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03/17/2021 10:12:08 AM

Mar17

Can I use spices or anything that is kp that is already opened and has been used during the year?

It's a really good question because last year we allowed for a specific leniency on this since people were not able to shop in the same way for Pesach. In that case we said any spices that were poured directly over the pan/pot of hot chametz such that the steam/particles could have gotten into the spice container could NOT be used.  

This year, we are shifting back to our normal practice. This means whole, not ground, spices are fine for Pesach use (cinnamon sticks, pepper, etc). But any processed ground spices (even pure ground spices) require special Pesach hashgacha. This is because the machinery often has contact with chametz and/or kitniyot. 

Rabbi Eidlitz has a list of items that can be used without Pesach hashgacha. In it, he includes several spice brands for salt and pepper and other stuff, so I would recommend checking that out in case you can use some of those. 

Any KP opened spices you have or that are on Rabbi Eidlitz's acceptable list may be used AS LONG AS they were not used directly over hot chametz (as I mentioned earlier).

~RATN

Kashering Utensils and Appliances for Pesach

03/20/2020 01:13:58 PM

Mar20

What utensils may be kashered?

As a general rule, metal implements such as silverware, pots, and most other kitchen implements can be fairly easily kashered for Pesach use. Boiling water is the kashering medium we can use. Metal baking pans, baking sheets or frying pans however (unless you typically use the frying pans with very generous amounts if oil, making them more like pots), are more difficult to kasher, as they require the application of “direct heat” either in the form of a blowtorch or through being heated in the high heat of a self-cleaning oven. Both of these options come with potential hazards, but are theoretically possible. Please be in touch with the clergy if you are in need of kashering such an implement.

 

How does one kasher silverware, pots, etc.?

The basic process is that of immersion in boiling water.

  • To begin, kasher your stove top, or at least the burner you will be using for kashering, FIRST. See “Kashering the Kitchen” below for how that’s done.
  • Next, bring a large pot of water to a bubbling boil. It does not matter what kind of pot this is (Pesach or chametz, dairy or meat) as long as it is completely clean, and has not been used in the prior 24 hours.
  • The items that you will be immersing in this boiling water should also be completely clean and, ideally, also unused in the prior 24 hours.
  • The items should be immersed in the boiling water individually, so that the water touches the entire surface. It is not necessary to immerse the entire object all at once. You can immerse the bottom half, remove the item and then immerse the top half if this is necessary.
  • When immersing a pot, you should first remove any removable handles, which should then be immersed separately. If the handles cannot be removed, extreme care should be used in cleaning the point where the pot and the handle meet. Same is true of the lids.
  • It is customary to rinse the kashered items in cold water to conclude the process. You can cold rinse all the kashered items together, when you are done with the boiling water portion.
  • If you want to kasher a pot that does not fit into your “kashering” pot, here’s the procedure:
    • Fill the pot and bring it to a boil.
    • Simultaneously heat a small object (a stone, a metal implement) on an adjacent burner.
    • When the water in the pot boils, use plyers to gently drop the heated object into the boiling water, causing the water to overflow and thus kasher the outside of the pot as well.
    • This can be a mess, so put towels down in the floor beforehand. Also it may cause the gas flame to extinguish, so be on alert for that.
    • It is not typically possible to kasher the lid of this pot though, as one cannot get the entire lid immersed, even in stages.

Kashering Glass:

  • Glass baking pans cannot be kashered for Pesach.
  • Glass into which hot liquids were poured (i.e. they were never on a stovetop, in a microwave, or in an oven) can be kashered in one of two ways. You can pour boiling water over and into them (at least 24 hours after their most recent "hot" use). Or you can fill them with cold water (again, at least 24 hours after their most recent "hot" use), empty the water after 24 hours, and then repeat that same process two more times. As a practical tip, it might be easiest to simply place the glass into a tub, fill the tub with cold water covering all the glass inside, drain and refill after 24 hours and after 48 hours.
  • Drinking glasses that were never used with hot liquids at all simply need to be carefully washed for Pesach use, though the prevalent custom is to use the filling/soaking method anyway.

 

Cleaning the House for Pesach:

All of us (I hope) will be completing the Sale of Chametz form, and thereby transferring ownership of our chametz to righteous non-Jewish person. If that’s the case, why is there a need to clean for Pesach, a cleaning culminating in the Bedikat Chametz that we do the night before the seder? The answer is that we clean in order to remove from our house (and office and car) any chametz that we might otherwise accidentally discover and be tempted to eat on Pesach. As such, the rule of thumb is that we need to clean out all the places where we may be over Pesach where chametz might exist in edible form and quantity.

