Av 5759 – Bishul Akum

15 Menachem Av 5759

L’chvod HaRav:

I would like to make sure I understand the answer to the question about Bishul Akum fully, as it applies to a different situation:

My babysitter is not Jewish. Although she does not cook for my children, must I kasher the pots she uses to make her own lunch? Does this apply to pre-cooked foods as well (i.e. a hot dog cooked in the microwave)?

Thank you for bringing this to my attention!

Channah Garfinkel

Dear Channah,

You are bringing up an important application of the law we touched upon regarding the barbecue. When the Rabbis prohibited us to eat food that was cooked by a non-Jew, they included in the ruling the natural extension, which is the pots used for the cooking.

It is important to understand, though, exactly in which situations the food and the pots actually become unkosher. The non-Jew must alone complete the entire cooking process. This means that if a Jew did so little as light the pilot light of the stove, or stir the cooking food even a little, that is no longer considered food cooked by a non-Jew and is therefore permissible to eat. If, though, the non-Jew does absolutely everything, and nothing is done by a Jew, both the food and the pot are considered unkosher and the pot needs to be kashered.

Thanks for your question.