Sunday, 19 January 2014

Tovelling Disposables

Question: I usually reuse disposable aluminium dishes a few times. Do I need to tovel them?
Answer: Rambam (Kelim 5:7) writes that when one only intends on using a container once before throwing it away, it is not mekabel tumah. The Shav Yaakov (Shut 31) writes that only containers that are considered to be proper kelim require tevila. Following this, R' Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss (Minchas Yitzchak 2:32) paskens that disposable dishes that are only used once do not require tevila. If they will be reused at all, then they do require tevila.
R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe YD 3:23), however, quotes Rambam elsewhere (Kelim 2:1) who writes that the criteria for a container to be mekabel tumah is also that it is long lasting. Thus, even if one decides to reuse such a container, it will not require tevila. R’ Moshe does concede, however, that if one buys it with the intention to reuse it a few times (or later decides to use it a few more times), then one should tovel it without a Bracha.
R’ Asher Weiss ( writes that the Tiferes Yisroel (Intro to Taharos - Yevakesh Daas 44) quotes the Vilna Gaon saying that only containers made from the six metals mentioned in the Torah (gold, silver, copper, iron, tin and lead) can be mekabel tumah. Although aluminium is not one of the ‘Torah’s metals’, the Tiferes Yisroel argued that it should be included along with other types of metal.
R’ Moshe Feinstein (YD 2:164) however, disagrees, as aluminium was never included.
R’ Asher Weiss therefore concludes that disposable aluminium dishes do not require tevilah even if they are reused a few times.

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