Kosher Happy Meals

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  • #1258545

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    At the Kosher McDonald’s restaurants in Israel*, do they sell Kosher Happy Meals?

    If so, then even if the food is kosher, and let’s not go into whether or not the food is healthy, wondering… Is giving out toys with food generally acceptable Torahdik chinuch?

    Maybe it can go either way, since maybe some children won’t eat their vegetables, so bribing them with toys helps reinforce the habit of eating vegetables. Then all children typically outgrow the need to accumulate toys while eating.

    On the other hand, one can say that eating is not a time for playing with toys. We eat to live and we live to serve Hashem.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thank you 🙂

    *Not all Israeli McDonald’s restaurants are kosher. To see list of participating Kosher McDonald’s restaurants, check out Yeah That’s Kosher dot com.

    #1258603

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Yes the McDonalds in Israel have some sort of Kosher Happy Meals.

    The Kosher McDonalds in Israel are sort of geared to american and foreign tourists who want to eat from a something they all know at home, but cannot have.

    Most charedim in Israel do not eat there, not because of the Happy Meals, but rather because of the Hashghcha. Most Charedim in Israel eat from a Hashghacha called Badatz, However the McDonalds are under a Hashghcha called the Rabbanut (Which is the municipality Hashghca run by the government under the Chief Rabbi). Charedim generally do not eat Rabbanut Hashghcha (Some might eat Jerusalem Rabbanut, but not Tel Aviv Rabbanut)

    #1258654

    takahmamash
    Participant

    Charedim generally do not eat Rabbanut Hashghcha.

    How many Badatz places hire the Rabbanut mashgiach to be their mashgiach as well?

    Many of them.

    Chareidim may think they’re getting a Badatz hechsher, but in reality, are getting the regular Rabbunut.

    (Source: a friend of mine, a Rabbanut mashgiach by trade, and hired by several Badatz hashgachot as well in the same places.)

    #1258672

    Meno
    Participant

    I’m pretty sure the term “Badatz” no longer has any meaning.

    Any kashrus agency can call themselves Badatz.

    #1258684

    Geordie613
    Participant

    Generally in kashrus circles, when you say Badatz, you mean Badatz Eidah haChareidis. Any other badatz will have the name of the organisation after it. eg. Badatz Agudas Yisroel, Badatz Sheairith, etc.

    #1258701

    Meno
    Participant

    Generally in kashrus circles, when you say Badatz, you mean Badatz Eidah haChareidis

    Maybe in kashrus circles.

    But in laymen’s circles, lots of people think Badatz = good hechsher, whereas it is really meaningless.

    #1258702

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    As a side note there is a Kosher McDonalds in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I dont know why, but there is one there. The only kosher one outside of Israel.

    I always wondered why they never made one in Brooklyn

    #1258762

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “Is giving out toys with food generally acceptable Torahdik chinuch?”

    please elaborate

    #1258764

    Meno
    Participant

    Is patronizing a kosher version of a treif restaurant generally acceptable Torahdik chinuch?

    #1258767

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There is nothing wrong with patronizing a kosher version of a treif restaurant. I used to patronize Subway and nathans, but it seems the buisness model did not work and they failed

    #1258768

    yekke2
    Participant

    On the other hand, one can say that eating is not a time for playing with toys. We eat to live and we live to serve Hashem.

    We also play toys for Hashem.

    #1258776

    Meno
    Participant

    I once went to a kosher Subway with a friend. My friend ordered some kind of deli sandwich. The worker took out a ziploc bag full of pre-portioned deli and put it on a roll. I didn’t order anything.

    I find it hard to believe that a burger from a kosher McDonalds comes anywhere close to a burger from an average kosher burger place.

    People like these places because they think it’s cool to go to the same restaurant that all the goyim go to.

    #1258852

    takahmamash
    Participant

    I would suspect that most of the people that eat in Israeli McDonald’s are tourists. McD’s prices are pretty expensive here when compared to other fast food options. Burgers Bar gives you much better quality for a decent price.

    #1258853

    Chaver
    Participant

    “On the other hand, one can say that eating is not a time for playing with toys. We eat to live and we live to serve Hashem.”

    Because we eat for Higher purposes we can’t do other things while eating?

