Pesach Chumros-Entire Chapter

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Chapter 7:  Pesach Chumros/stringencies

 

Introduction:

One of Pesach’s most famous aspects is not doubt the various stringencies that people keep. Even those who are generally lenient throughout the year when it comes to various matters of debate in Jewish law, on Pesach many are accustomed to be stringent. Some of these stringencies are the result of a stricter opinion, while others were accustomed as an act of extra piety and caution so one not come to eat Chametz on Pesach. Some customs are community based while others are family based. In this chapter we will take Chumras to task, delineating the various Chumros that people, or some people, keep on Pesach, their source, reason, and level of importance.

 

 

1. General background and rules of Chumros:

The source of Pesach Chumros:

The Rishonim[1] and Poskim[2] record that the Jewish people are holy and go above and beyond the letter of the law requirements on Pesach. The Arizal[3] states that on Pesach one should be stringent to follow all the stringencies. Thus, we find in various areas of Halacha, that we are stringent on Pesach to follow a lone opinion, versus the accustomed leniency of the majority approach.

 

The reason for Pesach Chumros:

First Mitzvah we accepted:[4] The Mitzvah of prohibiting Chametz was the first Mitzvah given to all the Jewish people, and they therefore accepted it with love and affection, and were stringent in it regarding all details.

Chametz symbolizes the Yetzer Hara:[5] The reason that the Torah was so stringent regarding Chametz is because Chametz symbolizes the Yetzer Hara, as just as Chametz is defined as bread that has risen, so too, the Yetzer Hara derives from haughtiness. Therefore, the Torah gave very strict rules regarding the Chametz on Pesach, in order to banish the Yetzer Hara completely from within us.

Banishes the Yetzer Hara to the point one does not sin:[6] The Arizal states that on Pesach one should be stringent to follow all the stringencies, as one who is careful to avoid even a speck of Chametz on Pesach is guaranteed not to sin throughout the year. [This means that his nature will change to the point that it is so refined that he will not be naturally inclined to do an inadvertent sin. However, regarding sinning advertently, one always retains his freedom of choice.[7]]

Idolatry:[8] Chametz is referred to by the Zohar as idolatry.

 

Complaining about Chumras:[9]

The accustomed abundance of Chumras that people keep on Pesach found expression in the following law: One may not say “How troublesome is Pesach”, as this is similar to the statement of the wicked son.[10] Nevertheless, today people are not careful in the above and some Poskim[11] have learned merit to justify these statements.[12] They learn that one is only similar to a Rasha when one complains regarding the Mitzvos of Karban Pesach, and other Mitzvos which are Biblical, as by saying this one makes it seem that the commands of the Torah are a burden on him. However, today this statement is said in reference to all the great stringencies which are accustomed with Pesach, and when he says on them how troublesome they are there is no prohibition in the matter.

 

The types of Pesach Chumros:

There exist four types of Chumros regarding Pesach. 1) Chumros that have been codified in Jewish law, and are applicable for all Jewry, as can be found in the sections of Pesach in the Shulchan Aruch. 2) Chumros accepted in one’s ethnic group, such as Kitniyos and Matzah Ashira for Ashkenazim, which are applicable for all Ashkenazim. 3) Chumros accepted in one’s community or sect affiliation, such as the custom of Chabad and the Chabad Rebbeim, which are applicable to all those of that community. 4) Chumros accepted in one’s ancestral family, which are applicable to the descendants of that family.

 

Who should/must be Machmir a certain Chumra:

Every person is to follow the Chumros that have been accepted in his family, community and ethnic group, in addition to the Chumros mentioned in Shulchan Aruch. One is not to belittle even family customs, as they may have the Biblical status of a vow, and be considered an obligation from that respect.[13] There is no need, however, for one to adopt the Chumra of another family, community or sect. Nonetheless, on Pesach, every Jew can choose to be stringent like all the Chumros, even if he did not receive a family or community tradition to follow that Chumra.[14] In such a case, however, one must take into mind how this Chumra may affect his wife, children and general Shalom Bayis and peace of mind, which certain should not be sacrificed. There is no wisdom in taking upon oneself a Chumra of Chashash Chametz if it will lead to actual spiritual Chametz, which comes in the form of anger, dispute and arrogance.

 

Hiding your Chumros:[15]

A person should act modestly and keep his Chumros to himself, in his own home, without allowing others to know. When asked a Shaala, one would only answer the letter of the law, and not based on a Chumra that one personally has accepted.

Baseless Chumros:

Ideally, according to Halacha, one is not allowed to be stringent regarding Rabbinical matters more than the stringencies of the Shulchan Aruch, nevertheless, regarding Pesach, the Jewish people are holy and go above and beyond the letter of the law.[16] Nonetheless, this only applies if the custom has some basis or source, one however is not to innovate new Chumros that have no base in Halacha.[17]

Compromising on Chumros for the sake of Shalom Bayis or when staying by a host who is lenient:

Any matter which is a mere custom or act of piety, and is permitted from the letter of the law, may be compromised on in a case that it can cause a host to be offended, and it is not possible for the custom or stringency to be done inconspicuously and go undiscovered.[18] There is no need for Hataras Nedarim to be performed in such a case, even if this stringency has the status of a Neder.[19] Accordingly, we find in Halacha that one is required to transgress the custom of his community, when he is found in a community which does not keep that custom, and guarding that custom in that area will cause strife and dispute, being that it is not possible to perform it inconspicuously.[20] This however, only applies by a custom or Chumra that is not based on a Biblical or Rabbinical requirement.[21] If, however, the custom or Chumra is based on a Biblical or Rabbinical prohibition, such as that one is accustomed to follow a certain opinion in Poskim which prohibits a certain matter or a certain food, then one must keep his custom even when he is a guest in another’s home, even if the matter is a mere Chumra.[22] Likewise, if the act of piety is kept because there is even a chance of prohibition involved in doing this matter, then one is not to break his stringency.[23] In conclusion, if a host asks his guest to eat or partake in a certain matter which he is stringent in, then if it contains no prohibition at all, and is a mere act of piety which one avoids, then one is to inconspicuously avoid this matter, and if he can’t then he is to compromise on it.[24]

 

 

Practical advice for guests:

Often, the differences of approach in customs and stringencies between a guest and host on Pesach can lead to friction. This especially applies within close family, such as a married son or daughter who is staying by their parents, or parent’s in-law for Pesach. In all cases, it is imperative to have transparency, and discuss any matters that can be foreseen to be of issue, before accepting the invitation. One should not accept an invitation out of graciousness, knowing that doing so will cause conflict due to their differences of custom and/or stringencies. It is precisely for this reason that many are accustomed not to eat by others during Pesach, including family [see Halacha 11]. As stated above, a guest should be open-minded that there may be room for compromise on certain Chumros for the sake of keeping the peace at home. Such a matter is to be discussed with a Rav prior to accepting the invitation. In all cases, one should keep in mind that a Chumra is at best only a suspicion of Chametz, while anger, fighting, and arguing is a Biblical prohibition, and is 100% pure spiritual Chametz which we are trying so hard to get rid of during Pesach.

 

Practical advice for parents:

As parents, we all desire our children to be educated with the highest standard of Torah education and piety, and revere our traditions and customs which we wish to inherit into our child. Nonetheless, at times, this correct and proper goal can be articulated in ways that distances the child from the wish or desire to keep them, let alone cherish them. It is very important that one assess the age of a child, his maturity, and spiritual wellbeing, prior to inheriting him a stringency that may prove to be too difficult and counterproductive to his education. Certainly, when education in these matters is imparted with overly zealous strictness, anger, and fury, it can serve as counterproductive to the child’s general education, and while it may guarantee winning the current battle, he may at the long run lose the war. As parents, especially regarding Pesach when we were chosen by G-d as a nation, we must impart into our children the love and joy of this precious Holiday, and make them have a fun and exciting experience engrained in their minds, so they too will want to inherit those same precious laws and customs to their future generations.

 

A story with the Rebbe Rayatz-Being Machmir not to offend others with your Chumros:

It once occurred by a Pesach meal on the table of the Rebbe Rayatz in New York that a certain uneducated guest dipped his Matzah in the Borscht [beet soup], performing a grave sin in the eyes of the Chassidic brotherhood that were present by the meal. As can be understood, a great tumult transpired surrounding the actions of this guest, and the other Chassidim present gave the guest a piece of their mind. The Rebbe Rayatz inquired as to the reason behind the commotion and was told of the grave actions performed by the guest on his very own Pesach table. The Rebbe Rayatz nonchalantly replied “It is better that the Matzah become red [with the Borscht soup] than you cause the face of a Jew to redden in shame.”

