Selected Halachos of Pesach 5773 / 2012 - Vol 1.1

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Selected Halachos of Pesach 5773 / 2012 - Vol 1.1
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim
of Greater Washington
Volume 1.1
Inquiries into
Selected Halachos of Pesach
P e s ac h 5 7 7 3 · M a r c h 2 0 1 3
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington: Pesach 2013
Page 1
Table of Contents
Rabbi Moshe Walter, Woodside Synagogue Ahavas Torah. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
To Clean or Not to Clean, That is the Question: An Analysis of the Halachic Requirements
of Bedikas Chametz and a How-To Guide to Pre-Pesach Cleaning.
Rabbi Dr. Barry Freundel, Kesher Israel Congregation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Kitniyot: It’s Not the Same as Chametz
Rabbi Yosef Singer, Young Israel Ezras Israel Potomac . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Stranger in the Land: An Overview of the Halachos of a Ben Eretz Yisroel in Chutz L'Aretz
and a Ben Chutz L'Aretz in Eretz Yisroel for Pesach
The Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington is pleased to present the inaugural issue
of its halachic bulletin which will be published, im yirtzeh Hashem, semi-annually, before
Pesach and before the Yamim Noraim.
The articles herein are halachic in nature and address contemporary issues and questions
revolving around Yom Tov observance. Their purpose is not only to increase general
knowledge about the topics at hand but also to provide a portal for in-depth Torah study
and analysis. As such, references to original sources are provided and readers are strongly
encouraged to explore them on their own. The reader will note that final halachic positions – psakim – on particular issues are based on the author’s analysis of the topic. The
bulletin does not seek to present itself as the final halachic authority on any question. For
that please consult with the author or with your local Rav.
Questions, comments, and suggestions are most welcome and may be sent to
[email protected]
Wishing you all a Chag Kasher v’Sameach,
Rabbi Moshe Walter
Woodside Synagogue Ahavas Torah
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington: Pesach 2013
Page 2
To Clean or Not to Clean,
That is the Question
An Analysis of the Halachic Requirements of Bedikas Chametz
and a How-To Guide To Pre-Pesach Cleaning.
Rabbi Moshe Walter
Woodside Synagogue Ahavas Torah
For centuries, the Laws of Bedikas Chametz were not an area of Hilchos Pesach that were approached with
anxiety or trepidation. Jews lived in small homes, owned small lots, and did not have a great many possessions. Even those Jews who were better-off financially did not have pantries full of food, or fridges or
freezers altogether. Kitchens in general were very small, did not have a sitting area, had limited preparation
area, and minimal to no cooking, frying, or baking capability. As such, every home was able to easily fulfill
the opening statement of the mishnah in Pesachim which states, “On the night of the fourteenth of Nissan
we search for chametz.”1
Times have changed. Apartments and homes are larger than ever, and are quickly filled with a variety of
accessories that are standard for today’s day and age. Kitchens and eating areas are especially large in many
Jewish homes, while pantries, drawers, fridges, and freezers are lined with an assortment of fresh food, prepared food, and perishables. As a result of this phenomenon the following relation would seem to be true:
the larger the home and kitchen, the more possessions owned, the more extensive the cleaning and bedikas
chametz process becomes. Because of the extensive cleaning that is required to establish a chametz-free
home, it is no longer possible to clean one’s home in entirety on the evening of the 14th of Nissan as the
Mishnah states.2 Weeks before, in anticipation of Pesach, Jews the world over meticulously clean and scour,
rinse, and wash upstairs and downstairs, inside and out to enter the holiday of Pesach chometz-free.
The incredible enthusiasm that Jews exhibit to create a chometz-free home in the 21st century often causes
confusion as to what really has to be cleaned for Pesach and what can often turn into a “spring cleaning”.
Furthermore, many who insist on doing more cleaning and being “machmir” or stringent enter the seder
exhausted which results in not enjoying or properly fulfilling the biblical and rabbinic mitzvos performed
throughout the evening.3 The pressure of pre-Pesach cleaning can often reach unnecessary and overwhelming heights while curbing one’s excitement and anticipation toward the holiday of Pesach. What follows is
1
Pesachim Perek 1, Mishna 1. Maseches Pesachim 2a.
See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim siman 433 seif 11 that even if one begins to clean one’s home in advance of the night of the
fourteenth of Nissan (which is the required time to check the home for chametz) nonetheless one must still do a bona fide bedikas
chametz on the eve of the fourteenth of Nissan. See Shaar HaTziyon Siman 432 #12 and Sefer Halichos Shlomo, Pesach chapter 5 seif
1 as to how to accomplish this.
3
There is a halachic basis and precedent for being stringent in cleaning for Pesach. The Tur, Hilchos Pesach siman 442 #6 writes that
those whose custom it is to scrape the walls and chairs that chametz came in contact with can find support to their practice from
the Talmud Yerushalmi which states that one whose home is plastered with dough must destroy the dough. See Beis Yosef. Bach
ibid concludes that this proof is not conclusive. See Mishna Berurah ibid #28 and Shaar HaTzion #52. It is not this author’s intent to
abolish minhagim which have been passed down by Klal Yisrael from generation to generation, nevertheless, some practices in the
pre-Pesach cleaning today are not an actual continuation of old minhagim. Furthermore, stringencies in this area can often lead to
leniency in how one manages to enjoy and fulfill the mitzvos on seder night as a result of exhaustion due to unnecessary pre-Pesach
cleaning.
2
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington: Pesach 2013
Page 3
an attempt to chronicle the relevant source material and present the halachic requirements and guidelines to
cleaning for Pesach and the mitzvah of Bedikas Chametz.
There are a total of five negative biblical commandments not to eat, own, or find chametz on Pesach, and one
positive commandment to nullify one’s chametz.4 The negative commandment not to eat chametz or leaven
carries with it the punishment of Kares.5 Besides the Biblical prohibition to nullify one’s chametz, Chazal
added a rabbinic injunction to search and destroy all chametz in one’s possession to guarantee that one
not come to eat any chametz or transgress the negative commandment not to see or not to find chametz.6
Although one does not transgress the negative commandment not to see or find chametz (Ba’al Yeraeh and
Ba’al Yematzeh) unless the chametz is the measurement of a kazayis (olive), most halachic authorities are of
the opinion that one is required to search and destroy chametz that is less than the measurement of a kazayis
lest one come to eat it. 7
As a result of these prohibitions of chametz on Pesach, Jews have historically been extraordinarily diligent,
careful, and machmir to clean the home very well in preparation of Pesach.8
The Mishnah in Pesachim states: “Any place into which chametz is not usually brought does not require
searching.”9 The Mishnah’s statement raises two questions:
1. Why does the Mishnah add the word “any” to preface its statement, would it not have sufficed for the
Mishnah to say that “a” place into which chametz is not brought does not require searching?
2. The Mishnah’s statement is written in the negative, what then is included in the inverse of the statement that would require searching?
The Gemara in Pesachim addresses these two points.10 The word “any” serves to include that holes in the
wall of a house that are very high or very low, the roof of an annex, the roof of a tower shaped closet, a cattle
barn, chicken coops, a storehouse of straw, storehouses of wine, and storehouses of oil are all exempt from
searching for chametz.
Three additional exemptions emerge from the examples that the Gemara gleans from the word “any” that may not
have been obvious were the Mishnah to have used the word “a” instead. 11
1. Places that are difficult or cumbersome to store chametz are exempt from searching for chametz.
2. Certain places where animals are found are exempt from searching for chametz because the animals
will consume the food.