 

In addition, cleaning also insures the credibility of the "bittul" (the verbal nullification) of our chametz that we recite on Erev Pesach. We will be able to say the “bittul” without any reservation, knowing with confidence that there isn’t a bottle of expensive liquor (for example) in some closet that we neither cleaned out nor included in our Sale of Chametz.

 

Without a doubt, we have a generations-old custom of giving the house a thorough cleaning before Pesach, and this tradition should be honored. But we should understand what the halakhic objective is, and especially when there are so many other Mitzvot calling to us, to set our priorities and use our time appropriately.

 

KASHERING THE KITCHEN:

Oven: The oven should be cleaned carefully with oven cleaner, and then turned onto "broil" for as long as you typically broil food in your oven. The cavity of the broiler compartment may be kashered in the same manner as the oven, but the broiler pan itself needs to be covered with heavy-duty foil if you want to use it on Pesach. A self-cleaning oven is self-kashering. Allow 2 hours of self-cleaning for this purpose.

 

Stove top: The surface, grates and jets should all be cleaned well, and you should vacuum out the area beneath the stovetop. There is a custom to let the jets burn for 10 minutes after they have been cleaned. Any part of the range surface onto which you might place a pot or a food item during Pesach should be covered for Pesach.

 

Counter tops: If they are of kasherable material (stainless steel or stone) kasher them by pouring boiling water over them, or by "steaming" them with a steamer. In the latter case, be sure that the steamer is producing a coating of boiling water upon the counter. For non-kasherable counter materials, cover the counters throughout Pesach.

 

Sinks: If they are stainless steel, kasher by (a) not using hot water in the sink for 24 hours and then (b) pouring boiling water over them. If not, you need either to line the sink (with contact paper) or use a sink insert.

 

Cabinets, drawers, fridge, and freezer: that will be used to store Pesach food should be carefully cleaned so that no "chametz" remains. No covering is necessary, though some people do have the custom of lining shelves and drawers.

 

Table tops: should be carefully cleaned and then covered (with a freshly-laundered tablecloth) throughout the holiday.

 

Microwave: Assuming that you use your microwave as most of us do, primarily for defrosting and warming as opposed to actual cooking, you may kasher it in the following way: Carefully and thoroughly clean all surfaces. The grate-like area on the inside wall should get special attention. After at least 24 hours have elapsed since the microwave's most recent use, bring a cup of water to boil in the microwave, so that the microwave fills with steam. Finally (an extra "chumra" for Pesach), cover the surface onto which you place the dishes inside the microwave. Wax paper is good as long as you replace the wax paper should it become wet.

 

Urn: After cleaning both interior and exterior surfaces, and at least 24 hours after its most recent use, fill the urn, plug it in, and allow it to reach its maximum temperature. After you empty and unplug the urn, bring it over to the sink and simply pour boiling water over the sides, taking care to keep the water away from the electrical component.

 

Blenders: Carefully clean the appliance to the point at which you are completely confident that is free of any food particles or residue. If you have used the appliance with hot food, then all detachable metal or glass components should be kashered. Metal can be kashered via "hag'alah" (boiling water), and the glass can be kashered according to the information about glass, above.

 

Dishwasher: Carefully and thoroughly clean all surfaces (including the drain). After at least 24 hours have elapsed since the dishwasher's most recent use, run the dishwasher - with soap - on the longest, most powerful cycle it has.

 

Pesach Products

Here are the links to two fine publications:

OU Passover Guide: https://oukosher.org/passover/passover-guide/

Rabbi Eidlitz’ Guide: https://kosherquest.org/kosher-conscience-magazine/

Video of Rabbi Eidlitz’ Pesach Products Review https://www.anshe.org/rabbi-eidlitz-pesach-products-review-2020/

04/18/2019 12:00:00 AM

Apr18

Thank you for such a great and easy service! Is there a way to kasher knives use for cook preparation (i.e., not regular knives)? There does not seem to be an easy way to remove the handles and I am not sure if it would be safe to hold the knives by the handle when kashering them (and therefore it would not be fully immersed). Thanks!

