Religion Magazine

Pizza and Bnei Braq to Meet Halfway

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
you know you live an exciting life when pizza is the big news item of your day...
Rav Landau is both the Chief Rabbi of Bnei Braq and also the head of a well-respected, and very stringent, kashrut certification organization.
pizza and Bnei Braq to meet halfwayUntil now, Rav Landau has refused to grant kashrut certification to pizza shops in Bnei Braq saying the very nature of the beast is problematic and against the atmosphere of a city like Bnei Braq. Even pizza shops that would be take-out only, without seating, were not allowed, lest they become hangouts. Despite Rabbi Landau's position against pizza shops, a couple of shops opened in the city in recent years, under other hechshers.
Now, Rav Ladau has basically given in and is allowing take-out pizza shops to open in Bnei Braq. He is placing strict conditions on pizza shops wanting to open with his hechsher, and/or approval, but it is happening.
Rav Landau posted broadsides around town announcing the change of policy. He says that the policy against pizza shops has been in place to preserve the atmosphere of holiness in Bnei Braq. However, in recent years many have broken policy and pizza shops have opened against the opinion of the local rabbonim. Therefore, after much thought and consideration, it has been decided to allow take-out pizza shops that will be supervised with the strictest kashrut and modesty guidelines they will accept upon themselves to not allow any seating  or gathering. Whoever needs a meal of pizza can now buy it in a way that is kosher and appropriate for our city. Lest anyone should think that the ban on pizza shops has been lifted, that is not so - it remains and stands in its place. The only thing allowed is the take-out pizza shop with a commitment to kashrut, modesty and a commitment to what was stated above.
source: Kikar and Behadrei
Change is slow. Right now pizza is being allowed in Bnei Braq, even though they say it isn't being allowed while allowing it, and tomorrow it will be mixed dancing! Well, hopefully pizza won't bring about the downfall of Bnei Braq.
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