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Cooking with Maid

Kavod Harabanim

1- The standard procedure of cooking in my home is as follows: (i) my wife lits a candle about 8AM, before going to work (she works far from home), (ii) the maid lits the fire from this candle and then lits the stove from the fire from this candle, (iii) I am not at my home until 9PM. This is done a few times a week (2-3 times a week)
Question 1: Is this acceptable lechatchila? Is the food bishul israel?
Question 02: If no or not lechatchila, do I need to do hag’ala in the kelim:
Question 03: I want to arrange with my wife the following scheme: My wife or I will, at 8AM, personally lit the stove and put the pans on it and tell the maid to do the cooking as the first thing of the day. As I work close to home, I will show up 2 times a week (at around of one or both of the following times 07:45 AM and 01:30 PM). Could this qualify as yotze venichnas and bishul israel lechatechila? The maid knows more or less that this are the times I come.
If not, could I show twice a week at random times? Could I install cameras at home and maybe this will instill mirtat (fear) even though I am not at home and maybe it will suffice?


Lighting a candle from which the maid lights the stove is permissible according to the Rama [Ashkenazi custom] and forbidden according to te SHulchan Aruch [sefardic custom]. Even according to Ashkenazi custom this practice is questionable, and only permissible when there is no other alternative. There is additional leniency when the cooking is being done by a hired maid in your house.

Lighting the stove and flame itself is permissible according to Ashkenazi custom and is bishul yisrael lechatchila. According to Sefardi custom even this is not sufficient.

For the problem of leaving the maid alone with food and pots, you should ideally show up at random times at least a few times a week. Security cameras would also help, but should not completely replace human presence.


Shulchan Aruch and Rama Y:D 113:6-7

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  1. Thank you HaRav. Would putting the pans on the fire suffice according to Sephardic custom? Thank you.

    1. if the pans are empty and the maid is placing the food on the fire, this would be insufficient for Sefardim

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