Say I'm on the road traveling, and I need to use a restroom. Which of the following two restrooms is preferable?

  • One in a restaurant that used to be kosher, but is now non-kosher.

  • One in a restaurant which has always been non-kosher.


  • 1
    The cleaner one. Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 18:45

2 Answers 2


Presumably if you're traveling on the road, your not likely to be recognized by your face as people will not know you. Keeping a baseball cap handy, can take away the question of "Mares Ayin" when the situation arises.

I think a more interesting question might be with places like Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks that are frequented by many frum Kosher keeping Jews for their basic coffee products that are deemed acceptable by many authorities. However, many of their other products are not. Do we suspect that someone might come to assume that all their products are kosher based on seeing you there?

  • (Rabbi Heinemann's stance)[star-k.org/kashrus/kk-thirst-coffee.html] is if it's "mainly known for non-kosher products" (e.g. McDonald's) it's a problem; a rest stop or coffee shop is okay. With Dunkin Donuts, I'm a bit scared people will think this is a fully-kosher establishment (as some are). I doubt that certificates mitigate maris ayin. A restaurant where everyone's been eating for years may not display its certificates so prominently, and unfortunately some restaurants with standards below our contemporary practice proudly display certification of some sort.
    – Shalom
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 13:09
  • Are you implying that it is wrong to wear a baseball cap in general? It should also be made known that in some circumstances, wearing a baseball cap if people know that you are Jewish (and obviously orthodoxly observant), would not remove the problem of maris ayin. Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 15:04

We may be able to infer from Rav Schachter's words (until 7:15) in response to a related question (first part of #1) that the second option is preferable.

  • Yup, sounds right. Many, many poskim (R' Moshe Feinstein included, I believe; heard on one of the OU kashrus in/out of the workplace audios) allow you to use the restroom in a non-kosher restaurant if you're stuck. This way, people know that's why you're there, and don't think the restaurant is kosher.
    – Shalom
    Commented Jan 6, 2010 at 5:14
  • @ WAF: I have sat in non-kosher restaurants with my kippa on (in New York) since It is common place for Jews to meet non-Jews for a meeting in one. I realize when I see a Jew in a non-kosher rest. that there must be some reason for his being there other than the cheese burgers. The shuir you referenced doesn't seem to indicate that it is B'dieved in New Yorl to do so, and especially if ones intent is to just use the bathroom.
    – Azi
    Commented Mar 29, 2010 at 1:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .