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  1. #1

    Default Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Did a new construction final walkthrough inspection this morning, and the builder was present. I was in the kitchen and stuck my (paper) Starbucks cup in the microwave to test it. When I was done, the builder smiled at me and said, "You know, if this was a Kosher kitchen, what you just did would require them to replace the microwave."
    I had never heard about this, as I have never had a client raise the issue. Turns out the builder kept kosher, but her client wasn't Jewish, so I was okay in this instance. The builder also said that just bringing my cup of coffee into the house could be a serious breach of Kosher laws.
    Have any of you ever run across this? Do I need to start asking clients if they are planning on keeping a Kosher household? It has never occurred to me to ask, and I'm not really comfortable making it a check box on our appointment forms. Thoughts?

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    Welmoed Sisson
    Inspections by Bob, LLC, Boyds, MD
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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Welmoed,

    Did you ask the Builder ( who was f---- with you ) did he/his construction crews,subs, painters, carpet layers, utility workers, city/county Inspectors and the Relator, ( to name a few ) have/had practiced or kept "Kosher" carrying out their Jobs .
    * this was ( in my opinion) an attempt to intimidate you.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    If the buyer keeps Kosher, you'll likely know it in advance but yes, there are customs and traditions that add a bit of spice to the everyday inspection process. One kitchen I was inspecting for a home owner who just had a major renovation done I was told not to worry about testing the ovens since my thermometer had been used in non Kosher kitchens.
    Kind of like removing your shoes at the door, or seeing the "bidet" hose on the toilet supplies; interesting.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    My brother in law keeps Kosher. Just as the builder brought it up, my brother in law would remind any inspector of it, too. I don't think you have to be concerned. Any client keeping Kosher (or Halal, too) will almost certainly inform you of it. I have never had the kosher question come up in an inspection. I wonder if the builder can prove that all of his crew and/or subs didn't violate any Kosher rules when building that house, and finishing the kitchen. I've seen lots of guys eating their lunch in the kitchen while working in it.

    Having said all that, I suppose the possibility of being ambushed by someone claiming that you should have asked, is possible.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Oy vey, it's a lot of work to be kosher!

    Judaism 101: Kashrut: Jewish Dietary Laws


  6. #6

    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Thanks for the input! I actually emailed a good friend of mine who keeps a kosher home, and her response was that a microwave CAN be made kosher again, so the builder was wrong about that aspect. She also said heating up black coffee wasn't an issue at all, and that this was a case of being overly careful. She concluded with "I do know that people tend to tell non Jews the most stringent rules just to keep on the safe side. One of the nice things about the laws of kashrut is that they make it socially acceptable for some folks to be OCD."
    So I'm not going to worry about doing something wrong, and if it's an issue for a client, they will tell me.

    Welmoed Sisson
    Inspections by Bob, LLC, Boyds, MD
    "Given sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine."

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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Replacing the Micro was a harsh statement and yet for the buyer it may be true. Depends on several factors. The builder may have been expressing his anxiety that had been created by the owner. If you had ever worked in an orthodox home you would really understand how paranoid the builder may have been. Be aware of the instance when you find two identical kitchens in the same house. Sometimes one is the mirror image of the other.. One is everyday and the other is Kosher. And making a kitchen Kosher after it has been contaminated is a lot of work.

    My experience is that I have been told or I was insightful enough to ask the Kosher question. Often it is as simple as asking the clients congregation affiliation as the clue.


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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Another clue is the practice of having separate appliances, sinks, etc. in the same kitchen but in different areas, one for milk and another for meat. Obviously this is an over simplification of an extremely technical issue that may have various shades according to the strictness of the observer. Again, the client will likely inform you if it is an issue. If in doubt, ask.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    I did quite a few homes for people who were Jewish when I was doing my inspections - there is a very large Jewish population in South Florida.

    They may be Reform and there may not be much of a problem, they may be Orthodox (there are several types of Orthodox Jewish beliefs) or them may be part of the ultra Orthodox practitioners.

    If they have concerns about things being kosher or not, you will (at least in my experience) be advised of that right up front - and, yes, it can take a lot of effort and a lot of expense to make a contaminated kitchen into a kosher kitchen. For some, it is done once or twice a year for certain holidays.

    Friends across the street from us are Orthodox and the wife goes to A LOT of effort to make the kitchen and house ready for those holidays, and NOTHING can be anywhere 'in the entire house' which could effect it being kosher - so one practice is to put everything into the garage and 'sell the garage and it contents' to someone else for the duration. After the holidays are over, one simply 'buys the garage and its contents' back.

    Kind of like the Amish, there is a large Amish population in New York in the area where I was from - I was up there last summer on vacation and my cousin (who has Amish neighbors) explained that while they are not allowed to 'own' any machinery other than man or horse powered, they are allowed to 'use' such other machinery for their needs on the farms, so they borrow or barter the 'use' of someone else's machinery.

    And, like the Jewish people, there are different levels of Amish people, and some are not allowed to even 'use' such equipment. All depends on what they practice, and the rules vary depending on who is reading what part of them.

    Think of is in relation to other rules, such as basketball and 'double-dribbling' where one is not allowed to dribble the ball, stop, then start dribbling the ball again ... without first passing the ball off to someone else so they can 'touch the ball' then they pass it back and off you go dribbling the ball again. It's all in the "rules" one follows.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I did quite a few homes for people who were Jewish when I was doing my inspections - there is a very large Jewish population in South Florida.

