Jun 26, 2016

Rabbanut might get out of the kashrut business

The Rabbanut of Israel has announced that it is considering closing up shop on its kashrut department and instead of managing its own system of kashrut certification, becoming a regulator and giving out licenses to other, private, kashrut organizations.

If they do so, they will have the power to fine agencies that do not adhere to the requirements declared by the Rabbanut, to revoke kashrut certifications, and to revoke licenses of private agencies.

This possibility is being discussed justs hortly after the Supreme Court strengthened the Rabbanut hold on the kashrut system and upheld, at least for the next two years, the Rabbanut's position as being the only agency authorized to declare an institution as kosher.
sources: Kikar, Ch10, Kol Hai

I am wondering if this will make it easier or more difficult to control who gives kashrut certification. They have been fighting all sorts of new kashrut agencies trying to break into the market and change the "rules" of the system, such as having weekday kashrut for places that open on Shabbos, having supervision that is cheaper and not as overbearing and controlling on the restaurant, using female mashgichot, etc. Will these agencies, such as Hashgacha Pratit, find it easier to operate under such a new system or more difficult?

Will the Rabbanut have an easier time or harder time keeping out kashrut agencies they do not approve of?

If they allow the various "badatzim", such as Eida, Rubin, Machfoud, Beit Yosef, etc, will they be taken to court the first time they refuse a "modern orthodox" hechsher? What about a Dati Leumi agency that might want to break into the market? What about when they refuse to grant a license to a Reform and/or Conservative organization? Will the list of requirements be taken to court as discriminatory and devised in a way that would keep out anyone they don't like?

Would doing this be opening them up to even more heartache or less than they currently have?

And why now? Why consider this now, right after their standing has been strengthened by the courts? This idea has been suggested many times in the past and always rejected (or ignored) - so, why now?

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