Sidebar: Sure it’s Delicious. But is it Kosher?

04 May 2007

The OU/RCA Va’ad HaKashrut seminar included discussion of the following menu for a Shabbat Kiddush celebrating the wedding of a fictitious couple, Jeffrey and Susan. At first glance, it looks scrumptious. As second glance it still looks scrumptious, but it presents difficulties from the point of view of kashrut and Shabbat observance.

As Rabbi Dov Schreier, OU Rabbinic Coordinator for Food Service explained, “This exercise was included to be used as an interactive part of the seminar, for the participants to critically read the menu, which was carefully crafted, and to see what potential issues or problems with Shabbat or kosher issues would arise.”

Just what were those issues? Rabbi Schreier emphasized how closely and carefully the rabbi must examine the menu. For example, the lunch specifies centerpieces with candles. How will they be lit on Shabbat? Similarly, it specifies that gravy is to be served with the brisket. Since heating of liquids is not permitted on Shabbat, what provisions are being made for this? The birthday cake comes with an inscription. Will the rabbi permit it to be cut on Shabbat or should the inscription be written on a cookie that can be removed from the cake? Will the rabbi permit the fruit for the fruit cup to be cut to specific sizes or making it into balls? Regarding Sweet N’ Low and sugar packets, will the rabbi allow the use of individual packets or a powdered form to avoid tearing.

And you thought it was easy to be a mashgiach.


A. Friday Night:
Wine, Grape Juice
Fruit Cup- Melon Balls with Cherries
Gefilte Fish on a bed of Lettuce- Horseradish, Mayonnaise, Dressing
Chicken Soup- Lockshen, Mandlen and Matzo Balls
Barbecued Chicken
Brisket with Meat Gravy
Potato Kugel
Carrot Tzimmes
On all Tables: Challah Rolls, Cole Slaw, Cucumber Salad, Pickles, Soda, Ice
Mazel Tov Cake- Check with Host for Inscription
Coffee, Tea, Wedges of Lemon, Sugar, Sweet N’ Low

B. Shabbos Lunch
Centerpieces with Candles
Fruit Cup with Whipped Cream on Top
Gefilte Fish/Chopped Liver on a bed of Lettuce
Tossed Salad, Romaine Lettuce, Raspberries, cucumbers, tomatoes
Stuffed Cabbage with Gravy
Cold Cuts
Half a Roast Chicken
Brisket with Gravy
Potato and Lockshen Kugel
On all tables: Challah Rolls, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Cucumber Salad, Pickles, Soda, Ice.
Ice Cream (Pareve), Birthday Cake (Happy Birthday Mom)
Tea, Coffee, Mocha, Wedges of Lemon, Sweet N’ Low, Sugar

C. Seudah Shlishit
Challah Rolls
Macaroni and Cheese
Tuna and Egg Salad Platters
Cream Cheese and Butter
Milk, Orange Juice, Soda
Tea, Coffee, Wedges of Lemon, Milk, Sugar, Sweet N’ Low