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Oct 13, 2021

never ask a question you don't already know the answer to

When you dont want to hear the answer, don't ask the question. There is supposedly a well known rule among lawyers in court to never ask a question you don't already know the answer to. I think they also use this rule in the Knesset, even if they act like they don't know the answer. And if they really don't know the answers to their questions in advance, they need to stop asking questions they really don't want the answers for.

It turns out that some of the coalition members are finding anti-shabbos possibilities that many of us likely never even thought of before.

MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) asked Minister of Agriculture Oded Forer what he is doing to ease the milk shortage. Maklev also asked what he is doing to ensure there will be no shortage of vegetables during the shmitta year.

these are funny questions Maklev asked. What does he expect Forer to do - the holidays all fell out during the week and for the past month the mehadrin market was able to produce very little milk. It is the shmitta year now and people who do not rely on hetter mechira are choosing to make do with less for the year - so what does Maklev expect Forer to do? Sure, there are solutions such as increasing imports, though then you start a fight with the farmers and unions and you upset a whole bunch of other people. The easiest solution to these situations is, especially for someone not religious and maybe even somewhat anti-religious (I dont know that Forer is anti-religious, but from the perspective of UTJ members all Yisrael Beyteynu reps are anti-religious), to increase the number of days milk can be produced and processed - ie, work on Shabbos. Increase productionof vegetables,  most likely at the expense of Shmitta.

To be fair, Forer responded saying he is working on an arrangement with Jordan to import vegetables, thus increasing the fresh supply from a nearby country. Additionally, import quota have already been expanded. Forer did not suggest violating Shmitta or increasing and expanding the hetter mechira.

What Maklev did get upset about is Forer's response regarding the milk shortage. Forer said the shortage was caused by the abundance of holidays in the past montht hat landed in the middle of the week. For the mehadrin market that means a lot of milk was spilled out, or only sent to the non-mehadrin market, thus causing a shortage of mehadrin milk. Additionally, the milk processing plants, by Tnuva, Tara, Strauss and any others, all had to be closed on all those holidays, so there were just very few work days for processing and distributing milk.

I think the answer for Maklev would be to open it up to imports. I cant think of another option. Locally, the milk from al those days just could not be used, and there were delays in processing. You choose to eat mehadrin, you deal with the consequences. You pay the price for your ideology. But Forer said that the farmers are milking daily, as normal, and sending the milk to the plants daily. it is held up in the plants because of all the holidays. the solution, according to Forer, is to open up the milk processing plants to work on Shabbos and holidays.You can be pretty sure Maklev got pretty upset at that. This was either the question he should not have asked because he did not know the answer to, or he knew the answer and wanted to get angry about it in public.

Minister of Health Nitzan Horowitz announced today in the Knesset that he thinks hospital food courts and kiosks should be open on Shabbos (and prices should be cut). Horowitz also said that opening up all week would make it possible to cut prices, as sales would be spread throughout the week.

To me it makes sense - people need to go into the hospital on Shabbos, whether as patients, as visitors or as staff, and someone not religious has no option to get food or drink, which is not fair to him.

I would not have even thought of this as an option. Maybe they have had too much time in opposition to think of ways to open up on Shabbos and upset the religious. it looks like some battles are still ahead of us.

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  1. Montefiore Hospital in NYC had a kosher restaurant which was open on Shabbos.

  2. many of the restaurants in hospitals have hashgacha - which is not given to stores open on Shabbos
    (I know this is a topic itself, but it's still the general policy)

  3. Bizarre. In Jerusalem there was *only* mehadrin milk over chag.


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