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Rabbi David Sperling

Sivan 15, 5773
Hello and thank you for your site! I have a few questions about kashrut. 1) I use a glass measuring cup for parve ingredients (it is made of clear glass except for the measurement markings). The other day I accidentally poured cold milk into it. Then I realized my mistake and washed the cup with warm water and soap. Is the cup still parve? 2) Yesterday I put some cherries into a dairy bowl and then washed the cherries in the bowl over the meat sink. There were spoons in the sink that were used for meat within 24 hours(with pieces of meat on them). The bowl was clean, but it was used for milk within 24 hours. Also, the water that was used was cold. Are the spoons still kosher if I wash them with soap? Can I continue to use the sink? Thank you very much!
Shalom, Your questions are a wonderful opportunity to review some of the basic law of keeping a kosher kitchen. One of the major rules of kashrut is that tastes can only be transferred into and out of a vessel, or utensil, via heat ("heat" meaning things to hot to hold in your hand - around 42-45 degrees hot). That means to say, that while we generally keep separate sets of dishes etc, for milk and meat, if it happened that cold meat was place on a cold milk plate, or visa verse, no taste came out of the plate into the food, nor did the food imbue a taste into the plate. As long as the plate was clean the food would still be kosher, and, after cleaning the plate, it would be also be kosher. (There are only a very few exceptions to this rule, the major one being that cutting "sharp" or spicy foods with a knife can transfer the taste from the knife into the food). So, with this in mind we can turn to your questions - 1) The cold milk certainly did not make the measuring cup "milky". As we said, cold contact of food and vessel does not transfer any taste. The proper thing to have done would have been to wash the cup up in cold water so as to avoid creating a situation where the milk would get hot enough (via the hot water) to transfer a milk taste to the cup. However, even though you used "warm" water, your cup is still parve - the reason being that the water was probably not halachically "hot", and also the soap probably nullified the milk taste before it could be absorbed into the cup, and lastly, many opinions hold that glass does not absorb at all. So your measuring cup is still parve. 2) The water that washed the cherries with was cold, so we have cold water being poured out of a cold milky cherry bowl onto cold meat spoons. Again, this is nothing to worry about. In fact this situation is even less of a question as it is not cold milk onto cold meat utensils, but cold parve water which itself did not absorb any milk taste from the cherry bowl - so there is absolutely nothing to worry about in this situation, and one may even clean their cherries like this if they want. Blessings.
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