Kosher? Historic ruling lets Israeli diners decide

Source: Religion News Service

JERUSALEM (RNS) — For decades, Israeli restaurateurs who served kosher food but who did not want to submit to the authority of the stringent Chief Rabbinate risked being shut down at a moment’s notice.

That’s about to change, thanks to a recent landmark decision by the country’s highest court.

On Sept. 12 the High Court of Justice ruled that although the rabbinate is and will remain the only body empowered to issue a kashrut, or kosher food, certificate, restaurants may inform diners of the kashrut standards they keep. It will be up to the individual diner to decide whether to trust those standards.

Freedom-of-religion activists are calling the ruling a victory for Jewish pluralism and a blow to the rabbinate’s ironclad authority over Jewish matters in Israel.

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