If you cannot clean between where the handle and the blade meat and food can get trapped there, then unfortunately you cannot kasher the knife for Pesach.

If you are able to detach the handle and/or clean between the blade and the handle, below is a helpful guide from the Star K on how to immerse safely (as you mentioned concerns about this). The process would mean cleaning the knives, letting them sit for 24 hours, and then doing hagalah to kasher them, ending with immersing them in cold water. The knives do not need to be immersed all at once:

Loosely tie the pieces of silverware to a string, leaving three inches between each piece, and immerse the string of silverware slowly, making sure the water keeps boiling. The process is finalized by rinsing the kashered items in cold water. If tongs are used to grip the utensil, the utensil will have to be immersed a second time with the tongs in a different position so that the boiling water will touch the initially gripped area. Unlike tevilas keilim, the entire utensil does not have to be immersed in the boiling water at once; it may be immersed in parts.

At what point do we no longer eat matzah? Rosh Hodesh? The day before Pesach?

Customs vary widely, and there is no definitive custom.

Halachikly one is required to refrain from matza on erev Pesach.

 

I use a coffee grinder and aso a glass"pour over" type container during the year. I only use plain whole coffee beans and just rinse it with water and soap No scrubbing with a brush. Can I use the grinder and glass container for Pesach if I don't use the glass for 24 hrs then soak it?

Under these specific circumstances you may absolutely use it. Just make sure that all the appliances are absolutely clean, and use them for Pesach.


Do we need new sink racks (that line the bottom of the sink) for Pesach? And do we need new dish-drying racks for Pesach? (NOT dish-washer racks. Dish-drying racks, the ones we use after we've manually washed the dishes and are waiting for them to dry.) Thanks!

Yes, it is preferable to have Pesach versions of all of them.

Hello, can we use a cuisinart and/or electric juicer that we use during the year? Thanks!

In principle, a Cuisinart or a juicer that has only been used with cold food, and which you will only be using with cold food over Pesach as well, can be used after a thorough, careful cleaning. The practicality usually comes down to whether or not it can be thoroughly cleaned, which depends upon the construction of the appliance and if you are thoroughly patient.

How does one kasher an Instant Pot/Electric Pressure cooker?

The CRC rules: An Instant Pot cannot be kashered for year round or Pesach. The device and its cover, have too many nooks and cranies which cannot be cleaned properly, and into which the kashering water might not penetrate.

Where can you get KFP Gluten Free Matza?

Gluten free matza is available at most of our local kosher grocery stores. If you call Livonia, Glatt Mart, etc, you might be able to put some boxes on hold. It's really common here, so you shouldn't have an issue. Just don't wait until it gets too close to the holiday.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a new Brita Water Dispenser/Filter that sits in, and dispenses from, the fridge. It never sits on the table or comes into contact with food or crumbs. Before I started using it, though, I washed it with a sponge, soap and hot water, and once it was dry, I put it in the fridge and filled it up with water. It has remained there, and cold, ever since. I also fill it up from a parve (non-pesadik) measuring cup whenever it gets emptied. Is there any way I can continue to use it on pesach? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015SY3VGM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

If you can remove the water receptacle and clean it (with a non-hametz) sponge, it is permitted.

 

I am going away for Passover. Can I burn my Chametz on Wednesday?

See below:

Halacha How To: Pesach

Halachah How To: Leaving for Pesach

Here's a perennial Pre-Pesach question: If I am leaving town before Pesach, what are my obligations relative to Bedikat Chametz (the search for chametz)? The answer is best understood if we first have clarity regarding the purpose of the search.

The Torah applies an unusual degree of stringency to the prohibition of chametz. In addition to not eating chametz, we are also prohibited to own chametz. By law, we can dispossess ourselves of our chametz and thus avoid the prohibition, merely by "nullifying" the chametz through the recitation of the familiar formulae that we recite each year. (You can find them in the Siddur, or at the beginning of almost any Haggadah). However, the Talmudic sages obliged us to actually search for (and destroy) our chametz anyway, to address two concerns that they had.

They were concerned that if we failed to actually search our premises: (1) we might find chametzduring Pesach and unthinkingly eat it before we remember that it's Pesach, and (2) our nullification might be less than whole-hearted if we suspect that there is actually still some valuable chametz in the house somewhere. Thus, the obligation to search on the night preceding Pesach.

