The Pork Restaurant Security Guard
By Rabbi Yitzi Weiner
This week’s parsha discusses the mitzva not to eat non-kosher food, such as pig. This bring us to the following true dilemma. (Names were changed)
Tomer was a religious Jew living in Israel. He held a job as guard for a security company. One day his company was hired by a restaurant in Tel Aviv called “The Pork Barrel”. His assignment was to stand inside the restaurant and provide security for all of the restaurant clientele. The reason why he was hired by the restaurant was that In Israel, in an atmosphere that can sometimes be tense because of the security conditions, a security guard would give the customers an added sense of comfort and serenity.
True to its name, The Pork Barrel, owned and managed by Israeli Jews, was a restaurant that specialized in serving authentic pork. When Tomer received this assignment he felt very conflicted.
On one hand he was protecting his fellow Jews. That was certainly a mitzva. Also here was a place where there were Jews who were clearly very estranged from Torah and perhaps his gentle influence might inspire some people to feel a bit more connected to Torah. Also, if he would tell his bosses that he wouldn’t work there, it might put his job in jeopardy.
But on the other hand he did not feel comfortable about it for the following reasons. First, perhaps his presence as a security guard would make it easier for Jews to serve and enjoy eating treif. His presence would make it easier for people to enjoy the treif food. In addition, he always wore a kippa and tzitzes. Would it be a desecration of God’s name for a religious Jew to stand in this restaurant and provide security? Might it give the impression that eating there was permitted? Should Tomer put his job on the line and say no to his bosses?
What do you think?
See Veharev Na Volume Three 106
Answer to last week’s question “The Whiskey Collection”
This story is discussed in Chashukei Chemed Pesachim page 212. Rabbi Zilberstein writes that if the chometz was insured in a normal manner he cannot accept the money. There is a way to restructure the insurance policy ahead of time to be able to keep the payout if such an event occurs.