By Rabbi Chaim Chazzan
Is it permissible to place food in a holding compartment underneath a stroller in which an infant is sleeping?
Halacha forbids eating food that was left under a bed that someone slept on. The reason is because forces of impurity (ruach ra’ah) contaminate food left under a bed. But in the case of a stroller poskim permit for various reasons:
There is an opinion amongst the poskim the food becomes contaminated only when one places it directly on the floor beneath the bed. Therefore in the compartment of a stroller where it is not directly on the floor it is permissible.
Other poskim explain that food under a child’s bed is permissible. For there are those who say that food under the bed of a goy is permitted, since the klipos desire to nourish from a source of kedusha, they attach themselves to yidden only. This is similar to the tumah on the hands upon waking, which is only subject to yidden. According to the Alter Rebbe, children are not subject to the tumah of ruach ra’ah upon waking (although it is commendable to wash neggel vasser). Accordingly the poskim who permit food left under the bed of goy, would likewise permit by the case of a child.
Another reason to permit is the opinion brought in poskim that food only becomes contaminated when left beneath a proper bed that could be used by adults, which would clearly exclude a stroller.
שו”ע יו”ד סי’ קט”ז סעי’ ה, ובדרכי תשובה שם ס”ק ל”ז, ל”ט, מנחת יצחק ח”ד סי’ קי”ז, שרגא המאיר ח”ג סי’ ק”ג אות ד
Reprinted with permission from Lmaan Yishmeu – a project of Mercaz Anash. To see more articles visit Mercazanash.com