Question:

I was wondering if one is halachically allowed to buy stock in a company that sells some kosher and some non kosher products, even if I wouldn’t eat there. For example, Starbucks, which some people use, while I personally do not. Additionally, can one invest in a company that is a non-kosher establishment, some items they sell may actually be treif. I wasn’t sure if one can benefit from a company’s stock going up if they are making their money from their stores which sell non kosher food or treif food.

Answer:

According to most poskim it is permitted for one to buy stock in a company even though they sell some non-kosher products, as long as he is only a minor stockholder. The reason is because his shares are considered a monetary commodity, and not like he is actually doing business with te trief product and permitted. Although he can “vote”, he doesn’t really have a say in the company, and his vote is just a formality, as the main stockholders are the ones who determine the companies policies. If he has a major percentage in the company then it would be problematic.

If however the company sells real basar b’chalav, meaning that they actually cook milk with meat, (such as McDonalds, who uses milk and beef flavor together for their French fries) then it is not just an issue of doing business with trief items, but an issue of benefiting from the sale of the basar bchalav. and it should be avoided.

Sources:

Mahari  Halevi 2-124, Minchas Yitzchok 3-1, Shulchan Halevi 1-4, Teshuvos Vhanhagos 1-429, Mishnah Halachos 5-102, Toras Ha’asham 85-3, R’ A. Eiger Y:D 87-1, Shevet Halevi 6-105.

2 Responses to “Investing in a non-kosher establishment”

  1. Is McDonald’s called basar bchalav since it’s not kosher meat and milk? Isn’t issur of basar bchalav referring to only kosher meat and milk?

    • What you are saying is the opinion of the Rambam, however most poskim do not paskin like the Rambam. See Chasam Sofer Y:D 92, Gilyon Maharsha Y:D 87-3, Yad Yehuda (Katzar) Y:D 87-7, Kaf Hachayim 87-19,20, Minchas Yitzchok 5-58, Megilas Sefer 87-4, Badei Hashulchan 87-25.

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