Sunday, December 6, 2009

sipping tea in a non-kosher resto

So a good friend of mine invited me to his birthday event that is going to be held this week at a cute Moroccan eatery - one problem: this place may have a hechsher, but it isn't kosher.

He's a great guy and I'd love to be there to help mark his quarter-century b-day, but I just don't know how comfortable I'd feel sipping mint tea while everyone else around me digs in to shawarma and lamb kebabs. And then there's that whole 'Maras Ayin' thing...

I've been in that situation before - where my yetzer harah (a.k.a. hunger) got the better of me and I'd succumb to my stomach and order the most veggie thing on the menu. But then one day I found a piece of bacon (not a bit, but a chunk) in my green tossed salad and that was the end of living life on the kosher edge.

Nowadays, almost all of my closest friends keep kosher and eating out is never a problem (thank Hashem for good friends - and espesh good kosher friends). It's nice to have friends who love your fave sushi shop as much as you do, and who don't balk at the prices on the menu, or say that kosher wine/food is lousy. (or ask if the crab is real) And it's def nice to not have to explain the whole kosher thing each and every time you go out to lunch.

So back to my dilemma - do I go and have my tea? Or do I stand my kosher ground?

UPDATE - Venue was changed to accomodate the kosher! (great time had by all :) )


Anonymous said...

May have a hechsher but isn't kosher?

N said...

Yeah that puzzled me too MM...

Jessica said...

Makes sense to me. There's a story in NY... can't remember what it's called that has a hechsher that at one time was a good one. Only problem is, the hechsher is signed by a rabbi who died several years ago.

Maidel said...

lol it's halal...

frum single female said...

it depends on how good a friend it is as to whether or not you should go. if the friend isnt such a good friend then skip it. its a really tough one though.

frumsatire said...

Maris ayin always confused me - because if they actually care about kasharus they wouldn't think it was kosher if it wasn't and if someone would think it's kosher than they obviously don't do the right research.

Has a hechsher but isn't up to your level should have been your statement.

Anonymous said...

Dont go- if you do not eat then you are not sharing in the simcha of the birthday.Mint tea is not enough.

If you want to have all your friends be as kosher as you are then you have to drop this friend.
Or else learn to have different standards on different days. and then order a full vegetation plate - couscous with vegetables and dont worry about bacon falling from the sky. Since I think that you are leaning to the former then stay home.

Rabba bar bar Chana said...

Enjoy the tea! Don't hurt your friend's feelings just to avoid something that isn't halachically a problem. I'm sure people will understand.

What if it was a friend with a special diet? Or a friend who was a vegetarian? Would they not go to the party?

L said...

I have trouble with the maras ayin thing too. I've been on business lunches where I just had a drink, but I always wonder if I can do that socially. So far I haven't done it and won't without really, really good reason.

Moshe said...

If it's halal then there's no pork but they wouldn't check the vegetables though. Buddhist places, however, do a better job checking for bugs than any kosher restaurant would ever do.

Joshua said...

Moshe, that's not always true for Buddhist places. It depends on the type of Buddhism.

Halal is not kosher by any reasonable definition. There's not even a guarantee that the meat has been subject to shechitah or has been salted.

I don't think the general marit ayin claim is very compelling if you have good reason to believe that what you are consuming is in fact kosher.

Moshe said...

But you can be sure halal is not gonna have pork.

True, depends on type of Buddhism but a vegan Buddhist place with a crappy hashgocha is fine.

Cheryl said...

Why not tell your friend you'll "stop by?" Come by for 20 mins. Have your tea and wish your friend happy bday. And when ppl ask why you aren't eating, tell them you have somewhere to be for dinner or just came from dinner. Oh yes - and make sure your friend knows the truth.

Moshe said...

When people ask you why you're not eating, scream "Because you're all Satan worshipers who are going to hell!", smash your cup against the nearest wall and run out screaming.
It'll make for a very memorable birthday! ;-)

Anonymous said...

To all the Maris Ayin commentors, I believe it was on a recent OU videocast of Rabbis Belksy and Schechter, that R' Schechter noted that he thought maris ayin is a bigger problem at places with sub-standard hechsherim (ie, I only drink soda there but will sit down with friends) than at a bonafide treif place (for which, nobody would confuse it for kosher).

Beach Concerts said...

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Mac said...

In cities with smaller Jewish populations, kosher dining is often limited to just a single establishment. Some cities do not have any kosher dine-in facilities, but the small communities have other arrangements for Jewish residents to obtain ready-made kosher meals and other types of food that may be hard to obtain kosher otherwise.

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