Rav Yaakov Ariel: Tzohar Kashrus Is Not Kosher

One of the leading poskim in the dati leumi community in Eretz Yisrael, HaRav Yaakov Ariel, has come out with a psak that the new Tzohar Rabbonim kashrus is prohibited and not kosher. Rav Ariel, a retired long-time Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan, has clarified it is prohibited to rely on the kashrus provided by Tzohar Rabbonim because the food is not kosher.

In an interview in the “Gilui Daat” Shabbos sheet, Rav Ariel addresses the new alternative kashrus agency, which he feels is undermining the authority of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

Regarding the so-called badatzim, Rav Ariel explains they do not replace the local Rabbinate, but they are an addition, as opposed to Tzohar, which is providing kashrus to establishments that do not wish to receive certification from the Chief Rabbinate. The badatzim will not give a hechsher if the establishment does not have a local Rabbinate supervision, as dictated by law. Rav Ariel explains a person has a right to be machmir if he so chooses.

The rav continues, explaining the kashrus nationwide; in hotels, the IDF, hotels and public establishments is provided by the Chief Rabbinate and its local arm, the local religious councils’ kashrus departments.

More than this, he explains Tzohar will certify a meat restaurant as ‘mehadrin’ with a mashgiach being present only two to three hours daily, which he explains is simply unacceptable. The Rabbinate he explains will demand a minimum of four hours daily for a mehadrin supervision. The rav insists that Tzohar’s competing with the Chief Rabbinate is unacceptable, not mention the lower standard. “The tzibur thinks this is kashrus, because a rabbi signs off on it – this is not kashrus and one may not eat from Tzohar’s kashrus. It should be absolutely clear that this is not kosher.” he explains.

The rabbi does not ignore the fact the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s kashrus needs to improve, and that there are problems, but points out everything is not in the hands of the Chief Rabbinate. He explains that while there is a need to make corrections and improvements, this is not accomplished by opening a competitive kashrus supervision.

Tzohar Rabbonim: Out of respect for Rabbi Ariel Shlita, the organization will not respond. Our actions are simply guided by Kovod L’Torah and Shem Shomayim, to provide kashrus and strengthening the Jewish identity of the nation. We believe and daven that at the end of things, the effort to strengthen the state kashrus will be beneficial.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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