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Yes, there is a blessing for a supermarket, if it’s the Fairway Market on Route 17 in Paramus, New Jersey.
|Rabbis after affixing mezuzah to Fairway Market door|
“Let me emphasize, I’m here for a private visit,” Rabbi Yonah Metzger said on Tuesday after touring the Fairway Market in Paramus, affixing a mezuzah to its entrance, and blessing it using a formulation that did not include God’s name.
Metzger, Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi, presumably did not sign off on the press release sent by Fairway’s public relations firm. It trumpeted: “Chief Rabbi of Israel to Bless Fairway Market’s Extensive Kosher Offerings.”
Metzger was in the United States for a two-day visit, primarily to speak at the Lubavitch Youth Organization’s dinner on Tuesday night. Metzger is “old friends” with Rabbi Shmuel Butman, head of the Lubavitch organization and organizer of the dinner, who said their connections go back decades.
The Fairway connection came from the honorees at Butman’s dinner: Howard Glickberg, Fairway’s chief executive and co-owner, as well as Richard Whalen, a leader of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents Fairway employees.
“We have good labor relations,” Moshe Morrison, director of kosher foods for Fairway, said. Morrison’s position at the family-owned supermarket firm is proof that, in his words, “Kosher is a huge program for us.”
Rabbi Avrohom Marmorstein, Fairway’s longtime kosher supervisor, and Rabbis H. Zecharia and Daniel Senter of Kof-K Kosher Supervision also were on the supermarket tour. Kof-K has begun supervising the kashrut at the Paramus store and at Fairway’s other suburban locations, including the newly opened store on in Woodland Park. Marmorstein now works with Kof-K.
“Marmorstein is known in the city. He’s a great hashgacha,” Morrison said. “But people in the suburbs haven’t heard of him.”
Marmorstein, who heads a small Orthodox synagogue on Manhattan’s 100th Street, began supervising Fairway when it was just one market on Broadway at 74th Street. The same mashgichim, or kashut supervisors, are working in the stores under the Teaneck-based Kof-K supervision, said Marmorstein, who also is a hospital chaplain in Hackensack and Ridgewood.