Let's say I like to eat at "Deliware" (I borrowed this name from a place in Port Jervis, NY). The place is kosher with a reliable hechsher.

I visit the town, and I know nothing about the community's hechsher standards. I'm wearing my yarmulka, go in and eat there. A frum person sees me go in and walk out with a bag and says, "I didn't think this place was kosher!" I say, "Of course it is. See the certificate from the OU?" And he says, "Oh that doesn't mean anything. It's not under the Va'ad, and any place not under the Va'ad is not kosher, in this community."

Did I commit a violation of marit ayin, here, as I knew nothing about people's preferences?

Let's say Deliware was in my own neighborhood, and I know that people don't trust any place not under the Va'ad, but I know, in fact that because it's under the OU, the hechser is reliable. I even called the OU to verify that the hechsher of Deliware is valid. Is it still maris ayin because my kashrut standards are not the same as the community's?

  • It would seem to be problematic. Pesachim 4:1.
    – Double AA
    Aug 27, 2014 at 3:24
  • @danf a food store in a community which is under a suspicious hechsher or not under the hechsher of the community doesnt mean it is not kosher. kashruth now a days is a name game. whoever has the bigger name calls the shots. if you know it is kosher, you have no reason to prove to someone it is kosher. if they dont accept the hechsher that is their problem. also i would doubt a food store will open up and not have a hechsher of the community if they want to have any customers. Aug 27, 2014 at 4:19
  • then again you should know the halochoth of kashruth to determine what is kosher or not. Aug 27, 2014 at 4:21
  • @DoubleAA see my answer. Pesachim 4:1 is bringing up an "al tifrosh" concern, not a "marit ayin" concern.
    – Jake
    Aug 27, 2014 at 7:52

1 Answer 1


No. You do not have to worry about Marit Ayin.

Marit Ayin is when a Jew does something technically permitted, but may cause someone to reason that a different activity is permitted, when in fact, it is forbidden. The classic example of this is hanging wet laundry to dry on shabbat. (Talmud Bavli, Shabbat 146b)

Technically, if you washed clothes on Friday, you aren't doing a melacha by hanging the wet clothes to dry on shabbat. However, the gemara teaches us that it's a problem of marit ayin, because other people might see you hanging wet clothes on shabbat, and assume that washing clothes on shabbat is allowed, when in fact, it is not.

In your case, you're not causing anyone else to break halacha. Assuming the restaurant is kosher, but just not under the local vaad, you're eating kosher food. Anyone else who sees someone with a kipah walk in , and deduces that the food is kosher, will also go in and eat only kosher food there.

Now: you may have a problem of "Do not separate yourself from the community" (Avot, 2:4), but eating at a kosher restaurant certainly isn't marit ayin.

  • Even under "do not separate yourself", there might still be a difference between someone who lives in that town, and someone who is just driving through, stops for dinner, and immediately leaves town. However, I don't have a source for that, so I didn't include it in the answer.
    – Jake
    Aug 27, 2014 at 7:57

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