Ordering Meat and Milk for a Non-Jew

Q. My non-Jewish boss asked me to phone in an order for a cheesesteak to be delivered from a non-kosher restaurant. Is this permissible?

A. In a previous Halacha Yomis, we noted that just as it is prohibited to cook milk and meat together, it is also not permissible to ask a non-Jew to do so. This is known as amira l’akum (literally, telling a non-Jew). It should follow that one may not order a cheesesteak four one’s boss, as this is tantamount to requesting that the steak be broiled with cheese. However, there are two mitigating considerations. Firstly, it is unlikely that the person answering the phone in the restaurant will cook the cheesesteak. Typically, the order will be passed on to a chef or worker in the kitchen. Asking one non-Jew to ask another non-Jew is known as amira d’amira l’akum (asking one non-Jew to ask another non-Jew), which is permitted by the Chavos Yair (53). Although most poskim disagree with the Chavos Yair, the Chasam Sofer (6:24) writes that in cases of necessity one may be lenient for non-Shabbos related prohibitions. Still, he does not recommend relying on this heter (leniency) if it can be avoided. 

A second consideration is that the restaurant may have prepared cheese steaks in stock, and if so, the order does not trigger a new cooking process.

Since amira l’akum is a rabbinic prohibition, and there are elements of doubt, one may be lenient in this situation.


The Gerald & Karin Feldhamer OU Kosher Halacha Yomis is dedicated to the memory of Rav Yisroel Belsky, zt"l, who served as halachic consultant for OU Kosher for more than 28 years; many of the responses in Halacha Yomis are based on the rulings of Rabbi Belsky. Subscribe to the Halacha Yomis daily email here.