However, given people's (apparently eternal) propensity to not be home for Pesach, the sages formulated the obligation so that it actually devolves upon us 30 days before Pesach. So as long as we are leaving fewer than 30 days before the chag, we are obligated to search, albeit without the bracha, on the night before we leave. This is true even if we will not be home at all over the course of Pesach (see concern #(2) above.)

Along similar lines the question is often asked how hotel-goers may fulfill the mitzva of "the burden of Pesach." The concern is a serious one, as the Talmud reports that one of the 3 questions we are asked upon arriving in Heaven is, "did you dislocate any joints in your remembering of the Exodus?"

Halachah How To: Pesach

1. בדיקת חמץ (THE SEARCH FOR CHAMETZ)

The mitzvah to do בדיקת חמץ (the search for chametz) falls upon our shoulders 30 days before Pesach. What that means in practical terms, is that even though you may be leaving your home before Pesach, and not coming back until after Pesach, you are still obligated to do the בדיקה.

What’s the procedure if you are leaving town? On your last night in town, you would use a candle as normal, and you would recite the ביטול (nullification of chametz) afterwards. The only difference is that you would not recite the bracha. On erev Pesach, you should recite the final ביטול, wherever you are. There is no requirement to burn the chametz on erev Pesach if you did an “early בדיקה, but if you wanted to take your “found” chametz with you, and burn it on erev Pesach wherever you are, that’s fine too.

Everyone staying in town will do the bedika, with the bracha the night before Passover.

 

04/01/2018 10:54:39 PM

Apr1

Are there other foods that fit in same category as milk & eggs (i.e. can only be bought without a KLP hechsher before the holiday starts)? What about other foods that don't require a pesach hechsher such as black tea, coffee, salt, or sugar? Can these all be bought on the holiday without a pesach hechsher?

The custom pertains exclusively to milk and eggs, due to their proximity to grains that might be ubiquitous on farms. All other foods that can be purchased without special Pesach certification may equally be purchased before and during Pesach.

RYK

03/28/2018 10:08:23 PM

Mar28

After we had kashered our kitchen for pesach the kids ate some Cheerios, and poured the milk and Cheerios that were left in the bowls into the sink. What are we to do? Do we have to wait 24 hours and then kasher again? This is our dairy sink (the meat one was untouched) Obviously everything was cold.

It’s fine— because it was cold there is no impact. Just rinse out the sink with soap and water that’s not yad soledet bo (use cold or luke warm water).

03/27/2018 05:32:09 PM

Mar27

I have an open bottle of grape juice that I used at chametz meal. Can I use it for Pesach too? I only poured from the bottle and I did not stick any utensils into the bottle. How about fruits, vegetables and eggs that have been in my fridge with my chametz items from pre-pesach. Can I use them for pesach or toss?

If the grape juice is Kosher L'Pesach and there is no chance chametz came in contact with it, it could potentially be used. But the predominant practice is not to use packaged foods that have been opened before Pesach, even if they are Kosher L'Pesach.

Eggs, fruits , and vegetables purchased before Pesach may be used. 

03/27/2018 12:39:15 PM

Mar27

Looks like I will have an extra half a loaf of bread, frozen pizza... Can you recommend a place to donate such items or another good solution (versus throwing out)?

SOVA is a great resource to donate to.  https://www.jfsla.org/page.aspx?pid=300 

It may be hard to find a place that accepts food that has already been opened. If you can freeze it and sell it with your chametz, give it to a non-Jewish friend or colleague, etc that might be best. 

04/07/2017 07:42:30 AM

Apr7

Do the following need to be specifically marked kosher l'Pesach: Campbells Tomato juice (added salt and vitamin C) TJ canned artichoke hearts in water (added sea salt, citric acid and calcium chloride) Pure roasted walnut oil (star K) TJ's organic triple filtered organic coconut oil Also, can I kashering my Blech by putting it into the oven on self cleaning? Should I put it under the broiler?

All of the food you listed needs to be marked kosher l'peach. If you can get another blech, that is ideal. But if not, you can kasher the blech with libun gamur (self-clean oven --approx 850 degrees-- until it glows). You don't have to wait 24 hours and you don't have to clean it thoroughly, but if there is a lot of stuff on it, cleaning is advised.

RATN

04/06/2017 01:21:48 PM

Apr6

We are supposed to not pour hot water in our sink for 24 hours before kashering (by pouring boiling water). During that waiting period, is it fine to store and wash chametz items in the sink using cold water? (This could work during Shabbat).

