Food and drink left under the bed

Food that is under the bed:[1]

One may not place cooked foods [or other foods[2], even raw[3]] and liquids under a bed.[4] [A number of limitations to this ruling have been suggested in Poskim: Some Poskim[5] suggest that perhaps this only applies to the bed of a couple and not to the bed of a man or woman. Other Poskim[6] suggest that the prohibition only applies if the food is placed directly on an earth floor, while if it is on top of tiles or a wood floor, it is allowed. Other Poskim[7] suggest that the prohibition only applies to an actual bed which is designated for sleeping, and not to a non sleeping area that one sleeps on occasion. Other Poskim[8] rule that the prohibition only applies if one slept on the bed. See Q&A regarding the practical ruling on all these suggestions! ]

If the food or liquid is covered:[9] One may not place foods or liquids under a bed even if the food/liquid covered with a metal vessel.

Bedieved: In the event that one transgressed or forgot and placed food under the bed, some Poskim[10] rule the food is permitted to be eaten.[11] Other Poskim[12] rule the food is forbidden to be eaten and is to be discarded in an area where people will not be able to access. The main opinion follows the lenient opinion.[13] Nevertheless, the practical directive of the Chabad Rabbeim was not to eat such foods[14] and so is the accustomed ruling amongst Chabad Rabanim.[15]

 

 

Q&A on bed that one slept on

What is the law if the food is not placed directly on the ground, but in a drawer and the like that is under the bed? What is the law if the food is placed under the bed on a tiled floor?

Some Poskim[16] suggest that the prohibition only applies if the food is placed directly on an earth floor, while if it is on top of tiles or a wood floor, it is allowed. Certainly if it was placed in a drawer that is under the bed it is allowed according to this approach. However other Poskim[17] are stringent even in such a case. Practically, Lechatchilah one is to avoid doing so although Bedieved one can use the above Poskim to be lenient to permit eating the food in a time of need.[18]

 

May one place food under the bed during the day if one will be sleeping on it?[19]

Some Poskim[20] write against doing so even if one will only sleep on it during the day. Other Poskim[21] write it is permitted to do so during the day.[22]

 

May one place food under his pillow?[23]

Yes.

 

May one place food under his mattress?[24]

Yes.

 

May one sleep with food in his pocket?[25]

Yes.

 

By a bunk bed may one place food on top of the lower bed which is under the upper bed?

This matter is disputed in Poskim, as explained in the first Q&A above regarding food that is not directly on the ground. Practically, one is to initially avoid doing so although Bedieved the food is permitted.[26] If a child sleeps in the upper bed then certainly there is great room to allow one to do so, as brought in Q&A below.

 

May one place food under a bed that extends from the wall?[27]

Beds that are made as part of the wall, such as a ledge that extends from the wall, or a hole that is carved into the wall, that people sleep on, may have food placed under it at night even while people are sleeping.

 

What is the law if another person placed one’s food under the bed?[28]

If a person placed someone else’s food under a bed without the owner’s knowledge the food is permitted to be eaten as it does not contract the impure spirit.[29] However, if this was done by a close family member then or the maid, then there is room to prohibit the food in such a case.[30]

Q&A on non-food products

May one use an Esrog for Daled Minim if it stayed under ones bed at night?[31]

Yes.[32] However some Poskim[33] are stringent in this matter.

 

May one use oil that was kept under one’s bed for the Chanukah lighting?[34]

If one kept edible oil under his bed, one is not to use it for candle lighting of either Chanukah candles or Shabbos candles.[35] However inedible oil [such as Shemen Lamaor olive oil] may be used even if it was kept under a bed.[36] Furthermore, some Poskim[37] rule that if the oil was set aside for the Mitzvah, one may even initially use it even if it is edible oil. Practically, in a time of need, one may be lenient to use even edible oil that was used under a bed even if it was not yet set aside for the Mitzvah.[38]

Candles: If one left a candle under his bed it may be used for the Mitzvah.[39]

 

What is the law if medicine was left under the bed?[40]

One may use the medicine.

 

May one place vessels and cooking utensils under the bed?

