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04/17/2016 11:15:51 PM


I assume my plastic Soda Stream dispenser can be surface cleaned and used on Pesach. Is this correct? I am planning to get new bottles. I usually remove the water deposits on the Soda Stream with a vinegar wash. Is this a problem? Come to think of it, I also clean my urn with a vinegar wash (cold). Problem? 

A cleaned Soda Stream dispenser is a Kosher l'Pesach Soda Stream dispenser, as the dispenser typically does not come into contact with hot chametz food. Even the vinegar was, I assume, not heated when you used it as a cleaning agent. An urn would in principle follow the same rule regarding the use of vinegar-as-cleanser, but it is our practice in any case to kasher urns, with "hag'alah". This is because the urn itself becomes quite hot, and typically sits in our kitchens in close proximity to - and sometimes even in direct contact with - chametz food. The specific instructions as to how to do "hag'alah" on an urn, are found in the Halacha How-To about kashering applicances, which you can access at (scroll down) .


04/17/2016 10:54:36 PM


If one buys a new table cloth to cover the kitchen table, does there need to be anything else between the cloth and the table for Pesach? 

As long as the table is clean, any laundered table cloth placed on the table  - even an old one - more than suffices. 


04/17/2016 10:54:31 PM


I have more new boxes of pasta in my pantry than I can possibly get rid of before Pesach. Is it OK to sell it, or do I need to toss it/give it away?

Some people have the custom to not include in their chametz sale, food that is "outright chamtez" (as opposed to foods in which chametz is merely one ingredient). However, if this is not your custom, be assured that the sale of chametz is just as halachikly binding for foods that are "outright chametz" (such as pasta), as for anything else. 


04/17/2016 10:54:26 PM


Can almond milk that has an OU be used on Peach? The almond milk that is labeled kosher for peach has some undesirable ingredients besides almonds in it (such as carrageenan), and I would rather not use it. 

The regular OU almond milks tend to contain kitniyot derivatives such as sunflower lecithin. In a case of extenuating health circumstances, e.g. a person is lactose intolerant, needs to have milk of some kind, and carrageenan makes this person ill, the regular OU version would be fine (i.e. the practice to avoid kitniyot would be set aside). It sounds to me though, that while you have a preference to avoid carrageenan, it doesn't present a health issue, in which case I'd recommend that you go with OU/P product for Pesach. 


04/15/2016 12:02:54 PM


My stove-top grates extend over the whole range, and there are large parts that will not be touched by flames if I kasher on the stove-tops . Placing them in a self-cleaning oven cycle will damage the grates and can also cause a fire (too much metal generating too much heat in the oven, according to what I read). Can I kasher the grates at 500 for an hour (or something like that) rather than self-cleaning? Other recommendations or thoughts? 

Typically, stove-top grates are assumed to instantaneously self-kasher, as drippings from the pots above, burn up immediately. We extend this assumption to the entire area of the grate where a pot would typically sit.  (Note: we have nonetheless developed the proper custom of cleaning and burning the grates for 10 - 15 minutes for Pesach. ) If your grates extend beyond the circle where a pot would typically sit, and you do not want to put them into a self-cleaning oven, I'd recommend covering just those parts of the grates with tin foil, in the same way that we cover other parts of the stove top that are beyond the area where the flames burn. 


04/14/2016 08:33:31 AM


1. What are your thoughts on kashering Qortstone countertops, which I believe are similar to Ceasarstone?

2. Can I kasher knives with plastic handles?

3. Are bagged lettuce and other pre-cut vegetables ok?

1.Ceaserstone countertops CAN be kashered for Peach, as can any countertop that is quartz-based.

2. A prerequisite for kashering any knife is that there is no gap at all where the blade meets the handle. There are different opinions about whether plastic is a kasherable material, and we generally kasher plastic only when it would be expensive to replace it. For year-round kashering purposes, we'd also invoke an additional argument for leniency, namely that the handle does itself come into direct contact with food. For Pesach though, when we're not talking about having to dispose of a knife, rather merely putting it away for 8 days, I think it's best practice to not kasher it, absent a very pressing need. 

3. Generally, bagged salads and pre-cut vegetable DO require Pesach hashgacha (concerns about preservatives I believe). One small exception from the cRc listing, "Raw carrots (including baby carrots) are  acceptable if additive‐free"


04/14/2016 08:06:48 AM


Rabbi Eidlitz' guide says something the following about tea: "Regular teabags that are unflavored and not decaffeinated and have no fillers such as chicory may be used for Pesach without special certification." So if the only ingredient in a tea bag is "chamomile flowers" or "green tea leaves" that seems fine, but what about teas that have more ingredients? 

I believe that Rabbi Eidlitz is referring to teabags whose only ingredient is tea. These (if not decaffeinated and unflavored) need no special Hashgacha for Peach. Herbal teas on the other hand, should have hashgacha for Pesach. 