If I understand your question correctly, it is fine if you use the sink in the 24 hour period as long as the water is cold. Be very careful that no one uses the hot water faucet and also make sure that the sink is dry when you actually begin to kasher it. 

RATN

04/04/2017 10:52:52 PM

Apr4

Some items are ok to have or mix before Pesach, but not allowed if bought on Pesach. Which items are these, and why are they in this unique category? Thanks so much!

 

Are you referring to things like milk and eggs?     In general, chametz (like other substances) is nullified 1:60 in mixtures. But if the mixture occurs on Pesach itself, the law is stringent, and the chametz is not nullified at all.

RYK

Yes, I was referring to lactaid etc, which can be put into milk before Yom Tov, but not on Pesach. Now I understand why. Thanks for everything you're doing to help!!!!!

04/04/2017 10:24:42 PM

Apr4

Bought smoked salmon from Trader Joe's. Regular hechsher not with specific for pesach. Is it ok for pesach or do I need with specific pesach hechsher. Did not find answer in either pesach guides I looked at today.

Only raw fish can be acceptable without pesach hashgacha (if rinsed off before Pesach, and meeting the criteria for kosher fish generally). Smoked salmon should have kosher for pesach hashgacha.

RYK

04/04/2017 12:25:02 PM

Apr4

Last year was the first time I had a self-cleaning oven (we'd purchased it during the previous year) and using it to kasher the oven for pesach was a bit of a disaster. Can I just do what I used to do before I had a self-cleaning oven and just clean it with oven cleaner and then put it to the highest temp it goes for a couple of hours? Please let me know what you think.

Yes you may do what you have done in the past. Clean all surfaces (walls, floor, doors and racks) thoroughly and then do not use the oven for 24 hours. With the racks in the oven, turn to broil (highest heat) for 60 minutes.

04/04/2017 11:58:51 AM

Apr4

I CAN'T SEEM TO FIND AVOCADO OIL LISTED ON ANY OF THE PESACH KASHRUT LISTS. IS IT OK TO USE FOR PASSOVER WITHOUT SPECIAL CERTIFICATION? OR IS THERE A PARTICULAR BRAND THAT CAN BE USED?

The cRc holds that all oil except for extra virgin olive oil requires Pesach hashgacha. This has to do with the concerns about the machinery used. So their bottom line is that avocado oil does need Pesach hashgacha.

03/30/2017 10:17:30 AM

Mar30

Are pumpkin seeds and cashews considered kitniyot?

They are not kitniyot and those that are kosher year-round are ok as long as they are raw without any additives. 

From the OU (CRC agrees): "Raw nuts in their shell do not require Passover certification.
Shelled nuts that list BHA or BHT (preservatives) in the ingredients require special Passover certification. The preservatives are sprayed on the nuts using corn derivatives (kitniyot). If no additives are added, most nuts may be used without special Passover certification. That includes pasteurized nuts. Pecans are only acceptable with special Passover certification."

(Star-K holds that whole and half raw pecans without additives are ok, but not pecan pieces.)
RATN

03/30/2017 10:14:09 AM

Mar30

What coffee is ok on Pesach? Is all unflavored ok, even without a hechsher?

All regular (unflavored, not decaf) coffee does not require any hechsher at all. They often use additives in decaf and spray-dried coffee, so that is the concern. RATN

03/30/2017 10:07:33 AM

Mar30

I have a question regarding pesach. I live with a Jewish family that is not orthodox. They do observe passover I'm some level, but not very strictly. For example, they don't clean the house for chametz. I usually help them gather up the cereals, etc and sell them through the nearby Chabad. Last year they ended up taking some of the chametz bags out from the garage and using some of the oatmeal, pretzels, Etc. So the first part of my question is- am I actually HELPING by gathering the chametz and arranging the sale, or is it worse somehow if they end up eating some of the stuff they sold?! Second question is there dogs eat food that is not kosher for pesach. (One is on a Rx food, the other is not.) I usually feed the dogs. Is this going to be an issue for me during pesach? The dogs don't belong to me, obviously, but am I still considered to be benefitting from it if I physically feed them this food...? I could ask them to get kosher for pesach food, but I'm afraid it might trigger some intense things that I'm not prepared to handle.

It is fine for you to be around chametz as long as you don't own it. It sounds like they own it, and also that your helping them gather it up is a kiddush Hashem. So it is fine to continue helping them. They can make their own decisions. But you should still clean your room fully from chametz and sell your chametz.

