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Hilchos Kriyas Shema 87 (page 234)
מאמצע סעיף א אבל אם הן של מתכת עד תחילת סימן פח

Materials Used to Make a Graf
Waste Behind a Partition
Expunging Issur from Plasticware

Materials used to make a graf
A clay or wooden utensil designed to contain tzo'ah is a graf; one that is used to contain urine is an abit. Since the material that such containers are made from is porous, they are always considered to be saturated with waste, and distance is required for the recitation of a davar sh'bekedusha even when they are clean. Glass and metal containers do not absorb their contents in the same way, and distance is not required when they are clean and odorless. Clay containers that are coated with lead - and according to some poskim, glass -- are treated like those made of metal or glass and do not require distance. It is proper to be stringent with containers made of porcelain and rubber, and many poskim hold that this is also true for plastic.
( סעיף א, ס"ק ד, ה ו־ח, וביה"ל ד"ה אבל; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 6)
Waste behind a partition
If waste matter that is forbidden mid'rabonon is behind a partition , a person may recite a davar sh'bekedusha if the mechitza or other object is ten tefachim high and four tefachim wide (the thickness is not important) and the waste is not visible to him. If the waste matter is forbidden mid'oraisa, the partition must be from floor to ceiling.
( סעיף ג, ס"ק ט, וביה"ל ד"ה מותר; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 10; הקדמת הביה"ל לסימן עט, אות ה; וראה שם לענין מחיצה בפני דבר מיאוס הנמצא במקום שאינו מוקף במחיצות)
Expunging issur from plastic
If a metal, wood or stone utensil absorbed a forbidden substance (e.g. a meat and milk combination), the forbidden matter can be expunged by dipping the utensil into boiling water, a form of kashering known as hagalah. This method does not work for pottery, glazed pottery, porcelain, and -- according to many poskim -- for lead-coated pottery. According to the Rama, glass utensils are treated as pottery and cannot be easily kashered (at least with regard to chometz). According to the Mechaber, glass does not require hagalah. The contemporary poskim debate the status of plastic vis-à-vis hagalah.
( ס"ק ה וביה"ל ד"ה אבל; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 7)

  • If someone is standing in a place where it is forbidden to study Torah and he spies another Jew about to transgress a prohibition, he is permitted to alert that Jew about the issur.
  • It is forbidden to recite a davar sh'bekedusha around a strong, offensive odor caused by rotting. Distance is not required for only slightly offensive smells, although it is commendable to stay away from those as well.
  • A potty or commode made from wood or clay requires distance mid'oraisa, even if it is clean. 

  • Tevilas Ezra

  • Days when tevilas Ezra is forbidden

  • An alternative to tevilas Ezra



PLEASE NOTE:  The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.