Sunday, 22 December 2013

Tovelling Toasters

Question: Do I need to tovel my new toaster?
Answer: There is a machlokes as to whether electrical items require tevila altogether. R’ Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:450) quotes a view (see Chelkas Yaakov 1:126) that when electrical items are plugged in, they are considered mechubar lekarka, attached to the ground, and therefore exempt from tevila, though he disagrees (see too Minchas Yitzchak 2:72 and Shevet Halevi YD 2:57:3).
Although the bread is fully baked before it goes into the toaster, the Aruch Hashulchan (YD 120:35) writes that as such kelim come into contact with food, they require tevila with a beracha. R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe YD 3:24), however, writes that as the bread is fully baked before it goes in, the toaster may be used without tevila. Elsewhere, (YD 1:57-58) he writes that while (other) electrical items require tevila, it is sufficient to tovel just the parts that come into contact with food. The electric parts – even if they are attached – do not need to be immersed (See Rivevos Ephraim 2:172).
As kelim manufactured by a Jew don’t require tevila, some disconnect and reconnect an integral part of the appliance. R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Minchas Shlomo 2:66:4) writes that it isn’t enough to just change the plug or disconnect a wire outside of the appliance, though it must be an internal one (that requires a professional).
R’ Zvi Cohen (Tevilas Kelim 11:51) writes that one needs to tovel a toaster with a beracha. Nonetheless, as there are Poskim who hold that electrical appliances shouldn’t be tovelled at all, one who does so should ideally make the beracha on something that certainly does require tevila.

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