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A Guide to Tevilas Keilim

By: Rabbi B. Forst (reviewed by Rav Belsky)

This article provided by the Orthodox Union

Reprinted with permission of the Orthodox Union

A Summary of the One who acquires food utensils from a non-Jew must immerse the utensils in a kosher mikveh prior to use. One may not use a vessel even once unless tevilah has been performed. However, food prepared in vessels that had no proper tevilah, is nevertheless kosher.

a) Only vessels made of gold, silver, iron, steel, copper, tin, brass, lead, glass, pyrex, corelle and crystal require tevilah with a b’rachah. Unglazed earthenware, wood, rubber and plastic utensils require no tevilah. Corningware, porcelain (china), enameled pots, teflon coated pans and aluminum vessels require tevilah without a b’rachah. Disposable aluminum pans require no tevilah.

b) A utensil made of a material requiring tevilah should be immersed inclusive of any plastic or wooden parts attached to it. A utensil made of wood or plastic requires tevilah if any metal is attached to it, providing that the metal touches the food and is vital for the utensil’s use. A utensil made of separable parts requires tevilah only for its metal parts.

c) Tevilah is required only for those utensils used for eating, drinking or the preparation of food. Only those utensils which come into direct contact with the food require tevilah. One who purchases a food utensil for a non food related use (e.g., a knife purchased for cutting cardboard) need not immerse it. However, it should not be used, even temporarily, for food use.

d) Those utensils that do not prepare the food for its final edible state (e.g., a kneading hook) require tevilah without a b’rachah.

e) Vessels that are used merely for storage should be immersed without a b’rachah.

f) One may purchase and eat food or drinks directly from their jars or bottles. Once the jar is emptied of its contents, some poskim permit reuse of a glass jar for other foods without tevilah. A metal container, however, should not be reused without tevilah. Some poskim permit reuse of a tin can that was opened by a Jew.

g) Electrical appliances that come into direct contact with food require tevilah. An appliance that cannot be immersed in a mikveh should not be purchased. Thus, an electric urn requires immersion in a mikveh. It is impossible to do a proper tevilah on an urn unless it is completely immersed in the water. A Rov should be consulted as to the proper method of tevilah.

h) Only utensils that belonged to a non-Jew require tevilah. These include: utensils manufactured by a non-Jewish company (even if partly owned by Jews), those manufactured by a Jewish company but sold in a non-Jewish store or even those sold in a Jewish store, if they had been purchased from a non-Jewish wholesaler. If there is sufficient reason to suspect that the utensils never belonged to a non-Jew, tevilah should be done without a b’rachah.

i) Only those utensils owned by a Jew require tevilah. One who borrows a vessel from a non-Jew (when no kashrus problems apply) may use it without tevilah.

j) One who wishes to eat in the home of a Jew who has not immersed his dishes should consult a Rov.

k) During tevilah the utensil must be clean and free from any foreign object. Therefore any rust, dirt or labels must be removed prior to tevilah. When removing labels, one must be sure to remove all glue as well. Stubborn stickers or glue can be removed with nail polish remover or by spraying with WD 40 silicone spray.

l) One should not permit a minor (a boy below the age of 13 or a girl below the age of 12) to perform tevilah unless supervised by an adult. A minor doing tevilah with adult supervision recites the b’rachah as well. One should preferably not allow a non-Jew to perform tevilah even when supervised by a Jew.

m) Tevilah should be done only in a kosher mikveh (some men’s mikvaos are not kosher for tevilas keilim). If a store has its own mikveh, one must inquire whether it is under the supervision of a competent rov. One may do tevilas keilim in the ocean as well. One who wishes to immerse utensils in a lake should consult a Rov.

n) Before grasping the vessel to be immersed, one should wet one’s hands in the mikveh. One recites the b’rachah and immerses the vessel without grasping the vessel too tightly. Better yet, one should first grasp the vessel with one hand and transfer it to the other hand while the vessel is under water. One may immerse the vessel in a basket, but dishes should not be piled one atop another so as not to obstruct the water from reaching all surfaces of the dishes.

o)Utensils made of separable parts (e.g., a meat grinder or thermos bottle) should preferably be immersed in an assembled manner.