3. Places that are not common for food to be brought are exempt from searching for chametz.
4
Rambam Sefer HaMitzvos, Lo Taaseh #197,198,199,200,201. Ibid, Aseh #156. See as well Koseres of Rambam to Hilchos Chametz
U’Matzah. Sefer HaChinuch follows the position of the Rambam. See mitzvos 9,11,12,19,20,485.
5
See ibid.
6
Rashi Pesachim 2a d”h Bodkin, Tosofos ibid d”h Ohr, Ran to Rif ibid 1a. Mishna Berurah siman 431 seif katan 2.
7
Chayei Adam Klal 119 seif 6, Shulchan Aruch HaRav siman 442 seif 28, Chazon Ish Orach Chaim siman 116 #13 D”H V’hagra,SeferMachaneh Yisrael of the Chafetz Chaim chapter 10. Mishna Berurah ibid. #33 cites a machlokes achronim about this point, and does
not seem to take a position. See Sefer Halichos Shlomo, Pesach chapter 5 Dvar Halachah #10 who understands Mishna Berurah siman
433 Shaar HaTzion #33 to be taking the lenient position.
8
See footnote 3.
9
Perek 1, Mishna 1, Maseches Pesachim 2a.
Maseches Pesachim 8a.
11
Pesachim ibid.
10
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington: Pesach 2013
Page 4
The common denominator between these three examples are that they are places that are assumed to be
chametz free and, as such, do not require any bedikah (search) to take place.
The Gemara mentions a second ironclad rule based on the third example listed above. Although places
where it is not common for food to be brought are exempt from searching, if at times food may have been
brought or can be brought, then that area requires a regular bedikah (searching).
The third and final rule is that any place where food is stored, eaten, or brought is required to be searched
for chametz. This rule is the inverse of the Mishnah’s statement, and includes all obvious places where food
has been throughout the course of the year. The Mishnah and Gemara need not elaborate on this rule because through the process of elimination based on what has been included in the first two rules any obvious
place where food has been, must be checked.
These three categories that the Gemara outlines are not challenged, and are further supported by the Rishonim and codified in Shulchan Aruch.12 Because the Gemara only articulates the basic rules outlined above,
and only lists some examples of places that do and do not have to be checked for chametz, many Rishonim
and Achronim have written more expansive lists of places that should be checked for chametz. The following are a number of contemporary examples that the Rishonim, Shulchan Aruch, Ramo, and Achronim have
placed an emphasis on to check for chametz.
1. Kitchen and all eating areas – must be cleaned thoroughly as they are certainly considered places unto
which chametz is brought.13
2. Living room, bedrooms, basement14 – do or do not have to be cleaned of chametz based upon the house
rules as to where food is brought. If one never brings food into these areas then they do not have to
be cleaned and searched for chametz.15 If one snacks and/or brings food into these places from time
to time then they require a thorough cleaning.16Children’s bedrooms and or a home with children
changes the rules since there is a strong assumption that children carry, store, or move food around
the home. As such, many places that may have ordinarily been deemed as being “chametz free” are
redefined and must be carefully checked.17
3. Closets, drawers, and bookshelves should be handled and treated as articulated in #2 above.
4. Floors – As we don’t have earthen floors with deep cracks in them, it is sufficient for tiled floors or covered floors to be swept and washed with a household floor cleaner. Cracks and spaces between tiles do
not have to be checked after.18
5. Toys – should be checked for chametz, but need not be scrubbed incessantly.19
Pesachim ibid, and Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 433.
As explained in the third rule in the text above
14
Maharil, Hilchos Bedikas Chametz 3, Tur siman 433 seif 3, Beis Yosef ibid, Bach citing Kol Bo, Pesach beginning of siman 48 Shulchan Aruch siman 433 seif 3, Shulchan Aruch HaRav siman 433 seif 12 and 13.
15
Mishna Pesachim Perek 1, Mishna 1.
12
13
16
Mishna Berurah siman 433, #13.
Shulchan Aruch siman 433 seif 3 states that one is required to search all areas that are suspect to chametz having been brought.
A home that ordinarily may not have chametz and does not require to be searched has a different halachic precedent then a home
with one child or a house full of children.
18
Mishna Berurah siman 442 #33.
19
Ibid. If chametz is ruined or not fit to eat one has fulfilled his obligation.
17
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington: Pesach 2013
Page 5
6. Clothes that have pockets, knapsacks, lunchboxes, etc. where one (especially children) has placed chametz, or may have placed chametz should be checked for chametz.20
7. There are differences of opinion regarding whether books and seforim are required to be checked for
chametz.21
8. A backyard, patio, and open porch do not have to be checked for chametz because it is assumed that
local animals and birds have disposed of whatever chametz may have existed.22
9. Cars must be cleaned and checked for chametz as they are classified as places unto which food has
been brought.23
10. A Shul and Beis Medrash are required to be cleaned of chametz followed by bedikas chametz.24
11. Any area of a home (ie: food pantry, kitchen utensils, particular room, etc. that will be sold to a nonJew does not have to be cleaned for chametz provided that it is properly closed off and sealed for the
duration of the holiday.25
20
Darchei Moshe and Ramo siman 433 #11 citing Mahari Vayil siman 193. See Magen Avraham ibid #22, Chok Yaakov ibid #26, Gra
D”H V’hakisim, Mishna Berurah #47, 48.
21
The basis for disagreement is based upon sources quoted in footnote 6 as to whether crumbs less than the size of an olive have
to be destroyed. Sefer Maaseh Rav of the Gra # 178 states – “(one must check) even in seforim that were used during the meal.”
See Orchos Rabeinu, Pesach #21, Responsa Ohr L’tzion volume 1 siman 32, and sefer Halichos Shlomo, Pesach chapter 5 seif 6. It is
advisable that bentchers used during the year should be put away for Pesach.
22
Maseches Pesachim 8a, Rambam Hilchos Chometz U’Matzah chapter 2 Halacha 4, Shulchan Aruch siman 433 #6. A covered porch
may be different. See Siddur Pesach K’hilchaso chapter 12 seif 5.
23
See sefer Siddur Pesach K’hilchaso chapter 13 seif 10, Nitaey Gavriel, Pesach volume 1, Chapter 21.
24
Talmud Yerushalmi, Pesachim chapter 1, Halacha 1, Tur and Beis Yosef siman 433 #10. Shulchan Aruch ibid. See Chok Yaakov ibid.
#22, and Mishna Berurah #43.
25
Mishna Berurah siman 436 #32, Halichos Shlomo, Pesach Chapter 5 Halacha 3, and ibid, Dvar halacha #6.
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington: Pesach 2013
Page 6
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leaven
but
to the state of decay.
The
Talmud
then
records
disputant
totothis
The Talmud then records a disputant to this position:
The
Talmud
then
a disputant
this
position:
.‫בפסח‬
‫חובתו‬
‫בו ידי‬records
‫יוצא‬
‫ואדם‬
...‫כרת‬
‫וחייבין על‬
,‫ אורז מין דגן הוא‬:‫ דאמר‬,‫דלא כרבי יוחנן בן נורי‬
The Talmud
then
records
a disputant
to ‫חימוצו‬
thistoposition:
.‫ ואדם יוצא בו ידי חובתו בפסח‬...‫ וחייבין על חימוצו כרת‬,‫ אורז מין דגן הוא‬:‫ דאמר‬,‫דלא כרבי יוחנן בן נורי‬
.‫בפסח‬does
‫חובתו‬not
‫ ידי‬agree
‫יוצא בו‬with
‫ואדם‬R.
