The Tel Aviv Rabbinate has sent letters to all kashrut supervisors in Tel Aviv's hotels this week, informing them that figs and asparagus must not be served in the High Holiday meals for fear of insects.
The fig is one of the Seven Species listed in the Bible as being special products of the Land of Israel. The letter sent to the hotels was signed by Rabbi Shimon Baloka of the Tel Aviv Chief Rabbinate's Kashrut Department.
Israel Hotel Association President Ami Federman was outraged by the letter on Thursday, saying that "this is a wonderful example of the delusional world these people are creating, without being supervised by anyone, without being subject to any authority.
"The Rabbinate has decided to remove one of the Seven Species from hotels' menus, using ridiculous claims about worms and vermin. I don't know of anyone who has seen a worm in their fig or asparagus at home. I also don't know anyone who doesn't check if their apple has sand in it or is rotten.
"This is absolute nonsense that only makes people loathe religion. This isn't Judaism as I see it. The reason for all these orders is corruption and a desire to add more paid kashrut supervisors while milking more money out of restaurants and hotels in need of a kashrut certificate."