Halacha Date: 29 Adar 5780 March 25 2020
We have previously discussed that just as one should designate vessels for milk and meat respectively, likewise, regarding the holiday of Pesach, one should not use one’s regular Chametz vessels that were used all year round; rather, one should designate special kosher for Pesach vessels.
Nevertheless, there are ways to make vessels that were used for Chametz kosher for Pesach use.
Plastic utensils are able to be koshered according to their use, meaning that if they were used with cold items, a thorough washing is sufficient, and if they were used as a “Keli Sheni”, meaning that hot foods were dished into them from a pot boiled on a flame, they may be koshered by pouring boiling water from a “Keli Rishon” (a pot where the water was boiled) onto them. As we have explained in a previous Halacha, this may be performed by pouring boiling water directly from an electric kettle onto the plastic utensil.
Therefore, if a plastic tablecloth (non-disposable) was draped over the table during the course of the year which hot Chametz quite possibly may have spilled onto, it may be koshered with a thorough cleaning followed by pouring boiling water from a “Keli Rishon” onto it. Similarly, it may be koshered through laundering it in boiling water.
If a table was eaten on during the course of the year without the use of a tablecloth, the table may be koshered with a thorough cleaning followed by pouring boiling water from a “Keli Rishon” onto it, as above. If one does not wish to pour boiling water onto the table so as not to ruin it or for any other reason, one may eat on this table during the holiday of Pesach by using a new regular or plastic tablecloth.
Kitchen countertops have the same halachic status as the table and may be koshered through pouring boiling water from a “Keli Rishon” onto them after being thoroughly cleaned. Similarly, kitchen sinks (even if they are made of ceramic) may be koshered through pouring boiling water from a “Keli Rishon” onto them, and this is sufficient. Some act more stringently and cover the countertops and sinks with aluminum foil.
Rabbeinu Yehuda Ha’Chassid writes that since the laws of Hag’ala are tedious and detailed, it is proper to appoint a prominent Torah scholar to oversee the process of Hag’ala of utensils. Similarly, if one encounters a question regarding any Pesach-related issue, one should consult a leading halachic authority to guide him on the true Torah path.