“[T]hree months ago they forced me to send them assurances that I wouldn’t compete with Cardi’s [local] slaughterhouse and that I wouldn’t sell to businesses working with it. They told me: ‘It isn’t worth arguing with Rabbi Deri. First put your meat in the two stores in Be’er Sheva like he said, and afterwards he will give you more places.’"
Rabbi Yehuda Deri
The State Of Kosher Supervision In Israel
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
TheMarker reports that Avner (a pseudonym) owns a large slaughterhouse in the north of Israel. Several years ago, he decided to try to expand his market and sell his meat in Be’er Sheva, the largest city in southern Israel. But a haredi rabbi would not let him do it.
Asher’s slaughterhouse has kosher certification from both Haifa’s state rabbinate and from Badatz Beit Yosef, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s kosher supervision run by one of his sons.
But Be’er Sheva’s chief rabbi, Yehuda Deri, the brother convicted felon and Shas Party Chairman MK Aryeh Deri, won’t let him do it because, Deri told him, he couldn’t afford to send kosher supervisors all the way to northen Israel to check out his slaughterhouse.
This is odd because Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was the senior rabbinic leader for Sefardim in Israel and worldwide, and it is Ovadia Yosef’s kosher supervision agency that supervises Asher’s slaughterhouse.
After several years passed, Avner tried again 18 months ago and, after much arguing, the Deri agreed to let him do business with the local one local supermarket and two other smaller shops that Avner was not interested in selling to.
But Deri refused to allow him to sell to other stores that have Yosef’s kosher certification.
And then, Deri allegedly got even worse.
“[T]hree months ago they forced me to send them assurances that I wouldn’t compete with Cardi’s [local] slaughterhouse and that I wouldn’t sell to businesses working with it. They told me: ‘It isn’t worth arguing with Rabbi Deri. First put your meat in the two stores in Be’er Sheva like he said, and afterwards he will give you more places.’ But I have nothing more to lose so I sent him a letter from my lawyer,” Asher told TheMarker.
Beersheva's local slaughterhouses reportedly cannot meet the local demand for kosher meat.
Deri’s said he was looking into Asher’s allegations.
“It’s hard to oversee shechita [kosher slaughter] from a distance. We want and aspire to provide for the city’s needs by shechita under direct supervision of our rabbinate in order to streamline kashrut. This is what every rabbi in Israel aspires to, but local shechita doesn’t always manage to satisfy the all local demand so sometimes slaughterhouses from elsewhere are allowed in. We want to maintain a good level of kashrut, but we want a free market and give the public a selection, and to have fair competition.
“We didn’t express any worry that he’ll compete with other holders of kashrut [certification]. He’s taking things out of context and isn’t telling the truth. We have no interest in one kashrut or another. Every rabbi obviously trusts what he’s familiar with above anything else. It’s stupid to say we prefer one badatz or another,” Deri said.
TheMarker, however, notes that it has evidence verifying Avner’s claims.