Yes.[41] However some[42] are stringent in this matter.

 

Q&A on bed that one did not sleep on

May one place food under a bed that one is not sleeping on and is the food forbidden if one did so?

Some Poskim[43] rule that one may place food or drink under the bed if he is not sleeping on it. Other Poskim[44] rule that initially, food or drink should not be placed under the bed even if one is not sleeping on it. Bedieved, if one went ahead and did so, the food is permitted to be eaten [even for those that are generally stringent to prohibit such foods] so long as one did not sleep on the bed.[45]

How long of a sleep prohibits the food:[46] If one plans to sleep on the bed during the night for at least a half hour then according all one may not initially place food under the bed and even Bedieved the food is forbidden according to the stringent opinion that prohibits eating foods that were placed under the bed even Bedieved.

 

Q&A on bed of gentile or child

May one place food under the bed of a gentile and is the food forbidden if one did so?[47]

Some Poskim[48] rule it is forbidden to do so, and even Bedieved the food is forbidden.[49] Other Poskim[50] rule it is permitted to do so.[51] Practically, initially one is not to do so, although Bedieved if one did so the food is permitted.[52]

 

May food be placed under a crib or bed of a child?

Some Poskim[53] rule it is permitted to do so.[54] Other Poskim[55] rule one is not to do so.

 

May food be placed under the stroller or baby carriage?[56]

Yes. One may place food in the basket that is on bottom of the stroller even if the child is sleeping

 

Q&A on item that is not a bed

May one leave food under a couch which at times people sleep on?

Some Poskim[57] suggest that the prohibition only applies to an actual bed which is designated for sleeping, and not to a non sleeping area that one sleeps on occasion. Other Poskim[58] rule that even in such a case it is forbidden to place food under the area that one is sleeping even if it is not a designated bed. Practically, if one placed food under the couch the food remains permitted.[59]

 

May one place food under one’s bus seat, an airplane seat, or a bed on a ship, if one plans to nap on it?[60]

Some Poskim[61] rule it is permitted to do so. Others[62] rule one is to be stringent. Certainly Bedieved the food is permitted to be eaten.

 

 

 


 


[1] Michaber Y.D. 116/5; Admur in Shemiras Hanefesh Vehaguf Halacha 7; Rambam Rotzeiach 12/5; Pesachim 112a; Yerushalmi Terumos 8/3; [This sentence, including all the parentheses, is the exact wording of Admur. Without the parentheses is the wording of the Michaber]

[2] Admur ibid; Pesachim ibid

[3] Implication of Admur ibid; Gr”a, brought in Binas Adam on Chochmas Adam 68/63, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 116/5; Or Yitzchak 14, brought in Darkei Teshuvah 116/36 and Kaf Hachaim 116/40; Igros Moshe Y.D. 3/20

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is permitted to place raw [uncooked] foods under the bed as the prohibition applies specifically with cooked foods [Implication of Michaber ibid; Aruch Hashulchan 116/11; Mili Dechasidusa 458; Kaf Hachaim 116/40]

[4] The reason: This due to that an evil spirit dwells on foods and liquids that stay under the bed. [Admur ibid; Michaber ibid; Raavad ibid; Pesachim ibid] Alternatively, the reason is because perhaps a damaging item will fall into the food and one will not notice. [Rambam ibid]

May one place food under the bed on the night of Pesach? Some write that on the night of Persach one may even initially place food under the bed as it is Leil Shmiurim and the evil spirit does not have permission to reside on the food. [See Hakashrus 18/26 footnote 109]

[5] Mili Dechasidusa on Sefer Chassidim 458

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that it is forbidden to place the foods under all beds. [Shaareiy Rachamim 156/2 in name of Binyan Olam that the Gr”a forbade sugar that was left in a cabinet that one slept on top of, brought in Darkeiy Teshuvah 116/38 and Kaf Hachaim 16/43]

[6] Mizmor Ledavid, and Yifei Laleiv 3 116/6; brought in Darkei Teshuvah 116/37; Kaf Hachayim 116/40 and 44

