couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the tag “rabbanut”

Shmita news roundup- JNF, marijuana and more

Good news for people who use medical marijuana- the Rabbanut has permitted the use of medical marijuana during shmita.  It does not permit the use of marijuana for recreational purposes under any circumstances, however.  Source: Ynet

JNF (KKL in Israel) has published their policy statement regarding shmita.  Some of their policy changes include:

  1. There will be no ceremonial tree planting during the shmita year, except for specific circumstances that are approved by the Rabbanut.
  2. There will be no planting by students or anyone else for Tu Beshevat.
  3. JNF will not distribute seedlings for planting by outside groups, including bee farms.
  4. Preparation for planting in the year after shmita will be done on an individual basis with approval by the Rabbanut.
  5. Work to preserve trees is permitted, including destroying harmful insects and diseases as well as activities to prevent fires.
  6. The olive harvest during the shmita year (תשע”ה) will take place without any halachic restrictions.  Regarding the olive harvest the year after shmita, the JNF and the Rabbanut will release their policy statement in the coming months.
  7. Harvesting carob during the shmita year  (תשע”ה) can take place without any halachic restrictions.

For a full list (Hebrew), go to their web site.

מדריכות במשתלת גילת. צילום: דוד גרינשפן

The Israeli government has just advertised that they will allocate 100 million shekels for shmita purposes next year.  It will be broken down into the following categories:

  1. 45 million shekels to support farmers who stop all activities on their farms;
  2. 20 million shekels to support farmers who won’t harvest their fruit but will maintain their orchards;
  3. 11 million shekels to support organizations who run an otzar beit din;
  4. 5 million shekels to support farmers who grow produce off the ground, which is not subject to shmita regulations.

The article does not say where the rest of the money will go.  Source: Haaretz


Did you know? Johnnie Walker whisky

If you are looking for that special gift in Duty Free, the rabbanut has announced that all Johnnie Walker whiskies (Red, Blue, Black, Double Black, Green, Platinum and Gold Reserve) imported by IBBL Spirits and with an OK on the original label is kosher with no suspicion of chadash. It is chametz and pareve.

For the original OK listing, click here.

For the complete listing of all alcoholic beverages the rabbanut permits to be imported into Israel, click here.  Johnnie Walker is on page 141.  The ID number is 18362.

Be aware that other companies may import non-kosher versions.  Make sure that it has the OK and is imported by IBBL.

ג'וני ווקר

Rabbanut kashrut update #6

Recently the rabbanut has had a lot of complaints regarding the food stands in gas stations and the like, where bakery products and/or sandwiches are sold and can be heated up.  There can be several kashrut issues with these stands- mixing meat and dairy, the need of a mashgiach, and whether these products have hashgacha whatsoever.  The rabbanut reminds the public to look for a valid kashrut certificate in each place that you desire to purchase food.

The butcher shop “Super Of” in Kiryat Gat was caught during its last inspection selling unidentified meat that was under suspicion of being treif that was brought in from the Palestinian Authority illegally.  The Pitzuach unit dealt with the illegal import of meat and their kashrut certification was taken away immediately. Despite that, they are still advertising that their meat is kashered under supervision of the Jerusalem rabbinate which is false.

Balkan Bakery’s חישוקי גבינה are falsely labelled as pareve.   They are in fact dairy.  The manufacturer is claiming that the products labelled as pareve are forgeries, and the public is asked to check the kashrut symbol on the inside of the package to confirm that it matches the symbol on the outside.

Inside the package of some Brunch & Crunch mushroom blintzes (pareve) are actually cheese blintzes (dairy).   Please be aware of the possible error and act accordingly.

The Orchiada restaurant in Eilat is no longer under kashrut supervision.

The rabbanut warns people who plan to eat aboard a tourist yacht in Eilat that there has been several instances of false advertising that the food is under kashrut supervision.  The public is reminded not to accept a photocopied kashrut certificate.

The public is warned of the presence of insects in dried garlic and is asked to peel and wash garlic before using and to refrain from using whole heads of garlic.

The public is warned of the presence of two types of Stella Artois beer on the market- one with kashrut certification and one without.  Make sure to check the label before purchasing.

The Egged restaurant for its drivers in the Tel Aviv bus station is not under any kashrut supervision despite signs stating it as such. Egged drivers that keep kosher are warned to refrain from eating at that restaurant.