...‫כרת‬
‫חימוצו‬b.‫על‬Nuri,
‫וחייבין‬
,‫הוא‬maintains:
‫אורז מין דגן‬Rice
:‫דאמר‬
‫יוחנן בן‬
[This]
Johanan
who
is ,a‫נורי‬
species
of‫כרבי‬
corn,‫דלא‬
[This]
does(being
not agree
Johananfor
b. [eating
Nuri, who
maintains:
Ricestate.
is a species
corn,
and
kareth
cut with
off) isR.incurred
it in]
its leavened
… and aofman
[This]
does
not
agree
with
R.
Johanan
b.
Nuri,
who
maintains:
Rice
is
a
species
of
corn,
and
kareth
(being
cut
off)
is
incurred
for
[eating
it
in]
its
leavened
state.
…
and
a
man
discharges
his with
obligation
with itb.on
Passover.
[This] does
not agree
R. off)
Johanan
Nuri,
maintains:
is a species
and
kareth
(being
cut
is incurred
forwho
[eating
it in] itsRice
leavened
state. of
…corn,
and aand
mankareth (being cut
discharges
his obligation
with
it on Passover.
off) is incurred
for
[eating
ittaken
in] its
leavened
state. … and
man discharges
obligation
with is
it on Passover.
discharges
obligation
with
it on Passover.
Despite
thehis
position
by
Rabbi
Yochanan
benaNuri,
our customhis
regarding
kitniyot
Despite
the
position
taken
by
Rabbi
Yochanan
ben
Nuri,
our
custom
regarding
kitniyot
is
not
a stringency
that seeks
to include
Yochanan
ben
Nuri’s opinion
inisour
DespiteDespite
thesimply
position
taken by
Rabbi
Yochanan
ben Rabbi
Nuri,
custom
regarding
kitniyot
not simply a strintheaposition
taken
byseeks
Rabbi
ben our
Nuri,
our custom
regarding
kitniyot
not simply
stringency
that
toYochanan
include
Rabbi
Yochanan
bentaking
Nuri’s
opinion
in ouris
practice.
That
is
because
the
Talmud
explicitly
precludes
us
from
his
view
into
gency that
seeks
toainclude
Rabbi
Yochanan
ben Nuri’s
opinion
in our
That
is in
because
not
simply
stringency
that
to include
Rabbi
Yochanan
benpractice.
Nuri’shis
opinion
our the Talmud
practice.
That
is
the2seeks
Talmud
explicitly
precludes
us from
taking
view into
consideration.
Asbecause
it tells us:
2
2his
practice.
That
is
because
the
Talmud
explicitly
precludes
us
from
taking
his
view
into
explicitly
precludes
us
from
taking
view
into
consideration.
As
it
tells
us:
consideration. As it tells us:2
consideration. As it tells us: .‫ לית דחייש להא דרבי יוחנן בן נורי‬:‫ שמע מינה דרב הונא‬:‫אמר רב אשי‬
.‫ לית דחייש להא דרבי יוחנן בן נורי‬:‫ שמע מינה דרב הונא‬:‫אמר רב אשי‬
.‫ לית דחייש להא דרבי יוחנן בן נורי‬:‫ שמע מינה דרב הונא‬:‫אמר רב אשי‬
1
R. Ashi said:
From 35a.
R. Huna you may infer
that none pay heed to the ruling of R. Johanan b. Nuri.
B. Pesachim
21
12
B. Pesachim114b.
35a.
B.Pesachim
B.
Pesachim114b.
35a.
B.Pesachim
This is the
approach
taken by Rambam3 and others.4 The rationale behind their position is, as the Talmud
2
1
B.Pesachim 114b.
cited above states, that flour created from rice and 1similar items, when mixed with water, does not undergo
1
leavening, rather, it simply decays.
1
B. Pesachim 35a.
B. Pesachim 114b.
3
Hilkhot Chametz Umatzah 5:1,
4
R. Moshe b. R. Jacob of Coucy, Seher Mitzvot Gadol, Negative Precepts #79, Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayim 453: 1,
2
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington: Pesach 2013
Page 7
It is only the classic five species of grain, wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt, that actually do become leaven
and therefore only those can be used for matzah (if baked properly), and conversely, only they fall into the
category of chametz.5
We do not hear about any possible prohibition concerning kitniyot until the thirteenth century and the
Tosafists in Franco-Germany.6 It is unclear who the first to mention this custom actually is. Some claim that
Rabbi Yitzchak ben Rabbi Yosef of Corbiel (1210 – 1280) in his Sefer Mitzvot Katan (Semak) is the first to
mention it.7 However the relevant passage actually appears in notes to that text written by Rabbi Peretz ben
Eliyahu, who died around 1300.8
On the other hand, in Rabbi Mordechai ben Hillel’s (1240 – his martyrdom in 1298) Talmudic commentary
(known as Mordechai), he says that his brother-in-law, the author of Sefer Mitzvot Katan, was the one who
wrote about and validated the minhag.9
Mordechai lists several reasons for the custom. One, kitniyot produce a maase kedeira (a cooked dish similar
to what the five grains produce), which might lead to confusion between what is permitted and what is
prohibited. Two, these things are heaped up like grain and therefore look like grain, which again might lead
to confusion. Three, there are communities that make “bread” from the kitniyot species, and again, we might
find some reason for confusion. Four, these species are not distinct enough from grains to be recognized as
not in the same category. This is different than, for example, cabbage which is obviously visibly distinct from
the things that we use to make matzah.
Mordechai then
by saying:
‫ דמדגן‬concludes
‫משום דהוה מידי‬
‫ומנהג הגון הוא ליזהר מכל קטניות ומכל דבר שקורין ליגו"ם וגם חרדל נכון לאסור‬
‫מכל קטניות ומכל דבר שקורין ליגו"ם וגם חרדל נכון לאסור משום דהוה מידי דמדגן‬
‫הגון הוא‬
‫ומנהג‬
...‫ליזהרשרי‬
‫דתלמודא‬
‫על גב‬
‫אף‬
...‫אף על גב דתלמודא שרי‬
“[I]t is an appropriate custom to keep away from all kitniyot and from anything called
“[I]t is anand
appropriate
custom
to keep
away
from all
andeven
from
anything
called
legumes,
from mustard,
which
is also
heaped
up kitniyot
like grain;
though
the Talmud
“[I]t is anpermits
appropriate
to keepwhich
away is
from
kitniyot
called
legumes,
and custom
from mustard,
alsoall
heaped
up and
like from
grain;anything
even though
thelegumes,
Talmud and from
their
use…”
mustard, permits
which istheir
alsouse…”
heaped up like grain; even though the Talmud permits their use…”
Returning to Rabbi Peretz’s notes to the SeferMitzvotKatan, he is far less convinced than
Returning to Rabbi
Peretz’s
notes to the
SeferMitzvotKatan,
he ishisfarteacher,
less convinced than
whether
this
is to
be followed.
cites
ReturningMordechaiabout
to Rabbi Peretz’s
notes to
thecustom
Sefer Mitzvot
Katan, heHe
is far
less convincedRabbi
than Mordechai about
Mordechaiabout
whether
this who
custom
is toonbe“gedolim”(great
followed. He cites
his teacher,
Rabbi on
Yechiel
of Paris (d.
c. 1265),
relied
sages),
and ate kitniyot
whether this custom is to be followed. He cites his teacher, Rabbi Yechiel of Paris (d. c. 1265), who relied
Yechiel Nonetheless,
of Paris (d. c.Rabbi
1265),Peretz
who relied
“gedolim”(great
andbyateMordechai
kitniyot onin
Pesach.
