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Jewish Believer's Bakery Ruled "Kosher"

Thursday, July 16, 2009 | Tag Cloud

By Worthy News Middle East Bureau

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (Worthy News) -- Religious tensions remained in Israel Thursday, July 16, after the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that a Jewish baker's belief in Jesus Christ does not make her baked food unkosher.

In its verdict, the Court overturned a decision by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the country’s highest religious governing body,  to remove the 'kashrut', or Jewish dietary law, certificate because Pnina Conforti's faith that Jesus is the Messiah.

Conforti, 51, said she was pleased with the decision. "I've been waiting for three years for this decision," said Conforti, who added that without kosher certification her business had been failing.  "Finally I won. This is my baby," she told Israeli media.

Conforti said that when she opened her first bakery in Gan Yavne in 2002 she enjoyed impressive business success. But after her faith was publicized in an article in a Messianic Jewish magazine, she allegedly suffered from demonstrations outside her bakery and posters with her picture distributed throughout the city warning that she was a missionary.

CERTIFICATE REVOKED

As a result, Gan Yavne Chief Rabbi Meshumar Tzabari revoked her kashrut certificate. At the time she did not fight Tzabari, The Jerusalem Post news paper reported.

In 2006 she opened her second bakery shop in Ashdod. Initially she was granted a kashrut certificate, but when the Ashdod Rabbinate learned that she was a “Jew for Jesus”, also known as Messianic Jew, it also cancelled the permit.

Conforti appealed the decision with the Rabbinate, and was consequently invited for a hearing in which she was told that her kashrut certificate would be returned only if she agrees to employ a full-time kashrut supervisor who will get the keys to the business.

She was also not allowed to conduct missionary activities. Conforti argued that she did not actively proselytize. "But if someone shows an interest, I talk openly."

SUPREME COURT

Conforti petitioned the Supreme Court instead and claimed that her religious belief could not be used as a valid reason to revoke her kashrut certificate. The Rabbinate argued that since Konforti was an apostate, she cannot be considered trustworthy according to Jewish law.

In addition former customers and haredi anti-missionary groups began picketing her bakery. "I should be allowed to praise God in any way that I want," said Conforty, who grew up in a traditional Yemenite family. "No one can force their religious beliefs on me."

The Court agreed, apparently  referring to a ruling handed down by the High Court two decades ago involving Ilana Raskin, an immigrant belly dancer from Philadelphia who enjoyed tremendous popularity in the late 1980s until Jerusalem's chief rabbis ruled that food served in wedding halls and restaurants in which Raskin appeared was not kosher.

That High Court rejected the claim made by the Chief Rabbinate at the time that any owner whose immoral sensitivities were callous to the depravities of belly dancing could not be trusted to serve kosher food.

HIGH FEES

The Supreme Court ordered the Rabbinate to pay her 200,000 Israel New Shekels ($52,000) in legal fees and ordered the Rabbinate to issue Konforti a certificate as long as she adheres to the usual requirements.

"The Rabbinate's conduct indicates that as far as it is concerned only Jews can receive this much coveted kashrut certificate," the court said in a published ruling.

However in a sign of more tensions, The Orthodox Rabbinate has condemned the ruling.
"It's absurd that the Supreme Court is telling rabbis how to keep kosher," Ashdod Chief Rabbi Yosef Sheinen said in remarks published by The Jerusalem Post.

"What does the Supreme Court know about kashrut?" asked Sheinen. He said that according to his understanding of Halacha, an apostate Jew could not be trusted to adhere to the laws of kashrut.

Conforti said that she "came to faith" while working in Ohio for an evangelical Christian family.

"GOD'S ARRANGEMENT"

"God arranged it that I arrived at a place where there were Christians who love Israel more than most Jews do. Their love and faith were so different from the religion I learned at home that was based on fear. I was never taught to serve God out of love until then. They taught me that Yeshua is the messiah."

Conforti was quoted as saying that her gradual embracing of faith in Jesus put her marriage in jeopardy. "I was on the verge of divorce and I prayed to God. I said to him, 'If Yeshua is messiah then you have to bring my husband back to me and make peace between us. No more than 10 minutes passed before my husband came to me and accepted the faith," she told Israeli media.

Her case has underscored concerns among Christians and rights watchers about growing tensions between minority Messianic Jewish believers and Orthodox Jewish groups. Several Messianic churches and groups have reported harassment in the country.

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Worthy Christian News » Christian » Jewish Believer's Bakery Ruled "Kosher"

4 thoughts on “Jewish Believer's Bakery Ruled "Kosher"

  1. Praise Yah! This woman is a witness to Yah's chosen land and the world that Yeshua is our Beloved Savior! To Yah be the glory and may His will be done.

  2. A Great decision, Jesus was foretold of in the Tanach ,or prophets, Isaaih 63, the suffering servant, if anyone studies the prophets they will know that Yeshua Jesus, is the messiah & he came to deliver the world from sin, his authority coming from the Father through his obedience , True christians support israel, its GD given right to the land of Israel ,& Jerusalem as its capital, Christians are the true friends of Israel. Thank you ,Michael .

  3. {{{... Messianic churches and groups have reported harassment in the country ...}}}

    Of Slaves And Children

    Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything,
    but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.
    So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world.

    But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
    so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

    Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
    Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
    Galatians 4:1-7 (New American Standard Bible)

    Blessed Is He Who Comes In The Name Of The LORD

    Just at that time some Pharisees approached, saying to Him, “Go away, leave here, for Herod wants to kill You.”
    And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.’

    “Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem.

    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!
    “Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’”
    Luke 13:31-35

    Call Dear One, Call

    "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls."
    Joel 2:32

    And Eat

    Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.
    Jeremiah 15:16

    And Be Blessed Beloved
    Love, Joe

  4. We christians all over the World are eagerly waiting for the second comming of our Lord Jesus in Mount Olive.
    Pray and wait.
    Praise the Lord

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Worthy Christian News » Christian » Jewish Believer's Bakery Ruled "Kosher"