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Tevillah for Baking with Paper

2 recent questions. Hope the Rav is doing well!

1) A kalla was baking and realized she had no toiveled muffin pans..she wanted to know if she could bake the muffin in the little muffin tins in the pan. Since the food in that case would not theoretically be touching the actual dish. If someone cooks with a separation like a muffin tin or a plastic bag (like people who line their crock pots with special plastic bags ) and the food never touches the actual pot, does the pot require tevila. I have seen brought down in the sefer Tevilas Keilim that Rav S.Z. Aurbach paskened that in the case of wrapped candies the pan does not need tevila but in a case where paper is covering a serving tray the serving tray does need tevila. What is the geder in these cases? Is the geder whether or not the hefsek is for the food (like the wrapper) or the pan? If so, in cases like muffin tins it is hard to say why the tins are there.

2) I wanted to clarify the Rav Shlitta psak on lubricating gel. Is it not smoothing because the gel is too loose or liquidy? Is this toothpaste a problem of smearing becuase it it much thicker?


1. Rav Shlomo Zalman (Minchas Shlomo 2:66) explains that even if a tray is used with baking paper, it still requires tevilah, because this is the normal way of using the tray. Because this is how the tray is used to contain the food, the paper does not constitute a partition (a hefsek), and therefore the tray requires tevilah.

In cases where the separation is not normal, the paper or bag will be considered a partition, and there will not be an obligation of tevilah, and this seems to be the case for the muffin tin bags.

2. The gel, when applied to the woman, is not generally “smoothed over” and unlike the application of cream there is no real desire to smooth it down (and only to lubricate), so that I don’t see any problem of memachek here.

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  1. L’kavod Harav,
    Thanks for answering the questions
    I didn’t fully understand the Rav..

    1) According to your explanation of Rav Aurbach Zt’ll, why don’t the candy dishes need tevila? Also, in my local, Muffins are made by placing the batter of the muffins in baking cup inserts made of paper or foil and then placing the baking cup in a real muffin pan. This prevents the pan from getting dirty and also makes the muffin look more attractive and individual in the end. Muffins are commonly sold in the baking cups made of paper in bakeries here. Since this is seems common shouldn’t the actual pans require tevila according to your psak?

    2)If in the above case, If a man (instead of the woman) were to apply the lubricating gel to himself, he is smoothing the gel in order to lubricate himself. Isn’t this problematic? I know Chacham Ovadia paskens like the Magen Avraham who says that if the entire goal is to absorb the item it is not an act of smoothing, but in this case I don’t see the act as attempting to absorb it into the skin but moisten the top of the skin

    1. Shalom, and nice to hear from you.

      1. If the separation is the norm, it won’t be permitted to use the tray without tevillah. I understood from the question that the separation referred to is not the norm, so that there won’t be an obligation of tevillah. However, if it is the normal way of using the tray, then tevillah will be required. For wrapped candies, there is a separation between the candies and the tray (the separation is not an ordinary way of using the tray, and is therefore not batel to the tray), so that there’s no obligation of tevillah.

      2. For application to the man, this might be a problem (if there is intention to smooth the gel), and it should not be done. The answer was referring to application to the woman.

      Best wishes!

  2. L’kavod Harav, I read the teshuva quoted above by Rav Aurbach Zt’ll and believe he is saying something different than the Rav Shlitta.
    The Minchas Shlomo contrasts 2 cases. 1) derech tashmish of the kli is an entire bag placed into a container like plastic milk bag placed into a metal pitcher (or in my case a wrapped candy in a candy dish made to hold candies) 2) versus derech tashmish is only a piece of paper placed in between a pan and food like a serving tray with paper in between the cake. He says that if the derech hatashmish of the kli is by placing and removing the the bag (like a bag of milk) than this is considered a hefsek. However, if the derech hatashmish is to just place a paper down in between the food then the paper or foil is not a hefsek and one must toivel the kli. According my understanding of the Rav Shlitta’s words above, A person could put tin foil in a pot (which is abnormal ) and exempt himself from tevila by separarting the food from the actual pot. Since the pot is being used in an abnormal way, this is considered a hefsek. However, I don’t beleive Rav Aurbach is saying this. When he says in the seifa that the derech hatishmush is to use it with paper in between, in my humble opinion, he is lav davka saying that only in cases were the actual derech hatishmish of the kli is to use paper is it not a hefsek…his point is that in any case where there is just paper or foil in between this is not considered a hefsek as opposed to the Raysha, the case where a bag that surrounds food like a milk bag is placed in and removed from the kli. Rav Aurbach Zt’ll says that when the food item is surrounded by a bag before entering the kli and the bag is removed from the kli after usage than this bag is considered choshuv and a hefsek, but if the food item never is surrounded by anything and just rests on paper or foil on the tray than this separation is not choshuv and one must toivel the kli…According to my understanding, there is no heter to line a pot with foil and cook even if this is an abnormal hefsek. The wording of derech hatishmish is lav davka in the seifa and is just used to contrast with the raysha…Please tell me if you have any clue of what I am saying..kol tuv Rebbe

    1. Sorry for the delay in replying. I went through the teshuvah again, and what you are saying is certainly possible.
      However, I think that the halachah remains true.
      R’ Shlomo Zalman continues to mention the use of paint, and writes that the paint is (of course) batel to the utensil, and therefore does not constitute a hefsek.
      This means that the status of the separation as a hefsek or otherwise depends on its being batel to the tray/utensil.
      Now, if it is normal to use the separation, such as baking paper, it follows that the paper is batel to the tray, and therefore not a hefek. But if it is unusual, it will not be batel, and therefore will constitute a hefsek.
      We can learn this principle from a number of places, one of them being the laws of carrying on Shabbos: It is permitted to wear clothes on Shabch mabos in the public domain, because they are batel to the body, but it is not permitted to ‘wear’ something that is not ‘derech malbush’ bause this won’t be batel to the body (the same applies to animals and so on). The same idea will apparently apply here, meaning that something which is normal and ordinary is batel and not a hefsek, whereas something unusual is not batel and is a hefsek.

  3. According to my way of learning the teshuva, the hefsek is only chashuv if it is there for the food. In cases of milk bags and candy wrappers the hefsek is their to protect the food and is considered choshuv, but in the case of spreading paper or foil on a serving tray or lining a pot with tin foil, the hefsek is there not to serve the food but to protect the kli and is therefore not choshuv and is batul to the actual kli.

    1. I understand your approach, but as mentioned in the other response, I think the main issue is whether or not the paper is batel to the tray, and this will depend on whether it is normal usage or not.
      Certainly, in the case of milk bags, the bag is not batel to the container.
      Best wishes as ever.

  4. Thank you for going over the teshuva again, I appreciate all of your time and insights on the matter.

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