Question:

Short Question: What are the parameters of eating a bread meal with a goy? What if there are other people in the room? What if it is not his/her home but a cafeteria at work? What if the goy didn’t invite him but just walks into the Jews office or eating space to join him?

Long form: I was troubled how can pas akum be assur if it will lead to eating together and then kurvah- accordingly eating together must certainly be assur because it is 1 step closer. I saw in Chachmas Adam Ma’achalei Akum first halacha that this is indeed the case as he says “Vechol Shekayn Al yedai ma’achal umishteh.” But he doesn’t explain any parameters? Thank you

Answer:

The parameters of the prohibition were not to the actually eating, rather to when the Jew is invited to eat the bread and meal of the goy, as we see that it is only prohibited if the goy made the bread, and the Jew didn’t help out at all in its making. I think the rationale here is that when someone is invited to eat from someone else’s bread it is more personal, and it will lead to friendship, on the other hand there is also a prohibition according to some to eat the bread that a baker made.

On the other hand, while we can’t say that it is prohibited, as it is not in the parameters of the halachic issur, we do see from the idea of the halachos that it is advisable to stick away from getting into a kurva situation if possible.

Regarding the technicalities that you asked, there is no difference whether there are others there at the time that they are eating, it isn’t an issue of seclusion with the goy, rather the friendship. If it at a cafeteria, it will depend on where the bread is from. BY the way, almost all bread nowadays needs a reliable hechsher because there are many ingredients put into bread nowadays, such as preservatives, etc. that will warrant reliable supervision. If the goy walks in on you, there is no issur to eat with him, as I stated before.

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