Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar ruled last week that strawberries are halachically kosher, despite the fact that recent lab tests found small traces of insects that cannot be removed from the popular fruit.
During a class he gave last Thursday at the hesder yeshiva in Karnei Shomron, Rabbi Amar explained that "the Torah prohibits the consumption of insects that can be seen with the naked eye, and does not ban eating bugs that can only be spotted through a microscope."
Amar's ruling overturns a recent halachic ruling published by several religious Zionist rabbis on the matter.
About a month ago the Torah and Land Institute announced, after a series of laboratory tests, that strawberries sold in Israel are infested with tiny insects that cannot be removed with water or pesticide, and are therefore forbidden according to Halacha.
Rabbi Yehuda Amichai, who heads the institute, told Ynet that "it used to be enough to take the green leaves off of the strawberry and wash it with soap, but today the bugs stick to the dots on the fruit, and emerge even after a good washing."