[Avodah] Hechsheirim and issues other than kashrus

Zev Sero zev at sero.name
Thu Jul 29 17:57:27 PDT 2021

On 29/7/21 3:37 pm, Micha Berger via Avodah wrote:
> There are famous past cases. Like the glatt yacht, which offered kosher
> food and mixed dancing while you traveled down the Hudson River. Or
> the place in Queens that offered belly dancers as entertainment. Both
> situations where the hashgachah was pulled.

As I have written here before, I think the issue there is that a 
hechsher on an eating establishment is necessarily on the entire 
experience of eating there, not just the food aspect.  It is saying that 
an observant Jew can eat here.  If one can't do that, whether because 
the food is treif, or the chairs are shatnes, or the waiters are naked, 
then you can't give it a hechsher.   You can still give a hechsher on 
the food itself, to be taken away and eaten elsewhere.

Or one can put a highly visible caveat on the certificate.  I've seen 
restaurant certificates that say in kiddush levana letters that the 
food's fine but the wine is not.   So a restaurant with shatnes chairs 
could have a hechsher that warns that "you can eat here but only 
standing up".  Or perhaps "You can eat here but only with a blindfold".

So if Ben & Jerry was donating money to Hamas then I can see that it 
might be assur to buy from them, since every $10 you spend buys Hamas 
another bullet, or whatever it is.  And if so, then it would be wrong to 
give their products a hechsher.  But I don't see how boycotting Yo"sh is 
an avera. B&J is not mechuyav to do business where it doesn't want to, 
and it's certainly not an avera to be an antisemite. So while boycotting 
them is ethically the right thing to do, I don't see how it's 
halachically required, and therefore one who chooses to still buy from 
them is still complying with halacha.  Therefore it's OK to give it a 
hechsher.  Though of course nobody is mechuyav to give one if they don't 
want to.

Zev Sero            Wishing everyone a healthy summer
zev at sero.name

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