Today’s Topics:

1. Re: Countertops
2. Re: Onions
3. Re: Cutting Board
4. Re: Microwave
5. Re: Strainer
6. Re: Grill
7. Review Questions




On Thurs, 18 Nov 2004 19:07:38 -0500, anonymous wrote:
I have granite countertops. Unfortunately when food was taken from the oven it was placed directly on to the milchig (dairy) side of the counter. The question is do I have to do irui on that countertop to use it again for milchig. I do not place food directly on the countertop. Any cutting is done on boards.

Kol Tov

Answers from Reb Dovid

I assume the food in question was fleishig (meat) – otherwise there would be no question here. Was the food placed directly onto the counter or was the pot (or pan or whatever) placed onto the counter? If it was the food, the counter needs irui (pouring from a first vessel) in that area. If the counter previously had milchig *food* on it within the prior 24 hours, you have to peel a klipa (a section as thick as a peel) from the food. (If you didn’t do this, the food is mutar b’dieved (acceptable retroactively) if the peel is annulled as less than 1/60th of the food.) If a fleishig pot or pan was placed directly onto the milchig counter, then so long as both were clean and dry, no tastes were transferred. As long as the mistake is not repeated again, b’dieved everything is fine.




 On Thurs, 18 Nov 2004 21:07:38 -0500, anonymous wrote

 If I have a salad that has onions in it (cut with a pareve [neither meat nor dairy] knife) and I put it in a fleishig bowl and use a fleishig salad server, does my salad become fleishig? Am I right that sitting in a fleishig salad bowl won’t make the onions fleishig. Please correct me if I’m wrong.


Answers from Reb Dovid


 L’chatchila, (to start off with) we consider onions to be a davar charif (a spicy item) and therefore hot. Thus we would consider your salad to have the same din (status) as a pareve tavshil (cooked food) that was cooked in a ben yomo (less than 24-hours) fleishig pot. That is why I recommend having a separate cutting board and knife for onions and garlic. In fact, professional chefs do this for virtually the same reason – the strong flavors are left behind on the knife and cutting board and will permeate other foods.


In addition Rav Landsman writes: 


I checked the sources. Taz 96:3 holds that the salad does not become fleishig. However, Ma’adanei HaShulchan 96:12 and the accompanying footnote 58
says that this only applies to a dry davar charif; l’chumra (as a stringency) there may be a problem scooping horseradish out of the jar with a non-pareve  spoon. He notes that the Taz 96:3 specifically says there is no issue with horseradish but brings a number of other sources that disagree with the Taz if there is moisture. (I didn’t go to all these other sources.)


Reb Dovid adds:


At any rate, Rav Landsman is correct, the salad does not become fleishig unless we hold by the chumra and say that there is enough onion to make the dressing a wet davar charif – which is rather unlikely. Thank you for this correction.


(In my kitchen, I will likely continue to scoop the schug out of the jar with a plastic knife though, just in case… it’s certainly wet and charif… but as Rav Channen has taught me, you can be machmir (very strict) on yourself but not on others.)


Cutting Board


On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 00:28:21 +0200, anonymous wrote:


I had cold, cooked turkey that I was cutting up for salad.  The turkey was spiced, but not spicy (just added flavoring).  I had bought roasted turkey wings-no onion pieces or garlic chunks in there.  I accidentally cut the turkey using a meat knife (okay) on a dairy plastic cutting board (not okay). The turkey was not on the board more than a few minutes. I washed the board and set it aside to sit for 24 hours on the assumption that, since the turkey was cold, the board and the salad should be okay-24 hours was a precaution.  However, my roommate unknowingly), moved the cutting board back that day and used it-whether for parve or dairy I do not know.  There is a 50/50 chance that she cut something charif on it.  I am planning on getting anew cutting board anyway (this one is old and vile and have been meaning to replace it), but would like to see if this is an actual kashrut requirement.  My guess says no, since the turkey was cold, but I would like to verify. So long as the turkey was cold and not spicy, nothing went into the dairy cutting board and nothing went into the turkey.



Answers from Reb Dovid


 So long as the turkey was cold and not spicey, nothing went into the dairy cutting board and nothing went into the turkey. Just wash it off with lots of soap.


Rabbi Landsman adds a note:


Maybe add as a reminder when washing off the food, at first use soap and lukewarm water so that the cold turkey does not get absorbed when washing it off.





One more question on this. If there is treif food on the walls of the
> microwave, wouldn’t the steam coming out of the paper bag touch the
> treif food and you would have bishul (cooking) going on? Please explain
> how that is not a problem . . .