 

 

2. Chumros in cleaning for Pesach

Yisrael Kedoshim Hem: Destroying even Chametz that is allowed to be owned:[25]

Although there are cases in which from the letter of the law one is not required to clean the Chametz, nevertheless the Jewish people are holy [i.e. Yisrael Kedoshim Hem] and are accustomed to be stringent upon themselves and scrape off all Chametz, even a mere speck, that is stuck to the walls/ceiling/floor or a vessel. They are even furthermore stringent to sand down the benches and chairs and walls which have touched Chametz. [In light of this stringency] if there is Chametz [in an area that one cannot reach, such as] in a crack, then one can place on it [something to make it not fit for eating such as] a little bit of cement.[26]

A Chassidic perspective-The Holiness of the Job:[27]

We can learn from the following story, the great holiness involved in cleaning for Pesach: It occurred one year on Rosh Hashanah, after Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev blew the Shofar, that he exclaimed “Sweet Father, if the angels which were created from the Shofar blowing of Levi Yitzchak the son of Sara are weak, let the holy and healthy angels which were created from the hard work and toil of your people before Pesach, in which they scrubbed, smoothened and Kashered in honor of Pesach and for Hiddur Mitzvah; let those angels come and appease you.”

 

Chumros relating to Matzah

3. Matzah Shruyah/Gebrochts:[28]

What is Gebrochts and what Halachic issue does it pose?[29]

Gebrochts, or Matzah Shruya, refers to Matzah that comes to contact with water, or a water-based liquid, either through cooking it with water or by dipping it in water and the like. Ideally, baked Matzah dough cannot become Chametz even if it is mixed with water and remains with it for a very long time, as once the Matzah is baked, its leavening property is destroyed.[30] Nevertheless, this only applies to flour that is mixed with water and then baked, in which case its leavening capability has ceased. However, flour which has not mixed with water, is possibly capable of leavening upon contacting water, even if the flour is baked.[31] This is what created the worry of Gebrochts, or in other words, dipping Matzah in water. In previous times, until approximately the year 1750-1780[32], the Matzahs were kneaded very slowly and thoroughly, thus not allowing any flour to remain unmixed with the water, and therefore the worry of Gebrochts did not apply. This is why this stringency was not mentioned in any previous Poskim. However, starting approximately the year 1750-1780, the widespread custom amongst Jews, who are holy, became to tremendously hasten the kneading of the flour with the water, mixing it very quickly in order to diminish the amount of time that the dough can rise. This is considered a holy act and Hiddur Mitzvah. Nonetheless, the disadvantage of this custom is that the flour is not mixed very well and is thus probable that a slight amount of flour remains on the Matzah, which has never met water. This can be veritably witnessed by anyone truthfully examining the Matzos, that there are a lot of Matzahs that retain a small amount of flour on top of the dough. Accordingly, dipping the “new generation” Matzos in water may pose an issue of Chametz and enters into the dispute in Poskim explained next.

The background ruling in Poskim:

Background-Dispute in Poskim regarding mixing baked flour in water:[33] Some Poskim[34] rule it is forbidden to mix baked or roasted flour with water, as perhaps the flour was not properly baked and it will become Chametz. Other Poskim[35] rule it is permitted to mix baked or roasted flour with water.[36] Practically, initially we are stringent[37], although Bedieved, if one mixed such flour with water, it is permitted in benefit, and may be owned until after Pesach.[38] However, one is to be stringent even Bedieved not to eat it.[39]

Background-Dispute in Poskim regarding flour left on Matzah: Some Poskim[40] rule that even according to the stringent opinion above, we do not suspect that a minute amount of flour that remains on top of the dough was not roasted well [and hence there is no reason to avoid Gebrochts even according to the stringent opinion]. Other Poskim[41], however, rule that according to the stringent opinion we suspect even for a minute amount of flour left on top of the dough that it may become Chametz if mixed with water [and hence there is reason to avoid eating Gebrochts by today’s Matzahs].

Kneidlach:[42] Matzah balls, known as Kneidlach, is made from ground Matzah and is defined as merely Taaruvos Chametz even if were to suspect that it contains unroasted flour mixed within. This would be subject to the debate in Poskim regarding the status of Yaveish Belach, and is not as severe as the law of dipping a piece of Matzah in soup.

 

 

Summary:

Some Poskim rule that Matzahs that have flour remain on the dough, may not be mixed with water due to a Biblical suspicion of Chametz. Other Poskim rule there is no room for worry.

 

The Final Halacha & Minhag:

The final ruling:[43] According to the letter of the law, there is not a complete and clear prohibition against eating flour tainted Matzah that is cooked in water.[44] Nevertheless, one who is stringent is blessed, and is not considered to be a wondrous person who is doing a stringency without reason/basis, as in truth there is a great reason behind this stringency, as it is a possible Biblical prohibition of Chametz.[45] Nonetheless, one is not to protest against those who are lenient, as they have upon whom to rely.[46] Practically, however, according to the ruling of the Arizal that one is to be stringent on Pesach to follow all the stringencies, then it is obvious that one is to be stringent.[47] [This stringency is said to have been innovated by the Maggid of Mezritch[48], and is mentioned in Poskim who lived in the generation of the Maggid, as well as in later Poskim.[49]]

The custom today: Many Jews, particularly Chassidim, are accustomed not to eat Gebrochts on Pesach. The Chabad custom is to avoid eating Gebrochts on Pesach and we are very particular in this matter.[50] Dipping the Matzah in liquid if eating right away:[51] Those who do not eat Gebrochts are accustomed not to dip the Matzah in soup and the like even if one plans to eat it right away.

Chewing Matzah:[52] Chewing Matzah does not pose an issue of Chametz even according to the stringent opinion and custom, as although one’s saliva is a water based liquid that can technically cause flour to leaven, the Matzah does not remain in one’s mouth enough time for it to become leavened.

 

 

Summary:

The Chabad custom, as well as the custom of many Chassidim, is not to cook Matzah, or dip it into water, soup and the like.

 

 

Sparks of Chassidus:[53]

The reason we are so particular against wetting the Matzah is because Chametz represents ego/Yeishus and on Pesach we need to avoid ego entirely. Thus, even something which has the ability to become Chametz is avoided, as the ability for it to become filled with ego is also a level of ego.

 

Eating habits followed according to Chabad custom in order to avoid Gebrochts:[54]

Aside for not cooking Matzah, and not dipping it in liquids, the Chabad custom is to be very careful to ensure that the Matzah does not come into contact with liquid, as will be explained:

Covering the Matzahs-Eating in bag: When Matzah is on the table with other foods or drinks, the Matzahs are to be kept covered to prevent water from falling on them, and to prevent Matzah from getting into the food [when one breaks a piece off]. [Due to this, many today are accustomed to eat the Matzahs in a bag. Furthermore, some are careful to not eat Matzah in the same course as other foods, as explained in the Q&A!]

Checking the cups/plates before pouring: Likewise, before pouring food or liquid into a cup or plate one is to check them to make sure they do not contain any Matzah crumbs.

Mayim Achronim: We do not wipe our lips with water during the meal, including by Mayim Achronim.

 

Q&A

May one eat Matzah within the same course as other foods and may one be stringent not to do so?

One may eat Matzah during the meal while eating other foods. This applies even according to Chabad custom.[55] So was the custom of the Rebbe Rashab and Rebbe, who would eat Matzah while eating the soup.[56] The Rebbe Rashab would clean his spoon after each time he removed it from his mouth to wipe off any leftover Matzah crumbs, although this was his personal custom and was not a directive to the public.[57] There never was a custom in Chabad to negate eating Matzah during the other courses, and it was simply not eaten together. Furthermore, one is to be particular to eat Matzah during the other courses, in order for the blessing of Hamotzi said on the Matzah to exempt the other courses of foods from their blessing.[58] Nevertheless, some today are accustomed after Hamotzi to first eat only Matzah, and then clear/change the tablecloth from the Matzah crumbs, and only then bring the other foods. This is especially done in homes with small children, in which it is virtually impossible to guard the Matzah from contacting liquids if it were eaten when other foods are on the table. Nonetheless, as explained above, one should not be particular against eating Matzah afterwards, during the course of the other foods, as this causes those foods to lose their exemption with the blessing of Hamotzi, and they will now require a new blessing.[59] Thus, one is to periodically get up and eat Matzah during the other courses of foods, even if the table was cleared and one no longer brings Matzah to the table.

