The High Court of Justice heard on Tuesday arguments against the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly over kashrut supervision, while at the same time details emerged indicating that the Chief Rabbinate itself is considering far-reaching reforms of the kashrut sector. […]

The justices on Tuesday leveled tough questions at both sides, criticizing the claim of the petitioning restaurants, represented by the Reform Movement in Israel, that the rabbinate’s monopoly on kashrut injured their freedom of employment.

Justice Noam Solberg insisted that the issue should not be dealt with by the court at all but rather through legislation in the Knesset.

“There are severe, very serious problems with the kashrut system of the rabbinate, but this is no reason to ignore the law or to give it an evasive interpretation,” said Solberg.

Justice Esther Hayot took issue with the approach of the Chief Rabbinate, which argues that people will be fooled by fraudulent kashrut authorities if the licensing field is opened to competition.

“This approach is a bit paternalistic, which says that a person cannot work out for himself if this is important or not for him and decide to enter [the restaurant] or not,” she said during the hearing.