Food/bread cooked/baked by a non-religious Jew

May one eat the cooked/baked foods of a non-religious Jew


Many of us encounter scenarios in which a non-observant Jew cooked foods for us in our homes and offers us to eat the food. This happens especially when not all family members are religious and hence whether or not one may allow the non-observant family member to cook freely in the home, or if he may eat the food Bedieved.


The bread and cooked food of a non-religious Jew?

Some Poskim[1] rule that a Jew which is a Mumar or desecrates Shabbos in public[2] has the status of a gentile with regards to all matters, and hence all foods that are forbidden to be eaten if baked by a gentile are forbidden to be eaten if baked by this Jew.[3] Other Poskim[4] however rule that the prohibition of Bishul/Afiyas Akum applies only to a gentile and does not apply at all to a Jew, even if he is not religious.[5] Practically, one is initially to be stringent in this matter.[6] However, Bedieved, one may be lenient to eat the food.[7] It is customary amongst the Mehadrin Hashgacha’s to be stringent in this matter, to only have an observant Jew turn on the flames for the cooking of the food.


May one have a non-religious family member cook food for the family in one’s home?

Initially, one is not to have him to do so unless a religious Jew turns on the flame. In a time of need one is to contact his Rav.



[1] Admur 39/1 “He is like a gentile for all matters”; Michaber Yoreh Deah 2/5 “He is like a gentile”; Admur 2/10 “He is a like a gentile regarding Shechita and for the entire Torah, except for Kiddushin”; Rashba 7/53; Tiferes Lemoshe 113/9 [brought in Pischeiy teshuvah 113/1] regarding Bishul Akum [however not Pas Akum]; Erech Hashulchan 112/2; Kaf Hachaim 112/11; Ketzos Hashulchan 101/5 and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 72: Anyone who publicly desecrates Shabbos is considered like an idle worshiper and [thus] if he touches wine he forbids it, and the bread which he bakes is like Pas Akum, as well as the food which he cooks is like Bishul Akum.”

[2] Regarding who is defined as one who “desecrates Shabbos in public” in this regard-see next Q&A!

[3] The reason: As there is an additional reason mentioned in the Beis Yosef against Pas/Bishul Akum which is so one does not come to eat non-kosher foods, and this worry is applicable also by a non-religious Jew. [Kaf Hachaim 113/1 in name of Tiferes Lemoshe] Alternatively, this is due to a fine enacted by the Sages.

[4] Pischeiy Teshuvah 112/1 in name of Tiferes Lemoshe 113/9 regarding Pas Akum and even regarding Bishul Akum, according to the main reason mentioned, it is not applicable

[5] Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid

The reason: As the main reason behind the prohibition is because one may come to marry the daughter of the cook, which is a worry that is only applicable if the daughter is a non-Jew.

[6] Kaf Hachaim 112/11; 113/1; Sefer Hakashrus 19/18; Teshuvos Vehanhagos [of Harav Shternbuch] 1/470, 2/386 rules that at times of need one may be lenient so long as the Jew is not reform. Harav Asher Lemel Cohen ruled to me that it is allowed if the person does not desecrate “Lehachis”. [Vetzaruch Iyun from ruling of Admur/Shach brought in 2/10 which does not differentiate between the two.] Rav Avraham Osdaba however ruled to me that it is not allowed due to a question of Bishul Akum, and even if the person will get offended he must be told that he may not turn the fire on when he cooks. Practically, in a time of need one is to

[7] Kaf Hachaim 113/1

The reason: As in a Rabbinical dispute we rule leniently. [ibid] In addition, there are various conditions that need to be fulfilled for a Jew to be defined as a public desecrater of Shabbos, as explained in the next Q&A, and hence since most [if not all] non-observant Jews do not fulfill all these conditions, it is therefore a further reason to be lenient, even according to the stringent opinion.

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