A news story I saw mentioned that a Jewish owner of a non-kosher restaurant put up signs advocating for Israel. The article was generally positive toward the restaurateur for his Israel advocacy at a time that Israel is under missile attack.

Ignoring whether one may write the article in the first place, may one publicize it further (e.g. share the link)? Implicit in saying "Ploni put up an Israeli flag on his restaurant" is that said restaurant has no pretense of being kosher. Publicizing "Ploni owns a non-kosher restaurant" seemingly is prohibited because it is a violation of halakha (that one may not publicize a violation of halakha: Chofetz Chaim Lesson A Day, Day 1; that selling non-kosher food is prohibited: Yoreh Deah 117) I do not think that anyone will believe this restaurant to be kosher. While the name doesn't make it obvious (it isn't Ploni's Crab Shack or the like), I am certain that anyone going there would not eat there if they wanted kosher food.

  • I am aware the title is not ideal. If someone wants to suggest a better title, go for it. Aug 22, 2014 at 17:12
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    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/212/…
    – Isaac Moses
    Aug 22, 2014 at 17:17
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    This question needs some editing so that it's clearly about the principle involved rather than the specific case. I recommend that all details about the specific case that are relevant to motivating the issue be moved up into the first paragraph, and that the second paragraph be devoted to putting forth the general question described in the title (which is fine IMO). Right now, the question runs the risk of eliciting unproductive side-chatter about the specifics of this case. (Unless a discussion of the general principle is not what you want, but pesak is. If so, ask your rabbi.)
    – Isaac Moses
    Aug 22, 2014 at 17:23

2 Answers 2


To answer the question of the title, normally one would not be allowed to speak ill of someone even if it is or combined with speaking of that person's merits.

However, in this case the newspaper is allowed to speak of this restaurant owner's lack of kashrus, because it is already a well know fact (see Sefer Chafetz Chaim, Klal 4, Beer Mayim Chaim 41) as long as the speaker doesn't intent to further denigrate the subject by repeating this fact (see ibid Klal 3, Be'er Mayim Chaim 20)

  • Is it a well known fact? I didn't know the owner was Jewish before this. Aug 25, 2014 at 23:13
  • Even if you didn't know he was Jewish, you (or anyone who would have been aware of the restaurant) does know that it isn't kosher. Aug 29, 2014 at 13:17

It is possible for a statement to be a relevant statement of fact, without having to be a statement of fault. This sometimes depends on the audience.

In the original poster's example, it is likely that many gentile readers would appreciate the chance to support a restaurant (whether kosher or not) that supports Israel, but would find it embarrassing to bring an observant Jew to the restaurant. These readers would want to know both that the restaurant put up an Israeli flag, and that the restaurant is non-kosher.

  • The answers in judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/230 make similar points, but consider Jews who could benefit from the information instead of gentiles who could benefit from the information.
    – Jasper
    Aug 24, 2014 at 12:57

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