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Kitniyot On Pesach

The Daily Halacha Moment - Kitniyot 🌽

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


What is kitniyot?

May a Ashkenazic woman eat kitniyot if she married a Sefardi?

May Sephardim host Ashkenaz guests who don't eat kitniyot on Pesach?


The established custom among Ashkenazim is to refrain from eating kitniyot (legumes and rice) on Pesach. Most Sepharadim do not have such a custom. [1]

Though an Ashkenazi may not annul this custom by performing Hatarat Nedarim,[2] a Sepharadi may, if he mistakenly observed this custom. [3]

An Ashkenazi eating at the home of a Sepharadi may not eat kitniyot. [4]

If an Ashkenazic woman marries a Sepharadic man, and he wants her to discontinue her custom of refraining from eating kitniyot, may do so but she should preferably perform hatarat nedarim before adopting her husband’s custom. [5]

When Sepharadim host Ashkenazic guests, they may serve food that was cooked in pots that kitniyot foods were cooked in earlier, with dishes that kitniyot foods were served with earlier. According to some Ashkenazic poskim, one should be stringent and only use dishes that were not used with kitniyot within twenty-four hours. In all cases, the dishes and pots should be washed out thoroughly before usage. [6]


[1]. Rama §1 states that the Ashkenazi custom is to refrain from eating kitniyot on Pesach. However, if the kitniyot fell into a pot of food on Pesach, it does not prohibit the food from being eaten, and one may certainly derive benefit from kitniyot. See also Levush §1; Shulchan Aruch HaRav §3; Chayei Adam 127:1; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch §117; Aruch HaShulchan §4–5; and Mishnah Berurah §6 — they state that the custom to refrain from eating kitniyot dates back hundreds of years. One reason is because it is possible that a grain might be mixed with the kitniyot, and it may turn into chametz on Pesach. Another reason is that it is possible that people will mistake kitniyot for actual wheat or other types of chametz ingredients, and this may lead them to eat actual chametz. See also Nitei Gavriel, Pesach, vol. 2, 38:1, in the footnotes, which says that there are even Kabbalistic reasons to refrain from eating kitniyot. The Chida in Tuv Ayin 9:6; Lev David, ch. 30; Birkei Yosef §2; and Machazik Berachah 467:10 points out that there are even those among the Sepharadim who are stringent and refrain from eating kitniyot on Pesach. See also Igrot Moshe, vol. 3, O.C. 63–64 and Shmatata D’Moshe, vol. 1, 458:1.

[2]. Mishpetei Uziel, vol. 1, O.C. 14; Torat HaMoadim HaShalem, p. 232:20; Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 3, 59:2.

[3]. Kaf HaChaim §15; Rav Pe’alim 3:30; Chazon Ovadia, Pesach §1, p. 84–85; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 3, 8:15.

[4]. Chazon Ovadia, Pesach §1, p. 82.

[5]. See Yabia Omer 5:37 and Chazon Ovadia, Pesach §1, p. 86, which state that it is proper for her to perform hatarat nedarim. This is also brought in Torat HaMoadim HaShalem, p. 232, 20. This is also the view of Igrot Moshe, O.C. 1:158; Nitei Gavriel, Pesach, vol. 2, 38:16; and Sefer Yesodei Yeshurun, vol. 6, p. 240. See also Moed LeChol Chai 2:23. The opinion of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, as cited in Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 3, 59:2, is that she may not perform hatarat nedarim. However, it seems that most poskim disagree with this view. See also Binyan Av 5:29 for a similar case.

[6]. Yechaveh Daat 5:32 explains that certainly the taste of kitniyot left in the pot after it was cleaned is not significant enough to prohibit an Ashkenazi to eat food that was subsequently cooked in that pot. See also Yaskil Avdi, vol. 5, 20:11, which discusses a similar question. Torat HaMoadim HaShalem, p. 231:17 states that one should preferably have separate pots for an Ashkenazic guest who does not eat kitniyot. However, one who does not should at least clean the pot with soap before using it to cook for him. This is also the view of Nitei Gavriel, Pesach, vol. 2, 38:10. However, Rav Elyashiv writes in Kovetz Teshuvot 3:81 that after one used a pot for kitniyot, he should wait twenty-four hours before using it again for an Ashkenazi. See also Chut Shani, Pesach, p. 161, in the footnotes, which states that one should have separate utensils. In any case, one should try to be stringent, but if one is not able to, he should at least wash the pot well with soap, as the opinion of Chacham Ovadia Yosef.

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