Trusting Others for Kashrut

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The principle of neemanut is that halacha deems certain individuals worthy to trust and rely upon with regards to Kashrut or for any matter. Generally, if a religious Jew tells you that something is kosher or not kosher you can trust them. How does that play out with regards to children, non-religious individuals, or non-Jews? Additionally, which hechsher can one rely upon?

Ed Echad Neeman Bissurim

  1. There is a biblical principle that a single adult Jew is trust about the permitted status of an object or food. He is not trusted to say something is forbidden.[1]
  2. This principle applies equally to men and women.[2] However, something which isn't clearly forbidden and is only forbidden because of an uncertainty such as checking for non-kosher fish among kosher ones, or something which could be rationalized to be permitted, or it is very difficult and tedious process such as removing the gid and chelev of the hide quarters of an animal a woman is not trusted.[3]
  3. If a woman says that she gave birth to a baby boy immediately after 3 stars came out on Friday night and the milah should be on Shabbat, some say that they can't do the milah on Shabbat.[4]




  1. Someone who is suspected of not eating kosher may not be trusted if he makes statement about the kashrut of something. Therefore, if you are invited to the house of someone who is suspected of eating non-kosher one may not eat anything which is subject to any suspicion.[5] Furthermore, one should not accept the invitation of someone suspected on kashrut at all. Only after the fact that one accepted the invitation one doesn't have to cancel but should only eat food which the person is not suspect on.[6]
  2. Someone who sells non-kosher food as a though it is kosher, although it is a terrible sin religiously and monetarily to others, he can still be trusted about the kosher status of his food at home. Even though he is suspected of fraud in business that doesn't mean he will personally eat non-kosher. Therefore, if invited over one could eat his food.[7]
  3. Someone who is suspected in one area of halacha is only suspect in that area or in areas that require that halacha as a prerequisite, however, for unrelated halacha's he is trusted.[8]
  4. Someone suspected of a serious sin is also suspect of a lighter sin in terms of the Torah's system of punishments, unless the lighter sin is more serious in the eyes of people in which he isn't suspect of that sin.[9]
  5. parents, R Moshe

Someone with Unknown Reliability

  1. If there is someone who you do not know whether he is careful to only eat kosher or he is suspect to eat non-kosher one may rely upon his kashrut if invited to his house.[10]


  1. A non-Jew is not trusted to permit or forbid anything. If he is speaking casually and he isn't aware the the halacha is concerned for this matter then for rabbinic matters and there's no presumption of it being prohibited we can trust them.[11]


  1. Children are not reliable when it comes to anything of biblical standards and is not included in Ed Echad Neeman Bissurim. Nonetheless, if he is wise and it is circumstantially reasonable what he is saying then we can trust him to prohibit something or to permit something if it was previously assumed to be forbidden if it is within his ability to fix it. Some say that even with these conditions we only trust them only for rabbinic questions and some say it is even for biblical matters.[12]
  2. They are trusted with regards to any concern that someone switched the kosher food with non-kosher food as could happen with deliveries or having a non-Jew watch kosher food.[13]

Hechsher and Mashgiach

  1. crc list, job of mashgiach, what does a hechsher certify
  2. In a place where they sell non-kosher meat they can't also kosher meat that isn't marked with a clear demarcation, such as a hechsher. It doesn't help that the merchant knows which pieces are kosher and which aren't.<ref>Igrot Moshe YD 3:18</ref.


  1. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 129:3
  2. Tosfot Pesachim 4b s.v. heymnuhu, Rashba (Torat Habayit 1:1 7b, Likutim Pesachim 4b s.v. hakol), Maharam Chalavah Pesachim 4b s.v. kiyvan, Ritva Pesachim 4b s.v. hiymninhu. The Meiri Pesachim 4b summarizes 6 approaches in the rishonim:
    • One opinion holds that women are not trusted for anything which has a forbidden status which would need to be changed. Therefore, one couldn't trust a woman about removing trumot, maaser, doing nikkur on the gid or chelev. However, one could trust them about checking vegetables for bugs since there is no forbidden status on the vegetables.
    • One opinion holds that women are always trusted even if it is a difficult or arduous task. This is the opinion of the Ritva and conclusion of the Meiri.
    • One opinion holds that women are trusted unless it is a matter of a biblical prohibition and it is an arduous and difficult task. If it was an issue with only a rabbinic consequence they would be trusted even with a difficult task. This is the opinion of the Tosfot and Rashba. The Shach 127:30 codifies this opinion as the halacha.
    • One opinion holds that women are trusted only if it is possible that they could be found out if they were lying. For example, if they said that they remove the gid or chelev they are trusted since it is possible to confirm this later.
    • One opinion holds that women are trusted only on matters that they usually do. See Tosfot Rid.
    • One opinion holds that women are trusted only about what men did and not about what they did themselves. This is the opinion of the Raavad Ketubot 72a in Katuv Sham.
  3. Hagahot Ashri Pesachim 1:3, Shach 127:30, Chachmat Adam 72:14
  4. Divrei Emet YD 1:1, Rav Bechor Dovid (Rabbi of Constantinople beginning of eighteenth century) writes a lengthy responsa on this case. He explains that although the Tosfot Eruvin 59a holds that we can't trust a woman about establishing the techum if it would have been a biblical prohibition, and therefore, to establish any matter of Shabbat that is biblical she wouldn't be trusted, most rishonim disagree. In fact, he proves this from the Ramban, Rashba, Ran, Raah, Rosh, Maharam, Mordechai, Riaz, Tosfot Gittin and Yevamot and thinks that we follow them against the Tosfot Eruvin and in general a woman has the status of an ed echad, one witness. However, with regards to establishing when is Shabbat or a Yom Tov, he concludes that there is a dispute between the rishonim whether an ed echad is trusted. According to the Yerushalmi Yoma 3:1 one witness is trusted if his statement can be verified by other people. According to the Rambam Kiddush Hachodesh 3:14 only a witness who is kosher for regular testimony of two is kosher on his own to establish something of Shabbat or Yom Tov. According to the Riaz cited by Shiltei Giborim Ketubot 72a even a woman is trusted regarding the establishment of Shabbat or Yom Tov whether or not it could be verified. Therefore, in a regular case when one woman says she gave birth on Shabbat unless others were around at the time, it isn't verifiable by others and only the Riaz who allow relying on the woman in this case.
  5. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 119:1, Bechorot 35a
  6. Shevet Halevi 4:90 based on Bechor Shor A"Z 39b against Pri Chadash 119:6
  7. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 119:2. Shach 119:5 explains that although the person isn't careful about the sin of lifnei iver he is careful not to eat non-kosher himself.
  8. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 119:4
  9. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 119:5
  10. Rama Y.D. 119:1
  11. Chachmat Adam 72:17
  12. Chachmat Adam 72:16 citing a dispute between the Shach 127:31 and Magen Avraham 437:8
  13. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 127:4, Chachmat Adam 72:15