Stringencies relating to produce [fruits and vegetables]

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Stringencies relating to produce [fruits and vegetables]

Peeling produce:[1]

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:[2]

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:[3]

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



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.[4] However, many are lenient to eat these foods up until the night of Pesach.[5]



[1] 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.

[2] Madrich Eida Hachareidis

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

[4] 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.

[5] 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.

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