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even in such a case it is forbidden to place food under the area that one is sleeping even if it is not directly in an earth floor. [Shaareiy Rachamim 156/2 in name of Binyan Olam that the Gr”a forbade sugar that was left in a cabinet that one slept on top of, brought in Darkeiy Teshuvah 116/38 and Kaf Hachaim 16/43]

[7] Mili Dechasidusa ibid; Poskim brought in Darkei Teshuva 116/38; See story of Rebbe Rashab below that A person once asked the Rebbe Rashab what to do with food left under his seat on the train, if he fell asleep during the ride, and the Rebbe Rashab replied that the food may be eaten as the entire issue is only a bed that one slept on. [Heard from Harav Eliyahu Landa]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even in such a case it is forbidden to place food under the area that one is sleeping even if it is not a designated bed. [Shaareiy Rachamim 156/2 in name of Binyan Olam that the Gr”a forbade liquor that was left in a cabinet that one slept on top of, brought in Darkeiy Teshuvah 116/38 and Kaf Hachaim 16/43]

[8] Toras Chaim on Miseches Shavuos 15a, brought in Darkei Teshuvah 116/38 and Kaf Hachaim 116/43; Directive of Rebbe Rashab that the prohibition is only when one sleeps on the bed. [Heard from Harav Eliyahu Landa]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that it is initially forbidden to place food under the bed even if one is not sleeping on it. [Or Yitzchak 14, brought in Darkeiy Teshuvah 116/38 and Kaf Hachaim ibid]

[9] Admur ibid; Shach 116/4; Peri Chadash 116/6; Pesachim ibid; Chochmas Adam 68/3; Aruch Hashulchan 116/11; Or Yitzchak 14, brought in Darkei Teshuvah 116/36; Poskim brought in Kaf Hachaim 116/41

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that if the food is found in a vessel it is more lenient to be permitted. [Mili Dechasidusa 458, brought in Darkei Teshuvah ibid]

[10] Shvus Yaakov 2/105; Pischeiy Teshuvah 116/4; Chayeh Adam 2/2; Glosses of Rav Akiva Eiger 116/7; Yad Efrayim 116/5; Arugas Habosem 6/1; Shem Aryeh 14/12; Mili Dechasidusa 458; Poskim brought in Darkei Teshuvah 116/35 and Kaf Hachayim 116/44; Yabia Omer Y.D. 9-10

[11] The reason: As it is the Sages only initially forbade placing the food and drink under the bed, however Bedieved the food is permitted. [Shvus Yaakov ibid, based on Tur Y.D. 6 in name of Baal Haitur and Baba Basra 58 in Pirush Rashbam]

[12] Birkeiy Yosef 116/10 in Shiyurei Bracha; Zivcheiy Tzedek 116/28; Ben Ish Chaiy Pinchas 14; Gr”a brought in Binas Adam 63, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 116/5 and in Shaareiy Rachamim 156/2 in name of Binyan Olam that the Gr”a forbade liquor that was left in a cabinet that one slept on top of [brought in Darkeiy Teshuvah 116/38]; However see Darkei Teshuvah 116/35 that the Gr”a was stringent only upon himself while to others he ruled leniently and would tell them to eat the food; Avnei Yishpa 1/141 that Rav SZ”A and Rav Aba Shaul ruled to forbid it even Bedieved [brought in Hakashrus 18 footnote 103]

[13] Kaf Hachaim ibid that so rule majority of Poskim and if the stringent opinions would have seen all the Poskim that are lenient they would not have been stringent, and certainly one may be lenient in a time of great loss, or if there is another reason to be lenient, such as by raw foods, or if the food was not actually on an earth floor; Sefer Hakashrus 18/25 [p. 435] rules that the Poskim have ruled that Bedieved it is allowed, and especially in a case of loss, although when applicable, one is to wash the food three times.

[14] Directive of Tzemach Tzedek and Rebbe Rashab as recorded in the stories below, heard from Rav Eliyahu Landa Shlita

Tzemach Tzedek: The Tzemach Tzedek once witnessed his helper going to eat food that was left under the bed. The helper said to the Tzemach Tzedek “Rebbe, I do not fear the evil spirit.” The Tzemach Tzedek replied “Fool, fool, Do you know what an evil spirit is? It causes you for three days to not want to learn or Daven.”

