A Kashrus Primer

The information you need to ask a Sheiyla

Rabbi Shlomo Cohen

Kashrus is a very important component in your kitchen. As with all kitchens, occasionally accidents happen. Are your utensils still Kosher? Is your food edible?

There are a number of factors which will determine whether or not your knives, spoons, forks, dishes, pots or food are Kosher.

When you call your Rav with a Kashrus question these are the pieces of information he will need to know.

We will look at each of these factors as separate issues, although often several will combine in any single incident.


Things are either wet or dry. Wet creates many more questions than dry things do although there can be Sheilos here as well. The degree of wetness generally means that it you touch it there will be enough moisture to transfer to another object.

YAD SOLEDES BO [the temperature from which your hand would recoil]

Perhaps the biggest questions occur over the temperature of the questionable item. In Halacha there is no such thing as warm. Either an item is hot or cold. The cut-off point in temperature will be

BEN YUMO [within or outside a 24 hour time frame]

ROTEIV [hot soup or gravy]

BOTEL B’SHISHIM [nullified in 60 times the amount]

DEVORIM SHE’AINON MISVATLIM [some things cannot be nullified]

NOSEIN TAM LIFGAM [that which imparts a bad taste]

NOSEIN TAM BAR NOSEIN TAM [a two-step transfer of a flavor]

KLI RISHON / SHEINI / SHLISHI [the original cooking vessel / transferred to a second vessel / transferred to a third vessel]

DOCHKA D’SAKINA [pressure on a knife]

DAVAR GUSH [a thick substance]

DAVAR CHARIF [spicy things]

KAVUSH [something let soaking in a liquid]

DAVAR HA’ASUR MISHUM SAKANA [those things prohibited because of danger]

AKUM [acronym for a non-jew]

          PAS [bread baked by a non-jew]

          CHALAV [unsupervised milking by a non-jew]

          GEVINA [cheese produced by a non-jew]

          BASAR [meat left unsupervised in the presence of a non-jew]

          YAYIN [wine produced by or left unsupervised with a non-jew]

T’VILAS KEILIM [immersing utensils in a Kosher Mikva]

HECHSHER KEILIM [Kashering those utensils the have become non-kosher]

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