Halacha for Monday 18 Adar II 5779 March 25 2019

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.

8 Halachot Most Popular

Havdala on Motza’ei Shabbat Which Coincides with Tisha Be’av and the Laws of an Ill Individual Who Must Eat on Tisha Be’av

On years during which Tisha Be’av falls out on Motza’ei Shabbat, such as this year, 5779, there are three opinions among the Rishonim regarding how Havdala should be recited on a cup of wine on Motza’ei Shabbat. The first opinion is that of the Geonim who write that one should r......

Read Halacha

Laws Pertaining to Tisha Be’av

There are five categories of abstinence which must be observed on Tisha Be’av: Eating and drinking, washing one’s self, rubbing one’s body with oils or lotions, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Our Sages also prohibited learning Torah on Tisha Be’av, for the word......

Read Halacha

Eating Meat Following Rosh Chodesh Av

The Mishnah in Masechet Ta’anit (26b) tells us that on Erev Tisha Be’av during the last meal one eats before the fast, one may not eat meat, drink wine, or eat two cooked foods, such as rice and an egg. Although the letter of the law dictates that the prohibition to eat meat only applies......

Read Halacha

Those Who are Obligated and Exempt from the Fast of Tisha Be’av and their Status When Tisha Be’av Falls Out on Motza’ei Shabbat

Someone Ill with a Non-Life-Threatening Illness, An Elderly Person, and a Woman who has Recently Given Birth One who is ill (meaning when one is actually bedridden and the like, even if the illness is not life-threatening) is exempt from fasting on Tisha Be’av. When in doubt about one’s......

Read Halacha


Insulation on Shabbat

Question: Is it permissible to cover a pot of food on an electric hotplate with a towel on Shabbat? Answer: Long ago, it was customary to cover a pot of food with (or immerse it in) dirt or sand in order to retain the food’s heat. Heat Increasers vs. Heat Retainers Some would immerse th......

Read Halacha

The Laws of the Beginning of the Fast when Tisha Be’av Falls Coincides With Motza’ei Shabbat

The Baraita in Masechet Ta’anit (30a) states that our Sages prohibited five things on Tisha Be’av: Eating and drinking, washing one’s self, rubbing one’s self with oils or lotions, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Our Sages said (Ta’anit 30b): “One......

Read Halacha

Motza’ei Tisha Be’av and the Tenth of Av this Year (5779)

This year (5779), Tisha Be’av falls out on Shabbat. Thus, the fast is postponed until today, Sunday, the Tenth of Av. On other years when the fast is observed on the Ninth of Av, there are likewise some mourning customs observed on the Tenth of Av as well. We must therefore discuss the law ......

Read Halacha

Returning a Food to the Fire on Shabbat

“Leaving,” Insulating, and Returning” In the previous Halachot we have discussed when it is permissible to place a pot of food on a stovetop or electric hotplate before the onset of Shabbat. These laws are nicknamed the laws of “leaving,” i.e. leaving the food on the f......

Read Halacha