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Author:  Rafael Hasky
E-mail:  rafahasky@hotmail.com
Date:  6/3/2011 12:22:00 AM
Subject:  Libun Chamur
Message:  Shalom Rav,

I´ve seen you hold it is possible to kosherize grills and ovens by turning them on until it reaches the max temperature. This way it would abide to the rule that "the way it absorves it we can expell" (and also this high temp, would be considered libun chamur)

Still, it seems there are lots of rabbis (yeshiva teachers) and poskim that seem to understand that if something needs libun chamur it must, acording to OH 451:4, be heated until sparks would come out. Thus, they would require a blow torch and, famongst other things, never allow to make a george foreman grill kosher (because it will never turn red) etc. Now, I´m confused!

1 - Is there a machloket between: understanding the S.A. in its kavana (as you seem to do) VS understanding strictly literaly (as others seem to) ???

2 - Is it possible that those other hold like this as a chumra (then, there would be no machloket in the halacha) ?

3 - Is it possible that some serious posek/rabbi would declare that if it is done as you hold it is not kosher?
(to come to a point someone would not eat at my house based on halachic grounds, NOT on politics)

Please, shed me some light because I really do want to understand it.
Reply:  1 - The SHulchan Aruch says that it needs to turn that hot that sparks will come out, that is so that we are sure it got hot enough to kasher the item that needs libun chamur. However, in our cases where we can depend on "the way it absorbs it, we can expel it – kebol’oh kach pol'to", we can LEAVE it on the highest degree for a half hour. (if you left any food item in the oven that long it would be burned to a crisp - thats what happens to whats in the utensils) That would be enough for libun for this item. (I capitalized ‘LEAVE’ because you wrote “until it reaches the max temperature”. That is incorrect. It must be on hottest degree for half hour, not just reach max temperature.

2 - Please ask them and let us know what they say. I would love to know why its needed.

3 - It would only be said for political reasons. If the person is Shomer Shabbat, there is surely no Halachic reason to say not to eat there. I’m sure you realize that it depends how the question is phrased, th the Posek/Rabbi.


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