I have received my great grandmother’s fine china set. I know it has not been used as a kosher set, but I keep my home kosher. Nobody has used it in over 6 years. It has a lot of sentimental value for me. How can I keep it? I cannot boil it because the china would break. Do I need to take them to a Mikveh? Thanks! Valeria Valeria
China dishes have the same Halachic status as earthenware which according to the actual law there is no way to kosher them. In a case of a great loss, and in addition the dishes were not used for 12 months, there is a possibility of being lenient for the sake of making matters easier for the repentant which is to kosher the dishes by doing Hagalah (making dishes kosher by immersion in boiling water) three times. In your case you noted that you cannot boil it because the china would break, so in fact you cannot kosher them. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 451 and Mishnah Berurah 163, Igrot Moshe Yore Deah 2, 46, Sefer Hakashrut 3, 50-51). If nevertheless it is very important to you to keep these dishes for sentimental value, mark on each dish that it is not kosher. Write it on the dish with indelible ink or on a sticker attached to the dish. Use the dishes only for foods that are both cold and dry. Purifying dishes by immersion in a Mikveh is intended to allow the use of dishes which were manufactured or owned by gentiles; it has nothing to do with koshering.