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The Halachos on this website are based on my personal understanding of the Halachic texts quoted, and are for learning purposes only, NOT for Psak Halacha.

DO NOT rely on them for Psak Halacha L’Maaseh. If you have questions or require further source information, please email the question at Ben@HalachaForToday.comand I will try to respond as soon as I can. For a Halacha L’Ma’aseh Psak, please contact your local Orthodox Rabbi.

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ARCHIVES: HILCHOS KASHRUS

(Halachos of keeping Kosher)

 

BELOW ARE THE HALACHOS FROM THE  DAILY EMAILS THAT WERE SENT OUT TO THE “HALACHA FOR TODAY” DAILY EMAIL LIST

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, JANUARY 10 2010

Introduction:

We will now B’Ezras Hashem begin learning some of the many intricate Halachos related to Kashrus (Keeping Kosher) in the Kitchen and beyond.

Keeping Kosher is of primary importance in living a Torah-True life and often a simple lack of knowledge leads to not keeping Kosher properly. Eating food that isn’t 100% Kosher leads to souls being tainted Chas V’Shalom as it causes Timtum HaLev, stuffing up of the spiritual arteries and can lead to developing bad character traits as well as to being unable to absorb Torah knowledge and Mussar. (See Gemara Yoma 39a, Shulchan Aruch and Rama Yoreh Deah Siman 81:7, Aruch HaShulchan Yoreh Deah 81:34, Kaf HaChaim Siman 81: 64,   See also Rabbeinu Bachya  Parshas Mishpatim 23:19, Shu”t Chasam Sofer Orach Chaim Siman 23 and  Lev Eliyahu Parshas Shmos page 8 Ma’amar Metzius HaTeva HaRuchni B’Olam on  Perek 2 Posuk 7)

Thus, I hope that a review of the Halachos ahead will strengthen us all in our observance of the laws of kashrus and  help keep our Neshamos clean and  make us better people and bring us all closer to our Father in heaven, which is the ultimate goal of each and every Jew.

I will endeavor to keep the Halachos as simple and practical as I can, and of course if there is anything I write that needs clarification, please never hesitate to contact me at HalachaForToday@Gmail.com

 

1) Keeping a Kosher kitchen – and beyond-  requires more than just purchasing Kosher ingredients and not eating milk and meat together.

The preparation of the food must be done in such a way that the Kosher status of the food is not compromised.

Thus, every Kosher Kitchen should have two separate work areas (i.e. countertops), one for preparing dairy foods and one for preparing meat foods, as there are many ways in which foods can be absorbed into a countertop and render it meat/dairy and thus be re-absorbed into a food that is prepared on that countertop, and if it is a food of the opposite classification it will become problematic.

Ideally, these two areas should be at two opposite sides of the kitchen, or at a minimum at opposite sides of the sink(s). (See Pri Megadim, Aishel Avraham Orach Chaim beginning of Siman 173, Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah Siman 88:9-11, Kaf HaChaim Yoreh Deah 88:8)

If one is of means and is able to afford it, it would be best to have two additional areas, one for preparing Parve foods and one for preparing Pesach foods.

2 ) In a kitchen that  is very small and only has one work area, a noticeable and permanent  separation should be made  on that work area and each side should be designated for one kind of food.

If the area isn’t large enough to divide into two areas, it must be dedicated for one kind of food preparation only (Meat or Dairy, whichever is most prepared in that kitchen), and when necessary to prepare the other kind of food (Dairy or meat), the area must be covered with an acceptable cover (preferably made from material that doesn’t conduct heat, such as  plastic, P.V.C., Formica etc.)

It is preferable that this cover always be accessible in a designated spot (away from the countertop) and be available at a moment’s notice whenever preparing the food so as not to mistakenly prepare one kind of food   directly on an  area designated for the other kind of food.

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, JANUARY 11 2010

1) One who buys or rents an  apartment whose kitchen was not kept Kosher, must not use the countertops  as they are, for food preparation  as we must  assume that non Kosher  was absorbed into the countertops and will thus be re-absorbed into any food that is now prepared on them.

The counter tops must be covered before using them.

Alternately, if they are constructed of marble or stainless steel or other materials that can be Koshered (made Kosher), they can be koshered and then used regularly without a covering.

The method to Kosher such counter tops is as follows, based on the Halachic concept of “K’Bolo Kach Polto- the way it became non Kosher (i.e. through hot food) is the  way it becomes Kosher (i.e. with hot water):

  • Clean them thoroughly, including all the corners and joints, in order to remove any particles of food that may be in there.

  • It is ideal for the countertop not to be used for 24 hours before beginning the Kashering process.

  • Pour boiling water onto the countertop from a kettle of water [that is still plugged into the wall] to the point that the water is bubbling when it touches the countertop. The water should be dried and new boiling water poured onto the countertop in the same fashion, until every spot on the countertop has been touched with boiling water.

An alternate method to do this [especially if no water kettle is available with a long enough plug to be plugged in and reach every area of the countertop] is to pour boiling water over a heated stone or hot iron that is directly above the countertop and thus the water will boil and bubble and this will Kosher the countertop.

2) If the countertop was not used for 12 months, it possibly does not require Kashering at all. (See Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah Siman 122. See also Shu”t Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah Vol. 2 Siman 46 and Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 6 Siman 56)

If the countertop is made out of Formica or wood [especially if it has scratches in it ], a Rav must be consulted regarding which Koshering methods are acceptable, if any.

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, JANUARY 12 2010

1) A Kosher kitchen should ideally contain 2 sinks, one for meat and one for dairy.

If the two sinks can be on to opposite ends of the Kitchen, or as separated from one another as possible, it is praiseworthy. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 95:3, Shu”t Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah Vol. 1 Siman 42:4 and  Shu”t Minchas Yitzchok Vol. 2 Siman 100)

If the 2 sinks are adjacent to one another (as is common in many homes to have a “double sink”) it is proper to have a [large enough and permanent] separation between them to prevent splashing of hot water from one sink to the other, which often will happen  when washing dishes.

2) Additionally, when the two sinks are adjacent it is best to at least have separate faucets, as often there is food residue on the hands which when moving the faucets will be transferred onto it and when using the same faucet with hot water for the opposite type of food it is possible for the food that is stuck to the faucet to then be transferred onto the dishes of the opposite kind. This is especially so when washing meat and dairy dishes consecutively (common in many households on Motzaei Shabbos)

Also, two sinks that share one drain can present some Halachic problems if the drain ever gets stuffed up and the hot water (with particles of meat and dairy in it) backs up into both sinks.

If this ever happens, any utensils that are in the sinks should immediately be removed and rinsed with cold water. The sinks should also be cleaned and not used for 24 hours. A Rav should be consulted for Halacha L’ma’aseh of course. (See Shu”t Igros Moshe and Shu”t Minchas Yitzchok ibid.)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13 2010

1) If only one sink is present in a kitchen, no utensils should be placed directly on the sink surface.

Rather, separate inserts should be bought, each with a distinct color and/or another clear indentifying feature, one for meat and one for dairy, and they should be inserted into the sink for each respective use. (See Shu”t Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah Vol. 1 Siman 42:4 and Shu”t Minchas Yitzchok Vol. 2 Siman 100)

Additionally, it is best if this single sink is kept covered when not in use, in order to avoid anything from falling onto its uncovered surface, as for all practical purposes the uncovered sink surface is considered unkosher. (The various reasons why this sink is considered Unkosher are a) hot liquids from a Kli Rishon of both meat and dairy are spilled into this sink b) It is common for small particles of food – both meat and dairy- to be smeared or left sitting in the sink. c) Oftentimes, these particles can sit on the surface of a wet sink for more than 24 hours and soak, and this soaking, even in cold water, can have a status of being cooked (Kavush K’Mevushal) d) pots, pans or other cooking/baking utensils that may have been placed in the sink while hot may have had particles of hot food on them which will be absorbed into the sink’s surface. See Shu”t Minchas Yitzchok ibid.)

2) If utensils fell into such a [wet] sink, if they were there for more than 24 hours they need to be koshered.

If they were there for less than 24 hours, they just need to be rinsed off well. (ibid.)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, JANUARY 14 2010

1) It is imperative to have separate cleaning equipment (e.g. soaps, sponges, brushes, rubber gloves etc.) for washing meat, dairy and parve dishes.

Even if the soap dispenser is closed or covered, it is still praiseworthy to have two separate units, as it is quite probable that the tip of the dispenser is touched by a sponge with grease on it and that grease can then be transferred to a utensil of the opposite classification.

If one class of dishes was mistakenly washed with a sponge of the other class, in most cases the dishes do not become non Kosher, as the water is usually not hot enough. However, the utensil should immediately be re-rinsed with cold water and with the proper cleaning apparatus.

If the dish in question is glass, there is room for even more leniency. As always, whenever in doubt, a Rav must be consulted.

When only one sink is present in the Kitchen, extra care must be taken after each time dishes are washed, to rinse off the faucets and the handles lest any residue remain on them which  may be transferred to dishes of the other class.

2) Many Poskim require the dish soap that is used to wash dishes to have a Kosher certification as not to transfer any non kosher ingredients in the soap (very common for there to be oils/fats from non kosher animals in there) onto the utensils being washed.

Other Poskim, however, are lenient and do not require a Hechsher on dish soap. (See Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah Vol. 2 Siman 30)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, JANUARY 15 2010

(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) It is proper for every kosher kitchen to have separate towels for use with meat, dairy or pareve.

They should be easily identifiable as to avoid using them with the opposite food type.

[It is common to use blue towels for dairy and red for meat, but of course any colors or other identifiable features are sufficient as long as they are recognized by all who will use the towels.]

The reason for this is that towels are not only used to wipe clean dishes; they are commonly used in ways that come in contact with the actual food, such as  to wipe greasy hands and food spills as well as to assist in removing hot pots and pans  from the stove and the oven.

2) If a towel of one food type was inadvertently used for handling the opposite food type, it can be laundered and continued to be used without a problem. (See Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah 121:66, Rama Orach Chaim Siman 442:11 and Shulchan Aruch Siman 453:6)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) It is  proper to have separate dish racks, where dishes are placed to dry after being washed, in order to avoid inadvertently using dishes for the opposite food type.

If clean dishes of the opposite classes were dried together in one dish rack, however, even if they touched one another, there is no concern at all with their kashrus and they may continue to be used.

2) Having separate drying racks is especially important for the cup shaped drying receptacles that are used to dry the silverware, as they are more likely to have food particles in them, due to their shape.

Thus,  in this type of drying rack, where there may be  food and water sitting at the bottom, if silverware of both classes were sitting in that water together for more than 24 hours, it may indeed  be a problem, and a Rav should be consulted if this happens (This is due to the concept of Kavush K’Mevushal, anything soaking for 24 hours may be Halachically considered as cooked. See Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah 121:1)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, JANUARY 17 2010

1) It is proper, if possible, for Stovetops [both gas and electric ranges] that are used for cooking, frying and warming up food to be designated for one class of food, and to have a separate cooking element for the opposite class of food. (See Chochmas Adam 74:4 and Shu”t Ksav Sofer Yoreh Deah Siman 54 where he writes that G-d fearing individuals should be stringent with this)

Another option is to have separate grates to use when cooking the opposite food class on the same range.

