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Food Fight

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Topic: Kosher, Feeding to Non-observant Jews

Gerry Sutofsky, from NY wrote

Dear Rabbi,

I am a teacher at a public school in New York. Every year we have a luncheon sponsored by the school PTA. As there are a number of observant teachers who require kosher food, it is always provided for them. My question is, there are also a number of non-observant Jewish teachers who eat non-kosher almost all the time but request kosher food for this luncheon.

This has caused conflict between certain observant and non-observant teachers who feel that it is causing an undue financial burden upon the parents who sponsor this. As one teacher puts it, you have to differentiate between those who require and those who request. My question is: Is there a halachic source that I can refer to for solving this problem? Are we not obligated to give kosher food to any Jew if he/she requests it? Anything you can cite would be quite helpful. Thank you!

Dear Gerry Sutofsky,

According to Jewish law, one should give kosher food even to a non-observant Jew. Giving non-kosher food is a transgression of the commandment "Do not place a stumbling block before a blind person" (Leviticus 19). The fact that these teachers are not consistent does not affect the fact that they are obligated to eat kosher food. Even a Jew who has sinned is still a Jew.


  • Talmud, Tractate Avodah Zarah 6b
  • Code of Jewish Law, Yoreh Deah 151:1

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