Halacha » Introduction to Bishul Akum

Introduction to Bishul Akum

The Mishna[1] writes that there is a rabbinical prohibition to eat food cooked by a non-Jew. Rashi explains two possible reasons for this prohibition. The first reason[2] is to prevent friendliness and closeness between Jews and non-Jews, which can lead to intermarriage. This is a similar reason to the prohibition of pat akum. The second reason[3] is because if one eats by a non-Jew all the time, he may end up being served a food that was cooked in a non-kosher pot or contains non-kosher ingredients. Because of the second reason, most poskim agree that even food cooked by a non-religious Jew would be included in this prohibition.[4]

Cooking in regards to bishul akum refers to preparing a food through heat. Included in this is cooking, baking,[5] frying,[6] and steaming. However, foods which were prepared through salting, smoking (cold smoking – for example lox, not hot smoking), or pickling are not included in bishul akum.[7]

[1] עבודה זרה לה:

[2] רש”י עבודה זרה לה: ד”ה והשלקות

[3] רש”י עבודה זרה לח. ד”ה מדרבנן

[4] פרי מגדים או”ח שכה א”א ס”ק כב, פת”ת יו”ד קיג ס”ק א

[5] עי’ ש”ך יו”ד סי’ קיב ס”ק ז

[6] ערוך השולחן יו”ד סי’ קיג סעי’ כד

[7] שו”ע יו”ד סי’ קיג סעי’ יג