(who on
cites
all the reasons sages),
presented
on gedolim
(greatNonetheless,
sages), and ate
kitniyot
on(who
Pesach.
Nonetheless,
Rabbi
Peretz by
(who
cites all the
Pesach.
Rabbi
Peretz
cites
all
the
reasons
presented
Mordechai
in reasons
the same words as Mordechai does), concludes that this is a minhag (a custom), from the
presentedearly
by same
Mordechai
in
the
same
words
asconcludes
Mordechai
does),
concludes
that
this is but
a from
minhag
(a custom),
the
words
as “the
Mordechai
this is
minhag
(a custom),
sages
which
world” does),
practices,
that hasthat
nothing
toa do
with leavening
is athe
from the early
sages
which
“the
world”
practices,
that
has
nothing
to
do
with
leavening
but
is
a
gezeirah
gezeirah (decree) that should bepractices,
followed.that has nothing to do with leavening but is a
(decree) that
should
be followed.
gezeirah
(decree)
that should be followed.
Finally, for this part of our discussion, Tur adds the concern that when cooked,prohibited
Finally,
forofthis
ofadequately
our discussion,
Turconcern
adds
thehave
concern
when
cooked,prohibited
cannot
be
separated
might
beenthat
mixed
in prohibited
with
these grain
thingswhich cannot
Finally, forgrain
this which
part
ourpart
discussion,
Tur adds
the
that
when
cooked,
grain
which
cannot
be
adequately
separated
might
have
been
mixed
in
with
these
things
that have
been might
included
in been
the prohibition
against
kitniyot.
thatthe prohibition
be adequately
separated
have
mixed in with
these
thingsTur
thatconcludes,
have been however,
included
in
10 Tur concludes, however, that
that
have
been
included
in
the
prohibition
against
kitniyot.
this
is
an
excessive
stringency
which
we
do
not
practice.
against kitniyot. Tur concludes, however, that this is an excessive stringency
which we do not practice.10
this is an excessive stringency which we do not practice.10
‫ויש אוסרין לאכול אורז וכל מיני קטניות בתבשיל לפי שמיני חטין מתערבין בהן וחומרא יתירא היא זו ולא‬
‫אוסרין לאכול אורז וכל מיני קטניות בתבשיל לפי שמיני חטין מתערבין בהן וחומרא יתירא היא זו ולא‬
‫ויש‬
.‫נהגו כן‬
.‫נהגו כן‬
In short, we do not know the true origin of the kitniyot custom, nor who actually first
5
M. Pesachim
2:5
andwe
the
other
this far
in
In
short,
notsources
know
the true
origin
ofarticle.
thein
kitniyot
custom,
norTosafist
who actually
originated
it,do
only
that
ascited
indicated,
it this
appears
FrancoGerman
circlesfirst
in the
6
For example
Siddur Rashi,
which11
contains
comments it
byappears
Rashi (d. in
1105),
his contemporaries
and hiscircles
students,
an Ashkenazi work
originated
it,
only
that
as
indicated,
FrancoGerman
Tosafist
inisthe
thirteenth century.
from before this date, and it permits
11 kitniyot (sections 397 and 691).
thirteenth century.
7
Rav S. Y. Zevin,
Ha-Moadim
Be-Halakha,
Jerusalem,
v. 2 p.
Wherever
the custom
comes
from, 1980,
the lack
of305.
a clear statement of origins in the literature
8
Hagahot ofWherever
Rabbenu Peretz
to
Semak
Mitzvah
222.
the custom
comestofrom,
the lack
ofentire
a clear
statement
of origins
the literature
has
led
to
periodic
attempts
challenge
the
kitniyot
prohibition.
Forinexample,
9
Mordechaihas
Pesachim
th
led to588.
periodic attempts
to challenge
the
entire
kitniyot
prohibition.
For example,
RabbeinuYerucham
(13
century),
says
that
those
who
do
not
eat
rice
or
kitniyot
on Pesach
10
th Orah Hayim 453.
R. Jacob ben
Asher (c. 1269 - c. 1343),
12who do not eat rice or kitniyot on Pesach
(13
century),
says
that
those
RabbeinuYerucham
are following a foolish custom, )‫)מנהג שטות הוא‬.
are following a foolish custom, )‫)מנהג שטות הוא‬.12
One of the most dramatic challenges is a claim by Rabbi Yaakov Emden (1697-1776)
One
of the
mostissue
dramatic
challenges that
is a leads
claim to
byleniency”(
Rabbi Yaakov
Emden
(1697-1776)
that this
entire
is a “stringency
‫דאתי לידי‬
‫חומרא‬
‫שהוא‬
that
this
entire
isisathat
“stringency
leniency”(
‫לידי‬
‫חומרא‬
‫ שהוא‬if2013
‫)קולא‬,since
the issue
result
weHarabanim
bake that
manyleads
more
matzot
than
we ‫דאתי‬
would
otherwise
we
Bulletin
of the
Vaad
ofto
Greater
Washington:
Pesach
Page
‫)קולא‬,since
the result
is are,
that therefore,
we bake many
more
we would
could
use kitniyot.
We
because
we8matzot
are lessthan
careful
due tootherwise
volume ofif we
could
use kitniyot.
We
are, to
therefore,
are less
due to waiting
volume too
of long
production,
far more
likely
make a because
chametz we
mistake
(bycareful
for example
that stringency
have been included
thenot
prohibition
thisTur
is an
excessive
which weindo
practice.10against kitniyot. Tur concludes, howeve
that have been included in the prohibition against kitniyot.
concludes,
however, that
this is an excessive stringency which we do not practice.10
10
this is an excessive stringency which we do not practice.
‫ויש אוסרין לאכול אורז וכל מיני קטניות בתבשיל לפי שמיני חטין מתערבין בהן וחומרא יתירא היא זו ולא‬
‫וכל מיני קטניות בתבשיל לפי שמיני חטין מתערבין בהן וחומרא יתירא היא זו ולא‬
.‫אורז כן‬
‫ין לאכול נהגו‬
‫ויש אוסרין לאכול אורז וכל מיני קטניות בתבשיל לפי שמיני חטין מתערבין בהן וחומרא יתירא היא זו ולא‬
.‫נהגו כן‬
In short, we do not know the true origin of the kitniyot custom, nor who actually first
In short,
do not know
the true
origin ofGerman
the kitniyot
custom,
norinwho
originated
only
that aswe
indicated,
it appears
in FrancoTosafist
circles
the actually f
In short, we do not know the true origin of the kitniyot custom,
norit,who
actually
first
originated
it,
only
that
as
indicated,
it
appears
in
FrancoGerman
Tosafist
circles i
11
thirteenth
century. custom,
originated it, onlyInthat
as indicated,
appears
FrancoGerman
circles innor
the who actually first originated it, only that
short,
we do notitknow
theintrue
origin
of the Tosafist
kitniyot
thirteenth century.11
11
thirteenth century.as indicated, it appears in Franco-German Tosafist circles in the thirteenth century.11
Wherever the custom comes from, the lack of a clear statement of origins in the literature
Wherever thetocustom
comes
lack of
a clear statement
of origins in the lit
has led to
challenge
the from,
entire the
kitniyot
prohibition.
