Volume 58 Number 24 
      Produced: Sun, 06 Jun 2010 12:13:55 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

brocha when toyveling glassware (7)
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz  Gershon Dubin  Michael Mirsky  Stephen Phillips  Chana  Carl Singer  Alex Heppenheimer]
grass over shoulder 
    [martin dauber]
young couples (3)
    [Stuart Pilichowski  Menashe Elyashiv  Jeanette Friedman]


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 2,2010 at 04:01 PM
Subject: brocha when toyveling glassware

Carl Singer <carl.singer@...> wrote: 

> I have learned and my wife (the "Litvak", a descendant of the Gaon)
> practices that one does NOT say a brocha when toyveling glassware.
> I was recently in at my community's dish mikveh and the lady who was there
> before me proudly taught her daughter the brocha as they toyveled a GLASS
> bowl.
> My presumption is that there are some who hold that one DOES say a brocha --
> are their groups that do?
> Much to my consternation, there's an "instructive" sign on the wall of the
> mikveh that says one DOES say a brocha. Since I don't run the mikveh I
> wouldn't put up a sign countering this -- but I'm a bit taken aback that
> someone has either the chutzpah or the ignorance to feel that THEIR way is
> the only way.
> Comments, please.
> Carl

This would probably be because it is the minhag of the shul or
organization that set up the minhag to follow the psak [ruling] of
their rav. If you had set up a mikvah for utensils, then you would
have followed the psak of your rav and said not to say the bracha. It
is not necessarilly "ignorance or chutzpah" to put the ruling of the
organization or rav whose rulings you are following on the
instructional sign.

Since I live in Baltimore, we follow the star-k guidelines

"google is your friend"


September 2007  	back


Utensils require tevila with a brocha when they have direct contact
with food during preparation or meal time and are made from metal such
as aluminum, brass, copper, gold, iron, lead, silver, steel, tin, or
glass including pyrex, duralex, and corelle.

Other sources for this are


Note that this implies that the requirement may be Rabbinic and not
directly from the Torah. See the references with the kof-k quote.

3. Because glass shares certain properties with metal, we are
obligated by the Rabbis to tovel glass as well. All types of glass are
toveled with a brachah including crystal, Pyrex, and Corelle.

10. If one buys a glass bottle of food or drink, this bottle may be
reused without tevilah (Iggerot Moshe). If the jar is made of metal,
some authorities require tevilah without a brachah. Metal cans opened
by a Jew may be reused without tevilah.


a) Only vessels made of gold, silver, iron, steel, copper, tin, brass,
lead, glass, pyrex, corelle and crystal require tevilah with a
brachah. Unglazed earthenware, wood, rubber and plastic utensils
require no tevilah. Corningware, porcelain (china), enameled pots,
teflon coated pans and aluminum vessels require tevilah without a
brachah. Disposable aluminum pans require no tevilah.

) One may purchase and eat food or drinks directly from their jars or
bottles. Once the jar is emptied of its contents, some poskim permit
reuse of a glass jar for other foods without tevilah. A metal
container, however, should not be reused without tevilah. Some poskim
permit reuse of a tin can that was opened by a Jew.



Since glass is similar to metal in that it can be melted down and
reformed, it requires
tevilah.5 There is a big discussion in the poskim if glass requires
tevilah mdoraisa or
mrabbanan.6 Nonetheless, glass must be toveled with a beracha.

5 Refer to Mesechtas Avoda Zara ibid, Mesechtas Shabbos 15b, Prisha 9,
Shulchan Aruch ibid, Levush 6,
Ben Ish Chai Matos 2:6, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 37:1, Aruch Hashulchan
24-25, Shevet HaLevi 6:245:1,
Yabea Omer Y.D. 4:8:4, Orchos Habayis page 79, Tevilas Keilim pages
37-39, Emes LYaakov Y.D. 120:1.
6 Refer to Rambam Hilchos Machalus Asuros 17:5, Levush 14, Pri Chadash
3, Rav Akiva Eiger 120:14,
Chuchmas Adom 73:1, Darchei Teshuva 13, Aruch Hashulchan 14, Teshuvos
Vhanhugos 2:409, Chai
HaLevi 4:56:2, see Aruch Hashulchan 24. Refer to Sdei Tzofim
Mesechtas Avoda Zara 75b:page 573.

