[Avodah] Kitniyos Oil and Chamets Crumbs

Meir Rabi meirabi at gmail.com
Sun Mar 10 16:57:37 PDT 2013

Kitniyos Oil

The Rema 453:1, says:
  A)   that it goes without saying, that Kitniyos will not prohibit,
BeDiOvad, those foods that they inadvertently become mixed with.
Mishne B explains that there is no Minhag to be Machmir in these
The Kitniyos are Batel provided they are the minority and are not
discernible. If a piece is discernible, it must be removed.

  B)   that we may light Kitniyos derived oil.
Mishne B explains that this is true even though the Kitniyos were soaked
[presumably to enhance the extraction of their oil. The Chidush is that
considering that the ban on Kitniyos is that there may likely be some
grains of wheat amongst the Kitniyos, soaking them would make Chametz]

  C)   that these oils will not prohibit foods into which they fall.
Mishne B explains that the Chidush is that there is no need to take any
precautions to prevent this [not uncommon event] from contaminating our
food. [It looks as though it was common to have the oil lamp suspended
above the table where one ate] BTW the DMoshe quotes and dismisses the
MaHaRil who does suggest one should exercise caution and the Mishne B does
not even refer to the MaHaRil.

Mishne B then adds from the Darchey Moshe [Rema's commentary on the Tur]
that even if the sesame seed oil was pounded in a mortar used for crushing
Chamets this too may be used in the same way, without precautions. The
Mishne B quotes the DMoshe: there are two risks; residual crumbs of Chamets
left in the mortar, and Chamets taste absorbed by the mortar becoming
infused into the sesame oil. There is no concern about crumbs of Chamets
because they are Battel in 60 since the oil is prepared before Pesach.
Now this only makes sense if the oil is not a clear refined oil, the type
we are accustomed to, but an unrefined oil thick with sesame sediment and
pieces of sesame. Amongst all this muck is a crumb or two of Chamets that
may drip into our food; or perhaps the concern is that during Pesach these
crumbs of Chamets are infusing flavour into the sesame oil, which will not
be Battel since it is during Pesach. Yet this is all OK without need to
take precautions.
If refined oil was the norm or was readily achievable, then just as we must
remove a discernible Kitniyos piece from a mixture, so we would be duty
bound to clarify and remove the Kitniyos and Chamets crumbs from the oil.

There are a number of rather important observations to note from this.
1)  The Rema and Mishne B have no problems with Kitniyos oils. Their
concern is for the Kitniyos and Chamets substance and even that does not
trouble them too much at all. One need take no precautions to prevent such
substance from dripping into our food during Pesach.


Meir G. Rabi
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