What is my obligation to warn fellow kosher observant people about a Restraurant that is claiming to be "Glatt" Kosher, when in fact it has no Rabbinic Supervision at all and the owner's religious observance would not lead you to believe "Glatt" is something he cares about in his home? Does my obligation change any if at one time under a different name he had supervision as a dairy restraurant but had recently reopened in the same location as a meat restraurant?

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    The owner's religious observance is irrelevant. Plenty of non-religious or even non-Jewish restaurateurs operate kosher restaurants under reliable kosher supervision.
    – user1095
    Commented Mar 16, 2012 at 7:28
  • If a restaurant is not showing a current certification certificate VISIBLY then it is assumed that they are not certified. The first step would be to talk to the Owner. Maybe they are certified and don't have it up. Then maybe call the Rabbinic Supervisior and ask whats going on. If they restaurant was NEVER certified to begin with then you are creating a stumbling block by keeping it private. With that said it is the responsibility of Observant Jews to pay attention where they are eating.
    – user1292
    Commented Mar 16, 2012 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


First thing I'd do is consult a local rabbi, who may have a better assessment of the situation. Also, if the word does need to be spread that the place is not recommended, it will probably be more effective coming from him. (He's also likely to be better protected if the restaurant sues for defamation or something.)

But for theory's sake (or pretending you're the rabbi): To tell people "restaurant ABC has no rabbinic supervision", or perhaps "restaurant ABC has no rabbinic supervision, and local Rabbi X has said on the record that it's not recommended" would seem to meet all of the criteria required for constructive lashon hara:

1.) You're sure the statement is true (assuming you did your homework!)
2.) You provide only the minimum needed relevant information, in a neutral tone. (Note that I didn't include the owner's personal observance in the examples of permitted statements.)
3.) Your intention is to prevent people from coming to harm (in this case, eating food that's questionably kosher).
4.) No disproportionate harm will befall the subject of your speech. If someone will beat up the restaurant owner, that's disproportionate. If people will just take their business elsewhere because of his lackluster kosher standards, that's perfectly fair.
5.) There's no other way to achieve this goal. That's the tricky one, and why I'd talk with a local rabbi about the situation. There might even be circumstances when you'd talk with the restaurant owner first (if nothing else, to ascertain he's unsupervised), but again, that's best left to a local rabbi.

You or your rabbi might try contacting the webmaster @kashrut.com, who regularly posts alerts of uncertified products and institutions. She has a good sense of how and when this is usually done.

  • The restaurant in question left flyers in the local train station for everyone too take, and in big letters proclaimed to be "Glatt Kosher". Being a small town I was a bit suprised to see a flyer for a new kosher restaurant without hearing any rumors of one opening. I called the local Rabbi for details, but he was also in the dark. I called the restaurant and asked the owner directly who the supervising rabbi is, and was told there is none. I reported this back to my local Rabbi weeks ago but he has not yet gotten back to me or made any public statement one way or the other.
    – Ken
    Commented Jan 22, 2010 at 21:05
  • Hm, then we have a question of whose job is it (if anyone's) to spread the warning; that's much thornier. Certainly you should tell anyone who asks you, or even any friend of yours who mentioned planning on eating there, that you've verified it's uncertified. To go beyond that and proactively spread the message to the hoi polloi is probably stepping on the rabbi's toes and generally a dangerous move. My guess is that if you were certain the restaurant was 100% pork, you might be obligated to go that far. Less than that, and it's murkier.
    – Shalom
    Commented Jan 25, 2010 at 16:34

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