Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Karite, A Rabbi and An Arab Walk Into A Courtroom...

No, this isn't a joke, but an accurate description of a recent court case. (תל"פ 39006-04-11 כהן ואח' נ'/
הרבנות הראשית) (summarized here)  The story is that a Butcher shop in Ramla received a Hechsher from the Karaite movement. The Rabbinate gave them a fine - claiming that they were misleading the Jewish community into thinking the place was  kosher. The butcher shop, and the Karaite movement went to court, where the case was brought before an Arab judge, who accepted their appeal, and claimed that the Karaites were unfairly fined without being given a hearing beforehand, or notification that the Rabbinate had changed its policy.

On appeal, the case was overturned and returned to the lower court for a hearing.

I'll add my two cents - I'm sure both the Karaites and the Rabbinate are right. The Rabbinate is correct that the Hechser from the Karaite movement will mislead Jews, who probably have no idea what a Karaite is. The Karaites are right that the Hechsher isn't really misrepresenting anything. Furthermore, the fact that people are ignorant is not the Karaite's fault.

Only in Israel.

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