Is cooking kosher food by a Goy - in this case me (doing giyur) in a microwave oven making the oven unsuitable for use by a Jew?

I asked one rabbi who said there is no halakhic issue. I live in a house of a very frum person (a hasidic rabbi, very much into kaballah, baruch hashem) and he always wants to turn the oven for me, so he has a part in the cooking. Does it come from kaballah - is goyish cooking able to damage the utensil?

Of course there is no milchig-fleichig mixing (everything is parve), it is not cooking for a Jew (bishul akum should not be a problem if only the goy eats what he prepared and food is cooked in a sealed vessel), furthermore everything has to be pre-packaged and brought to the kitchen unopened, has to have a reliable hechsher and the rabbi trusts the food I brought is kosher. Food is always cooked in sealed containers made of plastic. In my opinion there must be some kaballistic teaching about food prepared by a goy, being not forbidden (in this case), but undesirable for a Jew. Is there a halakha on this? What is the reason for this stricture?

  • 2
    Hmm. There is a rule about a Jew lighting the oven, but I've no idea if that applies to microwaves! Oct 30 '14 at 21:27
  • that's because of bishul akum. here the food is not going to be eaten by a Jew
    – MichaelS
    Oct 30 '14 at 22:03
  • Oh right; you did say that you were asking about the microwave, not the food. (For some reason I assumed he might also be eating the food, but you didn't say that.) Oct 30 '14 at 22:11
  • well, bishul akum would apply to both if a microwave is a vessel. here there is no non-kosher food, food has special containers, and one rabbinic authority (I mean an Orthodox Rav) here in Toronto says it is ok to use it by a Jew afterwards. I'm asking what possible motivation the 2nd rabbi has (and if there is a remedy). The 2nd rabbi is very strict, maybe it is his custom or chumra, maybe it has grounds in halakha or kaballah - I would like to know, if it is the latter, what remedy I could propose - like if I was his employee maybe there would be no problem, I'm not sure.
    – MichaelS
    Oct 30 '14 at 22:23
  • 1
    This is a duplicate of the combination of judaism.stackexchange.com/q/4210 and judaism.stackexchange.com/q/14569
    – msh210
    Nov 2 '14 at 16:45

If a non-Jew cooks food of the type which is not normally eaten raw, then the food is forbidden for a Jew, and the utensils may not be used by a Jew until they are koshered.

Many Ashkenazi (European) Jews are lenient that if a Jew lit the fire, then this law does not apply. Sephardic Jews (Spanish, North African or Oriental origin) are more strict, and for them, just turning on the stove would not be sufficient.

This law applies to food which is not normally eaten raw, and is the type which would be eaten by a king, so it doesn't apply to very cheap types of foods such as sardines or baked beans.

  • again - bishul akum does not apply. food has special containers and it is written on them 'not kosher for a Jew'. The food is always cooked in these special containers, so there is no contact with the oven. The problem is - is the oven itself a vessel or not? Is 1 layer of separation enough? If it is not, there is no halakha against using it by a Jew afterwards, this is the ruling of 1st Local Orthodox Authority. The 2nd LOA in whos house I live still wants to start the oven for some reason. It is either a chumra of the 2nd rabbi or it comes from kaballah and he does not like questioning
    – MichaelS
    Oct 30 '14 at 22:14
  • there is a machlokes if coffee or tea potentially qualify as bishul akum, since they may be served on a great banquet. thank you for the answer emeslyaakov.
    – MichaelS
    Nov 2 '14 at 15:47

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