Volume 20 Number 68
                       Produced: Wed Jul 26 21:49:40 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avrom Forman]
Kosher Cleaning Products
         [Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank]
Mar'ith `Ayin
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Maris Ayin (2)
         [Yisrael Herczeg, Josh Wise]
McDonalds -- treif??
         [Burton Joshua]
Pit Stops
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
The Toddler and the Light Switch on Shabbat
         [Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank]
Using Bathrooms in Treif Restaurants
         [Janice Gelb]
Wearing a Tallis when Driving a Car on Shabbat
         [Jerrold Landau]


From: Avrom Forman <AS402714@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 1995 08:10:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Hechsher

On Thursday 20 Jul 95, Jeremy Nussbaum wrote:
>Or to ask the question from the other perspective, why are there
>hechsherim on non edible products?

As you mentioned in your own message, many kashrut organizations are
looking for ways to keep the costs down on food items. One way for them
to do that is by putting hechsherim on non food items "that need
rabinical supervision".

I will give you an example of this from my own personal experience. I
have a succah business from which I sell bamboo mats for schach. These
mats pose a very big problem for me due to the halachic problems
mentioned in the Mishna Brurah. To solve this problem, a company in the
US developed what they called a "kosher" bamboo mat, that they claimed
solved all problems mentioned in halacha. However, many poskim still did
not think that the bamboo mat was ok, and the company had a hard time
selling the product in the marketplace. As such, they went to one of the
kashrut organizations and asked that their product be given the proper
hashgachot. While many poskim still do not feel that a bamboo mat is
good to use in any case, the fact that the kashrut organization gave
them a hashgacha, many people will buy the mat.

I did not give this example as a means of starting a debate on bamboo
mats, (although one may ensue), however to show you how these
organizations (who have designated themselves in the community as
rabinical supervisors) are now venturing into other areas of "kashrut".

Avrom Forman


From: Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank <Alan.Cooper@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 16:01:40 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Kosher Cleaning Products

It is not sufficient to state that there is no halakhic reason for
cleaning products to carry a hekhsher.  The interesting question is why
people are so ignorant or insecure that they will buy nothing at all
without that precious certification, whether it is required or not.  I
live in Cincinnati, home of Procter & Gamble.  I was told by an
executive of the company that they receive several calls *per day*
asking whether or not their cleaning products are kosher.  They assigned
one of their Jewish employees the task of finding out what the criteria
were for the kashrut of laundry soap and dishwasher detergent.  She
learned what we all know--that there really aren't any.  My impression
is that P&G obtained OU certification for Tide and other products so
that when those people call up and ask whether the stuff is kosher, they
can say "Well, it's OU certified."  They don't say whether it's milchig,
fleishig, or pareve, though.

Alan Cooper


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 1995 10:11:37 +0000
Subject: Mar'ith `Ayin

I believe I've posted something similar to the following in the past,
but since it has come up again, I'm bringing it up once more:

Various discussions have cited "mar'ith `ayin" [the way it appears (to
the eye)] as a basis for prohibiting entry into a non-kosher restaurant
(to use the restrooms or buy a coke).  I believe this is incorrect.  As
far as I know, you can't make up "mar'ith `ayin" just because it seems
logical; you need a specific source (in the Gemarrah).  I am not aware
of any prohbition here.

Lon Eisenberg   Motorola Israel, Ltd.  Phone:+972 3 5659578 Fax:+972 3 5658205


From: Yisrael Herczeg <yherczeg@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 08:49:14 GMT
Subject: Maris Ayin

The suggestion has been made that one remove his kippah when going into a 
highway rest stop out of considerations for maris ayin. What are the 
implications for someone with beard and peyos?

Yisrael Herczeg

From: Josh Wise <jdwise@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 15:52:17 EDT
Subject: Maris Ayin

Ellie Rosenfeld raises two possible approaches to the problem of "what
to do with one's kippah":

Case 1: You need to enter a McDonalds in an area where you're not likely
to meet someone who knows you (e.g., a highway rest stop).  Here, I
would contend that the proper approach would be to not wear a kippah.
(Obviously you should remove the kippah before being seen at all, to
avoid the concern that Josh raises.)  If one were to enter wearing a
kippah, that would seemingly create a maris ayin situation, since the
general public associates kippot with religious Jews, and people may
draw the wrong conclusions about why you are there.

Case 2: Similar situation, in an area where you are likely to meet
someone you know.  In that case, I'd tend to agree with Josh that
_removing_ your kippah runs the risk of maris ayin for the reason he
gives above.
I don't think that case one should be an issue. Why should 
Maris Ayin apply to non-Jews? I think the majority of non-Jews
wouldn't make any kesher (connection) between a kippah, and kashrut.
And the ones that would make a connection would know that they
(the Jews) wouldn't be buying traif food. And they must be in 
that restaurant for a different reason.

As far as case two goes, I would agree. Therefore I would say that the
answer, this is not a psak, would be to keep your kippah on in any

Incidentally, would anybody really be so clueless as to think that
McDonalds is Kosher??

I have heard that Maris Ayin only applies where there would be a
reasonable suspicion. I.e.: a butcher shop, or restaurant that claims to
be Kosher but has an extremely questionable status.  Any thoughts?

Josh Wise


From: Burton Joshua <ftburton@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 1995 15:56:03 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: McDonalds -- treif??

