July 26, 2011 1:49 am at 1:49 am #598209
what should i do?!
I just got an email from the head of my lab that we’re having a “lab lunch” tomorrow- at a non-kosher restaurant (!)
Do i respond to the email telling him that I won’t be able to come for religious reasons?
Or do I go and enjoy myself ? (just kidding, c”v 😉July 26, 2011 2:06 am at 2:06 am #790833
Would it be possible for you to say that obviously for religious reasons you can’t have lunch at a non-kosher restaurant, and it is preferable that you are NOT seen in one. But obviously, if it is an important business meeting where you will gain information and exchange ideas, and if s/he feels it is necessary for you to be there you will bring along your own lunch and join them.
In that way, you can explain your religious obligation while still acknowledging your willingness to be part of the team.July 26, 2011 2:08 am at 2:08 am #790834
Call in sick.July 26, 2011 2:10 am at 2:10 am #790835popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Why not just go? People in the business world do it all the time.July 26, 2011 2:11 am at 2:11 am #790836mikehall12382Member
speak to a Rav on how you should proceedJuly 26, 2011 2:16 am at 2:16 am #790837ChanieEParticipant
When I’ve been in similar situations I’ve gone to the restaurant and just had Coke. Everyone in the group knows I’m not eating for religious reasons but I’m still being a team player.
I would not feel comfortable eating kosher food in a non-kosher restaurant because I would not want to be seen eating there.July 26, 2011 2:26 am at 2:26 am #790838
ChanieE, of course that is true, but some times these business lunches can go on for two hours or more. So sometimes that doesn’t work. Eating out of a paper bag certainly explains the situation and wearing a baseball cap helps as well. I doubt that a treif restaurant allows outside food in to reduce their bottom line either. But if he could eat before and just stick to fruit, yogurt or drinks, that would be helpful. By speaking up, it would clue the boss to make arrangements in a kosher restaurant if they want to do it again.July 26, 2011 2:27 am at 2:27 am #790839
Chanie- Isn’t entering a non-kosher restaurant maaras ayin?
chein- if only i could!
mikehall-I just emailed my Rov, but I doubt I’ll hear from him until tomorrow morning so…July 26, 2011 3:16 am at 3:16 am #790840Derech HaMelechMember
GEVALT!!!July 26, 2011 3:49 am at 3:49 am #790841ItcheSrulikMember
If you can’t move the location then go, eat beforehand and only order drinks. Do not try to play games like “well everything in the salad is kosher and they might not use the same knives…”July 26, 2011 4:11 am at 4:11 am #790842
“When I’ve been in similar situations I’ve gone to the restaurant and just had Coke.”
Same here. And I have a baseball cap rather than a yarmulke.
Recently, at a professional conference, there was a reception in a non-kosher restaurant. The non-kosher restaurant arranged for me to have a meal delivered from a kosher caterer; it arrived at my table triple-wrapped with the kashrut seal intact. I still wore my baseball cap.July 26, 2011 4:13 am at 4:13 am #790843
charliehall: Would it not be maris ayin to actually eat in a treif restaurant?July 26, 2011 4:19 am at 4:19 am #790844yossiefMember
I have had quite a few similar situations. In most cases my bosses ordered in Kosher food. In cases where they didn’t, I just had some drinks. In cases where the meeting wasn’t important, like in one case it was a Holiday party, I refused to go even for drinks.
If you live and work in New York, most bosses will have their working lunches in a Kosher restaurant, if you explain your situation to them.July 26, 2011 4:24 am at 4:24 am #790845
“Would it not be maris ayin to actually eat in a treif restaurant?”
Not according to my rabbis in this case. And a big deal was made of my special meal; everyone knew I wasn’t eating from the restaurant’s buffet.July 26, 2011 4:34 am at 4:34 am #790846
If a rum person is eating a meal in a foil pan wrapped with foil and plastic eating with plastic flatware, anyone who “sees him” can tell he is NOT eating the same food as others. If he is wearing a baseball cap covering his yarmulka, then you can’t know for sure so he is NOT causing a ma’aras ayen and one would have to get closer to check it out. At which point they would see he is NOT eating the treif food but separate food.July 26, 2011 4:41 am at 4:41 am #790847July 26, 2011 5:13 am at 5:13 am #790848ZachKessinMember
I don’t know where you are and if there is a kosher resturant available. Assuming there is I would quietly go to your boss and explain and ask if it could be held there. If you do it with grace there is a decent chance he will say “Sure no problem”.
