Halacha for Thursday 16 Sivan 5781 May 27 2021

The Conditions to Permit Eating Foods Cooked by a Non-Jew

In the previous Halacha we have explained in a general manner the prohibition to eat foods cooked by a non-Jew, for instance, a Jew may not eat a potato cooked by a non-Jew; even if there is no concern as to the Kashrut of the food, our Sages nevertheless forbade eating foods cooked by a non-Jew for the reasons mentioned in the previous Halacha.

However, with regards to the actual prohibition of eating food cooked by a non-Jew, there are two conditions which, if they are not both met, it will be permissible to eat the foods cooked by a non-Jew.

The Conditions of when the Prohibition of Foods Cooked by a Non-Jew Applies
The first condition is that the cooked food must consist of foods which cannot be eaten raw or uncooked, such as potatoes, most kinds of meat, rice, and the like; all of these foods cannot be eaten uncooked and will therefore be prohibited for consumption if cooked by a non-Jew.

However, foods which can be eaten as is, uncooked, such as apples, carrots, and the like which are regularly eaten uncooked, may be eaten even if they were cooked by a non-Jew, for anything able to be eaten raw does not become prohibited when cooked by a non-Jew.

The second condition is that the food must be worthy of being served on a king’s table, meaning that only a cooked food which is respectable, such as meat or fish, is included in the edict of our Sages banning foods cooked by a non-Jew. However, a very simple dish which is not fit to be served on a king’s table may be eaten even if it has been cooked by a non-Jew.

Any cooked food which is missing any one of these two conditions, i.e. either it is able to be eaten raw or uncooked or it is not worthy of being served on a king’s table, is permitted for consumption even if it was cooked by a non-Jew. It is unnecessary for both conditions to be fulfilled.

In the following Halacha we shall discuss several examples of foods which may be eaten even if they were cooked by a non-Jew (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De’ah, Chapter 113).

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