Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An Experiment I'd LOVE To Try...

There is a non-Jewishly owned pharmacy near where I work. Like many large pharmacies, they carry a wide range of products, including some groceries, candies, etc.

Around Channukah time, the store put out some Pashkez gold coin candies. They were put out in a Pashkez display box and were sold in the little red net bags. The red net bags had a little tag that identified it as a Pashkez product and had the hashgacha printed on it. In addition, many of the coins had the word "Pashkez" raised on the gold wrapping.

The coins were out for a while, but it seems the store got stuck with a few too many of them. Today, I saw a big plastic jar on the counter. It was filled with red and gold coins -- the red ones presumably being Christmas coins and the gold ones clearly identifiable as Channukah coins. The coins were no longer in the little net bags, but yet, on many of the gold ones, you can clearly see the word "Pashkez" raised on the coin. The coins were on sale for a nickel each.

If I had the time and the guts, I'd love to take 100 frum people (who would otherwise eat chocolate) into the store and offer to buy them a clearly identifiable Pashkez coin. I'd love to know how many people would fall into each of these categories:

a. Eat the chocolate

b. Not each the chocolate because of appearances/discomfort (because the coin was in the same container as possibly non-kosher coins).

c. Not each the coin because they have a very real fear that some non-Jews, in order to trick Jews into eating non-kosher food, removed the kosher chocolate from the Pashkez wrapping, inserted a non-kosher chocolate coin, and re-wrapped it again.

The Wolf


Larry Lennhoff said...

I'd fall into d) Not eat the chocolate because the waxy stale taste is disgusting.

BrooklynWolf said...

Fair enough... perhaps my qualification should have read "I'd love to take 100 frum people (who would otherwise eat THE chocolate)"


The Wolf

tesyaa said...

Raises a sh'ayla I have but have never asked. I often take wrapped hershey's chocolates from a coworker who keeps them mingled with nonkosher mints and other flavored nonkosher candies. When I eat the chocolate, I can definitely taste the flavor of the other stuff it's been stored with. But it's entirely wrapped with the hechsher intact. Feel free to tell me I'm eating traif.

G*3 said...

Are there really people who beleive C? Most non-Jews think that Kosher = clean/blessed by a rabbi, and really don't care about the eating habits of Orthodox Jews.

Larry Lennhoff said...

tesyaa - you should ask the sh'ayla. My understanding is that if the taste is evident you have a problem, but IANAR. (I am not a rabbi).

Larry Lennhoff said...

RHS talks about the unreasonableness of c in several audio shiurim. In particular, he paskens that if your coworkers bought a box of a dozen kosher donuts for you for an office party, and when you left for the day there were 5 donuts left, and the next morning there are still 5 donuts, you can eat them. OTOH if the box of a dozen donuts has been refilled, you can't eat any of them. He explicitly says about the first case that we don't have to worry in contemporary America that a non-Jew would maliciously swap out the donuts.

BrooklynWolf said...

I'm glad to hear that there is some sanity left then.

I personally know people who have stated C to be a very option (not WRT this specific case, but in general WRT food).

But then again, those are also some of the same types who believe the moon landing was faked. :)

The Wolf

Anonymous said...

isnt this the reason for the din of basar shenisaleim min haayin?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I think meat is a different halachah than other foods. That's why kosher meat sold at a grocery store is double-wrapped, and other kosher foods (such as dairy items) are not.

In answer to the original question, I'd be a little concerned that the foil wrapping was not sufficient to protect the kosher candy from absorbing the taste of the non-kosher candy, as tesyaa noted. If the wrapping were non-porous however I wouldn't be concerned.

Of course this is assuming that the Christmas candy isn't kosher, which isn't necessarily the case.

Bob Miller said...

How is the thick gold-colored foil not a good enough sealed/marked container from a kashrus standpoint? I challenge anyone to empty and refill one so that it looks brand new.