Back when I was living in Boston I was helping to organize a Computer User group meetup. I was the only one who kept kosher out of the crowd but when I suggested a Kosher place no one had any problems holding it there. (I think one person asked if there was a vegetarian option which there was)July 26, 2011 9:25 am at 9:25 am #790849m in IsraelMember
This is a Halachic Sha’alah that should be asked to a Rav/ Posek — not the coffee room! If it’s applicable to tomorrow, get in touch with a Posek ASAP! When I worked it the secular workplace I had similar issues at times, and the Psak differed based on many factors (the importance of the meeting — work vs. social pleasure, the results if I wouldn’t go — both the obvious and the possible ill-will as a result, the location of the meeting — in the restaurant itself vs. catered in a more neutral location like a conference room, if other frum people were involved — sometimes we were able to arrange a Kosher table)
Maaris ayin may be more of an issue if you are just sitting with everyone sipping on a drink where it may seem like you are part of the meal then if you bring (or have ordered) special Kosher food with numerous wrappings. Sometimes a Posek may tell you to davka make sure that you have plastic utensils clearly displayed or the packaging on the table next to you so that even a casual observer can see you are not eating the restaurant food.July 26, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #790851
Thank you to everyone who responded. I was a little surprised by my Rov’s answer “… That you are sorry you cannot attend. If you feel you absolutely must show your face- then say that due to religious reasons you cannot eat there, but that you will stop by for a few moments. Then do not sit down and do not even drink a coke.” but this is how he p’askin’d for me in my situation, and I’m going to abide by it. Hopefully it won’t get too awkward…July 26, 2011 1:22 pm at 1:22 pm #790852
Wow, bortezomib. I got so much chizuk from your submitting to Daas Torah!July 26, 2011 1:34 pm at 1:34 pm #790853dunnoMember
My Rav paskened that I can go when such a situation arose and let me tell you…it was very awkward. I had kosher food in the double wrappings with everyone watching me opening it…I don’t know how businessmen do it all the time. I guess you get used to it…July 26, 2011 1:34 pm at 1:34 pm #790854oomisParticipant
You asked a shailah and have to abide by the p’sak. Tell them in advance what you plan to do, so there is no misunderstanding. In the business world people have to do this type of thing all the time. There will possibly come a time when missing attending that meeting and just “stopping by” may cost you a job for not being perceived as a team player. Perhaps you can suggest a nice KOSHER place for the next meeting. My husband did that for the school end-of-the-year staff party, and they liked the kosher place very much and did it again the following year.July 26, 2011 1:39 pm at 1:39 pm #790855
‘Assuming there is I would quietly go to your boss and explain and ask if it could be held there. If you do it with grace there is a decent chance he will say “Sure no problem”.’
At a recent out of town trip, the university that was hosting me wanted to treat me to lunch on campus. I directed them to the web site of the local Vaad and they ordered sandwiches from a local kosher caterer. They were so happy with the service and the low price that they plan to use the kosher caterer in the future even for events where nobody keeps kosher!July 26, 2011 4:27 pm at 4:27 pm #790856emanParticipant
When I am in the situation, I have either brought my own food from a Kosher restaurant or brought a La Briut meal. I’d call the resturant in advance and tell them I eat Kosher. I would ask if they provide kosher meals (none have responded in the affirmative). They welcomed me (since I was part of a profitable group).July 26, 2011 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #790857Feif UnParticipant
I had this recently. I got food, double-wrapped, from a nearby restaurant. The restaurant warmed it for us (there were a few other frum people there) and we ate it from the pans. We also put plastic plates (which the kosher restaurant had given us) under the pans to catch any spills.July 26, 2011 5:17 pm at 5:17 pm #790858MDGParticipant
My Rav said that going into a treif restaurant is a problem with maaras ayin. But if your parnassa is at risk, then the laws of maaras ayin include an exclusion.
So when my coworkers went out for drinks, I avoided it, but when the dept head had a b-day lunch I went and drank coke.July 26, 2011 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #790859anon1m0usParticipant
Well, my rav told me I can go to a trief restaurant as long as I do not eat anything and it is NOT maaras Ayin. He said people today assume that you are part of a business group and thus are there.July 26, 2011 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #790860
So.. the aftermath..
I told my PI that I would not be able to come because I eat kosher food only, and the restaurant is not kosher. First he asked if I could eat “non”-not-kosher foods (like salad..) and I said no. Then he checked up any kosher restaurants in the area, and there are none. Finally, he asked if I could bring my own food. By this time, all of his attempts to get me to come was making it exceedingly uncomfortable to refuse. I said I was not sure about that, and left the room to call my father. Who didn’t answer. When I got back to the lab, everyone had left. My P.I left the address of the restaurant on a post-it on my desk, but, as per the psak I got earlier this morning, and my own level of comfort, I did not go, even to drink a coke.
I just hope I did the right thing, because right now I feel awful!July 26, 2011 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm #790861
bortezomib: You definitely did the right thing. You are truly an inspiration for keeping and following your psak!July 26, 2011 6:42 pm at 6:42 pm #790862ZachKessinMember
Just a side note, if you do say go to a treif place and bring outside food, please leave a tip for the wait staff as if you had ordered! Those folks work hard to pay their bills and there is no reason to make them loose out o a tip due to you. (And of course be nice to them etc)July 26, 2011 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #790863apushatayidParticipant
I was there because I had a psak that it was OK. However, sitting in the greek restaurant with 5 coworkers and watching them suck on clam after clam has to go down as one of my worst experiences in the last 15 years. gross doesnt begin to describe it.July 26, 2011 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm #790864ItcheSrulikMember
apushatayid: That’s what cultural conditioning does to a person. They thought it was delicious because growing up oyster was a delicacy to them. To FFBs, who grew up with the pasuk “sheketz hu lachem” it in fact becomes sheketz (detestable).July 26, 2011 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #790865Another nameParticipant
You shouldn’t feel awful. In fact, you took the high road and should be quite proud of it! Thank you for putting up such a great important topic to ponder to the cr!July 26, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm #790867zahavasdadParticipant
I was once eating some sweet and sour tounge, When one of the Puerto Ricans saw me eat it, asked me what it was and I said Tounge. She said it was disgustingJuly 27, 2011 12:03 am at 12:03 am #790868popa_bar_abbaParticipant
You should feel proud. At this point, it doesn’t really matter whether it is ok or not to go with them. You were told not to, and you did what you thought was right, because it was right.July 27, 2011 12:32 am at 12:32 am #790869
bortezomib, you explained the situation and made a decision according to the p’sak you received. Don’t worry about it. You did everything you should do in such a situation and you have to respect yourself for that. Your boss will respect you as well. If you are that devoted to your beliefs then you will be that devoted to your job as well. You are obviously someone they can trust.July 27, 2011 2:25 am at 2:25 am #790870
anothername, popa_bar_abba, aries, – thanks for the chizuk, I really needed it 🙂July 28, 2011 4:08 am at 4:08 am #790871Another nameParticipant
bortezomib, glad to have helped. I meant it 🙂
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.