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New York - Bishul Akum: Upgrading Our Kashrus

Published on: July 10, 2013 10:29 AM
By: Rabbi Yair Hoffman
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New York - With the Nine Days upon us, the Fleishig restaurants are either empty and closed or near empty and serving a pareve menu. With this brief vacation from meat restaurant food, we can perhaps gain some perspective.  It might pay to consider the following thoughts. 

Our restaurants and stores advertise all sorts of halachic standards—chalav Yisrael, pas Yisrael, glatt kosher, chassidishe shechitah, kashrus l’mehadrin, etc. Things are very different from the way they were a generation or two ago. Certainly we seem to have come a long way.

There is one area, however, where for some reason our communities have latched onto a kashrus leniency unique to the Ashkenazic world, and one that this author suggests we should perhaps reevaluate. The issue has to do with a somewhat lenient observance of some of the laws of bishul akum, specifically our reliance on merely having the fire turned on by the mashgiach to avoid what would otherwise be considered bishul akum.

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What is bishul akum? The prohibition of consuming bishul akum, foods prepared by an eino Yehudi, is of rabbinic origin. The reasons that the sages enacted this prohibition were twofold: It was a measure to avoid intermarriage and it was a means of further preventing the consumption of non-kosher food.

There are some foods to which the sages did not extend the prohibition. Bishul akum does not apply to foods that can be eaten raw. Nor do the laws of bishul akum apply to foods that are not fit for a king’s table or that of a prestigious government official.

The leniency. What is the leniency that we should perhaps consider re-evaluating? The leniency is called “hadlakas ha’eish” and is espoused by Rabbi Moshe Isserles, author of the Rama in his commentary on the Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 113:7). The Shulchan Aruch states explicitly that a Jew must contribute significantly to the cooking process. Essentially, the Rema’s ruling states that if the Jew were to merely light the fire, this is enough to countermand the prohibition of bishul akum. It is unclear, however, whether the Rema meant this as an ideal or whether he merely ruled that post facto the food is not prohibited.

In addition, today, most kashrus organizations have taken the Rema a step further and rely on a pilot light lit by a Jew many days, weeks or months prior to the actual cooking - a practice to which that many halachic authorities have raised serious opposition.

Why we should be stricter. The reasons that we might consider reevaluating the leniency are as follows:

1. There appears to be scant basis for this leniency in the Talmud itself. The section of the Talmud that deals with the issue of bishul akum is found in Tractate Avodah Zarah (38a). A bereisa quoted there states that someone may place the food upon the fire and allow the eino Yehudi to continue cooking it until it is finished. The bereisa seems to be teaching us the parameters of what constitutes bishul akum. Had the leniency of merely lighting the fire been acceptable as well, it is likely that the bereisa would have informed us of this. Later on, the Gemara states this very leniency of lighting the fire in regard to the baking of bread. (Halachah generally draws a distinction between the prohibitions of breads baked by an eino Yehudi and foods cooked by an eino Yehudi.)

In addition to the idea that lighting the fire is sufficient, the Rema seems to be lenient in another matter as well. He indicates that if the Yehudi partook in a part of the cooking that would not have eventually accomplished a full cooking of the food, it is still sufficient. The Shach (Y.D. 113:9) writes that this is against our Gemara.

2. A number of Rishonim hold that food prepared with this leniency is not kosher. This is also the opinion of the author of the Shulchan Aruch. This is the view of the Rashba, Ran, Ritva, and RiVash, among others. The Shulchan Aruch too clearly prohibits food that was prepared by an eino Yehudi when only the fire was lit by a Yehudi. It should also be noted that none of the other Rishonim mention any hint of such a leniency in their codes. Not the Rif, the Rosh, nor the Rambam.

3. The Vilna Gaon writes that food prepared with this leniency is not kosher. The Vilna Gaon identifies the source of the Rema’s leniency in regard to when the Jew had stoked the fire. He states that the Rema’s ruling was based on the idea found in the Talmud in Tractate Shavuos that when someone else other than a kohein brings a korban onto the fire, he is liable with his life. This is true even when the non-kohein merely sped up the cooking process by stoking the fire. The Vilna Gaon writes that the Rema’s extension of this idea to include just lighting the fire is incorrect. The Vilna Gaon would thus not have eaten at any one of our restaurants that rely on this leniency.

