Kashrut supervisors cook shrimp in protest against planned reforms

Kashrut supervisors cooked shrimp and held fake kashrut certificates in protest in front of the home of the religious affairs minister.

KASHRUT CERTIFICATION at a Jerusalem eatery – will the rabbinate’s monopoly be broken? (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
KASHRUT CERTIFICATION at a Jerusalem eatery – will the rabbinate’s monopoly be broken?
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Dozens of kashrut supervisors cooked shrimp in front of the home of Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana on Monday in protest against planned reforms which will allow independent kashrut supervision authorities to provide services to businesses, according to Israel Hayom.

The protesters, who arrived in front of the house with mouse and rabbit cages carrying kashrut certificates, claimed that the planned reforms would create rifts in the Jewish community in Israel.

The satirical kashrut certificates read "(Not) kosher, under the supervision of Badatz of the Reform community," with a list of food items such as "shrimps not under the rabbinate," "pig not under the rabbinate" and "worms without vegetables." The certificate was listed as expiring on Christmas 2022, with the listed supervisor to contact being Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman.

The protesters cooked shrimp and other seafood in front of Kahana's house in order to illustrate that the reform could cause a real and immediate danger to the quality of kashrut supervision in Israel and could lead to non-kosher food being sold in supermarkets.

 A WOMAN walks past a Jerusalem eatery with a Tzohar kashrut certificate. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) A WOMAN walks past a Jerusalem eatery with a Tzohar kashrut certificate. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

"Jews throughout history have agreed to give up their lives when forced to eat non-kosher meat, and now Kahana and Lieberman want to bring about a reform that will cause a huge public to fail to eat forbidden foods, literally carrion and scoundrels according to millions of Israeli citizens," said Hazon movement leader Rabbi Dror Aryeh, according to Israel Hayom. "No one will be able to rely on his brother. One of the severe prohibitions in our holy Torah may crumble under the auspices of coalition agreements. We will do everything to overthrow this evil law."

Hazon, a movement dedicated to "returning the Jewish character to the national agenda in Israel," originally launched before the April 2019 Knesset elections in order to pressure politicians to agree to a religious Jewish agenda for the State.

The movement's campaign targeted a variety of topics, including the LGBTQ+ community, work and public transport on Shabbat, the Women of the Wall movement and the silencing of right-wing and religious movements. Hazon described all of these things as "not normal" in almost all of its publications.

The Noam Party, represented by MK Avi Maoz in the current Knesset, was formed by leaders of Hazon.

Tzvi Joffre contributed to this report.