Tag Archive for kosher

Op-Ed: Poland’s goal of good Jewish relations remains clear

Polish democracy may take a few  missteps every once in a while, but its goal of good Jewish relations remains clear by their actions and investments.

shechita ritual

shechita ritual – Photo: Nati Shohat/Vosizneias.com

Polish Religious Minister asks Jews to sue over ritual slaughter in Constitutional Court

Boni met with two Jewish representatives Monday in Warsaw and asked them to challenge a de facto ban on ritual slaughter that has been in effect since January. The Polish parliament earlier this month defeated a bill that would have allowed ritual slaughter.



A Polish government minister asked Jewish and Muslim representatives to petition the country’s Constitutional Court to sort out conflicting laws that have led to a ban on ritual slaughter.

Michał Boni, Polish Minister responsible for Religious Affairs

Michał Boni, Polish Minister responsible for Religious Affairs

According to a statement Monday by the office of Michal Boni, the Polish minister responsible for religious affairs, the minister asked the representatives to petition the court with regard to the 1997 Act on the Relation of the State to the Jewish Communities in Poland, which states that ritual slaughter may be performed in accordance with the needs of the local Jewish community.

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Polish Parliament votes to uphold ban on Kosher slaughter

Decision harms both Jews, Muslims. “The completely untrue idea that such slaughter is cruel, or even intentionally cruel, has triumphed,” said Polish Jewish community leaders.



The Polish parliament voted on Friday to uphold a ban on Kosher slaughter in the country. A government sponsored bill aimed at legalizing the practice of shechita, Hebrew for ritual slaughter, was shot down in the Sejm in a vote of 222 to 178.

shechita ritual

shechita ritual – Photo: Nati Shohat/Vosizneias.com

The ban went into effect in January. Combined with a decline in meat exports due to Poland’s implication in the European-wide horse meat scandal, the end of local ritual slaughter has caused harm to the eastern European country’s cattle ranchers and exporters.

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Israeli Rabbi Decrees: Grass is kosher if it’s medicinal

If grass is administered to relieve pain, then the person giving it is “performing a mitzvah,” and the person using the drug is using it “in a kosher fashion.”




TEL AVIV (JTA) — An Israeli Orthodox rabbi ruled that distributing and smoking medicinal marijuana is kosher, but using weed for fun is forbidden.

Marijuana leaf - Photo Reuters

Marijuana leaf – Photo Reuters

Efraim Zalmanovich, the rabbi of Mazkeret Batia, a town south of Tel Aviv, made the distinction in a recent halachic ruling, NRG, the news site of the Maariv daily reported on Friday. Leading rabbis frequently weigh in on matters of reconciling halacha, or Jewish law, with modern living. Continue Reading »

WARNING: Palestinian Coke not kosher



Israel’s Chief Rabbinate warns public against drinking Coca-Cola bottled without Kosher supervision in PA.

Businesses asked to avoid selling the cola as not to get public used to ‘purchasing products without kosher mark’.

By Itzchak Tessler



The Chief Rabbinate released an urgent statement this week, warning the Israeli public against Coca-Cola manufactured in the West Bank town of Beitunia, near Ramallah, which is marketed alongside the strictly kosher beverage that has been manufactured in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak for the past decades.

Coca-Cola from Ramallah and Jordan - IsraelandStuff/PP

Coca-Cola from Ramallah and Jordan – IsraelandStuff/PP

According to the statement, written by Rabbi Yaakov Sabag, director of the Chief Rabbinates Kashrut Department, and Rabbi Rafi Yochai, head of the Kashrut Fraud Division, “We have recently discovered the marketing of a four-pack Coca-Cola, in which each bottle carries a caption in Arabic with no kashrut mark. Continue Reading »

Despite Chief Rabbinate’s disapproval, kosher cigarettes for Passover

Israel’s Chief Rabbinate says life-threatening practices like smoking have no place on any kosher list, and not just during Passover.


Observant Jews in Israel craving a smoke during the week-long Passover holiday that started at sundown Monday can now enjoy a rabbi-approved puff.

A man smoking a cigarette.

A man smoking a cigarette – Photo: Bloomberg

It’s the first time cigarettes have joined the long list of goods stringently checked to ensure they comply with Passover rules on what items are allowed, or kosher for the holiday – meaning they have not come in contact with grains or other forbidden ingredients. Continue Reading »

Hebrew National hot dogs not kosher, lawsuit claims

Consumers say meat processing services provided to ConAgra Foods fell short of standards necessary to label company’s products as kosher. Lawyer: This is an invisible fraud


ConAgra Foods Inc has been sued by consumers who contend that hot dogs and other products sold under its Hebrew National brand are not kosher.

The lawsuit alleges that meat processing services provided to ConAgra by privately held AER Services Inc fell short of the standards necessary to label Hebrew National products as kosher. As a result, they said, ConAgra misled consumers and was able to charge premium prices.

Illustration Photo: Visual Photos

Illustration Photo: Visual Photos

Eleven individual consumers filed their complaint in May in Minnesota state court. Continue Reading »

New York’s kosher-labeling rules are kosher, court rules

Federal Court says law aims to protect more than just Jews, who represent only about 30 percent of kosher-food consumers, according to New York state.

New York’s kosher-labeling rules interfere with freedom of religion about as much as St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, a federal appeals court has decided.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld New York’s Kosher Law Protection Act, passed in 2004, ruling that it does not interfere with religion in any way and exists solely for preventing fraud.

A man shops at the West Store supermarket in Port Stanley, March 14, 2012.

A man shops at the West Store supermarket in Port Stanley - Photo by Reuters


“The labeling law has the secular purpose of protecting against fraud by informing a consumer that a particular seller believes a product is kosher,” the decision released Thursday said, affirming Brooklyn federal court judge Nina Gershon’s 2011 opinion. Continue Reading »

How Coca-Cola became kosher for Passover

Coca-Cola’s secret formula is just that – a secret. The secret was revealed to Rabbi Tobias Geffen over 70 years ago, in order for the soft drink to receive kosher certification.


Rabbi Tobias Geffen lived for 100 years: He was born in 1870 and died in 1970. For 60 odd years of his life he lived in Atlanta, Georgia, the hometown of the Coca-Cola Company. Geffen published a handful of books and was considered an important halakhic arbiter, but more than anything else he is identified with a responsum he issued in 1935 − stating that Coca-Cola is kosher and can also be drunk during Passover.

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French PM knocks halal, kosher laws as campaign heats up

Francois Fillon suggests Muslims, Jews give up ritual slaughter as President Sarkozy steps up their efforts to woo far-right voters

France’s prime minister urged Muslims and Jews to consider scrapping their halal and kosher slaughter laws on Monday as President Nicolas Sarkozy and his allies stepped up their efforts to woo far-right voters.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon made the suggestion after Sarkozy called at the weekend for butchers to clearly label meat slaughtered according to religious laws and his allies warned immigrants might impose halal meat on French schoolchildren.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon Photo: Reuters

Prime Minister Francois Fillon - Photo: Reuters

Fillon and other conservative leaders linked this tough stand on ritually prepared meat to issues such as immigration and French identity that the far-right National Front uses to tap into resentment against Europe’s largest Muslim minority. Continue Reading »