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January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
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Wants Facts, Not Speculation

I usually enjoy Steve Walz’s articles on Israeli politics. In fact, in his Informed Sources column last week he had interesting takes on two individuals who have announced for political office in Israel. But I take exception to his declaring in the same piece that Haagen-Dazs ice cream is “kosher” when Israel’s Chief Rabbinate has ruled otherwise.

Walz wrote that “Israel’s Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem appears to have picked a completely unnecessary kashrus conflict with the Orthodox Union over the sale of Haagen-Dazs ice cream in Israel.” He went on to ask: “Is this senseless edict based on pressure emanating from competing haredi kashrus agencies in Israel, as well as the growth of OU kashrus supervision in Jerusalem?”

To top it all off he added: “We are witnessing a slow but steady implosion within the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, as the more ‘lenient leaning’ rabbanim are being eliminated in favor of a mushrooming ‘machmirim’ faction…[who] appear to be overreaching in order to preserve their territory.”

He also attributes to this allegedly nefarious group the responsibility for rabbinic disputes over marriage and conversions and accuses the Chief Rabbinate of ignoring the sale of treif products “in local food establishments located near their own kashrus headquarters.”

Notice the use of words such as “appears” and “appear” interspersed through what is nothing more than pure speculation. It is not for Walz to opine on whether products are kosher or throw out motives for rabbinic disputes. He certainly should not do so if he won’t present any evidence for his charges.
Yaakov Gordon
(Via E-Mail)

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