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Many restaurants in Israel, when asked about their kashrut status, reply that they are open on Shabbat. Thus, no hechsher. This also exists in establishments that would have a relatively easy time obtaining an hechser, like an ice-cream shop.

My question is, if the ingredients are kosher, is there any real issue with buying from them on a weekday? Besides marit ayin and interests in boycotting non-religious establishments, what makes the food itself forbidden?

I don't think treif ingredients is very common in Israel, at least from my experience. It's hard for me to imagine secret treif and meat mixtures in an Israeli ice creamery, for example. What I'm more concerned about is whether a seller's trustworthiness to tell the truth (jeopardized by selling and cooking on Shabbat) is the only issue here, or is there something else that makes the food not kosher.

Does the lack of a mashgiach affect the status of food? Does a kli used for cooking on Shabbat affect the food made on a weekday? Would indirect attainment of such food b'dieved (receiving a scoop as a gift) be forbidden?

Sources would be gleefully appreciated.

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Don't the dishes have to be kosher as well? Why do you limit yourself just to ingredients? An owner who does not care about Kashrus would think nothing of using a treif ingredient in a dish, or mixing meat and milk. –  Ariel Dec 24 '12 at 6:38
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@epicenter or they'll mix meat and milk and not tell anyone –  Double AA Dec 24 '12 at 7:36
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@Ariel Aren't stam keilim aino ben yomo? In any case, I don't think treif ingredients is as common in Israel, at east from my experience. It's hard for me to imagine secret treif and meat mixtures in an Israeli ice creamery, for example. What I'm more concerned about is whether a seller's trustworthiness to tell the truth (jeopardized by selling and cooking on Shabbat) is the only issue here, or is there something else that makes the food not kosher. –  Aryeh Dec 24 '12 at 10:57
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@Aryeh There are many potential kashrus problems even at an ice creamery, most of which would not be obvious to someone who is not knowledgeable about the field. There are many commonplace additives and flavorings that raise kashrus questions. Without supervision, the customer (and often the owner as well) has no way of knowing if the ice cream is reliable. This is probably doubly true in Israel, because of the many additional issues raised by mitzvos hatelyos ba'aretz, which can make even purely vegetable products problematic. –  LazerA Dec 24 '12 at 16:40
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@SethJ I receive sources like a kosher ice-cream sundae! –  Aryeh Dec 24 '12 at 17:56
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It is forbidden to eat food that was produced by non-Jews or non-observant Jews (i.e. a Jew who is not fully observant of the laws of Shabbos) because it cannot be assumed to have been produced in accordance with the laws of kashrus. (This is true regardless of the producers assertions to the contrary. We cannot rely on the testimony of a non-Jew or non-observant Jew that the food is actually kosher.)

In such a case, the absence of a hechsher means that the food must be assumed to be non-kosher, even if "all the ingredients" are (supposedly) kosher.

This has nothing to do with ma'aris ayin (which only comes into affect when there is not actual halachic problem) or "boycotting non-religious establishments" (which I have never even heard of).

Moreover, nowadays we effectively require a hechsher even if the restaraunt is owned and run by a fully observant Jew. Even though, strictly speaking, in such a case supervision may not be required, in practical terms it is often necessary for several reasons. One reason is that, unless we know the owner ourselves (or live in their community), we have no way of knowing whether they are religious (or even Jewish), thus we would not be able to use their products. The hechsher, which is provided by a recognized entity in the Jewish world, solves this problem.

Secondly, the modern food industry is extraordinarily complex and any food production establishment that operates on a larger scale than a home kitchen requires knowledgeable supervision to ensure that no mistakes are made.

Thus, under normal circumstances, if a restaurant does not have a hechsher, the food must be assumed to be non-kosher, especially if the owners are not Shabbos observant Jews.

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Not sure how this answers the question... –  Double AA Dec 24 '12 at 16:23
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@double aa lazera's answer questions the premise. All the ingredients are kosher only by the owner's say so which is not persuasive. –  Danno Dec 24 '12 at 16:42
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@Dan It doesn't matter why there is no hechsher. A hechsher is necessary to allow you to eat the food. The lack of a hechsher - for any reason - means that you have to assume the food is not kosher. –  LazerA Dec 24 '12 at 16:42
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@DoubleAA Food from non-Jewish or non-observant Jews has always been forbidden. The only way to make it permitted was to have an observant Jew supervise the production. This is not new. What is new is the necessity for a religious Jew to have a hechsher, which I explained in the post. –  LazerA Dec 24 '12 at 16:51
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@LazerA You mention not hearing of the boycott issue. In Yalkut Yosef Shabbat 3 (102), it is ruled that one can buy from a bakery that's open on Shabbat if the food was baked on a weekday (even on a Sunday and one isn't sure if the bread is from Shabbat), as long as there is no doubt the bread is kosher. He prefaces the halacha by stating it is proper to refrain from buying there if an organized boycott will persuade the bakery to stop working on Shabbat. –  Aryeh Dec 24 '12 at 19:01
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If the restaurant is open on Shabbos, is the Shabbos being publicly and knowingly violated there?

If it is, then the transgressors have the law of non-Jews. Their food will be food cooked by a non-Jew "bishul akum" and forbidden.

Please see Chazon Ish, Hilchos Shechita 2 (23).

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Can you specify which date's entry in the link to look at? –  Double AA Dec 24 '12 at 16:43
    
Halachos for Wednesday, June 25 2008 1) Chazal say that one who keeps Shabbos is as if he has fulfilled the entire Torah. One who transgresses Shabbos is as if he has transgresed the entire Torah. One who transgresses Shabbos in public [which means that 10 people are aware that this person is a mechalel Shabbos], is considered like a non Jew for all purposes; we may not drink his wine, his bread is considered bread of a non Jew etc. –  Avrohom Yitzchok Dec 24 '12 at 16:49
    
He does not mention bishul akum. –  Double AA Dec 24 '12 at 16:49
    
It's hidden in the word "etc." and implied by the fact that "his bread is considered bread of a non Jew". –  Avrohom Yitzchok Dec 24 '12 at 16:51
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Go and see what people do in terms of treating those who break Shabbat. Some are willing to apply tinok sh'nishba to all or almost all modern sabbath violators. –  Ze'ev Felsen Jan 22 '13 at 23:10
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