Sunday, March 15, 2009

An OU Pesach Leniency

Is the OU moving towards the dark-side?

Well, no, not really. But check out their 2009 Guide to Passover in which they state:
To kasher a dishwasher, one should wait twenty four hours, make sure that the dishwasher is clean, and then run two cycles. If the dishwasher is plastic, there is a debate as to whether one may kasher it, and an Orthodox rabbi should be consulted.
Not only do they state that there are opinions that plastic can be kashered, but there is no mention of any problem with the racks, which are often rubber-coated metal.

I couldn't find last year's OU guide, but here is a 2007 link to an OU-affiliated shul which references and which clearly states "Dishwashers may not be kashered for Pesach".

This is similar to the Star-K's opinion, which states "One may not kasher a dishwasher from treif to kosher, from chometz to Pesach, from meat to milk or from milk to meat. This is true even if the interior is stainless steel, since all the hoses, fittings, pumps, etc. cannot be kashered."

Chicago's CRC similarly holds - based on a Rema - that dishwashers cannot be kashered, classifying them with sieves and other utensils that cannot be made perfectly clean before kashering.

Sephardim are generally more lenient in their approach to this issue. For example, "Gateway to Halacha" states that one simply needs to "clean away any tangible Chametz and run through one cycle empty. Some recommend replacing the racks for Pesah."

The most lenient opinion from a respected posek is that of Rabbi Yitzchak Abadi who states: "Any dishwasher can be used for dairy and then immediately afterwards for meat & vice-versa. And the same goes for Passover and non-Passover uses one after the next."

(BTW, if you are unacquainted with, browse through some of answers R. Abadi has given to various questions on kashrut - you will be quite surprised! Unfortunately, halachic sources are not included in the vast majority of answers, although one interesting post left by Marc Shapiro provides some sources for an important shitah of R. Abadi: that one can rely on intentional bitul by a non-Jew and basically just read the ingredients of a product to determine its kosher status!)


Mark said...

You're right, some of the Psakim are quite surprising. The first one I stumbled into was that a dairy knife used to cut cold chicken doesn't need to be Kashered. I always assumed that because of Duchka D'Sakinah, the knife would need Kashering.
A Psak that I was not surprised by was allowing to bake meat and dairy one after another in one oven without covering. I think many Frum people have gone really nuts on this one. I was actually told by an Alum of Telshe Yeshivah that R' Gifter allowed the same thing.

BTW FH, how familiar are you with these Halachos. It would be interesting to discuss them with you.

Frum Heretic said...

how familiar are you with these Halachos.

I know enough to make me dangerous: have been through a lot of Chochmat Adam (though it's been a while) and numerous more modern works.

My big beefs with kashrut are the chumrot that 1) were instituted because rabbanim often didn't trust the average person not to make mistakes (e.g., relying on nosen taam lifgam / aino ben yomo) and 2) are strictly a result of the big ka$hrut agencies protecting their turf.

That's why I appreciate Rabbi Abadi's common sense approach (although for the benefit of dinner guests I often can't rely on his opinions.)

Mark said...

According to his Psak about dishwashers, same would apply to sinks. It's therefore unnecessary to have separate sinks.

My beef with Kashrus is on two levels:
1) the whole history of it. How did we get from "Don't cook a kid in its mother's milk" to having separate glasses for meat and dairy.

2) Basically your points, in addition to constantly going for the more Machmir opinion especially when a look at the sources reveals that the more lenient opinion has got it right. This is especially prevalent by Ashkenazim.

naomi said...

Thanks for posting this. I am just wondering out of curiosity, and i hope this is not too forward, but how does your knowledge effect your own halachic practise? Do you do away with the chumras most people take as halacha or do you for the most part play the game?

Frum Heretic said...

I certainly do not "play the game" and have adopted many, many leniencies. Wait for my new post on Pesach and you'll see to what extent I do so!