system in Israel. At the beginning of his speech, the Minister presented the failures in the current kashrut system. The Minister clarified that for him, dealing with this kashrut system is "a right, a duty and a mission to deal with kashrut matters. I have been dealing with the issue intensively for two years since I entered the Knesset. Today I present the best program that will best deal with the failures in the kashrut system."

The Minister presented the failures in the kashrut system on the basis of reports from the State Comptroller, the Chief Rabbinate and representatives of the kashrut supervisors themselves. The main problem presented by the minister is the lack of a basic standard for all the rabbinate's kashrut supervisors, with each regional rabbi having his own standards: Imagine two trucks collecting from the same broccoli field, one for the Sunfrost factory and the other for the Pri Galil factory. For one of the factories, the local rabbi will give a kashrut certificate, while the local rabbi at the place where the other factory is located will not. I do not determine who is right, it may be that the strict rabbi is right but in the end there is no uniformity and each rabbi determines as he sees it. My certification program will turn the rabbinate into a supervisory body with uniform standards throughout the country."

The minister referred to the possibility of having three city rabbis who can set standards themselves, and clarified that "this is not my dream I do not want this path". The Minister acknowledged that this option is intended for a situation in which the rabbinate will not cooperate with the reforms. "I say most clearly I do not want this path, if the rabbinate cooperates we will easily find a way out of this path" the minister. concluded.

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