If this is too difficult, it is best to at least designate one of the flames on the range for the opposite food class. (Shu”t Ksav Sofer ibid. See also Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 2 Siman 387)

2) M’Ikar Hadin (according to the letter of the law) if one wants (or needs) to use the stovetop for both meat and dairy, it is permissible as long as certain guidelines are followed, which we will outline tomorrow B’Ezras Hashem. (See Mishna Berura Siman 451:34 for the reasoning. See also Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah Vol. 1 Siman 59 and Yoreh Deah Vol. 1 Siman 40 and Orach Chaim Vol. 1 Siman 124)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, JANUARY 18 2010

1) When using one stovetop for both food classes (which is OK, M’Ikar Hadin as we learned yesterday), the following guidelines must be followed:

  • The entire surface of the stovetop must be treated as a non kosher utensil and no food may be placed directly onto this surface.

  • If any food fell onto this surface while cooking or frying, it becomes prohibited to eat.

  • When cleaning any part of the stovetop it may not be done  together with or on top of any other kosher utensils, and separate cleaning gear are required to clean any part of the stovetop.

  • No utensils (e.g. a stirring spoon) that aren’t totally dry on the bottom may be placed on a stovetop that is used for both food classes. (See Rama Yoreh Deah Siman 92:8 and Chochmas Adam 45:19. See also Shu”t Sh’eilas Ya’avetz Vol. 1 Siman 113)

2) It is a good idea to have a receptacle on the stovetop on which to rest any utensils being used in the cooking process, to avoid placing them directly on the stove.

If a wet utensil was placed there by mistake, it may require Koshering and a Rav should be consulted. (See Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 2 Siman 387)

Care must be taken at all times to keep this shared stovetop clean, especially after using it for frying food, where it is usual for splashing to happen all over the stovetop. (See Kaf HaChaim Yoreh Deah Siman 97:29. See also Taz Yoreh Deah 97:4)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, JANUARY 19 2010

1) L’Chatchilah, care must be taken not to cook or fry meat dishes and dairy dishes at the same time on one stove top.

Furthermore, when cooking or frying a food of one class, it is proper to ensure that no pots or utensils of the other class are near the stove at all, even if they are empty of food, as if they are too close to the food that’s cooking, they may get a splash of the hot food and jeopardize the kosher status of the empty pot or utensil.

2) If one has no choice, and needs to use the stove for cooking meat on one range and dairy on another, at the same time, care must be taken to separate the two pots as far from one another as possible.

Especially when  the pots are being uncovered totally or partially, when a spice or ingredient is being added to one of the pots or when one of the foods is being mixed, care must be taken to do it slowly and gently to ensure nothing splashes over to the pot of the other food class.

(See Rama Yoreh Deah Siman 92:8 and 118:11. See also Shach Siman 118:36)

If two pots of opposite food classes touched one another while cooking, as long as the outside of each pot was dry, both of them, and their contents, remain Kosher. (Rama ibid.)

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20 2010

1) A Kosher kitchen should have separate and distinctly recognizable oven mittens and pot holders for meat, dairy and Parve.

Likewise, those who place hot pots and pans on a special element in order not to place them directly on the table or countertops, should have separate and distinctive elements for meat and dairy, especially if these elements are made from china, ceramic or other similar materials which absorb food that spills onto them when hot but cannot be purged of that food status.

2) Those who install a hood above their stovetops should make sure that it is installed enough distance away from the stove top to ensure that the steam from the cooking pots can dissipate enough before reaching the hood, and thus not present a problem of the condensed steam falling back into the food being cooked [uncovered] on the stovetop. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 92:8. See also Pri Megadim, Aishel Avraham. Siman 92:29)

If the hood is indeed too close to the stovetop (either because logistics do not allow it to be installed high enough, or in instances where large pots are being used which are higher up than the usual pots) it is prohibited to be cooking meat and dairy dishes simultaneously, as doing so will cause the steam to render all the food non Kosher (if the pots aren’t sufficiently covered).

Regarding if the exhaust fan in the hood is sufficient even when it is too close to the stovetop, a Rav must be consulted in each situation

Pots, pans, cooking utensils, [open containers of] salt, sugar and other spices etc. should not be hung or stored directly above a stovetop, as the steam from any foods cooked on the stove will most probably be absorbed into those utensils and foods and render them the status of the food, and if steam of both meat and dairy get absorbed, the utensils will become Treif. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 92:8)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, JANUARY 21 2010

1)The ovens that are found in most homes today are manufactured in such a way that  their openings are closed and their doors are hermetically sealed to ensure that no heat escapes and that the heat is evenly distributed to all parts of the oven.

While items are cooked/baked in the oven, the heat and the steam that escapes from the food being cooked/baked gets absorbed into the walls of the oven. (Sometimes this can even be visible to the naked eye in the form of dried gravy, which get baked onto the walls over time) and can then be transferred onto other food in the oven. (See Darchei Teshuva Siman 92:164 and Shu”t Minchas Yitzchak Vol. 5 Siman 20:10)

Therefore,  the usage of this oven for uncovered  meat, dairy and Parve simultaneously  is prohibited.

Furthermore, even if the oven is not used at the same time for opposite food classes, but is used consecutively, it is also problematic if the foods are uncovered, and surely L’Chatchilah it should not be done.

2) Although many ovens today have vents  that are made to remove the steam from the oven, most Poskim do not consider this significant enough to override the problem of steam from one food class in the oven mixing with food of a different class, and  thus keep to the ruling that  if both classes were  cooked in the oven uncovered simultaneously or even consecutively, it will render the food problematic.

In the event that food was cooked in any of the aforementioned situations, a competent Rav must be consulted for a ruling.

(See Rama Siman 108:1 and Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah Vol. 1 Siman 40. See also Badei HaShulchan page 211. See also Shu”t Minchas Yitzchak Vol. 5 Siman 20:8-13)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, JANUARY 22 2010

(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) When a new oven is purchased, it is extremely praiseworthy to dedicate the oven to one food class, and have a separate oven or heating element for the opposite food class.

Indeed, many people purchase ovens with 2 separate compartments (Double Decker oven) and dedicate one to meat and one to dairy, and this practice is commendable as it prevents many Kashrus problems that often arise when having only one oven.

2) When using a Double Decker oven, it is best to dedicate the top oven for meat and the bottom one for dairy, as meat foods  tends to release more steam (due the fats  in meat) than dairy foods, and of course heat rises. (See Sefer HaKashrus page 42)

Although when a Double Decker oven is used it is permissible for both of the ovens to be in use at one time with opposite food items, some people are scrupulous to not have them both cooking at the same time. (See Sefer Kashrus  V’Shabbos B’Mitbach page 160 and Kovetz M’Beis Leivi Vol. 3 page 21 for more details about this)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) Disposable aluminum pans that are used for baking and cooking, which are manufactured outside of the United States of America, according to some Kashrus researchers , may have a Kashrus problem due to the possibility that animal fats are used in the manufacturing process.

The problematic pans, may be eliminated by  cleaning them  thoroughly with soap and water and then used. (Psak of Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Sefer HaKashrus page 43 footnote 68)

It is for this reason that pans with Hechsherim (rabbinical certification) are available on the market.

2) The pans manufactured in the United States, apparently do not utilize such a process, and may be used without a Hechsher.

In any case, a Rav should be consulted for Halacha L’ma’aseh.

Regarding if these “disposable” pans require Tevilah, we shall discuss this at length in the future B’Ezras Hashem.

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, JANUARY 24 2010

1) When baking a cake to be eaten with milk[or at a dairy meal], a pan which was used within the previous 24 hours for meat should not be used, even if the pan is completely clean.

Likewise, Challah (or any other bread) which is being baked for use at a meat meal, may not be baked in a pan that was used for dairy within the previous 24 hours.

2) If the bread or Challah was already baked in a pan that was used for the opposite food within the past 24 hours, for Ashkenazic Jews it may not be eaten with food of the opposite class.

Jews who follow the Sephardic rulings of the Shulchan Aruch, may eat the cake/Challah with a food of the opposite class.

According to some Poskim, they may do so even L’Chatchilah. (See Shulchan Aruch, Rama, Shach and Taz Yoreh Deah Siman 95:1 and 2. See also Shu”t Yabia Omer Vol. 4 Yoreh Deah Siman 4)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, JANUARY 25 2010

1) An Ashkenazic Jew who uses a  meat baking pan which wasn’t used in 24 hours and is totally clean, to bake a Parve food, should L’Chatchilah not eat that food together with dairy (and vice versa for a dairy pan used to bake Parve, should not be eaten L’Chatchilah with meat)

If there is a situation where eating this food with the opposite class is extremely necessary, there are leniencies to be relied upon, and a Rav should be consulted. (See Chochmas Adam Klal 48:2. See also Kovetz M’Beis Leivi Vol. 4 page 179 Os 66)

2) For Sephardic Jews, it is permissible L’Chatchilah to eat this parve food with foods of the opposite class than the pan. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 95:1 and 2 and Shu”t Yabia Omer Vol. 4 Yoreh Deah  Siman 4)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, JANUARY 26 2010

1) If one inadvertently prepared  a meat dish in a dairy pan, or vice versa,  if 24 hours have passed since the pan has been used, the food may be eaten, but the pan needs to be Koshered (This can be done by placing the pan in the oven and turning the oven on high for around an hour)

If less than 24 hours have passed since the pan was last used, a Rav must be consulted as to the status of the food as well as the pan. (as there are possibilities that the pan can never be koshered properly. See Shu”t Avnei Yashfe Vol. 3 Siman 72. See also Kovetz M’Beis Leivi Vol. 4 page 179 Os 2)

2) One who has only one oven, if food will be cooked/baked in it uncovered, it should preferably be dedicate for use with one food class. (See Shulchan Aruch and Rama Yoreh Deah Siman 108, Rama Siman 93:1 and Shu”t Chelkas Yaakov Vol. 2 Siman 136)

If the food that is being cooked is hermetically sealed, or at least covered with an adequate double covering, it may be cooked/baked in any oven M’Ikar HaDin.

However, some Poskim advise not to do this unless in a situation where there is no other choice (Sha’as HaDchak) (Shulchan Aruch and Rama ibid. See also Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah Vol. 1 Siman 49 and 59. See also Mishna Berura Siman 451:136 and Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah 108:39 and Kaf HaChaim Yoreh Deah 108:19)

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27 2010

1) An oven which is exclusively used for meat should not be used to prepare uncovered Parve foods that will be served at a dairy  meal (and vice versa for preparing Parve foods in a dairy oven for use at a meat meal) (See Shulchan Aruch  Yoreh Deah Siman 92:8, 108:1 and 2 and Rama Siman 93:1 and 95:5. Even though regarding cooking something Parve in a meat or dairy pot that wasn’t used in 24 hours, according to the Shulchan Aruch it is more lenient, or even permissible L’Chatchilah, it is different in an oven as there are actual particles of food left on the walls etc.)

