A dozen eateries in the holy city are brazenly claiming kosher credentials without the state rabbinate’s say-so. They are shifting the perennial controversy over state and religion in Israel from well-worn subjects, like Orthodoxy’s monopoly over marriage and divorce, to the rights over this single word, kosher.
- Limiting to a very few suppliers
The rebellion began in the summer, after a small Indian vegan restaurant in the city center, Ichikidana, objected to new limitations imposed by the local rabbinate on where it could source its produce. There have long been rumors of corruption in Israel’s kashrut establishment, and restaurant owner Lahava Silliman believed that the demand on her to patronize only a small number of suppliers was intended to give certain businesses favored by the rabbinate extra trade. “It was very transparent to me,” she said.
- Unregulated prices for services
Sasson claims that when he was supervised, he received from his supervisor, or mashgiac, just a half-hour visit every two or three days. Silliman said that she paid a salary of 1,200 shekels a month ($300) plus benefits, and the inspector spent about 15 minutes a week on her premises.
- Crossing the line between verification and assuming cheating-Looking through the garbage!!
From my hours and hours of visiting stores, monitoring stores, spying on stores, stakeouts, picking through garbage, observing mashgichim, walking the shuk [market] and other areas in the center of Jerusalem
These are not what kashrut is supposed to be about and sound like a number of other things, none of them good.