I own a Grocery store/Deli. A large part of what is keeping our store in buisness is Catering. I have been approached by a conservitive Shul to cater simchas for them. They want me to serve my food that is made under the hasgacha of my store and the food that their members make at the shul under their rabbi. When I cater at that shul it is understood by the members of the shul as well as the orthodox community that the food is only to the kashrus standards of the Conservitive shul and not under my stores hashgocha. Is what I am doing against Halacha? I have worked in catering most of my life and caterers that I have worked for have done this and they are under reliable hashgochos. I hope you can help me with this.

Answer:

Catering for a Conservative event would not be a halachic problem.

The question of maris ayin is not clear cut, because the prohibition applies only when what you do clearly suggests a prohibited practice. If the Conservative shul usually has actually non-kosher food, and the impression is given that you are providing non-kosher food, you should make it known that all of your events meet high kashrus standards. If the question is only a matter of differing standards of kashrus, this would not be a concern.

Sources: See Iggros Moshe, Even Ha-ezer 3:19, concerning a question of somebody sleeping in a widow’s house while she is not there. Rav Moshe rules that it is permitted, because there are many ways of getting out of yichud, and there is therefore not a strong enough indication of a transgression. This would probably be true of the case in the question. However, if there is reason to think that the food is not kosher, there would be a case of maris ayin, and the public would have to be informed that the food is kosher.

Tags: conservative food maris ayin

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