I inherited a set of dishes from a Jew.

I don't know how observant this Jew was.

Do I need to toivel them?

  • Roman numeral III here (and I don't know the provenance of these notes) seems to indicate that ownership, not particular knowledge of what the dishes were used for can obviate tevillah, but if you know that the Jewish owner didn't toveil them then tevillah is required. yoy.org.il/article.php?id=57
    – rosends
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 13:17
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    Safek derabanan lekula, safek deoraita lechumra.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 16:13
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    You "don't know how observant this Jew was". Can you rely on the fact that they were used only for kosher food? Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 17:13
  • @DoubleAA Can you provide sourced answer as to how this principle would apply here?
    – minhag
    Commented May 20, 2012 at 23:15

1 Answer 1


There's two issues going on here: tevila and hachshara.

Tevila is required for dishes bought from a non-Jew, to remove the impurity of the non-Jew (Prisha YD 120:2, Taz 120:1, Ben Ish Chai Matos 2:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 37:1). This is learned from the war with Midyan, which, appropriately enough, was read outside of Eretz Yisrael this past week in Parshas Mattos. Because of this fact, tevilas keilim is thus a din d'Oraisa, and we pasken safek d'Oraisa l'chumra. So if you don't know if it's been toveled or not, go ahead and tovel it.

But if the previous owner wasn't observant, you may very well have ended up with a set of treif dishes. Because there are many different requirements for kashering - what can be kashered, how to kasher it, etc. (also learned from the war with Midyan) - I would advise you to CYLOR.

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    Toveling a drinking glass is a din d'Oraisa?? Since when?
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 20:51
  • כָּל-דָּבָ֞ר אֲשֶׁר-יָבֹ֣א בָאֵ֗שׁ תַּעֲבִ֤ירוּ בָאֵשׁ֙ וְטָהֵ֔ר אַ֕ךְ בְּמֵ֥י נִדָּ֖ה יִתְחַטָּ֑א וְכֹ֨ל אֲשֶׁ֧ר לֹֽא-יָבֹ֛א בָּאֵ֖שׁ תַּעֲבִ֥ירוּ בַמָּֽיִם: (במדבר לא:כג). Sound pretty clear to me: tovel all dishes and kasher those that need to be kashered.
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 20:57
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    ??? That's not what it says. It says to do Libbun or Hagala as appropriate and to sprinkle with Parah Adummah water. How can you possibly think it "clearly" refers to Toveling dishes?? If this verse is used to teach about Toveling dishes bought from a gentile, then it's doing so either via Asmakhta or Mesora. It's not the Peshat.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 21:03
  • "אך במי נדה יתחטא" is interpreted (Avodah Zarah 75b) as a reference to mikvah - מי נדה doesn't refer to Parah Adumah, but rather the waters in which a Niddah tovels, I.e., a mikvah. If you want I can take out the word "clearly".
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 21:13
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    I want you to clarify that glass isn't Deorayta. To what extent you want to view Drashos of the Gemara as Peshat when they aren't how one would have understood the words otherwise is up to you.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 21:30

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