   Sabba   -     ' "    -   Hillel
Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz 
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 2,2010 at 05:01 PM
Subject: brocha when toyveling glassware

This subject came up recently and I had occasion to research it.  The Shulchan
Aruch assumes you DO make a beracha on tevila of glass;  the commentaries on the
side specify that in fact you do.

I have an encyclopedic work on the topic of tevilas keilim by the surprising
name of "Tevilas Keilim" by Rabbi Tzvi Cohen.  He cites many other sources that
one DOES make a beracha on tevila of glass, NONE that you don't, and one, which
is ultimately NOT normative, that if one has a glass and a metal utensil to
tovel, that there is a preference to make the beracha on the metal;  he says
there is NO preference and you make make the beracha on either the glass or the


From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 2,2010 at 11:01 PM
Subject: brocha when toyveling glassware

Carl Singer wrote: "I have learned and my wife (the "Litvak", a 
descendant of the Goan) practices that one does NOT say a brocha when toyveling

I was told by our Rav that there is a doubt if one says a bracha on 
anything other than a metal utensil.  So his advice was if we are 
toiveling glassware (or china, if we wanted to, although many 
opinions say that china doesn't need to be toiveled), then we should 
also bring along a metal utensil that we haven't toiveled and then 
make the bracha having both in mind.  That way there is no chance of 
bracha le'vatala (bracha made in vain).


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 3,2010 at 06:01 AM
Subject: brocha when toyveling glassware

It's clearly brought in the Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah Siman 120:1, "One who
buys metal or GLASS utensils [for preparing or eating food] from a
non-Jew............. must immerse them in a mikveh."

And in Siman 120:3 he writes that one must make a bracha [Blessing].

I therefore don't see that conducting oneself in accordance with a clear ruling
of the Shulchan Aruch is either chutzah or ignorance. Indeed, I think you and
you wife are probably in a very tiny minority in not making a bracha.

Stephen Phillips

From: Chana <Chana@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 3,2010 at 07:01 AM
Subject: brocha when toyveling glassware

Carl Singer <carl.singer@...> writes:
> I have learned and my wife (the "Litvak", a descendant of the Goan)
> practices that one does NOT say a brocha when toyveling glassware.

Where have you learned this?

The Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah siman 120 si'if 1 says:

One who acquires from a non Jew meal related utensils of metal or of glass
... needs to toyvel them in a mikvah ...

And in si'if 3 he says: he makes a bracha "al tevila(s/t) kli" and if there
are two or more "al tevila(s/t) kelim"

The source for the glass reference is Avodah Zarah 75b where, in a
discussion about what does or does not need tevila "Rav Ashi said: These
glass utensils since if they are broken they can be fixed they are like
metal utensils".

There is a separate discussion as to whether tevila of utensils is from the
Torah or rabbinic, and while most rishonim hold that tevila of metal
utensils is from the Torah, there is more general agreement that tevila of
glass is rabbinic.  However, a rabbinic obligation also takes a brocha.

There is a further discussion regarding the status of earthenware utensils
(which generally do not need toyvelling), if they are then subsequently
coated in metal (Rashi) or glass (Rabbanu Tam) [it depends how you
understand the gemora in Avodah 75b. and 33b].  The Shulchan Aruch there
brings in relation to metal that if they are coated inside they do need
toyvelling and the Rema brings that some say that they should be toyvelled
without a bracha, and this is our custom.  A number of the other
commentators understand this as also being true for glass coatings (see the
Shach in si'if katan 2).  This is the basis for what I believe is the
general Ashkenazi custom (and the most prevalent Sephardi custom,) to toyvel
our modern plates which tend to be earthware covered in a form of glass type
glaze without a bracha.

However, this discussion relates solely to coated earthenware utensils, and
not to glassware itself.

Nor does the Biur HaGra appear to dispute this, as his comments relate
solely to the question of the coating on si'if 1, and on si'if 3 he comments
[si'if katan 8] "that which is written in the Tospheta in the last perek of
Brachos - one who does any mitzvah needs to bless etc and that which is
written in the gemora in many places on any mitzvah one blesses etc".  

