Rice and Corn May be Eaten for the Entire Day of Erev Pesach
I have indicated that the Halacha permits consumption of Kitniyos [read Soho Sushi] all day Erev Pesach, just as we may consume potatoes all day Erev Pesach.
A rabbi has offered his learned opinion in response, and I thank him for his contribution to this discussion. I have emailed him my response for his benefit and for the benefit of those who have seen his comments.
Rabbi K writes that, “for Ashkenasim, Kitniyos are as stringent as Chamets” and may therefore not be consumed on Erev Pesach in the same way and during the same times that Chamets is prohibited.
Now, this is clearly an exaggeration. You see, unlike Chamets, we may keep Kitniyos in our home during Pesach. The RaMa is the master of Minhag Ashkenaz and the source for our Minhag of not consuming Kitniyos during Pesach, Shulchan Aruch OCh 453:1. RaMa declares without reservation that unlike Chamets, Kitniyos need not be sold. In fact Kitniyos may be kept in our “Pesach kitchen”. Clearly, it is not true to say that “for Ashkenasim, Kitniyos are as stringent as Chamets”
So, although the Minhag of Kitniyos is driven by concerns that it can be easily confused with Chamets, as Rabbi K explained, it is nevertheless also clear in and from the Halacha that this Minhag did not ever suggest that Kitniyos ought to be handled and categorised as Chamets. So it is misguided and illogical to suggest that Kitniyos are prohibited on Erev Pesach in the same way and at the same times that Chamets is prohibited because, “for Ashkenasim, Kitniyos are as stringent as Chamets”.
Here is another important difference between Kitniyos and Chamets. Chamets which becomes inadvertently mixed into Pesach food BEFORE Pesach, will be deemed insignificant at our standard Halachic proportion of 1 to 60. This is not true however with regard to Kitniyos inadvertently mixed into Pesach food [even if this occurs DURING Pesach] Kitniyos is deemed to be insignificant as long as it is less than half of the volume of the mixture. So, even though one can easily discern the taste and flavour of the rice flour in the Pesach Cholent, it is Kosher and may be eaten by Ashkenasi Jews during Pesach. [Mishneh Berurah 453:9] Clearly, it is not true to say that “for Ashkenasim, Kitniyos are as stringent as Chamets”
BTW, according to the Halacha we have just discussed, we may eat regular non KLP chocolate that contains lecithin, and drink regular non KLP juices and lemonades that use Kitniyos sweeteners, since these contain Kitniyos that are less than 50% of the mixture and the Kitniyos are not readily visible to the unaided eye. Foods containing 49% Kitniyos, that are not specifically manufactured for Jews to consume during Pesach, have the same status as foods that are specifically manufactured for Jews to consume during Pesach into which 49% Kitniyos were inadvertently mixed.
It is worthwhile explaining at this point that the guidelines that shape the prohibition of eating Kitniyos during Pesach are not determined by the Laws of Kashrus. Thus when Kitniyos becomes inadvertently mixed into our foods we do not use the usual Kosher ratio of 1 part to 60. The reason being that this custom has its own set of guidelines which are determined by the Minhag itself, as explained by the Mishneh Berurah 453:8. Again we see the extraordinary qualities of leniency ascribed to Kitniyos that do not apply to Chamets. Clearly, it is not true to say that “for Ashkenasim, Kitniyos are as stringent as Chamets”
Rabbi K also seeks proof from Siman 444.
We must eat three meals every Shabbos. This is also true when Erev Pesach occurs on Shabbos. However, on Erev Pesach we may not eat a bread meal after late morning. Must the third meal comprise bread and be eaten in the morning, or is “meat or fruit” adequate which can be consumed in the afternoon? See Shulchan Aruch OCh 444.
The Shulchan Aruch does not provide a comprehensive “Kosher List” of acceptable foods for the Third Meal for Shabbos, but offers classifications – Category 1, bread; Category 2, meat; and Category 3, fruit. [Mishneh Berruah 444:8] There is no interest at this point nor any need to elaborate these categories as they are self-evident. Kitniyos are clearly less significant than meat. [apologies to my vegetarian friends] Suggesting that a proof can be fashioned from the Shulchan Aruch’s omission of Kitniyos as an acceptable option for a Shabbos meal, is not a sensible observation nor a credible argument.