    #1258858

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “Chareidim may think they’re getting a Badatz hechsher, but in reality, are getting the regular Rabbunut.”

    From what I understand, the difference between a Badatz (meaning Chareidi) hashgacha and a Rabbanut hashgacha does not necessarily have to do with the Mashgiach himself but rather with the standards that the place is required to comply with in order to receive the hashgacha. In other words, the same mashgiach could be willing to give the same place a Rabbanut hashgacha but not a Chareidi hashgacha if their standards make them eligible for one but not the other.

    You can see this from the fact that there is such a thing as Rabbanut Yerushalayim and Rabbanut Yerushalayim L’Mehadrin. I assume the mashgichim are the same (or could be), but there are different standards.

    When I have had to attend Simchas that had a Rabbanut hashgacha or had to eat out at Rabbunut restaurants with relatives, people have told me that I could ask the mashgiach what foods I could eat. Personally, that seemed strange to me (and I never checked that out with someone I trust), so I just stuck to good old Coca Cola or Pepsi Cola (but not the diet since that had herbs or something floating in it to differentiate it from the regular soda).

    #1260516

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “Generally in kashrus circles, when you say Badatz, you mean Badatz Eidah haChareidis”

    “Maybe in kashrus circles.

    But in laymen’s circles, lots of people think Badatz = good hechsher, whereas it is really meaningless.”

    Meno, that is a very important point. It used to be that the term Badatz was only used for “Chareidi” hashgachos (by which I mean the non-Rabbanut hashgachos). I don’t remember if it was only Eidah or all non-Rabbanut hashgachos.

    Today, the Rabbanut hashgachos call themselves “Badatz” since Badatz just means “Beis Din Tzedek”. Some people get confused by this and think that a place has a Chareidi hashgacha when it doesnt.

    #1260521

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “We also play toys for Hashem.”

    +1

    #1260519

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Another thing I am trying to figure out is what people mean they talk about Mehadrin hashgachos. It seems that some people use the term to refer to any Mehadrin Rabbanut hashgacha, whereas other people use the term exclusively for “Chareidi” (i.e. non-Rabbanut) hashgachos.

    So one has to be careful when using the term as well.

    #1260586

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I used Badatz meaning Charedi hashsghacha

    #1260607

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Chaver: You said, “Because we eat for Higher purposes we can’t do other things while eating?” (Chaver).

    Yes, that was, in part, my question. Is playing or gathering toys while eating taking the focus off of the mitzvah and connection to Hashem while eating?

    Thank you

    #1260610

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The Happy Meals are meant for children, you cant expect little children to be learning torah instead of playing with toys

    #1260618

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    I would not expect them or adults to be learning Torah while eating.

    Adults may learn Torah, perhaps.

    I meant that the whole process of eating and being grateful for the food is powerful. To share the meal and connect with family, more so than toys.

    Though, this is my question. Obviously toys also ensure that the child is eating, rather than deciding that he/she is not hungry and running over to play in the playground.

    Wondering whether there are any halachic opinions here, or generally rabbis and people let children be children and accept that they will eat toys up, figuratively speaking, just as much as food.

    On a side note, I have heard that rabbonim sometimes give children candy when learning, so that they associate the sweetness of candy with the sweetness of Torah study. So that can be used as an example of how food can be paired with something else to enhance the experience all around. 🙂

    Thank you

    #1260634

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    I should just mention that despite my last post, I’m not sure how many people let their kids play with toys while they eat. It probably depends on the age of the kids and the particular setting (for example a Shabbos seudah with guests vs. a kid eating breakfast by himself).

    But that’s not about not letting kids be kids, but rather about normal standards of manners. Which again would probably depend on the ages and the setting (and maybe the particular kid’s needs).

    #1260631

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    LB – it seems to me that you are talking about very lofty spiritual levels that most of us aren’t on even as adults.

    Even regarding those rare individuals who are on such a level, it is probably only as an adult.

    I think that the Torah derech is to let children be children.

    There is something important that I think should be pointed out here. I don’t recall if I have ever mentioned this outright to you before although I am sure that I or others have alluded to it.

    There are many advantages to being a baal teshuva. A baal teshuva is on a much higher level than someone who grew up Frum – unless the FFB grows in his Avodas Hashem to the extent that the changes he makes are equivalent to the changes and growth experienced by the baal teshuva. But it is a rare FFB who makes those kinds of changes. And in any case, if an FFB and a BT are both doing the same things, the bt is on a higher level since he had to work harder to get there.

