Hechsher – Just on the Food or on More?

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  • #589959

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    My husband went out to pick up dinner last night. When he came back, he commented how inappropriately dressed the staff workers were. It started me thinking on dress codes with hechsherim – should a restaurant having a hechsher mean that the staff is modestly dressed?

    Now, I’m not an expert on kashrut, so I don’t know the halchas of giving a hechser too well. Are you allowed to give a venue that isn’t kosher a hechsher for the food? [or a venue where the staff isn’t acting 100% appropriately]

    Assuming so…I would think requiring a dress code for the staff is inappropriate in relation to giving a hechsher. To me, it would sort of be the same thing R’ Avi Weiss is trying to do with Hechsher Tzedek (albeit on the opposite end). Dress codes for the staff are a seperate issue and shouldn’t be confused with “Is the food kosher?” Whether a store should require it is a different story to me.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Insights?

    #649293

    JayMatt19
    Participant

    SJS you are 100% correct.

    Here are a few instances which I remember:

    I do know of a restaurant in NY that was told that if he put a TV in, he would lose his hechsher. And that is just what happened, he put in the TV and lost the hechsher.

    I was also in a shiur once given by R’ Orlofsky who told of a story where he was in a restaurant, and a group of patrons wanted to bring in a “female entertainer”. Neither the owner or mashgiach wanted to get involved initially.

    I also remember a cruise called the “Glatt Yacht” which lost its hechsher due to mixed dancing.

    You are correct, the hechsher should be on the establishment not just the food. I’m not saying all waitresses need to be dressed like Beis Yaakov girls, but there should be some general protocol.

    #649294

    Jothar
    Member

    Depends on the kashrus. Badatz Eidah Chareidis will not give a hechsher on a store open past a certain time at night to prevent socializing. There are also table limits, if I recall correctly. Many town Vaadim will insist on certain standards of dress, and will not allow Internet cafes or sleazy dance halls. Other hechsheirim are just on the store or restaurant, some barely so. To give a hechsher on a makom pritzus is highly inappropriate. the whole point of a hechsher is to say, “You can come here and eat sin-free”. Clearly there are limits as to what a Vaad or kashrus can or will do. But a certain basic dress code for the staff can be required.

    National kashrus agencies tend more to be for the food than anything else. They have to serve a wider clientele, and are in no position to make such demands. They see their job as preventing treif, not enforcing other areas of halacha. They may also be hampered by policies set in place back when kashrus wasn’t as widely observed.

    #649295

    A600KiloBear
    Participant

    BS”D

    Rav Landa does not allow any restaurant under his hashgocho to stay open later than 7.30 and there are restrictions on the type of seating allowed as well.

    That is fine for Bnei Brak, but in other places where the point is to make kosher food available to as many people as want to eat kosher, it may be counterproductive.

    #649296

    cherrybim
    Participant

    At least twenty years ago, I was involved with a secular Jewish non-profit agency which had their big convention on the west coast that year. Since about 10% of the delegates were Orthodox (modern), this organization had begun serving Kosher meals; initially just to those who ordered them and subsequently the entire convention was kosher.

    So that year, for the first time due to a lay person macher, the Orthodox Union(OU) was hired to be in charge of kosher supervision at the hotel.

    It was Friday night and about 150 frum delegates had their seperate seuda in one room and in a much larger room were several hundred other delegates with their program and meal.

    Anyway, at the start of the seuda, an agency official who was with the larger group comes running in to see me and is all excited. This fellow is ranting that the OU is not allowing the food to be served and that I should take care of the situation.

    I spoke to the Rav Hamachshir and he indicated that the group insisted on having the microphone on and he refused to serve the food under these conditions. I asked whether this made a difference to the kashrus of the food and if this was OU policy.

    The Rav Hamachshir (who later was responsible for the entire OU west coast kashrus) explained that the Chillul Shabbos put a P’gum in the food and OU policy for this situation was created that night.

    Anyway, the program (with mike) waited until after the food was served.

    #649297

    A600KiloBear
    Participant

    BS”D

    Kind of OT, but sometimes Hashem takes care of that which kashrus agencies miss.