4. A few Acharonim, including the Chayei Adam, write that we should avoid relying upon this leniency if possible. The TaZ also writes that this leniency of the Rema should only be relied upon in the home of a Yisrael, but otherwise should not be relied upon. Indeed, when the author of the Levush, Rabbi Mordechai Yaffe, a student of the Rema himself, reformulated the ruling, he left out the words employed by his teacher in the original formulation, “and this is how we rule.” The implication is that the Levush himself was uncomfortable with it.

5. Avoiding this leniency would provide necessary jobs for Jewish youth as well as Jewish men who are out of work. Very few jobs are available for young Jewish men and women who are not in college or studying in yeshiva. If we as a community were to avoid this leniency, then jobs in the local cooking industries would open up. An extra 30 to 40 jobs in each neighborhood alone would be a tremendous boon to those looking for work.

6. It would cause an overall improvement to our kashrus standards and help prevent people from stumbling in this area of halachic observance. The reality is that in many homes in the neighborhood, cooking is done by einam Yehudim, even with ovens that do not have pilot lights, with the result that bishul akum is virtually ignored in our neighborhoods. Part of the reason why they take it so lightly is that they do not see the restaurants observing this either. If our local Vaad would upgrade this standard, the change would be readily identifiable and people would realize the seriousness of this halachah.

7. It would show that we also care that our Sephardic brethren can keep kosher in our establishments as well. It is unfortunate that in this area we have established our kashrus standards to meet only the requirements of Ashkenazic Jews who hold of the leniency, while ignoring the needs and requirements of our Sephardic brethren. This is perplexing because we do often accommodate those who observe chalav Yisrael at a much greater expense, even though the majority of local residents do not exclusively eat chalav Yisrael. Why have we not been as accommodating toward Sephardim?

A counter-argument. One might counter that in a restaurant setting, it is not highly likely that bishul akum would result in intermarriage. While this may be true, we must consider that the sages who enacted the protective fences of Judaism were much wiser than we are. Aside from the respect that we must have for halachah itself, there are also farther-reaching repercussions to consider. The issue of laxity involving the bishul akum of household help is serious and has, unfortunately, led to some serious lapses.

Conclusion. This article is not stating that the Rema should not be relied upon even b’dieved. We should not question a lenient ruling that has become part of the mesorah of K’lal Yisrael. Rather, this article is advocating improving the standard so that we can observe the laws of kashrus l’chatchilah, in the best manner possible. The Midrash tells us (Shir HaShirim Rabbah) that, at least according to one opinion, the entire episode of the rise of Haman happened because we were lax in the area of bishul akum at the initial party made by Achashverosh. We can only stand to benefit by upgrading our observance of this aspect of kashrus. 

The author may be reached at yairhoffman2@ gmail.com .



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Read Comments (42)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 10, 2013 at 10:57 AM Emes- Says:

I heard in the name of Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach ZT'L that societies that are more lenient with the laws of bishul akum have a higher rate of intermarriage than those societies which are stricter with the laws of bishul akum.

2

 Jul 10, 2013 at 11:14 AM yolish Says:

Rabbi You are so right!!!

3

 Jul 10, 2013 at 11:30 AM Yitzchok848 Says:

BS"D

WOW. This would also mean the end of most catering as we know it including chasunahs, etc. However, it would seem to be a serious matter that we must take into consideration.
Shalom Al Yisroel.

4

 Jul 10, 2013 at 11:22 AM Anonymous Says:

It is said in the name of Reb Shlome Zalmen Oierbach Zatsa'l that the reason for the high rate of intermarriage could be because of the kulos that we use in Bishul Akum.

5

 Jul 10, 2013 at 11:11 AM Don't Agree Says:

As someone who works in a restaurant I can tell you the following two or three things:
1) No restaurant can afford to pay Jewish chefs to cook all day - unless they are high class restaurants 2)No Mashgiach wants to be hanging out over a fire all day watching someone cook instead of learning in the corner 3) You have probably never been inside a restaurant and only learned these opinions because it is more likely to marry to waiter interacting with you everyday, making jokes with you, than some guy stuck in the back kitchen whom you are likely never to meet

6

 Jul 10, 2013 at 11:10 AM MeirYaakov Says:

The Gemara says that those who always go for chumras on everything are fools. We never see charedi rabbis pointing out currently not-used leniencies, such as the Mechaber's implication that women putting on tefillin is a mitzvat reshut. Come to your own conclusion.