04/14/2016 08:06:42 AM


I eat a gluten-free diet, so aside from a little oatmeal, i really don't have any chametz in my kitchen, year round. Every year I simply eat or give away whatever is left of oat products before Pesach. However, it never occurred to me that I may still be in possession of chapsticks, hand sanitizers, and maybe even vitamins that could have chametz ingredients. Do those things need to be sold? 

All of the items you've enumerated here are considered non-edible, and it is therefore permissible to own and use them on Pesach even if they do contain chametz ingredients. It is customary to use a new chapstick for Pesach (same with lipsticks), simply because this product had come into such close proximity to our mouths. 


04/13/2016 03:54:14 PM


I see the way you have listed how to kasher drinking glasses for pesach is as follows: "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." But what if the glasses were washed in a dishwasher - which gets very hot? Or what if the glasses were used for hot things? I usually fill/soak but I just realized that I sometimes use a glass to heat up milk in the microwave to use in my coffee...can I not use them for Pesach?


If the glass was used as a kli rishon, meaning microwaved with milk in it, then it cannot be kashered for Pesach. If it is unclear which of your glasses were used in this way as a kli rishon, then you would not kasher any of them. If your glasses had something hot poured into them, meaning irui kli rishon, then filling/soaking method suffices.

Drinking glasses that are used exclusively for cold liquids may be kashered for Pesach with milui veirui (filling and soaking) even if they have been washed in the dishwasher. Several factors contribute to our being able to treat this case leniently, among them that the soap effectively nullifies the residual food in the dishwasher, and that you will in any case only be using the glasses for cold liquids during Pesach. MATN and RYK  


04/13/2016 03:44:30 PM


I bought a brisket at a kosher market about a month ago and put it straight into the freezer. Can I can use it for pesach - in other words - is it safe to assume that meat is Kosher for Pesach if its prepared at a kosher butcher? Or do we have to be concerned about them having chametz around or using knives for other things?

Raw, unprocessed meat and poultry are Kosher Le'Pesach. There is an extra chumra to rinse them off as well. MATN

04/12/2016 11:11:22 AM


Is there a problem with egg matzah? 

Egg matzah requires a Kosher Le’Pesach hashgacha and unfortunately will not fulfill the mitzvah of matzah. Matzah must be lechem oni, poor man’s bread. Egg matzah is considered to be matzah ashirah, rich man’s bread. This is because it contains ingredients other than flour and water. If you are able to eat another kind of matzah (wheat, spelt, or even oat) that is just flour and water, even just a kazayit at the seder, you will be able to fulfill the mitzvah. We generally only suggest people eat egg matzah on Pesach if they are ill or infirm. The bracha for egg matzah when it is a snack is mezonot and when it is a meal, motzi. MATN

04/12/2016 10:59:49 AM


My hot water pump doesn't work so well so I use a small pitcher (like a creamer) to scoop out the water and pour it in a cup. Since the pitcher has been used during the year (though I can't remember how long ago I used it for its intended purpose) does that make the pump chametz? I would like to use it for Pesach.

The urn itself does need to be kashered for Pesach in order to be used.

Here are the instructions from Pesach Central at BDJ: "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."

The pitcher, which has been inside of the urn at presumably a very high temperature also would need to be kashered for Pesach, assuming it is a kasherable material. Please see Pesach Central at BDJ for more details on how to kasher by material.

On a different note, it might be easier to get a new Pesach urn with a working pump so you don't have to worry about this detail or getting burned! MATN

04/12/2016 10:51:46 AM


May I have freshly squeezed orange juice bought before Pesach without a Kosher Le'Pesach certification?

Fresh orange juice requires Kosher Le'Pesach certification. My understanding is that the issue with juices on Pesach is that enzymes derived from chametz are used to increase the juice yield or remove pectin or other unwanted things from the juice. Orange juice is not generally processed with enzymes, but it may have been on equipment that had chametz on it since it can be bottled along with other chametz-containing liquids. OU-supervised unsweetened orange juice concentrate may be used without Pesach certification. Simply Orange Juice High Pulp and Simple Orange Juice Pulp Free are supervised for Pesach by the OU. MATN

04/11/2016 03:59:19 PM


1.How do I kasher my non self-cleaning oven (and the broiler below it) Do I need to kasher the broiler in order to use the oven since they are somewhat connected? 2. How do I kasher my non-stainless steel sink? 3. Can I use my regular shabbat warming plate on pesach? Do I need to cover it with foil? 

OK: (1) A self-cleaning oven is self-kashering as well, due to the extreme heat that it reaches during the self-cleaning process. Presuming that the broiler section is also reaching this temperature, then it too is automatically kashered. 

(2) A porcelain sink can't be kashered. You can either cover it with contact paper for Pesach, or use a snug insert into whose bottom you put a draining hole. (I have many memories of my father a"h, lining the sink with contact paper while saying, "there has to be a better way")

(3) Clean the surface of the hot plate thoroughly, and cover it tightly with foil for Pesach. 