    There was a pizzeria near where I used to live in Manhattan years ago, one of 2 kosher ones in the area. Once I went there, and noticed there was no pushka, so I offered to bring one. The Israeli owner showed me that he did have one – for a non-Jewish AIDS fund of all things. Never mind that his clientele had no interest in putting money in it, to him it was all the same. I told him that the one he had was fine, but he needed a Jewish one – he did not agree to my getting him a proper pushka for a Jewish tzedaka even though I made it clear that a collector would come to empty it for him (as he did for other Jewish businesses in the area) and he would have had to do nothing. By then I had a foot out of the US anyway and I did not remember to go back and try again.

    A month or so later, the AIDS pushka tzaddik went out of business.

    #649298

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Rav Landa does not allow any restaurant under his hashgocho to stay open later than 7.30 and there are restrictions on the type of seating allowed as well.

    What types of seating restrictions?

    The Wolf

    #649299

    A600KiloBear
    Participant

    BS”D

    I do not recall, maybe it was no benches. The whole aim was to prevent restaurants from turning into hangouts.

    #649300

    azi
    Participant

    A rabbi in my community was forced to resign because he wanted to require dress codes for store workers to get a hechsher from the vaad.

    Stay out of people personal lives. Its bad enough that a lot of these hechsharim are run like mafias, now you want them to get involved in issues that are not relevet to food! Chill out.

    #649301

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Interesting. Although, short of not having any seating at all (which, obviously, would not work for a restaurant), I don’t see how benches vs. chairs vs. any other sort of seating prevents a place from becoming a “hang out.”

    The Wolf

    #649302

    proud tatty
    Member

    azi you are a sick individual. Plenty of places have their staff wear uniforms why is it only a problem if a hashgacha does it?

    There are other potential issurim other than eating treif when it comes to a restaurant, they should try to cover as many issues as they can.

    How would the Olam feel if a Kosher restaurant was blasting a foul mouthed comedian over their speakers?

    Does anyone think that a major American restaurant chain known for the inappropriate attire of its wait staff would be worthy of a hechsher?

    #649303

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    azi:

    To each their own. It is a sign of the level that Kashrus your community wants that the Rav who wanted the dress code was tossed. That is the level they want (which is perfectly acceptable) while Rav Landau & the Eidah want a “higher standard” (which is also good). The Rav who got tossed felt the standards were too low and was willing to lose prestige (as he is no longer part of the “board” or on salary of the Hechsher) to stand for what he feels is correct? Good for him.

    A similar situation would be with something like Bishul Yisroel Tuna. If the Hechser decides to allow starkist, and one Rav says no, and is willing to resign for it, good for him. He can always put out a list of those stores that do not use Starkist (if he wants). If the Hechsher does not allow it, and one rav wants to start a lower quality Hechsher, also good for him. Compitition and multiple options is only a good thing.

    What is unacceptable is to not eat the food of the place that you give a Hechsher on. Either you hold of it or not.

    #649304

    Jothar
    Member

    With the Badatz, I think any places with tables must close by a certain time. Places that want to stay open longer must chuck the tables.

    #649305

    azi
    Participant

    proud tatty

    Wow! That’s a first. I am a sick individual. Maybe if you heard all the stories about how some hechsherim are the modern day Italian mafia minus the murder you too would want to limit their power.

    gavra_at_work

    The qaulity of the hechsher were i live is very high. There is an entire comminty of thousands of frum Jews who rely on it as well as many people who come from neighboring places.

    I believe that as more and more hechsherim start charging more and demanding more from stores, there will be more and more stores without hechsherim. Or they will hire single rabbis who may or may not be familiar to people. I would rather my store be highjacked by the mob then by a rabbi. Because at least with the mob i would get protection.

    #649306

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    azi:

    That wasn’t my point, & I mean no disrespect to your community. I have a problem with those who say they need to “dumb down” the Hechshser so that it should be “kosher”, claiming people will eat by areas that are not Kosher if it is not “dumbed down”. So what if fewer places have Hechsharim? Some people won’t be able to eat at (“name your place here”)? Perhaps some money will be saved?

    The OU can always give its hechsher if it feels its needed (and you hold of the OU’s hechsher on resturaunts).

    You can eat where you want (and will), but that Rav will know he does not support something that he hold is incorrect; that is a Maillah in of itself.

    Besides, if the store does not do as the Hechsher demands, it can always go non-kosher.

    #649307

    Feif Un
    Participant

    I was told by a Rav who runs a major kashrus organization in Brooklyn that 85% of kashrus nowadays in politics. So yes, it is like its own mafia.

    #649308

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    To give a hechsher on a makom pritzus is highly inappropriate. the whole point of a hechsher is to say, “You can come here and eat sin-free”.

