May one eat a meal in the home of one who attended yeshiva and who one considers trustworthy vis-a-vis making sure everything is kosher for their guests, however, one is reasonably certain they do not keep Shabbos?

What if the person making food keeps Shabbos and kashrus themselves, but have a completely irreligious adult child living at home? Does that child's access to the kitchen change things? What if, again, you would personally trust that child to, for example, bring you a hamburger from a kosher restaurant, yet they would eat treif themselves but would not cook treif food at home.


1 Answer 1


I asked my rav this question when my daughter (not bas mitzva yet) frequented a family that didn't "yet" keep a full Shabbos (but they hoped to get there). However, they claimed a strictly kosher home. Based on a perusal of their kitchen, the family integrity and the mother's calls to me with kashrus questions, I believed they kept 100% kosher.

My rav told me that public shmiras shabbos had historically been the basis for kashrus integrity (Shulchan Aruch YD 2:5) because if you did not keep shabbos, you were "gornit"- nothing! Today, we see that many give importance to kashrus over shabbos and lack of keeping shabbos does not undermine their kashrus integrity. My child could eat there.

He then added: "I'm not saying you should eat there, but for your daughter, it's OK."

Summary: It is not best practices to eat by someone with kashrus integrity that doesn't keep shabbos, but you may get a heter from a rav if there are mitigating circumstances.

Your 2nd case is better since there are shomrei shabbos coming in and out (yotzei v'nichnas (see, for example YD 118:10). However, you need to figure out if there is a practical issue besides an halachic one (eg ibid. 12).

Your 3rd case is the worst scenario as he does not have kashrus integrity. The only heter (CYLOR) would be if he is a mumar letayavon- he doesn't keep kosher because he gets a benefit from eating non-kosher, not because he doesn't want to do the mitzva. If the kosher and the non-kosher were equal, he would eat the kosher. So if the kosher burger joint was as close as the non-kosher one and your going to pay him for the exact amount on the receipt, halacha would allow you to trust him (YD 2:2-4), assuming he is either shomer shabbos publicly, or you rely on the aforementioned permit.

I used the above logic to refrain from being mochiach my friend regarding eating by shomrei shabbos who would eat at non-kosher restaurants in a town where kosher was slim-pickings.

  • IMHO, "a completely irreligious child living at home" does not sound like the classic "mumar l'teavon" or "mumar l'dvar echad". The classic case is an otherwise observant Jew who just has such a powerful taava for one specific aveirah (treif food, treif women, etc.) that he just can't help himself. However, that same person who will consume treif food or consort with treif women, faithfully keeps shabbos, prays thrice daily, and generally keeps all of the other mitzvos. In that case, we say that a mumar l'teavon / dvar echad is trustworthy in anything other than his area of desire.
    – user1095
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 9:51
  • (cont.) However, today we really don't see "mumar l'dvar echad". Someone who is described as "completely irreligious" is just that - a person who succumbed to the temptations of secular society in general, and has abandoned all Torah observance to do so. Logically, we might assume that this person does not wish to impede another's observance, and therefore would not sabotage a kosher meal, or a kosher kitchen. However, halachically someone who is "off the derech" today cannot be trusted in kashrus.
    – user1095
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 9:55
  • Will, I think we agree halachically (see my first sentence on the third case), but I do disagree with your assumption that today we don't see mumar l'teiavon. See my last paragraph regarding families who are shomer shabbos (at least pharhesia), but eat at non-kosher restaurants because there aren't any kosher ones.
    – YDK
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 15:07
  • it depends what they're eating at these non-kosher restaurants. There are halachically valid opinions that certain foods are permissible to consume inside of a non-kosher restaurant. Most observant Jews will drink water, plain coffee, beer in a non-kosher eatery. Others will drink 100% fruit juice. Some authorities allow salad, sushi, and other cold, pareve dishes. Ultimately, if these people are following even the most lenient halachically valid opinion re: food in non-kosher restaurants, they aren't "mumar". If they are eating treif, I highly doubt their shabbos is 100% either.
    – user1095
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 17:34
  • "succumbed to the temptations of secular society". What? Honest disagreement is impossible, is it? Anyone who chooses to live differently than you has "succumbed to temptation"? I'd call that an insult.
    – TRiG
    Commented Jul 8, 2012 at 0:24

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