17 Aug Kashrus Question of the Week
Ma’aris Ayin in Kashrus: Can you eat in a treif restaurant for business (with a yarmulke or without a yarmulke, etc.)?
That’s a great question. The answer is as follows: First of all, there’s very little you can eat in a treif restaurant. Everybody knows you can’t eat meat in a treif restaurant. But people say you can eat fish in a treif restaurant. How can you eat fish in a treif restaurant that’s cooked in a treif oven, served on a non-kosher plate, and use non-kosher silverware? So there’s very little you can eat. People have told me they eat salads, but we spoke a moment ago about the issues we have with salads. People tell me they’ll have fruit salads and they’ll only have fruit with no issue of infestation. But then you have a different issue: the fruit is cut with a knife and again, as a person who’s seen a restaurant kitchen, it’s very high pressure and gets very busy. The order comes in and the chef who’s preparing that fruit salad takes the first knife that’s available to him to cut the fruit. For all you know, that knife was used a moment ago to prepare something that was inherently not kosher and has residue on that knife. The Ma’aris ayin issue is a serous issue, but I can’t say halachically that it’s wrong. But if you’re sitting in the restaurant and eating, you have a very fundamental issue. As far as sitting in a non-kosher restaurant while wearing a yarmulke – I can’t tell someone to take off their yarmulke.