Halacha for Tuesday 18 Adar 5781 March 2 2021

The Laws of Koshering Vessels for Pesach

One may not use Chametz vessels on Pesach since vessels which have been used to cook in or have had hot Chametz placed in them have Chametz flavor absorbed in them. Thus, just as we separate between meat and dairy utensils all year long, we must likewise separate between the utensils we use all year long and our Pesach dishes.

Since the laws of koshering vessels for Pesach are difficult both from a halachic and a practical perspective, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l has arranged these laws for us in a clear and concise manner in his lectures as well as in his works.

Nowadays, when we live in a time where there is much abundance in the world, thank G-d, most people have a special set of Pesach dishes such that they do not actually have to kosher their dishes for Pesach, besides for the countertops, oven, stovetop, and the like which everyone must kosher. We shall begin this discussion by explaining the essence of the koshering process and we shall then focus on some pertinent details of these laws.

It Releases Just as it Absorbs
A vessel is koshered in the same manner in which it is generally used, for we have a rule, “The same way it absorbs is the same way it releases.” Therefore, any vessel which is used for cooking, such as a pot, the method of koshering it is the same way it is used, i.e. a process called “Hag’ala” which is immersing it in a pot of boiling water. The boiling water must be in “Keli Rishon” (meaning that the vessel must be immersed into boiling water which is in the original vessel where the water was boiled and is still on the flame; however, one should not perform Hag’ala in a vessel which the water was not originally boiled in and was merely poured into from the original vessel which was on the fire, for this vessel is not considered a “Keli Rishon” and is merely a “Keli Sheni.” The water in a “Keli Sheni” is not considered boiling enough to cause the vessel immersed into it to release its Chametz flavor).

Koshering Flatware
Thus, knives, spoons, and the like can be koshered by immersing them into water boiled in a pot on the flame or an electric kettle by first immersing one end of the knife followed by the other end. (If the handle of the knife is made of wood, it cannot be koshered through Hag’ala.)

Before performing Hag’ala, one must clean the vessel thoroughly and make sure no residue or rust remains. It is especially preferable not to use a vessel with hot Chametz (or meat or dairy throughout the year) within twenty-four hours before Hag’ala is performed.

Wooden Utensils
Wooden vessels retain the same law as metal and they can be koshered by performing Hag’ala in a pot of boiling water on the fire and so on and so forth, depending on the way it was used. The same applies to vessels made of bone. Nowadays, dishes made of bone are no longer available.

Vessels Which Need Torching
Skewers and spits which are used with fire but without liquids must be torched with fire until sparks emerge, i.e. when the metal turns red. The same applies to a “Wonder Pot” which is used to bake Chametz cakes throughout the year which can only be koshered by torching it with fire until the metal turns red-hot. Usually, this is not practical with regards to pots and one must therefore purchase new pots for Pesach. Nevertheless, a pot which was used only for cooking Chametz throughout the year can be koshered with Hag’ala as we have explained.

In the next Halacha, we shall, G-d-willing, discuss this matter further.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

The Torah states (Vayikra 21, 15): “And you shall count for yourselves, from the day following the Shabbat, from the day the waved Omer offering is brought, seven complete weeks shall they be.” Our Sages (Menachot 65b) have a tradition that the “day following the Shabbat” ref......

Read Halacha

Question: How many “Kezayit”s (olive’s volume) of Matzah must one consume during the Pesach Seder?

Answer: One is obligated to eat altogether three “Kezayit”s of Matzah during the Pesach Seder. Every Kezayit amounts to approx. 30 grams of Matzah. Nevertheless, there is room for stringency to eat four or even five “Kezayit”s of Matzah, as we shall now explain. The Order......

Read Halacha

Chol Ha’Mo’ed

The days between the first and seventh days (outside of Israel between the second and eighth days) of the Pesach holiday and the days between the first day of Sukkot and the holiday of Shemini Atzeret (outside of Israel between the second day of Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret) are called “Chol Ha&......

Read Halacha

The Pesach Seder-Kadesh

The Pesach Seder-Kadesh The famous order of the Seder of the eve of Pesach, Kadesh, Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz, Magid, Rochtza, Motzi, Matzah, Maror, Korech, Shulchan Orech, Tzafun, Barech, Hallel, Nirtzah, was established by the leader of the entire Jewish nation, Rashi. The entire Jewish nation cus......

Read Halacha


Everything is Foreseen and Permission is Granted

Israeli Independence Day is celebrated today. Since we have discussed this topic several times in the past, we will not delve into this matter lengthily at this point. Let us just note that according to Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l, although one must show thanks to Hashem for removing the ......

Read Halacha

Megillah Reading- Coronavirus

Every member of the Jewish nation is obligated to read the Megillah on the day of Purim. One must read it during the night and once again the next day, as the verse states, “My G-d, I call out to you during the day and you do not answer; during the night I have no rest.” This verse is wr......

Read Halacha

One Who is Unsure Whether or Not One Has Counted the Omer

We have already explained that one who has forgotten to count the Omer one day during the counting period may no longer count with a blessing on the subsequent days. The reason for this is because the Rishonim disagree as to whether the Mitzvah of counting the Omer is one long Mitzvah that span......

Read Halacha

Anyone Who Brings Merit to the Public, No Sin Shall Come Through His Hand

Our Sages teach us in Pirkei Avot (Chapter 5, Mishnah 18): “Anyone who brings merit to the public, no sin shall come through his hand.” The Tosafot (Yevamot 109b) question this, for Elisha ben Avuya taught Torah to Rabbi Meir and nevertheless, he strayed from the path, became a heretic, ......

Read Halacha