Eight things you never knew Israeli hotels do to be certified kosher

Israeli hotel rooms are among the more expensive in the world, according to various economic indexes. The first reason is that the cost of living in Israel is sky-high, and the hotels pay about the same for cottage cheese and electricity as everyone else. The second reason is that unlike hotels anywhere else, hotels have to be kosher. And being certified kosher is expensive.

Jews famously don’t eat pork or seafood, and don’t mix milk and meat. But kashrut is much more than that. Here is a small taste of what hotels have to do to keep that certificate.

1. Stick to the rules – all 168 of them

Israel’s Chief Rabbinate, which sets the standards on kashrut, has an 11-page document with 168 guidelines outlining what hotels need to do to keep hold of their kosher certification. For hotels with a stricter “Mehadrin” kashrut certification, there are, of course, further requirements. There are an additional seven pages regarding pastry chefs and baking, and extra stipulations for the Jewish holiday of Passover – but we’ll get to that later.

2. Hire a mashgiach

Hotels must have a full-time mashgiach, or inspector, on staff. In Eilat, for example, they make 9 to 10,000 shekels on average a month (around $2,500), according to the Eilat Hotels Association. Large hotels may need more than one inspector, and costs will multiply accordingly. Over the Sabbath and Jewish holidays, supervisors bring their families – who get free room and board – to ensure round-the-clock supervision.

3. Inspect, inspect, inspect

Green and leafy vegetables are the bane of a hotel’s existence. In order to comply with the kashrut prohibition on eating insects, only cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, artichoke, asparagus and leafy vegetables grown under rabbinic supervision can be chopped up and served to guests. Cabbages are subject to a four-rule procedure that includes “good lighting conditions” for inspection, and fennel must be taken apart, each layer soaped and studied individually.

The humble bug-prone fig is banned, in dry or fresh form, and hotels are required to purchase a machine for inspecting legumes.

There are, of course, many more elements to Jewish dietary law; the rules also cover wine, onion, garlic, dried and fresh fruits, fish, meat, eggs, rice and flour. Liver, for example, has 30 stipulations, all to itself.

At the 375-room Dan hotel in Eilat, the inspector helps out in the kitchen, checking legumes and dealing with the liver before the cooks do, says General Manager Lior Mucznik. Take eggs: inspectors must crack open each on and check it for blood spots, which are forbidden under halakha, or Jewish law. Hotels can get around this buy purchasing pre-checked and opened eggs, Mucznik says.

4. No non-Jews near the oven

Jewish dietary law prohibits bishul akum, or food prepared by a non-Jew. But customs differ on what this means.

Ashkenazis accept food prepared by a non-Jew so long as a Jew was involved in the cooking process, while for Sephardi, food cooked by a non-Jew can be eaten only if a Jew placed the dish to be cooked in the oven or on the stove.

What does this mean for hotels? There are eight rules on the issue, which the Rabbinate says is as key to kashrut as not eating pork.

One says that only the inspector or a Jewish worker who has written permission from the inspector or local rabbi can light a fire in the kitchen, that is, turn on the oven or stove. Hotels employing non-Jews must install systems that enable equipment to reach a certain temperature and stay there, so that non-Jews don’t affect the heat. Only Jews can turn on a steamer. Meanwhile, non-Jews can open and close regular oven doors, but when it comes to ovens that are turned on and off when the door opens or closes, that is out of the question.

5. Observe the Sabbath

Observing the Jewish Day of rest is a must for any kosher hotel. How strictly the 13 rules on Sabbath observance are enforced in practice depends on where you are in the country, however.

In the resort city Eilat you can swim in a hotel pool or hear music in the lobby on the day of rest, but good luck trying to take a dip in your hotel in Bnei Brak or Jerusalem.

If a hotel were to follow the Rabbinate’s rules to the letter of the law, it couldn’t accept any payments on Shabbat unless handled “discreetly” by a “gentile” at the cash register.

Also, from the beginning of the Sabbath on Friday evening until the end on Saturday night, the guidelines stipulate that guests can only be checked in an out discreetly, and by a non-Jew.

