A Chassid In The Workplace Asks For Advice
Received today via e-mail:
I know you deal with this often, so I wonder what works for you:
Where I work, my coworkers often bring food to work for everyone (when they have a child, or when someone is leaving for greener pastures, etc). Out of consideration for the frum people, they often go to the trouble to get kosher food.... however, the usually get cholov stam or food from a "kosher" place that hasn't got a hashgocha that I ever heard of.
Some of the more modern guys might eat it, but there are a couple of us that won't.
What do you say in these situations? I dont want them to be insulted, so I make light of it - and they dont get outwardly upset at all... but I dunno what they're really thinking. What I cant understand is why they don't ask beforehand, but in any case what do you usually say?
A Simple Jew answers:
The fact they don't ask beforehand is a big issue and this is what I faced with my brother-in-law recently at the anniversary brunch.
The issue you raise is a real problem because for the non-observant Jew or for the non-Jew, when something is kosher, it is kosher. They simply don't understand gradations of kashrus. If you try to explain Pas Yisroel or Cholov Yisroel you often come across sounding like a Martian and you get a glazed-over expression in response.
To be quite honest, I do not have this problem in my office since I am the only Jew who keeps kosher and people generally know that I will not touch 99.9% of what they bring in. The only thing I eat is when I see the box with a clearly labeled hechsher.....that, or sodas like Coke.
I am sorry that I could not be of more help.
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