A Senior Official In The Israeli Government Appointed Chief Rabbinate Is on Trial for Issuing Kashrut Certificates in Exchange for Bribes

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Rabbi Yitzhak Cohen Arazi, a former senior Chief Rabbinate official who was in charge of issuing kashrut certificates to imported products, will face criminal indictments in court next week for receiving bribes worth NIS 150,000 ($44,000) over several years. On Monday, Kan 11 News showed a compilation of videos taken by a hidden camera in Rabbi Arazi’s vehicle, showing him receiving envelopes full of money from importers seeking his services. Police investigators received a court order to plant the camera when they learned of the suspicions that the Rabbinate senior official was giving kosher permits in exchange for bribes.

Rabbi Arazi claims that he transferred all the money he received from importers to charity. He served as director of the Chief Rabbinate import department from 1997 until the start of the investigation against him. See https://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/religious-secular-in-israel-israel/chief-rabbinate-senior-official-on-trial-for-issuing-kashrut-certificates-in-exchange-for-bribes/2020/06/23/ for the continuation.

It Is Time for Public Debate What is the Best Way to Avoid Such Scandals in the Future

  • Better Anti-Corruption Safeguards
  • Increased Competition
  • Increasing the Pay of Inspectors so they have Less of a Temptation to Cheat
  • Better Surveilence
  • Toughening the Standards Who Can Get the Job
  • Changing the System Entirely
  • Demanding a Set of 2 or More Inspectors

I do not wish to answer this question now. I just want to raise the issue.

Maybe the Bribery Scandal Can Be Used To Force the Chief Rabbinate to Change Their Standards on the Ethiopian Issue

I am in any case upset with the Chief Rabbinate for imposing this year their very lax standards of who is a religious Jew in the case of Ethiopian immigrants which has implications on issues of what food is kosher and who can Jews marry and it is leading to the further erosion of the Jewish majority in Israel.

The link below explains their decision. The article applauds their ruling. I condemn their ruling.

The ruling ignores the fact that genetically we know they are not the tribe of Dan. And even if at some point in time they had the status of the Tribe of Dan (ignoring reality) this group determined Jewishness based on the father instead of what halacha demands based on the mother (see also the book of Ezra chapter 10).

They also lacked the authority to convert others for many centuries.

If one reads the writings of Radbaz well, he seems to give the status of Heretical Karaites, to the so-called “tribe of Dan” if they continue to rebel against Orthodox Rabbinical Judaism when exposed to it in an adequate way. It is also not at all clear that the alleged tribe of Dan identified by Radbaz actually physically survived until modern times. The alleged “Tribe of Dan” lost wars to barbaric enemies. Maybe all of the people identified by the Radbaz as the Tribe of Dan were destroyed, during the many centuries that have gone by from the time of Radbaz to our times.

It is solely based on the writings of Radbaz that the Israeli Chief Rabbinate under Rabbi Ovadia Yosef gave the Ethiopian immigrants Jewish status. Initially even Rabbi Ovadia Yosef demanded that this group undergo a formal conversion by Orthodox rabbis but then backed down from the demand under pressure.

Some of the Ethiopian group do comply with Orthodox Rabbinical Judaism, while others do not.

Some of the Ethiopians got a valid conversion to Judaism by Orthodox Jewish Rabbis while others did not.

Besides the Ethiopian issue, I have a problem with the State Rabbinate on a number of issues, which will not be dealt with at this time.

Finally, getting back to the Ethiopian issue, it should be noted that because the heretical “Reform Judaism” movement in America has tampered with the classic definition of “Who is a Jew” a large percentage of white, Reform Jews are not Jewish. See https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/282092  and http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/282599 for details. The Ethiopian issue is not a racial issue it is a religious issue.