7

 Jul 10, 2013 at 11:06 AM Anonymous Says:

Interesting view of a an arcane halacha and leniency. What troubles me is that Rav Hoffman sort of avoids one of the primary issues until the very end of the article and then dismisses the obvious irrelevance of the "intermarriage concern", one of the original underlying reasons chazal established the bishul akum prohibition, with the comment of "who are we to question". Perhaps there would be more attention to this and other hilchos kashruth if there was greater transparency as to areas we were taught to be machmir on a specific issur based on a specific and known historical concern and where that concern is clearly no longer a primary rationale for continuing the issur. Perhaps the second reason alone (i.e. the belief that goyim were inherently less trustworthy on kashruth matters than yidden) is sufficient to continue the practice, but the evidence is not very assuring on that point. However, to continue the practice and go further and eliminate the leniency in the name of a "jobs program" for uneducated and dysfunctional bochurim in heimeshe restaurants strikes me as a bit silly. Perhaps focus on giving them real jobs skills. Otherwise, it like working in Mcdonalds

8

 Jul 10, 2013 at 10:58 AM ComeOn Says:

The Rema is VERY clear.
He doesn't say it's b'dieved so therefore it is completely mutar.
Your #5 point is foolish and will drive up food prices that are already absurd.
There is no basis for this examination of bishul akum (for ashkenazim, seforim should be, and I know many that have always been, machmir)
The Poskim do not place restrictions lightly and for us to "have a discussion" and create "asifas" (aka- activist slush funds) is completely wrong and will cause many jews to doubt many other CLEAR CUT rulings of the Rema.

9

 Jul 10, 2013 at 11:58 AM ELEPHANT Says:

does anybody know if a blow torch used to torch salmon on sushi is considered bishul akum ??

10

 Jul 10, 2013 at 10:46 AM Anonymous Says:

Your idea might actually be counterproductive to your intentions. Obviously these jobs will not be paying much money and will be filled by young yeshivah boys who will now their entire day in the kitchen with ainyom yehudim and create more intermarriage.

11

 Jul 10, 2013 at 10:52 AM Gum-Zu-Lechumra Says:

Nothing like having "New and Improved" chumras, especially during the 9 days. Even if it was good enough for our great grandparents , whose modes and manners of dressing we continue to imitate, if we can be machmir why not. After anyone can be makil, its finding a new chumrah that's not so easy

12

 Jul 10, 2013 at 10:48 AM Yoin9 Says:

I was employed by a store where I witnessed many flagrant violations regarding kashrut most rabbonim are on the payroll of the vaad and don't support the workers rather they TL the owners who threaten them with leaving their hashgacha!

13

 Jul 10, 2013 at 11:30 AM BISSELSECHEL Says:

chas vesholom that nowadays we should rely on a "possible leniency" even if it is a psak of the REMA upon whom the entire Ashkenazic community relies on for all psak halacha

14

 Jul 10, 2013 at 12:07 PM Anonymous Says:

UNREALISTIC!

15

 Jul 10, 2013 at 12:14 PM Nine Days Says:

Why is everyone so abusive to the author? Characterizing his writings as foolish is disrespectful. During the Nine Days at least I think we should change our tone. Am I off, or do others out there agree?

16

 Jul 10, 2013 at 12:21 PM yaakov doe Says:

Bishul Akum was never an issue until the 20th centrury because aside from a traveler eating at an inn, almost every meal was cooked and eaten in ones own home.

You are not going to find frum young men working all day in a hot kitchen for even twice the wage than the non Jews are earning.

The cost of catering, restaurant meals,pizza, takeout food, and grocery items would substantially and create ecconomic hardship for many.

17

 Jul 10, 2013 at 12:29 PM frimeyid Says:

WOW...I never thought I would see this. This is taking it to a whole new level of stupidty. Rabbi Hoffman, I have the utmost respect for you and almost always agree with your thoughts and analysis. However, this is so far beyond the realm of chusid shoiteh I can't even categorize it. Tell me this is an attempt at humor in these sad days, please.