Imported products with illegal kashrut certifications:

  • AZTECA tortillas
  • FERTILIA apple cider vinegar
  • MIRI PAK pomegranate concentrate
  • AL-AMAD peanut nougat
  • FIESTA lollipop
  • VAN VARDACH Holland style mayonnaise
  • SPRINGER MALSONS ALPORT Dried brewers yeast

Restaurants/stores with forged kashrut certificates:

  • B’tabun, 53 King George Street, Tel Aviv
  • Roladin, Dizengof Center, Tel Aviv
  • Aladin bakery, 6th floor Tel Aviv new bus station
  • Panes, 6 Hashayetet Street, Nes Ziona and 117 Rothchild, Rishon L’zion
  • Etrog, 35 Haskedim Street, Kiryat Tivon

Lost their kashrut certification:

  • Miznon Hasochnut Hayehudit, 12Kaplan Street, Tel Aviv
  • Kafe Lala, 7 Shderot Lachish, Kiryat Gat
  • Gringos Mexican Bar, 187 Malchei Yisrael Street, Kiryat Gat
  • Denis Restaurant, HaTarnegol Restaurant, and Ulam Hara, North Laguna, Eilat
  • Kornan Dog, Bilu Center, Kiryat Ekron

For  pictures and more information, click here.

Kashrut update #3 from the Rabbanut

Some of the more interesting items from the latest bulletin.  You can read the entire bulletin here (Hebrew).

Online “combina” (trickery)

The rabbanut has discovered a trick played on people who order from restaurants from a single source.  Some of the restaurants don’t exist and some of them don’t have kashrut certification.  The rabbanut discovered that additional restaurants were illegally added to the kashrut certificate.  The businesses involved: Max Bagels on 24 Kanfei Nesharim (doesn’t exist), Bar Salat Bari on 15 Kanfei Nesharim (doesn’t exist) and Nichoah Cafe on 8 Hamrapeh in Jerusalem (forged certificate).

Imported cheese with strange declaration

Cheese imported from chutz l’aretz under supervision of “Nachalat Yitzchak” has strange wording on its packages: “לאוכלי חלב חו”ל משעת עשייה”.  This terminology is not recognized by the rabbanut and may pertain to chalav akum.  These products were not imported with the approval of the rabbanut and should be sold in kosher stores.  In addition, since the wording may pertain to chalav akum, this is in contradiction with the statement that the product is mehadrin.

Pepperidge Farms cookies imported without permission of the rabbanut

The cookies in the picture did not receive permission from the rabbanut to be imported, despite the OU-D on the label.  The rabbanut requires all imported products to be checked for bishul yisrael, chalav yisrael, hadash and afiat yisrael.  Kashrut authorities in chutz l’aretz tend to be lax in these areas and frequently allow bishul akum, afiat akum, chalav akum or yashan.


Forged kashrut certificate

“Catering gadol le eruim ketanim” from Moshav Luzit (Lozit?) presents a teudah from “Badatz Nachalat Yitzchak” which does not have authorization to give kashrut certificates.

Disposable dishes do not need hashgacha

The person putting this stamp on disposable dishes is not authorized to provide kosher supervision as required by law.  In addition, it is the policy of the rabbanut that disposable dishes do not need kashrut certification.  This does not refer to Pesach.

Crab leg found packaged with frozen hake fillet

This product contained a crab arm with the fish at no extra charge.  This is the second time in a few months that the rabbanut has received notification of non-kosher animal parts in with fish.  This product is generally repackaged on arrival to Israel but it is wise for the consumer to be aware.

Improper signage

This Feldman fish product has a symbol from the Machon for mitzvot taluyot baaretz and says “ללא חשש לתלועים” which is incorrect since it has a high percentage of worms present.  Upon investigation it was discovered that the symbol was put on without permission from the Machon.  The distributor has promised not to market the product.

Treif meat sold in kosher packaging that was returned

Beit HaBasar Dabach on Sderot Ben Gurion 19 in Haifa was caught packaging treif meat in used cartons of kosher meat.  Mashgiachs are warned to confirm the identify of the meat inside the carton and that it matches with the delivery form.