For example,
Wherever the custom comes from, the lack of a clear statement
of periodic
origins inattempts
the literature
Wherever the custom comes from, the lack of a clearhas
statement
of
origins
in
the
literature
has
led
to
periodic
led
to periodic attemptsthose
to challenge
kitniyot
prohibition.
For examp
RabbeinuYerucham
(13th century),says that
who do the
not entire
eat rice
or kitniyot
on Pesach
has led to periodic attempts to challenge the entire kitniyot
prohibition. For example,
attempts
to challenge the entire kitniyot prohibition. RabbeinuYerucham
For example, Rabbeinu
Yerucham
(13th
century),
says
(13th century),
that
those
who
do
not
eat
rice
or
kitniyot
on
12says
th
foolish custom,
)‫)מנהג שטות הוא‬.
RabbeinuYerucham(13 century),says that those who doare
notfollowing
eat rice orakitniyot
on Pesach
arefollowing
followingaafoolish
foolish custom,
custom, ()‫))מנהג שטות הוא‬.
).1212
12or kitniyot on Pesach are
that
those
who
do
not
eat
rice
are following a foolish custom, )‫)מנהג שטות הוא‬.
One of the most dramatic challenges is a claim by Rabbi Yaakov Emden (1697-1776)
One Yaakov
of
most
dramatic
challenges
isthis
a claim
Rabbi
One of the
most dramatic
challenges
a claim
by Rabbi
Emden
(1697-1776)
entire
issue
is Yaakov
that
this entire
issue
is the
a “stringency
that leads
to that
leniency”(
‫לידי‬by‫דאתי‬
‫חומרא‬
‫ שהוא‬Emden (1697-17
One of the most dramatic
challenges
is a claim
by Rabbiis
Yaakov
Emden
(1697-1776)
that
this
entire
issue
is
a
“stringency
that
leads
to
leniency”(
‫דאתי לידי‬
‫שהוא חומרא‬
the‫חומרא‬
result‫שהוא‬
is that
we bake
manyismore
than
we more
would otherwise
if we
that this entire issue
is a “stringency
that leads
to leniency”(
‫דאתי לידי‬
a “stringency
that leads
to leniency”
( ‫)קולא‬,since
), since
the result
thatmatzot
we bake
many
‫)קולא‬,since
the result isbecause
that we bake many careful
more matzottothan
we would otherwise i
use
kitniyot.
We
‫)קולא‬,since the result
is that
wewe
bake
many
more matzot
than
we
would
otherwise
iftherefore,
we
matzot
than
would
otherwise
if wecould
could
use
kitniyot.
Weare,
are,
therefore, becauseweweareareless
less carefuldue
due volume of
could
use
kitniyot.
We
are,
therefore,
because
we
are
less
careful
duelong
to volume of
production,
more
likely
a chametz
mistake
(by
example
waiting too
could use kitniyot.
are, therefore,
because
are likely
less
careful
duefar
volume
of to make
toWe
volume
of production,
farwe
more
to make
a to
chametz
mistake
(by for
example
waiting
tooforlong
to bake
production,
far
more
likely
to
make
a
chametz
mistake
(by
for
example
to
bake
the dough),
with
its long
attendant
serious prohibition, than we would otherwise. waiting to
production, far more
likely to with
makeits
a chametz
for example
waiting
too
the dough),
attendantmistake
serious(by
prohibition,
than
we
would
otherwise.
to
bake
the
dough),
with
its attendant
prohibition,
RabbiEmden
says
thatwehewould
wishes
that rabbinic authorities
would doserious
away with
the issuethan we would otherwise
to bake the dough), with its attendant serious
prohibition,
than
otherwise.
and, that his father the ChachamTzvi (1660-1718) said, that he would have done
shes that rabbinic authorities would do away withentirely,
issue
Rabbi Emden says that he the
wishes
that rabbinic authorities would do away with the issue entirely, and, that his
exactly
that,if he had had the ability do so.13
he ChachamTzvi (1660-1718) said, that he would
have done
father the Chacham Tzvi (1660-1718) said, that he would have done exactly that, if he had the ability do so.13
ability do so.13
10
R. Jacob ben Asher Ashkenazim
(c. 1269 - c. 1343),
OrahHaim
At the end of the
do(c.accept
the453.
prohibition
as 453.
did Maharil(c.
10
11 day, however,
R. Jacob himself
ben Asher
1269 sees
- c. 1343),
OrahHaim
10
PeriChadash
(1586-1667),
a
Sephardi,
a source
for
Kitniyot
on B.(one
Pesachim
At
the
end
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the
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however,
Ashkenazim
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Maharil
(c.
1360-1427),
of in40b, but this is
R.
Jacob
ben
Asher
(c.
1269
c.
1343),
OrahHaim
453.
11
of thein most
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er, Ashkenazim
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Maharil(c. not cited
PeriChadash
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on B. Pesachim 40b, bu
11
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Kitniyot
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and
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in
not cited in earlier sources.
12
RabbenuYerucham, Toldot Adam Ve-Chava 5:3, 41a.
gezeirah
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crime
and thatthe
those
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challenge
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ms are included? What precisely is prohibited? Isowning,
it eating,cooking, receiving benefit, as with chametz, or only some of these things? What
only some of these things? What happens if someone needs kitniyot for their diet or for their general health
happens
if someone needs kitniyot for their diet or for their general health (not for
enefit, as with chametz, or only some of these things?
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literature
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to
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led
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in
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s existed for a long timeanswer
with some
suggested
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these questions so that people can function appropriately on Pesach. As such we present responses
need
to
answer
these
questions
so
that
people
can
function
appropriately
on
Pesach.As
of this custom in the Ashkenazi
world.Nonetheless,
we
these concerns here.
such we present responses to these concerns here.
ns so that people can function appropriately on Pesach.As
these concerns here.
Rabbi Israel Isserlin (1390-1460), a very importanthalachik decisor from medieval
Franco-Germany, who lived a little bit later than Mordechai and Semak takes up some of
460), a very importanthalachik decisor from medieval
questions.
a little bit later than Mordechai and Semak takesthese
up some
of 15 He was asked whether we must rid ourselves of all kitniyot as we do
chametz,
and he quotes one of the “Gedolim” who responds to this question with
ked whether we must rid ourselves of all kitniyotwith
as we
do
shock:
one of the “Gedolim” who responds to this question
with
.‫אינהו אכליו אנן לא משהינן‬
.‫אינהו אכליו אנן לא משהינן‬
16
[would you really suggest that] they [Rabbi Yechiel (of Paris) and his colleagues] can
eat it (kitniyot),
and we must do away with it?!
at] they [Rabbi Yechiel (of Paris)16 and his colleagues]
can
do away with it?!
This effectively also indicates that if a Sephardic friend comes over one can feel free to
feedfree
thistofriend kitniyot. Further, RabbiIsserlin says that finding a small amount of
s that if a Sephardic friend comes over one can feel
11
kitniyot
an otherwise
Passover
approved
dish does
not
uscited
fromin eating
it.
her, RabbiIsserlin says that
finding
small amount
of a in
Peri
Chadasha (1586-1667),
himself
Sephardi,
sees a source
for Kitniyot
on B. Pesachim
40b,
butprevent
this is not
earlier sources.
12
over approved dish does not
prevent
us from
eating
it. Ve-Chava 5:3, 41a.
Rabbenu
Yerucham,
Toldot
Adam
13
Mor Uketziah, 453.