18

 Jul 10, 2013 at 12:45 PM Sefardi Blood Says:

I agree with the poster who said to keep respect. Why is it chassid shoteh to make the restaurants in the United States kosher also for sfaradim? We are also Jews. Why is it so outlandish to accomadate us. Are we not your brothers too? Why is even the mere suggestion to accomodate us met with such ridicule? You accomodate yoshon! You accomodate chalav yisrael! But us you ignore? You complain loudly when the prisons do not give you kosher food and it is available throughout New York, but one Rav has the courage to nicely make this suggestion and you call him a shoteh? You call him ridiculous and a fool?
My grandmother had more respect for Rabbanim in her one pinky then you do here..

19

 Jul 10, 2013 at 12:44 PM Anonymous Says:

This would drasticaly cut the number of restaurants available.Why dont we all just become Hassidish and vacation in Williamsburg and Boro park?

20

 Jul 10, 2013 at 12:43 PM RabbiDoctor Says:

I have often wondered how sefardim eat at most kosher resturaunts. I don't suggest we tamper with the accepted psak among ashkenazim, but the michshol for sefardim is significant

21

 Jul 10, 2013 at 12:55 PM UseYourHead Says:

I think Rabbi Hoffman is 100% correct, however, I also think that today's frum society unfortunately has much more severe problems that should be a higher priority than this.

22

 Jul 10, 2013 at 12:50 PM AYidela Says:

Please post a picture of this ruv, I wanna know if he dresses also like a machmir,

23

 Jul 10, 2013 at 01:10 PM Anonymous Says:

As Bob Grant says, it's crazy folks and getting crazier!

24

 Jul 10, 2013 at 01:13 PM huvsa Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

Interesting view of a an arcane halacha and leniency. What troubles me is that Rav Hoffman sort of avoids one of the primary issues until the very end of the article and then dismisses the obvious irrelevance of the "intermarriage concern", one of the original underlying reasons chazal established the bishul akum prohibition, with the comment of "who are we to question". Perhaps there would be more attention to this and other hilchos kashruth if there was greater transparency as to areas we were taught to be machmir on a specific issur based on a specific and known historical concern and where that concern is clearly no longer a primary rationale for continuing the issur. Perhaps the second reason alone (i.e. the belief that goyim were inherently less trustworthy on kashruth matters than yidden) is sufficient to continue the practice, but the evidence is not very assuring on that point. However, to continue the practice and go further and eliminate the leniency in the name of a "jobs program" for uneducated and dysfunctional bochurim in heimeshe restaurants strikes me as a bit silly. Perhaps focus on giving them real jobs skills. Otherwise, it like working in Mcdonalds

I always enjoy Rabbi Hoffman's articles on halachah.

This is a time of teshuvah. And with fires and drownings and floodings and volcanoes and wars -- what else does Hashem have to wave in front of our eyes to remind us of that?

30 years ago there was not this kind of variety in restaurants. Now it's like, "Hey, we have it all."

Well, we don't have it all, and we won't have it all until the Geulah.

And as for jobs, I'm the wife of someone who has been unemployed for over a year. It would be OH-KAY if some hands-on jobs like these opened up.

One last thing. A few years ago I glanced into the back of a heimishe bakery and saw the baker expertly making challos. He was very, very good at his craft.

But he wasn't Jewish, and he was making the bread that hundreds of families use for Shabbos Kodesh. Including me. (We've since taken on challah baking more regularly.)

There *is* a disconnect, people!

25

 Jul 10, 2013 at 01:13 PM Reb Yid Says:

1. What does this have to do with fleishig restaurants being closed for the 9 days or serving a pareve menu? The preface falsely implies that bishul yisroel is required only for meat.

2. A restaurant's customers have no idea what's going on in the kitchen. Whether the yid puts the pot on the fire or the goy does is not going to teach anything to the customer about bishul akum. If people are having their maids do the cooking improperly at home, that's because the man or his wife doesn't know the halacha. Changing what the restaurant does behind closed doors, hoping that that's going to teach people about bishul yisroel, is nonsense.

3. The article is misleading because it only cites the rishonim who don't have this kula (do they all bedavka disagree?). It doesn't cite the Rama's sources, ie. the Or Hachaim, Sha'arei Dura, Aruch, and Mordechi.

26

 Jul 10, 2013 at 01:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Anonymous Says:

This would drasticaly cut the number of restaurants available.Why dont we all just become Hassidish and vacation in Williamsburg and Boro park?