There is an issur of hanaah from chametz such that feeding our dogs with it would be considered a way of benefiting ourselves. But these dogs are also not yours, so it is not for your benefit. Consequently, there is no problem with you feeding the dogs. RATN

03/30/2017 10:06:23 AM

Mar30

Regarding fresh pre-cut vegetables: Can these be used on Pesach without special certification? I'm referring to bagged lettuce, cabbage, carrots, baby carrots, pre-chopped broccoli and cauliflower, and other things like that. And what about frozen vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower? And while we're at it, what about the cauliflower "rice" (finely chopped cauliflower) that you can get either frozen or fresh - can this be used on Pesach without special Pesach supervision? Thanks!

Generally, bagged salads and pre-cut vegetables require Pesach hashgacha (concerns about preservatives). If certified is unavailable and contains no kitniyot or additives, then buy it before Pesach. Raw baby carrots are acceptable if free of additives. RATN

03/30/2017 10:04:40 AM

Mar30

We have several young kids coming to the seder this year and we want them to see as much of it as they can. I know Rav Yosef wrote a halachic how-to but I am still confused on the particulars. Candle lighting is at 7:03 (this question is about the first seder) Does that mean we cannot do kiddush until after 8 p.m.?

It is wonderful that you want to include the kids in the seder~~ that's what it's all about!

You are right that Kiddush cannot be done until 8:02pm. 

I am including the halacha how-to you are referring to, as in it Rav Yosef provides great alternatives. RATN

Thanks to daylight saving time, nightfall will be occurring rather late on the nights of the Sedarim this year. As you may know (and as is indicated on the BDJ Pesach schedule) we actually need to wait until nightfall to begin the Seder. This is because all of the mitzvot of the Seder, including the drinking of the 4 cups, can only be performed when it is halachikly “night”. This effectively pushes Kiddush to 8:02 PM this year. All of this creates a potential problem relative to children’s participation in the Seder. By the time we reach the eating of matza and maror, they may already be asleep. Let me make the following suggestion if none of the more conventional solutions (e.g., afternoon naps) proves successful. Begin the seder at 8:02, but break the Magid section into 2 parts, with one part done before the meal, and the other part after. The pre-meal part should include the sections specified by the Talmud as the bare bones of the Magid. These sections are: • Mah Nishtana • Avadim Hayinu • At first our ancestors were idolaters • The section from “My father was a wandering Aramean,” through the ten plagues • From “Rabban Gamliel” to the end If this dividing of the Magid will enable the children to participate in matza and maror, it is well worth doing. If this too won’t do the trick, I’d suggest a “model seder” for the kids before the officially appointed hour.

03/30/2017 10:02:43 AM

Mar30

Can a hand-held electric mixer (used for baking) be kashered and/or in any other way moved between flavors? In this case we actually have a separate KfP mixer, but it has been used for dairy in the past, and we find ourselves in need of a parve mixer for making a Pesach cake for seder this year. Obviously, we would prefer not to have 2 pesach mixers. Does it matter if the mixer has only been used for cold items? (I believe its only been used for whipped cream)?

If you are looking to make it pareve then you can just kasher it. But we generally do not move one item back and forth so as to reduce confusion. Just make sure it is thoroughly cleaned (no rust on it) and hasn't been used in 24 hours. Then immerse it entirely in boiling water. RATN

04/25/2016 05:18:16 PM

Apr25

I bought a couple of the instant Pesadik mashed potatoes and soups that come in cups for the days we are out of the house. Just add boiling water. But it occurred to me that if I had to kasher my urn, is it OK to accept boiling water wherever we might find it on the road?

It's not a good idea to use hot water on the road, by which I assume you mean the kind of place that sells coffee and other snacks . On the other hand, I wouldn't worry about one of those sink systems that produces boiled water but which obviously does not come into contact with food. 

04/22/2016 09:54:07 AM

Apr22

We have some chametz and some refrigerated products that are simply not kosher for Pesach that our housekeeper could benefit from. We can give them to her on Friday morning before 10:30 am, but can she still keep them in our house after that time? 