6. No idol worship (yes, that means Christmas tree)

The Rabbinate’s Sabbath rules also prohibit “marking a non-Jewish holiday toward the end of the civilian calendar year.” This means that, in theory, you shouldn’t even think about decking the halls with boughs of holly if you want to keep your certificate.

In the past, the Rabbinate has explained that this is because, “According to Jewish law, Jews may not be in a place where idol worship is taking place.” However, a spokesman assured Haaretz that, despite appearing in the guidelines, this rule is generally no longer enforced in practice.

7. Be extra (extra) careful around Passover

Passover is, far and away, the toughest time for hotels when it comes to keeping kosher.

This is a time when Jews remember the exodus from Egypt, and as it says in Exodus 12:14, “ For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel.”

For hotels, this means bringing on extra staff and inspectors to make sure not one crumb of chametz, or leaven, is hiding anywhere on the premises. They also have to pay the Rabbinate an extra fee of 236 shekels ($63) over the period for the kashrut certificate.

One significant expense is crockery. Kosher hotels have two sets of crockery to keep up with requirements for separating milk and meat on normal days. In addition, for the seven days of Passover, many hotels purchase two more sets to make sure dishes are untainted by chametz.

8. And don’t forget the annual fee

Aside from the inspector, hotels pay an annual fee for their kashrut stamp of approval. This costs 7,250 shekels (just under $2,000) a year for hotels with more than 250 rooms. Lior Avi, CEO of the Isrotel chain, says the company spends around $3 million shekels a year (some $800,000) on inspectors alone for their 17 hotels, not including the fee.

Source: Eight things you never knew Israeli hotels do to be certified kosher

Status of Israel’s Law Of Return

I was just randomly googling, then I found an interesting thing that can be share to those who truely belives on truth and humanity aprat from any religion, race etc… It was about Israel’s Law of Return. I am copying and pasting the whole article with the reference link. First of all, we should know what exactly the Israeli Law Of Return says.

Under the Law of Return, anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent or a Jewish spouse is eligible to immigrate to Israel and receive automatic citizenship. According to religious law, a Jew is defined as anyone with a Jewish mother.

The Jewish Agency is part of the parent World Zionist Organisation. It promotes and manages aliyah to Israel, purchases land in Israel and the West Bank through the Jewish National Fund, and plays a key role in establishing and funding the settlements there. The pamphlet shows the increasing aliyah figures from the UK (853 in 2009, a 37% increase from 2008). In effect, UK citizens are being encouraged to live in Israel and also in illegally-occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, whose settlements have been established and enlarged in direct violation of international law.

Although Israel is most keen to welcome Anglo-Saxon Jews from the US and UK, Jews from “lost tribes” such as the Bnei Menashe (Children of Menasseh) in India have also been fast-tracked in to subvert the settlement freeze. Even Peruvian Indians were brought in (provided they converted immediately to Judaism) and sent to West Bank settlements. Jewish people throughout the world have an automatic right to Israeli citizenship under Israel’s “law of return”, though many in the US, UK and Australia now are rejecting this right.

Today there are more than seven million Palestinian refugees around the world. Israel denies their right to return to their homes and land – a right recognised by UN resolution 194, the Geneva convention, and the universal declaration of human rights. Further, “an occupier may not forcibly deport protected persons… or transfer parts of its own civilian population into occupied territory” (article 49).

The Foreign Office emphasises that the UK’s “policy on settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is absolutely clear: Israeli settlements activity is not only illegal under international law, it is also in contravention of Israel’s obligations under the Road Map to Peace and detrimental to the peace process. The prime minister made this point most recently in a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu of 5 January.”

The Israeli government continues to expand these settlements and encourage immigration in order to consolidate its hold on the occupied territories. The new Jewish-only settlement towns being built by the Jewish National Fund within Israel, in the Negev and Galilee, also continue Palestinian dispossession, by displacing Bedouin in “unrecognised villages”. While Palestinians are being continuously dispossessed, imprisoned in enclaves, and prevented from building to house their families on their own land, Jewish people from any part of the world can be housed anywhere they choose within Israel and West Bank. Precious water resources are used lavishly in the settlements, while drastically limiting Palestinians’ access. Use of the super-highways linking settlements to Israeli cities is denied to Palestinians, and sewage from the settlements is discharged into Palestinian villages and agricultural areas. The settlement freeze is a joke, and is ignored by Israel. It is more a settlement frenzy.

