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Treif Food


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

2 Cheshvan 5766
I have just been employed by a totally secular family to work as their housekeeper. They have 2 small children, and they originally asked me to make dinner for the kids. I agreed, and then was informed when I started that they do not keep Kosher meat. I am now wondering the halachic position on cooking non Kosher meat for the children and how I can approach this with my employer?
There are two major issues in your situation. 1. Are you allowed to cook non-kosher food? 2. Are you allowed to feed the children non-kosher food? The Torah mentions there is a prohibition to cook milk with meat even if you don't eat it at all. Even cooking milk in a meat pot or vice versa can be prohibited by Torah law. This presents a problem for you to cook in a non-kosher house any milky or meaty foods in there pots. This prohibition only applies to milk of a kosher animal and meat of a kosher animal; all other non-kosher food can be cooked by a Jew. (Shulchan Aruch YD 87 and 93) In addition to the above even if the food is precooked and all you need to do is serve, there is a prohibition of feeding non-kosher food to a Jew, even a Jewish baby. (Shulchan Aruch OC 343) You should try to convince the parents to allow you to cook and serve them kosher food in new kosher pots that will be set aside for when you cook, if they agree, this might be the first step of this family discovering their Judaism…
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