 

May one enter Matzah into his mouth while chewing on other foods?[60]

Yes. Although, the Chabad Rebbeim were careful in this matter, it was not a directive for the public.

 

May one take a bite off a large piece of Matzah or is one to first break off bite size pieces?[61]

One may take a bite from the Matzah. It is not necessary to first break off a bite size piece.

 

May children eat Gebrochts on Pesach?[62]

The stringency of Gebrochts applies likewise to children. Parents are to educate their children not to eat Gebrochts, and teach them to be careful not to get their Matzah wet, or into their foods. [Nevertheless, in a time of need one may certainly be lenient to feed Gebrochts to children, especially if they are below the age of Chinuch. For example, infants may eat Gebrochts if needed, and doing so takes precedence over feeding them Kitniyos, as explained in Q&A. Likewise, there is no need to be overly careful with small children if they get Matzah crumbs on their food and the like]

 

Practical advice for parents:

Being careful with one’s children that they do not get their Matzah into their food, or serving bowls, can be both stressful and infuriating. This can lead to destroying the proper Yom Tov atmosphere at the table, which certainly was never the intent of our Holy Rebbeim. One should be understanding and not be overly particular with the children in this matter, and as the Rebbe already stressed in earlier years that there is room to be lenient with children regarding Gebrochts. One practical advice that many people follow, is to simply serve Matzah before the other foods, and hence avoid the situation from developing to begin with. Nonetheless, as stated in C, one must be careful to continue eating Matzah periodically also after this point.

Q&A

What is better if needed-to feed a baby Kitniyos or Gebrochts?[63]

It is better to feed the child Gebrochts than to feed him Kitniyos.

 

Eating Matzah with Fruit Juice [fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy]:[64]

It is permitted [and even encouraged[65]] for one to eat Matzah with 100% pure fruit juice which does not contain any water, even according to those who avoid eating Gebrochts.[66] [This applies even according to the Chabad custom, and so was practiced by the Rebbe Rashab.[67] Accordingly, one may eat Matzah with all fruits or vegetables that are dry from water or condensation. Likewise, one may dip Matzah into wine or oil that has no water mixed into its ingredients. However, this only applies with 100% fruit juice, as if the juice contains even a slight amount of water, then it is even more severe than plain water, and the stringency of Gebrochts applies to it even more so.[68] Thus, care must be taken when eating Matzah with fruits, vegetables, and their juices, that they are not wet with water and that there is no condensation on them that may have been created in the fridge. Likewise, one is not to cut them with a wet knife.]

The practical custom: Despite the above, many Chassidim are accustomed not to eat Matzah with any food, even 100% fruit juice.[69] Others however are lenient.[70]

Making/owning Gebrochts:

The entire stringency of Gebrochts is only regarding eating it. It is however permitted to own Gebrochts even according to the stringent opinion.[71] Accordingly, there is no issue with washing one’s floors that contain Matzah crumbs, even though one will come to bring them in contact with water, as one will not come to eat it.

 

Vessels that had Gebrochts on them:[72]

The custom is to not use any vessels on Pesach which had wet Matzah fall on it that Pesach. However, it may be used the next Pesach without Kashering.

Eating Gebrochts on the last day of Pesach in the Diaspora:[73]

On the last day of Pesach in the Diaspora, one who is lenient to eat matzah cooked with water/liquids for the purpose of Yom Tov joy, is not losing out on keeping of the above-mentioned stringencies of the Arizal. [Practically, the Chabad custom is to be particular to eat Gebrochks on the last day of Pesach in the Diaspora.[74]] This can be fulfilled by simply dipping the Matza in liquid that contains water and eat it, although the custom is to cook Kneidlach. One may cook and eat the Gebrochts in his regular Pesach vessels, which will be used next year for Pesach. The vessels do not need to be Kashered next year for Pesach use.[75]

 

The custom of the Rebbeim:[76]

The Chabad Rebbeim were scrupulous on the last day of Pesach to dip their Matzahs in liquids, and eat it with every foods; fish, meat, and especially soup. Even those foods which throughout the year are not normally eaten with bread, they would eat with their Matzah.

 

May one cook Gebrochts on Friday Shevi’i Shel Pesach for the sake of eating it on Shabbos?

Some Poskim[77] rule it is permitted to do so, and so is the custom of some.[78] However, if one treats Gebrochts as if it is forbidden from the letter of the law, then some Poskim[79] rule one may not cook it on Shevi’i Shel Pesach, and so is the custom of others.[80] [Practically, it is best to avoid cooking it on Yom Tov, and rather it is to be cooked on Erev Yom Tov, taking care to designate these utensils only for Gebrochts and not to reuse them anymore that Pesach.]

 

 

Sparks of Chassidus:[81]

The reason we are so particular against wetting the Matzah is because Chametz represents ego/Yeishus and on Pesach we need to avoid ego entirely. However, by the last night of Pesach in the Diaspora we have reached enough refinement to be able to handle, and even refine, a food that could come to ego. Accordingly, one should be particular to eat it, in order to refine and elevate it.

 

 

4. Other Matzah related stringencies:

Matzah Ashira-Egg Matzah:

The Ashkenazi custom is not to eat Matzah Ashira during Pesach. See Chapter 8 Halacha 5 for the full details of this topic!

Machine made Matzah:[82]

The Chabad custom is not to eat machine made Matzah at all throughout all the days of Pesach. See Chapter 8 Halacha 3 for the full details of this topic!

 

Not to eat Matzah past the first night of Pesach:[83]

Some are scrupulous not to eat any Matzah throughout Pesach with exception to the first night, when it is a Biblical command, and when required for the Shabbos and Yom Tov meals.[84] However, the Poskim[85] argue against this custom saying it diminishes Simchas Yom Tov.

5. Foods that are avoided:

Processed foods:[86]

It is a renowned Chabad custom to avoid eating all processed foods on Pesach, as much as possible.[87]

Matzah and wine: The above custom is with exception to Matzah and wine, which due to inability to self produce, is widely purchased from a store or company. Nevertheless, many families are stringent to produce their own wines and even bake their own Matzahs.

Oil: The Rebbe[88] writes that “Anash use Natala margarine on Pesach”. This refers to a congealed cottonseed oil that was processed by a company under a local Mehadrin Hashgacha. Thus, one may purchase any Kosher for Pesach oil that contains a most reliable Hashgacha. Nevertheless, there are those who are stringent to only use melted chicken fat [Shmaltz] as their oil base product for Pesach food and cooking.

Dairy:[89] The Rebbe ate dairy products on Pesach.

Chocolate: There is no source for the statement that the Rebbe ate chocolate on Pesach. He would however, eat sugarless chocolate during the year.

Sugar: See C!

 

 

Q&A

From what time are those who are accustomed to not eat processed foods to begin their stringency? From the night of Pesach or from 5th hour of Erev Pesach?

One who is stringent to avoid eating processed foods is to avoid doing so starting from the 5th hour of Erev Pesach.[90] However, many are lenient to eat processed foods up until the night of Pesach.[91]

Salt:[92]

One may not eat salt and other spices on Pesach unless it has a reliable Hashgacha, as we suspect that perhaps Chametz becomes mixed into the salt.

 

Sugar:[93]

The custom of the Rebbe Rashab: The Rebbe Rashab avoided using sugar due to suspicion that a Chametz ingredient was used in the boiling process, or alternatively the workers would dip their breads into it, and there is thus a suspicion that a crumb of Chametz remained in the sugar. There is a story with the brother-in-law of the Rebbe Rashab who owned a sugar production plant and had made a specially supervised batch of sugar to be used by the Rebbe Rashab on Pesach, despite that even throughout the year there was no suspicion of Chametz in the sugar. When the Rebbe Rashab was brought the sugar cubical his face became stern with concern, and he followed to break open one of the cubicles, and unexplainably a wheat kernel fell out.

The Rebbe’s directive:[94] Regarding if the above stringency of the Rebbe Rashab applies for all Chassidim, the Rebbe once said that if one knows for certain that there is no suspicion of Chametz in the sugar then he does not see a reason for one to be stringent.

The custom to boil the sugar:[95] Some are accustomed to boil sugar before Pesach and thus make sugar water which they use rather than actual sugar.[96] Some have the custom to then filter the sugar water afterwards.

