THE MIKVAH

Immersion of Kelim - Tevila

Tevilat Kelim is defined in English as the ‘Immersion of Vessels / Utensils’.  The Gemara (Avodah Zara, 75B) says,
"Tevilah is a process that purifies and uplifts the utensil."


The Majority of Poskim attribute the source for Tevilat kelim as M'Doraysa.  They quote the pasuk in Bamidbar (31:23), "Everything that may come into fire, you shall pass through the fire and they shall be clean, except it must be cleansed with the water of separation."  These vessels captured from Midian need an additional purification, after Libun or Hagalah.  They need Tevila, to be immersed in a Kosher mikvah.  Rashi explains on the words, "Ach Bimaih Nidah Yotchatah", that the Torah made immersion a necessity especially for metal vessels.  Elazar tells Bnei Israel, "The vessels need purging to purify them of that which is forbidden, and sprinkling (Tevilah) to purify them of impurity" (from contact with non-Jews).  The Rabbi’s interpret mai Nidah as waters which are fit for a woman who is a Nidah, which is 40 Se’ah.  Rashi gets the fact that the depth of the water needs to be 40 Se’ah and that it has to be Mei Nidah, water that a Nidah can go into as well, from the Gemara (Avodah Zara 75B).
 

Vessels and utensils that have been previously owned or manufactured by non-Jews and will be used for eating require Tevila.  Both metal and glassware are not destroyed by fire, and therefore are included in the mitzvah D'oraysa to be toiveled.  R’ Ashi (Gemara Avodah Zara 75 B) says that glassware has the same Takanot as metal and therefore requires toiveling.  The Shulchan Orach agrees with this psak(Yorah Dayah, 120, 1).


When a part of a Kli needs Tevilah , and the rest of the Kli doesn’t, one should immerse the entire Kli.  If a vessel is made out of wood and has a metal handle, it only needs to be toiveled if the metal part comes in contact with food (Shulchan Orech, Yorah Dayah, 120:6).  If one sells a Kli to a non-Jew and he takes it back, then he is required to Toivel it.
 

Halachot of Tevila
First lets start with the bracha one must say before immersion.

Baruch Ata Adonai Eloyhaynu Melek Haolam Asher Kidashanu Bmitzvotav Vitzivanu Al Tevilat Keli(iM).
Blessed are you HASHEM our God, King of the universe who has sanctified us with his commandments and has commanded us regarding the immersion of vessels. 

 

All parts of the utensil have to be covered in water.  If you want to grip the Kli tightly, then you should toivel it with your hand on one spot of the Kli and then change your hand position and dip it into the water again.  This is called Chatzizah (Shulcan Orach, Yorah Dayah, 120: 2).


Another way to do this without dropping your Kli into the Mikvah, is to moisten your hands with the water first and then grip it tightly and put it in.  You may also let go of the item for a second, fullfiling the requirement that it all be immersed.
 

The Keilim could be placed into a netted sack, basket, or another utensil and then dipped into the Mikvah.  The utensils can be in the same sack or basket, but they cannot be placed one on top of another, therefore preventing the water from getting on each Kli.
 

These items need to be toiveled with a bracha:

  • Brass

  • Copper

  • Gold

  • Iron

  • Lead

  • Silver

  • Steel

  • Tin

  • Glass Products

  • Aluminium

  • Aluminium disposable trays if intended to use more than once


These items need to be toiveled without a bracha:

  • Glazed China

  • Bone China

  • Stone ware

  • Corning ware

  • Porcelin Enamel

  • Metal pots coated with teflon, enamel or plastic

  • Toaster, oven racks & trays

  • Metal flour & sugar storage canisters


The following items do not require toiveling:

  • Bone

  • Styrofoam

  • Paper

  • Plastic

  • Metal rolling pins

  • Non-glazed earthenware

  • Wood

  • Glass storage utensils not brought to the table

  • Non-glazed stoneware

 

If you have any questions regarding toiveling or need help with this important mitzvah, please contact us on

0410 548 859 or email lz@kawa.com.au.