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Hu Flung Chow

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Topic: Hecksher, Restaurant open on Shabbat

Norman N. Seif wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

Can a restaurant that is vegetarian and uses all kosher ingredients, and were to undergo an halachic kashering process, and were to permit regular rabbinic supervision, ever achieve kosher status if it were to stay open on Shabbat? We are speaking of a non-Jewish (Chinese) establishment that caters to strict vegetarians (they do not even carry fish or cheeses).

Dear Norman,

Although special halachic considerations would make it difficult, a restaurant like the one you describe could theoretically become certified as kosher. In practice, it depends on the policy of the kosher supervisory council. I asked the Orthodox Union (OU) - one of the major kosher supervisors in the United States - if they would ever supervise such a restaurant. They said that their policy is not to give kashrut certification to any establishment that is open on Shabbat.

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