If a Parve food was in fact baked in such an oven, uncovered, if the oven was not cleaned out prior to this baking, the food assumes the status of the oven and may not be eaten with the opposite food class, and if the oven was dairy, may even require waiting 6 hours [or whatever time one usually waits after meat] before eating the baked item. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 97:3 and 108:1. See also Kovetz M’Bais Leivi Vol. 3 page 21 Os 3. See also Shach Yoreh Deah 108:11 and Darchei Teshuva 108:41)

2) If an uncovered parve item was cooked/baked in a clean meat or dairy oven that was used within 24 hours, even though the oven was cleaned, it should still not be eaten together with a food of the opposite class, but may be eaten immediately prior or afterwards.

However, some Poskim are lenient with this and maintain that as long as the oven was cleaned and turned onto the highest setting  for a while (half hour or an hour) then the Parve items may be eaten with a food of the opposite class.

This is especially relied upon at times of necessity such as Erev Shabbos or when one has guests. (See Shu”t Minchas Yitzchak Vol. 5 Siman 20)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, JANUARY 28 2010

1) If an oven designated for one class of food was inadvertently used to cook/bake a food of the opposite class, it can be Koshered by thoroughly cleaning it out [preferably with a caustic cleaner to remove the grease from the walls], waiting 24 hours and then  turning the oven to the highest temperature(or self clean, in which case a caustic cleaner may not be necessary) for approximately an hour.

The grates on which the food were laying inside the oven, also require Koshering and should also be cleaned, and remain inside when the oven is turned on to the highest setting. (See Kovetz M’Beis Leivi Vol. 3 page 21:5)

2) It is important to note that Koshering ovens should be done only when necessary and in instances where they inadvertently were used wrongly. Constantly Koshering an oven  from one food class to another should be avoided. (See Shu”t Chelkas Yaakov Vol. 2 Siman 136 and Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 1 Siman 430)

Due to the many complications involved in Koshering ovens, and the fact that certain ovens coated with enamel or other materials cannot be koshered at all according to some Poskim, it is always advisable to consult a competent Rav before attempting to kosher an oven to discuss all the specific details. (See “Laws of Kashrus” by Rav Binyomin Forst Shlita page 229 for a more detailed treatment of Koshering ovens.

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, JANUARY 29 2010 (TRIPLE PORTION L’KAVOD SHABBOS KODES/SHABBOS SHIRA/TU B’SHVAT)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) The method of koshering an oven that we discussed yesterday (referred to in Halacha as Libun Kal) applies only to meat ovens that were used for dairy or for dairy ovens that were used for meat consecutively.

However, if meat and dairy were cooked in an oven concurrently, or if non Kosher meats were cooked in the oven (Neveilos, Treifos or other prohibited items), the pans, grates, skewers and all other  elements in the oven require Libun Chamur(using a blow torch until they get red hot and release sparks),

2) The oven itself suffices with Libun Kal, turning it on high for an hour. (See Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah 121:53. See Tur, Magen Avraham and Machtzis HaShekel Orach Chaim Siman 451)

Again, in all matters pertaining to Koshering ovens, we can’t stress enough the importance of consulting a Rav with all the specific details, in order to ensure that it may be koshered, and if so, it is done correctly.

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

HALACHOS L’KAVOD SHABBOS SHIRA

1) Shabbos Parshas Beshalach is known as “Shabbos Shira”.

It is customary to put out pieces of bread for the birds to eat. One of the many reasons  given for this custom is that in the desert the Mann fell for six days, with a double portion falling on Erev Shabbos to sustain the Jews through Shabbos.

The two evil troublemakers in the desert, Dasan and Aviram, tried to disprove Moshe Rabeinu’s proclamation that no Mann will fall on Shabbos, and they took their Mann early Shabbos morning and scattered it all over the camp so the jews will wake up and see that in fact Mann did fall on Shabbos.

Hashem sent the birds to eat up every last crumb of the “planted Mann”  and when the Jews awoke, it was as Moshe had promised, and no Mann was to be found.

Thus as a reward for this, the birds are fed each year on Parshas Beshalach.

2) The Mogen Avraham (Orach Chaim Siman 324:7) decries this minhag, as the Halacha is that one may not feed animals that do not belong to him/her on Shabbos, and thus one may not put out food for the birds during Shabbos Shira (or any other Shabbos). (This is also how the Mishna Berura Siman 324:31 and the Shulchan Aruch HaRav 324:8 rule.)

Other Poskim justify the minhag to feed the birds on  this particular Shabbos  as we are doing this as a Mitzvah of Hakoras HaTov (See Aruch HaShulchan 324:3 and Da’as Torah 324:11)

[ Incidentally, the Mogen Avraham Siman 171:1, based on Rashi to Ta'anis 20b rules that one may never feed food that is worthy of human consumption to animals or birds, as doing so  is being ungrateful to Hashem for the food He has given us]

The best thing to do, if one wants to uphold this custom yet avoid feeding the birds on Shabbos, is to place the bread for the birds right before Shabbos begins. (And if one wants to adhere to  the ruling of the  Mogen Avraham in Siman 171, the bread that is placed for the birds should be stale and not good fresh bread that is still worthy of human consumption)

Another option brought in the Poskim is to have a minor (boy under 13, girl under 12) put out the bread, as it isn’t a real Issur (Aino Shevus Gamur). (See Aishel Avraham (Butchatch) Siman 167: 6 Dibur Hamaschil Sham)

HALACHOS L’KAVOD TU B’SHVAT

1) It is customary [for Ashkenazic Jews] to eat different varieties of fruits on Tu B’Shvat, as this day is the ‘Rosh Hashanah” for fruit trees (meaning that the “year” regarding Ma’aser and Arlah is counted from this day) (Mogen Avraham Orach Chaim Siman 131:16)

2) Some people have the custom to eat an Esrog (or Esrog Jelly) on Tu B’Shvat (Likutei MaHarich)

It is also customary to daven on Tu B’Shvat for a beautiful, kosher Esrog on the following Sukkos (Bnei Yissochor Shvat 2:2)

The Sefarim write that the words “Chamisha Asar B’Shvat” are the Gematria (numerical value) of the words “L’Kavein Al Esrog Lulav Hadas Aravah” (to have in mind for Esrog, Lulav, Hadassim and Aravos)

The Ben Ish Chai even wrote special Tefilah for this (CLICK HERE for the text of the Tefilah). This Tefilah may be recited on Shabbos, when Tu B’Shvat falls out on Shabbos.

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, JANUARY 31 2010

1) A toaster oven which is used to cook and heat up uncovered food may only be used for one class of food, and must be designated for meat, dairy or Parve, and once it is used it cannot be changed over to another class.

The reason for this is that due to the small size of the toaster oven and the many areas that are all but impossible to reach and clean, it will never be able to be koshered properly. (See Sefer HaKashrus page 47 footnote 98, quoting several Great Poskim)

If the toaster is designated exclusively to cook foods that are in  hermetically sealed containers, it may then be used for both classes of food consecutively, provided that the outside of the container  is dry and absolutely free of any food particles.

Additionally, the tray on which the food is laying while being cooked must be totally clean of any food particles.

2) In cases of necessity, where no special hermetically sealed containers are available, the food can be double wrapped in aluminum foil, to the point that it is hermetically sealed.

Here too, the entire outside of the aluminum foil must be dry and free of food particles.

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1 2010

1) Microwave ovens are different than gas or electric ovens in that regular ovens get hot and then transmit that heat to the food, whereas microwave ovens heat the food and the hot food emits steam which then  can heat the walls and other places in the microwave.

However, even so, it is prohibited to cook two foods of opposite classes in the microwave at once, as the aroma and the steam from the foods can be absorbed into each other and thus be prohibited to eat.

2) Also, being that…

a) The cooking area in a microwave is small and unvented

b) All food , even solid foods, produces steam quickly in a microwave

c) It is all but impossible for food particles not to splatter on the ceiling and walls of the microwave

…it is best  to not use the same microwave for  [uncovered] meat and dairy, even consecutively.

If one needs to use a microwave for a food of the opposite class,  the food must be adequately covered with a sealed, preferably double wrapped, covering, and be placed on a paper plate and not directly on the microwave surface. (See The Laws of Kashrus by Rav Binyomin Forst page 232-234 for a more detailed analysis of the above Halachos)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2 2010

1)If a microwave oven’s Kashrus is compromised, according to many Poskim it can be Koshered, as follows:

The microwave  should be totally cleaned.

A cup or bowl of water should be placed inside and the microwave turned on for approximately 10 minutes.  The bowl with water should then be placed in a different spot in the microwave, and the microwave should be turned on for an additional 5-10 minutes.

If the microwave is being koshered from a non Kosher usage (as opposed to just from milk and meat) 24 hours should be waited before doing the above procedure.

If there is a glass plate in the microwave, a Rav should be consulted regarding if it is able to be Koshered, and if so, how. (See Piskei Teshuva Orach Chaim Simon 451 for more on this topic)

2) If a Chometz microwave is being koshered for Pesach (something that should ideally not be done unless extremely necessary) , the food warmed up in it should be double wrapped, even after Koshering. (See Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 2 Siman 212 and Yalkut Yosef Vol. 5 page 360)

If there are any plastic components on the inside surface of the microwave, a Rav should be consulted to determine if it is possible to Kosher.

If the microwave has a browning element or is a convection oven, it needs to be cleaned, and then turned on to its highest setting for 45 minutes, in order to reach its highest heat and thus render the oven Koshered.

There are certain models that do not reach the required temperature to effect a proper Koshering, so it’s important to check with a Rav regarding your particular model.

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3 2010

1) Covered griddles, Sandwich makers, waffle makers and other similar small  covered heating elements, should be designated for use with one food class only, and once they are used should not ever be used for uncovered food of the opposite class.

If the food being placed in the heating element is hermetically sealed and the element is totally clean and dry, it may be used for the opposite food class.

Though these elements can be koshered, they require Libun Chamur and a Rav must be consulted before doing so.

2) A toaster, which is designed with two receptacles to toast bread only (which pop out when ready), and is never used for anything other than parve bread, may be used to prepare toast or biscuits for use with either meat or dairy meals.

Care must be taken to ensure that the toaster itself does not come in contact with any meat or dairy food. It is also prudent to clean and wash it separately, away from other dishes.

This toaster should be kept away from other meat or milk appliances and utensils and should not be used on the table where a milk or meat meal is being eaten.

If this toaster was used to toast bread that had butter or cheese on it, it may no longer be used to toast parve bread for use with meat. (and vice versa)

It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to kosher such toaster to return it to its Parve status. (See Sefer HaKashrus pages 49-50)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4 2010

1) A blender should be designated for use with one food class only, and once it is used for one food class it should not ever be used for the opposite class.