Rebbe Rashab: A person once asked the Rebbe Rashab what to do with food left under his seat on the train, if he fell asleep during the ride, and the Rebbe Rashab replied that the food may be eaten as the entire issue is only a bed that one slept on.

[15] It is proper to avoid eating the food or drink due to it being damaging to one’s spiritual health, as brought in the story with the Tzemach Tzedek, recorded above.

[16] Mizmor Ledavid, and Yifei Laleiv 3 116/6; brought in Darkei Teshuvah 116/37; Kaf Hachaim 116/40 and 44

[17] Shaareiy Rachamim 156/2 in name of Binyan Olam that the Gr”a forbade sugar that was left in a cabinet that one slept on top of, brought in Darkeiy Teshuvah 116/38 and Kaf Hachaim 16/43

[18] Kaf Hachaim 116/66

[19] Hakashrus 18/27 [p. 436]

[20] Peri Hasadeh 1/4; Eiyn Habedolach 11; Shemiras Hagif Vehanefesh p. 58 in name of Maharsham, brought in Hakashurs ibid footnote 110

[21] Lev Chaim 1/66; Toras Chaim on baba Basra 58a and Shavuos 15b; Yabia Omer Y.D. 1/9; Avnei Yishpa 1/145 in name of Rav Wozner

[22] The reason: As the day time sleep does not cause any evil spirit to reside on the food and is thus allowed.

[23] Mizmor Ledavid, brought in Darkei Teshuvah 116/37; Shalmas Chaim 2/7; Hakashrus 18/29; See Daas Torah 116/5

[24] Shevet Hakehasi 2/244

[25] Shalmas Chaim 2/7; Yabia Omer Y.D. 1/9-23 that so ruled Ben Ish Chaiy; Hakashrus 18/29

[26] Az Nidbaru 6/73; Hakashrus 18/30

[27] Halachos Ketanos 2/122

[28] Rav Poalim in Sod Yesharim 6; Shalmas Chaim 1/12; Hakashrus 18 footnote 108 [p. 435]

[29] The reason: As the impure spirit can only reside on an item with the permission of the owner and not when something as done against his will. [Rav Poalim ibid]

[30] Rav Poalim ibid as by such people one can say the owner gives them permission to place the items where they see fit and their hand is like an extension of the owners hand.

[31] Sdei Chemed Mareches Lamed Kelal 141/31; Orchos Chaim 649/10; Chaim Ubracha 649/11; Chelkas Yaakov 3/77; Minchas Yitzchak 8/57; Piskeiy Teshuvos 649/5

[32] The reason: As one who does a Mitzvah knows no evil and hence the evil spirit does not reside on it. [ibid; see Admur 455/16; Ikarei Hadat 19 regarding Mayim Shelanu

[33] See Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeishev 12 and Kaf Hachaim 673/11 regarding the Chanukah oil and seemingly the same would apply here; Orchos Chaimk ibid brings Poskim that are stringent in the event that it was not designated for the Mitzvah

[34] Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeishev 12; Kaf Hachaim 673/11; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 673/5

[35] The reason: As since the evil spirit has resided on this oil, being the evil spirit resides on food, it is therefore repulsive to be eaten, and since it is repulsive to be eaten it is also repulsive to be used for the Mitzvah, as the verse states “Hakrivehu Na Lipsachesacha.” [ibid]

[36] The reason: As the evil spirit does not reside on inedible foods. [ibid]

[37] See regarding an Esrog: Sdei Chemed Mareches Lamed Kelal 141/31; Orchos Chaim 649/10; Chaim Ubracha 649/11; Chelkas Yaakov 3/77; Minchas Yitzchak 8/57; Piskeiy Teshuvos 649/5

[38] See Kaf Hachaim Y.D. 116/5; Yabia Omer 1/9-10; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[39] As candles are not edible and hence do not receive the evil spirit.