    Baalei teshuva are often more spiritual and more willing to make sacrifices and changes and not just stay the way they are.

    But at the same time, that is the potential pitfall of the bt. Whereas the instinct of the FFB is usually to stay where he is even when he should be making changes and leaving his comfort zone, the bt has to be careful that his desire for spirituality doesn’t cause him to take his feet off the ground and to be too extreme.

    This is something that can be a problem in particular when raising children. Sometimes, there are baalei teshuva who out of a sincere desire for spirituality end up inadvertently pushing their kids too far. And by the way, this can happen with ffb’s as well; it’s just that there is more of a danger of this with bt’s.

    This probably stems in part from not being aware of what is normal or not in the Frum community and what one’s expectations should be of one’s kids. That is why it’s good to ask questions and it’s good that you are doing so.

    This is not a halachic issue to my knowledge, but rather a general hashkafa of chinuch and the fact that one is supposed to be “normal” and “emotionally healthy” and let his kids be kids (at least if he wants them to grow up to be normal adults).

    This is a hashkafa that most Frum people have attained by way of our Gedolim and/or through Mesorah and the way they were brought up.

    Rav Sheinberg, zatsal (who is mentioned on another recent thread) was very into exhorting people to be normal. There is a book with sheilahs that people asked him on chinuch and other topics. The questions some people asked are actually quite scary. It might be a good book for you to read as it shows the attitudes that one should not have.

    I realize it’s difficult for you since the boundaries between normalcy and non-normalcy kind of get shaken when you become Frum. After all, what’s normal about half the things we do? To us, they seem normal because we are used to them, but to you, probably none of it is normal.

    When raising kids in particular (b’ezras Hashem), it is going to be very hard to understand what is normal for an ffb kid to do and what is not. There are many bt’s who make serious errors in this. That is why it is very important for you to have a Rav to get guidance from both now, and particularly later on, when you are raising kids, b’ezras Hashem. It will also be important for you to have a good support system of ffb friends with kids the same ages as your kids so you can get a feel for what’s “normal” and what’s not, what you should allow your kids to do and what you shouldn’t.

    Please keep your posts shorter. Thank you.

    #1260698

    yekke2
    Participant

    One of the two times The Steipler zt”l hit R’ Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a as a child was when there were no chairs available in shul, and he sat on the floor for Tachanun. He explained that the Halachah is that one must sit, and due to the lack of chairs, he had to sit on the floor. Supposedly, the Steipler hit him and told him to “be normal”.

    #1260788

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “Please keep your posts shorter. Thank you.”

    I’m so sorry! I am working on it. It had occurred to me that was a bit long, but I felt it was very important and couldn’t really be split up or shortened.

    But I will try to be more careful in the future.

    And I appreciate your letting me know in such a nice way.

    #1260817

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    My two favorite questions from the book with questions asked to Rav Sheinberg went something like this (I read it a while ago, so it’s not an exact quote):

    1. By the time my 6 year old gets home from Cheder, he has only half an hour of free time until he has to eat supper and get ready for bed. I think that he should be using the time to learn Mishnayos, but he wants to play instead. What should I do?

    And my all-time favorite:

    2. If my husband works instead of learning full-time, does he still have a right to boss me around?

    #1261851

    yehudayona
    Participant

    Dear Confused: If he’s learning full-time, he doesn’t have time to boss you around.

    #1261858

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    “2. If my husband works instead of learning full-time, does he still have a right to boss me around?”

    Lol LU!!! Please tell Rav Sheinberg’s teshuvah was that he oughtn’t be bossing her around either way.

    Btw I loved your long post. It made me think about stuff and realize that yea sometimes it helps to step back and see the forest for the trees or whatever that saying is. Thanks for saying that BTs are spiritual. I see how it helps to have a FFB reference point in these matters 💞

    #1261911

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “I assume the mashgichim are the same (or could be)”

    It is all in the standards. For example, many mashgichim in the mply of the OU, OK and other agencies that will certify non chalav yiroel products, personally only eat chalav yisroel and would not eat, for example a Hersheys bar, yet go to the plant on behalf of the OU and its certification.

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