Before dishes and utensils can be used in the kosher kitchen, they must acquire an additional measure of holiness which is conferred through the ritual immersion in a pool of naturally gathered water, or mikvah. The keilim mikvah is located next to the women’s entrance to the mikvah. The code is located on the gate. Please note that the keilim mikvah is only open during daytime hours. Anyone found using the keilim mikvah after this time will have their privileges immediately and permanently revoked. This is to protect the privacy of women who will be using the mikvah at night. If you are having trouble accessing the keilim mikvah, please contact the synagogue office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-882-7225
Guide to Immersing Vessels
What kinds of vessels require immersion?
A vessel must be immersed if it is a. made of metal or glass, and b. comes in direct contact with food, and c. if water won’t damage the vessel. The vessel should be immersed prior to use, but may still be immersed if it has already been used.
The following do not require immersion: storage containers that are never brought to the table (e.g. cookie jar), appliances which do not come in contact with food (e.g. can opener), knives or scissors used for art projects.
Vessels made of plastic, rubber, or wood do not require immersion.
What about china or stoneware?
There is a debate among halachic authorities as to whether or not dishes made of china, glazed stoneware, or porcelain require immersion. We follow the opinion of R’ Moshe Feinstein, who says it is not required. If you choose to immerse dishes made of these materials, do so without saying a blessing.
How do I prepare my vessels for immersion?
Be sure to remove any stickers, wrappers, glue or dirt from the vessels. Every part of the vessel must be able to come in full contact with the water.
How do I immerse my vessel?
(בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְ-הֹוָה אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל טְבִילַת כֶּלִי (כֵּלִים
Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam asher kideshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al tevilat kli (keilim)
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with God’s commandments, and commanded us concerning the immersion of a vessel [or vessels].
If you are immersing one vessel, recite “al tevilat kli”. If you are immersing more than one vessel, recite “al tevilat keilim”. Recite the blessing while holding the first vessel. If one is immersing many vessels in close succession, then the one blessing is sufficient for all the vessels that will follow.
After reciting the blessing, immerse the vessel. The entire vessel must be under the water at one time, and the water must touch the entire vessel inside and out. You can accomplish this by letting go of the vessel for a split second while it is under the water.
For smaller utensils, silverware or glasses, feel free to use the basket. Place the utensils in the basket and immerse the basket far enough so that all the utensils are completely submerged. Once the basket is fully submerged under the water, jiggle it a little to ensure that the water touches all of the utensils.
When you are done immersing your vessels, please be sure to take all your things and discard of any trash.