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Assuming a kosher restaurant or a café that attracts significant quantity of non-Jewish customers, what is their policy on fast days?

  • Do they keep open? If so, what do they do with Jews, who have forgotten the fast for whatever reason? Aren't they misleading people? Is marit ayin an issue?
  • Should they close? If so, what should pregnant women or the sick do, who can't cook for whatever reason?

Are there any authorities discussing this topic in detail?

  • 1
    In addition to the answer below, I would think that there is no marit ayin when it's understood that people order take out. One easy way to verify this is to see if there are any customers sitting at tables and who they are. In my neighborhood, I have entered pizza shops, bagel stores and delis on fast days. There are very few people sitting at tables and most of them are mom's serving their young children. I'm addressing the fact that they remain open for Jewish customers. Kal Vachomer, they are open for Gentiles. – DanF Jul 22 at 14:03
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The Shach (7) to Yore Dea 87:4 says clearly there is no marit haayin when there is a evident possibility that you are doing something permitted, for example cooking for the sick. This is based on the Shach when describing cooking non-kosher milk with meat:

בבישול לחודיה ליכא משום מראית העין, דהא יכול להיות שמבשל לצורך רפואה או שאר דברים

The cooking of it (non kosher milk with meat or chicken with almond milk) is not prohibited because of marit haayin (that you might eat it), since it is possible that one is cooking (as opposed to eating where the Shach is quoted above that there is marit haayin to eat chicken with almond milk) (the mixture) for the need of healing (someone in danger) or for other purposes (e.g. selling to a gentile) (but when a healthy person eats chicken with almond milk there is no alternative but to think he is sinning).

When so many people cannot fast for health reasons, it is not feasible to close restaurants and bakeries at the expense of those, who cannot make their own meals, but need to break their fast. In every city I have been to on fast days batei dinim allow restaurants to remain open and those who fast know not to eat.

  • How can he be "selling to a gentile"? He will get benefit from the cooking and this is not allowed for bosor vecholov? – Avrohom Yitzchok Jul 22 at 11:08
  • @AvrohomYitzchok see Yore dea 87 pig (or other not kosher animals with milk is Muttar behanaah. – user15464 Jul 22 at 12:24
  • Quite right. I didn't read the question properly. – Avrohom Yitzchok Jul 22 at 14:38

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