    Jothar, is that really the purpose of a hechsher? Or is it to certify the food? To me, its about the food. Now granted, there are places that NO JEW should enter, but there are places that can be neutral (such as internet cafes – they aren’t inherently treif unless you hold that the entire internet is treif). Should they really not get a hechsher because someone could misuse it? Otherwise, no pizza store would get a hechsher.

    See, I have a problem with confusing “Is the food kosher?” with other things. I think that makes hechsherim too political.

    If I work late, why shouldn’t I be able to grab a bite? Just because some teenagers may hang out? That isn’t a food KASHRUT issue.

    I wasn’t against the concept of R’ Weiss’s hechsher tzedek (I have no problem with a certification process that checks on who is employed and how they are treated), except that he was tying it to a food KASHRUT issue. That disturbs me.

    GAW, the example with the tuna fish is a direct kashrut issue, so to me thats a whole seperate ball game.

    When you get into enforcing other halachas for a hechsher, it becomes sticky. Have you ever walked into a food place where the staff was dress 100% tzanua? I personally have not (Brooklyn, Lakewood, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Monsey, Teaneck, Elizabeth, Passaic). So what laws do we set? Do we choose the absolute minimum according to ANY shita to have a dress code? Or, do we use a general “just not really revealing”? What about waitresses wearing pants? Or even serving men?

    To me, it opens a plethora of questions and should be avoided.

    #649309

    azi
    Participant

    Feif Un

    Just look at what happened with Streits Matzah in the 5 towns this pesach. Its a perfect recent example of what you referred to.

    #649310

    A600KiloBear
    Participant

    BS”D

    Wolfish, all I remember of actually seeing this policy is that a sandwich shop in BB just had a huge open area, a few high bar stool type chairs alongside a shelf type table, and was clearly meant to discourage hanging out. It was mainly take out and I guess delivery.

    #649312

    oomis
    Participant

    I want to know that the FOOD I am eating is 100% kosher. That is the purpose of a hechsher organization. If they want to be involved with the issues of how the people who sell the food are dressed, or if they or their customers watch TV in their place of business, or if they are open late enough to accommodate people who maybe do not get home from work until after 7:30 PM, but still might want to go out to dinner, then they should call it exactly what it is – setting the standards for their community restaurants, and they have the right to do so. But I cannot for the life of me see what that has to do with the kashrus of the food. They are two distinct issues that circumstantially end up overlapping, but it is unfair to remove a hechsher from a food establishment solely because the owner does not subscribe to the hashkafa of the LOR. The Rov can (and should)strongly recommend that his kehillah not patronize that establishment (that worked very well in my community and the restaurant in question altered its waiting staff dress code, to reflect a more tzniusdig demographic), but in my humble opinion, kashrus is kashrus, tznius is tznius, and both issues should be dealt with on their own merits.

    #649313

    areivimzehlazeh
    Participant

    However, this doesn’t usually affect the average consumer- what’s the hitz all about?

    (In some circles all you need to do is mention the word “hechsherim” and a full blown WW III breaks out.)

    gavra is 100% correct in that a Rav should not keep his hechsher on an establishment he does not hold of completely- what is a Rav hamachshir if not to make sure that EVERYTHING stands up to his standards? If you frequented a restaurant/take-out and were suddenly made aware that it has this kind of “semi-hechsher”- would you continue to eat (from) there?

    #649315

    bein_hasdorim
    Participant

    In my humble opinion, I think it’s two seperate things.

    It’s definitely up the the rav hamachshir if he doesn’t want to

    give his Hechsher to a place that has waitresses dressed inappropriately.

    Especially a more respected hechsher.

    However, I think that it has nothing to do with the kashrus of the food.

    (rather the place)

    The hechsher should let it be known publicly that

    it is only on the food & not the atmosphere.

    Just like the caterers write that the booze & alcohol

    at certain simchas is not included in their hechsher.

    I think there should be two seperate ratings systems.

    1)kashrus of the food.

    2)Kashrus of the atmosphere.

    Like this Ehrliche people would be forewarned

    not to go eat out (alone or with family)

    where they dont feel comfortable.

    The young wild ones of our generation who are still eating

    kosher, but not on the level, should not be deprived of a hechsher.

