If one or one's wife does everything that is needed for checking, but one accidentally eats a bug anyway, is one liable for the sin(s)?

I'd also be interested in knowing whether one would be liable if one ate a bug that was in a hechshered product, such as pre-checked lettuce or kosher frozen vegetables.

  • 7
    what do you mean by liable?
    – michael
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 13:34
  • 4
    Is there any specific reason you're asking about bugs in particular? Do you think this would be any different for any other sin X where you did the proper safeguarding to ensure X doesn't occur, yet due to forces outside your control, it occurs anyways? Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 13:49
  • 1
    Liable to what? Firstly, is there any "moment of awareness" and a shogeg on a regular lav has no penalty to become liable for. You also seem to be asking in a case when you might not be "shogeg". I do however think that hechsherim on fruit and vegetable claiming them to be bug-free can be a dangerous thing. New bugs can crawl in.
    – CashCow
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 17:23
  • @m.r. I'm sorry for the bad answer, but I'm honestly not quite sure. I do know, however, that we discuss questions of "liability," insofar as someone who doesn't know the law isn't liable for violating it, and in many cases, something which happens strictly by accident is not considered a sin for which one is liable. Some ways one might define "liability": as requiring teshuvah; as having required an offering/sacrifice or other punishment in the past; as counting against one's righteousness in Ultimate calculations.
    – SAH
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 22:07
  • 1
    תורה לא ניתנה למלאכי השרת. You did your part, why would you be liable?
    – user9643
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 3:24

2 Answers 2


As far as i know the Gemoro in shavuos (2a-b see vaiant opinions of different tanoim) only goes as far to say that we need the Chatas offering brought on rosh choesh, yomtov and yom kippur, on behalf of the tzibbur to atone for sins which we knew about, then forgot that it was prohibbited, or knew of its prohibition then forgot about ones action.

Therefore "Lo yodim" (which is mentioned in vidui al chet on yom kippur) means we still don't remember those 2 stages of knowing then forgetting, on those sins Hashem atones us in the interim with the public sin offering which is substituted for our prayers as there is no Temple.

When we do remember those 2 stages, if it is a koreis punishment sin, then we bring our own private chatas offering, and the kid goat that goes to azazel (of the cliff) on yom kippur atones for other prohibitions in the same vein of having erred after knowing earlier that action was wrong (the kid goat off the cliff also it atones for intentional transgressions along with repentance for those sins) . This is "yodim" That we ask to be atoned through our prayers.

Some one who is completely unaware is not even a Shogeg (who errs) rather an oneis (faultless) of which it states: ואם בשדה ימצא האיש את הנערה המאורשה והחזיק בה האיש ושכב עימה וגו' ולנערה לא תעשה דבר" (דברים כב-כה). ולנערה לא תעשה דבר - מכאן שהאנוס פטור - Bava kamma 28b -" If the betrothed woman was found in the fields and was forced by the man etc. To the woman you shall not do anything" From here we see that someone who is faultless is exempt.

Bottom line is that our prayer nowadays are a replacement for the temple service and the words should not just be simply translated, they have deeper meaning. This case seems to be that the involved person did their utmost to make sure not to eat insects to a satisfactory level of checking of rabbonim that no insect should have been present and is asking if something happened completely in absence of their knowledge whether they need a kapporo it would seem that no, as this would be categorized as oneis (faultless).


If you consider the text of the viduy said for Yom Kippur:

בבלי דעת without knowledge

בזדון ובשגגה on purpose and by accident

במאכל ובמשתה with food and with drink

את הגלוים לנו those that are revealed to us

ואת שאינם גלוים לנו and those that are not revealed to us

Over all of them, G-d of forgiveness, forgive us, pardon us, atone us.

the answer would appear to be, yes.

  • 3
    "answer would appear to be, yes" yes you are liable? liable for what?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 18:53
  • @DoubleAA The viduy on Yom Kippur is using the measure of absolute perfection. It is a very different type of viduy with a very different purpose. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 19:07

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