It is prohibited to derive pleasure from this world without reciting a berachah.  Even a Jew who is not observant is required to recite berachos over food.  In fact, there are a number of anecdotes about the Vilna Gaon in which he encountered heretics and warned them that they would be held accountable for every berachah that they failed to recite.  This seems surprising, because the berachos of a heretic are meaningless.  (This is even true if his heretical views are the result of his deficient education.)  Seemingly, it is pointless to encourage a nonbeliever to recite a berachah.  However, a heretic should be encouraged to recite berachos over food in case he recants from his heretical convictions at that moment.  If the recital of berachos is a step in his growth process, there is certainly great value in encouraging a heretic to do so — even if there is no inherent value in the berachah of a nonbeliever.

This is one side of the coin, feeding a non-observant Jew in your home. What about eating in the homes of one’s “mekarevees?” We will not be going into this question in depth. As a maskanah, Rav Dovid Cohen paskens that if someone is shomer Torah u’mitzvos, then you can eat by them. But, if they are not keeping kashrus in some areas, you should not eat there, period.


Please click here to continue reading Chapter VIII: Kiruv Through Food

Please click here to purchase a copy of the Laws of Outreach.


Please refer to the archives below for the previously published chapters of the Laws of Outreach:

Preface to The Laws of Outreach

Chapter I: The Mitzvos of Kiruv

Chapter II: Kiruv as a Rescue Mission

Chapter III: Categories of Transgressors and Our Obligations Toward Them

Chapter IV:  Contemporary Non-Observant Jews

Chapter V: Halachic Applications of Tinokos Shenishbu in our Time

Chapter VI: Lifnei Iver

Chapter VII: Invitations for Shabbos


_______________________________ is honored to present free to the Olami Community and beyond, Rabbi Avraham Edelstein’s new landmark sefer, The Laws of Outreach. We are featuring the sefer to the readership of in downloadable installments over the next few months. We are greatly appreciative that Rabbi Edelstein has kindly offered to share this important publication, including extensive Hebrew footnotes, with rabbis, educators and mekarvim worldwide. Please click here to purchase a copy of the Laws of Outreach.

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