Maoz Shwarma, SushiYa, Eating Out, Yeshivot & Seminaries

1. Maoz Shwarma and Falafel
2.    SushiYa Sushi
3.    A Note About Eating Out
4.    Spreading the Word to the Yeshiva/Seminary Scene


maoz-outside-sign-1Maoz Shwarma and Falafel
19 King George Street opposite Mashbir Department Store
02-625-7706
Badatz Machzikei Hadas – Belz Mehadrin

Visit conducted on Thursday, (Sept. 3, 2009).
Maoz is another veteran downtown Jerusalem establishment, now run by children and grandchildren of the founders. 

Mashgiach R' Cohen at Beni Dagim Restaurant

Mashgiach R' Cohen at Beni Dagim Restaurant

R’ Hillel Cohen, our friend from Beni Dagim, is the Belz mashgiach who comes in to check in the early morning. While the owner and workers are all Jews, most shomer shabbat, there is a one-hour period during the morning when the shwarma is prepared. R’ Hillel explains Belz wants to ensure the meat does not fall into the category of ‘vanishing from sight’, which would pose major halachic issues. Anyway, he is there, observes the placement of the shwarma on the cooker, and the remaining meat is wrapped and sealed with a tamper proof sign; to ensure the meat remains closed until the mashgiach returns. During the course of the day, there is a mashgiach that ‘comes and goes’ but there is reliance on the shomer shabbat staff, with the realization it is a shwarma/falafel store, far simpler than a meat restaurant.

Maoz Owner/manager Moshe

Maoz Owner/manager Moshe

By the way, I popped in on Sunday (September 6, 2009) to check, and Rabbi Cohen was there bright and early as he claims he is. One thing I forgot to ask, regarding the schita of the shwarma – which I learned is Belz.

R’ Cohen also checks the chick peas in the morning, used to make the falafel balls.

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Badatz Belz Mehadrin certificate

Badatz Belz Mehadrin certificate

SushiYa Sushi
1 Trumpeldor Street – Jerusalem
Badatz Agudat Yisrael

sushiya-signVisit conducted on Thursday, (Sept. 3, 2009).
Opened a short time ago, across the street from Beni Dagim. Why do I use Beni as a reference, because the mashgiach is our friend, R’ Hillel Cohen. Because the store is owned and run by Jews only, and there are no non-Jews working on premises, accompanied with the fact that it is sushi [no cooking], Agudah decided a mashgiach ‘coming and going’ meets the mehadrin needs and there is no necessity for a steady presence of mashgichim.

The mashgiach is R’ Cohen, who lives in the area, permitting him to cover this and his other responsibilities to the satisfaction of the various kashrut agencies.

SushiYa Badatz Agudat Yisrael Parve/Dairy certificate

SushiYa Badatz Agudat Yisrael Parve/Dairy certificate

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A Note About Eating Out
In my reports on restaurants, falafel, shwarma shops and eateries in general, I try to present you with a picture, the level of kashrus based on my on-site findings and statements from a mashgiach.

At the end of the day, when you enter a place, prior to being seated, I strongly urge you to verify the kashrut, that it has not changed, and that the certificate meets the four basic criteria – (1) original not a photocopy, and (2) that it is not expired and to ensure the (3) name and (4) address match the location.

Then, one is advised to ask for the mashgiach and feel free to ask questions. That is why he is there. Each restaurant report elicits an array of questions, legitimate concerns. I try to give you an overview but for additional details, concerns, questions, one should question the mashgiach of a particular eatery.

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Spreading the Word to the Yeshiva/Seminary Scene

I begin a new project this year, addressing visiting yeshiva/seminary students from abroad as they settle in for their year of study in Israel.

These young folks compose a significant segment of visitors to restaurants and eateries, and I dare say many, including second-year talmidim/talmidot, are clueless as to the unauthorized hechsherim and many of the other complexities of the kashrut scene in Israel.

midreshet-moriahI began in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood, addressing a fine group of students from North America attending Yeshivat Derech Eitz Chaim, and this week, Midreshet Moriah is on the agenda. It is simply marvelous meeting these wonderful young adults, sharing information with them, and seeing how eagerly they inquire and probe towards obtaining a better understanding of kashrus in Israel – seeking to ‘do the right thing’.

I am happy to be a very small part of their Israel experience and hope when their parents visit, they will follow suit – seeking to understand to raise their level of kashrut observance while visiting the Holy Land.

Of course all the students [and staff] receive the helpful Jerusalem Kosher News pocket kashrut guide, a constant reminder of the authorized and unauthorized kashrut agencies – a step in the direction towards taking control of our kashrut environment and not being fooled by unscrupulous individuals.

JKN laminated pocket kashrut guide for students and adults alike

JKN laminated pocket kashrut guide for students and adults alike

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One comment

  • Eliyahu
    September 6, 2009 - 15:55 | Permalink

    Regarding sushi in general, there IS one element of cooking in EVERY sushi restaurant, and an important one it is: Rice.

    For any sushi restaurant in Israel it is important to note that the rice is being checked. The word “sushi” after all means vinegar rice, and it may be served with raw fish and/or vegetables or even other foods, including cooked foods (like eggs.) And in places where there is a chashash that the traditional rice wine vinegar is not used, then the vinegar could also be problematic (especially if made from grapes,) and should be checked, too.

    When I was in Tokyo, the Rav there was specifically meikal on the issue of the bishul, because “[he] didn’t see problems with the rice when checking” (at the shul and his personal residence.) And although it is bishul akum, 1) he is NOT recommending that it is mehadrin, and 2) the ubiquitous practice there is to cook the rice in large automatic rice cookers, which are electric, and in which only rice and salt are ever put, and 3) the Health Department checks the rice cooking procedures, as well as inspecting for “poisonous” fish. (There are certain sushis made from poisonous fish, and only inspected restaurants with certified sushi chefs may prepare them.) He used the shita of many poskim regarding halav “stam”, in that fear of the government would keep them from adulterating the rice, and that they were being regularly inspected.

    He also advised concerned Jews to simply eat sashimi, instead, which is raw fish without the rice (or the fried eggs, which are also commonly used in sushi.)

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