The Gemara in Kidushin 40b writes that if one eats in the marketplace (public) is considered like a dog, and his testimony is not accepted. The Rambam in Hilchos Edus 11:5 codified this as halacha.

If one eats at a restaurant, but eats outside where there are tables and chairs, does that invalidates one from testimony? Are there any poskim that address eating outside at a restaurant?

  • 3
    No this is called חצר and belongs to the restaurant (for they pay some rent/taxes). Therefore sitting on the street is still considered being in the restaurant IMHO. In fact you can't sit by those tables if you don't buy from it. isn't it so?
    – Al Berko
    Nov 25, 2019 at 18:35
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    The Halakhah is also brought in Shulchan Arukh Choshen Mishpat 34:8. Both Mshneh Torah and Shulchan Arukh talk of "peole who walk and eat in the market in front of everyone". Also, though I haven't looked through it myself, and if your Hebrew is up to it, maybe check out this "עדים בזויים" shiur on olamot.net (especially section 4 there, titled "אכילה במסעדות פתוחות וברשות הרבים").
    – Tamir Evan
    Nov 25, 2019 at 19:02
  • I don't know on whose authority, but I know some people are careful not to way in such a place for this reason.
    – msh210
    Nov 25, 2019 at 19:11
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    Once my diabetic grandfather was eating something to get his sugar level right while standing near his car. Along comes one of my cousin's elementary grade Rabbeim and, thinking he was funny, said you know someone who eats in the street is compared to a dog. My grandfather responded I might be compared to a dog, but you really are one. Anyway, +1 nice question.
    – user6591
    Nov 25, 2019 at 21:59
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    In a very similar vein, what about a restaurant that has those big windows like images.app.goo.gl/PmziA4vFiwD1zXN67
    – mroll
    Nov 26, 2019 at 4:44

2 Answers 2


Rashi explains that the reason why one who eats outside is invalid to give testimony is because he does not care about basic dignity. This is clearly not relevant to those who eat in a place where it is quite normal to eat.


I found in Sefer Devarcha Yair 2:34 who discusses this issue in depth bringing all sources. If you want to see all the back and forth see the teshuvah inside.

His conclusion :

  1. It is not proper for a Talmid Chacham or Ben Torah to eat in public even if its an area with a small amount of people. So too they shouldn't drink even water in public.
  2. For a regular person it is prohibited to eat in a major public area(main street) even if it isn't a gluttonous type of food. Nevertheless , if one did eat in such a place they do not lose their status of being a kosher witness since nowadays people do not view such eating as prohibited or degrading.
  3. In a place where it is common to eat in public such as a bus, or restaurant it is permitted even for a Talmid Chacham to eat in public.

Rav Meir Mazuz in hi Mekor Neaman was asked if one eats a set meal in a park is it considered like the prohibition of eating in public? He answered that if one sits on a bench and eats in a respectable fashion then its permmisble.

Text of Devarcha Yair 2:34 :

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Text of Mekor Neaman 1:275 :

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  • I hope to add all the Rishonims opnions
    – sam
    Nov 28, 2019 at 14:13

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