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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Israel to Offer ‘One-Star’ and ‘Three-Star’ Kosher Ratings

Bennett is bringing Israel into the 21st century with a new system that will encourage more people to eat kosher.
Israeli restaurants and   soon will be able to choose among three levels of kosher they want to offer customers.

Israeli restaurants and soon will be able to choose among three levels of kosher they want to offer customers.

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Israel is scrapping its antiquated and often corrupt kosher certification system and now will offer customers and businessmen three levels of kosher certification.

The degrees of “kasrut” will range from “basic,” enough to feel sure one is not eating anything in violation of the Torah, to mehadrin,” which is “super kosher” for those who prefer to be stringent even when it may not be necessary, and “mehadrin mehadrin,” for those who for whatever reason go to the extreme.

Each certification will carry a Star of David, with rating ratings from “one-star” to three-star.”

A significant change in the system is that owners of restaurants, falafel stands and other eateries no longer will pay the kosher inspector directly. That system made it easy for non-scrupulous businessmen to do away with those nasty interruptions whereby inspectors make sure the vegetables were tithed and the cooking oil is kosher and also made it easy for equally non-scrupulous inspectors to take the money and run to the beach for vacation, or maybe to yeshiva to learn ethics.

Religious Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, Deputy Minister Eli Ben Dahan and Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau announced the new system at a press conference Sunday morning and promised that it will result in lower costs for businessmen,

Every business and restaurant can decide which level of kashrut it wants, and every customer can decide which level he wants,” said Bennett.

All of the kosher certificates will be computerized, and everyone will have an opportunity to check online what restaurants have which level of kashrut.

The differences in kosher ratings will be uniform throughout the country, and the hope is that this will raise the level of trust of the public and encourage them to eat only at kosher facilities.

The lower cost of maintaining a kosher restaurant also will encourage proprietors to ask for kosher authorization.

Thousands of kiosk and eateries in Israel without kosher certification might indeed be kosher today, but many businessmen have balked at paying money for supervisors who often simply do not do their job properly or who enforce stringency that are not always necessary.

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About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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4 Responses to “Israel to Offer ‘One-Star’ and ‘Three-Star’ Kosher Ratings”

  1. Dan Silagi says:

    The one thing that really, really turned me off from orthodox Judiasm was about 10 years ago when I was in a delicatessen in one of the Five Towns, and some bearded old fool demanded (in Yiddish) a $500 "fine" from the proprietor. Since I speak and understand German I knew what the guy was saying. The proprietor, a woman, threw the gonif out of the store, and had she asked me for help, I would have gladly done so, and given that guy a non-kosher knuckle sandwich for lunch.

  2. Molly Ratner says:

    This is really exciting news—-It is so easy to be mehadrin kosher in NY and so very difficult in Israel.
    In Israeli supermarkets, I have to wade thru dozens of hashgochas while here in NY, I can trust every Vaad supervised store and not have to read the fine print on every package.
    I can't wait to see the new system implemented….. but will Ashkenazis eat Beis Yosef or Harav Machpud? and will Chareidim eat Chasam Sofer of Petach Tikva or only Badatz of Machzikei Hadas or Eida Chareidis?
    Many obstacles to overcome—and I wish them hatzlacha.

  3. Dan Silagi says:

    Of course, the stuff becomes mehadrin kosher, or any other kind of kosher, when the Va'ad gets paid off.

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