Rabbi Jacob ben Moses Moellin,
Sefer Maharil, Minhagim, Hilkhot Ma’achalot Asurot Ba-Pesah, 16.
13
MorUketziah, 453.
14
Rabbi Jacob ben Moses Moellin,SeferMaharil,Minhagim, HilkhotMa’achalotAsurot Ba-Pesah, 16.
15
Terumat
SeferMaharil,Minhagim, HilkhotMa’achalotAsurot Ba-Pesah,
16. Ha-Deshen 113.
16
Cited above as permitting the eating of kitniyot.
14
ng of kitniyot.
4
4
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington:
Pesach 2013
Page 9
not as something that is thoroughly analyzed in terms of its parameters, but rather as a
historical statement that it has existed for a long time with some suggested justification as
to what led to the appearance of this custom in the Ashkenazi world.Nonetheless, we
need to answer these questions so that people can function appropriately on Pesach.As
such we present responses to these concerns here.
Rabbi Israel Isserlin (1390-1460), a very importanthalachik decisor from medieval
Rabbi Israel
Isserlin (1390-1460),
a very
important
decisor from
medieval
Franco-Germany,
who
Franco-Germany,
who lived
a little
bit laterhalachic
than Mordechai
and Semak
takes
up some of
15
15
lived a little
bit
later
than
Mordechai
and
Semak
takes
up
some
of
these
questions.
He
was
asked
whether
these questions. He was asked whether we must rid ourselves of all kitniyot as we do
we must rid
ourselves
all he
kitniyot
we of
dothe
with
chametz, who
and he
quotesto
one
the Gedolim
with
chametz,ofand
quotesasone
“Gedolim”
responds
thisofquestion
with who responds
shock: with shock:
to this question
.‫אינהו אכליו אנן לא משהינן‬
[would you really suggest that] they [Rabbi Yechiel (of Paris)16 and his colleagues] can
16
[would you
suggestand
that]
Yechiel
eatreally
it (kitniyot),
wethey
must[Rabbi
do away
with (of
it?!Paris) and his colleagues] can eat it (kitniyot), and
we must do away with it?!
This effectively also indicates that if a Sephardic friend comes over one can feel free to
feed this
kitniyot.
RabbiIsserlin
says that
finding
a small
amount
of this friend kitniThis effectively
alsofriend
indicates
that Further,
if a Sephardic
friend comes
over
one can
feel free
to feed
kitniyot in an otherwise Passover approved dish does not prevent us from eating it.
yot. Further, Rabbi Isserlin says that finding a small amount of kitniyot in an otherwise Passover approved
dish does not prevent us from eating it.
13
Rabbi Yisrael
Lipshuetz453.
(1782-1860) in his Tiferet Yisrael, affirms these decisions, and adds explicitly that
MorUketziah,
14
Jacob benagainst
Moses Moellin,SeferMaharil,Minhagim,
HilkhotMa’achalotAsurot
Ba-Pesah,
17
there is no15Rabbi
prohibition
deriving benefit from kitniyot.
It is for these reasons
and16.
more that the
Terumat Ha-Deshen 113.
16
recent concerns
aboutasusing
paper
contain corn starch on Pesach are not something that should
Cited above
permitting
the plates
eating ofthat
kitniyot.
guide us. The starch in the plates is not food, we may4derive benefit from kitniyot and even if some of the
starch should get into the food, that food may be eaten even by Ashkenazim. Some may think that corn
starch is food, but no one eats pure corn starch and the other reasons cited here are also sufficient to allow
the use of these plates.
In this regard, it is not quite clear how high the percentage of kitniyot that is food mixed into a kosher for
Passover dish must be before we become halachically concerned. Some suggest that one in sixty is the place
where concern begins,18 while others suggest that as long as kitniyot is not the majority, it is acceptable if
some kitniyot has become mixed with the food.19
Kitniyot is similar to chametz in that most people do not eat it beginning with mid-day Erev Pesach.20 On the
other hand, there is no prohibition in eating kitniyot owned by a Jew on Passover after Passover, since as we
have said, there is no prohibition against owning kitniyot. Of course, when it comes to chametz, we may not
own it on Pesach21 and chametz owned by a Jew on Passover is forever prohibited.22
Oils that come from kitniyot are prohibited to be eaten, but can be burned to provide light.23 Some permit
eating these oils as long as the actual solid seeds or kernels have been removed before Passover, because that
separation by itself indicates an awareness of the prohibition and that prevents the kitniyot from being con-
15
Terumat Ha-Deshen 113.
Cited above as permitting the eating of kitniyot.
17
Tiferet Yisrael, Hilkhita Gevirta, Masekhet Pesachim 2:5.This is codified by Ramo, Orah Hayim, 453:1, though Tiferet Yisrael is more
detailed and explicite. There are earlier authorities who disagree (see Maharil, loc. cit.) but we do not accept their opinion.
18
Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1865- 1935), Orah Mishpat, Orah Haim, 112, Rabbi Ben-Zion Meir Chai Uziel, (1880- 1953), Responsa
Mishpetei Uziel, Orah Haim, 1:17.
19
Rabbi Shneur Zalman ben Rabbi Baruch (1745-1813), Shulhan Arukh HaRav, Orah Hayim 453, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Spektor (18171896), Responsa Beer Yitzchak, Orah Hayim 11, Rabbi Ovadia Yossef (b.1920), Responsa Yehave Daat, 5:32.
20
Rabbi Shemuel HaLevi Wosner (contemporary), Responsa Shevet Halevi, 3:31.
21
Rambam, Hilkhot Chametz Umatzah, 1:2.
22
Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayim. 458:3.
23
Terumat Hadeshen. Loc.cit, and see Ramo, Orah Hayim, 453:1 that if some of this oil drips into food that raises no concern on
Pesach.
16
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington: Pesach 2013
Page 10
fused with chametz.24 We generally do not accept this view and do not consume kitniyot oils,25 but in difficult
situations this has occasionally been permitted.26 It is also on this basis that some authorities permit alcohol
that is derived from kitniyot sources to be drunk on Pesach.27
Some may remember a point in time when many in the Ashkenazi community cooked with peanut oil
on Pesach. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein validates this custom and even accepts the idea that one can eat peanuts themselves.28 He discusses several aspects of this issue and concludes that only those items known to
those who actually originated the prohibition against kitniyot are to be included in that prohibition. Since
peanuts come from this side of the Atlantic and were unknown to the rabbis of the 12th–13th century in
Franco-Germany, and therefore were not prohibited by them; Rabbi Feinstein allows them for use. Nonetheless, Reb Moshe does recognize that kitniyot is also dependent on local minhag (custom) that may expand
beyond the original boundaries, and therefore in some places the custom has developed to include peanuts
in the prohibition.
As time has gone on, the major kashrut organizations no longer certify peanut oil for Pesach. And so, in a
defacto sense, the minhag has become not to eat peanuts or peanut derivatives on Pesach.
This analysis also explains the questions often raised about American corn, or maize. People often say
correctly that corn is included in the kitniyot prohibition, but the species that was called corn in medieval
Europe is not the same as the species we call corn in contemporary America. In fact, the American version
is best referred to as maize, and maize, because it is native to this continent, was unknown in medieval Europe. As such it should be excluded from the kitniyot prohibition. But as indicated, the custom can expand
through communal practice to include additional products. That is clearly the case when it comes to maize.
