R’ Rafi Yochai of Israel's Chief Rabbinate Kashrut Fraud Unit, the Hebron Religious Council, and Rav Dov Lior Shlita -- the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba and a member of the Chief Rabbinate announced that Hebron Wineries have lost their kashrut supervision.
According to the formal releases circulating around Israel, the decision is based on the fact that “unapproved ingredients” were found on the premises, compelling the decision, to revoke the kosher supervision.
The urgent notification from R' Lior states major issues:
1. Not adhering to the kashrut process and standards of the Chief Rabbinate
2. Raw ingredients and Grape Juice not approved for import by the Chief Rabbinate
3. No kashrut supervisor present during the manufacturing process
He also states that these issues were reviewed with the Hebron Winery, yet they refused to correct them, so they had no choice but to inform the public that this winery is not under their kashrut supervision.
Now, normally this wouldn't be that big an issue -- except that the Hebron Wineries are also under the "deluxe mehadrin" kashrut supervision of the Ultra Orthodox "Badatz Machzikei HaDas -- Belze" Hashgacha, via R' Moshe Hoffman.
He dismisses the claims of the above Rabbis and stated: "If only all wineries would adhere to kashrus laws as the folks in Hebron,” emphasizing the owners are shomer shabbat G-d-fearing Jews, and that Belz is not removing its hechsher and Hebron Wines remains mehadrin, on a very high standard and he "...is pained over R’ Lior’s decision which is delivering a blow to “fine Jews” just weeks ahead of Rosh Hashanah," assuring us over and over again that the wines are mehadrin by all standards." (source)
So...the question is: Why would R' Lior be so insistent during "Elul" to go after fellow members of his community?
Maybe because he's simply telling the truth, and that the imported grapes, raw ingredients and grape juice are simply -- unsupervised, and therefore unacceptable?
Could a Zionist Rabbanut hashgacha possibly be more reliable than Badatz?
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