If the chametz is owned entirely by the non-Jew, he or she could hypothetically bring it into the home. But this is not ideal, as there is a concern that the chametz will get mixed up with the Pesach food/utensils. I would not recommend storing chametz for the maid, even if it is technically owned by a non-Jew. MATN

04/22/2016 09:46:59 AM

Apr22

I'm finding it hard to get some of the foods that I believe are important to eat only-organic Kosher for Pesach. For example, Apple juice. Can I use Lakewood Organics apple juice? The ingredients list is very specific "contains only organic apple juice and purée from Whole Ripe Organic Apples" It specifically says on the bottle "Certified Unsweetened, No additives, No preservatives, gluten free, casein free, GMO free"and it has chaf K pareve heksher. I hope it's not too late to ask- my charoset recipe calls for apple juice!

Apple juice does require Kosher Le'Pesach certification. Enjoy your charoset! MATN 

04/21/2016 01:00:36 PM

Apr21

I'm confused about butter... I've heard that throughout the year butter doesn't need a hechsher. For Passover does it need a hechsher? And if so, does it need to be a KLP hechsher?

The Chabad-based "Ask Moses" site does a good job with this question: (you may have to paste this into your browser)

 http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/199,2097497/Why-do-dairy-products-require-Kosher-certification-for-Passover.html

RYK

04/21/2016 12:19:14 PM

Apr21

Is there a way to kasher a (glass) smoothie blender? It's got a plastic base and it's only been used for cold drinks (and ice cream).

Since the blender has only been used for cold food, there is no need to kasher it. It needs to be cleaned thoroughly (take all the pieces apart and wash each one individually), and then you're good.

RYK

04/20/2016 03:35:16 PM

Apr20

Do I need to refrain from using my stove for 24 hours before kashering it? I have read conflicting things about that online.

You do not need to wait the 24 hours as you will be kashering the stove grates with libun gamur. MATN

04/19/2016 03:11:43 PM

Apr19

What does infestation mean? I bought this quinoa: 

La Bonne Quinoa from Queens Some containers of LaBonne Quinoa UPC Codes 0-43427- 0080-6 and 0-43427-88802-8 labeled with an OU P symbol were found to contain infestation. Any possibly affected product may be returned to the stores for a refund. (Under proper storage conditions, it is unusual to find infestation in these products sold in the United States. However, consumers should be aware that grains could develop infestation when stored in warm areas. To determine whether quinoa (or any other grains) are possibly affected, spread them evenly on a white surface and visually inspect them under good light prior to use)

I believe this means that there was a bug infestation. I would return it. It would be very hard to get all of the bugs from an infestation out of quinoa. MATN

04/19/2016 02:42:22 PM

Apr19

A student with very bad eczema that has only responded to Aveeno with oatmeal has asked if she can use it over Pesach. (she is a teenager wwho is self conscious about the eczema). Thoughts? Thank you!

If it is an Aveeno lotion or treatment that is inedible, or nifsal meachilat kelev, it does not fall under the prohibition of chametz. She may use and store the Aveeno lotion treatment on Pesach. But if it is an oatmeal bath Aveeno treatment, it is considered edible and therefore in the category of the prohibition of chametz and must be sold or disposed of before Pesach. MATN
 
I've read that egg matzo should be eaten only by the young or elderly, even during chol hamoed. What about Streit's Mediterranean matzo, which contains no egg but does contain oil? 
 
The Streit's Mediterranean Maztah I have been able to find online does not have Kosher Le'Pesach certification. Matzah must be certified for Pesach. MATN
 
What about a French press for coffee? It is made of glass, and has obviously had hot liquid in it. There is a metal screen inside and a plastic part where the coffee comes out. If it has never been washed with a chametz sponge is there any way I can make use of this during Pesach? Or do I just need to buy a Pesach-only coffee press?
 
If you are able to disassemble, thoroughly clean, and kasher the separate parts [metal via hagalah, glass via milui veirui], you may use it for Pesach. Some coffee is processed on chametz machinery, thus the need to kasher. MATN
 
Can refrigerated foods (opened, chametzdik but not real chametz) be placed in a closed bag and put into a refrigerator outside IF that refrigerator will be opened and used during pesach?
 
It is best to cover anything that is sold before Pesach, including food items you are selling that are chametzdik but not 'true chametz'. Ideally, you would not use the refrigerator with the non-Pesach foods in it. If there is no other choice, then I would recommend packing the non-Pesach foods in bags that are non-transparent. MATN
 

04/18/2016 08:21:35 PM

Apr18

You gave directions for kashering a microwave, assuming that it is used for defrosting and warming, rather than cooking. What if it actually is used for cooking (without a convection feature)?

