Ben's Kashrut Certificates, Kosher Foods and Catering
Kosher Questions & Answers
Q. Is Ben's "Glatt?"
A. There are different levels of legitimate kosher supervision available in the world today. Some cater only to those who wish that every stringency be observed, while others are satisfied that the food is totally kosher without these extra stringencies. This is the practice in Israel where there are at least three different kosher standards that are recognized and for which the Rabbinate gives out certificates. In the United States the supervision that most resembles the Israeli mehadrin standard is often called Glatt Kosher supervision. "Glatt" is a technical term denoting that the lungs of a kosher slaughtered animal are free of lesions as detected, in the post shechita inspection though Ashkenazic and Sefardic definitions of Glatt vary significantly. In Jewish law meat does not need to be Glatt to be kosher. In America the term Glatt has come to connote “super kosher” for those demanding every stringency possible often having nothing to do with the lungs of the slaughtered animal. While we respect those who wish to follow these stringencies Ben's is a fully kosher, non Glatt restaurant supervised by Rabbi Paul Plotkin, founding chairman of the kashruth sub-committee of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly of America. All food products are either parve or meat and all are under supervision from approved hashgachot (supervisions). Our beef is under the Triangle K supervised by Rabbi Aryeh Rahlbag, the Rabbi of Young Israel of Avenue K/Congregation Ahavath Israel in Brooklyn, and who served for many years as chief Rabbi of Holland. Our other meat products are under the OU or KAJ supervision or other such widely accepted supervisions. Our mashgichim are ordained Rabbis whose names appear on the certification letter and who inspect 6 days a week on an unannounced schedule (yotzei venichnas) in addition to spot checks by Rabbi Plotkin and video surveillance in the stores.
Q. How can Ben's be kosher yet also open on Shabbos (Shabbat)?
A. Ben's certification attests to it serving totally kosher food and that no dairy products are present in any way. The kashruth status of the food is not impaired by Bens being open on Shabbat and in fact Jewish law permits food made on Shabbat to be eaten by all after a sufficient amount of time has elapsed after Shabbat for it to have been made. In addition Ben’s stores are leased to a non-Jew for the Sabbath and the holidays that Ben’s is open. Many manufactured products supervised by major national supervisions are produced in plants that run 7 days a week. Since the food was not made for any individual Jew it is permitted to all Jews regardless of the day of its manufacture. By being open on Shabbat Ben’s is able to provide high quality kosher food to its customers at a reasonable price as it does not have to recoup the losses of being closed on Shabbat and festivals. (Ben’s is closed on the High Holy Days and Passover)
Q. Is Ben's Kosher for Passover?
A. Our Rabbi's kosher certification is for the general kosher requirements of year round use. The menus and advertisements for the Ben's holiday meals sold before the Passover season clearly indicate that the meals are NOT prepared in a Kosher for Passover kitchen and therefore are not certified kosher for Passover. The hametz for all of Ben’s stores is sold and the store is leased to a non-Jew from the morning of Passover eve. Ben's is closed for the eight days of Passover.
Q. Can I bring in my own cake (or baby food**) for an occasion?
A. No. In order to maintain our commitment to keeping all our food served in the restaurant kosher, we ask that you do not bring any food or dairy products whatsoever in from the outside. This is the only way we can guarantee that everything we serve meets the standards of our supervising Rabbis. Please do not use any foods not provided by Ben's.
**Ben's offers complimentary kosher baby food for infants.
If you have any further questions about kashruth and Ben’s please feel free to contact Rabbi Plotkin at firstname.lastname@example.org