Hakadosh Bar-b-que

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    Apparently there is a kosher joint by this name in New York, and the Star-K wants them to change their name.

    My gut reaction was: come on, it’s a cute joke, don’t make a big deal of nothing.

    But then I started wondering if I’ve been dulled against proper appropriate speech. Is it really ok to make a joke with Hashem’s name?

    Mmm. Barbeque. I want some barbeque. mmmmmm


    What if it was called Bar-b-q hakadosh, would they object to that also?

    How about the Israeli chain-restaurant “Holy Bagel”? Is that also a problem?



    Your latter thoughts mirror my own. I love a good joke/pun, but there are some things that should not be punned. HKBH’s name (and His common appellations) are among them.

    The Wolf


    I am a huge BBQ (not grilling, BBQ – there is a difference!) person, and was actually rather perturbed by the name of this place.

    That said, there food is not bad. Ribs are excellent, and their brisket is smoked really nicely and very consistent. Not a huge fan of their sauce – far too sweet and tomato-based for my taste (I prefer Carolina style tangy mustard and vinegar based sauces that use fruit for sweetness), and I prefer pecan wood smoke to the cherry and apple that I believe they usually use, but the meat itself is really great.


    I heard there’s a place in Manhatton (non Kosher-Kosher style) of same name that sells a “Rav Ahron Cutlet” and a “Brisket Rav”.

    I kid you not.

    Appropriate? NOOOOOOOOO


    I think Alan Dershowitz used to own a kosher place in Cambridge that had a “Warren Burger”.

    Oh Shreck!

    NO! It’s not AT ALL proper.

    Shouldn’t us Yidden stick up for SOMETHING?!? For the record, does anyone know what happened when someone mocked the avi avos of the moslems? How did they respond?


    I think its cute, but a name like that is kodesh, PBA this is not a joking matter. Go joke on some other thread


    That’s odd…if it’s only kosher-style, you wouldn’t expect the clientele to get the references, would you?


    i think it doesnt pahs to make a joke like that with HKB”H’s name.

    playtime- interesting you should mention that chain- the branch just off yechezkel that has a rubin or eida was required to put up the name as “H Bagel” instead of holy bagel.


    But holy isnt a holy word, sure it means holy, but when we say it it dosent SOUND like its holy, cuz holy just isnt holy, its only an adjective for somethings else that is holy, so thats why holy bagels is a permitted name

    Did u get that?


    PBA, I think it is sacriligeous.


    I moche in the strongest terms.

    Rav Tuv

    It indicates a tremendous lack of yiras Haborei.


    no, i dont think thats very appropriate. but i like playtime’s suggestion: bar-b-q hakadosh


    “BBQ Hakadosh” makes no sense at all. The joke (highly inappropriate IMO) is in the play on Hakadosh Boruch Hu, and should not be done. Hashem’s name is not supposed to be taken in vain when we are making a BRACHA; kal v’chomer when it is for a joke.

    The other names mentioned were slightly less offensive to me, but if they are offensive to others, they probably ought not be used. There is a fine line between making fun of someone and making a PUN out of someone’s name. In the case of Hashem, there is no question it should never be done.


    fleish al ha’aish.


    How about Basar Shenisalem Min Haayin? I wouldnt eat there…


    There is a fine line between making fun of someone and making a PUN out of someone’s name. In the case of Hashem, there is no question it should never be done.

    Hashem’s name is not supposed to be taken in vain

    I feel the need to point out that HKBH is NOT HKBH’s name. It is an term we use to describe Him (much like “Hashem”) but it is not His name and there is no problem with using the term in vain.

    That being said, as I stated above, I feel (IMHO) that it is not appropriate to use a play-on-words of such a term as the name of a business. Or, as someone wiser than me said above:

    It indicates a tremendous lack of yiras Haborei.

    The Wolf


    pba wrote:

    “But then I started wondering if I’ve been dulled against proper appropriate speech.

    I am sorry but I really think you have.

    I see some of your own comments or jokes as inappropriate.


    Apparently a restaurant opened in Gateshead selling only chicken and vegetables (al pi takanos of the town), and he called it “Off Your Rockers. {??? ?????}


    Their bbq is absolutely excellent. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them at many local events here in the city.


    Remember McFleishigs became BigFleishigs?

    Also, if corporations are so protective of their brands, Kal v’chomer we should be protective of His Name or variations thereof.


    Corporations are protective of their brand names out of fear that others will mistake copycats for the real thing.

    I don’t think anyone here is suggesting that restaurant patrons will get confused and start worshipping the wallpaper.


    For anyone interested in an explanation by the owner/pitboss… check out this letter of explanation: By the way, we are based in NY, not TX.

    A lot of hubbub has surrounded my recent decision to rename my prized 4700lb Texas made BBQ Smoker and I would like to set the story strait. Three of my four babies were named on Sukkot. Asher Elimelech had his bris followed by a huge Gemstone catered lunch at Orach Chaim nearly six years back. Three years later my second son Yoav Oz was named again during Sukkot at his bris (which I did myself=) followed by a Seussian inspired -Green Eggs & “Ham” bbq breakfast in the Sukkah at my HQ in Yonkers, the Lincoln Park Jewish Center. While my third son (Nadiv Israel) was still incubating within my wife who was on bedrest at Columbia Pres Hospital at the time, the name Hakadosh BBQ came to one of my guests in between zmirot during 1st night’s dinner, inspired in the sukkah surrounded by a feast of friends enjoying a phenomenal bottle of good ol’ southern bourbon. From the moment the name left Benji’s lips, I knew it was what I wanted to name my new smoker – an 18ft “Stalker” model bbq rig made in Houston Texas by the ever so talented guys at Gator Pits. Over the 10 months to follow, the very nature of my business would take wild expansionary turns resulting in the pitcrew we currently have servicing the NYC area with pop-ups and the weekly Sunday street fairs.

