Here’s what I usually say….
“I’m sorry, I really appreciate you trying but I’m somewhat of a fanatic about these things. Because of that my religious position requires that I only eat the super-duper-extra-kosher stuff. Fortunately, that’s readily available in our area at xxxxx location or xxxxxx well know products. If you’re able to get those for us fanatics, that would be great. If not, hey, we really appreciate your efforts in considering kosher at all! Thanks!”
By self-labeling as someone really unusual, it puts the onus of the position on me and makes them perfectly comfortable in saying no. Yet it also opens the door to accomodation if they want. Sometimes I tone down the “super-duper” and use “extra kosher”, “extra stringent kosher”, “extreme kosher”, then I point to my big black kippah and beard and say, “hey, you’d never guess that I’d be fanatical, right?” That always gets a smile.
Jameel at Muqata posts the following about a new law making kiruv to minors illegal in Eretz Yisroel:
The winter session of the Knesset is now in session. MK Chaim Oron (Meretz) ascended the podium of Israel’s parliament and proposed a new law:
Any person who attempts to influence a minor, to become more religiously observant of Judaism,(להחזיר בתשובה) will be subject to arrest and imprisonment for 6 months.
A reader wrote a letter and MK Oron responded:
I welcome your letter to me.
Due to the many instances in which different religious groups in Israel try to cause minors to be “chozer biteshuva” [return to religion], either through activities, or the distribution of materials that contain threats within schools, I have proposed to outlaw all direct or indirect activities from organizations like those, that try to cause minors to return to religion.
My proposal applies to attempts to convince minors, who normally have less developed faith and opinions than those of an adult — and attempts to convince them to change from a secular person to a religious person; a transformation that should only occur based on self-reflection and without any pressure or external enticements.
I understand that you disagree with my viewpoint, and therefore, “[every] person in his own faith shall live”
Chaim (Jomas) Oron
Rabbi Yerachmiel Milstein has a free mp3 shiur at Aish, titled Bereishis: Who Banged the Big Bang?
In the beginning, G-d created…” These famous words lose some of their glitter when put alongside the many popular scientific theories that saturate our society. After all, what about the Big Bang, evolution, and the world being at least 8 billion years old? Rabbi Milstein looks between these divine lines and quotes ancient writings that show how the sages of old were light years ahead of current scientific discoveries – and that after all is said and done, the gap between science and Torah is really a lot closer than it appears.