Question:

Dear Rabbi,

I am yet to learn my full hope as a working man today as a jew. I was yet kosher when I was employed and there was zero interest in my further employment after I changed jobs 3 times. I have realized some commentary to my own careful thought is that just I am a jew.

Torah teaches us in Zecharia 7:6 that when you are among others in the world and eat among the nations, are we not like them? I think that is suffice to think that the problem with a jew is that he must not resume a table with a non-jew.

In any sense, I think that my future should I find employment should consider that I would not wish to eat at the tables of the gentiles. Am I too severe or does this often cause a catastrophe? I have concerns that the full creed I know does not spell it safe for a jew in a market when he is fully kosher.

Does the jew have halacha that discusses how he can and should eat if he is among gentiles in a work setting? I assume one may not always have option to have a separate table and often there is work detail that discusses matters over lunch. It would likely be a discussion one might wish to examine.

Thanks.

Answer:

There are numerous halachos regarding eating together with a non Jew. We don’t eat from their cooking, we don’t eat from their home baked bread, we don’t drink their wine, we don’t eat at their weddings, and we can only eat items that are deemed kosher. These restrictions put up numerous barriers, so that although Jews should be cordial and courteous to the gentiles and treat them nicely and fairly, these barriers will help us not to intermingle with the gentiles and get too friendly with them, which can lead to intermarriage.   If however all of these conditions are met then it is permitted for a Jew to eat his sandwich on the same table that the gentile is eating his.

Sources:

Shulchan Aruch Y:D  112,113,114, Shach 88-2.

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