In the next few weeks, many kosher restaurants NYC will create a special menu, called “TheNine Days Menu.” This menu includes fish and vegetarian options, replacing meat and chickendishes from the regular menu.Kosher restaurants in Manhattan and other places in the world that usually serve kosher meat andwine, create a Nine Days Menu in order to remain open, since eating meat and drinking wineduring these days is not permitted according to Jewish laws and customs.The Nine Days take place during the first nine days of the month of Av, which usually fall outaround July or August. It is a religious observance and according to the Talmud,“When Av begins, we diminish rejoicing” (Talmud, Taanit 26b).This year, 5773, or 2013, there is a period from June 25thuntil July 16ththat is considered aperiod of mourning over the destruction of the Holy Temple. The fighting in Jerusalem lasted forthree weeks until Tisha B’av, when the Temple was completely destroyed.Both the first and second Temples were destroyed on Tisha B’av. The first Temple wasdestroyed in 586 B.C.E. by the Babylonians and the second Temple by the Romans in 70 B.C.E.These tragic events have been mourned throughout Jewish history and observed by fasting. Wemourn both the loss of the Land and the spiritual center of Jewish life by being in exile.In keeping with the diminished enjoyment, the last nine days of the three weeks are morestringent with the mourning aspect, including refraining from haircuts, shaving, listening tomusic, eating meat, and any other entertaining activities.During this time, many Jews mostly eat dairy, fish or pareve products. For Kosher restaurantsNYC, this may pose a bit of a problem, especially if you are a kosher steakhouse in ManhattanAs a kosher restaurant, what can we do when many of our clientele cannot eat any meat for morethan a week?At Talia’s Steakhouse, a Manhattan glatt kosher restaurant on the Upper West Side, the regularmenu featuring kosher burgers, steak, wraps, etc. is always available. For those who observe therestrictions of the Nine Days, Talia’s Steakhouse, for over ten years, has been accommodatingguests with a unique and special Nine Days menu which contains a large selection of gourmetfish, pasta and vegetarian dishes. Talias Steakhouse becomes Talias Fish House. While there areplenty of meal choices, live music will not be available during the entire Three Weeks.Just because meat is prohibited during The Nine Days, does not mean that Manhattan koshersteak houses need to shut their doors for that time. A Manhattan kosher restaurant such as Taliasmay have between 15-20% non-Jewish customers who can enjoy prime rib. The Sephardiccustom is to not eat meat and drink wine only from the Sunday before Tisha Bav. ManyYemenite Jews only refrain from meat starting the day before. Furthermore, meat and wine arepermitted on Shabbat and for seudot mitzvah, such as brit milah. One may have meat duringthese days if required for health purposes, such as an anemic person, pregnant woman orsomeone who just gave birth. It is always wise to ask your Rabbi about the laws and customsduring this period if you have any doubts.
Nowadays, kosher restaurants in Manhattan still have plenty of non-meat dishes that they canserve to customers. So, BON APPETIT!For More information about Talias Nine Days Menu, click:http://taliassteakhouse.com/holidays/jewish-holidays/nine-days-menu/Talias Steakhouse & Bar668 Amsterdam Avenue(92nd - 93rd Streets)New York, NY 10025www.taliassteakhouse.com