Mets claim foul on reports of Shabbat ruling


NEW YORK (JTA) — Reports saying that a judge ruled that the New York Mets’ ballpark must allow a kosher-food vendor to sell its products on the Jewish Sabbath "mischaracterize the court’s verbal ruling," the team said.

According to a report in The New York Daily News, as well as the New York Post, a Brooklyn federal judge ruled that Kosher Sports Inc. should be allowed to sell its products on Friday nights and Saturdays at Citi Field in Queens.

Kosher Sports Inc., the owner of three stands at Citi Field, claimed in a $1 million lawsuit filed in June in federal court that it lost a half-million dollars in profits because the team does not permit sales on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons.

The Mets said that selling kosher food on the Jewish Sabbath was contradictory and that the company cannot be kosher if it is operating on Friday night and Saturday, the Daily News reported.

According to the Daily News report, Judge Jack Weinstein said he could not get involved in the religious aspects of the issue and ordered the Mets and Kosher Sports Inc. to work out the terms of an agreement. The company signed a 10-year deal with the Mets last year.

Kosher Sports sells hot dogs, sausages, knishes, hamburgers, beer and other food at Citi Field. The Englewood, N.J.-based vendor also has kosher stands at six other ballparks or arenas.

In an e-mail to JTA, the Mets said that "The New York Daily News and New York Post articles contain numerous errors and mischaracterize the court’s verbal ruling.  We have not received the written ruling, but we expect that it will require the parties to maintain the status quo (under which KSI products are not sold at Citi Field on the Sabbath) during the pendency of the litigation."

Rabbi Shmuel Heinemann, who oversees kashrut for Kosher Sports, told The New York Post in June that he did not give the company permission to make sales on Shabbat. If such sales took place, the rabbi said, the stands could not be kosher.

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