> Thank you,
> Golda
Yes, you are correct. However, there is no prohibition on cooking
treif food. There is only a prohibition on eating treif food.


There is a prohibition on cooking milk and meat together, even if you
have no intention of eating it, even if it isn’t yours, even if it
belongs to a non-Jew. So is it a problem to use the microwave if it
has been used for both meat and milk (which we assume that it has

This issue comes up in Y.D. 87:6 in the Rama where we see that the
Rama forbids a Jew to stoke the fire under the pot of a non-Jew
because the Jew will come to cook milk and meat together in the pot.
However, your microwave case is different:


1) If we are just talking about absorbed meat and milk tastes in the
walls of the microwave, there is no issue of cooking absorbed tastes
(Kraiti 87:13). Further, the Chochmat Adam 40:7 says that this is a
stringency that has no basis in law.


2) What if there is actual milk and meat in the microwave — the
person before you spilled hot milk when he took out his caffe latte
and the person before him splattered meatball splatterings everywhere.
Now aren’t you cooking actual milk and meat together? This is more
tricky. According to the Mishbetzot Zahav 105:2, if the milk and meat
have been cooked together previously, the rule is “there is no cooking
after cooking” (ain bishul achar bishul) because you are just doing
more of the same, and therefore it is permitted. However, if the milk
and meat have not been previously cooked together — even if both were
previously cooked separately — then it is prohibitted.


So I would say that, if there is food spilled in the microwave and you
can identify it as milk and meat, you can’t use the microwave without
cleaning it first. If you can identify it as definitely not milk and
meat, you can go ahead and use the microwave. If you aren’t sure, I
would personally be strict and not use the microwave. Cooking milk and
meat together is a d’oraita prohibition with grave spiritual

–Reb Dovid





> I would like to test my knowledge from Lessons 1 and 2:
> I use a strainer in my sink over the drain to catch food particles (and
> prevent clogging the drain). Since I use it with both meat and dairy,
> it, like my enameled-steel (and therefore I was told unkosherable) sink
> is treif due to basar v cholov issues. If I understand the lessons
> correctly, when hot water from the faucet goes into the strainer, it
> becomes a kli sheini and is not capable of transferring tastes, although
> it absorbs kdei kelipah both meat and dairy at different times.
> Actually, being made of wire mesh, I’m not sure if there’s a difference
> between just a peel and the whole thing. So if I pick up the strainer to
> drain the water out of it before I dump the trapped food particles into
> the trash, I’m doing irui from a kli sheini, and that irui will not
> transfer any taste onto whichever rack (meat or dairy) I happen to have
> sitting in the sink at that time, will it?


First, I agree with you that for thin wire mesh, k’dei klipa is the
same as the whole thing, with the possible exception of the frame that
I assume the wire mesh sits in.


Before you pick it up to dump the food into the trash, I would run
cold water to make sure everything gets cold — this way you know
there will not be any transfer of tastes. You can also spill soap into
the strainer before putting your dishes into the sink, and you can
spill soap onto it before you pick it up. In fact, I advocate spilling
soap everywhere in your sink all the time — “soap is your friend.”
 :-)   [Just yesterday I saved someone from kashering a sink and dishes
because she had followed my advice and used lots of soap.]


> Now let’s say I’m using a handi-wipe to clean the top surface of the
> stove, which is again painted steel and has basar v cholov problems from
> spills and so forth. If I make sure to use Fantastic or some other
> cleanser, then when I rinse the rag out in the sink, any tastes are
> lifgam and also not being transferred to my rack, especially if I make
> sure to rinse in cold water, right?


Correct — well done!


> Of course, if I want to be extra careful, I should really just remove
> the rack from the sink before draining the strainer or rinsing the rag,
> but to be honest I’m lazy and sometimes forget . . .


So long as you follow the above, you are OK — everything will be
lifgam and cold. (You aren’t being lazy, you are human.)

> Thank you for your patience with my questions.



Teaching this class is a pleasure — the sincerity with which you all
approach your learning is inspiring.





> I have a george forman grill.  I use it for meat. 
> Can I use it for fish and eat the fish with milchig.
> Id it has not been used for meat in 24 hr
> Kol Tov


You are actually asking two different questions here:


1) Can I grill fish on a meat grill?


According to a noted PosekR’ Binyomin Forst (p 349) one may not grill fish on a meat barbeque, but one may cook fish in a clean meat pot. The issue is
that eating fish and meat together is considered a sakana, danger. On
the barbeque, the fish will absorb strong meat tastes — even if it is
more than 24 hours old. In a pot, it will absorb a weak taste that
isn’t considered dangerous. I would say that your George Forman Grill
is a barbeque, not a pot, and that you can’t use it for fish unless
you kasher it first.

