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February 26, 2010

Toeivah: Proposed Taxes On Non-Kosher Meat, Shellfish Creates Controversy

Lobster "This proposition seems completely delusional, as the entire world knows…the Jewish people only eat sheep and cattle that were properly slaughtered; this is part of the identity of the Jewish state. I intend to personally approach the prime minister…and remove the abominable items." 

MKs oppose 'abominable' meat ordinance
Religious, non-religious Knesset members say they will oppose tax, customes rate ordinance because it 'does not fits Jewish character of State of Israel.' MK Orlev: Law completely delusional

Amnon Meranda • Ynet

Lobster Knesset members are intensifying their objection to the proposed ordinance presented to the Knesset on Monday, which sets customs rates, exemptions and merchandise tax. As reported on Thursday, the ordinance includes unique items, and especially non kosher ones.

Among the items listed in the ordinance are pig meat, meat from horses, donkeys, rabbits, hares, whales, dolphins, seals, walruses, reptiles, crabs, oysters, octopuses, and even snails. Authorization of the tax rates for the list items is none other than Knesset Finance Committee Chairman Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), a detail that has raised quite a stir within the legislature.

Following Ynet's report, Habayit Hayehudi Chairman MK Zevulun Orlev said that he will object the ordinance in its current formulation. According to Orlev, "This proposition seems completely delusional, as the entire world knows and understands that the Jewish people only eat sheep and cattle that were properly slaughtered; this is part of the identity of the Jewish state," he said. "I intend to personally approach the prime minister (Benjamin Netanyahu), and have the coalition form a decision to transfer the ordinance back to the Finance Committee and remove the abominable items," Orlev added.

Also non-religious members of Knesset expressed their reservations vis-à-vis the law. MK Carmel Shama (Likud) said he will also oppose the ordinance, "Because it is not an urgent matter and it may be amended easily so that it better fits the Jewish character of the State of Israel.

"The formulation of the ordinance is neither kosher nor smelly, but it is definitely not smart – to say the least. It is not appropriate for the Knesset to give its seal of approval to an ordinance that deals with pig meat, meat from horses, donkeys and more," he said.


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When a country as a group generally obtains or simply does not access a certain commodity that "commodity" becomes a "luxury," which is a relative concept.

There is no reason that in a "Jewish" State non-kosher food should be able to carry a luxury tax for those who want to have that extra something.

Aren't most Whales endangered species and not allowed to be hunted except by treaty for some indigenous peoples such as the Inuits?

In other words no schmaltz whale for seudat shlishit this shabbat.

And the pickled walrus is just ghastly!!!

all these items should be not taxed at all. If they are, the jewish state would be getting revenue, and pleasure from other people's sins. In fact all business done on shabbat should not be taxed either.

Think of this like what we have here in New York and many other states - it’s called the cigarette tax. Cigarette is taxed because it is bad for your physical health and the government has decided to take it upon themselves to discourage its use (while making a buck in the process). This is a variation on that theme. A tax on items that is bad for your soul's health.

I know - have a good laugh – Ha Ha.

The items should be banned period. Time for the Jewish people to proudly stand behind their heritage.

The way the Palestinians are treated is not the problem for Israel, it is the shell fish tax. How ridiculous. I will agree with Maskil. When we stand strong, act ethically and keep our faith we will be respected.

Harold, its sad that on a Jewish site you have to be ashamed to say that non-kosher food it bad for you spiritual health.


Such benefit is only prohibited with milk and meat cooked together, not other prohibitions.

The verse "Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk" (Exodus, 23:19) is interpreted as a ban on mixing the meat of a kosher animal with any milk or milk product of a kosher animal. Since the same verse is repeated in two other places in the Pentateuch, the mere repetition is taken to be a treble ban, forbidding a Jew i) to eat such a mixture, ii) to cook it for any purpose and iii) to enjoy or benefit from it in any way.

Similarily the verse "Thou shalt not commit adultery" is repeatet only twice. Presumably one is therefore forbidden to eat adultery or ot cook it, but enjoying it is all right.

Harold, its sad that on a Jewish site you have to be ashamed to say that non-kosher food it bad for you spiritual health

What is also sad is that I don't feel like I am entering a Jewish site when I visit here; especially when the site advertises itself as one that "covers" Orthodox Judaism. When I leave the site I feel like I need to immerse myself in a mikvah to get rid of the tumah. (Note I have to add the Ha Ha here as well since the FailedMessaihnites ears perk up when they hear or see the word Mikvah). The tumah of the stories and tumah of the burning hatred of one jew to another – how eckeldik!

As they say, with friends like this who needs enemies?

I personally believe eating trief is bad for one's soul, but I wouldn't coerce people to believe or act as I do. Coercion is worse, because it leads people to hate the torah. Believe and let live, or disbelieve and let live. This tax is just plain shellfish (couldn't resist).

Well for a start Muslims eat shellfish and there are also a lot of Christians in Israel. But of course, no-one would think about what Arabs want...

i'm sure you'll be shocked by this, but i agree with the tax.
shellfish is not something to which middle eastern jews are accustomed and it should be considered a luxury item.
non kosher meat should also be taxed because it is important that we all make an effort to remain somewhat homogeneous. it's also important because the ultra religious have been trying to use kashrus to extort money from their fellow jews for a long time, by finding unnecessary stringencies, adding more than one kosher certification, and outright lies about the conditions of factories in order to force them to pay for a kosher certification, and we want the less religious and secular jews to destroy this unholy monopoly that is responsible for extracting untold millions from the pockets of jews worldwide, especially those ultra orthodox who are poverty stricken because they were born into a cult which makes them shun a secular education.
we should not allot non kosher meat in israel so that everyone will fore the price down and destroy the rabbinic heirarchy that is holding the jewish people in a headlock.

I guarantee not one of you would know the difference between kosher ribeye and non-kosher ribeye from a prime cetified beef by taste. Bring me both and I'll grill it for you, no wait, that's a 50/50. Bring me 100 ribeyes and only one kosher, not a one gets it right. Any bets? It's all in your heads and the OU knows it! Get off the high horses. Maybe you should eat one, I heard they are tasty.

Well, since most of these items are non-kosher then it shouldn't matter how the govt. chooses to tax those items- afterall, most Israelis are not going to buy them anyway. I don't think that I have the full jest of this article but it doesn't appear to be something of major concern to the religious right. If I'm not mistaken, there are also non-Jews who live in Israel as well and some of them do eat these types of foods.

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