For donations Click Here

Bishul Akum of a non Shomer Shabbos Jew


Hello Rabbi. I am Jewish on both sides, have grown up in a conservative household with strong Jewish values throughout. My girlfriend is a modern orthodox shomer shabbos and kosher Jew, and we are conflicted with the varying answers we can find online in regards to Bishul Akum, and my ability to turn on a stove, oven, or even a microwave to warm food up on a regular day. If I turn on a stovetop to boil water for example, in her strictly kosher kitchen, is the status of that stove un-kosher now since I turned it on? Or is it okay since I am a practicing Jew, just not a shomer shabbos one.


Thank you for your question.

The reason why you are getting conflicting answers is because it is controversial if a Jew that is not shomer Shabbos, can cook in a kosher kitchen or not. It is great that you are a practicing Jew, however keeping Shabbos is the flagship mitzva of the Jewish people, and a declaration that we believe that G-d created the world. The Talmud and the Rabbis compare keeping Shabbos to the marriage ring that a woman wears to show that she is married. It is the “sign” that she devoted and committed to her husband. The same with Shabbos, it is the Jewish “sign” and marriage ring, given to us by G-d Himself, to show that we are committed to Him.

Getting back to your question, to be honest, while there are authorities that lenient about this, most authorities rule stringently, that it is bishul akum. There are however a number of exemptions, where bishul akum will not apply, and then it would not be an issue. First of all bishul akum only applies if the item cannot be eaten raw, therefore boiling up water will not be an issue because we can drink uncooked water. The same would apply to cooking up vegetables that can be eaten raw such as peas or carrots. Additionally, if the food was already cooked, then you are not the one cooking it, therefore warming something up in the microwave, such as defrosting pizza will also not be an issue. Also if she will partake in the cooking process, such as to stir the food, etc. it would be permitted. Additionally, if she is the one who rented the apartment, and it is her kitchen, there is also more room for leniency.

The best idea, which would additionally help your relationship with her, would be to learn the basic laws and become shomer Shabbos.

May G-D be with you and protect you all.


Y:D 113 -1 Pischei Teshuva Y:D 113-1, Pri Megadim O:CH 228 E:A 22, KItzur Shulchan Aruch 72-2, Minchas Yitzchok 3-73 (10), Beer Moshe 5-94 (12), Teshuvos Vhanhagos 1-470, Ashrei Ish Y:D 8-6, Misoras Moshe Y:D 59, Minchas Osher-  Devorim 5-9



Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Ya know, its a funny thing, but this Conservative fellow seems a lot more Frum than many Orthodox people i know (and maybe even myself…)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *