I just learned a new halakhah yesterday. According to the Jerusalem Rabbinate, having a TV in your dining room makes your food not-kosher. At least that’s what they told the little sandwich shop around the corner from me. Well, actually, that should be qualified a bit. The Rabbinate is willing to call your food kosher if you have a television set, but that’s only the pedestrian kashrut. If you want what they insist is the real certification, the mehadrin certification, the certification that tells you that it’s kosher enough for the supervising rabbi to eat there himself, then you have to ditch the tube.
I wonder what else is on the not-kosher list. Does having a radio treif up your dishes? Perhaps having an encyclopedia would make magical lesions appear on your cows’ lungs? Watch out, the word is that women workers often sneak in a little yayin nesach at the counter.
Bottom line, while we’re having our genteel debate on the virtue of bundling commandments, and whether eco and tzedek kashrut are valuable and worth pursuing, the Jerusalem Rabbinate (a state organization) has long ago expanded the meaning of kashrut, and our priorities are nowhere on their radar.
Clarification: The problem was having a TV in the dining room of the restaurant. To the best of my knowledge, no kashrut organization investigates a store owner’s private home.