Big Brother: Kashrut Edition

Israel is a spiritual place — a place where many say they can always feel God watching over them. Thanks to two newly proposed virtual monitoring initiatives — a virtual kosher supervisor and cemetery guard — God may not be the only one watching.

The Chief Rabbi of Beersheva, Yehuda Deri (brother of former Shas leader Aryeh Deri), recently proposed the installation of kosher surveillance cameras in restaurants and bars in the city that are open late, Ha’aretz reported. The cameras would replace expensive late-night kashrut supervisors by sending a video feed to a central kashrut-supervising agency, which would monitor the kitchen’s activity.

While some look forward to the savings, others claim that the effort would violate their privacy.

In the same week, the Religious Services Ministry began to push for surveillance cameras to prevent vandalism of gravesites on the Mount of Olives, just outside of the Old City, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The mountain is home to 70,000 graves that date back as far as biblical times, such as those of Zecheria and Absalom. Among its more modern resting members are Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook, the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate, and former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Israel, look out, Big Brother is watching.

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