Why not come prepared?!
Every time I sit down with a client to design a new kitchen, halachic questions always arise at one point or another.
Granted, I’ve been dealing with these halachic issues for many years, and I've received many responses from different rabbis for most of my questions. However, a rabbi I am not! So- I've put together a list of frequently asked questions – get your Rav's psak, and come prepared to your meeting with your kitchen designer.
- When it comes to kashering countertops for Pesach, is there a difference between granite and Ceaserstone? Is it possible to kasher Corian countertops for Pesach?
- I know Stainless steel sinks can be kashered between meat and milk and for Pesach too, but I don’t like stainless steel. Can other materials, such as Silgranite, ceramic and acrylic also be kashered?
- Induction stoves (If you haven’t heard about this ingenious invention yet, stop what you're doing and google it right now – they're amazing!) can I use the same burner for both meat and milk? Can they be kashered for Pesach?
- I don’t have room for two dishwashers in my kitchen. Can I use a single one for both meat and milk? Under what conditions is this possible?
- I heard it's okay to use a dishwasher on Shabbat as long as you have a 'Machon Tsomet' device installed. Is this true? Can I use a Shabbat timer if I have this device?
- I would only want to have one oven in my kitchen. Can I use it for both milk and meat? How long would I need to wait between cooking meat and milk and vice versa?
- I would like to purchase a double oven and use both of them simultaneously. In this case, can I cook meat and milk at the same time?
And here are a few more questions you might not have even thought of asking:
Refrigerator: Do you have one of these magnets on your fridge?
(I'm sure you will never forget that Shabbos you actually forgot.) These magnets are completely passé now- the light is the least of our problems. Refrigerators now come equipped with sophisticated computerized systems that do things we don’t even know about. For example, some automatically count each opening/closing of the door, and can regulate the cooling mechanism accordingly. This, of course, can be problematic for Shabbat. Therefore, it's important to check if a refrigerator is "certified" to be used on Shabbat, or at least that a special mechanism can be ordered to make it possible to be used on Shabbat.
However, you should be aware that sometimes, having such a mechanism installed by a technician nullifies the manufacturer's warranty. It's important to find out before you purchase a fridge what the ramifications of installing such a mechanism is, how it will affect the fridge's functioning, and – most importantly – can this mechanism be installed by the service provider and also be under warranty.
One more important question you should ask is: In models that have a built-in Shabbat mechanism, if there is a power outage, when the power comes back on, does the fridge revert back to non-Shabbat status? (That would be a real bummer, right?) So, check this out before you make your purchase.
Oven: If you like to leave your oven on to cook and bake on Yom Tov, you should know that some ovens turn off automatically after 12 or 24 hours. Even if you put a Shabbat timer on, if your oven digital, it won't always turn back on after the electricity turns off. If this is a big deal to you, then it should be taken into consideration when you decide which oven to buy.
Looking forward to our next tip,
Creating spaces people want to live in