It is very difficult to properly Kosher the blades of a blender, as the receptacle where the blades fit in, cannot be properly cleaned and reached (as they are usually connected to a piece of plastic, and they get very hot while the motor is running), and thus  a Rav must be consulted before attempting to do so to determine if and how it can be done.

2) Many people have a custom to only blend parve ingredients (vegetables, fruit, etc.) in a blender, and to add the milk or meat ingredients to the mixture afterwards. This is a very praiseworthy way of doing it, as this foresight will prevent Kashrus problems (which are particularly common with blenders)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, FEBRUARY 5 2010

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) Food brushes, basters, whisks and similar utensils that are used to apply eggs to dough, fluff egg whites, mix batters or other similar tasks, which are solely used with cold ingredients, may be used in the preparation of both food classes, as long as they are thoroughly washed out with cold or warm water between usages.

2) Also, care must be taken not to leave them sitting in the sink with food particles on them for more than 24 hours. (Psak of Rav Yisroel Yaakov Fisher Zatzal, quoted in Sefer HaKashrus page 52)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) Foods that were peeled or grated with peelers and graters which are used solely to prepare Parve foods such as fruits and vegetables, may be eaten together with a meat meal or a dairy meal.

To ensure that they retain their parve status, it is proper to make sure that they are washed and stored separately and not together with meat or dairy dishes and utensils.

2) Here too, the most important thing is to not allow them to be in the sink with wet meat or dairy dishes, that have food particles on them, for more than 24 hours.

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7 2010

1) Knives and other sharp utensils used to cut or grate, which are designated for meat or dairy, should L’Chatchilah not be used to cut [even cold, non sharp] parve foods that will be used at a meal of the opposite class. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 96:5 and Kaf HaChaim Yoreh Deah Siman 96:51 and 52.)

However, if they were totally clean and 24 hours have passed since their last use, the [cold, non sharp] item that was cut retains its parve status and may B’dieved be used at a meal of the opposite class than the utensil.

2) In general, when cutting, grating or blending different foods, it is always prudent to cut a Parve food last (e.g. Challah or a hardboiled egg) as doing so will ensure that any minute food particles that may have been left on the cutting device will be absorbed into the Parve food and not be present next time it is used. (This is in addition to the thorough cleaning of the knife, as an extra precaution) (See Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah Siman 96:56)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8 2010

1) Knives and other sharp utensils which are designated for meat or dairy, which were used to cut sharp foods transfer their status to the sharp foods, and those foods may not be eaten together with foods of the opposite class than the knife.

The above applies even if the knife was thoroughly cleaned, and even if more than 24 hours elapsed since the knife was last used. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 96:1 and Kaf HaChaim 96:10 and 11)

2) Some common examples of “Sharp Foods” are: Onions, garlic, lemons, radishes,  raw horseradish, salty fish and according to some Poskim, pickles and other items prepared in vinegar. (See Shach to Yoreh Deah 96:1 and 16, Chochmas Adam 49:1,  Pischei  Teshuva 96:3, Kaf HaChaim 96:39  and Aruch HaShulchan Yoreh Deah 96:2 for more details about these foods and certain other leniencies that may be applicable in certain situations)

When in doubt if a food is considered sharp, of course a Rav should be consulted.

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9 2010

1) A knife, grinder, food processor, blender or other cutting device which is designated for meat (i.e. was used with hot meat or was used to grind meat and a sharp food together), should not be used for fish before ensuring that  the cutting device is thoroughly cleaned and devoid of any meat particles.

The same applies to a cutting device that is designated for fish, before using it for meat.

2) M’Ikar HaDin (according to the letter of the law) it is permissible to grind fish and onions (or other sharp foods) together in a meat blender. (See Taz to Yoreh Deah Siman 95:3 and Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 6 Siman 111)

However, some people are careful to avoid doing so, as they are concerned for  the danger of  meat and fish even  via absorption from  a sharp food. (See Chavas Da’as Siman 95:3 in Biurim, Darchei Teshuva Siman 1116:27. This was also the minhag of the Steipler Zatzal)

Therefore, if possible, it is best to grind up the sharp food separately and add it to the ground fish afterwards.

Another alternative is to cook the onion (or other sharp food) first for a few minutes until it loses its status as a sharp food, and then add it to the grinder.

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10 2010

1) A tea pot or a tea kettle (free standing  or electric) used exclusively to boil water which does not come in contact with any meat or dairy may be used to boil water for use at both meat and dairy meals.

In order to ensure that the water kettle remains Parve, it is best to keep any meat or dairy foods away from it, not pass foods that may spill over it when the kettle is uncovered, and not even to warm up non parve foods on top of the kettle, even if it’s covered.

2) It is also best not to pour directly from the water kettle onto meat or dairy foods (e.g. to let the water run on frozen chicken to defrost it or to add hot water directly into  a cup containing milk or dairy hot chocolate) as the steam can go back up into the kettle or its spout  and jeopardize its parve status. (According to some Poskim this isn’t a problem as they maintain that steam doesn’t go straight up, and even if it does, some Poskim still maintain that it isn’t a problem for meat and milk and only an issue for Chometz and other Issurim. See Aruch HaShulchan Siman 92, Shu”t Minchas Yitzchok Vol. 5 Siman 81. It is still proper to try and be careful with this, and if this did happen a Rav should be consulted)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11 2010

1) A  tea pot or  tea kettle boiling on a stove top or an electric hot water urn which is plugged in  and boiling, that had a significant amount (i.e. more than simply a few drops which become Batel immediately) of meat gravy spill on top of it or slide under it, requires Koshering to once again be Parve.

It is important to note, that once it requires Koshering, the water from that kettle or urn may not be used even at a meat meal and should be Koshered immediately lest one forget and come to use the water at a dairy meal. (See Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah Siman 97:3 and Kaf HaChaim Siman 95:4. If this happens on Shabbos there may be room for leniency based on the Bach Siman 97:1, but a Rav must be consulted before relying on this leniency)

However, if the gravy spilled directly into the fire only, it gets burned up, and no Koshering is necessary.

2) When cleaning a Parve kettle or urn, care should be taken not to wash it in a sink that has in meat or dairy food particles, especially when hot water is used and/or the food particles are greasy.

Parve cleaning sponges etc. should also be used, and the towel used to dry it should also be Parve, to ensure that the urn remains Parve and thus its water can continue to be used at all meals.

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, FEBRUARY 11 2010

(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) When purchasing an electric dishwasher for a new kitchen, if one has been blessed with the means to purchase two machines which drain into two separate sinks, one for meat and one for dairy, that is ideal and praiseworthy thing to do.

Having two dishwashers helps prevent many kashrus questions which  often arise with only one dishwasher, and affords the Balabusta (Jewish housewife) much more Menuchas Hanefesh (peace of mind)

2) However, it isn’t always possible or practical to have two machines, and thus the following Halachos must be known in order to maintain a kosher kitchen with only one dishwasher.

One who purchases a home or apartment with an existing dishwasher, must ascertain whether the dishwasher is Kosher or not.

If it isn’t Kosher or if it is impossible to find out from a reliable source whether it is Kosher or not, the dishwasher will require koshering before being acceptable for further use.

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) A dishwasher that was used for both meat and dairy, or which was used by previous non Jewish owners to wash utensils used with non kosher food, according to some Poskim cannot be koshered at all(especially if there is a filter in the washing chamber) and a new machine must be purchased. (See The laws of Kashrus by Rav Binyomin Forst Shlita, page 261-262 for more details)

Other Poskim maintain that koshering is possible in many instances, and  when allowed, can be koshered as follows:

  • The entire dishwasher must be thoroughly cleaned

  • 24 hours must be waited, and the machine not used, from when it’s cleaned until it can be koshered.

  • The machine should then be run [on the highest possible heat setting, if possible] for a full cycle. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 3 Siman 58. If it doesnt reach a high enough temparature of 100F or more, it may be problematic.)

2) If parts of the dishwasher are porcelain, plastic or constructed from materials other than metal or stainless steel, it can further complicate the koshering process or make it impossible. (See Kovetz M’bais Leivi Vol. 1 page 30)

Whenever koshering a dishwasher , especially for Pesach use, a Rav must be consulted to determine if and how it should be done. (See also Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Yalkut Yosef page 589 for some leniencies for Sephardim)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 2010

1) It is prohibited to place meat and dairy dishes together at one time in a dishwasher.

If one does so the utensils risk becoming non kosher.

Moreover, merely doing so may be a transgression of the biblical prohibition to cook milk and meat together, as if food particles of both food classes are in the dishwasher they can be heated up together. (Merely cooking meat and dairy even when not intended for consumption is prohibited) (See Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah Vol. 2 Siman 28 and 29 at length.)

2) It is best never to use one dishwasher for both meat and milk utensils, even separately and consecutively.

However, if one finds themselves in a situation where they need to use the same dishwasher for both meat and dairy utensils consecutively, there are certain conditions under which this can be done, as follows

  • The dishwasher must be inspected for any food particles, and deemed thoroughly clean.

  • The dishwasher may not have any parts that are constructed of ceramic or porcelain. (See Tur Yoreh Deah Siman 121 quoting the ruling of the Ba’al Ha’Itur)

  • Separate racks on which the dishes will lay must be purchased and used for each food class being washed.

  • Between the two washes, the dishwasher must be run with no utensils inside on the highest heat setting. (See Igros Moshe ibid. and Yoreh Deah Vol. 3 Siman 10 and 11. See also Aruch HaShulchan Yoreh Deah 121:18, Biur Halacha Siman 452 end of Dibur Hamaschil Tzarich and Chayei Adam Klal 125:32)

It is important to note that before relying on the above, a Rav must be consulted to discuss if any specific details or situations allow the above leniencies to apply or not.

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15 2010

1) If meat and dairy dishes/utensils were mistakenly washed together at one time in a dishwasher the following criteria must be determined to ascertain the kashrus of the dishwasher and the utensils.

If both of the dishes/utensils were used within the past 24 hours with hot food (Halachically referred to as Ben Yomo) and the volume of water in the dishwasher is not 60 times (i.e. Batel B’Shishim) as great as either  of the utensils, then the water , the dishes/utensils and the dishwasher  are rendered non Kosher.

2) If, however,  the dishes/utensils were not used in the past 24 hours with hot food or the volume of  water used is greater than 60 times than the dishes/utensils,  the dishes/utensils and the dishwasher retain their respective Kosher status. (See Shulchan Aruch and Rama Yoreh Deah Siman 92:1 and Chachmas Adam Klal 44:1)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16 2010

1) A bread box or other area used to store bread and pastries should be kept parve, and one should refrain from storing any meat or dairy items there, especially dairy or meat breads (such as cheesecakes, bread with butter etc.)

