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Non-Jewish cooking


Rabbi David Sperling

Sivan 11, 5779
We have a housekeeper who has been with us for years, we consider her a trustworthy person...whatever that may be. She HAS under our direction cooked food for us including food "fit for a king" meat etc, she has also cooked under direction without us being present or turning on the stove. My question is if that presents a problem with our Kelim per se. Must we Kasher them? We believe strongly no treif has ever touched (milk/meat) and she has been well trained etc.
Shalom, Thank you for your question. The laws of non-Jewish cooking are certainly important, and it appears from your question that you have recently merited to learn how to be more particular in them. That is wonderful. I imagine that you have created some arrangement where by the stove can be lit by a Jew, which allows for a non Jew to then use the stove to cook kosher food that does not come under the stricture of “bishul akum”, non-Jewish cooking. Your question relates to the pots and pans that were used by the non Jewish housekeeper without such an arrangement. Here you are correct in thinking that one needs (usually) to kosher such pots. However in your case there are several reasons why you do not have to do so. Firstly, the law of a non Jewish employee cooking in a Jewish house is more lenient (even though you should certainly find an arrangement such as mentioned above to avoid this situation). Although we do not rely on this leniency alone, we can add to to several other factors. All the pots and pans that were used have now been mixed in with all the other utensils, and you probably do not know which ones she used. This too creates a halachic leniency. Also, more that 24 hours has elapsed since the cooking. These factors (and some others that relate to this situation, but I have not written them here) together create a halacha ruling that exempts these pots and pans from needing to be koshered. Of course all of this is only in the situation you write about, where you are certain that the food cooked was totally kosher, and the housekeeper did the cooking in your kitchen. Many Blessings.
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