Fish:

Fish is to be purchased with a proper Hashgacha for Pesach, as often those who market them place starch and other products that may be problematic.[97]

Herring/salted:[98] The custom is not to eat herring, or any salted fish, on Pesach.[99]

 

Alcoholic beverages:[100]

The Chabad custom, as well as the custom of many others, is not to drink alcohol on Pesach [other than wine], even if it has a Hashgacha for Pesach.[101]

Radish:

The Chabad custom is not to eat radishes on Pesach.[102] Others, however, are lenient.[103]

Garlic:[104]

Garlic is not Chametz, or Kitniyos, and is thus permitted to be eaten over Pesach.[105] Nevertheless, there are those who are accustomed not to eat garlic on Pesach.[106] Those families who are accustomed to follow this custom are not to swerve from it.[107] However, those families who did not receive such a custom are not required to accept it upon themselves.[108] Nevertheless, if one is part of a community in which everyone is accustomed to be stringent, he is not to be lenient in public regarding this matter.[109]

The Chabad custom: Some[110] record that there is no Chabad custom to avoid eating garlic on Pesach. [Practically, each family is to follow their Minhag.]

 

Cinnamon:[111]

Cinnamon is not Chametz, or Kitniyos, and is thus permitted to be used over Pesach.[112] Nevertheless, some are accustomed not to eat cinnamon on Pesach[113], and so is the Chabad custom.[114] because it may contain Chametz.

 

I. Ginger:[115]

Spice: Although ginger is not Kitniyos[116], our custom is not to use ginger [spice] over Pesach due to it having worry of Chametz mixtures.[117]

Fresh ginger:[118] One may eat fresh ginger that has no worry of Chametz.

Horseradish:[119]

Horseradish should only be purchased with a Hashgacha, who verifies that non-Chametz knives are used to cut it.

Not to eat hot foods on Pesach:[120]

Some have the custom not to eat hot foods [of 110 degrees] on Pesach being that their teeth cannot be properly Kashered.

 

Food that fell on the ground:[121]

Food which fell on the ground is not eaten on Pesach, although if the food has a peel there are those who peel it, and then use the food.

6. Stringencies relating to eggs:

Stamp on eggs: Egg marking is a standard regulatory procedure followed in many countries to convey information to consumers. The dye used on the eggs in many cases contains alcohol, which may have been produced from Chametz derivatives and hence creates a Kashrus concern regarding Pesach. Due to this, many are accustomed to purchase eggs without stamps for Pesach, or to wash off the stamps. Some Hashgacha organizations have taken the initiative to ensure that the ink used in companies under their supervision is made from Kosher for Pesach products. The eggs under Tenuva, for example, carry the Hechsher of the Eida Hachareidis, and their dye is free of any Kashrus concern over Pesach.

Washing the eggs before Pesach: One is to wash the eggs before Pesach, or at least before cooking, as quite often the eggs are found together with Chametz feed which gets stuck onto it.[122] Nonetheless, in previous times, the custom of the Rebbeim was not to be particular to do so.[123]

Cooking the eggs in a separate pot:[124] Some are accustomed to use a designated pot to cook the eggs and do not use that pot for any other purpose throughout Pesach.

The egg box: One is to search the egg box prior to Pesach to verify it does not contain any grains or Chametz from the chicken feed.

7. Stringencies relating to produce [fruits and vegetables]

Peeling produce:[125]

Many have the custom to peel all their fruits and vegetables and to avoid eating anything which cannot be peeled. [For this reason, some do not eat lettuce past the night of the Seder. Others are not particular in this.]

Use separate knife for peeling the fruits/veggies: Many have the custom to designate a separate knife or peeler for the peeling of all the fruits and vegetables throughout Pesach. The knife is not used to cut through the fruit/vegetable.

Washing all produce prior to Pesach:[126]

Some have the custom to wash all their produce prior to Pesach. This includes even the bottles of wine and oil. Citric fruits often contain scale insects which must be washed off prior to cutting or squeezing the fruit. This applies throughout the year.

Purchasing produce before Pesach:[127]

Some are accustomed to purchase all their produce prior to Pesach.

 

Q&A

From what time are those that are accustomed to not eat spices or unpeeled foods to begin their stringency? From the night of Pesach or from 5th hour of Erev Pesach?

One is to avoid eating these foods starting from the 5th hour of the day.[128] However, many are lenient to eat these foods up until the night of Pesach.[129]

 

8. Water related stringencies:

Preparing before Pesach:[130]

Some are accustomed to preparing all their drinking, and cooking water before Pesach.[131] This is not the Chabad custom.

Why is water from the sink permitted to be drunk on Pesach? The water reservoirs from which the house water is supplied from may contain Chametz, such as kernels of grain, or pieces of bread which have been dropped there by animals, or thrown there by people. This raises the question as to whether one may drink from such water starting from the night on Pesach, as starting from the night of Pesach Chametz is not nullified even in 1000x.[132] The Poskim[133] throughout the ages dealt with this question and offered different Halachic reasons to justify its use. Practically, while the custom is to be lenient, as stated above, some are stringent.

 

Filtering:[134]

The custom is to filter drinking water with a clean white cloth in order to prevent any crumbs of Chametz from being consumed. [When the Rebbe once came for the Seder in Tomchei Temimim he checked to make sure that a filter was placed by the water.[135]]

Not to wipe lips by Mayim Achronim:[136]

The Chabad custom is not to wipe the lips with the water of Mayim Achronim throughout all the days of Pesach.

 

Using hot water in a sink on Pesach:

One is initially to be careful not to use hot water that is over Yad Soledes [110° F] on Pesach, in a sink that is not Kasherable.[137] This applies even if one has a sink insert. Thus, one should not turn on the hot water to the point of Yad Soledes and is likewise not to pour hot water into the sink so long as it is Yad Soledes, even if it is in a Keli Shelishi or Revi’i.[138] [Accordingly, if one has a pot with hot water, he is to wait until it cools down prior to pouring it into a non-Kashered sink. One can mix cold water into the hot water in order to achieve this quicker.] If the water is warm, below Yad Soledes, it may be poured into the sink. Nonetheless, Bedieved, if one poured hot water into the sink, everything remains permitted, even it was very hot and was poured from a Keli Rishon.[139]

9. Stringencies regarding vessels:

A vessel or food that fell on the ground:[140]

A vessel which fell on the ground is put away and not used for the rest of Pesach. The same applies for food which falls on the ground, although if the food has a peel there are those who peel it, and then use the food.

 

Lending vessels to others:[141]

Some are custom not to lend their Pesach vessels to others throughout Pesach.

 

Forks:[142]

There are those who are stringent to avoid eating with forks on Pesach due to the difficulty involved in cleaning the areas in-between the teeth of the fork.

10. Eating stringencies:

Washing hands: Some are accustomed to wash their hands prior to eating anything.

Not to place things on table: One is to avoid placing Sefarim, or any other object that may have been around Chametz, on the table.

 

11. Eating out by others on Pesach:[143]

The Alter Rebbe once stated “On Pesach one does not invite others to eat and drink, however it is permitted for one to take on his own.” [This means that the host is not to offer others to eat his foods on Pesach, as perhaps that person is stringent regarding this food, and he will feel uncomfortable refusing the offer.] However, from the perspective of the guest, there is no issue in one eating another person’s food if he so chooses.[144] Furthermore, one is to make his food available for guests who desire to eat from his foods.[145] Nevertheless some are custom not to eat at other people houses, or partake in other people’s foods, throughout Pesach.[146]

 

Summary:

One is not to offer or pressure another to eat his food on Pesach, although a guest may eat from one’s foods if he so desires. Nevertheless, some are accustomed not to eat by others at all on Pesach.

 

12. Not to say the word Chametz:[147]

Some[148] write that one is not to mention the word “Lechem” or “bread” on Pesach, and rather one is to say the word Chametz. Some[149] however write that the Rebbe negated the use of the word Chametz when in reference to actual existing Chametz. [However, certainly the word Chametz may be used in general reference such as in Halacha and Torah learning.[150]]  Some[151] would avoid even saying the last name of a person if it has reference to Chametz [such as the Bagel family].

