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Ask the rabbi Halacha Gentile Cooking, Wine and Milk

Keeping Bread Kosher

Rabbi Chaim Tabasky29 Iyyar 5764
617
Question
I’m a non-Jewish Italian girl. I usually bake bread with a Jewish friend, scrupulously following Kashrut rules. He is now ill, so can’t bake with me, not even come for the gas-oven’s lighting. Would it be possible, in order to keep the bread kosher, to light the oven using a candle, or a piece of wood (a long match for example), he lighted himself? (He lives not far from my home)
Answer
Sephardic (Oriental) halachic tradition requires that the Jew actually light the stove that will be used for cooking or baking, while Ashkenazic (European, and most American) tradition allows lighting a candle, pilot light, etc, which can then be used by a non Jew to light the stove. The latter position may be relied upon generally, and certainly in extenuating circumstances.
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