Sunday, 3 May 2015

Tovelling Presents

Question: A friend just gave me a glass dish filled with sweets as a gift. Who was supposed to tovel it, me or her?
Answer: R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Minchas Shlomo 2:66:20) held that one shouldn’t tovel a gift before giving it as they may want to return it. If they do, it wouldn’t yet be considered something used for food, and therefore doesn’t require tevila.
Likewise, R’ Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss (Minchas Yitzchak 1:44; 7:43:2; 8:70) and R’ Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:452) write that one selling dishes shouldn’t tovel them before selling them as until they have been bought, they serve as merchandise, rather than eating utensils. If one bought a dish that the shopkeeper had tovelled, they would still need to tovel it again (See Tevilas Kelim 8:6).
R’ Asher Weiss (Minchas Asher, Matos 68:4) writes that if one tovelled a gift before giving it, it would not need tovelling again, Nonetheless, one shouldn’t do so, unless one is tovelling other things that require a beracha. Certainly, if one believed that the recipient won’t tovel it, one should do so before giving it.
This, however, only seems to apply to a dish that doesn’t contain food. If one was filling the dish with food, then R’ Asher Weiss ( argues one would certainly have to tovel the dish first. If the sweets were wrapped and so didn’t touch the dish, one may leave the tovelling to the recipient (See Aruch Hashulchan YD 120:32). If there were biscuits on a tray, however, one would still need to tovel the dish, even if one placed a serviette underneath them.

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