The reason for this is that we worry that the breads and pastries (which are usually kept parve and used interchangeably at both classes of meals) will come in contact with the meat or dairy items and render them unfit for consumption at a meal of the opposite class, and sometimes may even come to render the bread itself un-kosher. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 89:4 and 91:3)

2) Leftover bread which was on the table at a meat or dairy meal, no longer has a status of parve, and should be placed in a bag and carefully marked with the status of the meal at which it was used before returning to the bread box, so as to make sure they aren’t used in the future at a meal of the opposite class.

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17 2010

1) It is best not to store a bread box or otherwise store bread or other parve pastries on a shelf under an oven or stove, lest meat or dairy food particles will splatter or fall onto the bread and thus make it lose its parve status.

Likewise, it’s best not to store breads on top of an oven or stove as the steam from the items being cooked in the oven or on the stove may reach the bread and cause it to become meat or dairy. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 92:8)

2) A cutting board that is designated for cutting bread should be kept away from meat and dairy foods.

Also, this cutting board should not be placed on the table and used to hold the bread during the meal, and definitely no butter or gravy should be smeared on the bread while it is on this parve cutting board.

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18 2010

1) From time to time , it is proper to thoroughly  clean out the bread box or other area where open breads and pastries are stored, as doing so will prevent anybody  from inadvertently ingesting any forbidden bugs which can often find homes in  exposed breads, yet are almost impossible to be noticed by the naked eye.

This is especially true if the bread box or shelf is located in a low area close to the ground.

2) When cleaning out a bread box, keep in mind that bread crumbs which collectively would add up to a Kzayis may not be discarded as is, and must be wrapped respectfully (e.g. in a plastic bag) before being thrown out. (See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 171:1 and Mishna Berura S”K 9)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH , FEBRUARY 19 2010

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1)A kosher kitchen where both meat and dairy foods are prepared must have separate cooking and serving utensils and dishes for meat and dairy.

It is praiseworthy to also have separate utensils and dishes for preparation and serving of parve foods. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 93:1 and Aruch HaShulchan Yoreh Deah Siman 89:16)

2) Scrupulous people also designate separate pots and pans for cooking/frying fish. (This is a Chumrah (stringency) based on a minority ruling. See Tur Yoreh Deah Siman 116:2.  See also Taz Yoreh Deah Siman 95:3. and  Mishna Berura Siman 173:3  that according to many Poskim,  today’s days there is no Sakana  anymore with eating fish and meat together, so there is room for leniency in cases of necessity)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) Dishes, utensils, etc.. for dairy. Meat and Parve should be distinctly different from each other in style, color, etc.

It’s not enough to simply rely on them having separate drawers or cabinets, as it is common for them to end up in the wrong place, and if not for their uniqueness they may end up being used wrongly and lead to Kashrus problems.

This is especially important for silverware and even more important in public kitchens

2) It is especially praiseworthy to not only have separate utensils, but to actually mark them (either via engraving or with another permanent method, not simply with a sicker  or marking that will come off after  being washed a few times) with their class, so it will be evident to all  who handle it to which class it belongs.

Some people have a custom to label only the dairy utensils and then treat any other utensils or dishes that aren’t marked as meat. (See Rama Yoreh Deah  end of  Siman 89 and Kaf HaChaim Yoreh Deah 89:79 and Darchei Teshuva Siman 89:54 and 55 for the reasons for this custom)

Any method of separation that is employed must be clearly understood by all who may handle the dishes.

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21 2010

1) It is especially important to have a separate and distinct Parve knife for use in cutting bread. (In many homes this is referred to as a Challah knife)

It is extremely important that this knife not be used for anything else, no matter what, especially not for hot, hard non parve food. (See Aruch HaShulchan Yoreh Deah Siman 89:16)

As well, this knife should be washed alone, not with other dishes especially if hot water is being used. This knife should also not be washed in a meat or dairy dishwasher.

2) The bread knife should be stored in a different location than other knives in the home.

Many people have a Challah Board with a special knife attached to it for use at t he Shabbos table. This is a very good idea, as it is easily recognizable and won’t be used for other foods, and the knife is also stored in the board away from other knives.

Care should be taken that after the Challah is cut up, the knife should be removed from the Shabbos table.

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22 2010

1) Whenever purchasing new dishes, glasses, silverware pots or any other utensils that will come in contact with food, it must be determined if the manufacturer and/or the seller of these utensils are non Jews, as if the utensils were manufactured or owned by a non Jew they require Tevilah (immersion in a Kosher Mikvah) before being fit for use in a Kosher kitchen.

It is best to Tovel these utensils as soon as possible after purchasing them, as putting it off until a later date when they are ready to be used can often lead to mistakes and the use of these utensils without Tevilah. (Such as a sudden need for the extra dishes, or when needed on Shabbos when Tevilah isn’t possible)

2) When purchasing used utensils, it must be determined who used them and in which manner, as besides for Tevilah they may also require Koshering.

We shall B’Ezras Hashem discusses more details of Hilchos Tevilas Keilim in the future.

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23 2010

1) A peeler (which is practically a knife) used to peel vegetables and fruit, which does not come in contact with any meat or dairy foods and is designated as Parve, may be used to peel fruits/vegetables for use at both meat and dairy meals.

This peeler should not be used to peel items that were previously cut with a meat or dairy knife. (This includes all fruits/vegetables, not just sharp items) (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 96:1 and 2, Mishna Berura Siman 451:102. See also Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 95:6)

Likewise, it should not be used to peel vegetables/fruits that were cooked in a pot with meat or dairy foods. (This is especially true with sharp fruits/vegetables such as lemons etc. See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 95)

2) If one does have separate peelers for meat and dairy, they must be clearly marked as such, or better yet be easily differentiated by size, color etc., and kept separately as not to get confused.

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 2010

1) A countertop or a cutting board that  is designated for cutting parve items may be used to cut parve food that will be used at a meat or dairy meal, as long as no meat or dairy food  is placed there and as long as the  knife used is parve.

When   sharp foods (e.g. garlic, onions, lemons, salty fish etc.) are cut on a parve countertop or cutting board, care should be taken to only use a parve knife, as using a non parve knife can negatively affect the food being cut and/or the surface that it’s being cut on.

2) A countertop or cutting board that is designated for meat or dairy may not be used to cut fruits and vegetables or other parve foods that may be used at a meal with the opposite food class.

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25 2010

1) If a parve food was cut on a non parve surface and is already mixed into other food (e.g. Tomatoes were cut up and already added to a large meat or dairy salad), B’dieved, if the surface was clean and the item in question was not a sharp food, the food may be eaten.

2) If a sharp food was cut on a meat or dairy countertop or cutting board, even if cut with a parve knife, the food assumes the status of the surface on which is was cut.

Thus if the sharp food was cut on a dairy surface, it may not be eaten for six hours after eating meat.

Likewise, if the sharp food was cut on a meat surface, it may not be eaten together with dairy foods.

However, no six hours of waiting is required after eating this sharp food before eating dairy, as in regards to this particular Halacha it isn’t considered real meat (i.e. it has no meaty fats and cannot get stuck in between the teeth etc.) (See Chochmas Adam Klal 56:2)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, FEBRUARY 26 2010

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) A sharp food that is cut on a dairy cutting surface with a meat knife- or vice versa- loses its kosher status and must be discarded and not eaten.

The knife and the cutting surface also require Koshering. (Chochmas Adam Klal 56:2. There are more lenient opinions with regard to this and in cases of necessity a Rav should be consulted.)

2) A grater which is used for dairy (e.g. to grate cheese) may not be used to grate a meat food (e.g. liver).  Likewise, a meat grater may not be used to grate dairy food.

Moreover, a meat or dairy grater may not be used to grate parve foods that will be used at a meal of the opposite food class. (See Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah Siman 96:14 and Kaf HaChaim Siman 96:14)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) It is prudent that every kosher kitchen have a grater that is kept strictly parve and only used for fruits and vegetables etc., and is kept away from any meat or dairy foods.

This is especially important for grating sharp fruits/vegetables.

2) This parve grater should also be washed and stored away from meat and dairy utensils, and should especially not be in the same sink where other dishes are washed with hot water.
There is no difference what material the grater is made out of.

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28 2010

1) When using a parve grater, it is important to remember to not cut or peel the food that will be grated with a meat or dairy knife or peeler  prior to grating, as that will defeat the purpose of using the parve grater in the first place. (Based on Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 96:1)

2) A potato masher which is used to mash hot potatoes (which due to their denseness are considered a “Davar Gush” and have a Halachic status of a Kli Rishon) together with butter, should not be used to mash potatoes that will be  used at a meat meal, especially if the two are within 24 hours of each other.

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, MARCH 1 2010

1)  A juicer which is used exclusively to squeeze fruits and vegetables, and is not used nor does it come in contact with meat or dairy ingredients, may be used to prepare juices for use at both meat or dairy meals.

Care must be taken to retain the parve status of this juicer and it should also be washed, dried and stored separately from other meat or dairy dishes.

2) The fruits and vegetables that will be squeezed in this parve juicer should M’Ikar Hadin not be cut or peeled with a meat or dairy knife or peeler, especially if the item being squeezed is a sharp food (such as a lemon) (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 96:2 and 5. However, there are certain leniencies with this, and if it was already cut it may still be squeezed according to many Poskim)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 2 2010

1) Every kosher kitchen needs to have separate pots and pans for meat, dairy and parve use.

This includes the covers to the pots as well, which may not be interchanged.

It is advisable that the meat, dairy and parve pots and pans and their covers have distinct features to ensure that they aren’t mixed up and inadvertently used for the wrong food class.

2) There is a minhag amongst many Jews to retain separate pots for cooking fish (This is a Chumra (stringency) based on a minority ruling. See Tur Yoreh Deah Siman  116:2)

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3 2010

1)A pot or pan of one food class may not be used for cooking or frying a food of the opposite class even if the pot was thoroughly cleaned and was not used in over 24 hours. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 93:1)

2) L’Chatchilah, it is best to avoid cooking parve foods in a meat or dairy pot if the food will be eaten at a meal of the opposite class of food than the pot.  This is especially important when the parve item in question is a sharp food. (See Rama to Yoreh Deah Siman 95:2 and the Shach  95:3 that is good to be stringent with this. See also Kaf HaChaim Yoreh Deah 95:3 and 4 that this applies to Sephardic Jews as well, though some Sephardic Poskim are more lenient. See Shu”t Yabia Omer Yoreh Deah Vol. 4 Siman 4)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 4 2010

1) cooking ware made out of Pyrex (glass coated with special materials to make them heat resistant), for Ashenazic Jews,  are no different than  other pots/pans manufactured from stainless steel, aluminum or other metals, and all Halachos that apply to the metal pots/pans apply to them. (See Shu”t Mishna Halachos Vol. 9 Siman 268 and Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 8 Siman 20 and Vol. 9 Siman 26)

2)Sephardic Jews are more lenient with this and allow glass cookware (and all glass utensils) to be used alternately for meat and milk as long as they were thoroughly cleaned between usages. (See Shu”t Yabia Omer Yoreh Deah Vol. 4 Siman 5, based on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 451:26 who rules that glass is non absorbent and can be used for both Milchig and Fleishig. The Rama argues and rules that they must be kept separate and not used interchangeably. Ashkenazim rule as such and the custom is to keep separate glasses for Milchig and Fleishig. If they were used for both, they can be Koshered according to many opinions, but a Rav must be consulted for Halacha L’ma’aseh as sometimes the type of glass and the coating on it may pose some problems with koshering.)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, FRIDAY, MARCH 5 2010

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) A frying pan that is used for frying eggs or other foods exclusively with oil or margarine (as opposed to butter) and is kept parve may be used to fry food which will be eaten at milk or meat meals.

