To discourage assimilation and intermarriage, our Sages prohibited bishul akum ( food cooked by non-Jews). Today Jews increasingly encounter such food via non-Jewish caregivers for the sick and elderly, non-Jewish kitchen staff in Jewish institutions, and the gentile-dominated food industry, making this prohibition timelier than ever. Yet how well do most Jews know the laws of bishul akum? For instance:
• If food is cooked over a fire lit by a Jew but re-lit by a non-Jew, is the food subject to the prohibition?
• If a Jew set a timer to activate an electric oven, what is the status of food baked in that oven by a non-Jew?
• If a Jew switches on an induction stove, which does not become activated until cookware is placed on it, has he eliminated the prohibition?
• If food must be turned while cooking, must it be turned by a Jew?
• May a sick person eat food cooked by a non-Jew? May a minor?
The Royal Table answers all these questions and more. This handy reference work fills an important void in contemporary rabbinic literature, clarifying the permissibility of gentile assistance at home as well as in catering halls and food production. Its succinct, simple language and practical, day-today examples speak to all Jews, learned or not. Well-versed in the innovative technology that has revolutionized the kitchen and factory, the author offers creative, cutting-edge solutions to modern kashrut dilemmas.
The Royal Table also contains a user-friendly chart featuring color photos of more than 250 foods and explaining how the laws of bishul akum apply to each of them.
The Royal Table has been enthusiastically endorsed by Gedolim as well as major kashrut agencies both in Israel and abroad. Fully sourced and incorporating rulings of the leading poskim, this clear, concise guide is a must for laymen and kashrut professionals alike.
By: Rabbi Binyamin Bar Shalom