So-blinking-what if it cut the number of restaurants. !!!! It might improve the quality of those that are there.

27

 Jul 10, 2013 at 01:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
RabbiDoctor Says:

I have often wondered how sefardim eat at most kosher resturaunts. I don't suggest we tamper with the accepted psak among ashkenazim, but the michshol for sefardim is significant

Halivi that would be the biggest aveira some sefardim commit!

28

 Jul 10, 2013 at 01:34 PM The_Truth Says:

Reply to #22  
AYidela Says:

Please post a picture of this ruv, I wanna know if he dresses also like a machmir,

What does a machmir dress like?

I think most people here missed the point. Its not to find chumros, but to A) make people more aware of the halochos - ie there is such a thing as Bishul Akum which we should not eat, B) try to make keeping the halochos as kula free as possible, thereby eliminating the possibility of people inadvertantly being oiver d'rabonons.

One point that he skims over is "The issue of laxity involving the bishul akum of household help is serious and has, unfortunately, led to some serious lapses." Many people with household help have no idea about these halochos and it should have its own article about how to deal with it.

29

 Jul 10, 2013 at 03:39 PM chosid Says:

The fact that sefardim do not hold of the heter should be enough reason not to rely on it in our restaurants.

The insults towards a fellow Jew, and a learned one at that, are embarrassing. All the more so during the nine days. One can disagree without being disagreeable.

30

 Jul 10, 2013 at 02:35 PM Shtarker Says:

To some, you can never be too frum. Now, even the Rama is not frum enough.

This reminds me of a tongue-in-cheek tshuvah I heard on Baba Basra where the Talmud describes how in olam haba, tzadikkim will be at a banquet where they will be served the leviyoson. The shailah is: why are they not eating bassar? And the tshuvah is that this is done for the tzadikkim who have concerns about the standard of shechitah in shamayim.

31

 Jul 10, 2013 at 02:15 PM concerned ny-er Says:

Strange thing nobody brings up the subject of many restaurants in NYC being open on Shabbos. When I called one Rabbi who gives the hechsher at several such establishments he just shrugged it off with "well, I asked them not to, but they claim they can't make ends meet unless they're open 24/7". What a lame excuse!!

32

 Jul 10, 2013 at 01:54 PM Aron1 Says:

Reply to #27  
Anonymous Says:

Halivi that would be the biggest aveira some sefardim commit!

Halivi this would be the dumbest comment made!

33

 Jul 10, 2013 at 02:17 PM bored Says:

Reply to #1  
Emes- Says:

I heard in the name of Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach ZT'L that societies that are more lenient with the laws of bishul akum have a higher rate of intermarriage than those societies which are stricter with the laws of bishul akum.

You can find it in print in the early editions of halichos shlomo in asseress yimei tshuva in one of the footnotes. The later editions removed the comment. I am shocked at the complete am ha'aratzus of some of these comments here. Unbelievable how dumb people are. One dope thinks there is no longer an intermarriage problem? Wow.

34

 Jul 10, 2013 at 04:16 PM NoMan Says:

Bishul Akum is one of the three Rabbinical gezeros made, in part, to reduce the possibility of hitchatnus. The others are yayin nesech/stam yeynam and pas akum. Yayin has other issues as well.

Just as regarding pas akum the rabbonim were mekil on pas palter because in a commercial setting the danger of hitchatnus is not present, as opposed to eating in someone's home, isn't it possible that commercial cooking doesn't present the danger that cooking for a particular person, where the cook and the diner know one another, would? Perhaps the Rema can be thought to extend the logic of pas palter to restaurant cooking. (I realize the Rema doesn't offer this as a rationale. But we can add it as a snif, even for Sefardim, on the reasoning that such industrial scale commercial cooking was unknown to the Mechaber, the Rishonim on whom he relied, and the Acharonim who disagreed with the Rema. Perhaps they would have agreed under these circumstances?)

This doesn't address the issue of an akum cooking in one's home, where the possibility of a personal relationship is much greater. In such a case, in addition to being machmir on bishul akum, perhaps we should be machmir on yichud too?

35

 Jul 10, 2013 at 05:16 PM Yossel377 Says:

Interesting, and well written article. However, the bottom line remains "u'venei yisroel yotze'im biyad Rama." For the past few centuries, ashkenazim have almost universally followed the psak of the Rama, bein l'chumra uvein l'kula. It would be inappropriate to "pick and choose" and declare that the kula of hadlakas ha'eish is not acceptable, the same way that it would be wrong to take a chumra of the Rama and say that it no longer applies.

36

 Jul 10, 2013 at 05:19 PM sheepheadsbayyid Says:

Reply to #1  
Emes- Says:

I heard in the name of Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach ZT'L that societies that are more lenient with the laws of bishul akum have a higher rate of intermarriage than those societies which are stricter with the laws of bishul akum.

Yes the rate of frum people who marry goyish cooks must be hight

37

 Jul 10, 2013 at 05:30 PM sheepheadsbayyid Says:

To those who mention cooking by household help. Only cooking lead to problem; and not cleaning , taking care of the kids and so on

38

 Jul 10, 2013 at 06:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #36  
sheepheadsbayyid Says:

Yes the rate of frum people who marry goyish cooks must be hight

The rate of frum kids OTD is high for many reasons and one of them is the non Jewish household help.

39

 Jul 10, 2013 at 06:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
RabbiDoctor Says:

I have often wondered how sefardim eat at most kosher resturaunts. I don't suggest we tamper with the accepted psak among ashkenazim, but the michshol for sefardim is significant

We eat at home. We bring lunch. When we travel, we bring frozen food from home in coolers. We take vacations/attend conventions in groups and bring a caterer who flies in kosher meat.

40

 Jul 10, 2013 at 06:29 PM bored Says:

Reply to #34  
NoMan Says:

Bishul Akum is one of the three Rabbinical gezeros made, in part, to reduce the possibility of hitchatnus. The others are yayin nesech/stam yeynam and pas akum. Yayin has other issues as well.

Just as regarding pas akum the rabbonim were mekil on pas palter because in a commercial setting the danger of hitchatnus is not present, as opposed to eating in someone's home, isn't it possible that commercial cooking doesn't present the danger that cooking for a particular person, where the cook and the diner know one another, would? Perhaps the Rema can be thought to extend the logic of pas palter to restaurant cooking. (I realize the Rema doesn't offer this as a rationale. But we can add it as a snif, even for Sefardim, on the reasoning that such industrial scale commercial cooking was unknown to the Mechaber, the Rishonim on whom he relied, and the Acharonim who disagreed with the Rema. Perhaps they would have agreed under these circumstances?)

This doesn't address the issue of an akum cooking in one's home, where the possibility of a personal relationship is much greater. In such a case, in addition to being machmir on bishul akum, perhaps we should be machmir on yichud too?

You sound intelligent, a welcome change from most of the comments here. But you should know that the smag separates pas from bishul, & says that even though pas was later made more lenient, cooked food was a much earlier enactment which was never remade more lenient. Also yichud with a goy is an issur see yotzeh siman 153. And especially not to leave ones children with them. See RAMMA there.

41

 Jul 10, 2013 at 08:11 PM DanielBarbaz Says:

Does anyone know Jewish chefs who can cook Chinese Food? If this new emphasis on Bishul Akum catches on, there will be a lot of job openings for Jewish Chefs with this specialty.

If we want to look to the Sfardim for Halacha, I say fine. Bring on the kitnyos this Pesach.

42

 Jul 11, 2013 at 05:06 AM mikeb Says:

A number of comments are in order here:

To #16: Although people ate mainly at home in previous generations, it was quite common for them to employ non Jewish staff at home for cooking and cleaning. This was far more common in Europe than in the middle east, which is one key reason why the Remo is more lenient than the Mechaber. Yes, it really is a halachic criterion to look at the individual circumstances of the question asked.

Rav Ovadia Yosef holds that for a 'regular' kashrus (non-mehadrin) sefardim may rely on the Remo nowadays. Numerous significant 20th century poskim have been lenient on the whole issue of bishul akum in factories and restaurants, as there is no connection between the non Jew performing the bishul and the Jew eating the food - unlike when one is invited to a non Jew's home.

To #9: Salmon and Tuna may be eaten (and are eaten) without cooking, so there is no issue of bishul akum with them at all. Bishul akum does not apply to cooked food which may also be eaten raw (and is eaten raw by a significant proportion of the population). The same would apply to many vegetables (ne'echal kemos shu chai).

.

43

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