There is a difference of opinion among sefardi and ashkenazi poskim regarding bishul akum.

For ashkenazim it is enough if a Jew lights the oven and a non-Jew cooks the meat.

For sefardim, a Jew must also cook the meat.

If a kosher restaurant uses the ashkenazi leniency, is it forbidden for a sefardi to eat there or is there some kind of leniency since most kosher restaurants in the USA follow the ashkenazi leniency.

Likewise, for the products with a hechsher one buys at a supermarket such as tuna cans with Star-k. I assume most of the hechsherim follow the ashkenazi leniency and do not require a Jew to cook the food. What is the halacha for sefardim in these cases?

  • R. Ovadia has a teshuvah on this that allows sephardim to eat at restaurants deemed kosher by ashkenazic leniencies. If I have the time I'll try to find it.
    – Aryeh
    Nov 3, 2013 at 11:34
  • 1
    @Aryeh I recall that teshuvah being about Sefardim in Ashkenazi yeshivos/schools eating in the cafeteria.
    – Double AA
    Nov 10, 2013 at 5:22

2 Answers 2


In his work of she'eloth u-teshuvoth - Shu"T Ohr Yisshaq, Yoreh De'ah, Siman 24 "She'eloth Qessaroth - HaRav Yisshaq `Abadi shlit"a records the following (translation mine):

You asked: Concerning a Sepharadi who wants to eat at a wedding or in a restaurant which has a non-Jewish chef and the kosher supervisor is Ashkenazi (and according to their halakhic methodology it is enough that a Jew lights the fire used for cooking, but for Sepharadim it is not), is he able to eat there?

Answer: It is possible for a Sepharadi to also rely on this [halakhic methodology of the Ashekenazim], since we have two arguments for leniency in this regard: [1] The opinion of the Rem"a that the making of the fire is enough, and [2] the halakhic methodologies of other Rishonim which do not attribute to the cooking of hired workers and day-laborers the status of bishul aku"m - even if they are not specifically the employees of a Jew. Only when one is staying at the house of a non-Jew and the food is cooked in the house of a non-Jew is it then forbidden [according to these Rishonim].

Thus, it seems that there is weight on the Sephardic side of the question that would allow Sepharadim to eat in such kosher restaurants. As regards hekhsherim which rely on similar leniencies as with the restaurants in question, I know that Rav `Abadi also holds such products to be kosher for Sepharadim as well, although I have not found a formal teshuvah in his sefer Shu"T Ohr Yisshaq to that effect.

Kol tuv.


Harav Yishak Yosef Shelit"a writes in Yalkut Yosef Hilchot Bishul Akum that a Sefaradi who relies on the leniency in a catering or restaurant etc. situation has upon whom to rely.

אם הסיק ישראל את האש, והגוי נתן עליו את קדרת התבשיל, אף על פי כן אסור משום בישולי גוים, שאין ההיסק שעל ידי ישראל מועיל אלא לגבי הפת, ולא לגבי בישול. שכן דעת מרן השלחן ערוך שקבלנו הוראותיו. [יביע אומר ח''ה חיו''ד סי' י' אות ז]. ומסעדות ובתי מלון שהסקת האש נעשית על ידי ישראל שהוא המשגיח על הכשרות, והטבח הנותן את הקדרה על האש ומבשל את התבשילים הוא גוי שכיר אצל הישראל, הספרדים צריכים להדר בזה לכתחלה, שהמשגיח יתן את הקדרה על האש, אך מי שמיקל במקומות ציבוריים באופן הנז', ובפרט אותם הבאים מחוץ לארץ להתארח בבתי מלון בארץ ישראל, יש להם על מי שיסמוך,

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