Question

Dear Rebbe,

My wife and I are travelling to Canada this month to see family. Due to the abundance of snow there and the difficulty of finding a kosher mikvah close by, it would be convenient to tovel dishes and such in the snow. Is this acceptable? If so are there limitations on the type of snow etc?

Best regards,

Answer

In essence, it is a machlokes rishonim whether you can tovel keilim, or anything else for that matter, in unmelted snow. Even according to Rashi, who says you can, it would have to be 240 cubic meters of snow one place.
Lemaaseh, most rishonim hold you can’t. This is the halacha. However, in times of great need we will allow you to tovel glassware or earthenware, which are only chaiv in tevilah miderabbannan, but not metal.
See the sources:
  • Mishna Mikvaot 7:1
  • Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 201:30
  • Yoreh Deah 201:71, Shach; 120:4, Pitchei Teshuvah
  • Tractate Shabbat 154b, Rashi