November 5, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm #588544Devora KMember
I am composing this letter in a Rockland County Starbucks which I use as sort of a mobile office.
Let me preface by saying that this is not a referendum on cholov yisroel or the validity of various hashgachos. I have asked my rav if I may drink the coffee and he told me that the coffee is fine however the various drink concoctions they serve may be problematic depending on the ingredients.
The cost of a daily cup of coffee buys me a place to sit with an internet connection I do not have to pay for which in these tough economic times allows me to save a couple of dollars as well as keep the internet out of my home.
Sitting here on and off for the past few months has been an enlightening experience.
Starbucks it seems is the place where ostensibly frum young women congregate with friends and update their social lives. Their shaitlach are well maintained but that is where any relationship to the frum world ends. Their clothing is designed to make an impression and they sit in the most provocative of ways. Their conversations range from the mundane to the profane.
While this is a problem that plagues many communities there is one that I hope is specific to this particular location and has not spread beyond this area.
These women will eat anything served by Starbucks as long as it does not contain meat. Cake, rolls with cream cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches etc are all on their menu.
While I am older then most of these women I do know that many of them have attended good schools and come from excellent families.
While I am by no means a perfect person and can do with improvement in many areas the awareness of what I may or may not eat is something that is ingrained in my being.
This is not a one time occurrence nor is limited to a small group of people.
I would respectfully submit that I am not the person to approach these people and comment on this behavior.
I welcome the advice of your readers
DevoraNovember 5, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm #672288Give Me a BreakMember
Correct them. While cholov stam is kosher, gevinas (cheese of an) akum is assur.November 5, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm #672289
Say Tehilim.November 5, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm #672290
It’s between them and G-d and no one else.November 5, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm #672291
how sad! Give them a gift certificate to Purple Pear! Devorah, seriously, why don’t you use the computer at the library or something so you don’t have to watch the “excitement” at Starbucks.November 6, 2008 2:07 am at 2:07 am #672292
On the other hand, maybe they brought food from home and just bought some coffee there?November 6, 2008 3:03 am at 3:03 am #672294JewessMember
Devora K: Don’t waste your Starbucks time watching what other people are doing. I go to Starubcks too (though I rarely ever have time to sit there) and I know for sure that certain products there have a Kosher sign on them. The packaged products, maybe not served at every Starbucks but they definitely are OUD or OKD. Also, I just don’t get it, why does it bother you what they wear and how do you know what topics they converse about?
This place is insane. Really.November 6, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm #672295RBS_gimmelParticipant
cantoresq, there’s certainly the mitzva of tochacha (rebuke) when you see someone doing something wrongNovember 6, 2008 1:40 pm at 1:40 pm #672297yoshiMember
“Their shaitlach are well maintained but that is where any relationship to the frum world ends.”
Some may argue the same thing about you, for browsing the internet.
I don’t think you would like to be that person being judged negatively on the other end, so why go ahead and do it yourself?November 6, 2008 1:47 pm at 1:47 pm #672298
jitzur, there are very technical requirements in giving tochacha, which I doubt can be complied with in such a situation.November 6, 2008 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm #672300
cantoresq, your initial response precluded tochacha, and was worded as if tochocha doesn’t exist. Tochacha demonstrates that it is NOT only between them and G-d. Every Jew is responsible for the spiritual well-being of every other Jew.
Why do you assume if another woman gave her tochacha, they would be non-responsive? The “very technical requirements in giving tochacha” require that it be given unless one is CERTAIN it will be disregarded. See Sefer HaChinuch perek 239.November 6, 2008 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #672301
Jospeh, and the Chazon Ish, in the Iggrot has a very different standard. He says tochacha should not be given unless is virtually certain it will be accepted.November 6, 2008 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #672302
cantoresq, whats the mekor for that? I’d like to see that to believe it.
And you haven’t addressed why you assume if another woman gave her tochacha, she would be non-responsive. Especially on the eating non-kosher, let alone the lack of tznius.November 6, 2008 4:13 pm at 4:13 pm #672303
Jospeh, all I remember is seeing in the Igrros Chazon Ish. I make no assumption. Baed on my recollection of the Chazon Ish, I decline to rely on the Chinuch.November 6, 2008 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #672304QueenserMember
cantoresq I support you here. And to Devora K, please worry about yourself and do not judge others. This is between the women and Hashem. Not with you or the coffee room.November 6, 2008 5:49 pm at 5:49 pm #672305
Why do you assume they’re eating not kosher? A goy spreading philadelphia cream cheese doesnt make it gvinas akum.