While he certainly does not bring all the minhagei haGra in his Biur HaGra,
I would have thought that if he disputed this position, and felt that glass,
rather than just earthenware utensils coated with metal or glass, needed to
be toyveled without a bracha then he would have said so here.  

I believe that some people hold that pyrex is not glassware, and hence
should be toyvelled without a brocha, although I do not know enough about
the manufacture of pyrex to know on what basis this assertion is made.  But
that is a question as to whether something that looks like glass indeed is
glass, not about the basic din of glass itself.

Now it is true that, as quoted by the commentators (see the Taz si'if katan
5 and the Pri Chadash), the Mordechai in perek Hasocher writes that the
blessing should be "al tevilas kli shel mateches" [on toyvelling a utensil
of metal] because other utensils are not obligated in tevila and so is in
the Hagahot Ashri.  Now the Taz rejects this form of the bracha on the basis
that if so he should also say "al tevilas kli mateches shel seuda" [on
toyvelling a metal utensil used for a meal] if one wanted to include all the
details, and that we do not generally include these kind of details in a
bracha.  However the Pri Chadash rejects the Mordechai's language on the
basis that it is not true, that glass utensils need toyvelling, and even
though the toyvelling of glass utensils is only drabbanan [from the rabbis]
still we make brachos on mitzvos d'rabbanan and we still say vitzivanu [who
has commanded us] as is found in perek bemeh madlikin - and if you were to
follow the Mordechai one would need different versions of the bracha (one
for glass and one for metal) - and he therefore rejects this on the basis
that we have never found that we have two versions of a bracha instituted
for one mitzvah.

But perhaps you can derive from this that the Mordechai himself, as he does
indeed appear to say explicitly, did not in fact hold that there was even a
rabbinic obligation to toyvel glass and hence glass would take no bracha,
and perhaps your custom is derived from the Mordechai (with support from the
Hagahot Ashri).  But still, the majority commentators would seem to reject
this, and if you were fully relying on the Mordechai, the language of the
brocha would be different from that which is found in the Shulchan Aruch.  
> I was recently in at my community's dish mikveh and the lady who was
> there before me proudly taught her daughter the brocha as they toyveled a
> GLASS bowl.
> My presumption is that there are some who hold that one DOES say a
> brocha -- are their groups that do?

Yes indeed, the Shulchan Aruch, the Rema, and as far as I am aware, pretty
much all who follow them.  Your custom is, in this regard, very much a
minority custom, and I would be interested in seeing a source for it,
explaining its basis (later than the Mordechai and allowing for the common
nusach [language of the blessing]).

> Much to my consternation, there's an "instructive" sign on the wall of
> the mikveh that says one DOES say a brocha.  Since I don't run the mikveh
> I wouldn't put up a sign countering this -- but I'm a bit taken aback
> that someone has either the chutzpah or the ignorance to feel that THEIR
> way is the only way.

Well I certainly do get irritated when people show their ignorance by
stating that their way is the only way, (and indeed I see this a lot where
people quote the Ashkenazi custom, without reference to the Sephardi custom,
which may be quite different, eg "you can't cut hair during the three weeks"
when the most common Sephardi custom is to not cut only during shevuah
shechal bo [the week in which Tisha B'Av falls]), I think one does need to
distinguish between customs which are found amongst significant portions of
the Jewish world, and ones that are very much minority customs.  In the case
of the latter, one cannot genuinely expect sign writers to allow for the
myriad of different customs found throughout the Jewish world.  And
particularly in this case, if somebody did not know their particular custom
(assuming it is a genuine custom, and I guess I would like a like a little
bit more evidence of this, as there is always the risk that somewhere the
wires got crossed vis a vis something like pyrex or glazed plates) then it
would seem to be more appropriate for them to follow the Shulchan Aruch and
the Rema and the vast majority of the Jewish world.