________________________________________________________________________

[1] Rosh 3:2 “I did not lengthen on these laws of dough stuck on vessels as the Jewish people are holy and are accustomed…”; Raavan, brought in Rosh ibid “This custom of scraping down the walls and chairs has a root in the Yerushalmi”; Rokeiach 247

[2] Admur 442:30; Radbaz 1:135 “The Jewish people are holy as writes the Rosh, and as we see that they keep extra Chumros, in contrast to other Issurim”; Michaber 442:6 “Those who are Machmir have upon whom to rely”

[3] Admur Shut 6 “The Arizal says that one is to be Machmir on Pesach all the Chumros”; Beir Heiytiv 467:1; Mishnas Chassidim Nissan 3:4 “One is to be stringent all the stringencies of those who are strict, and this will benefit his soul throughout the year”; Dvash Lefi [Chida] 8:18 and Moreh Laetzba 196

[4] Shut Min Hashamayim 70

[5] Zohar Shemos 40b “Chametz is the Yetzer Hara”; Radbaz 3:546; See also Kad Hakemech [Rabbeinu Bechayeh] Pesach; Toras Moshe [Alshich] Shemos 12:13

[6] Beir Heiytiv 467:1; Admur Shut 6 “The Arizal says that one is to be Machmir on Pesach all the Chumros”; Mishnas Chassidim Nissan 3:4 “One is to be stringent all the stringencies of those who are strict, and this will benefit his soul throughout the year”; Shaalos and Teshuvos of Admur 6; Zohar Ki Seitzei p. 282 “One who guards himself from Chametz is guarded from the Yetzer Hara”; Mikdash melech on Zohar ibid; Dvash Lefi [Chida] 8:18 and Moreh Laetzba 196

[7] Likkutei Sichos Vol. 3 Shabbos Hagadol

[8] Zohar Shemos p. 182a

[9] Admur 469:5; Chok Yaakov 469:3

[10] Admur ibid; Rokeiach 283; Chok Yaakov ibid

The reason: As the wicked son says “Why do you trouble yourselves with these rituals?” [ibid]

[11] Chok Yaakov ibid

[12] As they learn it is only similar to a Rasha when one states this regarding the Mitzvos of Karban Pesach, and other Mitzvos which are Biblical, as by saying this one makes it seem that the commands of the Torah are a burden on him. However today this statement is said in reference to all the great stringencies which are accustomed with Pesach, and when he says on them how troublesome they are there is no prohibition in the matter. [Admur ibid]

[13] See Michaber Y.D. 214:2; Pischeiy Teshuvah 214:5; Maharam Shick E.H. 5; Siach Yitzchak 207Nitei Gavriel 39:20

[14] See Machazik Bracha 467:5; Moed Lekol Chaiy 2:17; Kaf Hachaim 453:40; Nitei Gavriel 39:21

[15] Machazik Bracha 467:5; See also Michaber 565:6; M”A 565:7; Taz 565:6; Piskeiy Teshuvos 565:6

[16] Admur in Kuntrus Acharon 442:16; Admur 442:30

[17] See Michaber 442:6 “Those who are Machmir have upon whom to rely” Raaven, brought in Rosh 3:2 “They rely on the Yerushalmi”; Mamar Mordechai 442:6, M”B 442:28, Kaf Hachaim 442:69 “Since the custom is based on the Yerushalmi, one is therefore not to belittle it and claim it is a Minhag Shtus and superfluous stringency.”; See Admur Teshuvah 6 “However regarding fruit juice, certainly one is not to be stringent at all throughout Pesach”; See Sefarim in Nitei Gavriel Pesach Hakdama 21-24

[18] Admur 468/14; See Igros Kodesh 14/391 regarding Nussach of Davening; 5/91; 16/12 and 99; 19/249 regarding wearing a Tallis as Chazan

[19] Rama 568/2; 581/2 [regarding a Bris during Bahab or Aseres Yimei Teshuvah]; Shach Y.D. 214/2 that one may eat by a Seudas Mitzvah even though it breaks his Chumra which became accepted as a Neder; M”A 581/12; Machatzis Hashekel ibid; Degul Merivava ibid and Yoreh Deah 214/1 and Pischeiy Teshuvah Y.D. 214/1 that a temporary lifting of a Chumra that becomes a Neder is allowed in a case of need; Piskeiy Teshuvos 170/8; See Hearos Ubiurim Oholei Torah 627 in which based on all above, his questions are answered, as there is no Issur of breaking a Neder in such a case.

Opinion of Michaber and Shach: The Michaber 214/1 rules regarding the Hiddur of fasting during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah, that even if one became weak, he is required to do Hataras Nedarim. The Shach 214/2 explains that the reason for this is because only those circumstances that are publicly known not to be included within the Hiddur, such as eating during a Bris Mila during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah, do not require Hataras Nedarim. However, an unexpected circumstance is included in the Hiddur and thus requires Hataras Nedarim. The Degul Merivava ibid argues against the Shach’s explanation, and says the Michaber’s ibid ruling referred to a case that due to weakness the person wanted to revoke forever his custom, and for this everyone agrees that Hatara is required.

[20] Admur ibid; Rebbe ibid

The reason: As the sustaining of peace is of greater importance than a custom, if the custom is not a Biblical or Rabbinical requirement.  [Admur ibid] As Machlokes is a Biblical prohibition according to all. [Igros Kodesh 14/391]

[21] Admur ibid

[22] See Rama 112/15 that only by Pas Paltar do we make an exception of compromise; [See however Rama 115/3 that this exception applies also to butter and the Levush explains that this is because it is an Issur Kal; See however Taz 115/13 who negates the Levush and explains that butter is also an exception because in those areas that people eat it, they make it in a way that is Kosher without suspicion] See also Rama Y.D. 119/7 that it is forbidden for a host to feed his guest a food which the guest holds to be not Kosher from the letter of the law, or due to stringency; See Shach 119/20 and Beir Heiytiv 64/10 regarding the Cheilev of the Keres that if the custom is to forbid the Cheilev then one may not even eat in the dishes of one who follows those Poskim who is Matir; See Rama 64/9 who permits eating from the pots of Bnei Reinitz and Shach 64/12 who even permits eating from their food. The Shach and Beir Heiytiv ibid explain that this Heter only applies for communities within Reinitz who are accustomed to prohibit, unlike the widespread custom to be lenient. However, those who come from a community in which everyone accepts the matter as a prohibition, then there is no leniency accorded even regarding the pots.

[23] Shaareiy Teshuvah 170/6; M”B 170/16

[24] Shaareiy Teshuvah 170/6; M”B 170/16; See Ashel Avraham of Butchach in Tehila Ledavid, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 170 footnote 40

[25] Admur 442:30; Michaber 442:6 “The custom is to scrape the walls and chairs which touched Chametz and they have upon whom to rely”; Tur 442; Rosh 3:2 “I did not lengthen on these laws of dough stuck on vessels as the Jewish people are holy and are accustomed…”; Raavan, brought in Rosh ibid “This custom of scraping down the walls and chairs has a root in the Yerushalmi”; Rokeiach 247; Radbaz 1:135 “The Jewish people are holy as writes the Rosh, and as we see that they keep extra Chumros, in contrast to other Issurim”; Yosef Ometz 699; Mamar Mordechai 442:6, M”B 442:28, Kaf Hachaim 442:69 “Since the custom is based on the Yerushalmi, one is therefore not to belittle it and claim it is a Minhag Shtus and superfluous stringency.”

[26] Admur ibid; Michaber ibid; From the letter of the law however, it is permitted to leave the Chametz there throughout Pesach, so long as one plans to do Bittul. [See Admur 433:19]

[27] Likkutei Dibburim 180

[28] Shut Admur 6 [This letter is unique of its kind, as it is the earliest known publication that deals with the prohibition of Matzah Shruya. The entire letter of Admur was dedicated to explaining the basis behind the stringency.] Admur 459:25-27; 463:3; 471:8; See also: M”A 458:1; 459:16; Shaareiy Teshuvah 460:1 and 10 [Discusses in great length the sides behind the stringency, and those who argue not to be stringent]; Machatzis Hashekel 458:1; M”B 449:4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 458:5-8; Otzer Minhagei Chabad-Matzah Shruya

Ruling of Admur in Shulchan Aruch: In various areas in the Shulchan Aruch, Admur rules it is permitted to eat and cook Matzah with water on Pesach. [Admur 463:3; 471:8] However, in 461:2 Admur brings the dispute in Poskim regarding roasted flour and concludes stringently, and in the Shut 6 he explains that in today’s Matzahs this is a matter of worry. Hence, in truth, there is no real contradiction between the ruling of Admur in the Shulchan Aruch and that in his Shut. This is further emphasized in Admur 459:25 who rules one may not dip the dough in flour due to the above dispute.