Places falsely advertising that they are kosher

Falafel Gina, 1 King George St, Tel Aviv

Macho Macho Restaurant, 274 Dizengoff, Tel Aviv

Gorilla Bar on 11 Oppenheimer St and 57 Yehuda HaMacabee St in Tel Aviv

Druze food stand in Kenyon Zim Center in Maalot has a false teudat kashrut.

Aharon food stand, 34 Eli Horowitz St, Kfar Saba

Avram restaurant, 97 Yafo St, Jerusalem

Event Hall Ahuzat Tal in the Ad Halom industrial area near Ashdod

Camilia restaurant, 125 Hismin St, Mevasseret Zion

HaPizzeria restaurant, Kenyon Harel gas station,Mevasseret Zion- has regular, not mehadrin kashrut

Businesses that no longer have teudot kashrut

Shefa HaBasar Vebracha butcher, Menachem Begin St- Rova Hacity, Ashdod

HaDayag Hatarvayni, 240 Haganennet St, Jerusalem




Update from the Rabbanut- Cheshvan 5764

  • Turkey testicles can be found on the market kashered and not kashered.  Please make sure you know which product you purchased.
  • Sufganiyot are on the market and the rabbanut reminds everyone who manufactures dairy donuts that the filling must be visible on the outside of the donut and that a sign should be placed stating that they are dairy.  They also remind people not to make dairy dough. [Thank goodness they aren’t making dairy donuts different shapes like borekas!]
  • Cristal soda- with and without hechsher.  Make sure there is a kashrut symbol on your Cristal cans of soda- they have a line that produces soda without certification.


  • Another product found without certification: Mei Eden.  Check your bottles and make sure the one you buy does have hashgacha.  No explanation was given.


  • The Rabbanut reminds people that Cava is made from grapes and is not a liquor.


  • Kimat Chinam in Nazareth was found to have treif meat next to chicken with a sign “kashered chicken.”  The store does not have kashrut supervision and the public is warned from shopping there.
  • Fake kashrut symbol: Shaar Yerushalayim olive oil


  • Japanika Ashdod advertises on their web site that “all products are kosher.”  The store is not under kashrut supervision and is open on Shabbat.

  • Alberto de Leone meat products are no longer under kashrut supervision.


  • First Club Eilat is again under kashrut supervision.

  • Gorilla Bar on Sokolov Street in Herzliya no longer has kashrut supervision.

Restaurants that falsely claim to be kosher:

  • HaChoma HaSinit, 26 Mikve Yisrael Street, Tel Aviv
  • Toscana, between Binyamina and Zichron Yaakov
  • Eliran Metukim, 107 Ben Gurion Street, Ramat Gan
  • Park Etgarim, Tayelet Nachal Lachish, Ashdod
  • Adom Yarok, 14 Hacharoshet, Kfar Saba
  • Pizza Master, 42 Six Days Street, Kfar Saba

Businesses that lost their kashrut certification:

  • Event hall Shirat HaBaron, Carmi Industrial Area, Binyamina
  • Restaurant X44, 10/1 HaPalmach Street, Carmiel
  • Duty Free, Tzomet Shilat (at the request of the owners)
  • Yogurt, 52 Bialik Street, Ramat Gan
  • HaShamen, Paz gas station at Rupin-Emek Hefer intersection
  • Baygah bakery, Shmuel Rozorov Street, Checkpost, Haifa


Aliyah tip #5- drinking milk on Sunday

Most of us at one point or another drink milk. In Israel we marvel about milk in bags, and those of us who read the labels know that the great majority of milk is not fortified with Vitamin D. We know all Israeli milk is “chalav yisrael” and we also know that there is regular and mehadrin milk. One of the strangest statements I heard when I was younger was “we don’t drink milk on Sunday.” What?? Is milk somehow not kosher on Sundays?

Some time later I moved to a religious kibbutz and worked in the refet (dairy). One day they tell me with pride that they are one of the few kibbutzim who are allowed to ship their milk on Sunday to Tnuva Jerusalem, the all-mehadrin dairy. Again with the Sunday! Now, however, I can find out what it really means directly from the source.

Milk in Israel generally comes from kibbutzim/moshavim which are owned by Jews (It used to be that only Jews milked the cows, but times have changed and there are many foreign workers who are not Jewish). These refetot are caught between the dilemna of working on Shabbat by using electronic milking machines (or even by the actual act of milking) and that of tzaar baalei chaim- the mandate to relieve the suffering of animals, even on Shabbat.

