[Avodah] Does "kitniyos" include all grain-like products?

Zev Sero zev at sero.name
Thu Mar 7 12:22:56 PST 2013

On 7/03/2013 2:54 PM, Micha Berger wrote:
> On a thread about quinoa, and whether the minhag of qitnios would
> automatically include it, Zev posted to Areivim (2:14pm EST):
>> What is a more traditional view?  My *guess*, and it is only that, is
>> that you mean the view that only specific species were included in the
>> takanah, and this list should be seen as fixed; that seems to be RMF's
>> view, but in what way is it traditional?  Who else held it?  Is it not
>> his chidush?
> IM IC 3:63 opens with "hinei bedavar ha-peanut, shekasavti shebeharbeih
> meqomos akhlu osam bePesach..."

What does that show?  The fact that in many places they ate peanuts
doesn't tell us anything about why, and it certainly doesn't tell us that
they held of a shita that there was a fixed list of species.

> He also cites R' Yeshchiel ushe'ar gedolim

Who didn't hold of kitniyos at all.  What have they got to do with the
question before us?  They certainly didn't hold that there was a fixed
list of forbidden species!

> "chakhmei doros ha'achronim", etc...

This is his speculation.  He doesn't quote any chachamim who were
reluctant to add species to the issur; he supposes that all the later
chachamim *were* reluctant to do so.  That AFAIK is his chidush, not
a traditional view.

> RMF is reporting what was his norm, clearly not a chiddush.

Where do you see this?  The only norm he is reporting is the metzius that
in many places they ate peanuts.  The rest is his explanation for that
metzius.  Other explanations could also be proposed.

Incidentally, I have a problem with one of the proofs he gives that the
issur is list-based rather than description-based, from the fact that
mustard is forbidden even though it doesn't seem to fit the criteria.
But the Taz explains exactly why mustard is forbidden -- because it
grows in pods.  And that would apply equally to peanuts.

> I got the impression from RMF's teshuvah that back in pre-war Eastern
> Europe, some areas followed a minhag that was being limited to the initial
> list of species, and some followed a minhag of avoiding a general concept.

As I read the teshuvah, he is *positing* that the issur was list-based and
nothing was added to it.  I speculate that he was unaware that corn was
unknown at the time of the original issur.

Zev Sero               A citizen may not be required to offer a 'good and
zev at sero.name          substantial reason' why he should be permitted to
                        exercise his rights. The right's existence is all
                        the reason he needs.
                            - Judge Benson E. Legg, Woollard v. Sheridan

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