I have a stove with a pilot light. To light the pilot, someone has to push the gas button and light it at the same time. Can a goy push the gas button and a Jew light it or does a Jew have to do both?
Hello, Thank you for your interesting question.
To remove the issue of bishul akum for Ashkenazim, a Jew must either light the fire or place the food on the fire. Pushing the gas without lighting the fire is not considered doing any action towards the cooking of the food. This would be similar to a non-Jew putting coals into a grill and then a Jew lighting them up. Therefore, the non-Jew may push the gas while the Jew lights the fire. This would remove any problem of bishul akum.
It should be noted that this only works for Ashkenazim. Sephardim rule that the Jew must place the pot itself on an existing fire to remove the problem of bishul akum. However, even for Sephardim, if the pot was already on the stove prior to the fire being lit, and the Jew lit the fire while the non-Jew pushed the gas, there would not be an issue of bishul akum.
All the best
Rabbi Shay Tahan