Monday, October 11, 2010

It's hard to be a בן נח II

My wife sent me a fascinating link Noahide Halacha 101 or Meet the Adams Family which details a conversation with someone who tries to keep the ז' מצות בני נח. You can see from the conversation how complicated it is. Here is 1 excerpt:

“This problem went even further,” John continued. “Could we eat in a restaurant where forbidden meats may have contaminated their equipment?”

I admit that I had never thought of this question before. Must a gentile be concerned that a restaurant’s equipment absorbed eiver min hachai? Does a Noahide needs to “kasher” a treif restaurant before he can eat there? Oy, the difficulty of being a goy!

“How did you resolve this dilemma?” I timidly asked.

“Well, for a short time our family stopped eating out,” he replied. “You could say that we ate only treif at home. My wife found the situation intolerable – no MacDonald’s or Wendy’s? Although I know that observant Jews do not understand why this is such a serious predicament, but please bear in mind that we made a conscious decision not to become Jewish. One of our reasons was that we enjoy eating out wherever we can.

“So I decided to ask some rabbis I know, but even then the end of the road was not clearly in sight.”

“Why was that?”

“I had difficulty finding a rabbi who could answer the question. From what I understand, a rabbi’s ordination teaches him the basics necessary to answer questions that apply to kosher kitchens. But I don’t have a kosher house – we observe Adamite laws. As one rabbi told me, ‘I don’t know if Noahides need to be concerned about what was previously cooked in their pots.’”

What a fascinating question, does the din of טעם כעיקר apply to a גוי? This is just 1 example. These kinds of questions come up on every facet of life.


Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

Although I would be guessing, here's what I'm thinking the answer is:
Just like we rely on government supervision to ensure that cholov akum is not mixed with non-kosher milk (as per Rav Moshe's teshuva), it might be possible for a Ben Noach to rely on government supervision which prohibits cruelty to animals.
Or one could restrict oneself to organic meats which would avoid that issue.

academic said...

Thanks for the info, really helpful.

restaurant equipment

Chaim B. said...

Question seems to depend on R' Chaim's chakira (in the ch. al harambam) whether ta'am k'ikar is a new chiddush din or an extension of the underlying issur of ma'achalos asuros. IIRC R' Chaim held it is a chiddush din.