A List of Materials

Material TevilahB’rachah
Aluminumtevilah no b’rachah1
Bone china tevilah no b’rachah3
Brasstevilah b’rachah
Coppertevilah b’rachah
Corkno tevilah
Crystaltevilah b’rachah13
Earthenware (unglazed)no tevilah
Glasstevilah b’rachah
Goldtevilah b’rachah
Ivoryno tevilah
Plasticno tevilah
Porcelaintevilah no b’rachah
Pyrextevilah b’rachah24
Silvertevilah b’rachah
Stainless Steeltevilah b’rachah
Stoneno tevilah
Stoneware (glazed)tevilah no b’rachah3
Tintevilah b’rachah
Woodno tevilah
Rubberno tevilah

A List of Items

(note any item requiring tevilah, if it is made of aluminum the tevilah is done without a b’rachah)

Item TevilahB’rachah
Apple slicer/corertevilah b’rachah
Barbecue grill (grill only)tevilahb’rachah
Blender (blades & glass bowl)tevilah b’rachah2
Bottle warmerno tevilah4
Bowl (steel or glass)tevilahb’rachah
Bread box (metal)tevilahno b’rachah5
Broiler tray (steel)tevilah b’rachah6
(disposable aluminum)no tevilah
Butter dish (glass or metal)tevilah b’rachah
Cake decorator (with metal spout)tevilah b’rachah7
Cake plate coverno tevilah4
Can openerno tevilah8
Canister (storage)tevilah no b’rachah5
Canister coverno tevilah4
Cast iron potstevilah b’rachah
Cheese slicertevilah b’rachah
Chicken shearstevilah b’rachah9
Choppertevilah b’rachah
Coffee pottevilah b’rachah
Coffee milltevilah no b’rachah10
Coffee maker (electric)tevilah b’rachah11
Colandertevilah b’rachah
Cookie baking sheet (stainless steel)tevilah b’rachah
Cookie shapertevilah no b’rachah10
Corkscrewno tevilah4
Corn popper tevilah b’rachah
Corn-on-cob holder (metal)tevilah b’rachah
Corning waretevilah no b’rachah
Creamertevilah b’rachah
Creamer (ceramic)tevilah no b’rachah3
Crock pot (ceramic insert)tevilah no b’rachah12
Crock pot (metal insert)tevilah b’rachah
Cutting board (wood or plastic)no tevilah14
Decantertevilah b’rachah
Disposable tinsno tevilah
Double boilertevilah b’rachah15
Dough hooktevilah no b’rachah10
Drinking glassestevilah b’rachah
Egg yolk brush no tevilah
Egg cup (ceramic)tevilah no b’rachah3
Egg beatertevilah b’rachah
Egg slicertevilah b’rachah
Electric Knife tevilah b’rachah16
Enameled pots tevilah no b’rachah17
Flatware (stainless or silver)tevilah b’rachah
Flour canister tevilah no b’rachah5
Flour sifter (metal)tevilah no b’rachah10
Food processor (metal blades)tevilahb’rachah16
Fork tevilahb’rachah
French fry cuttertevilah b’rachah18
Fruit basket (metal)tevilah b’rachah
Frying pan (Teflon coated)tevilah no b’rachah17
Frying pantevilah b’rachah
Grater tevilah b’rachah
Grill (see barbecue)tevilah b’rachah
Grill (electric “George Forman ” ) tevilah b’rachah
Honey dish (china)tevilah no b’rachah3
Honey dish (glass or silver)tevilahb’rachah
Hot water urntevilah b’rachah
Hot plateno tevilah4
Ice cream scoopertevilah b’rachah19
Immersion heatertevilah no b’rachah
Juicer (even electric) tevilah b’rachah
Kiddush cup tevilah b’rachah
Kneading hooktevilah no b’rachah10
Knife sharpenerno tevilah
Knifetevilah b’rachah
Ladletevilahb’rachah
Measuring cup (steel or glass)tevilah b’rachah
Measuring spoontevilah b’rachah
Meat grindertevilah no b’rachah10
Meat tenderizertevilah no b’rachah10
Meat slicertevilah b’rachah
Melon ballertevilah b’rachah
Mixer (beaters & glass bowl)tevilah b’rachah20
Mixing spoon tevilah b’rachah21
Nut cracker (used at table)tevilah b’rachah
Onion choppertevilah b’rachah
Oven rack no tevilah4
Pancake flippertevilah b’rachah
Parsley shredder tevilah b’rachah
Pasta machinetevilah no b’rachah
Peeler (even electric)tevilah b’rachah
Pepper mill tevilah b’rachah22
Percolatortevilah b’rachah
Pizza cuttertevilah b’rachah
Pocket knifeno tevilah23
Pot cover tevilah b’rachah
Potato peelertevilah b’rachah18
Poultry shearstevilah b’rachah9
Pyrex kettletevilahb’rachah
Rolling pin (wooden or plastic)no tevilah
Salt-shaker tevilah b’rachah
Sandwich makertevilah b’rachah
Saucerno tevilah25
Scale (food)tevilah b’rachah
Shabbos blechno tevilah4
Shreddertevilahb’rachah
Sievetevilahb’rachah
Skewerstevilahb’rachah
Spatula (metal)tevilahb’rachah
Spoontevilah b’rachah
Spoon rest (metal)no tevilah
Stove grateno tevilah4
Strainertevilahb’rachah
Sugar canistertevilah no b’rachah5
Sugar bowltevilah b’rachah
Tea kettletevilah b’rachah
Tea cups (glass)tevilah b’rachah
Tea cups (china)tevilah no b’rachah
Tea pot (ceramic)tevilah no b’rachah3
Tea pot (metal)tevilah b’rachah
Teflon coated pan or pottevilah no b’rachah17
Thermos bottletevilah b’rachah
Toastertevilah no b’rachah26
Toaster oven (tray and rack)tevilah b’rachah27
Tongstevilah b’rachah
Trayno tevilah4
Tupperwareno tevilah
Vegetable steamertevilah b’rachah
Waffle irontevilah b’rachah
Washing cup no tevilah
Wine bottletevilah b’rachah
Wooden mixing spoonno tevilah