[29] Shut Admur 6; See also Admur 459:25-27; 463:3

[30] Admur 463:3 based on Rava Pesachim 40b that it is permitted to make Matzah balls, or any other dish one desires with Matzah flour

[31] See dispute below and Admur 459:25-27; 463:3

[32] Admur in the Shut ibid writes “It was not mentioned in the previous Poskim as it was not common at all with their dough, and in the previous generations they would wait a long time in the kneading and rolling until it was well kneaded. However, approximately 20 or more years ago, the custom spread to the Jewish people who are holy to be very quick with the kneading, and it is hence not kneaded well.”

[33] Brought in Shut Admur 6

[34] 1st opinion in Admur 463:2; Peri Chadash 461:2; Beis Yosef 461 in name of Rabbeinu Yerucham 5:5 in name of Tosafos Pesachim 40b; Semak 222

[35] 2nd opinion in Admur 463:2; Rambam 5:3; Rashi Pesachim 40b

[36] The reason: As we do not suspect that roasted flour was not roasted well, and hence it cannot become Chametz. [Admur ibid]

[37] Admur ibid and 459:25; Chok Yaakov 463:4; M”A 459:16; Terumos Hadeshen 124

[38] Admur ibid; Chok Yaakov 463:4; M”A ibid rules leniently Bedieved even regarding eating

[39] See Admur 459:26; See M”A 463:4

[40] Peri Chadash ibid, brought and explained in Admur Shut 6

[41] Maharshdam O.C. 26 and M”A ibid, brought and explained in Admur ibid

[42] Shut of Admur 6 that Taaruvos Chametz is not a Chashash Deoraisa; See Shaareiy Teshuvah 460:10; Michaber Y.D. 104; Admur 466:9-11; Kuntrus Acharon 442:15: Shut Rabbeinu 18; See Piskeiy Admur Yoreh Deah chapter 100; Shach 109:8; “A Semicha Aid for learning the Laws of Taaruvos” Chapter 104:4

[43] Shut of Admur 6

[44] Admur ibid; This is despite the fact that in the introduction to the letter Admur begins “regarding the prohibition of cooking Matzah crumbs”;

The reason: As perhaps we rule like Rashi/Rambam, and perhaps even according to the Semak we do not suspect that the leftover flour was not roasted well. [See Poskim ibid]

[45] The reason: The stringency is done in order to avoid a suspicion of eating flour which was not kneaded into the dough and not roasted properly, which is a Biblical prohibition according to some Rishonim [i.e. Semak and Rabbeinu Yerucham] to eat with water. [Admur ibid] This stringency follows the opinion of the Maharsham, brought in Peri Chadash, who learns that the Semak and Rabbeinu Yerucham are stringent even regarding flour left on top of Matzahs, and certainly one who suspects for his opinion is blessed. [Admur ibid]

[46] Mainly, they rely on the opinion of Rashi and the Rambam. [Admur ibid]

[47] Admur ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule there is no need to be stringent not to mix Matzah with water. [Rambam and Rashi ibid; Chacham Tzevi, brought in Sheilas Yaavetz 2:65; Mur Uketzia 460; Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid rules that by today’s Matzahs there is no need to be stringent]

[48] Yagdil Torah N.Y. 12:10

[49] Admur ibid; Chacham Tzevi, brought in Sheilas Yaavetz 2:65; Mur Uketzia 460 [although there he negates the custom]; Machatzis Hashekel 458:1; Shaareiy Teshuvah 460:1 and 10; M”B 449:4

[50] Sefer Haminhagim p. 79 [English]

[51] See Sefer Haminhagim ibid; To note that the entire discussion in Admur ibid was only with regards to cooking the Matzah!

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule, that according to all, there is no reason to be stringent against dipping the Matzah in soup and the like if one plans to eat it right away, as it needs to delay 18 minutes to become Chametz. [Shaareiy Teshuvah 460:10; See also Admur 463:26 regarding chewing]

[52] Admur 459:26; Shaareiy Teshuvah 460:10

Background: According to the stringency of Gebrochts, one can challenge that it should never be allowed to eat Matzah that has worry of leftover flour, being that saliva is equivalent to water and can hence the Matzah turns into Gebrochts in one’s mouth. Nonetheless, in truth this does not pose a problem as the Matzah does not stay in one’s mouth together with the saliva for more than 18:24 minutes. [Admur ibid] In addition, flour cannot become Chametz when it is being worked on, and hence so long as one is chewing the Matzah there is no worry of the start of fermentation on unkneaded flour that may have remained on the Matzah. Perhaps due to this second reason, it is permitted to dip it in fruit juice, even though water and fruit juice combined in can make flour become Chametz instantly.

[53] See Likkutei Sichos 22 p. 30

[54] Sefer Haminhagim p. 79-80 [English]

[55] So is evident from Sefer Haminhagim ibid

[56] Heard from Rav Eli Landau regarding the Rebbe Rashab and Rav Y.Y. Ofen regarding the Rebbe

[57] Heard from Rav Eli Landau Shlita

[58] See Admur 177:6; Tosafos Brachos 41b; P”M 200 A”A 3; Chazon Ish 32; Piskeiy Teshuvos 177:10

[59] See Admur 177:6; Tosafos Brachos 41b; P”M 200 A”A 3; Chazon Ish 32; Piskeiy Teshuvos 177:10

[60] Heard from Rav Eli Landau Shlita; See Admur 459:26; Shaareiy Teshuvah 460:10

[61] Some are accustomed to only enter bite pieces of Matzah into their mouth at a time, in order to prevent saliva [which is equivalent to water] from coming into contact with the bitten area, and become Gebrochts. Rav Leibel Groner corresponded that he has never witnessed such a custom amongst the Rebbe or Chassidim.

[62] Rebbe in Toras Menachem 5748 3:11 footnote 258 [brought in Shulchan Menachem 2:222] However, see Toras Menachem 3:7 that one may be lenient to feed Gebrochts to children, and only regarding machine Matzah should one be stringent. See Shulchan Menachem ibid that perhaps there it refers to younger children, while in the later Sicha the Rebbe refers to older children.

[63] Heard from Rabbanei Anash [Rav asher Lemel Cohen, Hiskashrus and other Rabbanim]

[64] Shut of Admur 6 “Regarding dipping Matzah in fruit juice, it is obvious that one is not to be stringent against doing so throughout the entire Pesach.”

[65] So is implication of wording of Admur ibid

[66] The reason: As fruit juice does not ferment flour. [See Chapter 2 Halacha 1B]

[67] The Rebbe Rashab would eat his Matzah with 100% wine [Sefer Haminhagim p. 80] and milk. [Sefer Hasichos 5703]

[68] If fruit juice is mixed with water, then it is even more severe of a problem than plain water regarding its ability to ferment. As while plain water takes at least 18 minutes to ferment, water mixed with fruit juice can ferment instantly. See Chapter 2 Halacha 1B!

[69] Heard from Harav Leibel Groner; Harav Eliyahu Landau and Harav Yaakov Shwei

The reason: Perhaps this is due to suspicion that perhaps water has gotten onto the fruit, such as through condensation, or a wet knife, and the like.

[70] Rav Asher Lemel HaCohen are lenient in this and so is the custom of Yerushalmim to eat Matzah brie which is made by frying Matzah in oil; Rav Osdaba ruled leniently to me.

[71] See Admur 463:2; Maaseh Rav that the Rebbe had Kneidlach prepared on Erev Yom Tov for the last day of Pesach; There is no known source for being stringent regarding owning. There are many examples of cases in Hilchos Pesach in where we are stringent regarding eating and not regarding owning. As for the reasons why: It is forbidden to eat even a small amount of Chametz, and eating Chametz carries the penalty of Kareis. Owning, however, is only Biblically prohibited by a Kezayis.

[72] Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 48.

[73] Shut of Admur 6

[74] Sefer Hasichos 5702 p. 105; Hagada of Rebbe by Shulchan Oreich: “We are Mehadeir to dip”; Hisvadyus 5758, page 171; Likkutei Sichos 22 p. 30, printed in Shulchan Menachem 2:354; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 224-226

[75] Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 224-225 in name of Rav Yaakov Landau who witnessed this done in the house of the Rebbe Rashab.

