An Israeli flag outside the South Side Sandwich Shop in Lakewood, NJ, owned by Yosef Mutterperl, is still flying above the store on Cedar Bridge Avenue, despite efforts to have him take the flag down.
The effort to have the flag removed began with individuals contacting the KCL, the certifying agency that supervises the kashrus at the store. The KCL, according to sources, reached out to one of its senior rabbinic advisors regarding this matter, Matzav.com learned exclusively. This rabbinic advisor felt that in light of the fact that the store is located in an area of bnei Torah, not far from the Lakewood Yeshiva, the flag should preferably be taken down.
The store has kept up the flag, which is flying next to an American flag and an Israeli Army flag.
Matzav.com confirmed that claims that the KCL would pull its hashgacha from the establishment if the store did not adhere to the request are false.
“The KCL agency would not pull one’s kashrus supervision for this reason,” the source confirmed, refuting claims on websites and social media to the contrary.
In addition, this small group of individuals opposed to the flying of the flag, Matzav.com confirmed, are not “anti-Zionists,” per se, as they’ve been painted on social media and the web. Rather, they are “yechidim who felt, as mentioned above, that being located in an area of bnei Torah, the flag was better left not flown in front of the popular smokehouse.”
“The story has been blown out of proportion,” Matzav.com was told, “from a simple request into a viral story about a store under attack. This was never the case.”
One of these individuals told Matzav.com that in a different location or city, they wouldn’t necessarily advocate for similar action, but in this case, they felt that the request was warranted.
Mr. Mutterperl is enjoying the newfound attention this story has brought his store, stating that he has “sold more sandwiches today than at any time in the past.”