Selling Non-Kosher Foods

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Prohibition

  1. It is forbidden for a Jew to sell or gift non-Kosher food to a non-Jew provided that it is Biblically forbidden or has a doubt of being Biblically forbidden[1]. However, something that is only rabbinically forbidden one can sell to a non-Jew.[2]
  2. The reason it is forbidden to sell non-Kosher to a non-Jew is based on a pasuk and according to many poskim this derivation is Biblical.[3] However, some hold that it is only a rabbinic enactment so that a Jew doesn't come to eat the non-Kosher food.[4]
  3. Just as it is forbidden to sell non-Kosher food to a non-Jew it is forbidden to give a non-Jew a gift of non-Kosher food.[5]
  4. Some poskim permit feeding one's non-Jewish workers non-Kosher food, while others forbid this.[6]
  5. It is permitted to sell non-Kosher animals to a non-Jew if they are going to be worked and not eaten such as horses, donkeys, or camels.[7]
  6. One can sell vegetables that have bugs in them since one isn't profiting from the bugs.[8]
  7. One can do business with non-Kosher fats (chelev) of kosher[9] animals as the pasuk says "יעשה לכל מלאכה" (Vayikra 7:24) that it can be used for any purpose.[10]
  8. Many poskim permit anointing oneself with forbidden fats but since some rishonim forbid one shouldn't do it unless one is in pain.[11] As a result some are strict not to use bar soap that was made from forbidden non-Kosher fats (such as lard).[12]

Stores

  1. Some are lenient to allow a Jew who owns a store that sells non-Kosher to make a partnership with a non-Jew and all of the non-Kosher food will be the property of the non-Jew.[13]
  2. Some defend the practice of Jewish owners who sell non-Kosher food as a small part of their business in order to make money to pay rent and taxes. However, most poskim hold that this is forbidden.[14]

A Shochet, Hunter, or Fisherman

  1. A shochet who does shechita in order to sell kosher meat and on occasion has a Teref or Nevelah animal is allowed to sell it to non-Jews since it isn't his intention.[15]
  2. A hunter or fisherman who trapped a non-Kosher animal may sell it to a non-Jew since it wasn't his intention to trap it.[16] One should sell it immediately and not keep it around to grow and become more expensive.[17]
  3. If someone is hunting or fishing for sport and not as a profession and they trap a non-Kosher animal they may not keep it to give to a non-Jew.[18] Some are lenient.[19]

Sources

  1. Rabbi Akiva Eiger 117:1. See Kaf Hachaim Y.D. 117:1 who writes that this depends on whether selling non-Kosher is Biblically prohibited or only rabbinically. If it is only rabbinic then if a food is a doubt then it can be sold.
  2. Shulchan Aruch 117:1
  3. Kaf Hachaim 117:1 based on many poskim, see also Darkei Teshuva 117:25
  4. Taz 117:1 explains that the Rashba holds that the derivation is only an asmachta.
  5. Shach 117:3, Kaf Hachaim 117:28
  6. Rama 117:1 is strict but Shach 117:3 is lenient. Kaf Hachaim 117:12 quotes Pri Chadash 117:3 as lenient and Pri Toar 117:3 as strict.
  7. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 117:1, Shach 117:1. Kaf Hachaim 117:2 points out that this depends on the majority practice of the time and place.
  8. Kaf Hachaim 117:3
  9. Shach 117:4, Kaf Hachaim 117:13
  10. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 117:1
  11. Kaf Hachaim 117:15 cites Tosfot Niddah 32a and Avoda Zara 77a, Rashba, Ritva, Tosfot Harosh, and Meiri niddah who are lenient with anointing oneself with non-Kosher fats. Isur Vheter 39:24 forbids anointing oneself with forbidden fats since anointing is like drinking. He concludes that although most poskim are lenient including Zivchei Tzedek 117:45 it is good to be strict unless one is in pain. Nekudat Hakesef 117 is lenient.
  12. Nekudat Hakesef 117 connects whether one can use soaps made from forbidden fats with the question in general of anointing oneself with non-Kosher fats. However, Pri Chadash 117:4 writes that everyone should permit the soap since it isn't edible. Biur Halacha 326:10 writes that it is proper to be strict. Kaf Hachaim 117:17 is lenient. Orchot Rabbenu v. 1 p. 290 records the practice of the Steipler not to use soap ever because of a concern of the non-Kosher soaps. However, the Chazon Ish did use kosher bar soap.
  13. Rav Matloub Abadi in Magen Baadi 15:2 writes one can rely on the Maharam Shik to sell non-Kosher if one has a non-Jewish partner. He stipulates that the non-Jew will buy and sell the non-kosher items. To avoid marit ayin one should have a sign pointing out that the non-Kosher foods belong to the non-Jew. Kaf Hachaim 117:71 agrees.
  14. Aruch Hashulchan 117:27 has leniency to defend those who are lenient. He says that they need to sell non-kosher in order to pay rent and taxes and it isn’t their main business. Therefore it is like they don’t intend to sell the non-kosher and it just ended up that they sold some non-kosher. Kaf Hachaim 117:67 and Magen Baadi 15:1 disagree.
  15. Rama 117:1
  16. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 117:1
  17. Rama 117:1, Shach 117:11
  18. Shach 117:6 citing Bet Yosef, Taz 117:3, Kaf Hachaim 117:18
  19. Shach 117:6 citing Rama Mpano 29