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Kashrut
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Meat and dairy dishes washed together

Rabbanit Surale Rosen

Tevet 5780 | January 2020
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She'ela

I have one sink and this past Shabbat I accidentally put one meaty plate in the sink that was full of milky dishes (almost my entire milky set). On Motzei Shabbat I washed all the dishes together in warm water (I don’t wear household gloves). Once I realized what had happened, I put all the dishes on the side and haven’t used them since. Do they require kashering?

Teshuva

The Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De’ah 95:3 rules the following: “Plates used for meat that were washed in a dairy pot with water so hot that one’s hand recoils, even if both the plates and the pot had been used within the day – all is permitted because they are “nat bar nat” – a second degree impartation of taste of permissible foods and tastes. And this is only if one can say ‘I am certain that there was no fat stuck to the plates or to the pot. And if there was fat stuck to them then there needs to be 60 times the volume of water to nullify the volume of the fat that is on the plates’”.

The Shulchan Aruch discusses what to do when meaty dishes are washed in a dairy pot filled with very hot water. Even when both were used on the same day (בן יומו), as long as there was no actual fat on the dishes or the pot, it is permissible to use both the dishes and the pot after washing up.

This is obviously different to your case – your dishes were indeed used on the same day (they are יומו בן) and had actual fat and bits of food left on them but were washed in a sink, not a pot. Also, the water you used was not piping hot and in addition you used soap, not merely warm water, for cleaning.

Does the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch apply in your case?

The Rema on the Shulchan Aruch follows a different tradition of psak: “And some forbid even if there is no fat stuck to them unless the pot or the plates had not absorbed the taste within 24 hours… if both the plate and the pot had been used for 24 hours and they were both washed together with piping hot water, then all is forbidden. And this is our practice and we should not change”.

Following Tosfot, Sefer HaTruma, Issur VeHeter and others, the Rema forbids using meaty dishesבני יומם  that were washed in a dairy pot even if they had no remaining fat – contrary to the Shulchan Aruch.

However, the Rema goes on to discuss what happens when the dishes were washed in כלי שני – a secondary vessel (in your case – a sink): “But this is the case only if they were washed together in a ‘primary pot’ that was on the stove (or heating element). But if dairy and meat dishes are washed one after another or if they are washed together in a secondary vessel, then all is permissible.”

This is because we rule that מבשל לא שני כלי (Gemara Shabbat 145b) – since the heat of a secondary vessel is not comparable to the heat of a primary vessel such that the dishes that are washed together can absorb substances one from another.

In any case, today we use hot water from a tap that transfers water from the boiler, similar to what the Rema adds regarding a parve pot that was used for pouring boiling water over dairy and meat dishes: “But if boiling water, (that was heated in a pot) that is neither dairy nor meat is poured on meat and dairy dishes together, even if there is oil stuck to them, all is permissible since the heat of pouring is not comparable to the heat of a primary vessel”. In this case, the Rema permits using mixed dirty dishes that were used on the same day and were washed together.

Furthermore, you had used soap for cleaning and in this case, we have another element לקולא  (leniency) – “It appears to me that if one places ash in the hot water in a large pot before washing dishes in the pot, even if there is grease stuck to the plates, it is permissible because the ash mixes with the grease to impart a rancid taste” (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De’ah 95:4).

Since soap or ash render the water unsuitable to absorb meat or dairy substances and actually ruin the taste, the dishes are not considered to be forbidden (an Issur).

To summarize:

  • The Rema rules that meat dishes washed in a secondary dairy vessel don’t pass their substance to the water in the pot since מבשל לא שני כלי (the heat of a secondary vessel is not comparable to the heat of a primary vessel).
  • The sink gets its water from the tap that originates from the boiler which is obviously neither meat nor dairy.
  • All cases mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch and the Rema are to do with boiling hot water but you used warm water only.
  • Washing up liquid rendered the dishes and water unsuitable to pass a proper ‘taste’ from one to the other.

Rabbanit Surale Rosen

is a graduate of Hilkhata, Matan's Advanced Halakhic Institute and is a certified Meshivat Halakha. She is the Director of Shayla. In addition she is a certified To'enet Rabbanit and a graduate of Matan’s Advanced Talmud Institute. Surale has taught Midrash, Talmud and Halakha and Daf Yomi in a wide array of shuls and communities, including the Matan Beit Midrash. Surale is a graduate of Bar Ilan University and holds degrees in English Literature and Talmud. This past year she wrote the weekly Parashat HaShavua column for Chumash Shemot in the leading religious Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon and periodically writes Divrei Torah for weekly Torah publications.