A recording of the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, reveals a drama that took place behind the scenes in what are supposed to be the strictest kashrut supervision services, the Badatz—although it isn’t clear which Badatz the Chief Rabbi was specifically referring to, Srugim reported on Tuesday (דרמה בעולם הכשרות: בשר נבלה בהכשר הבד”צ).
In the recording, Rabbi Yosef is heard saying: “Here, a few weeks ago we discovered a plant of kosher slaughter meat, a messenger from the Chief Rabbinate came to me – we send an inspector to all the places that slaughter animals, in Poland, the Netherlands, all the places where animals are kosher slaughtered – he installed a hidden camera, without the owner noticing.”
“In the morning he opens the camera, he sees that at three o’clock at night the owners, gentiles, arrive, they took treif, carrion, all kinds of non-kosher animals, put it in crates with the kosher certification of some particular Badatz. He sees crates – crates, he passes it on.”
Nevela is a kosher animal such as a cow that died without a kosher slaughter (shechita). A Treifa is a kosher animal that underwent an improper kosher slaughter or had sustained internal injuries from which it would have died on its own with a year. Nonkosher animals are horses and pigs, which, when mixed with kosher meat make it difficult to tell the difference and therefore disqualify the entire crate.
“In the morning he called the owner, who saw that he was caught. They contacted me. I said: Disqualify all the meat from this person, disqualify everything, there is no more kosher certification there. I removed the hechsher from this plant.”
The Chief Rabbi, whose quirky style of speech is reminiscent of his great father, Rav Ovadia Yosef, concluded: “Those folks from the rabbinate were a little afraid, one of the rabbis told me ‘These are people with knives.’ I told him, what about ‘You shall not be afraid?’ I mean, a man who packs all kinds of treif meat at night. We disqualified, the plant closed. No other choice.”
Srugim noted that for weeks there have been rumors around the Chief Rabbinate of a giant kosher slaughtering plant that imported to Israel carrion meat as kosher.