Religion Magazine

Hechsher Pulled from Restaurant on Tisha bAv

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
While everyone was arguing about the initiative of some secular extremists in Tel Aviv to pressure restaurants to stay open and service the public on Tisha bAv, a branch of Holy Bagel in Jerusalem, in the Ramot Mall, opened up on Tisha bAv afternoon.
It is somewhat culturally acceptable for food establishments to open in the afternoon, though not in the capacity of a sit-down restaurant. They can generally open up for the purpose of selling food for people to use to break the fast, and the like.
This afternoon the hechsher of Rabbi Rubin put out signs saying that their hechsher has been removed from Holy Bagel in the Ramot Mall and they are no longer responsible for the kashrut of the food there.
hechsher pulled from restaurant on Tisha bAv
From the reports, it seems that after Holy Bagel opened, some people saw, and complained about, a woman, or two women, sitting and ordering food. Rabbi Rubin immediately pulled the hechsher. There is supposedly a video that went around showing this, though I have not seen it.
In response, the owner of the branch said that he opened for the purpose of preparing food for takeout for people to buy to break the fast. This one incident happened when he wasn't yet there and it was the wife of an employee who is pregnant and had some sort of medical urgency and desperately needed a drink so she sat down and had one. He is confident that he will get the hechsher back when it is all cleared up.
source: Kikar
I don't know what the rules are exactly, and it seems to be not so clear. Even though Tisha bAv was pushed off rather than on its official day, and therefore people can be more lenient about fasting if they have a need, it is still inappropriate for recreational activities such as sitting in a restaurant.
I have no idea if the hechsher in this instance investigated and discussed it with the owner to get the situation clear before making a decision or if they just pulled it right when they found out. On the one hand I wouldn't want people to take advantage and turn it into a recreational day using the excuse that they don't feel good. On the other hand, I would not want a restaurant to refuse to service someone who really does not feel good out of fear of losing the hechsher and instead prefer to let a pregnant woman suffer in the heat.
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