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Sep 25, 2008

Interesting Psak from Rav Arusi of the Rabbanut: Don't eat there!

Today's newspaper had an article today about an interesting psak from rav Arusi, the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Ono. I found the original on the Moreshet website, but it is kind of bare bones...

Someone asked Rav Arusi whether he is allowed to purchase food in a restaurant owned people involved in the mob.

Rav Arusi's response was that if you know defintiely that a specific restaurant is owned by one of the crime families, than it would be prohibited to eat there. It is prohibited to assist and support them in any way, as their hands are full of blood.

Obviously the restaurant in question has a hechsher, otherwise the person asking the shailoh would not eat there because of the lack of hechsher. So, if most people generally have no idea who owns any given restaurant they walk into, the real people assisting and supporting these mobster criminals is the rabbanut or other hechsher organizations who allow them to retain their hechsher. If Rav Arusi feels it is prohibited to eat in this persons restaurant, he should also remove the hechsher from the restaurant.

In the meantime, he is playing both sides of the coin, by providing the hechsher (and charging for kashrut services), and telling people to not eat there. This is similar to a few months ago, around Yom Ha'atzmaut time, when the Eidah Hareidis told people not to purchase food products on which were displayed the Israeli flag, despite their continuing to provide the hechsher on the product.

A little integrity please. If it is assur to eat there, you should not be providing them, and charging them for, a hechsher.


  1. Hold on a second, R' Arussi was telling the shoel, that if he (the shoel) knows (for certain) it's owned by the mob, not to eat there. But if the rabbanut doesnt itself know for certain, how can it withdraw its hashgacha? This would conflict with hilchos rechilus.

  2. The above commenter is correct. You do not know that R. Arusi gives a hashgacha to restaurants owned by the mob. And is it the rabbanut's job to investigate this?

  3. you are correct. I understood the article to be about a specific restaurant that was known to be owned by the mob.

    I am probably wrong, and it could have been very general and maybe the questioner knew, but the rabbanut did not.

  4. The Rabbanut in a city has an obligation to provide the option for eateries to obtain a hechsher, based on certain standards. As a municipal orginization, it cannot impose other hlachik considerations.

    For example, a municipal Rav who would pasken for his own talmidim that one must eat, e.g., glatt meat would not be contradicting himself if he gives a Rabbanut hechsher to a place which serves non-glatt meat. As a municipal employee, he only has to make sure the resturant conforms to the standards set by the Rabbanut. Similarly in this case, the Rabbanut, acting on behalf of the city, cannot deny a hechsher to a place because of it's mob ties, since being free of mob connections is not one of the criterion for receiving a Rabbanut hechsher. That's what you get when you mix "church" and state.

  5. yoni, it seems what you are saying is similar in concept to the NEW York Kashruth Division. You have plenty of frum people who work for it as "mashgichim", yet they have to approve restaurants even if they are not really kosher, as long as they maintain the Divisions standards.

  6. i dont think one thing has anything to do with the other. he didnt tell the one asking the question that it's not kosher to eat there, he just told him that he shouldnt be supporting that restaurant.


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