barcode scanner 248.88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Chief Rabbinate has harnessed the power of technology in its battle against hametz (bread and other leavened goods) this Pessah and will distribute special "barcode blocker" devices to stores for the duration of the holiday at its own expense.
The devices will contain a list of all the barcodes linked with hametz products and will not allow automated cash registers to sell those items during the holiday.
The Rabbinate gave food sellers until Thursday afternoon to either agree to install the barcode blockers or temporarily lose their kashrut certification.
"Selling hametz can't become a farce [on Pessah]," Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger told Army Radio.
If buyers are not told that they may be buying hametz, the businesses will have their certifications revoked for the duration of the holiday.
Buyers who do not keep kosher for Pessah object to the Rabbinate's policy.
"It's a bit annoying when they take over your supermarket in central Tel Aviv," an angry customer told Army Radio.
In the past, people could buy hametz from stores who declare that their business is kosher for Pessah, with leavened items separated from kosher-for-Pessah products simply by the shelves being covered by nylon sheets.
"You just reach out your hand and take stuff from under the nylons," a customer said. "The supermarket doesn't really take products off the shelves - so I just took something, paid for it and there you have it."
The Rami Levi supermarket network has already decided to acquiesce to the Rabbinate's demand; the AM:PM and Mega chains said they were adhering to Pessah kashrut laws in any case and the Supersol network said it maintained good relations with the Health Ministry all yearlong.