2) The frying pan, however, may not come in contact with any meat or dairy items, thus it is important to remember when stirring the eggs as well as when removing them that it must be done with a parve spatula or other utensil. (See Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah Siman 105:60 and Chidushei Rav Akiva Eiger Yoreh Deah 105:2 regarding if a meat or dairy utensil was used.)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) A dairy frying pan may never be used for frying meat and vice versa, even if the pan has been thoroughly cleaned and even if 24 hours have passed since its last use. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 93 and Taz and Shach there)

2) L’Chatchila it is also best to avoid using a meat or dairy frying pan for parve foods which will be  eaten at a meal of the opposite food class, especially if the item being fried is a sharp food. (See Taz Yoreh Deah Siman 95:4 and Kaf HaChaim Siman 95:1 and 96:1. See also Ben Ish Chai Parshas Vayikra  13)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 7 2010

1) A home food scale which is used to weigh food portions (common for those on weight watchers or other diet plans) is best kept parve, and thus the platform of the scale should be covered at all times, especially when being used.

Another acceptable option is for the food that is being weighed to always be wrapped. (See Be’er Heitev Yoreh Deah Siman 69:14 and Darchei Teshuva Siman 69:34)

2) It is important when lending out this scale to a neighbor that they are informed to keep it parve. (Though this is true for all utensils, many people assume it’s not a problem on a scale or other similar item)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, MARCH 8 2010

1)Trays, platters and serving dishes that are used to serve food at meals must be designated for meat or dairy and not used interchangeably, especially if being used to serve hot food.

This is especially important for wood, ceramic and earthenware trays. (See Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah Siman 95:1 and 2)

2) Sephardic Jews who follow the ruling of the Bais Yosef may be lenient if necessary and use glass trays interchangeably if they have been thoroughly cleaned between uses. Ashkenazi Jews should be stringent.  (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 135:8 and Shulchan Aruch and Rama Orach Chaim Siman 451:26. See also Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah Siman 121:2 that according to some Poskim, even Ashkenazi Jews can be lenient in cases of necessity, except for Pesach usage)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 9 2010

1)Serving dishes that are only used to serve parve foods (e.g. a popcorn bowl, fruit platter), M’Ikar Hadin may be used at both meat and dairy meals as long as the following conditions are met:

a)The only utensils used to remove food from the tray or bowl are designated for that dish.

b)The utensil may not come in contact with any other food that is on the table or on any plates. (See Kaf HaChaim Yoreh Deah Siman 89:79)

2) However, scrupulous people are careful to have separate serving trays and bowls for each food class in order to ensure that no mistakes happen and everything retains its status as 100% Kosher. (Especially when lending out utensils and dishes to neighbors, it is important to make sure they know its exact food status.)

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10 2010

1) Separate Plates and other dishes must be designated for usage with meat or dairy. They must be distinct in their style, pattern, size, color or otherwise clearly distinguishable from one another.

They must be washed, dried and stored separately as well. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 93:1)

2) Sephardic Jews may use glass dishes for meat or dairy interchangeably  provided that they were thoroughly washed and dried between usages. (See Sefer Chazon Ovadia, Inyanei Hag’alah Siman 

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 11 2010

1) Drinking Glasses, according to the Shulchan Aruch, may be used for drinking hot or cold drinks at meat and dairy meals interchangeably, as long as they are thoroughly cleaned between usages. Many Sephardic Jews follow this ruling. (As we discussed previously)

According to some Poskim, even Ashkenazic Jews can rely on this Psak. (See Shu”t Mishneh Halachos Vol. 9 Siman 168 and Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 1 Siman 432 who learn that  the Rama was only stringent with glass for Pesach usage and not for meat and dairy during the year)

2) However, it is praiseworthy for everyone (even Sephardim) to be stringent and keep separate glasses for use with each food class. (Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos ibid. and Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 8 Siman 20 and Vol. 9 Siman 26)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH,  MARCH 12 2010

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) Earthenware or ceramic cups and mugs should be designated for meat or dairy use and not used interchangeably.

This applies even to those who follow the Sephardic customs and are lenient with glass, as the leniencies do not apply to ceramic.

In cases of extreme necessity (Sha’as HaDchak), such a mug may be used for cold drinks at a meal of the opposite class.

Hot drinks, however, may not be served in a dairy mug during a meat meal, even B’Sha’as HaDchak. Once the meal is finished, in cases of necessity, they may be used.

2) Plastic ware, according to many Poskim, should be treated like ceramic and the above guidelines should be followed.

Other Poskim maintain that it can be treated as glass, and thus may be used interchangeably for Sephardim, and possibly also for Ashkenazim in certain cases of necessity. (See Shu”t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 2 Siman 92 Dibur Hamaschil Keli and Shu”t Minchas Yitzchok Vol. 3 Siman 57. See also Shu”t L’Horos Noson Vol. 6 Siman 69 and Chazon Ovadia, Inyanei Hag’ala 7)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) Goblets and glasses that are designated for use with wine or sharp beverages (e.g. whiskey etc.) are best kept Parve and  should not come in contact  with meat or dairy foods.

It is also important to make sure that no crumbs from a dairy or meat meal fall into these wine glasses.

2) Also, these glasses should not be washed or left in a sink with dairy or meat dishes, especially if they will sit there for more than 24 hours. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 135 and Orach Chaim Siman 451:21)

If they were used in a manner where they came in contact with meat or dairy food, they should be thoroughly washed immediately. (See Rama Yoreh Deah Siman 88:2 and Darchei Teshuva Siman 88:29)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY,  MARCH 14 2010

1) Cutlery (forks, spoons and knives) used for one class of food may not be used for the opposite class of food. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 93:1)

Meat or dairy cutlery should preferably not  even be used for eating Parve foods which are in a dish of the opposite food class. (See Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah Siman 95:1 and 2)

Thus it is best for every kosher kitchen to have separate and distinct cutlery (especially knives) for meat, dairy and Parve. (See Aruch HaShulchan Yoreh Deah Siman 89:16)

Some scrupulous people also have separate cutlery for use with fish, though if the cutlery is washed before using with fish there is no additional need for this.

2) In cases of extreme necessity (e.g. when traveling) when only one knife is available, it may be used for cutting bread that will be used with foods of the opposite class, provided that the knife is thoroughly cleaned. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 46:12)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY,  MARCH 15 2010

1) It is especially important to have separate knives for meat, dairy and Parve, as M’Ikar Hadin a meat or dairy knife may not be used to cut parve food that will be used at a meal of the opposite class. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 96:1 and 2, Rama Yoreh Deah Siman 89:4 and Darchei Teshuva Siman 89:54)

2) A Parve pastry or cake should not be cut with a meat or dairy knife unless it was thoroughly cleaned before use, and the pastry was not hot.

As we discussed previously, it is customary to have a special bread knife which is designated for parve use only. (See Pischei Teshuva Yoreh Deah Siman 88:24 and Kaf HaChaim Siman 89:75)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY,  MARCH 16 2010

1)The water in a thermos which is used strictly to keep boiled water hot may be used at a meat or dairy meal.

However, care should be taken not to pour the hot water directly onto a meat or dairy food item. (As we discussed previously with a hot water urn, that the steam can go back into the thermos and change its parve status)

2) A thermos which is used to store dairy liquids such as coffee with milk or hot chocolate is considered dairy and hot water from this thermos may not be used at a meat meal. The same applies vice versa to a thermos that is used for meat liquids, such as chicken soup in regard to using water stored in it for a dairy meal.

This applies even to a glass thermos that was thoroughly cleaned between uses, and even to Sephardic Jews, as the narrow opening of most thermos bottles doesn’t allow for a thorough enough cleaning. (See Rama Orach Chaim Siman 451:3 and Mishna Berura there. Regarding a thermos on Shabbos if it is considered a Kli Rishon or a Kli Sheini, see Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 37:32 and Shu”t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 1 Siman 95)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY,  MARCH 17 2010

1) It has become customary in kosher kitchens to designate separate tablecloths for use with meat and dairy foods.

The tablecloths should be significantly different in color, size or other easily identifiable features, and easily identifiable by all members of the household as the ones used for meat or milk. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 89:4 and Darchei Teshuva 89:48)

2) The tablecloths should not be used interchangeably for meat and milk without being washed, even if they have been wiped down well between uses.

If, however, they were machine washed, they may be switched from meat to dairy and vice versa. (See Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah Siman 121:60 and Rama Orach Chaim Siman 442:11 and 451:18 and Mishna Berura there)

Some Poskim allow using the same tablecloth for meat and milk if it is flipped over and  separate sides are used for each food class, since most of our foods today are served in dishes and don’t come in direct contact with the tablecloth.

However, it is best to be stringent, where possible.  (See Pischei Teshuva Yoreh Deah Siman 89:18 quoting the RadVaz)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY,  MARCH 18 2010

1) A table whose surface is used to eat one class of food and for the other class a tablecloth is used, must always adhere to this setup.

The tabletop itself should not be used for both meat and dairy even alternatively. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 89:4 and Pri Megadim Orach Chaim beginning of Siman 173 that even though M’Ikar Hadin if it was thoroughly cleaned between uses it can be permissible, it is still problematic in most cases as the surfaces aren’t always smooth enough for a thorough cleaning, especially if hot food or utensils were placed on it)

2)The tablecloth used should be of a sealed material that does not seep through onto the tabletop. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 42:2 for more about the tablecloth)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH,   MARCH 19 2010

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) It is permissible to use the same table for meat and dairy without a tablecloth, if placemats are used to rest the food on.

The placemats should be easily distinguishable as designated for meat or dairy.

It is permissible for two people to eat meat and dairy respectively at the same table, as long as each one’s food is on a separate placemat.

2) It is permissible to wash meat and dairy tablecloths and placemats together in the same washing machine. (See Shu”t Shevet HaKehasi Vol. 2 Siman 45)

A plastic tablecloth that was used for a meat meal and was inspected and found to be totally clean may be used afterwards for a dairy meal, and vice versa. (See Shu”t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 2 Siman 70)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) A kosher kitchen should have separate salt shakers for meat and dairy use. (See Rama Yoreh Deah Siman 88:2 and Kaf HaChaim Siman 88:29)

The salt shakers should be different in size, color or other easily identifiable features, so that all members of the household should clearly know which one is for dairy and which is for meat.