2) Can I eat with milk fish (or other pareve food) prepared in meat dishes?


The case of fish is a classic case in Y.D. 95:1-2. If the food is
pareve and the dishes were clean, you can eat them on the opposite
dishes l’chatchila according to both the Mechaber and the Rama. That
said, I don’t know anyone who regularly does this in their kosher
kitchen — it is too easy to get confused and make a real mistake.

–Reb Dovid



Review Questions


Thank you to Dan and Deborah for taking a shot at the Review Questions
from Lesson 3. You did a great job!


I have interwoven a few comments here and there…


–Reb Dovid


On Thu, 18 Nov 2004 07:48:42 -0800, dan_deb <dan_deb@elknet.net> wrote:
> Q: 1. How do we learn from the Torah that one should immerse (tovil) kitchen
> utensils?

> A-1: When Israel conquered Midyan there was a question on what to do with
> the stuff they collected as booty. The decree was explained to pass what
> could go through the fire, such as metal and that which couldn’t go through
> the fire to pass through the water. Then it says to “sprinkle: with water to
> purify.
> Bamidbar 31:21-23




Correct. Just to clarify — this was “Israel” the people and not
“Israel” the country. This battle took place in the dessert after we
left Egypt but before we came to the Land of Israel. Also, the decree
is specifically incumbent upon utensils used with food — not all

> Q: 2. How do we know that clay, wood, and stone utensils do not need to be
> immersed (toviled)?

> A- 2: They are not on the list of what needs to be made pure.


Again correct. To clarify, Rashi says that specifically the metal
utensils need to be toivelled.


> Q :3. Why does glass have the same law as metal even though it is made of
> dirt?

> The method of creating and fixing is with fire the same as for metal so it
> was decided that since both pass through the fire they need to be immersed.

> Q: 4. In what way is the law of glass different than metal?

> A-4: Metal is a Torah decree and glass rabbinical.

> Q: 5. Do disposable aluminum pans require immersion? Do jars after they’re
> empty?

> A-5: If either is to be REUSED they need to be immersed, although some hold
> that Aluminum has no need, so no blessing is said when immersed.

> Q: 6. Why doesn’t a hotplate need to be immersed (toviled)?

> A-6: Like a burner it never really touches the food, only the outside of the
> pot does.

> Q:7. Does a glazed coffee cup need to be immersed (toviled) with a blessing:

> a) If it is glazed only on the inside. A: Yes
> b) If it is glazed only on the outside. A: no
> c) If it is glazed on both sides. A: Yes
> d) If it has only a thin glaze. A: Yes, but without a blessing because the
> method is different than in the days of the Talmud decree.




To clarify:
* Glazed on the inside: everyone toivels; only sephardim say the blessing.
* Glazed on the outside: only Ashkenazim toivel; no blessing.
* Glazed on both sides: everyone toivels and makes a blessing.


> Q: 8. Under what circumstances may a utensil be held tightly when it is
> being immersed (toviled)?

> A-7: When one wets ones hand. Even if it is just tap water since all water
> mixes, and that way the utensil has been completely wet.




Correct, but note that we only do it this way if we need to. The
proper way is to hold it loosely and even to let it go in the water
for an instant.


> Q: 9. What should I do if my toaster is too tough to immerse (tovil)?

> A-9: Plug it into the wall and call it part of the house – or – give it away
> to a non- Jew and “borrow” it back so you PERSONALLY no longer own it – or –
> Have a professional Jew take it apart and reconstruct it so it can be said a
> Jew made it.

> Q: 10. Can I eat at someone’s home using plates that were not immersed in a
> Bath (Mikvah) (toviled)?

> A-10: It is a personal decision, some may not want to offend, some however
> can’t bring themselves to do so.




Correct. No clarify: there is halachic leniency that allows it; there
is also good reason to be strict not to do it. Check with your rabbi.


> Q: 11. Do caterers and restaurant owners have to immerse (tovil) their
> dishes? State both sides of the issue.

> A-11: If a business person sells the “dishes” and does not “use” the dishes
> than there is no need. However if a business person is serving fellow Jews,
> and or themselves on the dishes than they “should”. Some hold that because
> it is a business then such dishes are exempt.




Correct. Major Ashkenazic and Sephardic poskim hold that the
restaurant should immerse — Rav Moshe Feinstein in the US and Rav
Ovadia Yosef in Israel. However, if they did not, you can rely on the
lenient opinion and eat in the establishment.


–Reb Dovid