Rav Avigdor Miller on Avoiding Glatt Kosher Restaurants 

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Is there anything wrong with a yeshiva bochur going out to a restaurant to eat lunch or supper?

Rav Miller:

I must tell you this. If you’re a yeshiva bochur, bring a sandwich from your home and don’t waste your parent’s money by eating in a restaurant. There’s no reason why you can’t make a sandwich and eat it in the Yeshiva. If you can afford it, maybe you can pay to eat something in the Yeshiva dining room. But don’t go to restaurants.

Besides that,  a restaurant is a place where other people gather. You’ll mix with people not of your kind and sometimes it’s a moshav leitzim. And sometimes you’ll get harmful influences. In the Yeshiva you’re among your own kind and that’s where you should be.

And if you’re a working man, as well. Try to bring a sandwich for lunch and find a place where you could eat by yourself without anybody else around you. You don’t need company. Needing company is a bad habit. You can sit and eat your sandwich while thinking thoughts of Hashem. Thoughts of mussar. Or reviewing a piece of Gemara. But to spend your lunchtime just wasting time. No, no. That’s a terrible waste.

And you’ll save money too. A restaurant is an expensive thing. And besides that I want to tell you something. In a restaurant you don’t get to see what’s doing behind the doors of the kitchen. They take fish with their hands – cooked fish – and they put it onto your plate. Then they wipe their nose with their hands and pick up another piece of fish and put it into your plate. And therefore I can tell you that you’ll have no guarantee of personal hygiene when you eat in a restaurant.

At home, you know, you can wash your hands with soap and water and you can cut a piece of bread, a piece of egg and some lettuce and whatever it is. And you make a sandwich. And you have a sandwich made that’s not only glatt kosher but it’s also glatt hygienic. And it costs less money too.
TAPE # E-179 (February 1999)

Copyright © 2018 Toras Avigdor, All rights reserved.

Photos: Tsemach Glenn

20 COMMENTS

  1. The Rav’s statement is nearly 20 years old. While I wouldn’t argue with restrictions on young, impressionable students, I would ask a Posek of this generation – privately and individually – regarding adults. Different society, different contexts, different individuals.

    • Rav Miller z”l was a unique person. He was a בעל מוסר as well.

      You need to take that into account when evaluating his comments.

    • Exactly. Today is even WORSE! A Ben Torah’s makom is in the daled amos of the Yeshiva. Not mixing with all kinds of mishugoyim with treiffe hashkafos. Besides the issues of histaklus. No Bachur should have any reason for wasting his Parents money in any restaurant. If the Yeshiva serves food, eat in Yeshiva. I B”H was zoche to learn in an out of town Yeshiva for most of my Yeshiva life, so it wasn’t even a nisayon. Either you ate what the Yeshiva served or you went hungry. We brought with us from our off Shabbosim tuna fish cans and peanut butter. We survived ganz fine.

    • yatzer horah same 20 years ago so dont bang a teapot. if u dont understand then 20,30, 50 , 100 years
      ago you woudve made same statement

  2. A breath of fresh air!

    אשרינו שזכינו

    אוי מי יתן לנו תמורתו

    Thanks to the Tiferes Avigdor team for sharing such delectable tidbits from the past.

  3. Different society. Yes. Worse than back then. You have all types of foreign undocumented workers carrying any number of diseases working in kitchens everywhere. I see many times even at the front counters the staff scratches their heads and wipes their noses as they put together your food. I hate to think what happens when no one is looking behind the closed kitchen doors. Sometimes you will see workers wearing a plastic glove. But I watched how they don’t change it from serving food to taking your money. Rabbi Miller was right.

  4. You are right it is 20 years old and his comments are probably even more relevant today than they were then…

  5. Absolutely correct as usual the great reb miller ztl and I guess the sane came to be extended to our simcha halls with their illegal “help”

  6. As always, right on the mark. And his demeanor and tone were as calm and reassuring as his genius. ZT”L.

  7. See Igros Chazon Ish volume 1 igeres chaf. The Chazon Ish wrote a letter to a yeshiva bachur warning him to stay far away from achilas taava, calling it “avi avos hatumah lanefesh”.

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