Shas’ controversial kashrut law, designed to outlaw independent kashrut authorities, was passed by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday for a preliminary reading in the Knesset, but included an agreement that it would require the agreement of Finance Minister and Kulanu chairman Moshe Kahlon before any further progress in the Knesset.
The compromise secured by the Kulanu party, which strongly backs independent kashrut licensing, means that after the bill’s approval in its preliminary Knesset reading a new draft will be created requiring Kahlon’s approval and subsequent re-approval in the ministerial committee before it goes to the Knesset for its first reading.
The current law as it stands states that only the chief rabbinate or a local rabbinate (which are regional branches of the chief rabbinate) are authorized to issue a kashrut certificate with the word “kosher” on it.
In recent years however, several restaurants in Jerusalem and of late in Tel Aviv have dropped their rabbinate supervision, due to objections to various bad practices of rabbinate kashrut supervision, in favor of an independent Orthodox kashrut licensing authority called Hasgacha Pratit. In order to get around the law, Hasgacha Pratit does not use the word “kosher” on its certificates but instead states that the restaurant has rabbinical supervision.