Some random women giving mussar about buying food from starbucks while eating at starbucks wont do anything. Nor will mussaring re tznius they know the halachah they dont care.November 6, 2008 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #672306
cantoresq, the assumption you are making is that the sinner would not heed the tochacha. Why assume that?November 6, 2008 6:03 pm at 6:03 pm #672307
Joseph according to the Chazaon Ish I have to know that will heed it before giving the tochacha.November 6, 2008 6:45 pm at 6:45 pm #672308
…according to what you think you recall.
According to that tochacha would practically never be done, as how would you ever KNOW with certainty (except possibly in the most rare circumstance), and it would become merely an academic point.November 6, 2008 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #672309Devora KMember
I went into my local starbucks to verify a few things
1. the items in the showcase are unpackaged and come from local bakeries
2. The Cream Cheese and ameican cheese which is standard in all stores has no hasgacha
3. They handle and warm up sausages and Ham in the same utensils as the grilled cheese.
The person I spoke to was a non obervant Jew who assured me that I as an orthodox Jew should not be eating there.
With reference to Queenser
If someone is bothered by what they see as a “public” display of disregard for basic Jewish principals and this prompts them to write about it then more power to them.November 6, 2008 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #672310
Which bakeries many of our local bakeries are kosher? What brand cheese? no defending the grilled cheese.
Nothing like wishing power uponn yourself;).
What you see as public disregard is on your level,- many people think a frum woman spending an hour on a laptop at starbucks isnt tzniuz, or proper behavior-. you have no interest in being mussared as evidenced by your rambling rationalization in your initial post so dont mussar others.November 6, 2008 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #672311QueenserMember
And if someone observes someone else acting as the self-imposed Kosher & Tznius Police and this prompts them to write more power to them.November 6, 2008 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #672312
Joseph that was precisely the Chazon Ish’s point.November 6, 2008 8:03 pm at 8:03 pm #672313
Tochchacha REQUIRES that you tell the person she is doing wrong. Sefer HaChinuch perek 239 says that if after giving tochacha in a nice and private way they continue their action, you are required to publicly embarrass them for sinning.November 6, 2008 8:20 pm at 8:20 pm #672314
cantoresq, we are still going on what you think you remember. Your having a recollection of remembering seeing it does it inspire much confidence without a mekor, when in all likelihood you may have misinterpreted it and/or misremember.
(My last comment was directed at the other posters.)November 6, 2008 8:39 pm at 8:39 pm #672315
Devorah…can you please tell us which starbucks you are referring to, as there are several in Rockland County. Maybe they have one with some kosher food?November 6, 2008 8:43 pm at 8:43 pm #672316
Joseph, Thats only in certain specific cases not in all. Tochacha that publicly embarasses people can only be done by someone worthy. Not by someone who thinks anything different than I do is no good.November 6, 2008 9:02 pm at 9:02 pm #672317
Shindy there is 1 in monsey the rest are around it.November 6, 2008 9:09 pm at 9:09 pm #672318lgbgMember
Is it just me but I’m not really catching what advice is wanted here.November 6, 2008 9:16 pm at 9:16 pm #672319
arc, Per Sefer HaChinuch perek 239 EVERY Jew is required to give tochacha. And per Sefer HaChinuch perek 239 if the person continues to sin after nice and private tochacha, the person giving the tochacha is required to publicly embarrass the sinner.November 6, 2008 9:38 pm at 9:38 pm #672320
The requirements to give Tochachah are:
1) You have to first assess that there is at least a reasonable possibility of the person listening to you. (Sometimes there are Halachic ways of assessing this.)
2) You have to give the Tochachah in a non-aggressive manner, and never in front of people.
3)You have to make the person understand that the only reason you are giving him the Tochachah is because you care about him, and it is for his good, so that he can get Olam Habah.
It also says in Sefer HaChinuch perek 239 that you should give someone tochacha privately and in a nice way; but if they don’t listen to you, then you should embarrass them in public so that they will do teshuvah.November 7, 2008 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm #672321yoshiMember
Joseph – I’m not trying to challenge you in any way, but confused, and wondering if you have an explanation.
The Talmud states, that embarrassing an individual in public is equivalent to murdering them (I’m unsure what the exact hebrew text is).
How are you allowed to embarrass this person even when they disregard your attempts of giving Tochanah?
If a person believes that another individual deserves death for their wrong doings, and decides to embarrass them in the replacement of death, doesn’t a B’D have to decide such a decree?
Please clarify this for me, thanks!November 7, 2008 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #672322
yoshi, Icouldn’t take that as a challange! 🙂 All I did was quote Sefer HaChinuch, not offer any chiddushim of my own.
You are correct, about not embarrassing someone. But (as a point of comparison) the Torah also says you shouldn’t kill someone (one of the 10 commandments.) Yet, under certain circumstances (i.e. someone who violates Shabbos), the Torah demands that we kill such a person.
