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Pesachim 114


OPINIONS: The Mishnah says that during the Seder, Chazeres (Maror) is brought to the table before the Matzah. The Gemara explains that this refers to the Karpas which is eaten before the meal in order to arouse the curiosity of the children so that they will ask about this and other practices of the Seder. The Gemara explains that one is not required to eat Chazeres for Karpas; any vegetable will suffice. The Mishnah mentions Chazeres to teach that even when the only vegetable that one has is Maror, he should still use it for Karpas in order to arouse the curiosity of the children.

Does this first vegetable, whether it be Chazeres or another vegetable, have to be dipped into Charoses or not?

(a) TOSFOS, in the name of RABEINU TAM, says that the reason for dipping in Charoses is because of "Kafa," in order to get rid of the danger of the poison in the Maror. Therefore, only if one uses Maror for Karpas does he have to dip it into the Charoses, but if he uses any other vegetable, he does not have to dip it into Charoses.

The ROSH writes that Rabeinu Tam would specifically *not* dip the Karpas into Charoses, but rather into salt water or vinegar, because one should not fill his stomach with Charoses before he eats it later for the sake of the Mitzvah.

(b) Tosfos cites the Sidur of RASHI and the MACHZOR VITRI who maintain that a person should dip whatever vegetable he is using for Karpas -- whether it is Chazeres or not -- into Charoses. This opinion, which the TUR (OC 273) cites in the name of RAV AMRAM GA'ON, is also the opinion of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Chametz u'Matzah 8:2).

(c) The ROSH rules that it is not necessary to dip even *Chazeres* into Charoses the first time. This is also implied by the RASHBAM. The TUR records this opinion, stating that since this is not the Maror that is being eaten for the Mitzvah, there is also no Mitzvah to dip it into Charoses.

The Rosh asks that this makes sense according to the opinion that says the reason for Charoses is because the Charoses itself is a Mitzvah, for this reason applies only for the actual Maror which is eaten for the Mitzvah. However, everyone agrees that there is a secondary reason, the reason of "Kafa," the danger of the poison in Maror. According to this second reason, dipping the Maror into Charoses should be required the first time as well!

RABEINU YONAH (cited by the Rosh) answers that throughout the rest of the year, people eat Maror without Charoses. Even though there is a danger in eating it un-dipped, it is not enough of a danger that the Rabanan would *require* one to dip it into Charoses - each person may choose to take precautionary measures as he sees fit. However, when performing the Mitzvah of Maror, the Rabanan were concerned for one's well-being and *required* that one dip the Maror into Charoses.

HALACHAH: The DARCHEI MOSHE quotes the AGUR who says that the author of the AGUDAH would put a little Charoses into the vinegar and dip the Charoses in that to satisfy all the above-mentioned opinions.

The BEIS YOSEF, though, writes that the question is only whether one is *allowed* to use Charoses; everyone agrees that one is not *required* to use Charoses when using other vegetables. Therefore, he writes that it is best to avoid the issue and dip the vegetable into vinegar. The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 273:6) rules, therefore, that one should dip Karpas into vinegar, and the MISHNAH BERURAH adds that one may also use salt water, which is our practice today.


QUESTION: The Gemara says that Rav Huna would place rice as one of the cooked dishes on the Seder plate. Today, rice is considered Kitniyos and is not eaten during Pesach by the Ashkenazic community. It is clear that this practice began after the times of the Gemara. When, and why, did it start?

ANSWER: The HAGAHOS MAIMONIYOS (cited by the BEIS YOSEF OC 453), and the MORDECHAI (Pesachim #588) cite the SEMAK who said that it is customary not to eat Kitniyos, such as rice and other legumes, during Pesach. This stringency is not due to any fear that rice might become Chametz, because it is clear from the Gemara's conclusion that rice is unable to become Chametz. Rather, various reasons are given for the stringent practice to refrain from eating rice and other legumes on Pesach:

(a) These legumes sometimes have wheat and other types of grains mixed in with them, and it is impossible to distinguish between the legumes and the wheat. When the legumes are cooked, there will be a mixture of Chametz.

(b) It is possible to make dough and baked goods, and even bread, out of Kitniyos (such as rice bread). The Rabanan were afraid that Amei ha'Aretz might confuse a Kitniyos dish with a grain dish, and permit Chametz on Pesach, and therefore they instituted the practice not to eat Kitniyos at all on Pesach. Even though there was no concern for this in the times of the Gemara, we find occasions where the Rabanan of later generations saw that the people were becoming less knowledgeable and they instituted such Gezeiros.

(c) The BI'UR HALACHAH (beginning of OC 453) cites RABEINU MANOACH who pointed out that during dry years, some species of wheat grow in odd shapes, and they could appear indistinguishable from Kitniyos. Therefore, the Rabanan instituted that all Kitniyos are prohibited.

HALACHAH: The SEMAK, SEFER HA'TERUMAH, and the MORDECHAI are stringent and prohibit Kitniyos on Pesach. This is the custom as recorded by the REMA (453:1), and it is the practice of the Ashkenazic community today. The TUR, however, writes that there is no basis for this stringency. The BEIS YOSEF writes that he saw only Ashkenazim who are stringent, and therefore he rules leniently for Sefardim.

Because the custom of refraining from Kitniyos is a later institution, even the Ashkenazim do not treat Kitniyos as complete Chametz, and they practice certain leniencies (for example, a mixture of Kitniyos with other food is, b'Di'eved, permissible, Rema ibid.).

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