Rabbi K also quotes a number of Acharonim. For the time being I will not comment on these, other than saying that to the best of my knowledge they do not offer any proofs to support their suggestions.
BTW, suggesting that something which is not explicitly permitted in the Shulchan Aruch must be prohibited, is a facile and infantile argument. We begin our interaction with Gd and Life with the premise that everything is permitted, other than that which is specifically prohibited. Our Sages take a very dim view of those who look for unnecessary stringencies and seek to reduce the enjoyment of those things that Gd created for us to enjoy.
Wishing all Yidden a Kosher Pesach,
May we all merit to hear and be participants in the cause of the sounding of the Shofar of Moshiach.
PostScript - The Shulchan Aruch 453: 2, discusses making Matza from a combination of wheat and Kitniyos flour. According to Rabbi K, since the RaMa does not protest this as unacceptable for Ashkenasim, it must be Kosher for Ashkenasim. And there we again have yet another example of Kitniyos not being the same as Chamets.
Hi Rabbi Rabi,
Since you've asked me before to comment on things you've written, I thought it would be only fair to bring the following to your attention. I was asked yesterday regarding a psak you sent out regarding kitniyot on Erev Pesach. I said I agreed with you. I was then sent a response by Rabbi K to what you wrote, and I wrote I disagreed with him. I was then sent your reply to what he wrote, and I wrote I did not like what you wrote so much either, specifically the last part. I am attaching my full response, but would ask you don't quote me (though you may, of course, quote the content):
First of all, Rabbi Rabi's response. in my eyes, is unacceptable, since he does not deal with the sources provided by Rabbi K. You can't pasken just according to what you think is correct, even if it makes sense – it needs to work with the basic sources, and needs to be bolstered by the Halachic "chain of command".
Nevertheless, as mentioned, I support his ruling, because I believe Rabbi K's response is lacking.
His first point is that kitniyot are as forbidden just as much as Chametz. This is fallacious, and Rabbi Rabi has already written to prove why this is so. I have more to say on the issue, but feel that what has been written more than suffices.
His second point is to say that if the Shulchan Aruch doesn't mention kitniyot explicitly as an option on Erev Pesach which falls out on a Shabbat then clearly this is not an option. This, too, is a clearly fallacious argument, as the omitting of any fact (for example – the fact that nowhere in the Shulchan Aruch does it say that kitniyot are prohibited Erev Pesach) can be interpreted in many ways, and is hardly a proof. Once more, this was covered by Rabbi Rabi.
His third point is termed "most important", and I agree – it is the most important one: what was actually paskened by other Halachic authorities? The source which is relied upon by those who are stringent is the Chok Yaakov (CY). Firstly, let me say there is a problem with this CY. He quotes the KolBo in section 49 (an Ashkenazi book from the Rishonim) who says it is okay to eat kitniyot Erev Pesach, and then says that "according to our custom of course kitniyot are not allowed". Supposedly by "our custom" he means Ashkenazi custom, and the KolBo's words are meant for those who don't keep the prohibition of Ktniyot on Pesach.
But this is impossible, as the KolBo himself brings and paskens the Minhag of Kitniyot (in section 48), so despite having that minhag not to eat Kitniyot he allowed eating them on Erev Pesach. So it is hard for me to understand the CY himself. So either the CY did not have the KolBo in front of him to look it up, or when he says "our Minhag" he doesn't mean that Ashkenazi Minhag was always not to eat Kitniyot on Erev Pesach but rather that THEIR minhag where the CY lived was to adopt the custom for Erev Pesach as well. This means that the original custom didn’t necessarily include a prohibition on Erev Pesach.