Here too. The Sefer HaChinuch says that you should give tochacha privately and with love. If after exhausting all such attempts the sinner remains obstinate and refuses to mend their ways, the Sefer HaChinuch says you must publicly embarrass the sinner in the hopes that will prompt them to repent.
(Again, this is not my own sevora.)November 7, 2008 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #672323
I have to jump in here! Devorah, if it bothers you so much, next time you see someone who looks like they care about kashrut, go up to the and say “I don’t know if you realize this, but the grilled cheese and baked goods here arent kosher.”
Leave it at that. You’ve “done your job” and you dont have to embarras them. e
I would personally leave it alone because I believe everyone has to make their own decisions. I dont like when other people tell me what to do (unasked, I give my Rabbi and certain other people permission to guide me according to halacha) but I would be very pissed off if someone tried telling me what was ok and what wasnt. Then again, if I didnt realize it wasnt kosher, I would be very happy if someone told me. So just go easy on them if you decide to speak to them.November 7, 2008 5:01 pm at 5:01 pm #672324
I am not saying this isnt a problem, I cant judge as I dont know whats really going on in this situation but I feel like we see what we want to see, i dont kknow if they arent eating kosher and if they arent yes its a sin im not trying to understate that, but i feel like people are more appaled at frum girls eating possible not kosher than frum girls doing drugs and sleeping around. can everyone take their blinders off?November 7, 2008 6:21 pm at 6:21 pm #672326GILAMember
that is so not true.November 7, 2008 6:45 pm at 6:45 pm #672327
Teenager, the reason for that is because the jewish communities in general have a “whats not nice, we dont show” attitude. So as long as you can hide something (DELETED BY YW MODERATOR) its not a problem. Eating non-kosher in public is in their face and people dont like that.November 7, 2008 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #672328
but everything else that is going on is not really so secretive, people jsut choose to ignore it cause its easier and more comfotrable for them to pretend we dont have those kind of problems and focus on the smaller thingsNovember 7, 2008 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #672329tzvikaMember
There is a website called kosherstarbucks.com (I am in no way affiliated with them) that has up to date reliable info on what is and is not recommended at starbucksNovember 8, 2008 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #672330NobodyMember
Please permit me a few moments of your time to respond here.
Many of you seem to be skirting around the issue. If you keep kosher and are particular about kashrus in general then don’t go to Starbucks, full stop, end of paragraph and end of conversation.
Irelevant a Rov said you may go and drink the coffee or whatever. Irrelevant you need to use your computer. Please, don’t tell me that in the State you live there is not a single other outlet for you to go to.
By avoiding places where a religious issue of any sort may arise you avoid being in the position you found yourself. The end. Any response is merely an excuse and is therefore not excusable.
In response to the point raised in respect to what people are or not appalled at, let me answer that as well, although I do not proclaim to be any more knowledgable than the next person in any particular field.
We all look up to the word image. Image controls the world. The image of the President, the image of the local Mayor, the image of the Rabbi and his family and our own image. What we can hide, we do. It makes one feel better and in some cases superior. That does not make it right nor does it correct the situation. But if one can we pretend it’s not there then maybe it will simply go away.
It takes a very strong person and in some cases a heartless person who can say, I’ll deal with this issue openly and honestly and I don’t care about the consequences. Yes, my children will be hurt and embarrassed and yes it will affect them. yes, my parents and wider family will also suffer, but hey, this must be dealt with. This is not about attention seeking this is about real human feelings and reality.
Life isn’t like that and nor is reality. The reality is that we shy away from situations we cannot face because we cannot foresee the consequences and a fear grows that we cannot control. It is not that we don’t want to deal with the matter it’s more a case of not knowing how to deal with the wider consequences.
Teenagers are young adults. They are no longer children but they are not quite adults, although most teenagers I meet would have one believe they know more about the world and the problems contained therein than any adult! Not even adulthood helps with some of the issues arising today.
Maturity of life comes with having lived a few decades as an adult. Having seen life, death, sickness, riches, poverty, children turning away from religion and life in general – suicides, alcohol, drugs. These problems that adults have lived through give them the right to comment. No teenager has the right to say what adults are or not appalled at. That sounds as though the teenager is challenging the adult.
Nor do teenagers know of the sleepless nights many an adult has over the problems facing teenagers, or young adults, as I would like to call them. Don’t assume, it’s dangerous.
It would be far better for the troubled teenager to continue looking for the right guidance than to turn away and say no-one wanted to help or listen. Perseverance is the key word here. Not excuses. An excuse is a cop-out, a way for avoiding the issue and does not show any maturity at all.
