Is there anything wrong with a yeshiva bochur going out to a restaurant to eat lunch or supper?
I must tell you this. If you’re a yeshiva bochur, bring a sandwich from your home and don’t waste your parent’s money by eating in a restaurant. There’s no reason why you can’t make a sandwich and eat it in the Yeshiva. If you can afford it, maybe you can pay to eat something in the Yeshiva dining room. But don’t go to restaurants.
Besides that, a restaurant is a place where other people gather. You’ll mix with people not of your kind and sometimes it’s a moshav leitzim. And sometimes you’ll get harmful influences. In the Yeshiva you’re among your own kind and that’s where you should be.
And if you’re a working man, as well. Try to bring a sandwich for lunch and find a place where you could eat by yourself without anybody else around you. You don’t need company. Needing company is a bad habit. You can sit and eat your sandwich while thinking thoughts of Hashem. Thoughts of mussar. Or reviewing a piece of Gemara. But to spend your lunchtime just wasting time. No, no. That’s a terrible waste.
And you’ll save money too. A restaurant is an expensive thing. And besides that I want to tell you something. In a restaurant you don’t get to see what’s doing behind the doors of the kitchen. They take fish with their hands – cooked fish – and they put it onto your plate. Then they wipe their nose with their hands and pick up another piece of fish and put it into your plate. And therefore I can tell you that you’ll have no guarantee of personal hygiene when you eat in a restaurant.
At home, you know, you can wash your hands with soap and water and you can cut a piece of bread, a piece of egg and some lettuce and whatever it is. And you make a sandwich. And you have a sandwich made that’s not only glatt kosher but it’s also glatt hygienic. And it costs less money too.
TAPE # E-179 (February 1999)