2) If for whatever reason only one salt shaker is available, the salt should not be poured directly onto the food. Rather, the salt should be poured into the hand or onto the table and then transferred to the food.

This is especially important when the food in question is emitting steam. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 92:8)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 21 2010

1) A container that is designated to store sugar (or sugar substitutes) which is often on the table during meals should be covered to prevent it from becoming meat or dairy (as foods can fall into it in the course of the meal)
It is best not to keep it at the center of the table.

2) The spoon that is used to dispense the sugar should not be used to mix the food or drink wherein the sugar is added.
Likewise, a spoon that was used to mix coffee or another hot dairy drink should not be subsequently used to remove sugar from the container, as doing so will jeopardize the sugar’s pareve status.

The most praiseworthy thing to do is to have separate sugar shakers or containers for meat and dairy and thus avoid all these potential problems in the first place. The outside of these containers should periodically be washed down.

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, MARCH 22 2010

1)Pitchers and bottles that are used strictly for cold Parve drinks may be used at both meat and dairy meals, as long as care is taken that they do not come in direct contact with meat or dairy foods/drinks. (See Kaf HaChaim Yoreh Deah Siman 88:22)

2)Pitchers and bottles that are used for cold dairy drinks may only be used at a meat meal if they have been thoroughly washed and scrubbed beforehand. Thus dairy pitchers that have very narrow openings cannot be cleaned thoroughly enough, and may not be used at meat meals. (See Rama Yoreh Deah Siman 88:2 and Taz Yoreh Deah Siman 93:2. See also Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah Siman 95:1 and 2)

However, it is praiseworthy to have separate pitchers and bottles for meat and dairy, even though the drinks are parve as there is always a chance that they will be handled with hands that aren’t clean or otherwise have food of the opposite class fall into it.

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 23 2010

1) Pitchers that are used for serving hot drinks, if they are made from metal, must be designated for either meat or dairy use.

If they are made from glass, for Ashkenazic Jews they must also be designated for meat or dairy.

For Sephardic Jews, if the glass pitcher is smooth there is room for leniency in allowing them to be used for both meat and dairy, as long as they were thoroughly washed between uses.

However, as we mentioned a few times already, even for Sephardic Jews it is best not to rely on this leniency if not absolutely necessary.

2) Plastic pitchers that are hard and smooth have the same Halachos as glass. However, it is important to note that in reality, most plastic pitchers after a while  get scratched and indented and thus lose their status of “hard and smooth” and thus practically, it is best to designate plastic pitchers for one food class only, even for Sephardim.

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24 2010

1) Baby bottles should be designated for meat, dairy or parve use.

Separate bottle brushes and other bottle cleaning items should also be used for cleaning bottles of each food class.

This is especially important if hot water is used to clean the bottles and/or hot liquids are placed in the bottles.

The same applies to “sippy cups” used by toddlers.

2) Baby bottles and sippy cups that are used during the year should not be used on Pesach, and new fresh bottles should be bought.

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 25 2010

1)  Kosher pots, dishes or utensils that absorbed non Kosher food (e.g. Neveila, meat from an animal  that wasn’t slaughtered properly or Tereifa,  meat from an animal that was sick) or meat and dairy together, may not be used until they are Koshered. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 451:5 and Yoreh Deah Siman 121:1)

Before we begin discussing the Halachos, I want to point out that the Halachos of Koshering utensils are complicated and numerous and thus whenever any question arises, a Rav must be consulted.

2) The Gemara (Pesachim 30b) teaches us in regard to what is necessary to remove a non kosher status from a utensil: “K’Bolo Kach Polto- The way it went in is the way it needs to go out”.

In other words, in the exact method that the utensil became non Kosher is the way we need to reverse that and re-Kosher it.

Thus, depending on how they became non kosher, and some other variables such as the material they are made of, some  utensils  can be Koshered by  pouring  hot water on them, some by immersing them in hot water and some only by using a fire (e.g. blow torch) as we will discuss in more detail in the coming days.

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, MARCH 26 2010

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) A utensil that  varies in how it is used (i.e. it is sometimes used with boiling water and other times for roasting and sometimes for cold uses), according to the Psak of the Bais Yosef it requires Koshering based on how it is used the majority of the time.

Thus, for Sephardim who follow the Bais Yosef’s rulings, if  a utensil is used mostly cold and occasionally for cooking, it would only require a thorough washing in order to  Kosher it. (See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 451:6. See also Kaf HaChaim 451:107 that this applies as well to Koshering for Pesach. He quotes the MaHaram of Panu Siman 96 that this Halacha applies even if one knows for certain that the utensil was used for forbidden food. See Chazon Ish Orach Chaim 119:15 and Mishna Berura Siman 451:46 for more details about this leniency)

2) However, Ashkenazim who follow the rulings of the Rama maintain that the Koshering method can be determined even by a minority use, require Koshering in boiling water in all cases. (Rama and Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 451. See also Shu”t Chasam Sofer Yoreh Deah Siman 114 for some exceptions to this stringency of the Rama)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) One who purchases or otherwise comes into possession of utensils that previously belonged to a non Jew, even if they were only used for cold uses,  should   Kosher them in boiling water, even if they will only  continue to be used for cold uses

2) These utensils should be koshered immediately and not even be used temporarily until they are Koshered [and Toveled].  (See Shulchan Aruch and Rama Yoreh Deah Siman 121:5 and Siman 122:10)

This Koshering should be done before they are Toveled in a Mikvah.

If they were mistakenly Toveled first before koshering them, they should be re-Toveled without a Bracha. (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 121:2 and Shach S”K 5.  For more on this see Aruch HaShulchan 121:9 and Pischei Teshuva 121:3)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 28 2010

1) Sephardic Jews who have  utensils that have been designated and used for one food class, and now want to Kosher them for use with the other food class,  may do so L’Chatchilah, as soon as the utensils have been unused for a 24 hour period. (See Pri Chadash Yoreh Deah Siman 97:1, Chida in Machzik Bracha 509:2 and Aruch HaShulchan Yoreh Deah end of Siman 89 and Siman 181:11. See also Shu”t Yabia Omer Vol. 3  Yoreh Deah Siman 4)

For Sephardim, the utensils may switch back and forth as many times as they want.

2)  Ashkenazim, however, have the custom to  L’Chatchilah not switch utensils from one food class to another, unless the certain criteria are present, which we will elaborate on tomorrow B’Ezras Hashem (See Mogen Avraham Orach Chaim Siman 509:11)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, MARCH 29 2010

1) The Ashkenazic custom is to   L’Chatchilah not switch utensils from one food class to another, unless one or more of the following criteria are present

B’shaas HaDchak, when extremely necessary and no other utensils are available. (Pri Megadim, Aishel Avraham, Orach Chaim Siman 452:13)

They are being Koshered anyhow from Chometz to be able to be used on Pesach, and thus once they are Koshered they may be used for any food class. (Mishna Berura Siman 451:19. If doing so strictly in order to switch food classes, it isn’t acceptable. See Chasam Sofer in his commentary to Shulchan Aruch Siman 451)

If for a period of time the meat utensil was strictly used for Parve, and now they are going to change status to dairy (or vice versa) the break allows its status change to be allowed. (Shu”t MaHarsham Vol. 2 Siman 241 and Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 9 Siman 38)

If the utensil became non Kosher and needs to be koshered anyhow, after koshering its designation may be changed. (See Mishna Berura Siman 509:25 and Shu”t Be’er Moshe Vol. 3 Siman 105)

If an entire year passed without the utensil being used, its designated food class may be changed. (Shu”t MaHarsham ibid. See also Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah 122:49)

If the utensil was received as a gift, or if they were sold to another person, they may be koshered and their status changed. (Shu”t Be’er Moshe ibid. and Shu”t Rivevos Ephraim Vol. 5 Siman 519)

2)The above is in regard to Koshering in boiling water (Hag’alah) and doesn’t apply to Libun (Koshering with fire) which may be done L’Chatchilah in all circumstances. (See Sha’ar Hamelech Hilchos Yom Tov Perek 4:8)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 30 2010

1) Disposable utensils (e.g. aluminum pans) which are commonly used in all kosher kitchens may be used without koshering, even though in some countries they are manufactured with a process that uses non kosher oils. (See Shu”t Mishne Halachos Vol. 10 Siman 107)

Some people are stringent and only use pans that are sold with a kosher certification.

Other people have the custom to thoroughly wash down the pans before using them as to remove any residue of any non kosher oil that may still be present.

2) These pans manufactured in the United States have been found not to have these concerns and no Hechsher or washing is necessary before using them.

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31 2010

1) Food or water that  was deliberately (B’Meizid) cooked on  Shabbos, is prohibited to  be eaten by the person who cooked it , forever. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 318:1)

2) Some Poskim require the pot or hot water urn that was used for this prohibited cooking to be koshered before being allowed to use it again. (See Mishna Berura Siman 318:4. However, the Pri Megadim Orach Chaim Siman 253:39 rules that once 24 hours elapses from the prohibited cooking, it no longer requires koshering. See also Da’as Torah Siman 318)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, APRIL 1 2010

1) All utensils that require Koshering may not be used until such koshering takes place, even if only for use with cold food.

However, if they are scrubbed and washed thoroughly, they may be used in a non permanent way (i.e. not at a meal or similar formal setting) for a cold food only. (See Rama Orach Chaim Siman 451:1 and Mishna Berura S”K 16)

2)  It is important to kosher all utensils that require it at the first possible opportunity, and not push off this task.

If for whatever reason they cannot be koshered right away, they should be moved to a location from which they will not be mistakenly used in their unkosher status.

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, APRIL 2 2010

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) A Knife, like other utensils, that requires koshering may not be used in its regular manner until such koshering takes place.

However, B’Sha’as HaDchak, in a case of extreme necessity, if the un-koshered  knife needs to be used one time for a cold food item, it may be used if the knife  is stuck into  hard earth ten times in ten different places.

This only works for the one time use, and in order to be used a subsequent time, a regular koshering is required.

2) The above method is only acceptable if the knife is smooth and doesn’t have any cracks in it. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 121:7)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) Utensils that absorbed non kosher food, or had meat and dairy cooked in them together in boiling water or other liquid become non Kosher.