    H’kBBQ was never meant to be the name of any business as we operated then and still under the dual titles of “got cholent? Inc”, our Shabbat oriented wing as well as Gemstone Catering, our on and offsite boutique catering branch. I took on the name on facebook and twitter as part of our ever active online marketing and left it at that. Ten months of work in and around the metro area and we never heard so much as a peep. In fact the name, at least for those who got the pun, was generally received with great humor and praise. Our most recent pop-up in Philadelphia however, a fundraiser for the Kohelet Yehiva and their Yoetzet program, proved to be a game changer as it seems that angry mail began pouring into the STAR-K offices aghast in outrage and condemnation for what was viewed as the trivialization – chas v’chalila – of the The Name of The Holy One, Blessed Be He. This matter was brought to my attention just before our competing this past weekend, also under the team name Hakadosh BBQ in the Long Island Kosher BBQ Competition and quite honestly left me unsettled all Shabbas long. My epiphany came while meeting and speaking with one of the judges charged with scoring booth names and designs. He too found himself offended by what he deemed as irreverence of God’s name and scored us accordingly, which as an aside cost us 1st place and the Grand Champion trophy. This judge struck me as good man, mamish, and I had deeply offended him. I left the corporate world so that I could do something I love and literally bring greater joy to people. We cater weddings, bar/bat Mitzvahs, meals and kiddushes for Shabbat and work with dozens of charitable and worthy organizations facilitating many of their fundraising events. Every one of these gigs in some way works towards the goal of making this world of ours an ever so slightly better place. The answer, in my eyes, was crystal clear.

    I am in the business of making people be b’Simcha, not offending their deepest beliefs and personal paths towards praising daily The Almighty. I’d like to see my part in bringing the Southern traditions of my youth to NY streets as a Kiddush Hashem and not the very opposite. With that said, it is the mutual opinion of the Vaad HaRabonim of Baltimore, aka the STAR-K, and myself that we find a better suited name for my budding business now, rather then waiting to offend even more people in the weeks and B’sD years to come. This is by no means an OU/Jezebel sort of scandal. Nor has their been any sort of intimidation, ultimatums or threats of any kind by the STAR-K. I am happy with having the quality and authenticity of my food speak for itself and don’t need any gimmicks or shock marketing to get people to follow and frequent our pop-ups, street fairs and events. I am sorry to those whom I have offended and look forward to continuing to bring NYC and surrounding areas the best edited BBQ they’ve ever experienced.

    Our schedule of dates and locations can still be found at (our website “gotcholent”) Our smokin’ has just barely begun!

    b’Simcha Tamid

    ~Ari White

    Chef/Owner ~ Gemstone Catering

    Pitboss ~ Texas Roadside Smokehouse

    Under the Supervision of the STAR-K

    In house catering firm to the Lincoln Park Jewish Center

    311 Central Park Ave ~ Yonkers ~ NY ~ 10704

    t. 917.584.2310

    f. 914.965.7557


    Wow, that is pretty cool. Thanks for sharing; I appreciate your sincerity. And I would certainly like some bbq.


    Jewish feminist: that’s what the corporations claim in court, otherwise they have no case. However, when you look closely at most of these stories, you’ll realize that the names are too dissimilar to confuse even the average Joe. Look at King of The Sea vs. Chicken of the Sea. If someone can’t read this basic a label and differentiate between the two they’re probably buying tuna based on the photos on the can only… IMHO it’s simply an egomanical possessiveness of their name or part thereof by the larger company.

    What I’m saying is we need to respect G-d enough to take his name seriously and not allow “spoofs” even if there’s nothing technically wrong.


    Wolfishmusings, Boruch IS a Shem Hashem. H”BH also CLEARLY refers ONLY to Hashem. It should not be made into a pun.

    I did kinda like “fleish al ha-aish”


    Boruch IS a Shem Hashem

    I have never seen this. Do you have a source for this?

    And even if it so, it is still not one of the names which we are commanded to not use in vain (such as, for example the word “Shalom”).

    H”BH also CLEARLY refers ONLY to Hashem. It should not be made into a pun.

    If you re-read my post, you’ll see that I agreed with this point. However, even though it is used only to refer to HaShem (much as the term “HaShem” is), that still does not actually make it HaShem’s name, complete with the prohibition of using it in vain.

    The Wolf


    If corporations did not sustain an actual financial loss in some way as a result of brands being co-opted, they would not spend millions of dollars on lawyers to sue the copycat brands. Whether or not there is “egomanical possessiveness [sic]” happening here, there must be a primary financial motivation.


    JewishFeminist: Of course with corporations it all boils down to money. A lawsuit that will reach the media is good publicity for them, so from their standpoint it’s probably money well spent. And they may worry about “a slippery slope” so even when the “copycat” names are not confusing, they’re sending a message to everyone “don’t mess with our brand!”

    Which is precisely what I’m saying should apply to, Lehavdil, HKB”H. We as His people should be protective and say “Don’t mess with our G-d’s Name!” It doesn’t matter if it’s “legal” or not.


    “A lawsuit that will reach the media is good publicity for them…”

    Not really, if your reaction to it as a consumer is to label them as greedy and money-hungry.


    From a recent article in Tablet:


    I would like some hakadosh bbq


    It’s very good ‘cue. I sampled some on Sunday at a street fair on Lexington Avenue. His cholent is also delicious.


    You don’t need to be a chanifa girl to know that if the kadosh is supposed to be an adjective, it should be BBQ kadosh. So I’m still waiting for a genuine name change.

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