Question: [Monday, 9th Nissan, 5781]
Rabbi, I own a non-Kasherable sink [as do most people who don’t own a stainless-steel sink], and would like to know if I’m allowed to use the sink with hot water during Pesach. I will obviously be using a sink insert for all of my Pesach dishes.
One whose sink is made of non-Kasherable material, such as a porcelain or enamel sink, is not to use the sink with any hot liquids that are above Yad Soledes. This applies even if one has a sink insert. Thus, one should not turn on the hot water to the point of Yad Soledes and is likewise not to pour hot water into the sink so long as it is Yad Soledes, even if it is in a Keli Shelishi or Revi’i. Accordingly, if one has a pot with hot water [i.e. pot of eggs, boiled potatoes, etc etc,], he is to wait until it cools down prior to pouring it into a non-Kashered sink. One can mix cold water into the hot water in order to achieve this quicker. If the water is warm, below Yad Soledes, it may be poured into the sink. While from the letter of the law the above applies only to a sink made of non- Kasherable material, nonetheless, it is proper to be stringent even by a sink made of Kasherable material, such as stainless steel, due to the difficulty in Koshering it properly. Nonetheless, Bedieved, if one poured hot water into the sink, everything remains permitted, even it was very hot and was poured from a Keli Rishon and the sink was not or cannot be Koshered.
Explanation: Throughout the year a sink absorbs Chametz through a) Pouring hot Chametz, or Chametz water into it [i.e. draining the pot of pasta]; b) Having Chametz soak in it for 24 hours. C) Washing Chametz dishes with Yad Soledes water, and being that we are initially stringent to follow minority usage, therefore it needs Koshering. Now, if it was not Koshered, one may not pour hot liquid in it on Pesach as this can cause one’s Pesach vessels to absorb Chametz either due to the form of transfer of taste of Iruiy Keli Rishon, or due to Nitzuk Chibur. Now, we are initially stringent on Pesach even regarding a Keli Sheiyni transfer and even if not Ben Yomo, and even if the Chametz absorption was only due to minority usage. Furthermore, it is proper to be stringent regarding a a koshered sink [i.e. stainless steel] being that perhaps it requires Iruiy Keli Rishon with Even Meluban due to having hot dry Chametz fall into it, and this type of koshering is difficult to perform to a sink. Nonetheless, Bedieved, everything remains permitted being that Bedieved we follow majority usage which is with only cold items.
Sources: See Admur 451:27 and 33; 72; See regarding minority usage: Admur 451:27
Question: [Monday, 9th Nissan, 5781]
I know that we are very careful to make sure that all nonfood items that come in contact with food are Kosher for Pesach. Would the same apply to the facemasks that we are wearing due to the Covid pandemic, may we wear them even if they are not kosher for Pesach, as they contact our mouths and lips constantly?
If indeed it were to be discovered that the facemasks contain starch than they would require a Kosher for Pesach certification. I and others have tested several facemasks using iodine solution and none of them came back positive for starch and therefore are clear of any Chametz worry and do not require any certification. However, I cannot speak for every facemask manufactured throughout the world that they too are clear of starch, even though for the most part this is not part of their normal production, and hence every individual can simply check the facemasks that they purchase using an iodine solution.
The need for Kashrus certification on paper towels and tea:
In light of the above, we would like to remind the public of something we mentioned in previous years, and that is that paper towels used to dry things are notorious for containing starch which are possibly wheat based and therefore either need to have a rabbinical certification for Pesach or are to be tested at home using iodine solution to make sure that it is clear of starch. How ironic would it be to dry your freshly cleaned for Pesach kitchen and vessels using paper towels that contain Chametz starch. Likewise, we would like to remind the public that last year we discovered that the paper used to hold the string of teabags may contain starch, and therefore the paper is not to be entered into the Tea water and is preferably to simply cut off prior to use. Alternatively, one should check the paper of his feedback individually using iodine to see if it contains starch or not.
Sources: See https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/paper-plastic-ware-tablecloths-napkins-disposable-gloves-must-they-be-kosher-for-pesach/ https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/does-tea-require-a-hechsher-for-pesach/