This does somewhat get us into a wider discussion (which in a way overlaps
our dina d'malchusa dina [the law of the land is the law] discussion) about
what are the parameters of halacha.  We have a vast literature in the form
of the Rishonim, with Rishonim often going off in a large variety of
different directions on almost any given topic.  The fundamental idea behind
the summary of rishonic opinion produced as the Beis Yosef and the
codification of the Shulchan Aruch was to try and reduce these down to
something more manageable and create a certain level of unity of practice.
Now of course this was only achieve partially, because first of all there is
the Ashkenazi/Sephardi split, with the Sephardim generally following the
Shulchan Aruch, and where the Rema differs, the Ashkenazim following the
Rema.  And even then, sometimes the Shach or the Taz or the Magen Avraham or
the Gra will bring some of the other positions found in the rishonim and in
fact that will end up encapsulating the halacha as she is practiced. (And of
course there were then later discussions amongst the Achronim on topics not
covered by the Rishonim which end up in new divergencies in practice).

And sometimes you will find customs amongst particular groups that actually
turn out to hark back to a rishonic opinion that seems to have been rejected
by this process.  

But in general, part of Orthodox acceptance of the process of halacha is a
general acceptance that, pretty roughly, the Shulchan Aruch, Rema, plus
meforshim is "where it is at", and that we do not generally go back
reopening rishonic debates, fascinating as they may be, *except* in what are
called beshas hadchak [in extremis] situations, because again there is an
acceptance that one of the reasons for retaining and reviewing the wider
body of rishonic opinion is in order to allow reliance on such opinions
should a really extreme situation arise.  But obviously this is a relatively
unusual, and almost invariably limited and time bound, exception and once
the situation normalises again, one would expect to revert to the dominant
position as contained in the Shulchan Aruch/Rema/meforshim on the Shulchan


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 3,2010 at 08:01 AM
Subject: brocha when toyveling glassware

I've gotten several nearly identical "back channel" emails pointing out (1)
that glassware needs to be toyveled and (2) when toyveling one must say a
brocha.  Concluding that one must toyvel glassware with a brocha.

I'm NOT disputing #1 - glassware clearly needs to be toyveled -- I don't
know any sources that claim otherwise.  And I'm not disputing the references
that require a brocha on glassware.

BUT it's clear that there are those communities who DO NOT say a brocha.
Does anyone have the sources for such practice?

I'm speculating that  this may involve the definition of glassware.  You'll
recall Rabbainu Tam says one may use glass dishes for both milchig and
fleishig -- but even those who hold Rabbainu Tam stringencies on times (such
as end of Shabbos) do NOT hold by what they consider a leniency re: dual-use
glassware - stating in effect that "what was considered glass then isn't the
same as glass now."  Perhaps this is the basis.


From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 4,2010 at 12:01 AM
Subject: brocha when toyveling glassware

In MJ 58:22, Carl Singer <carl.singer@...> wrote:

>I have learned and my wife (the "Litvak", a descendant of the Goan)
>practices that one does NOT say a brocha when toyveling glassware.

>I was recently in at my community's dish mikveh and the lady who was there
>before me proudly taught her daughter the brocha as they toyveled a GLASS

>My presumption is that there are some who hold that one DOES say a brocha --
>are their groups that do?

This is in fact the normative practice. See Pri Chadash to Yoreh De'ah 120:3,
who takes it as an obvious fact that a bracha is recited when immersing
glassware, since it's required by Rabbinical law (Avodah Zarah 75b, Rav Ashi).
Indeed, as he points out, there are opinions that immersion of all dishes - even
metalware - is a Rabbinical obligation only, and no one disputes that a blessing
is said for them.

I also don't see in the Vilna Gaon's notes to Shulchan Aruch there any
suggestion otherwise.

In fact, R' Zvi Cohen, in Tevilath Kelim: A Comprehensive Guide
(Targum/Feldheim, 1988)- which bears the approbations of several
prominentposekim for the original Hebrew edition - states flatly (ch. 9, note
1): "The ruling found in some editions of the Siddur published by Eshkol,
Jerusalem and Sinai, Tel Aviv, that a blessing is not recited over the immersion
of glass utensils, is erroneous."

Granted, I wouldn't go that far; Mrs. Singer's family tradition surely carries
some weight.But it would be good to see some written source for it.

