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