Article Source: The Guardian

 

Judaism VS Zionism, There’s a difference

Assalam-O-Alaikum!

Today I’m gonna discuss something important. We as a Muslim believes that we’re bound to respect all the religions in the earth. Because everybody is praying to same God but in their own way. Now let me take you to the main point. In almost every Islamic country, people hate Jews just because of misconception or very little knowledge about the main thing. Judaism is one of the oldest religion and they are the one who hold the Holy Book Of Allah and that is Torah.

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Many Muslim countries around the world do not recognize Israel and thinks it is the land of Palestine that Israel has occupied. The thought and founder of State of Israel is Theodor Herzl. He was a Zionist leader and state of Israel is also a Zionist State. There is a clear difference between Zionism and Judaism. Zionism was the movement started about 100 years ago and it is like nationalism. Meanwhile, Judaism is something else. It is a complete religion. Some of the Rabbis call Israel a Zionist State and they do not support Israel. According to Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, creating a separate state is not allowed in their religion. It means, that true Jews do not support Israel. Because they think that What Israel is doing is nothing to do with Judaism. He further said that Jews had lost the right to claim a separate state 2000 years back. You can see the complete interview of this Rabbi by Clicking Here.

Judaism Basic Belief:

One of the basics of Judaism is that we are a people in exile due to Divine decree. Accordingly, we are opposed to the ideology of Zionism, a recent innovation, which seeks to force the end of exile. Our banishment from the Holy Land will end miraculously at a time when all mankind will unite in the brotherly service of the Creator.

Definition Of Zionism:

Its general definition means the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel.

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Jews Against Zionism

Look at the main difference. Religious Jews says that Zionism is completely against the Teaching of Torah and God forbids us to create a state. Some of them call Zionism as the Blasphemy Act. So we should understand the main difference between Judaism and Zionism. Jews are being targeted same like Non-Muslims think about Taliban activities as Islamic activities.

For the Muslim, the land of Palestine is third holiest place. Because it was our first Qibla. The purpose to write this post is just to tell that Judaism should not be linked with Zionism. It is totally a different thing. We as a Muslim should respect Judaism. Muslims and Jews both are linked from Hazrat Ibrahim A.S. If we see this, we’re brothers. We need to think beyond the Race, Religion etc… for the peace in the earth. For this I would like to quote some verses from Holy Quran. It preaches equal love for all, equal respect for all, and equal faith in all.

No Compulsion in Religion: (Source)

“We have truly shown him the way; he may be thankful or unthankful” (76:3).

“Clear proofs have indeed come to you from your Lord: so whoever sees, it is for his own good; and whoever is blind, it is to his own harm” (6:104).

“If you do good, you do good for your own souls. And if you do evil, it is for them” (17:7).

I condemn the State Of Israel but not Jews. Because religious Jews think that What Israel is doing is nothing to do with their religion. It is not Judaism.

Now the question is that why they’re getting strong. Look at the example of Pakistan. China is one of the best friend of Pakistan. There is no doubt. China has invested in Pakistan in almost every sector like Telecom, Engineering, Defence, Services etc… Pakistan can never tolerate anything negative against China. Same is the case is with China. Pakistan is a good friend of China too.

Israel and USA are the best friends. USA has invested billions of dollars in Israel and Israel is also supporting USA in defense sector. In United Nation, (I call it so called) USA has a veto power. This country also has the benefit that their biggest ally, the USA, will veto any serious resolution against them preventing any action from being carried out. We can’t do anything. They use the force of the UN and the security council when they require moral legitimacy to go to war yet they are prepared to ignore or circumvent it when votes don’t go their way. Then I must say that United Nations is the organization which is formed to protect the interests of United States. Israel has broken hundreds of UN Resolutions but nothing goes wrong in their way. I must hopelessly say that I am unable to see the good future of Palestine. They’re trapped by two Good friends despite of having 50+ Islamic countries in the world. Isn’t it hopeless?

