Kosher, Religious but no Certificate/Hechsher

Question

OS 178

, 12 years

Answers

  1. Certainly if you know the proprietor personally as a knowledgeable, God-fearing Jew, you may eat there. Furthermore, if you don’t know the owner personally, but the owner has a reputation of reliability among knowledgeable, observant Jews, then you may rely on that (provided you have no evidence to the contrary).

    The simple fact that a store is in a religious neighborhood, however, is not an indication that it’s kashrut can be relied upon.

    Which reminds me of a story: A woman once entered a deli and asked to see the kashrut certificate.

    “Don’t worry about it!” said the man behind the counter.

    “But how do I know if it’s kosher?” she asked.

    The man pointed to a black-and-white photo hanging on the wall. “You see that?” he said, gesturing to the angelic face of an old man engrossed in Talmud study. “That was my father!”

    “Look,” said the woman, “If it was the other way around – if he was behind the counter and your picture was on the wall – I wouldn’t ask for the kashrut certificate.”

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team