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Which food-utensils must be immersed in the Mikvah?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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The rules of tevilat keilim (immersing utensils) applies to food utensils which were manufactured or sold by a non-Jew. In other words, any utensil which was ever owned by a non-Jew must be immersed if acquired by a Jew. Today, since most products are manufactured by gentile-owned companies, ALL utensils must be immersed, unless you are certain that the company which manufactured it and the store which sold it are of Jewish ownership.

Here are the basic rules:

1. Utensils which actually come in contact with food or drink must be immersed. For example: flatware, dishes, pots, pans, perculators, salt-shakers, measuring-cups, etc. Any utensil which does not directly touch the actual food (for example: oven racks, corkscrews, etc.) does not require immersion.

2. Utensils which are used in the food preparation process, but don't come in contact with ready-to-eat food (for example: a meat grinder or a kneading bowl), as well as storage utensils which are not used to process foods and food or drink are not eaten or drunk directly from them (for example: salt-shakers or sugar bowls), are immersed without a blessing. 

3. Only metal, glass, or glazed earthenware (such as china) require immersion. Wood, stone, bone, and non-glazed earthenware are exempt from these laws. Plastics and synthetic materials are a gray area, and therefore should be immersed, but without reciting the blessing. 

4. Disposable utensils, such as aluminum pans, are exempt from immersion. However, non-disposable utensils must be immersed before their first use.

5. Kosher utensils which are borrowed from a non-Jew do not require immersion.

The proper blessing can be found here.


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Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
tevilat keilim
The immersion of food utensils in a Mikvah [ritual bath].