Sale of Electric Utensils to Gentiles
The Mitzvah Obligation of Tevillat Keilim, Immersing Vessels
The mitzvah of Tevillat Keilim requires immersing in a mikveh certain food related utensils acquired from non-Jews. Up until two generations ago, the obligation was rather straightforward; new dishes, pots, cutlery and the like would be brought to the neighborhood mikveh and immersed. Yet, as electrical appliances enter the home kitchen, the question becomes; can one (and if so how) immerse these electric devices in a mikveh if the manufacturers warn that this might damage the product?
Posim (Halakhic decisors) have offered various approaches to dealing with this dilemma. While there is a minority opinion that there is no obligation of Tevilla on such devices (either because doing so will damage them or because at least those used while plugged into an outlet are viewed as an extension of the home), the majority opinion contends otherwise, requiring immersion or something else.
Some individuals immerse electrical devices and leave them to dry (ideally in the sun) long enough to ensure that all liquid has dried up. This is often effective but must be performed at one's own risk. Others have a Jewish technician dismantle a significant portion of the device and reassemble it, after which the device is now "completed by a Jew" and thereby would not require Tevilla.
Is there another Option?
The Zomet Institute is now offering an alternative means of allowing use of electric kitchen devices without the need for Tevillat Keilim. The halakha states (Rema Yoreh Deah 120, 11) that a utensil which is jointly owned by a Jew and gentile does not require Tevilla Keilim. The Zomet Institute has organized a way for the public to appoint the Institute as their agents to sell a portion of the utensil to a gentile, who will give them permission to use the entire device.
How It Works?
Filling out the link on this page and filling out the form will authorize us to be your agent for selling the electrical utensils that you appoint us to sell. Every Wednesday, we will sell all the utensils that have been registered for sale during that week.
During the pre-Passover period, when many new devices are purchased and one often needs immediate use of the utensils, the sales will be performed more frequently, and the specifics will be updated on this site.
When is it Appropriate?
This method is appropriate only for electric utensils that are unable to be immersed, or that immersion may damage them, and the owners are unwilling to immerse them directly and find it difficult to find a Jewish technician who is able to disassemble and assemble the devices. This method does not fulfill the mitzvah of tevilla (rather removes the initial obligation) and thereby may only be used on devices which cannot be immersed.
To sign up for a subscription for sale of one's electric utensils, fill out the subscription form. When the sale is completed, the customer will send you an email confirming that the sale was successful.
The subscription entails a fee of 25 nis, and is intended for registering between 1 to 10