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  • Halacha
  • Immersing in the Mikve

Tevilat porcilain


Rabbi David Sperling

Tevet 29, 5773
I heard Sepharadim don’t have to do tevila of porcelain. Is it true and if so, what is the reason? thanks
Shalom, You are correct that there is a debate about the obligation to toivel porcelain dishes. Pitchei Teshuvah Y.D. 120:2; Shalmat Chayim 1:13; Harav M. Feinstein (quoted in l'Torah v'Hora'ah, vol. 2, pg. 20) all hold that these vessels do not require toiveling in the mikvah before use. Rabbi Ovadyah Yosef also holds this opinion - see Yabia Omer 4:8. On the other hand, the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 37:3 and Misgeret ha-Shulchan hold that one must toivel them. There is a widespread custom to immerse them without a blessing - see Melamed leho'il Y.D. 47; Aruch ha-Shulchan 120:29; Darkei Teshuvah 12, Hachsharot Kehalacha (Rav Amram Aderi), p.285. The argument revolves around the question of whether they can be repaired when broken by melting them in a fire - as metal and glass can be. Because porcelain apparently cannot be remelted, some rabbis hold that it does not need to be toiveled. The ability to be remelted is a factor the Talmud uses when defining why the Rabbis decreed that glass needs tevillah. As you can see, this subject is one where there are many opinions. But it is not correct to say that it's an argument between Askenazim and Sephardim - there are Ashkenazi and Sephardi opinions on both sides of the argument. Therefore, if someone is lenient and does not immerse porcelain dishes, they have halachic support for their actions, but it is preferable to toivel them without a blessing. Blessings.
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