Notes

1) There is reason to question whether aluminum requires tevilah, therefore a b’rachah should not be recited.
2) The blade and glass jar only.
3) Porcelain and china require tevilah without a b’rachah, see section a.
4) A vessel that does not touch the food requires no tevilah, see section c.
5) A vessel that is used for storage only requires tevilah without a b’rachah, see section e.
6) A disposable pan requires no tevilah.
7) See section b.
8) It is not meant to touch the food.
9) Assuming it is used for roasted chicken as well. If, however, it is used for raw chicken only, a b’rachah is not recited.
10) See section d.
11) Electric coffee makers (e.g., Mr. Coffee) require tevilah.
12) Ceramic insert only. A glass or metal insert requires tevilah with a b’rachah.
13) Crystal is glass.
14) If wood or plastic.
15) Often the bottom pot is used for food as well, if not, no tevilah is required.
16) Blades only.
17) The surface that touches the food is not a material requiring tevilah.
18) If used to cut other vegetables as well. If, however, it is used exclusively for potatoes, no b’rachah is recited on the tevilah.
19) If metal.
20) Only the beaters.
21) If wooden, no tevilah is required.
22) Some poskim contend that a b’rachah should not be recited.
23) If one plan to usually use it for food, tevilah is required.
24) Pyrex is glass.
25) If to be used as saucers only. If, however, they will be used as plates, tevilah is required.
26) Some poskim contend that it requires no tevilah. Consult your Rav.
27) Only the shelf and tray.

This list was reviewed and approved by Rabbi Belsky.


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