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Hotel during Pesach


Dear Rabbi

I am planning to attend a Pesach program for the first days of Pesach. If someone who is a non-Jew (e.g. a live in housekeeper or other and they could help open the door after the Sedarim when it will be late at night) will be coming with me (also there will be a Mechitza–room divider in the room for privacy and the whole hotel is Kosher for Pesach so they wouldn’t be bringing any food or chometz into the room or the hotel).

  1. Am I permitted to bring back food from the program for them to eat while they are there with me? I will not be cooking for a non Jew on a Festival which I know is forbidden or inviting them to eat with me. I would simply be bringing food for them to eat on their own. Will this be permitted?
  2. Also, the cooks are Jewish so they will be doing the cooking during Pesach so I am also wondering if this would be permitted because then would it be like they would be cooking for a non Jew on a Festival?

Thank you so much Rabbi for your kindness and help





  1. You are permitted to bring food for the non-Jew because you are not doing any melacha for him, because you are only carrying within the premises of the hotel, and not considered doing melacha for the non-Jew.
  2. This is an interesting point, how are hotel owners allowed to have non- Jewish guest or workers in the hotel, and cook for them on Yom Tov. Isn’t it included in the prohibition not to cook or even invite a non Jew on Yom Tov? In your situation it is not so bad because you are taking along a worker or housekeeper, and it may not be considered as if they were invited. Regarding cooking for them, it would be permitted to cook food for them in the same pot, because no extra melacha is being done for them, i.e. a big pot of soup. Food that is made individually i.e. steaks, or omelets from an omelet station that are made individually would be more of an issue.

There is another heter that can be used here, that if the food is being made by a non-Jew. Since it is only a shvus, and cooking in the same pot is also only a shvus, we can apply the heter of shvus d’shvus b’makom darcei shalom, which would be included in makom tzorech. However, this heter will also only apply to foods that are made in a big pot, and no extra melacha was done for the non-Jew. Regarding foods that have to be prepared individually, it is controversial if it would be permitted here. See sources.

Have a chag kasher V’sameach


  1. Rema O:CH 512-1, M:B- 7.
  2. O:CH 512-1, M:B 7 thru 12, Shar Hatzion Ibid 13. See Minchas Yitzchok 2-118, who discusses hotels having non- Jewish guest that it is permitted to have the non-Jew cook, (in instances that it will not be an issue of bishul akum) when the food for the non-Jew is not being made on an individual basis. When it is being made on an individual basis, there may be another heter that can be applied- the rule of “Hoel” since technically it can be used for a Jew, therefore cooking for the non- Jew would only be rabbinic in nature, and since a non- Jew is doing it it would still be a shvus dshvus. He does not want to rely on this heter because it is based on an individual opinion, and other reasons.

Join the Conversation


  1. What about the issue of gezel? Pesach programs are expensive and people need to pay for each individual mouth that will be eating (even young children)
    I imagine that the food was not paid for the housekeeper to partake in (otherwise the housekeeper would have an assigned seat in the ballroom and there would be no need to bring food to the bedroom for him/her to eat over there).

    1. The question was not dealing with the monetary aspects of the housekeeper in the hotel. It is assumed that she has a normal bed and that they paying for her.

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