There have been a number of recent posts on the subject of ma'arit
'ayin, mentioning McDonalds as the canonical example of a place one
might not want to be seen.  Is there some problem with the hekhsher
there that I don't know about?  The last time I ate at our local
McDonalds here in Rehovot, the te'udat kashrut was current (5755),
prominently displayed, and signed by the Chief Rabbinate of Rehovot,
which is usually considered very reliable here in Israel.  One doesn't
see quite as many sidecurls and wigs there as at the Pizza Hut; I guess
McDonalds attracts more of a knitted-kippa crowd.  But if there is a
suggestion that they are cutting corners, it's news to us.

(I don't care if this one brings me flames from all over the galut;
it just feels so _good_ to be back, even for a hot miserable summer
like this one.  If you feel I'm being too sarcastic, come tell me so
in person over here.  Soon!)

                    _._ _  _ ___ _ ___   _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _   _  _ _ _ _._ ___ _ 
Joshua W. Burton     | |( ' )   |.| . |  ( ' ) | | | | | |   \  )( (  ) |   | |
(972-8)343313        | | )_/    | |___|_  )_/   /|_|   | |  __)/  \_)/  ||  |  
<burton@...> |                          ..      .     -    `.         :


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 13:14:46 -0400
Subject: Pit Stops

Leah S. Gordon asked:
<does it constitute g'neiva (theft) to use a bathroom in a place where
<one has no intention of buying anything?>

      Please permit me to address this question as one who has
considerable experience in both public relations and the retail
        While it is true that merchants don't want to be relegated to
the category of "public pit stops," most store owners and managers will
have the attitude, "Nu, today a pit stop, tomorrow a sale," provided you
look fairly clean.
        Even if you don't ever intend to buy something from them -- say,
it's a traif restaurant -- (a) you might recommend the traif restaurant
to some non-Jewish acquaintances; (b) if you saw someone vandalizing
this place, you would now be more inclined to call the police on behalf
of the owner; and/or (c) if someday they want to expand and somebody
(like a competitor) objects, you would be inclined to sign a petition on
their behalf.
     Yeshaya Halevi


From: Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank <Alan.Cooper@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 15:38:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: The Toddler and the Light Switch on Shabbat

Israel Botnick's interesting post on this topic rightly mentions the
principle of "bal ta'akhilum" as relevant to the issue.  In one
important occurrence of that principle, OH 343, it is followed by the
additional stricture that "it is also forbidden to accustom [a youngster
who is not yet old enough to receive a formal education] to the
profanation of the Shabbat and festivals, even with respect to those
matters that fall under the category of shevut" (that is, the subtlest
of the regulations, see Rambam Hilkhot Shabbat 24.11).  As far as I
know, both halakhists and homilists are unequivocal on this point, since
it impinges on the parental obligation to educate small children
(mitzvat chinnukh) as soon as they are capable of understanding (bar
havanah).  In the case of the child who is not bar havanah, there is no
parental obligation to prevent the child even from violating a Torahitic
prohibition, according to the Mishnah Berura ad loc., "because the child
can't understand anyway" (eino mevin kelal ha-inyan).  But not
preventing/chastising is a far cry from providing opportunity and
encouragement to commit chillul shabbat!  Mishna Berura cites the
specific case of a parent who asks the child to carry the keys.  Is that
different from the case of the toddler and the light switch?

This topic permits me to reiterate a request that I made some time ago
on mail-jewish, for halakhic or homiletical sources that discuss the
presence of small children in synagogue.  A good starting point is
Mishnah Berurah to OH 98, par. 3.  I would be grateful for additional

Alan Cooper <Alan.Cooper@...>


From: <janiceg@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 17:04:52 -0700
Subject: Using Bathrooms in Treif Restaurants

In vol 20 #65, Leah S. Gordon said:
> I was wondering, does it constitute g'neiva (theft) to use a bathroom
> in a place where one has no intention of buying anything?  Personally,
> I feel dishonest sneaking in and out without giving them any business,
> and it reminds me of the lectures that we got in yeshiva and camp
> about not going into a store just to "window shop," because then you
> are stealing the air conditioning, time of salespeople, etc.

I don't think the two cases are parallel. In the case of window
shopping, you're raising the hopes of salespeople that you will buy
something (or taking up their time by asking a question) when you know
you won't buy.

In the case of using a restroom in a fast food restaurant, the service
people are behind the counter and unless you go up to talk to them (or
unless there's a clearly posted sign that says "Restrooms for customers
only" and they have to chase you away) you're not taking up their
time. Nor, most of the time, do they even notice you've come in unless
the restaurant is totally empty (and sometimes not even then :-> )

As for them perhaps hoping you'll buy something, as they are paid by the
hour and as the merchandise requires no explanation, even if you do get
their hopes up for a moment, making a beeline for the bathroom means
this hope can at most take up a minute or two.

The only problem I could see is if it is a one-stall bathroom and you
might be tying it up when legitimate customers need to use it.

-- Janice
Janice Gelb                  | The only connection Sun has with this      
<janiceg@...>   | message is the return address. 


From: <landau@...> (Jerrold Landau)
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 95 08:56:38 EDT
Subject: Wearing a Tallis when Driving a Car on Shabbat

There has been discussion as to whether it is appropriate to wear a
tallis when driving on Shabbat when necessary for Pikuach Nefesh (life
threatening cases).  It seems as if the maarit ayin issue would depend
on locale.  In predominantly religious neighbourhoods of Yerushalayim
(such as Unsdorf, as quoted by a recent poster), or perpahs Boro Park,
wearing a Tallis would certainly indicate to bystanders that the driving
is being done for Pikuach Nefesh reasons.  However, in predominately
non-observant areas, the wearing of a Tallis would probably create the
wrong ideas, and may even be seen to be a mockery.  Maarit ayin is not a
uniform concept, it changes depending on the makeup of the populace.

Jerrold Landau


End of Volume 20 Issue 68