The bill abolishes the current system whereby local rabbinates who are under the authority of the chief rabbinate are the only bodies that can issue a kashrut certificate that a restaurant or other food business is kosher. In its place, independent kashrut authorities will be allowed to oversee any business using their services, and the Chief Rabbinate will act as an oversight body to ensure compliance with kashrut standards.
The reforms met with stiff opposition from the Chief Rabbinate as well as ultra-Orthodox and conservative religious-Zionist parties.
“We are breaking the monopoly of the rabbinate,” said committee chairperson MP Yulia Malinovski. “What hurts them is that they lose the power to decide for all of us.”
Likud MP Shlomo Karhi said that due to the advancement of the bill, “it is a dark day for Judaism.
Meanwhile, the government continues to prepare the state budget which will be formally presented to the Knesset on Sunday, with the Knesset’s finance and economics committees approving additional chapters of the Economic Arrangements Act (EAL). that will accompany the budget.
The state budget for 2021, including corona spending and debt payments, is NIS 609.1 billion, and the budget for 2022 will be NIS 572.9 billion, which the finance committee says. approved Wednesday morning. The 2022 budget has been increased by 10 billion shekels. to allow for any additional coronavirus wave that is not currently planned.
A budget of NIS 1.17b. the yeshivot was also approved as part of the budget, under a compromise reached with opposition members Yinon Azoulay, Bezalel Smotrich, Yitzhak Pindrus and Ofir Katz. This means that the yeshivot will be able to receive the funds immediately after the adoption of the budget, thus solving an issue that could have delayed these payments by several months.
Funding for the coalition has been approved at NIS 326 million for 2021 and NIS 400 million. for 2022.
The first of three readings of the EAL and the budget was passed in the Knesset in September, ahead of the recess. The coalition plans to table the latest version of the budget on the Knesset table on October 31 and will hold marathon deliberations ahead of the final two votes. The deadline for budget approval is November 14, but the coalition has decided to kick off the debates earlier, to allow time for unforeseen delays.
Unrelated to the budget, the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved a plan to further limit the size of cash transactions, as part of its ongoing fight against money laundering .
Cash payments to stores can now not exceed NIS 6,000, down from NIS 11,000 previously, and cash transactions between individuals are capped at NIS 15,000 instead of NIS 50,000. People who buy cars from individuals can transfer up to NIS 50,000 in cash.
Fines for violating the law will vary from 5% to 25% of the amount transferred, depending on the amount of the payment.