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The Schmooze

Kashrut 911

SOS. Kashrut emergency. You’ve got a dozen people waiting for dinner, you have just used a milky spoon in a pot of chicken soup, and you want to know if the soup is still kosher. Oh, and you’re Haredi, so you can’t draw on the expertise of Rabbi Google (Haredi leaders have banned the Web). What do you do?

Introducing Kav Yashir Lehalachah, which translates to Direct Line to Jewish Law. It is a new telephone service that solves halachic problems for members of Israel’s Haredi public at any time, day or night.

Just launched, it replaces a number of rabbi-rosters, which circulated in the Haredi community to inform people which rabbis were available at various times on various days. Though theoretically there was somebody on call most of the time, shifts were always being switched and people often found it more complicated to work out who to call than to solve their problem.

But while Haredim may – officially at least – not use the internet, the demand for instant information has very much become a feature of their community. This is why the roster-rabbis, when the public actually managed to find them, were constantly inundated with calls, and why the new hotline — +972 57 317 3100 — has been launched.

And in case you were wondering, no, it’s not out-sourcing to a call center in India.

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