Suppose if one is shopping at a grocery store and is checking out with food including kosher meat. If that person isn't wearing any other Jewish signs (e.g tzitzis, kippah, etc.), is that enough to "assume" that person is a religious jew?

If something may have been done "unsightly", is just shopping for Kosher meat be enough of a "chazakah" to warrant chillul HaShem.

  • It's hard to tell from your last sentence what exactly we are trying to establish them as Jews in regards to. Are you asking whether that is enough to give them the legal status as Jews? Are you asking whether it is enough to not make it awkward if you try to invite the guy for a Shabbat meal? Something else?
    – Alex
    Aug 27, 2019 at 1:07
  • @Alex like let's say someone is shopping for food and they're buying kosher meat, if for instance they stole something or the like, is it assumed they're a jew?
    – Fei23
    Aug 27, 2019 at 1:09
  • Wouldn't that be subjective? I'm sure some onlookers might think that the guy is a Jew because he bought kosher food, while others might think that non-Jews sometimes buy kosher food as well.
    – Alex
    Aug 27, 2019 at 1:11
  • 1
    @Alex I'm primarily concerned whether or not there was a halachic precedent as to whom may be looked upon as a Jew vis-a-vis chillul HaShem.
    – Fei23
    Aug 27, 2019 at 1:21
  • 4
    @Fei23 could you edit your question to clarify the last part? Are you asking whether there's enough presumption of his Jewishness that he counts as part of the public if someone else does a chillul Hashem? Or are you asking about the case where he does the problematic thing, in which case why does an observer knowing whether it's chillul Hashem or a bad gentile make a difference? I'm having trouble understanding what your goal is. Thanks for the help! Aug 27, 2019 at 2:36

2 Answers 2


Buyers of kosher products in the US are not necessarily Jews. To take just two examples

Star-K writes

Millions of Muslims throughout the world follow a dietary regimen similar to the kosher code. Since they recognize that food products bearing a kosher symbol conform to the requirements of Halal, foods certified as kosher have a broad appeal to Muslims. The countless inquiries from the Islamic community attest to the attention given to the kosher symbol on packaging of a broad variety of products. Muslims currently constitute a sizeable chunk of the “kosher” market. Religious Jews represent a small fraction of the overall kosher market in the United States.

Tablet writes

While it is not regarded as ideal, Muslims are permitted to eat meat slaughtered by people of other Abrahamic faiths, meaning religious Jews and Christians. “I used to always buy kosher chicken before there was a halal alternative,” said Maffei [an influential halal food blogger and author of My Halal Kitchen]. “And I still buy kosher salami because we don’t have that as a halal product,” she said.

To give a sense of scale (in the overall food market, not just meat), The Boston Globe reports

“More than 11.2 million Americans regularly buy kosher food, 13 percent of the adult consumer population,” Fishkoff writes. “These are people who buy the products because they are kosher, not shoppers who pick up Heinz ketchup, Miller beer, or Cheerios because they like the taste or the price.” But only about 1.5 million of those customers are Jews committed to keeping kosher, she points out, which means that “at least 86 percent of the nation’s 11.2 million kosher consumers are not religious Jews.” Eighty-six percent!

As such buying kosher products is not a reliable sign of Jewishness, let alone of being a religious Jew.


If someone is shopping at a grocery store and pick out only kosher foods, it is safe to assume that they are probably Jews. Though this is not a hypothetical question as anyone could be interested in the food or Judaism which would not necessarily imply they are observant. The best way to find out is to ask, of course.


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