So how does a Jewish farm solve this dilemna? Considering the fact that we are Jews, there are many different opinions as to what to do. The obvious but most strict is to milk the cows but throw out the milk so as not to obtain pleasure or financial gain from the milk. There would therefore be no milk on Sunday in that scenario. Since we drink milk on Sunday, that is obviously not the prevalent solution.

In order to prevent great financial loss, the refetot spill or “contaminate” only a certain percentage of the milk and they store the rest. Refetot are required to have a refrigerated tank that can hold 48 hours worth of milk so it doesn’t have to be transported on Shabbat.

The greatest innovation regarding milking on Shabbat is the milk transporting system. With the exception of very small farms, in all milking parlors the machines to transport milk are run electronically. Additionally there are computers that read the cow’s leg tag, compute her milk production, and can give warnings if there might be an infection in the teat. There are even robotic milking sheds that employ no humans at all. All of this technology is shut off on Shabbat and the milk is transported by pneumatic or vacuum systems.

Back to one of my original questions- what is the difference between regular milk and mehadrin milk? It isn’t that the cow only eats mehadrin foods. According to Tnuva, their mehadrin dairy products are only made with milk that was milked on a weekday or was halachically milked on Shabbat.

Now that we have solved those problems, we are faced with an even bigger dilemna starting in a few weeks. Rosh Hashanah this year is on Thursday/Friday and immediately after that will be Shabbat. As mentioned before, dairies are required to have at a minimum 48 hours cold storage of the milk, but now we have to deal with 72 hours!

Fortunately, the Israeli Milk Board and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel have come up with solutions and helpful advice. The IMB is allowing storage of milk in “thermos” tanks for up to 24 hours, and recommends that every farmer deliver their milk right before the start of the holiday to have an empty tank. The Rabbinate will allow transport of milk by non-Jews on Friday only if and only if the dairy does not have sufficient storage for the entire holiday. That milk will be used for regular and not mehadrin milk. Of course that leads me to ask who is working in the factory to accept the milk on Friday? I am guessing there is a staff of non-Jews.

So there you have it. For those of you who eat/drink mehadrin, I hope you have a better understanding of why you chose to drink mehadrin milk. For those of you who do not, I think it is fascinating to see how Israel can be one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world but at the same time be firmly grounded to tradition. A religious Jew in chu”l takes advantage of so many businesses and services on Shabbat because they are run by non-Jews- electricity, security and food being some. With the creation of a Jewish State everything has to be re-thought, which is a good, even a great thing for Judiasm. The chance for a religion to grow and develop with the modernization of the world can only come about when presented with challenges such as these in our relatively new Jewish State.

Next aliyah tip- why you can’t (or shouldn’t) buy fresh chicken on Sunday…and it has nothing to do with kashrut!

Kashrut update from the Rabbanut

Did you know the Rabbanut puts out kashrut updates regularly?  You can find them on their web site.

The most recent one is filled with a lot of interesting information- I will summarize as many as I can here.

How to find Kosher Magnum ice cream in chul 

Look for the special symbol on the package- the Unilever heart is not enough.

Fake kashrut in Eilat

First Club Hotel and Tarshish 9 restaurant are not kosher despite them advertising as such.

Forged labeling of meat and fish

Paskovitz meat with an Omega 3 label and kashrut symbol from Chatam Sofer is fake.  Look or the Meat Man symbol seen below.

The rabbanut warns people that frozen red tuna imported by D.S.P.C. does not have hasgacha (bar code 7290010679317).

During the month of Ramadan there is a lot of illegal slaughter outside of slaughterhouses and without veterinary supervision.  This meat, especially beef legs and sheep fat (used in shwarma), is sold at a much lower than normal price.  The rabbanut warns people to be suspicious of any meat product that is much cheaper than the standard price- it is most likely not kosher and not legally produced.

This is an extremely lucrative business in Israel, especially meat and eggs.   It is not just a kashrut issue- it is a health issue.  These products are brought over the border illegally without refrigeration and sold for huge amounts of money.  I would like to dedicate more space to this issue so please read about it in a separate post.

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