[76] Hisvadyus 5758, page 171; Likkutei Sichos 22 p. 30

[77] All Poskim who permit cooking Kitniyus; Minchas Yitzchak 7:33; Chazon Ish 49:15-16 [See however Chazon Ish ibid that if this matter is held as forbidden from the letter of the law then it is forbidden to cook on Yom Tov.]; Nitei Gavriel 3 19:9; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 255; Hiskashrus 39 p. 24 footnote 10; Reb Leibal Groner records that one year in which Shevii Shel Pesach fell on Erev Shabbos the Rebbe stated with dissatisfaction that Kneidlach were not made on Erev Shabbos to be served on Achron Shel Pesach in his home. [Hiskashrus 45 p. 24; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 225]

[78] The reason: As the refraining of eating Gebrochts on Pesach is merely a stringency and is not forbidden from the letter of the law, and it is thus not truly inedible on Pesach. Therefore, it is permitted to do so even according to those Poskim who rule that one may not cook Kitniyus on Yom Tov for the sake of Shabbos in Eretz Yisrael. [Poskim ibid]

[79] Chazon Ish 49:16 that if this matter is held as forbidden from the letter of the law then it is forbidden to cook on Yom Tov just like the Poskim who rule it is forbidden to cook Kitniyus on Yom Tov; Rav Levi Bistritzky in Kovetz Tiferes Limelech and Shut Ara Degalil concludes that according ot Admur one may not cook Gebrochtz on Shevi’i Shel Pesach; Rav Eliyahu Landa Shlita related to me that his father never allowed Gebrochts to be cooked on Shevi’I Shel Pesach even if years such as the above.

[80] The reason: As some Poskim rule one may not cook Kitniyus on Yom Tov for Shabbos and seemingly the same would apply to Gebrochts if it is held as an actual prohibition.

The Chabad custom: Reb Leibal Groner records that one year in which Shevi’i Shel Pesach fell on Erev Shabbos the Rebbe stated with dissatisfaction that Kneidlach were not beforehand to be served on Achron Shel Pesach in his home. [Otzer Minhagei Chabad ibid] It however makes no reference as to when in the Rebbe’s opinion the Kneidlach should have been made, before Yom Tov, or even on Yom Tov itself. Upon asking Rabbi Groner as to when the Gebrochts should be made he replied “If i remember correctly we make the kneidlech on שביעי של פסח. It should be done much before lighting the shabbos candles.” Thus, clearly Rabbi Groner did not receive a clear instruction from this story as to when the Gebrochts should be made, as otherwise there would be no room for his uncertainty. Rabbi Eli Landa told me that in his home they would not cook Gebrochts on Yom Tov for the sake of Shabbos even in such a year.

[81] Likkutei Sichos 22 p. 30

[82] Toras Menachem 5711 2:7; See Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 29-31

[83] See Shaareiy Teshuvah end of 461:1; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 42 regarding Rav Itche Demasmid that he would bake 12 Matzahs for the entire duration of Pesach

[84] The reason: As they suspect the Matzah may not have been made properly and thus contains Chametz.

[85] Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid

[86] The source of the custom: This custom is not recorded in the Poskim, or compilations of Chabad Pesach customs, but is the widely accepted Minhag.

[87] The reason: Seemingly, this custom is based on the custom of the Alter Rebbe not to eat at other people’s houses on Pesach due to that we are not aware of their level of stringency. [See Halacha 11] Thus, we avoid eating processed foods being that it is equivalent to foods made in other people’s homes. [Nitei Gavriel 40 p. 218] Alternatively, the reason behind this custom is because we suspect that perhaps in the production line, which involves hundreds of people of various backgrounds, Chametz fell into the food and has not disintegrated. [This can easily occur if a worker had a sandwich and did not wash his hands properly afterwards. Having worked as a Mashgiach in a Kosher for Pesach food production, I can attest that it is almost impossible to ascertain that all the workers wash their hands from all Chametz leftovers prior to beginning work on the line.] According to this reason, one is to avoid processed foods beginning from the time of prohibition to eat Chametz from the 5th hour of Erev Pesach, as Chametz Beiyn which is found in a food is at times not nullified even before the night of Pesach. [See Admur 442 Kuntrus Acharon 15; 466:9-11; Shut Rabbeinu 18; See Piskeiy Admur Yoreh Deah chapter 100; Shach 109:8; “A Semicha Aid for learning the Laws of Taaruvos” Chapter 104:4] Alternatively, perhaps we suspect for even disintegrated Chametz, as we suspect for the opinion in 447:22 who holds that we say Chozer Veniur by all foods that contain Chametz of any amount, even taste, even if it was nullified before Pesach. According to this reason one is only to be stringent in avoiding eating processed foods beginning form the night of Pesach.

[88] Igros Kodesh Vol. 21 p. 96. This was a written telegram to Anash of some part of America or Canada in 1949.

[89] Heard from the Rebbe’s secretary, Rav Binyamin Klein and Rav Leibel Groner; Some say this was likewise the custom of the Rebbe Rayatz and Rebbe Rashab

[90] Response of Rabbi Yehuda Leib Groner [secretary of the Rebbe] to a query of the author; Custom of many of Anash from vintage Chabad homes as heard by the author

The reason: The reason for not eating processed foods is due to a suspicion of Taaruvos Chametz. Now, before the night arrives, although Chametz can be nullified, this only applies if it is a mixture of Yaveish Beyaveish or Lach Belach. However, by a mixture of Yaveish Belach it is not nullified even before Pesach. [Admur 442 Kuntrus Acharon 15; 466:9-11; Shut Rabbeinu 18; See Piskeiy Admur Yoreh Deah chapter 100; “A Semicha Aid for learning the Laws of Taaruvos” Chapter 104:4] Thus, if there is a crumb of Chametz that fell into the processed food and is still intact it is not nullified and one transgresses eating Chametz on Pesach.

[91] Custom of many families of Anash.

The reason: Seemingly the reason behind the leniency on Erev Pesach until the night, despite that which is explained above, is because on the night of Pesach begin the severe stringencies of Issur Mashehu, and Issur Kareis for eating Chametz. Thus, although from a Halachic perspective there can be suspicion of Chametz in processed foods even before the night of Pesach in a way that it is not nullified, nevertheless one only begins to suspect for this starting from the night. Vetzaruch Iyun. Alternatively, perhaps it is because we suspect for the opinion in 447:22 who holds that starting from the night of Pesach we say Chozer Veniur by all foods that contain Chametz of any amount, even taste, even if it was nullified before Pesach.

[92] Admur 462:19

[93] See Sefer Hasichos 5700 p. 37; Otzer Minhagei Chabad Nissan p. 50; Shulchan Menachem 2:267

[94] Hamelech Bemisibo 1:307; See Shulchan Menachem ibid

[95] Chayeh Adam 127:3 in name of Noda Beyehuda

[96] The reason: This is done in order to ascertain, that even if there were to be a speck of Chametz in the sugar, it would dissolve through the cooking and become nullified in 60x before Pesach in Lach Belach.  [ibid]

[97] Madrich of Eida Hachareidis

[98] Otzer Minhagei Chabad Nissan p. 61; See Admur 447:36 and gloss of Maharil

[99] The reason: This is due to suspicion that the salt contained Chametz. Although from the letter of the law, it may be eaten, as even if there is Chametz the fish can be washed off before Pesach from any possible salt. A student of the Tzemach Tzedek discovered that besides for the above suspicion there is a Chametz ingredient added to the gravy and therefore it’s forbidden on Pesach according to the letter of the law. [See Otzer Minhagei Chabad ibid]

[100] Sources in Otzer Minhagei Chabad Nissan p. 54 based on Tzemach Tzedek and Rav Akiva Eiger; See Admur 451:44; Tzemach Tzedek 51;

[101] The Tzemach Tzedek would not drink any alcohol/liquor on Pesach even if it was supposedly made without Chametz, and so was the custom also of the Rebbe Rashab. Rebbe Akivah Eger sent a proclamation prohibiting it without a revealed reason, saying that he is saving the reason for himself. This proclamation is mentioned in the Teshuvahs of the Tzemach Tzedek and seems to be the source for why the Tzemach Tzedek avoided drinking it. In many places this stringency became widespread while in others it did not. Amongst Rabbanei Anash, there were those who ruled that it may be drunk on Pesach.

[102] Otzer Minhagei Chabad Nissan p. 62; The Rebbe Rashab said that the Tzemach Tzedek forbade radishes on Pesach without giving any explanation. The Rebbe Rashab himself would sell his radish jelly before Pesach.