    #649316

    Jothar
    Member

    High standards and enforcing dress codes make sense when there is more than 1 alternative, and restaurants which refuse can switch to another standard. Many sleazy restaurants in Queens switched to the BRC when the Vaad refuse to give a hechsher (like when the owner of one said establishment was indicted for Mafia charges, or a few places which wanted to hold mixed dances). On the other hand, if a conservative shul wants a kosher kitchen, good luck enforcing Orthodox standards.

    #649317

    proud tatty
    Member

    This is a question for oomis:

    There is a comedy club known for its adult humor and foul language. One day the owner decides he wants to start selling more than just drinks. He wants to sell things like chicken wings and burgers as well. He figures he might as well make it kosher to attract as many patrons as he can.

    He has zero intention in changing the type of show he offers his patrons.

    Do you think he should receive a hashgacha?

    #649318

    oomis
    Participant

    I think there should be two seperate ratings systems.

    1)kashrus of the food.

    2)Kashrus of the atmosphere.

    I agree with you, and with your last statement that the “wild ones” should not be deprived of a hechsher, because at least they will be eating kosher food. If they have nowhere to go, they could chalilah go to treife establishments, and I think that people sometimes lose sight of this.

    #649319

    proud tatty
    Member

    oomis, we could say the same thing about a place open on shabbos

    (and we could make an example with no chillul shabbos e.g. goy owner, workers, food cooked before shabbos etc.)

    #649320

    dd
    Member

    I think that there is a good argument that there is a fundamental difference between kashrus and everything else. The reason hechsherim exist is that it would otherwise be impossible to tell what is kosher and what isn’t. If I had the expertise, and I stood in the restaurant’s kitchen all day, I would be able to tell if it’s kosher. But since I can’t do that, the restaurant hires a kashrus organization to certify it, and that’s how I know what’s in the food.

    On the other hand, I can evaluate all other issues myself. If there is a television in the room, or immodestly dressed waitresses, then I can easily observe it and decide whether or not I wish to patronize such a restaurant.

    #649321

    oomis
    Participant

    “This is a question for oomis:

    There is a comedy club known for its adult humor and foul language. One day the owner decides he wants to start selling more than just drinks. He wants to sell things like chicken wings and burgers as well. He figures he might as well make it kosher to attract as many patrons as he can.

    He has zero intention in changing the type of show he offers his patrons.

    Do you think he should receive a hashgacha? “

    If his food is kosher without question, his FOOD should have a hashgocha. If I were the rov in that neighborhood, I would lobby to discourage my baalabatim from going inside. Believe me, I understand where you are coming from on this. I find it reprehensible that such establishments exist. BUT, that has nothing to do with whether or not the food is kosher. It has to do with whether or not the seviva is appropriate. Would you argue that (chalilah) frum inmates should not be allowed access to kosher food because of where THEY are???? Should their food not have a hashgocha because of the unsavory nature of their seviva? Think about it.

    #649322

    oomis
    Participant

    “oomis, we could say the same thing about a place open on shabbos

    (and we could make an example with no chillul shabbos e.g. goy owner, workers, food cooked before shabbos etc.) “

    And we have a Dunkin’ Donuts in my neighborhood that precisely fits that description AND is under the hashgocha of the Vaad of my neighborhood. Everyone agrees that the food there is 100% kosher.

    #649323

    At the end of the day, the Rav Hamachshir isn’t giving his Hashgocha on the ambiance, only the food. If a person doesn’t like what he sees in an eatery, he can leave! Noone asked him to eat there, it’s a free country. Everyone can patronize places where they are comfortable.

    Bottom line – it’s not the Rav Hamachshir’s problem….

    #649324

    bein_hasdorim
    Participant

    proud tatty: Sorry No comparison, Chillul Shabbos is Chillul Shabbos.

    End of discussion!

    However a comfortable atmosphere etc.. is up to the type

    of background one comes from. Perhaps you dont mind eat in a pizza shop

    with women sitting at the next table, there may be someone who is only

    comfortable with a mechitza! or maybe your ok dining in a restaurant while

    only CNN is played on large tv screens above, while someone is not.

    therefore “dd” makes a good point!

    If there is questionable attire/behavior, let the Hechsher make it known

    so those Yirei Shomayim, know to stay away!

    #649325

    onlyemes
    Member

    A Rav hamachshir has the authority to set any conditions he wants. If the business owner doesn’t like it, he won’t use that Rav.