Still, the CY said it, and we can't just write him off. Rabbi K also mentions that the Maharsham and the Shevet Halevi bring him, and we can't just write them off, either. However, I am offended in the Pri Megadim's name at Rabbi K's attempt to write HIM off, as if there is no legitimate opinion that really disagreed with the CY. In two books I have in my possession which summarize Halachic opinions – Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata, and Mikra'ei Kodesh – the opinions of the CY and the PM are brought as legitimate opinions, and it is stated that this issue is in contention. I see no justification for saying that Rabbi Rabi's psak is completely unfounded. It's an unfair statement.
It is also unfair to say that the PM is a "lone opinion". First of all, with all due respect, it's not like Rabbi K brought a slew of opinions to contradict the PM. It's 3 versus 1 – hardly a knockout in Halachic terms. But furthermore, the Aruch Hashulchan (444:8) clearly states you can eat Kitniyot Erev Pesach, and last I checked he was a notable Posek. I should also note that not all non-Ashkenazim don't keep the prohibition of Kitniyot on Pesach. Many of them do, and none of them prohibit it Erev Pesach (and I have many response at my disposal to that effect), so it's clear the original minhag did not necessarily include a prohibition for Erev Pesach.
I believe I've made my point. I don't think any Mashiach-related comment is needed to bolster my claims…
Here is the document of Rabbi K, as it was published 21 March 2013, 5pm
It has been brought to my attention that Rabbi Meir Rabi ruled earlier this week “Sushi and all Kitniyos may be eaten Erev Pesach all day, just like potatoes”.
I would like to state unequivocally that it is forbidden to eat any Kitniyos on Erev Pesach from the same time one may not eat Chomets. For Ashkenazim Kitniyos is as stringent as Chomets. It was with great trepidation that some of the Rabbonim relaxed some of the laws of Kitniyos during a famine otherwise it is totally forbidden.
First logically the prohibition of Kitniyos was enacted to prevent people from mistaking Kitniyos for Chomets as they are prepared the same way etc. ( the three reasons quoted by the Mordechai in the second Perek of Mes. Pesachim). It follows therefore that whatever time the prohibition to consume Chomets commences so to commences the prohibition for Kitniyos.
Second, the fact that the Shulchan Oruch in Siman 444 in Hilchos Pesach endeavours to find different options of how one is to observe the Mitsvah of Sholosh Seudos when Erev Pesach is on Shabbos and no Shulchan Oruch brings the option of eating Kitniyos. Obviously there is no such option.
Most important the Chok Yaakov chapter 471 Seif Beis rules that it is forbidden to eat Kitniyos then. So too paskens the Maharsham in his earlier Sefer Daas Torah chapter 453.
There is a lone opinion the Pri Megodin in chapter 444 Eshel Avrohom seif beis who rules that if Erev Pesach falls out on Shabbos one may eat Matsoh made of Kitniyos. At a cursory glance one may misconstrue his words and think that it is a carte blanche to eat Kitniyos Erev Pesach. However this is not the case. First of all the Pri Megodin should have made this rule in Chapter 471 where the discussion takes place regarding what foods are permissible on Erev Pesach. Further more the Marsham in his Tshuvos section 1 chapter 183 writes that the Pri Megodim is limiting his leniency only in regard to Matsoh of Kitniyos as the Pri Megodim himself says.
There is an interesting debate involving Kitniyos that was treated just like wheat can one make Matso out of it. Do we say that Kitniyos can’t be stricter then wheat itself? The Chasam Sofer Orech Chaim chapter 121 tries to be lenient during a famine to prepare matsos of kitniyos. However he puts in a proviso as long as it doesn’t resemble genuine Matsoh. The Sdei Chemed Mareches Chomets Umatsoh Siman Vov seif Beis prefaces the discussion since poverty is rife amongst the Jewish people and then the discussion begins. He too understood the Pri Megodim was limiting himself to Matsoh that was prepared the same way one would prepare Matsoh made from wheat.
Conclusion no leading Posek says one may eat sushi and kitniyos on Erev pesach. Indeed Rabbi Vosner in Shevet Halevi says that one is totally forbidden to eat Kitniyos on Erev Pesach, and says one shouldn’t consider any leniency then. If anyone does they are breaching the fence of Yiddishkeit.
Let us all have a Kosher and freilicher Pesach and merit the coming of Moshiach now.