Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What happens if someone eats at a restaurant with a kosher certification (hashgacha) but is served, and unknowingly eat non-kosher? What are the spiritual and halachic ramifications to all parties involved including: the patron, the cook, the mashgiach, the waiter, (assuming he's Jewish) restaurant owner? Who has commited a sin? Who would need to bring a korban and to teshuva?

share|improve this question
You want to know if they are held accountable in Heaven for sinning without knowing it? – Seth J Jan 10 '13 at 20:43
I'll write this as a comment, since I'm unfamiliar with the halakha, but the masekhta that you want to look at is Horayot, which deals with precisely this issue (erroneous rulings that lead to communal transgressions, and who foots the blame). Within the context of that masekhta, "getting the sin" refers to liability for a chatat - which I'm guessing is what you are referring to here? – Shimon bM Jan 11 '13 at 0:37
@DoubleAA It's a chakira in the nature of lifnei iver; one approach is that it is as if someone who violates lifnei iver violated the specific issur in question. A nafka minah would be if a person who leads someone else to violate Shabbos could be considered a mumar l'chol haTorah or just a mumar l'davar echad. – Fred Jan 11 '13 at 3:16
@DoubleAA I don't think he's asking how much the coal weighs. Do you really not believe that Jewish law can qualify whether or not a particular action or inaction is an aveira? – yoel Jan 11 '13 at 8:18
@yoel I think it can qualify what anyone should do in a given situation. It might say 'do not steal' and it will also say 'if you did steal, pay X' and it might say 'if you do X bring a korban' or 'if you do X you must do teshuva == charata, pirut, kabbalah". But in general, yes, Halacha is a system that tells you what to do (הלכ=to go). I do not think Halacha defines things that are useless to us. – Double AA Jan 11 '13 at 15:56

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.