The truth of the matter is, that the thinking about microwaves keeps changing and evolving (as a historical survey of Pesach Kashrut bulletins and magazines would reveal), and it may be that the distinction made above is actually dated and should be changed. There is still not consensus, with some holding that microwaves need no kashering at all (just thorough cleaning), and others (see the Star-K guide for example) agreeing with this position assuming a case in which the walls of the microwave don't become too-hot-to-touch during its typical use. Yet others prescribe the steaming process, again only assuming that the walls don't typically become excessively hot, as above.

Bottom line (for now :)) is that typical Pesach practice still revolves around your particular microwave, and whether its walls tend to become too-hot-to-touch, or typically do not. If the latter, you can feel comfortable cleaning it thoroughly and replacing or covering the glass turntable. Or, if you want to be more machmir, also steaming it per the instructions in the Halacha How To. 

RYK

04/18/2016 01:29:54 PM

Apr18

Kashering sink question! Our kitchen sink is a black, coated metal (unsure of the exact material used). We're unsure if it's kasher-able for pesach. Our neighbour said it's ok to kasher for general everyday usage but not for pesach however we were told otherwise the year before - confused now.

Well, a metal sink is certainly kasherable in and of itself, and there's no reason to distinguish between kashrut generally and Pesach kashrut on this point. The only question here might be the coating. If it is a substantial coating made, for example, of a porcelain or glass kind of material, this would be present a kashering challenge. If it is just a thin layer of paint of the suchlike, I wouldn't hesitate to kasher. 

RYK

04/18/2016 09:16:07 AM

Apr18

Our dog food brand, Back Country, is not listed on Eidlitz, however it is completely grain free and contains no chometz. (It is unclear to me from the Eidletz pet food article if only the listed brands may be used or if the listed brands are simply known to be chometz free) Please advise if we can feed our dog the food he currently eats as he has a sensitive stomach and again, the food has no chometz as many dog foods do. Thank you.
 
We are not allowed to feed our animals chametz on Pesach because it is considered a form of hanaah (benefit derived). Kitniyot is fine. If the Back Country food truly has no chametz (including no chametz in a gravy or sauce either), then it is acceptable to feed it to your dog on Pesach, especially given his sensitive stomach. MATN
 
Can we Kasher our Gas Grill? It goes up to 600 degrees. It has a carbon coated steel grate that the food goes on and the heating plate underneath is porcelain coated steel. Thank you.
 
Unfortunately because 600 degrees is not equivalent to libun gamur, your grill cannot be kashered for Pesach. You would need to kasher the grates by placing them in a self-cleaning oven or by blow-torching them, and that doesn't sound possible in your case. MATN
 

Can half-and-half and heavy cream bearing an OU or similar heksher be bought before Pesach (for use on the holiday) without a special Pesach designation, the way milk and eggs can?

Half and half and heavy cream both require Kosher Le'Pesach certification. MATN
 
Does one have to cover drawer/cabinet bottoms, if they originally didn't hold food and have been cleaned, in order to use them on Pesach?
 
No. You do not need to cover the drawer/cabinet bottom that did not hold food, though it is good that you cleaned the area. Even if food were stored there, a thorough cleaning would suffice (though some may have the personal custom to cover it anyway). MATN
 
Do you have to buy new meat and dairy temperature thermometers? Or can you dip the metal part in boiling water, keeping the electronics part above it?
 
If the electric piece cannot be removed, then the thermometer cannot be kashered for Pesach. It would be best to purchase Pesach thermometers. MATN
 
How about a mandolin made of plastic with metal teeth that has only been used for slicing raw vegetables -- can it be kashered, in case it was washed with a sponge that had chametz on it?
 
If you are unsure if the mandolin was washed in hot water with chametz and if both the metal and the plastic can be separated and cleaned thoroughly, then the mandolin may be kashered for Pesach. MATN
 
Is everything at the Glatt Mart assumed to have an acceptable hechsher (providing of course that we check that its for ashkenazim / not kitniyot on Pesach) due to its supervision or do we need to look up each hashgacha separately on packaged items?
 
Yes, the rabbis in the LA area touch base with the grocery stores here. Just make sure, as you said, to keep an eye out for kitniyot! MATN
 
Sun, March 3 2024 23 Adar I 5784