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Jun 27, 2018

Proposed Law: considering Ethiopian Jews as not Jewish

According to INN, MK Shuli Muallem Refaeli (Habayit Hayehudi) is proposing a law, in light of yesterday's incident with the Barkan Winery transferring some religious Jewish employees of Ethiopian descent off the wine line as per the requirements of their new kashrut organization, the Badatz Eida Hachareidis. The Eida questions the Jewishness of Ethiopian immigrants, even though the State recognizes them as Jewish as per the decision of Rav Ovadya Yosef, some with conversions lchumra and some without. Being that the Eida questions their Jewish status, the Euida says they cannot work on the wine line, as they would turn the wine into yayin nesech in the case that they might not be Jewish.

So MK Refaeli is proposing a new law. Her proposal would make it illegal for a private kashrus organization to demand the removal of workers from the production of food and wine simply for being of Ethiopian origin and descent.

According to Refaeli, "Edah Haharedit kashrut cannot boast that food under its supervision meets the Jewish standards of kashrut, if it tramples the rulings of the great rabbis of Israel, headed by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who determined that Ethiopian immigrants are Jews".

I like what she is trying to do, but I think the proposal as a law is stupid. Make a law that they cannot remove Ethiopians from the line? Very nice, but what happens next week when someone does it to Russian Jews - make another law? And then when they do it to Bnei Menashe immigrants from India - make another law? and on and on. Make a general law that people accepted by the State as Jewish cannot be discriminated against by treating them as non-Jews, or questionable Jews. Then the Eida gets out of the wine business, or changes their policies on this matter.

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1 comment:

  1. This makes no sense. Whether someone is Jewish or not is a Halchic question. How can the Knesset dictate to a private Beit Din how to rule on Halacha? Especially a Beit Din like the Eida which exists explicitly for people who do not rely on the Knesset or the Knesset appointed Rabbanut.


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