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Jul 20, 2009 08:10 PM

Israeli restaurants and Tish B'Av

As indicated in an another thread on visiting Israel in August, we'll be in Israel ourselves for 10 days starting Sunday (7/26). Just as we were looking forward to checking out old favorites (Darna, Ethio-Israel) and some new ones (Eucalyptus), we realized that we were coming into Jerusalem right during the Nine Days period before Tish B'Av. We're Jewish but not strictly kosher types, so I didn't realize it until I noticed the Hebrew calendar date on a website.

Does anyone know how seriously the kosher restaurants in Jerusalem go meatless during the nine days before Tish B'Av (July 30th)? In the US it's the norm, but I do know of at least one kosher Israeli grill in the States that will do take out if it's outside, and being Israel, the exact pattern of observance aren't always the same as here (e.g. kitniyot/legumes being much more accepted in Israel during Passover than here).

If we can expect most meat restaurants to, well, not do meat, we're either going to do a unique parve/seafood experience, or may check out some other choices that aren't neccessarily kosher. I'm aware that most restaurants (all kosher for sure) will be closed, period, on the actual holiday. Any advice would be welcome.


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  1. My roommates and I went to a steakiya (kosher one, but don;t remember exact level of certification) during the nine days. The waiter told us it was during the nine days (my roommate was wearing a kippa but not strict about the time period) and we told him we didn't mind. We received plenty of food but the restaurant was all but empty. All the meat restaurants in Talpiot were open, there is a large clientel that does not keep the nine days and probably enjoying less of a wait.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JudgeMaven

      Thanks - my understanding is that it's more of a custom than a religous law per se. Although Jerusalem being Jerusalem.....

      From what I hear, there's more flexibility in Israel, where there's a broader range of Orthodox observance (like peole that keep kosher but are otherwise relatively secular), than in the US, where kosher restaurants might follow practices at the most rigorous level of observance to avoid alienating a smaller but more intense clientile, numerically speaking.

      1. re: sdrucker

        Eating won't be a problem in Jerusalem. If the restaurants are open during four of the six fast days then they will def. be serving meat during the nine days. Restaurants take a big enough hit during Passover; they won't be changing menus for these eight business days.