    They may be Reform and there may not be much of a problem, they may be Orthodox (there are several types of Orthodox Jewish beliefs) or them may be part of the ultra Orthodox practitioners.

    If they have concerns about things being kosher or not, you will (at least in my experience) be advised of that right up front - and, yes, it can take a lot of effort and a lot of expense to make a contaminated kitchen into a kosher kitchen. For some, it is done once or twice a year for certain holidays.

    Friends across the street from us are Orthodox and the wife goes to A LOT of effort to make the kitchen and house ready for those holidays, and NOTHING can be anywhere 'in the entire house' which could effect it being kosher - so one practice is to put everything into the garage and 'sell the garage and it contents' to someone else for the duration. After the holidays are over, one simply 'buys the garage and its contents' back.

    Kind of like the Amish, there is a large Amish population in New York in the area where I was from - I was up there last summer on vacation and my cousin (who has Amish neighbors) explained that while they are not allowed to 'own' any machinery other than man or horse powered, they are allowed to 'use' such other machinery for their needs on the farms, so they borrow or barter the 'use' of someone else's machinery.

    And, like the Jewish people, there are different levels of Amish people, and some are not allowed to even 'use' such equipment. All depends on what they practice, and the rules vary depending on who is reading what part of them.

    Think of is in relation to other rules, such as basketball and 'double-dribbling' where one is not allowed to dribble the ball, stop, then start dribbling the ball again ... without first passing the ball off to someone else so they can 'touch the ball' then they pass it back and off you go dribbling the ball again. It's all in the "rules" one follows.
    Holy Kr.. Wow !

    Memphis has a large and long established Jewish History. History of Orthodox Congregations

    If Kosher is practiced it's a life Style not an event . Yes there are "Special Holidays. "

    Two Kitchens are the Norm.

    Why do Jews have two separate kitchens

    Welmoed,

    Watch this Builder !!

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 06-03-2013 at 07:58 PM. Reason: added Memphis Jewish History
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Probably the most interesting thing about this Post is that it demonstrates that there is much more to an inspection than writing a report. Also, in business as well as our personal lives it is important to know and understand the beliefs of others. And I bet that no HI training school ever spoke of inspecting a Kosher kitchen.


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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    I would say:
    I don't want to sound insensitive, but I'm here to the job I was hired to do.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    I would say:
    I don't want to sound insensitive, but I'm here to the job I was hired to do.
    Watch it Rick,

    Welmoed said the " Builder pulled the Jewish Card " next thing you know we might hurt the " Listing Agents " feelings.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Watch it Rick,

    Welmoed said the " Builder pulled the Jewish Card " next thing you know we might hurt the " Listing Agents " feelings.
    Yeah yeah.

    2 kitchens and the end product from each kitchen goes down the same hole.

    I lived in and around Jewish folks all my life. Never really a problem. They respect the fact that most folks may think different than them. They also respect the fact that not everyone should be held to their beliefs either.

    Now as far as the old world Hindus or Islamists. They will hold you to the fire. They fully expect you to honor, and obey, their beliefs. That is for the vast majority of folks I run into.

    Can't we all just get along????


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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Can't we all just get along????
    we should be able to peacefully ... Coexist bumper sticker.jpg

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    we should be able to peacefully ... Coexist bumper sticker.jpg
    I think I saw a bumper sticker like that on the back of a 73 VW Micro Bus.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    we should be able to peacefully ... Coexist bumper sticker.jpg
    LOL.........or how naive folks provide a label for the rest of us to easily identify them.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    Does anyone offer Kosher inspection services? Might be worth looking into.

    I usually simplify my life by leaving the coffee out in the truck. For new construction maybe I'd indulge if alone in the house. Nobody will ever know if I've contaminated their place or not.

    I normally politely refuse the offer of coffee or tea and cake from the home owner. I tell them I am working and won't be sitting down until I'm done. Reason, I get a cup of coffee from the seller, they expect me to stand or sit there and drink it. It's not polite to take one sip and then leave 3/4 of it sitting there.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    After some mental peculating.

    First off if the house keeps Kosher then the Selling Agent should (has responsibility) tell you this,
    or inform the listing agent and insist that you the HI be told.

    If the seller is there they should tell you on entering the house.

    If you see a Mezuzoh at the entrance to the home, then you have a good clue to ask. Doesn't hurt and does not offend anyone to ask. It may have been there from a previous owner.

    I think the Builder was just jerking your chain a little. If he kept kosher and he had built the kitchen for adherence Kosher and had a rabbi sign off on the kitchen, he would have told you in the first place. Else, he was just giving you a tweek. And now you have had a reason to learn something new. Your world has expanded.


  20. #20

    Default Re: Inspecting a Kosher home?

    First of all, your client has not purchased the house yet so unless it's advertised as Kosher it ain't. If it's currently occupied by someone who keeps Kosher you should be able to tell as soon as you walk in and would probably be a part of the listing. If a builder ever does that to one of you demand a notarized letter that none of his the workers have ever eaten a ham sandwich during lunch break in the kitchen area.

    One of my best friends kept Kosher. We ate all the shrimp and ribs on the patio picnic table next to the kitchen door.


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