In order to kosher them, they must be left unused for 24 hours, and then immersed in a pot of boiling water (i.e. bubbling) which is on the fire. (See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 451:3. Regarding if this can be done in other boiling liquids other than water, see Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 6 Siman 115:4. Regarding if this requires real fire, or if electric heating elements are sufficient, see Shu”t Avnei Nezer Yoreh Deah Siman 111, Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 6 Siman 56 and Kaf HaChaim Orach Chaim Siman 452:80)

2) The aforementioned protocol is referred to in Halacha as “Hag’alah”, which means to “spit out” that which has been absorbed (based on a Posuk and Targum Onkelos  in Iyov Perek 21:10)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, APRIL 4 2010

1) Koshering utensils in boiling water works for all metal utensils including gold, silver, copper, bronze, aluminum, lead, stainless steel and any other metals. (See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 451:8 and Yoreh Deah Siman 121:6)

2) Likewise, utensils constructed from stone or bone can be koshered in boiling water. (See Shulchan Aruch ibid. and Sdei Chemed Asifas Dinim, Ma’areches Hey 32)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, APRIL 5 2010

1) Wooden utensils can also be koshered in boiling hot water, provided that they are totally smooth with no cracks, scratches or crevices in them. (See Shulchan Aruch ibid. and Mishna Berura S”K 56)

2) If the wood utensil is not smooth it may be sanded down until smooth and then Koshered. (Rama Siman 451:16)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, APRIL 6 2010

1) Utensils which absorbed heat only via having hot liquid poured into them from a different utensil that was on the fire, referred to in halachic terms as “Irui Kli Rishon” (e.g. metal soup bowls which  have hot soup poured into them directly from a pot that’s on the fire) may be koshered by pouring hot boiling water that was on the fire (Kli Rishon) over them (Irui), and do not require a full immersion in a pot of boiling water.

2) Likewise, when koshering utensils that were only used as a “Kli Sheini” (e.g. a spoon that was only used to stir  tea in a glass) M’ikar Hadin  it is sufficient to Kosher them in boiling water in a Kli Sheini, removed from the fire.

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7 2010

1) Although, as we mentioned earlier, a utensil that is only used as a Kli Sheini or with Irui Kli Rishon can be koshered in that manner M’Ikar Hadin, it is still best if possible  to kosher even these utensils in a boiling pot of water (Kli Rishon) (See Rama Orach Chaim Siman 451 and Taz to Yoreh Deah  Siman 121:11. See also Chazon Ish Yoreh Deah Siman 44:2 for the reasoning)

2) The covers and lids of utensils that are being Koshered need to be koshered along with the pots and pans that they cover, and in the same method that the pots are koshered. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman Orach Chaim Siman 451:14 that the steam that comes out of the food being cooked rises and is absorbed into the covers)

Likewise, handles of pots and pans, even if they are wood or plastic, are considered part of the pot or pan and require koshering along with the pots and pans.

If the handles were not koshered, the pots are Kosher B’Dieved (See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 451:12. See also Rama ibid. who rules that the handles can be koshered with Irui Kli Rishon even L’Chatchilah .See Mishna Berura ibid. S”K 71)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, APRIL 8 2010

1)The koshering pot which will be filled with water and brought to a boil and in which  utensils will be koshered must be absolutely clean and not be used for 24 hours prior to the koshering.

There is no difference if the pot that is used for koshering was previously used for meat or for dairy.

2) When koshering Chometz utensils for Pesach use in a Chometz pot it is customary to first Kosher the pot (by filling it to the brim and boiling it up until the water spills over onto the outer sides of the pot) before placing any other utensils in it to be koshered. (See Mishna Berura Siman 452:13 and Sha’ar HaTziyun 452:15)

If the pot used to kosher the Chometz utensils is a Pesach pot, it is customary to re-kosher the pot after all the utensils have been koshered before using the pot for pesach. (See Mishna Berura 452:10)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, APRIL 9 2010

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) Water is the only acceptable liquid in which to kosher utensils L’Chatchilah, as the nature of boiling water is to expel that which has been absorbed into the utensil, whereas the nature of other liquids is to be reabsorbed into the utensils.

If utensils were koshered in other liquids, they should be re-koshered in water. (See Mishna Berura Siman 451:26)

2) B’dieved, in cases of necessity and when no water is available, other liquids may be used. (See Rama Orach Chaim Siman 452:5 and Mishna Berura S”K 25 and 26. See also  Shu”t Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah Vol. 1 Siman  60 and Vol. 2 Siman 41, Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 6 Siman 115:4 and Shu”t Melamed L’Hoel Orach Chaim Siman 96)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) It is permissible to add soap or other chemicals and cleaning agents to the pot of boiling water being used to kosher utensils. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 95:4. See also Shu”t Chacham Tzvi Siman 101, Shu”t Chasam Sofer Orach Chaim Siman 120, Chazon Ish  Yoreh Deah Siman 23:1 and Orach Chaim Siman 122:6 for more details about this Halacha.)

2) A pot of boiling water that was used to kosher a large volume of utensils to the point that  the water becomes murky (from all the matter that was expunged from all the utensils) should not be used for any additional utensils and a clean batch of water should be boiled up. (See Rama Siman 452:5 and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 109:14)

If the water isn’t changed, the koshering done in the murky waters may be invalid even B’dieved. (See Mishna Berura Siman 452:27)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, APRIL 11 2010

1) The water that is used to kosher utensils must be boiling (i.e. bubbling) due to its being cooked.

Placing a heated stone or piece of iron into a pot of cold water to produce boiling does not suffice, and utensils placed in a pot that was boiled in this manner are not considered koshered.

2) Once the pot of boiling water stops bubbling, it should immediately stop being used, as any utensils placed in the pot that has stopped bubbling do not become koshered.

If the water resumes bubbling, utensils may once again be koshered in it. (See Shulchan Aruch and Rama Orach Chaim Siman 452:16 and Yoreh Deah Siman 94:3. See also Moadim U’Zmanim Siman 281 for more details about the level of bubbling necessary)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, APRIL 12 2010

1) L’Chatchilah, the volume of boiling water needed in the pot  to ensure a proper koshering is sixty times the volume of all the utensils that will be koshered in the pot [even if the utensils haven't been used in over 24 hours].

Thus, it is best to kosher one utensil at a time rather than placing them all in at once, as by doing so there is a better chance that the volume of water will be sufficient L’Chatchilah. (See Mishna Berura Siman 452:13. See also Tur Yoreh Deah Siman 221 and Shu”t HaRashba Vol. 1 Siman 262)

If the pot being used for koshering does not hold sixty times the volume of the utensil that will be koshered in it, it is imperative that the utensils being koshered not be used for 24 hours, otherwise the koshering  is not good even B’dieved.  121:2 and Chayei Adam 125:12) (See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 452:2 and Yoreh Deah

2) In cases of great necessity, when the utensils are needed and less than 24 hours have passed  since they were used and they cannot be koshered in an adequate volume of water, a Rav should be consulted as to if and how  the water [with less than 60 times the volume] can be made Halachically viable for koshering. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 95:4 and Shach and Taz there. See Shu”t Chasam Sofer Orach Chaim Siman 120, and Shu”t Tzemach Tzedek Siman 91. See also Chazon Ish Yoreh Deah Siman 23 and Orach Chaim Siman 122. See also Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah Vol. 2 Siman 34)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, APRIL 13 2010

1) A dairy utensil and a meat utensil that require koshering may be koshered together in one pot of boiling water, provided that at least one of them has not been used in over 24 hours. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim and Mishna Berura Siman 452:2)

Alternatively, if the volume of water in the koshering pot is sixty times the amount of one of the utensils they can also be koshered together. (See Mogen Avraham Siman 452:8 and Pri Megadim, Aishel Avraham, 452:8. See also Mishna Berura 452:18 and Kaf HaChaim 452:37)

2) If both the meat and the dairy utensils were used within 24 hours and the volume of water is not more than sixty times at least one of the utensils both of the utensils remain non kosher. (For Sephardic Jews the utensils do not become prohibited, B’dieved. See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 452:2 and Yoreh Deah Siman 95:3)

Moreover, in the aforementioned case, the prohibition against cooking meat and dairy will be transgressed by placing both of these recently used utensils into a pot with less than an adequate volume of water. (See Rama Yoreh Deah Siman 95:3 and Levush Orach Chaim 452:2. This only applies if animal meat was cooked in the [Kli Rishon] pot, and not if just chicken was cooked in the pot, as detailed in Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 87)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14 2010

1) The utensils being koshered must be thoroughly cleaned before being koshered, including the inside, the outside, the handles and the cover, to ensure that all food particles, oil, rust and other residue are removed. (See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 451:3 and Mishna Berura ibid. S”K 22, 44 and 68. See also Ramban to Bamidbar 31:2)

Thus, a utensil that cannot be sufficiently cleaned due to protrusions, indentations, deep scratches, hard to reach crevices or other reasons, cannot be koshered in boiling water unless it is blowtorched in those hard to clean areas. (See Shulchan Aruch and Rama Orach Chaim Siman 451:3-5)

2) If the aforementioned utensil was not blowtorched before the koshering, it should be done afterwards.
However, if it can be re-koshered after being blowtorched, that would be best. (See Mishna Berura Siman 451:25, Kaf HaChaim 451:53 and 160)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, APRIL 15 2010

1) The utensils being koshered should be dry before being inserted into the pot of boiling water. (See Mogen Avraham Siman 452:9)

2) L’Chatchilah, the entire utensil should be submerged in the boiling water at one time. (See Taz Orach Chaim 452:5, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 452:26 and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 117:16)

However, if only half [or part] of the utensil was submerged and the other half [or rest] of it was submerged afterwards, it is acceptable as long as every single part of the utensil, including the handles, covers etc. was submerged in the boiling water. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 451:14, 452:12 and Mishna Berura S”K 45 and 68. See also Shu”t Minchas Yitzchak Vol. 5 Siman 81)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, APRIL 16 2010

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1)Even if only part of a utensil was used in a non kosher way, the entire utensil requires koshering. (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 121:6. See also Shach and Taz there as well as the Biur HaGra Os 18. See also Mogen Avraham Siman a451:24 and Mishna Berura S”K 70 regarding if only part was koshered and the utensil was used)

2) The utensil that is being koshered need not be in the boiling water for more than a mere few seconds. (See Tur and Taz Orach Chaim Siman 452)

In fact it is best if the utensil is not left in the water for an extended period of time. (See Mogen Avraham Siman 452:2 and 3, Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 452:17, Mishna Berura S”K 13 and Sha’ar HaTziyun Os 28)

Even if the utensil is left in the boiling water for a little longer than ideal, particular care should be taken that it is removed before the water ceases to boil.

This is particularly important in regards to Chometz utensils being koshered for pesach use. (See Shibolei HaLeket Siman 207, Rokeach Siman 250 and Sefer HaMachria Siman 69 quoting the opinion of Rashi)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) It is customary to rinse all the surfaces of the utensils in cold water immediately after they are koshered. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 452:7 and Yoreh Deah Siman 121:1. See also Biur HaGra end of Siman 452)

If this was not done, it does not invalidate the koshering according to most Poskim. (See Mishna Berura Siman 452:34, Kaf HaChaim 452:75 and Chayei Adam Klal 125:37. See also Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 6 Siman 115 where rules that surely B’dieved it is permitted,   not like  the Darchei Teshuva Yoreh Deah 121:45 who is a Da’as Yachid that prohibits such a utensil)

2) Once a utensil is koshered it may be used for meat, dairy or parve use at the discretion of the owner, as it is halachically considered like a brand new, unused, utensil. (Though, for Ashkenazic Jews utensils should not be switched back and forth at will without having a halachically acceptable reason to do so, as we discussed previously)