04/07/2016 04:29:21 PM


This question is more about chag in general than pesach in particular: are there ways to turn off a gas stove halachically on chag? Because of a machlochet in our household about safety of leaving the stove on over a multi-day period, we have not been cooking on chag at all for many years (we also won't leave the oven running), but that is rather burdensome avoid. I heard from some friends who "transfer" the flame to a candle while turning off the gas on the stove. Is that acceptable?

While the prevailing practice is not to turn off the gas flame on Yom Tov, there is a Halachikly acceptable lenient position that is cited in the name of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l (and which reflects my personal practice as well). In short, cutting off the gas while it is still en route to the flame is not considered a direct act of extinguishing, rather an act of "causing an extinguishing", something which the Talmud permits on Yom Tov (but NOT on Shabbat). In addition, since extinguishing a gas flame does not - and cannot - produce a coal, even directly extinguishing it would only be rabbinically forbidden, further buttressing the permissibility (on Yom Tov) of merely causing it to extinguish. 

Your friend's suggestion does not appear to me make any sense...




04/07/2016 01:18:16 PM


Can I use a new package of 'kosher' tumeric (not kosher for Pesach)?

No. All ground spices require Pesach certification. It is possible that they were processed on equipment that had chametz on it or that either kitniyot or chametz was added to the spices. Whole, unground spices do not require special Pesach supervision and should ideally be purchased before Pesach. MATN

04/06/2016 03:46:37 PM


Is packaged peeled garlic OK?

Packaged peeled garlic requires reliable Kosher LePesach certification. This is because many companies that use vacuum packed bags put citric acid in the wash water in order to prevent browning. MATN

04/05/2016 11:25:09 AM


We have dozens of spice bottles on a designated spice rack that is physically attached to the wall. Do we have to put them away (we have very limited space), or is it enough to run some tape across them to label them as chometz/off limits?

I’d suggest taking some paper (we use butcher block) and taping that across them, so that they are out of sight.


04/05/2016 11:15:48 AM


Combining 2 questions:

(1) So we can use our dishwashers once we've taken the steps you've outlined using our regular racks( nonmetal racks)? (2) I saw on the site that there are instructions for kashering the dishwasher. If it's not a stainless steel dishwasher, does this still apply? What about the racks? Is this an exceptionally lenient ruling, or have things loosened up over the years?

The advice re: kashering the dishwasher applies to both plastic and stainless steel dishwashers. The racks, like the walls, need to be cleaned absolutely thoroughly and meticulously, and once 24 hours have passed since the dishwasher’s previous use, the kashering can be done by running the dishwasher with soap for its longest cycle. In my opinion, this is not a lenient ruling at all. It is grounded in the basic principles of kashering.  Being machmir remains stylish of course, but let the machmir be machmir for himself only.


04/05/2016 11:15:37 AM


 What are we supposed to do if our pets are on prescription food that is not kosher for Pesach?

 Good question. I wish your pet good health.

In the context of farm animals, the Halacha discusses cases in which animals simply need to eat chametz. The ultimate resolution is to sell the animal to a non-Jewish person, in the same manner that we sell chametz (i.e. a fully binding sale). It is preferable to not sell the food together with the animal (as it appears that you are in essence hiring him to feed the animal chametz on your behalf), but this does ultimately not invalidate the sale.


04/01/2016 03:02:56 PM


What are my obligations regarding chametz if I am housesitting for someone throughout Pesach?

You only need to sell chametz that you yourself own. You are not responsible for the chametz in the house you are housesitting, but the owners of c​ourse are. You should still make sure to do bedikat chametz in your own home. When doing so, you should say the bittul but not the bracha. Then on Erev Pesach when you are in the home in which you are housesitting, you can say the final bittul. If you are using any of the kitchen utensils in the housesitting home, you would need to make sure they are kashered for Pesach. If you (or the owners) are not kashering the kitchen for Pesach, and you choose to eat kosher lePesach cereal or something that does not need to be cooked, you may use disposable plates/bowls/cutlery/etc. Just make sure the surface you eat on (table, etc) is thoroughly cleaned so no chametz can get into your food. MATN

04/01/2016 02:40:44 PM


04/01/2016 02:40:25 PM


I know Trader Joes' dry roasted almonds are ok but what about their dry toasted sliced almonds? Thanks 


 (from Rabbi Eidlitz' mag)" All raw, whole, or chopped almonds without BHA, BHT, or other preservatives are OK for Pesach use." I'm gathering that toasted may not be included.



04/01/2016 02:30:40 PM


How does one kasher a charcoal grill? Grates are relatively inexpensive. Does buying a new grate help at all?

You can kasher a charcoal grill for Pesach. First make sure all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned. For the grates, you should do libun gamur, which entails heating the grates to a glow with a blow torch. Since using a blow torch can be dangerous, you are right that buying a new grate may be a better option. Make sure that if you buy a new grate that fits your grill that you tovel it as well. The drum or inside of the grill must be cleaned out completely. Add new charcoal to it and heat it on maximum heat for an hour. If this is too much of a tircha but you really want to grill, you may want to find an inexpensive grill to use for Pesach only. MATN

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04/01/2016 02:14:19 PM


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