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non kosher restaurant chain in israel

Rabbi Yoel LiebermanIyyar 26, 5777
305
Question
shalom, i saw in the background of a report in israel a "McDonald’s" restaurant, probably selling kosher burger types in israel, the point is these retaurants chain are founded of western people in the western world. there and in many other countries they do sell pig meat burgers and meat+ cheese combination burgers(i know because i live in germany(was born in albania) so the thought is do they deserve the honor of selling in the holy land of Israel, descendants of avraham whereas they could easily be replaced by israeli burger restaurants
Answer
ב"ה Shalom In order to answer you properly I would to have approach the issue from a sentimental and commercial point of view and from point of view of Jewish law. From a sentimental point of view, I somewhat identify with you. Since certain food chains represent a culture which is foreign to Judaism especially when they market pork or meat and milk which are diametrically opposed to Jewish culture, there is feeling of distance that one wants to uphold. However, as you pointed out, the restaurant you saw was a kosher one. Though it still bears the brand name, since it is now kosher it is now dissociated from all the negative things which you mentioned. Furthermore, to the best of my knowledge these kosher branches, besides the fact that they bear "kosher" signs, they have other distinct signs which make them look different than the regular branches. So, I guess you can say, these branches to an extent have been "converted" to Judaism. From the commercial point of view, it is not that the Jewish state promotes one food chain or the other. People who feel they can make business in Israel do what is necessary to sell what people want to buy. There are other food chains in Israel which have non-kosher counterparts abroad, making Israel exclusive for having the only kosher braches around the world. For tourists from abroad who keep kosher, eating at these places is sort of an attraction. Therefore, from the point of view of Jewish law as long as the guidelines for keeping kosher are kept, there is no reason to deny such establishments. I don't think it is any different than the eating of kosher food belonging to a certain brand, of which some items made under the same brand name do not have kosher certification. Jews all over the world look for the kosher symbols or look at their kosher lists to know they are buying kosher products, although the same company may produce some non-kosher items which are not to our taste. All the best
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