Maize has another strike against it as well. Because we don’t refer to this product as maize but as corn, our
common usage is therefore to call it by a name that comes with the kitniyot prohibition. Often in halacha the
decision may depend on the common name by which something is called.29 That appears to be the case here
as well. As a result, corn and its derivatives are universally treated as prohibited in our communities.
The prototype of something that might be kitniyot because of the reasons stated above, that is not treated
as kitniyot, is potatoes. Despite some who claim that potatoes are to be treated as kitniyot and that this was
in fact the custom in some locations in Germany, it is our present practice to permit eating potatoes and it
would be hard to imagine Pesach without them.30
That brings us to the most modern iteration of this question, which concerns quinoa. Despite some claims
to the contrary, quinoa, like potatoes, should be perfectly acceptable because it was unknown to the originators of the kitniyot prohibition and does not have a name like corn that is associated with this practice. If so,
and as long as people use it on Pesach so that it does not become adopted as a negative community custom,
quinoa should be fine for Passover. Some are concerned that chametz grains may have accidentally been
24
See Spektor, loc. cit.
R. Avraham b. R. Yechiel Michel Danziger, Haye Adam (1748-1820), 2:127:1.
26
See R. Menachem Mendel b. R. Shalom Shachna Shneorsohn (1789- 1866) Responsa Tzemach Tzedek, Orah Hayim 56, who allows
this if used in certain specific ways. Also see Kook ibid, 114.
27
Rabbi Spektor, loc. Cit Rabbi .Uziel, loc.cit.
28
Igrot Moshe, Orah Hayim, 3:63.
29
See R. Yaakov Albeli (d. 1774), Responsa Kehilas Yaakov, Hilkhot Maahalot Asurot 1:10 and Rabbi Judah ben Rabbi Samuel Rosanes
(1657-1727), Mishneh La-Melekh, Hilkhot, Shegagot, 13:5.
30
Rabbi Menashe Klein, Responsa Mishneh Halakhot, 6:39.
25
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington: Pesach 2013
Page 11
mixed into the quinoa, but the Tur, as we have said sees this as far-fetched, and if there is concern one can
thoroughly wash the quinoa before use.
One final important point before we close: If someone would become ill if they do not eat kitniyot, even if
that illness is in no way life threatening, since we are dealing with a minhag as with all minhagim, the prohibition would not apply to them.31 The rabbis simply did not decree that customs should be followed when
doing so causes physical harm.32 In similar fashion, medicines that contain kitniyot would be allowed for any
condition that has any degree of serious pain or medical consequences.
In short, from beginning to end, kitniyot is a serious matter on Pesach and one must know the rules and
follow them. But kitniyot is not chametz, and need not and should not be treated as if it were.
31
Rabbi Israel Meir Ha-Kohen, (1839- 1933), Mishneh Berura, 453:7, R. Yekutiel Yehuda Halberstam, (1905 -1994), Responsa DivreiYatsiv, Orah Hayim, 195, adds that nowadays with government regulation kitniyot is not likely to be mixed with grains of chametz, so
we do not need to check for this concern in such a situation.
32
Cf. Rabbi Halberstam, Ibid, 233, Rabbi Yossef. Ibid, 1:41, Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch (contemporary), Teshuvot Vehanhagot, 4:126.
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington: Pesach 2013
Page 12
Stranger in the Land
An Overview of the Halachos of a Ben Eretz Yisroel in Chutz
L'Aretz and a Ben Chutz L'Aretz in Eretz Yisroel for Pesach
Rabbi Yosef Singer
Young Israel Ezras Israel Potomac
In this article, we will address some of the practical issues associated with a ben Eretz Yisroel, a resident of Israel, who spends Pesach in chutz l’Aretz (outside of Israel). In addition, we will explore the inverse scenario of a
ben chutz l’Aretz, someone who lives outside of Israel, who chooses to spend Pesach in Eretz Yisroel. As we shall
see this is a significantly more complicated problem owing to the fact that there are profound differences of
opinion among the poskim as to whether or not a ben chutz l’Aretz should observe the second day of Yom Tov.
Please know that the intent here is to simply acquaint the reader with some of the major concerns surrounding
this issue. As such, we are reminded of the guidance provided in the introduction to this bulletin, to please
consult your local Rabbi for psak and guidance.
Case 1:
A ben Eretz Yisroel who visits chutz l’aretz on a two-day Yom Tov
The Shulchan Aruch writes that a ben Eretz Yisroel who visits chutz l’aretz is prohibited from performing
melacha on Yom Tov sheini even if he intends to return to Eretz Yisroel after Yom Tov.1 The Mogen Avraham
writes: “Although it is generally true that someone [who is presently outside of Eretz Yisroel who intends to
return to Eretz Yisroel] may conduct himself according to the laws and customs of Eretz Yisroel if he does so
in private, performing malachos on the second day of Yom Tov is different. First, it is a universally held minhag not to do malachos even in private and second, it is, in fact, impossible to do a malacha privately2 The
Mishne Berura follows these gedorim closely. He writes that it is assur for a ben Eretz Yisroel to do malachos
on Yom Tov sheni even in private3. However, he does not have to make an eruv tavshilin if Yom Tov sheini
falls on erev Shabbos or on Shabbos itself because that is considered to be a “private matter”4
There is an interesting teshuva from the Igros Moshe that investigates the permissibility of a ben Eretz Yisroel
turning electric lights on or off on Yom Tov sheini. Reb Moshe zt”l posits that since turning on a light on Yom
Tov does not involved the performance of (Torah prohibited) melacha – only nolad which is Rabbinically
prohibited – it may be permitted. Even if we assume that the problems associated with turning on lights on
Yom Tov are Rabbinic in nature, illuminating a house must, nevertheless, be considered to be a public act
since an illuminated house can be seen from afar by the general public. Since public displays of “foreign”
minhagim are prohibited because they engender machlokes, it doesn’t matter whether the activity in question is d’oryasa, d’rabbanon, or simply a minhag. It is assur. As such, basing a heter on the fact that turning
on electric lights is only Rabbinically prohibited would seem to argue against the Magan Avraham and the
Mishne Berura cited earlier and thus represents a significant chidush on the part of Igros Moshe. Reb Moshe
zt”l, finds a second, less controversial, basis for a heter. He argues that people nowadays have Shabbos clocks
that are commonly used to turn lights on and off. Therefore, it is not necessarily true that the act of illumina1
Shulchan Aruch Orech Chaim Siman 496 Sif 3
Magen Avraham Orech Chaim Siman 496, Sif Koton 4 cites the opinions of the Baal HaMeor in the 4th Perek of Pesachim and Tosfos
there.
3
Mishne Berura Orech Chaim Siman 496 Sif Koton 9
4
Ibid Siman 496 Sif Koton 13
2
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington: Pesach 2013
Page 13
tion represents a public or even private display of a “foreign act or minhag 5. Based on this ambiguity, it may
be reasonable to permit an Israeli who is visiting the United States to turn on a electric lights in the case of a
shaas hadchak.
It follows that on the second day of Yom Tov, a ben eretz yisroel puts on tefillin and dovens a weekday shemoneh esrei (privately)6. However, he must dress in Yom Tov clothes because that is a public matter. On the
last day of Pesach (or on the second day of Shavuos), he may go to Shul and recite Yizkor with the Yom Tov
minyan provided that he creates the appearance of dovening with the congregation 7. Moreover, he may be
counted toward the minyan for musaf but should not doven for the amud8. If he is a Kohen, he may duchen
whether or not there are other Kohanim present. It is best for him not receive an aliyah on yom tov sheini
particularly if it is a weekday on which the Torah is not usually read9. It appears to be the consensus of the
gedolei haPoskim that is assur for bnei eretz yisroel to organize their own weekday minyan on the second day
of Yom Tov in chutz l’aretz. It is interesting to note, by way of contrast that the accepted minhag, going back
to the time of the Beis Yosef, is to allow bnei chutz l’aretz to form their own Yom Tov minyan in Eretz Yisroel
on the second day of Yom Tov10.
