Halachic ‘loop­holes’

Jerusalem Post - - FRONTLINES -

In “Lo­cal rab­binate check­ing Jewish­ness of restau­rant em­ploy­ees, Knes­set com­mit­tee hears” (Novem­ber 8), your re­porter writes that there are “widely-used loop­holes within Jewish law,” one of which al­lows “non-Jews to cook in kosher restau­rants.”

It is a pity that your re­porter re­lies on par­tial in­for­ma­tion given by those in­ter­ested in de­fam­ing the Chief Rab­binate – a quite com­mon prac­tice in Is­rael and in your news­pa­per. It’s a pity be­cause a stan­dard reader does not know any bet­ter and swal­lows this hook, line and sinker.

The Sephardi poskim (de­cisors) are quite clear: A Jew may not eat food for which a non-Jew was in­volved in the cook­ing process. Pe­riod. The Ashke­nazi poskim, based on their un­der­stand­ing of Halacha and not on an ef­fort to find loop­holes or be pop­ulists, ruled that if a Jew is in­volved in any part of the cook­ing process, a Jew may eat that food.

It is quite ob­vi­ous that a restau­rant in­ter­ested in serv­ing food to the gen­eral pub­lic must take the halachic pre­cau­tion so that Sephardi Jews can eat there without be­ing caused to un­know­ingly eat some­thing they should not eat.

We reg­u­larly hear “Where are we liv­ing? This is the 21st cen­tury? They can serve in the army!” – pop­ulist out­bursts that mean noth­ing. Each Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows Ju­daism bet­ter than the rab­binate and can in­struct

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