I read with great trepidation Yisrael Price’s article (“High Court Gives Hechsher to Self-Supervising Kashrus”) this past week, just before the yemai hadin! The fact is that the High Court of Israel has decided that self-certification in the demanding area of kashrus is another advance for secular life in Israel. That a non-Jew with a restaurant open on Shabbos can now claim it to be “kosher” according to his understanding is totally beyond belief.
Yes, we have self-certification for kosher in this country. And yes, the masses of Orthodoxy will avoid such establishments, as will the Orthodox in Israel. However, Israel has many Masorati — traditional Jews who, despite their leniencies with halachah, do want to eat kosher. They will be misled. Also, travelers and citizens alike, the kosher consumers of Israel, will now need to be especially on guard when eating out.
The real problem, though, is the advancing of secularism in Israel, which, at every turn, seems to be set on a target to dismantle Torah-true Judaism — at the Wall, in the beis medrash, and now in the restaurants. In tefillah and in action we must respond.
Rabbi Yosef Wikler,
Editor, Kashrus Magazine, Brooklyn, N.Y.