Pardon me while I try to construct the right hypothetical:

I was invited to a state dinner recently. I brushed off the tux and polished my shoes and called up to make sure that the administration had hired a mashgiach whom I trust. I was assured that the mashigiach would be present and everything would be on the up and up.

When I sat down, and had my first course delivered (a lovely fancy, cooked dish) the mashgiach came over to me and said, "I didn't turn the oven on! This food is bishul akum!"

So I went through the check list of all the exclusions for bishul akum and found none - my meal was completely bishul akum. So sad...it looked nice. [note - for the sake of the hypothetical, please avoid finding reasons that the food is not bishul akum]

Can bishul akum food be taken home and reheated? I don't fully understand if the food is inherently not kosher (the ambiguity over kashering dishes doesn't help and leaves the question of whether one would have to kasher the dishes it was served on, not just cooked in) and whether reheating is part of the cooking "process" at the opposite end from turning on the stove which would turn it acceptable. Would it matter if the food cooled down all the way?

This question looks at the question of the non-Jew "cooking" after the Jew but not the reverse.

  • 3
    So let me get this straight: You're going to turn to your waiter at a state dinner and ask for a doggie bag?
    – Isaac Moses
    Jul 21, 2015 at 15:13
  • 1
    Reheating doesn't help. If, however, the food were under-cooked, that might be something. That doesn't seem likely at a state dinner.
    – Yishai
    Jul 21, 2015 at 15:35
  • 2
    – Double AA
    Jul 21, 2015 at 16:23
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    If a non Jew cooked it all the way, then a Jew continuing wouldn't help, unlike if a Jew finished it from MBD. See Maharsha there for instance for someone explicit. Most others probably just assume it.
    – Double AA
    Jul 21, 2015 at 17:20
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    TTBOMK no. Again, this may be something that's hard to find explicit in a classical source. It's just assumed.
    – Double AA
    Jul 21, 2015 at 18:01

2 Answers 2


The late Rabbi Salzer of the Adath Jeshurun community in Johannesburg (paying attention Danny Schoeman?) gave a strange ruling. He paskened that potato chips were bishul akum and he advised members of his kehillah to cover them with ketchup and reheat them in the oven. I never understood this. If the chips were bishul akum then putting them into the oven would make the oven traif. Nevertheless, this is how he paskened. Applying this to your question, I would assume that doing something to enhance or simply change the food you brought home from the State dinner would then permit it.

  • 1
    What you've described is actually cooking a new (unappealing IMO) dish. As such, taken with Loewian's answer, this might make sense, although I will readily admit that I've learned very few of hilchot bishul akum. Jul 22, 2015 at 1:38
  • Sounds like all you need to do is put some salt on it, no?
    – DanF
    Jul 22, 2015 at 3:11
  • @DanF And cook it.
    – Double AA
    Jul 22, 2015 at 5:45

Considering that reheating is allowed on Shabbath (provided it is in a manner that doesn't run into Rabbinic restrictions like shehiyah or hachzara) because it is not considered cooking, it logically follows that reheating should not uproot a bishul akum status (anymore than would the food cooling off after having been cooked). The only place where one could entertain introducing a leniency would be where the food truly reverted to its original, uncooked state (which, by hilchot shabbat is a potential concern by liquids such as water) but if indeed the cooling off does regain the food a permitted status, reheating it again would not be the catalyst of that change. This is also the reasoning in the reverse case you link since the issue is who originally rendered it fit for consumption.

  • But some think Ein Bishul Achar Bishul does not apply to meat+milk, for example. Your claim about the breadth of its application is not trivial.
    – Double AA
    Jul 22, 2015 at 5:46
  • @DoubleAA Interesting point. Do you mind sharing the source? (I assume also you mean where the meat and milk were already cooked together in the original bishul and we're only talking about reheating?; also, "some think" implies others do not - so my reasoning would work according to the others.
    – Loewian
    Jul 22, 2015 at 15:20
  • See RAEiger and Gilyon Maharsha at the very beginning of YD 87 beta.hebrewbooks.org/tursa.aspx?a=yd_x4212 Re "some think" your reasoning could work. There's still nothing saying it does work.
    – Double AA
    Jul 22, 2015 at 16:49

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