Apologies for the lengthy reply and if the end result is a little of the beaten track. Thank you.November 8, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm #672331Ashrecha YisroelParticipant
While it may be wrong to give tochacha (Joseph, I am not taking sides), once something is done publicly it is a Chilul Hashem and Devorah K has a right to be concerned. It isn’t 100% between them and Hashem anymore. People now look at “Jews” who don’t care about their kashrus laws.November 8, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #672332
Btw cantorsq, Even if we assume for a moment that your interpretation AND recollection of what you say is the Chazon Ish’s position IS correct, are you saying you accept the positions of the Chazon Ish across the board, or only where it suits you — and you will pick and choose responsa from various scholars that meet YOUR liking, for every different question?
In other words, if for example I show you a teshuva from the Chazon Ish that states that one must wear a hat and jacket during the entire course of davening and bentching, with a minyan or without, will you accept it and start following it (if you aren’t already), or will you find another shitta to your suiting for that circumstance and disregard the Chazon Ish’s position in that case?November 9, 2008 1:42 am at 1:42 am #672333
Nobody, I dont want to argue with you, I see how you are right that a lot of people avoid situations because they dont know how to deal with them not soley because they dont want to, but again thats not the case with everyone.
I dont think just because I am a teenagred I know everything, I know very little and because I have that approach I am able to look around and learn because I realize I dont know msot things about the world, I did have the approach for a while that I know everything but that was very false.
You think just because we are teenagers we havent dealt with the things youve mentioned ive dealth with suicides,drugs,alcohol, rape, abuse, death and other things. Kids these days dont have kid problems anymore, we have large scale issues where we gain experience early on way to early on. Adults who have been able to listen me without dismissing me as knowing nothing have been able to learn things from me, as I have been able to learn from adults as they are more experienced than me since they have lived life longer but in a different time than I am. I and other teenagers have spent many sleepless nights dealing with friends with major problems that adults havent helped with, dont dismiss us as knowing nothing jsut because we dont know everything. I am not trying to challenge adults, I am just trying to speak up and show how many teenagers feel, its a cry for help for many. Thank you for labeling me as a troubled teeanger, that I am not, I have gotten help and am in a good place and trying to help the kids who arent as fortunate as me. I am not making excuses that no one wanted to listened, I persevered but a lot of kids feel like they arent listened to. You know what I am saying is true its jsut easier to push it off as false since most kids dont speak their minds and blame it on the kids and not that some adults arent perfect and can be apathetic and judgmental at times. Maybe you are a wonderful parent or are great with teens, but thats not the case for everyone.November 9, 2008 8:58 pm at 8:58 pm #672334
I mentioned this story to my family and my daughter said that there are starbucks in brooklyn that are kosher (can even get CY milk upon request), I don’t know this for a fact but perhaps these women think the starbucks here is kosher as well. Then it would be a mitzvah to tell these ladies that the Starbucks has no hechsher (of course in a nice way)and if they continue eating you have done your job.
Just to add on, if you are at the mall and want to get Haagen Daas icecream from the vendors, or any other snack, it is important to look at their certificate of kashrus to see what exactly is kosher and what is not.November 10, 2008 3:37 am at 3:37 am #672335Will HillParticipant
Devora, When giving the tochacha, you should remind them of both the kashrus violation as well as their tznius violation (based upon the original story in this thread.)November 10, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am #672336
Will Hill- I respectfully disagree with giving tochacha about tznius to these women. Devorah K. writes “Their clothing is designed to make an impression and they sit in the most provocative of ways. Their conversations range from the mundane to the profane.” We don’t know that their clothing is not tznius, just that it’s out to make an impression. I do agree that they can be told in a nice way that the food isn’t kosher, like “excuse me, but is the food here kosher? I don’t see any certicate, I was told it wasn’t, etc.”
Only a close friend can tell you about tznius things, not a total stranger. For example, I used to wear slits in my skirts, below the knee, until a very close friend of mine taught me that it is very attention grabbing (peek a boo effect) to wear them. my friend even bought me a sefer about tznius (an expensive one at that). That was the only way I could accept this mussar, when it was given from a friend and with total love and caring.
as I posted above, I think that these ladies don’t know that it is not kosher. Why would they go there and not the many other restaurants all over Rockland that are kosher?November 10, 2008 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm #672337Will HillParticipant
shindy, The laws of tochacha insist that Devorah remind these young ladies both of their kashrus and tznius short-fallings.November 10, 2008 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm #672338
Will, if the tznius issue are subjective (as most are), she should stay away. Eating treif cheese is clear…wearing something that someone else might percieve as a lack of tznius, when her halachic opinion says its ok is another thing.November 10, 2008 5:26 pm at 5:26 pm #672339
I disagree, please post your source.November 10, 2008 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm #672340
I disagree with will hill, and I totally agree with SJSinNYC.
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