There is an interesting teshuva from Reb Moshe zt”l regarding an Israeli couple who came to the United
States to attend their son’s wedding and remained in the US for the duration of Pesach. In this case, the
proper halachic procedures are as follows: Candles are lit for the second day of Yom Tom without a blessing.
The parents sit with their child for the Seder, recite the Haggadah, but do not recite the brocha ‘asher geolonu’. They drink all four kosos but do not recite a blessing on them except for the third kos, relying instead
on their son’s brochos. They eat matza without the brocha of ‘al achilas matza’, a little bit of maror without
the brocha and recite Hallel without the brocha. The father puts on tefillin privately and recites the weekday
shmoneh esrei. At night, he recites ata chonantanu during shmoneh esrei but does not recite havdallah over
wine – a circumstance that does not preclude or prevent him from eating thereafter.11
Case 2:
A ben chutz l’aretz who visits Eretz Yisroel for a two day Yom Tov
With respect to the case of a ben chutz l’aretz who comes to Eretz Yisroel for Yom Tov with the intent of returning to chutz l’aretz after said Yom Tov, there is a major dispute among the gedolei achronim regarding the
proper way of dealing with the second day of Yom Tov. There are those who say – most notably the Chacham
Tzvi12– that such individuals should conduct themselves like bnei Eretz Yisroel in all matters and observe
only one day of Yom Tov13. The underlying assumption behind this approach is that conduct on Yom Tov
Sheni is ultimately governed by the customs of where the Yom Tov is being observed and not by customs of
the individuals observing it. As such, the principle of chumrei hamakom shyozei misham - the notion that an
5
Igros Moshe Orech Chaim Vol 4, Siman 104
Ibid
7
Igros Moshe Orech Chaim Vol 3 Siman 92
8
Ibid Vol 4 Siman 106
6
9
Piskei Teshuvos Siman 496 Sif 18
Sefer Yom Tov Sheini k’Hilchaso Chap 3 Halacha 26, Note 76. This is based on the Beis Yosef’s teshuva in his sefer , the Avkas Rachel
Siman 26. Contemporary poskim who support this minhag include Rav Pesach Tzvi Frank zt”l, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l,
and Rav Yosef Elyashiv zt”l. Please see Chapter 2, Note 13 where there is a major discussion of this topic. Rav Shmuel Fuerst shlit”a
indicates that Reb Moshe zt”l was uncomfortable with this wide spread practice. Also see Igros Moshe Orech Chaim Vol 5 Siman 37,
note 6
11
Igros Moshe Orech Chaim Vol 3 Siman 72
12
Sheilos v’Tshuvos Chacham Tzvi Siman 167
13
Shaarei Teshuva Orech Chaim Siman 496, the end of Sif Koton 5. There it is noted that Rav Yaakov m’Emden zt”l in expressed concerns regarding the psak of the Chacham Tzvi, his father. See the Shailas Yaabetz Siman 168 for the original source.
10
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individual is bound by the stringencies of his permanent residence - is not operable in this case.14
It is important to note that, within the halachic framework of the Chochom Tzvi, there are “compromise”
opinions. Rav Hershel Schachter shlit”a writes: “[There are] many [bnei chutz l’aretz who] observe [on the
second day of Yom Tov in Eretz Yisroel] what has come to be known as “a day and a half.” They basically
follow the Chochom Tzvi in so far as they doven tefillat chol on the second day, put on tefillin with a brocha
[on the second day of Shavuos], but by way of compromise, do not do any melacha on the second day to be
choshesh for the other opinions. This is what Rav Soloveichik zt”l used to advise talmidim.”15 This is also the
minhag of Chabad.16, (This approach, of course, takes the “wind out of the sails” of those who have embraced
the Chochom Tzvi for the sole purpose of securing an additional day of tiyulim.)
However, the opinion of the majority of Poskim – including the Mishne Berura - is that a ben chutz l’aretz
who is visiting Eretz Yisroel and who is planning to return home after the holidays must observe two days of
Yom Tov.17 Therefore, according to this view, on the second day of Yom Tov, melocha, is prohibited, tefillah
is the Yom Tov shmoneh esrei, Yom Tov candles are lit with a blessing, Kiddush is recited with a shehechianu,
and tefillin are not worn. In the event that Yom Tov sheini falls on Erev Shabbos, an eruv tavshilin is made
on Erev Yom Tov with a brocha. On Pesach, a ben chutz l’aretz is obligated to conduct a complete seder on
the second night which includes, of course, eating matza and maror, drinking the four cups of wine, and
reciting the haggadah, all with the appropriate brochos. In addition, one may not eat chametz on acharon shel
Pesach.18
Within the community of the aforementioned poskim, there arises an interesting machlokes as to whether
the opinion of the Chochom Tzvi may inform and influence psak halacha in cases where there are already
existing halachic ambivalences. In other words, may we include the opinion of the Chochom Tzvi in a tziruf
kal to engender a halachically lenient course of action in situations of doubt? For example, we could judiciously apply the kulah of Chochom Tzvi to completely exempt an American who is vacationing in Israel
from having to eat in a Sukkah on Shmini Atzeres.19
14
Sheilos v’Tshuvos Chacham Tzvi Sefer Yom Tov Sheini k’Hilchaso, Chapter 2, Halacha 1, Note 1
http://www.torahweb.org/torah/special/2003/rsch_ytsheini.html, “Regarding the Second Day Yom Tov for Visitors in Eretz Yisroel”
16
Discussion with Rabbi Mendel Bluming, Rav of the Chabad Shul, Potomac, MD. See Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 496 Sif 11. His
opinion is also cited by the Mishne Berura Shaar HaTzion Note 13
15
17
Mishne Berura Orech Chaim Siman 496, Sif Koton 13,. See Sefer Yom Tov Sheini k’Hilchaso Chapter 2,Note 5 where the Chazon Ish,
the Tshebiner Rav zt”l, the Igros Moshe, the Minchas Yitzchok, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l, and Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l
are some of the contemporary poskim who supported this view.
18
Sefer Yom Tov Sheni k’Hilchaso Chapter 2, Halacha 1
19
Ibid, Chapter 2, Note 12. Minchas Shlomo Siman 19, Sefer Moadim v’Zmanim 7:120, Minchas Yitzchok 4:1-4 are lenient while Rav
Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l and Rav Moshe Feinstein are machmir.
Bulletin of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington: Pesach 2013
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Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington
Rabbi Hillel Klavan, President
Rabbi Dovid Rosenbaum, Interim Director
www.capitolk.org
[email protected]
11161 New Hampshire Ave, Suite 402
Silver Spring, MD 20904
301-593-0336
Fax: 301-593-1115
The Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington is an organization of Orthodox rabbis in the metropolitan Washington area responsible for kashrut supervision. We maintain a Beth Din which deals with matters affecting divorce
and financial disputes. We additionally strive to support
vital community religious interests and projects. Members of the Vaad HaRabbanim are dedicated to serving
the broader Jewish community in whatever way possible
and appreciate the opportunities to do so.