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It seems like all kosher Chinese restaurants have this cat-statue thingy in the front:

Maneki Neko

Is there any Halachic problem with that? I assume not, if they're all kosher-certified; but why not?

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The image is missing... – Adam Mosheh Jul 4 '12 at 16:52
I just looked it up and can't find any references to this in Chinese culture (just Japanese). I have also never seen it before, despite visiting dozens of Chinese restaurants. – Seth J Aug 30 '12 at 17:52
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't think I've ever seen it, but a quick Wikipedia search on Maneki Neko (the title of your image!) reveals that it is some kind of good luck charm. It would definitely seem forbidden for a Jew to use it for that purpose, but I assume most have it there only for the "ambiance" (which might still be problematic, I don't know).

In any event, the kosher certification probably does not cover such issues; it would probably be out of any mashgiach's radar (until he visits mi.yodeya, that is).

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If a chamtza, painting your house blue, or fish aren't forbidden, then why would this be forbidden? – avi Aug 10 '11 at 5:11
Can you offer any support that having a good luck charm is problematic for a Jew, or that Kosher certification shouldn't care if there is 'Avodah Zarah present in the restaurant? – Seth J Aug 30 '12 at 17:54

It's not any more of a problem than a khamse is at a North African restaurant. It's a siman for good luck, and not avoda zara. It's only problematic if you reject segulot and other superstitions, like the Rambam does. However, I would question what a JAPANESE cat thing is doing in a CHINESE restaurant!

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Chinese, Japanese, what's the difference? :) – Alex Aug 10 '11 at 15:15
The name. If the name is Jim, guess what I am :)? – Jim Thio Nov 15 '11 at 5:12

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