THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
1) DIPPING THE KARPAS INTO CHAROSES
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
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.
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 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
(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.
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
1) HALACHAH: KITNIYOS
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.
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.
(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
(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.
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.).