[103] Chayeh Adam 127:7; See Nitei Gavriel 2-39:7

[104] See Sdei Chemed Asifas Diunim Chametz Umatzah 6 Mareches Ayin; Nitei Gavriel 39:5; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 63

[105] Chayeh Adam 127:7; Daas Torah 467:2; Zecher Yehosef 120; Madanei Shulchan 117:25; See Beis Yosef 460; Nitei Gavriel ibid

[106] P”M 464 A”A 1 “Some are accustomed not to eat garlic on Pesach”; Chemdas Moshe 22; Pischa Zuta 2:7 that so was custom of Belz [Minhagei Belz p. 41]; Meishiv Halacha 1:309; Otzer Minhagei Chabad Nissan  p. 63; Shevach Hamoadim p. 195

The reason: The Poskim state that they do not know the reason behind this custom. [P”M ibid; Rav of Belz stated Otzer ibid] Some however suggest that the reason is because in the times of the Temple people would avoid garlic due to its bad odor which may prevent them from making the pilgrimage to the Temple, as rules Rambam Chagiga 2:2. [Dover Meisharim p. 111]

[107] Rav of Belz ibid “Al Titosh Toras Imecha”; However see P”M ibid that one is not to be lenient in this matter in front of an ignoramus although he may be lenient in private in front of Torah scholars.

[108] Bitzel Hachachma 4:113; However see P”M ibid that one is not to be lenient in this matter in front of an ignoramus although he may be lenient in private in front of Torah scholars.

[109] See P”M ibid

[110] Hiskashrus 922 in name of Rav Yaakov Landau; Rav Eli Landau wrote to me in a correspondence that while his father did use garlic during Pesach in Eretz Yisrael, in Russia they did not eat it.

[111] See Sdei Chemed Asifas Diunim Chametz Umatzah 6 Mareches Ches; Nitei Gavriel 39:6; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 63

[112] Lev Ledavid, brought in Sdei Chemed ibid; Maadanei Shmuel 117:34; See Yad Ahron 16:138

[113] See Sdei Chemed ibid; Orchos Chaim 467 in name of Meorei Or

[114] Sefer Haminhagim p. 76

[115] See Nitei Gavriel 2-39:4

[116] Admur 455:33 and 473:33 and 481:1

[117] Haggadah of Rebbe; Sefer Haminhagim p. 39; Otzer Minhagei Chabad 36; It is referred there as Keida.

[118] Rav Eli Landau in email correspondence; Rabbi Groner responded that whether one may eat fresh ginger is to be given to the ruling of a Rav and is not negated by Chabad custom.

[119] See Madrich of Eida Hachareidis

[120] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 451:23

[121] Otzer Minhagei Chabad Nissan p. 60

[122] Ben Ish Chaiy Tzav 30; Kaf Hachaim 473:64; See Nitei Gavriel 40:1

[123] See Otzer Minhagei Chabad Nissan p. 64 that the cook in Tomchei Temimim once asked the Temimim why they do not wash the eggs before Pesach? The Temimim then asked Rebbetzin Rivkah if she washes the eggs, and she answered that she is not accustomed to do so. When the Temimim came to the Rebbe Rashab to ask what they should do the Rebbe told them that on the “Safta” they do not want to rely but on the cook they do!

[124] Ashel Avraham Butchach 447; Aruch Hashulchan 452:18

[125] Chayeh Adam 127:2; Nitei Gavriel 2 39:14 ; This stringency is not mentioned Otzer Minhagei Chabad, although it is a widespread custom amongst Chabad to do so; See Teshuvos Vehahagos 225 that one needs to peel his fruits and vegetables before eating them as there is suspicion that they were sprayed with a Chametz containing ingredient.

[126] Madrich Eida Hachareidis

[127] Beis Yehuda p. 108; Machazik Bracha 467:3; Kaf Hachaim 467:57; See Kaneh Bosem 3:25

[128] Response of Rabbi Yehuda Leib Groner [secretary of the Rebbe] to a query of the author; Custom of many of Anash from vintage Chabad homes as heard by the author; A proof for this opinion is the fact that everyone is accustomed to begin the stringencies of Kitniyos and Matzah Ashira from the 5th hour, thus showing that we do apply the Pesach stringency from the 5th hour and onwards.

The reason: The reason for not eating unpeeled foods is due to a suspicion of Taaruvos Chametz. Now, before the night arrives, although Chametz can be nullified, this only applies if it is a mixture of Yaveish Beyaveish or Lach Belach. However, by a mixture of Yaveish Belach it is not nullified even before Pesach. [442 Kuntrus Acharon 15; 466:9-11; Shut Rabbeinu 18; See Piskeiy Admur Yoreh Deah chapter 100; “A Semicha Aid for learning the Laws of Taaruvos” Chapter 104:4] Thus, if for example beer spilled on one’s apple and it was not properly washed off, it is not considered nullified and must be washed off.

[129] So rules Rav Ashkenazi of Kfar Chabad that one may eat and even cook unpeeled fruits and vegetables and spices until the night of Pesach

The reason: As even if there is some Chametz in the foods certainly it is nullified in 60x within the food, and until the night all the laws of nullification remain applicable. This, however, would not explain why it should be allowed to eat these foods without cooking as explained above.

[130] See Nitei Gavriel 2 40:5; See Otzer Minhagei Chabad Nissan p. 43 that there was a certain Chassid who was accustomed every year before Pesach to prepare all the water that he will be using for Pesach. When he came to the Rebbe Rashab to ask if he can retract this custom being that it had become too burdensome for him, the Rebbe Rashab told him that initially there would not have been an issue for him not to follow this custom, however since he already started it, he should not stop being that this was the custom of the Baal Shem Tov. The Rebbeim were not stringent to prepare water before Pesach.

[131] The reason: This is due to the Halachic worry explained next.

[132] In additional issue that some Rabbanim have raised is that in today’s plumbing system, all the waters of all the homes are connected to each other. Accordingly, if a gentile, or non-religious Jew, opens the hot water tap over Chametz, he can prohibit all the water of that reservoir. However, in truth, that most this is just a Chumra, as we do not say Nitzuk Chibur to forbid the source of the water. [See Rama Y.D. 105:3; Admur 451:59; Elya Raba 451:40; Darkei Teshuvah 105:96-100; Otzros Yerushalayim 11 p. 172]

[133] See Shaarei Teshuvah 467:12 that the Chametz of a gentile or Hefker does not prohibit Bemashehu; Aruch Hashulchan 467:33 that running water does not get prohibited; Nemukei Orach Chaim 467; Shevet Halevi 7:54; Tzitz Eliezer 17:23; Piskeiy Teshuvos 447:1 and 467:14

[134] Admur 455:9

[135] Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 59

[136] Sefer Haminhagim p. 44

[137] The reason: As the sink has absorbed Chametz, as stated above, and on Pesach we are initially stringent even regarding a Keli Sheiyni transfer and even if not Ben Yomo, and even if the Chametz absorption was only due to minority usage. [Admur 451:27 and 33; 72]

[138] See Admur 451:34

[139] As Bedieved we follow majority usage by a non-Ben Yomo Chametz vessel [Admur 451:27 and 31 and 72] and hence since the sink’s majority use is with cold products, it is therefore Kosher Bedieved.

[140] Otzer Minhagei Chabad Nissan p. 60

[141] Nitei Gavriel 40:4

[142] Otzer Minhagei Chabad Nissan p. 46

[143] Hayom Yom 20th Nissan; Sefer Haminhagim p. 42; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 67

[144] Sefer Hasichos 1938 p. 263

[145] Sefer Hasichos 1945 p. 91

[146] Nitei Gavriel 40:4; This seemingly is in contrast to the above statements of the Alter Rebbe as if it is our custom not to eat by others then the Alter Rebbe would not have said that one can take on his own. Thus, in conclusion, one must say that although it is not our custom to specifically not eat by others over Pesach, those who do so as their own personal stringency are likewise not opposing the Chabad custom. Practically, amongst most of Anash today it is accustomed not to eat by others over Pesach just like we don’t eat processed foods.

[147] Otzer Minhagei Chabad 26; Nitei Gavriel 1 40:6

[148] Sefer Tishbi “Davar”; Mishnas Yaakov 446; Heichal Bracha [Komrana] Riei 12:21

The reason: As Chametz on Pesach is considered like idolatry and one may not think of other G-ds or recite their names. [Heichal Bracha ibid]

[149] Otzer ibid; Hiskashrus 38:13

[150] Pashut, otherwise it would be forbidden to learn most chapters in Shulchan Aruch Hilchos Pesach and many Sichas of the Rebbe dealing with Pesach. The Rebbe himself said the word Chametz in many Sichas during Pesach.

[151] Minhag Admurei Bubuv brought in Nitei Gavriel ibid

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