[40] Sheivet Hakehasi 2/244

[41] Admur and all Poskim ibid that only mention food; See Rivivos Efraim 4

[42] Taamei Haminhagim Likkutim 36 Kuntrus Achron 10 from Michla Diesvasa based on Rabbeinu Gershom on Baba Basra 58; Kinyan Torah 2/21

[43] Toras Chaim, brought in Darkei Teshuvah ibid; Directive of Rebbe Rashab that the prohibition is only when one sleeps on the bed. [Heard from Harav Eliyahu Landa]

[44] Or Yitzchak 14, brought in Darkeiy Teshuvah 116/38

[45] Or Yitzchak ibid; Rebbe Rashab ibid as heard from Rav Eli Landa

[46] Hakashrus 18/25 [p. 435]

[47] Darkei Teshuvah 116/39

[48] Degel Efraim 28, brought in Darkei Teshuva ibid

[49] The reason: This is not similar to the fact that the hands of gentiles don’t contract impurity regarding washing in the morning. [ibid]

[50] Olalos Moshe 4 [son of Degel Efraim] brought in Darkei Teshuvah ibid;

[51] The reason: This is similar to the fact that the hands of gentiles don’t contract impurity when they awake in the morning. [ibid; Admur in Basra 4/2; Peri Megadim 4 M”Z 7; Amudei Hashulchan 4/7] As this form of impurity [called Bas Melech] only desires to reside in a holy vessel which is defined as an area which contained holiness that departed from it, [in order for it to nurture from it], such as a sleeping Jewish body [as opposed to the body of a gentile]. The Jewish body has its G-dly soul ascend from it while sleeping and a spirit of impurity then resides on the body. When the person awakens and the soul returns to the body, the impurity immediately leaves the entire body and remains only on the hands. [Admur ibid] However a gentile which does not have a G-dly soul does not retract this impurity upon going to sleep.

[52] Teshuros Shaiy 2/116; Darkei Teshuvah ibid; Peri Hasadeh 3/159; Shulchan Chaiy 17/8; Hakashrus 18 footnote 101 and 118 [p. 434, and 437]

[53] Shearim Hametzuyanum Behalacha 33 Kuntrus Achron 5; Hakashrus 18/29 [p. 436]; All Poskim that are lenient by gentile seemingly would be lenient also by a child

[54] The reason: As Admur Basra 4/2 rules that a child does not carry the evil spirit on his hands in the morning.

[55] Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh p. 62; All Poskim that are stringent by gentile seemingly would be stringent also by a child

[56] Minchas Yitzchak 4/117; Hakashrus 18/29 ; All Poskim that rule the issue is only with a real bed, and only with an adult

[57] Mili Dechasidusa ibid; Poskim brought in Darkei Teshuva 116/38; A person once asked the Rebbe Rashab what to do with food left under his seat on the train, if he fell asleep during the ride, and the Rebbe Rashab replied that the food may be eaten as the entire issue is only with a bed that one slept on and not a seat. [Heard from Harav Eliyahu Landa]

[58] Shaareiy Rachamim 156/2 in name of Binyan Olam that the Gr”a forbade liquor that was left in a cabinet that one slept on top of, brought in Darkeiy Teshuvah 116/38 and Kaf Hachaim 16/43; Shemiras Hagif Vehanefesh p. 58 in name of Maharsham, brought in Hakashurs 18 footnote 110

[59] Rebbe Rashab ibid as heard from Rav Eli Landa

[60] Hakashrus 436

[61] Mili Dechasidusa ibid; Poskim brought in Darkei Teshuva 116/38 that the prohibition is only on a bed; A person once asked the Rebbe Rashab what to do with food left under his seat on the train, if he fell asleep during the ride, and the Rebbe Rashab replied that the food may be eaten as the entire issue is only with a bed that one slept on and not a seat. [Heard from Harav Eliyahu Landa]; Mizmor Ledavid, and Yifei Laleiv 3 116/6, brought in Darkei Teshuvah 116/37 and Kaf Hachaim 116/40 and 44 that the prohibition is only when placing the food on the ground; Tzitz Eliezer 10/35; Divrei Yisrael 15; Hakashrus 18/28

[62] See Hakashrus ibid footnote 113

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