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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Bo -The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Should a new ger toivel their dishes?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on January 17, 2024)
Topics: Bo, Rosh Yeshiva Responds, Sefer Shemot, Torah

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https://pixabay.com/photos/plate-wash-dish-storage-1767422/

דַּבֶּר נָא בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם וְיִשְׁאֲלוּ אִישׁ מֵאֵת רֵעֵהוּ וְאִשָּׁה מֵאֵת רְעוּתָהּ כְּלֵי כֶסֶף וּכְלֵי זָהָב

“Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow from his neighbor, and every woman from her neighbor, jewels of silver and jewels of gold.” (Shemot 11:2).

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QUESTION-Brooklyn, NY

What is the Rosh Yeshiva’s position on whether a new ger should be toveil their dishes?

ANSWER

This issue is a matter of debate between the poskim. There is no evidence that this was ever done in the past and poskim from previous generations don’t talk about, so the evidence from silence is that it is not required. As to why not – one nice explanation is that just as he enters into kedushat Yisrael, the sanctity of the Jewish people, when he undergoes in his act of conversion, all of his possessions, and in particular his cooking and eating vessels, do as well. Others also argue that a person is only obligated when the vessel is purchased from a non-Jew, which did not happen here.. Some poskim disagree, and some adopt the position that it is doubt as to whether it is required, so one should immerse metal vessels, which many believe are Biblically obligated in immersion, but do so without a brakha. Given the mitzvah of ahavat ha’ger, loving the convert, and trying to not make the conversion even that much more burdensome, it seems to me that if it will be a difficulty to do it (either in terms of effort, or just emotionally difficult), one should rule like the majority of the poskim that he is exempt. On the other hand, if the convert feels that doing so will help mark a transition from his past life to his present one, he should immerse the vessels without a brakha.