    However, those who feel the hechsher is on the establishment in total now must require any business or establishment (linen store, doctor’s office, baseball stadium) to acquire a hashgacha. After all, if the hechsher is on the “atmosphere”, then any place with an atmosphere needs one . For anyone who thinks this is outrageous, it is being done in Bnei Brak,with more to come.

    #649326

    cherrybim
    Participant

    It was also done to a Midwood pizza shop on Avenue J a few years ago.

    #649327

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    For anyone who thinks this is outrageous, it is being done in Bnei Brak,with more to come.

    This isn’t outrageous to me. If its what people want, kol hakavod. As long as it doesnt creep into my nieghborhood, they are welcome to do whatever they want.

    #649328

    Jothar
    Member

    When someone sees a hechsher, it means it’s a place for Orthodox Jews. If it’s not a place for Orthodox Jews, it shouldn’t get a hechsher.

    #649329

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    When someone sees a hechsher, it means it’s a place for Orthodox Jews. If it’s not a place for Orthodox Jews, it shouldn’t get a hechsher.

    But Jothar, thats a very subjective term. Kashrut is not subjective (meaning, there are laws to kashrut based on what you hold halachically). Whether or not a place could become a hangout is not a halachic issue really…it may turn into one, but its not halachic to leave tables out. I think thats the major distinction.

    #649330

    Conservative Jews have other halachic issues, but some of them do fully keep kosher. Probably not the majority, though- I would say that the majority keep kosher “to some degree”. (I know, that’s a weird term, but I’ve seen it used on dating websites, of all places. Basically, I think it refers to people who keep kosher homes but eat treif out, or just dairy out.) Still, I personally know a few Conservative Jews whose homes are completely kosher AND who only eat at restaurants with hechsherim.

    I’m not trying to legitimize Conservative Judaism, just saying that Jothar’s statement was based on an incorrect assumption.

    #649331

    proud tatty
    Member

    Oomis:

    1. “If his food is kosher without question, his FOOD should have a hashgocha. If I were the rov in that neighborhood, I would lobby to discourage my baalabatim from going inside”

    If you would prefer people not go in there, then why would you make the mashgiach go in? Looks like the hashgacha is selling out to make a few bucks.

    2. Prison. just to clarify, do prison’s have kosher kitchens or do they provide kosher food (no differently than United Airlines)

    Additionally, jail is not really a choice (please don’t argue that they chose to do things which would land them in jail) whereas whether or not to enter a club is a choice.

    #649332

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    PT, forget about venues that are totally treif. What about venues that are kosher, but the way people use them may not be? I think a pizza shop is the best example. There is nothing wrong with one. But, because pizza is fairly cheap, its easy enough to be a hangout. So should* a hashgacha add non-halachic rules when the food and forum is inherently kosher?

    *I say should. Obviously they CAN. But, this is an opinion based thread.

    #649333

    “Please don’t argue that they chose to do things which would land them in jail.”

    Why not? That’s a perfectly valid argument.

    #649335

    Jothar
    Member

    Pizza shops are a grey area. they can be used for both, and the Vaad isn’t encouraging inappropriate behavior. Conservative shuls- if they want to keep kosher, having a kosher kitchen would be in their best interests. The real question is restaurants and clubs in which immorality is part of the atmosphere (mixed dancing etc). Those places are not the type of place that deserve a respectable hashgacha.

    #649336

    areivimzehlazeh
    Participant

    If a Rav Hamachshir, that I hold of, has his hechsher on an establishment he does not feel comfortable with, I would not feel comfortable eating from such a place.

    With regard to having the options available for those that would otherwise eat treif- maybe these places should only carry a “lower level” hechsher so that those that wish to keep a high standard don’t get mixed in to inappropriate places.

    #649337

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    cholentkugelkishke:

    A rav is responsible for the spiritual well being of his Kehillah (Congregation). If he does not want people attending a certain venue, it should be within his perogative to withhold his hechsher. Another Rav who does not mind can step in and offer his Hechsher. That includes (SJS) if the Rav does not want his Kehillah by a specific Pizza shop, he should say so & withhold his Hechsher if he feels that’s the correct approach.

    In short, the store does not have the inherent “right” to a Hechsher just because the food is kosher. It should be up to the Rav (or agency) to place their stamp of approval, dependent on their own criteria. The fact that a store has no hechsher (or is rejected for a particular Hechsher) does not mean the food is not kosher, but may be for external reasons (politics, other halachic issues, trustworthyness of the owner, etc.). We, as the consumer, have the right to either follow or trust our judgement regarding the “Kosherness” of the store in question; We also have no right to force a Rav to give a “Hechsher” to a venue that he feels should not be attended.

