Points of Views
From Jerusalem
Points of Views
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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem


"Keep your nose out of our religious business!
One of the things I hate the most is self-righteous, religious preaching that, in God’s name, allows itself to suppress anyone who is different.
This week, the Chotam organization [1] published a post and a clip explaining why we can’t trust Tzohar’s ‘kashrut’ [2]. I’ve prepared a proper, Zionist response!
What do you think?"

– Bini Aschkenasy, west Jerusalemite activist

[From the Video:]
"[First Speaker:]
Mahane Yehuda Market, Pasta Basta. I bet that name probably sounds familiar to you. Do you know why? Because of the following clip:
[Second Speaker:]
Yes, we’ve got an alternative ‘kashrut’. What is alternative ‘kashrut’?
[First Speaker:]
This week, the Chotam organization, an organization that champions putting Judaism on the agenda, declared war on Pasta Basta and the ‘kashrut’ of the Tzohar organization. Why, you ask? I’m also wondering. The true reason behind this attack is this [points]: this certificate, a kosher supervision certificate from Tzohar and not from the Rabbinate. And you’re probably asking yourselves why?
[Second Speaker:]
Alternative ‘kashrut’ gets the public used to the idea that there is such a thing as kosher supervision, without the supervision of the Rabbinate. From that moment on, any restaurant owner can print his own ‘improvised’ certificate.
[First Speaker:]
But what they forgot to tell us is that there are a lot of other private ‘kashrut’ supervisions, different kinds of Ultra-Orthodox certifications [3], against which they don’t act. Interesting, right?
At the end of the day, this isn’t an argument about what is kosher and what isn’t. This is an argument about who is Jewish and who isn’t; who is ‘pure’ and who is ‘impure’; who will be included, and who will be excluded. That’s what this is an argument about. How do I know this?
[Second Speaker:]
One has to know that behind these initiatives hides a dangerous trend of weakening the Jewish identity of the State of Israel. It’s enough to note the funding that Reform and Conservative organizations receive…
[First Speaker:]
[He’s] really spreading pure love among the People of Israel [4]. So give us a break and stop preaching. [says a blessing over his food] […] And another thing, keep your nose out of our religious business.’"

[Selected Comments:]
– "Well done, but you are aware that the simple difference is that the Ultra-Orthodox certificates are in addition to the Rabbinate ‘kashrut’, and not instead of them, right?"
– "You’re making a grave mistake. Woe to us if every business owner will hang up an improvised ‘kashrut’ certificate. Each person will do whatever he wants, and they’ll use donkey meat, [which is non-Kosher] etc. That’ll be on your head!"

0202 Editor's Notes:
[1] Chotam is an organization that seeks to put Judaism on the agenda out of belief that the State of Israel is based on Jewish values, and without them, the state will lack its foundation and heart. (Trans. from the organization's website)
[2] When a restaurant chooses to observe the rules that make an establishment kosher (Jewish religious dietary restrictions), it can pay to have an inspector frequent the premises to make sure that the food is indeed upheld to certain Jewish legal standards. The restaurant then receives a certificate showing that it is under rabbinical kashrut supervision. In Israel, a business may only advertise that its products are kosher if it received certification from a local branch of the state rabbinate. The Tzohar rabbinical association opened its own 'kashrut' licensing authority in competition with the Chief Rabbinate. Tzohar’s 'kashrut' supervision authority will provide a viable and competitive alternative to that of the Chief Rabbinate, may prompt other groups to enter the market, and will certainly evoke the ire of the religious establishment.
[3] Some Haredis only buy food that is under stricter supervision. The supervision service is provided by certain Haredi rabbis, who issue their own certification to certify that a product is kosher to their stricter standards.
[4] In reference to the second speaker's comment about reform and conservative Jewish organizations, the first speaker is saying that instead of spreading peace between the People of Israel, a Jewish virtue, the second speaker is creating division.

For more on this topic, see: https://bit.ly/2HPlzBh

#Religion #Activism #Kosher #Rabbinate