CONTACT US BY PHONE : 212-580-3770
This year, Valentine’s Day falls on the Sabbath, Friday, February 14, 2014. Before we will express our perspective toward Valentine’s Day in general and toward Valentine’s Day which falls on the Sabbath, in particular, let’s review the following interesting facts. Based on research conducted over the past 10 years, 21% of Americans regularly or occasionally purchases kosher products simply because they are kosher (i.e. kosher hot-dog). With respect to question why do Americans buy kosher? Only 8% responded: because they keep kosher at all time. http://www.lubicom.com/kosher/statistics
As to the question - what is the percentage of American Jews who keep kosher, it seems that there is neither a clear cut answer nor a strong and reliable, authoritative source. However, based upon several sources cited in Wikipedia under the Kashrut entry and an extensive 2000-1 survey conducted by United Jewish Communities (http://www.jewishfederations.org/local_includes/downloads/4983.pdf), one may draw a solid conclusion that about 15% of Jews in America observe the kosher laws. There is no doubt that the percentage of those who observe the Sabbath and kosher laws are much less than 15%.
Therefore, Manhattan Kosher restaurants can safely predict a dramatic decrease in the number of customers who will go out to dine on Valentine’s Day which falls on the Sabbath this year.
Though many may not be aware of its origins, Valentine’s Day actually has its roots in Christianity. As such the appropriateness of Jews celebrating creates serious questions of Halakha (Jewish laws). Though in our time Valentine’s Day has, to a great degree, lost its religious symbolism, many Jewish religious authorities view its celebration as prohibited by Halakha. Because Valentine’s Day falls this year on a Friday, Talia’s Steakhouse would like to use the opportunity of Valentine’s Day to remind patrons that our commitment to family, our friends and relationships stems from our commitment to G-d and to our Holy Torah. Our Rabbis tell us that Friday night is a special night, whereby our Jewish observance takes on a spiritually romantic role. Shabbat is referred to as a bride in our prayer service, for we welcome her with a beautifully set table, nice attire, and delicacies. As Jews governed by Torah Law we can use February 14th to make a powerful statement as to our perception of the role that spirituality plays in love and romance.
Join us at Talia’s for a beautiful and sumptuous meal celebrating Shabbat, and our commitment to Judaism and the spiritual legacy that our forefathers bequeathed to us in accordance with the laws and customs of our People as handed down by Moshe our Teacher at Sinai.
During the last eleven years, Talia’s Steakhouse advertised Valentine’s Day as follows: “Turn Valentine’s Day 2013 into a Glatt kosher Jewish celebration of love and romance at Talia’s Steakhouse & Bar.” Many customers and several blogs were questioning the issue of whether or not a Glatt Kosher Manhattan restaurant should celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Is Talia’s going to use the same original advertised title of “Turn Valentine’s Day into a Glatt Kosher Celebration”? The answer to this question is “No.”
When we advertised in the past, the idea was to turn the non-holy (St. Valentine) into holy, i.e., Glatt Kosher dinner filled with brachot, such as netilat yadaim, birkat hamazon, etc.
Since this year, Valentine’s coincides with Shabbat, the holiest day of the week, there is no point of turning something unholy into holy, since the day is already holy.
You can view several arguments relating to the topic of celebrating Valentine’s Day at the following links:
Talia’s management would love to have your input on this subject.