Nov 12, 2009

The knives were toiveled

This sign is in a supermarket hanging beside the bread slicing machine.

It takes for granted that people would not, or did not, trust them (by them I mean the proprietors of a frum-owned supermarket) to have done it, and were probably repeatedly bothering the store employees with questions as to whether or not they had been toiveled.


  1. Does it really matter whether or not the owner of a store where you buy bread toiveled the keilim? My understanding is that toiveling keilim is not a kashrus issue, it just makes the kli a kli yisroel. I suppose it's nice to know the proprietors are shomrei mitzvot, but what effect does that have on the bread? It's like buying a suit from a guy who puts up a sign "I put on talis and t'filin this morning."

  2. Anonymous - it isn't about the owner's shmirat hamitzvot. It's like eating at a Bar Mitzvah and using the Jewish caterer's provided cutlery - if he didn't tovel it, that would be a problem.

    (Unless the item can't be toveled - perhaps a sandwich maker would be an example. In this case you can remove the cutting sections. And we actually toveled our urn, waffle maker, etc - just had to let them dry for a week before using.)

  3. I believe the Shulchan Aruch says that there is an obligation on the owner to tovel utensils, prior to their use, if that had been under the ownership of a non-Jew, but that non-toveled dishes (e.g., belonging to another Jew) may be used.

  4. Tevilas Keilim by Rav Tzvi Cohen p. 89 - Rav Kanievsky in the name of the Chazon Ish said one can't use commercial keilim which yet require tevilla. He quotes other opinions to rely on such as the Shevet Sofer, and those who say if you could eat it with your hands it's ok bshaas hadchak.

  5. ראשית יש לציין, שיש פוסקים הפוטרים לגמרי את כל כלי האכילה הפועלים על ידי חשמל מטבילה, מפני שלדעתם אין הם נחשבים לכלים, הואיל וכל פעולתם היא רק כאשר הם מחוברים לשקע (שזה נחשב כחיבור לקרקע, וכל המחובר לקרקע אינו כלי). ובמיוחד הדברים אמורים לגבי כלי חשמל שיש להם מקום קבוע ואין רגילים להזיזם ממקומם, כדוגמת מצנם (שו"ת שב יעקב לא. שערים המצויינים בהלכה לז, ז).

  6. ES- the issue here was not whether the machine could be toveled at all. I think the Jewish owner should tovel the knives. My point was that shouldn't matter to Jewish customers buying bread cut with the knives- tevila is not a kashrus issue. It looks like Yoni R. and perhaps the S'A agree. The כלי חשמל point is off topic. Thanks for your posts- I never learn, so it's nice to think a/b a little halacha @ work.

  7. Shavua tov Anon!

    Actually I thought that the bread slicer pictured was self service - in that case I think tevila would matter to the customer, whether one can use the store's "dishes"

    And I interpreted Rafi's point differently - if it's required to be toveled then one can assume a shomrei mitzvos owner took care of it. Unless it's a big supermarket chain in which no one really "owns" that responsibility.

    So in Yesh, one of the local markets where there is such a self-service machine, I never thought to ask before but could understand why someone would.


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