A young couple is in love and intends to marry. She is Jewish and he is Christian. Each respects the other's religious beliefs and neither intends to convert.

She keeps kosher. OTOH, he eats pork and consumes meat with dairy. Again, neither is willing to change. Once married and living together, how can she maintain a kosher household under these circumstances? A third refrigerator, stove, dishes and utensils for him and his foods? A completely separate kitchen? Or is it a lost cause?

(I am an outsider who is curious.)

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    I suggest this question should be posed to an orthodox rabbinical authority in your area. Jul 26, 2014 at 18:56
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    I have this friend who can't deal with Red Traffic lights, so he simply drives through them. Always. How do you suggest she deals with the various traffic cops who stop her multiple times a day to issue summons? (IOW this is Judaism.Exchange and not Philosophy.Exchange. Intermarriage is forbidden and there are no rules how to deal with transgressors.) Jul 27, 2014 at 9:27
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about creating rules for something that is forbidden. As far as Judaism is concerned, that's Philosophy, not Judaism. Jul 27, 2014 at 9:29
  • ********************** Thank you all for your responses. You have provided me with the answers and insight I was seeking.
    – rricardo
    Jul 27, 2014 at 19:11
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    @DannySchoemann "There are no rules for how to deal with transgressors"????????? Are we talking about the same religion?
    – Double AA
    Jul 27, 2014 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


Even people who care about kashrut sometimes find it challenging to manage. Asking someone who is not invested in it to maintain a kosher kitchen is, I suspect, very unlikely to work out, no matter how much good will the people start with.

In my marriage we have different opinions about kashrut, and what we decided was that, since I care more, I own the kitchen -- and what either of us eats outside of the house is our own business. I recommend a similar approach here: the one who cares about kashrut should do or oversee all the shopping, cooking, and cleaning in the kitchen, and the one who doesn't care should eat out sometimes to "get his fix" of bacon cheeseburgers etc. This may mean eating separately sometimes. If you had a completely separate kitchen that could work, but that's pretty uncommon and you still have to be careful that utensils, serving dishes, etc don't migrate.

Finally, a word of caution: kashrut is unlikely to be the only source of conflict in a mixed marriage. Have they talked about Shabbat? Pesach? Sukkot ("you want me to eat and sleep in a what?")? Family purity? How any children will be raised? A Jew considering marriage to either a non-Jew or a Jew with a drastically different observance level really needs to have a conversation with a trusted rabbi.

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    If he is not Jewish, wouldn't that constantly introduce the concern of basar shenit'aleim min ha'ayin anytime she goes out and he stays home and there is anything meat remotely open (or not double wrapped) in the kitchen?
    – rosends
    Jul 27, 2014 at 4:28
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    What about יין נסך? .....lots of kashrus problems when you have gentiles around ..... [ ping @Danno ]
    – MTL
    Jul 27, 2014 at 5:30
  • Also I don't know halacha, but can you trust them not to cross contaminate meat and milk utensils? So many issues come to mind that I feel like the only recourse is a pad lock on the kitchen door!
    – Baby Seal
    Jul 27, 2014 at 6:01
  • Of course, they are not married in any case. None of the children would be his. Since the woman is Jewish, then the children are Jewish no matter what. If neither is willing to change in the matter of food, then the relationship is doomed to begin with. Jul 27, 2014 at 6:37
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    It's not a valid marriage (so you're right; family purity doesn't apply since that's not her obligation). But if she is going to do this thing anyway, then better -- while she rejects the halacha about intermarriage -- that she still keep the halacha she does care about. So rather than doom it to failure, saying "won't work; may as well give up" and have her joining him for the bacon cheeseburgers, I think it's valuable to still try. Anonymous people on the Internet aren't going to convince her to give up the marriage instead, after all. Jul 27, 2014 at 12:43

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