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This to to remember that the whole article is my point of view towards Judaism. I will again say that I am against state of Israel which is a Zionist state and they occupied that land. And as a Muslim, Islam told us to respect every religion. I respect Judaism as a RELIGION. Because they also pray to that same God which is Allah. Palestinians are killed by Zionist and being expelled from their land and it is human rights violation from Israel.

If you’re interested to read about some more cool thing about Kosher, the dietary law of Jews just for the sake of knowledge, you can read my other post by Clicking Here. :) I don’t know why I feel insecure after writing this post. May be people may take me otherwise like agent. But I know what, why and how I’m writing this. I hope you will understand what I actually wanted to say.

Kosher, the dietary law of Jews

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Now a days, I’m reading on Kosher, the dietary law of Jews or Judaism. You know what? It is interesting to read about it that how people are curious about selecting and eating food like what we Muslims do. For Muslims, the food must be Halal and for Jews the food must be Kosher. I have read in an article of the website that Modern Jews are not much concerned about their dietary law (Kosher). They say, things are different now. Modern Jews think that Kosher is a Quality Assurance of the food and food that is not kosher can be eaten because of latest techniques. But it is their problem whether they follow their rules or not, I don’t care at least. :) Rabbi is responsible to make it sure.

Types Of Meat and Drinks:

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  1. Land animals that chew their cud (ruminate) and have a split (cloven) hoof may be eaten (note that animals with toes may not be eaten. They must be true hooves). This includes livestock like cattle and sheep, but not pigs (which do not chew their cud) or camels (which do not have split hooves).
  2. Animals that eat meat (carnivores and omnivores) may not be eaten. This also means that birds of prey may not be eaten.
  3. Specific birds (from a list) may not be eaten. This includes ostrich for example.
  4. Fish must have fins and scales. Fish without scales (like eels), seafood (like lobster and shrimp), and shellfish (like mussels) are forbidden.
  5. No amphibians or reptiles may be eaten. Examples of these are frogs.
  6. Most insects may not be eaten, with some exceptions like locusts.
  7. Wine must be specially made. There are special rules about alcohol and other intoxicating substances.

Details of kashrut are extensive, the laws all derive from a few fairly simple, straightforward rules:

  1. Certain animals may not be eaten at all. This restriction includes the flesh, organs, eggs and milk of the forbidden animals.
  2. Of the animals that may be eaten, the birds and mammals must be killed in accordance with Jewish law.
  3. All blood must be drained from meat and poultry or broiled out of it before it is eaten.
  4. Certain parts of permitted animals may not be eaten.
  5. Fruits and vegetables are permitted, but must be inspected for bugs (which cannot be eaten)
  6. Meat (the flesh of birds and mammals) cannot be eaten with dairy. Fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables and grains can be eaten with either meat or dairy. (According to some views, fish may not be eaten with meat).
  7. Utensils (including pots and pans and other cooking surfaces) that have come into contact with meat may not be used with dairy, and vice versa. Utensils that have come into contact with non-kosher food may not be used with kosher food. This applies only where the contact occurred while the food was hot.
  8. Grape products made by non-Jews may not be eaten.
  9. There are a few other rules that are not universal.

Rules To Prepare Kosher Food:

  1. The animals need to be killed in a special way. The kosher slaughterer has religious training for this work.
  2. An animal that dies by natural means, or is killed by another animal or a hunter, may not be eaten.
  3. Meat from a sick animal may not be eaten.
  4. No blood may be eaten. All blood needs to be drained from the meat (by soaking and salting it). In eggs, not even eggs with just a spot of blood can be eaten.
  5. Foods made in a factory have a kashrut label on the package. This means the food is approved by an inspector chosen by a rabbi.
  6. A kosher kitchen has separate sets of dishes: one for meat foods, another for dairy foods.
  7. Food may not be cooked during the Sabbath. (Shabbat, begins Friday when the sun goes down, and ends Saturday night after it gets dark.).

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Another interesting thing about Jews is that they don’t work in Shabbat. Because it is not allowed according to their holy book Torah. They think that this day is for rest and study the Torah.