>Much to my consternation, there's an "instructive" sign on the wall of the
>mikveh that says one DOES say a brocha. Since I don't run the mikveh I
>wouldn't put up a sign countering this -- but I'm a bit taken aback that
>someone has either the chutzpah or the ignorance to feel that THEIR way is
>the only way.

Should you be so quick to jump to conclusions? It's apparently neither chutzpah
nor ignorance; on the contrary, this does seem to be the generally accepted
halachah. Surely you can't expect the managers of the mikvah to be familiar with
what seems to be an undocumented opinion?

Kol tuv,


From: martin dauber <mhdauber@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 3,2010 at 06:01 PM
Subject: grass over shoulder

Duvid Neuman wrote "What is the reason for throwing grass over the left shoulder
after leaving funeral and after leaving a cemetery in general?"

The minhag [custom --MOD] is to tear out some grass as one leaves a cemetary and
throw it over **RIGHT** shoulder. We say the pasuk [sentence --MOD] from
Tehillim 106 which refers to God's provision of all the needs of vegetation, and
our belief that He provides the same to our society (R ShRH).

moshe tzvi dauber, md


From: Stuart Pilichowski <stupillow@...>
Date: Mon, May 31,2010 at 02:01 AM
Subject: young couples

When we were newlyweds we loved having friends over for shabbat meals. After all
it's only one day out of the week and usually only one meal. After all, we
wanted to be just like our Rabbi and Rebbetzin who had tons of guests over always.

Would you argue against young couples also going out to visit other couples?
Privacy and intimacy is certainly important and a significant factor in a happy
successful marrital relationship, but methinks some are taking this too far.

Stuart Pilichowski
Mevaseret Zion

From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Mon, May 31,2010 at 09:01 AM
Subject: young couples

Martin wrote:

> As far as young couples in the first year of marriage, there is a lot to
> be said for them not accepting every invitation so that they could spend the
> occasional more intimate Shabbat meal together to help strengthen their
> relationship - too much socialising might be counterproductive from this.

I noticed that it is common here (Israel) that some young couples, go away 
almost every Shabbat, usually to the 2 sets of parents. Some even have 
rules and regulations, like what Yom Tov here, and what there... I do not 
impose that on our married children. Of course it is nice to have the 
grandchildren over, but young couples need to build their own new life. 
First year married avraichim do not go to night kollel.

From: Jeanette Friedman <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 1,2010 at 04:01 PM
Subject: young couples

My daughter got married at 770 on Sunday.  She doesn't live in the stone  
age. She knows how to cook, if she feels like it, but she knows how to go to 
the  store, too. As do all my daughters.  She knows how to clean, she knows  
how to set a table. She knows how to make Shabbos. The food for Shabbos lunch 
is  pre-cooked. The challahs and cake normally come from the bakery, 
gefilte fish, as anyone knows, is frozen and by choice, either boiled or baked 
with water in  the oven before Shabbos and certainly, she knows how to open 
packages of lox and  cream cheese, or tuna fish the like for Shalosh Seudot
[third Sabbath meal --MOD].
Lots of stuff comes from the take-out store, no matter how long someone is  
married. If someone is a schluch, she will be a shluch even if she is 
married for 40 years, so people will just have to get used to the fact that 
someone is or is not a balabusta [good homemaker --MOD]. Certainly it doesn't
get better once there are 4+ kids  underfoot and toys are scattered everywhere
you try to put down a foot or sit on  a couch.
On the other hand, if the people coming over are only interested in  
checking things out so they can spread loshen horah [gossip --MOD], they
shouldn't be friends with such people to begin with.  And what's the difference
if someone comes over  for a BBQ on a Sunday p.m.in the summer or a sandwich and
soup supper on a Wednesday in the winter or for a Shabbos meal in any
Once again, men make assumptions about women (poor little darling, can't  
cook, can't clean and can't have company over because she is a socially 
backward  being) who have to "learn" how to be a wife, but no where did anyone 
say, he has  to learn how to be a husband.
Furthermore, to quote Der Yid haKadosh again...anyone who obeys a rebbe  
blindly is committing avodah zorah [foreign worship --MOD]. Any rebbe who
demands blind obedience is committing avodah zorah.
This is not me, this is the Pszyscher.  
Jeanette Friedman 


End of Volume 58 Issue 24