Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kashrut Question...?

I'm sure that I've learned that kosher food is supposed to stay supervised at all times.  Non-Jews are not to be alone with the food.  Food isn't supposed to be transported without supervision.




That's what I kept wondering as these two Arab men walked by speaking Arabic to each other.  I have no idea to where they were taking these unbaked pastries.  I didn't have the time to follow them, but considering that I was walking through Jerusalem's Geula neighborhood the food was supposed to be kosher.

Input welcome, thanks

14 comments:

Jennifer in MamaLand said...

Looks to me like YOU were supervising them! :-)))

Seriously, though, maybe close-up there was some kind of siman? Or some siman worked into the pastry (baker's mark of some sort) to make their origin clear as well as preclude any tampering?

Or maybe they were within sight of the business owner walking at a distance where you couldn't see him/her?

Or... and I know your instincts for these kinds of things are WAY better than mine, but is there a chance they were Sefardim? Lots of them here speak Arabic as a first language...

Batya said...

In most restaurants and kitchens Arabs work, doing these sorts of jobs. Young Sfardim do not speak Arabic as a first language, certainly not in public. No one was following them.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
Meat and wine require not one but two secure wrappings if they leave the sight of a Jew. Food produced by a non-Jew or heretic Jew requires constant supervision, as was publicized when the case of the Messianic Jew's bakery hit the media. I think it was called Penina's Pies. Factories may have a different ruling, possibly based on how the raw materials are checked. Any mehadrin certification requires constant supervision. Based on that I would say that all products definitely require some sort of safe guarding against tampering/switching. Perhaps the distance that the men were walking was so short that if they didn't have time to tamper with the pastries without the bakery noticing? Were they just crossing the street? I attended classes given by the founder of Kosharot, Rav Katz. The amount of ignorance in the field of kashrut supervision is staggering. The details about which a kashrut supervisor has to think make one's head spin.

Batya said...

It's probably a mistake to have made the job of kashrut supervisor a male job.

And carrying the food through the street may be a problem with the health ministry. OK the pastries hadn't been baked yet.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
I read a great comment on the kashrut supervising issue. Paraphrase: No-one is born with knowledge. Men going for the job of kashrut supervisor will have to learn more about cooking. Women will have to learn more halacha.
But I still think that there are major problems with modesty involved, unless the "proprietor" of the business is a proprietress and most of the workers are women, which is not the case most of the time in Israel. It's a rough business with a lot of money at stake.
P.S. I wouldn't want to eat pastries that had absorbed vehicular exhaust, even if the baking process destroyed any bacteria present.

Ariella said...

I live off of Central Avenue, which is lined with kosher restaurants. The bread and rolls are dropped off outside the front doors in the morning and sometimes remain outside in unsealed boxes -- accessible to birds -- for hours. I don't know why that is not a violation when health inspection rules require that nothing in the kitchen go on the floor. The boxes are on the sidewalk!

Batya said...

Hadassa, good points. The hours are tough. I know from my son's restaurant.

Batya said...

Ariella, photograph and send to the Health Dept. In Israel, the bread used to be left out like that at grocercy stores, but I think it's now illegal.

ilanadavita said...

It seems that there are rules and there are men.

Batya said...

perfect answer

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
I used to see bread - and large bags of peeled potatoes - left in large, sealed plastic bags outside of stores, but I haven't been in a city early in the morning in a long time.

Batya said...

Hadassa, you'll still see it, especially if the stores, restaurants are in places with limited roads, like Agrippas when deliveries can only be in the middle of the night.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
Are the bags sealed very tightly, i.e. is it a health problem?

Batya said...

It depends on what's "waiting."