    #649338

    Anonymous

    When a community vaad, a “vaad harabonim”, gives a hechsher on an establishment, they are not just certifying that the food is kosher, they are saying that this establishment is a kosher establishment regarding the food and atmosphere. All in all, a “kosher” environment. So if there is an internet cafe and the vaad gives them a hechsher, then teens will go there and use the internet because the store is “kosher”. The vaad can not promote such places.

    #649339

    proud tatty
    Member

    SJS, I agree with you on the matter of the pizza store.

    Would you have a problem (hashgacha wise) if it were found that people were using the 2nd floor of a pizza store to deal drugs? (I would not) What if the owner was involved (then I would).

    There is a fundamental difference between the type of venue the owners set up, and how the patrons shape the place.

    #649340

    So what differentiates a pizza shop from an Internet cafe? Both are inherently neutral and can be used for appropriate as well as inappropriate behaviors.

    Does this mean that a vaad should withhold giving a hechsher to the food in those places just because someone *could* make a bad decision?

    #649341

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    YW Moderator-55:

    Unless the “Vaad” holds the Internet in a Cafe is not Assur (which is not unheard of, as it’s public)!

    A Hangout is a better example. And its possible that the Vaad will give a Hechsher, as there may be members that say a hangout will only create Shidduchim 🙂

    #649342

    cherrybim
    Participant

    I’ll take this one step further: There are a number of catering halls where mixed seating at the seuda is not a permitted option; including members of the same family and even on Shabbos. Many of these halls also require a mechitza in addition to the separate seating.

    #649343

    Jothar
    Member

    The Queens Vaad refused to give a hechsher to an internet cafe, after the administrators of the local yeshivas complained. However, a standard cafe offering wi-fi was allowed to get the Vaad. Nuanced difference, but it made a difference for the Vaad.

    #649346

    oomis
    Participant

    There are lots of places i.e. airport restuarants, places in Manhattan, hotel lounges, that attract ALL types of people, frum not frum, tzniusdig, NOT tsniusdig, etc. etc. and the FOOD in many of these places is under hashgocha. Should the FOOD lose its hashgocha because someone walks in in short sleeves and skirt lengths, or a young couple is holding hands or the like? I totally agree that every rov has the right and responsibility to instruct his oilem as he sees fit and proper, but when a Vaad is taking the power and authority to imply that food is unkosher when it clearly is perfectly kosher, the potential for abuse becomes greater and greater. And if for some reason you feel differently, just remember what happened to Streits this past Pesach. That debacle was an incredible short-sighted abuse of power, and caused a tremendous chillul Hashem and loshon hara, not to mention diminished the respective Vaad groups in the eyes of many frum people in those communities.

    IMO, any Vaad should pick and choose its battles carefully when it comes to non-food issues. If there is any question of halachic kashrus, there is no question that they must take decisive action. And I would even agree strongly that if it became known that a certain place was a hangout for drug transactions, that because of the illegal activities taking place, the Vaad has an achrayus to step in and withdraw their hashgocha, because an owner that allows illegalities to knowingly happen in his establishment, cannot be relied upon for his kashrus.

    Selling drugs on the second floor, however, is NOT the same thing as teenagers having a slice of pizza, hanging out and talking for a couple of hours. If there are those who really do not see the difference between these two activities, then perhaps they should think about it some more and see if there is really a moral equivalency between the two. I guarantee you, there is not. Putting people out of business by refusing to allow them a local and necessary kashrus hashgocha for any reason other than the food’s kashrus, is blackmail. What happens when someone on the Vaad decides that NO females should be allowed to work in an establishment, whether dressed properly or not, or that only pre-approved shidduch dates may be seated there. Personally, I would love to see the restaurants that allow large families with noisy and ill-behaved kids in their establishment later on in the evening, to be censured for that. When I go to a relatively late dinner (something I cannot afford to do except for special birthdays, anniversaries, etc. ), I want to be able to enjoy the ambience, not listen to a screaming infant whose parents did not want to arrange for a sitter. But I digress…

    I think it is often a case of whose ox is being gored, that determines what policies will be enforced,and what will slide by, and that bothers me. There must be a solution to this, and compromise and understanding need to come from all sides, imo.

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