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Q&A

Pesach: Challah that got mixed in the matzot

Rabbi Yehuda Amichay HaLevy

After baking matzot mitzvah, we put all the matzot together and we took challah with a blessing. Just then, accidentally, the challah got mixed up with all of the questionable matzot given to the children following the matzah baking. When I noticed what had happened, I took the matzot from the children. Most probably the challah was not eaten, but my heart is very heavy about the whole thing. How do I go about rectifying the matter?

Pesach: Can garden cress be used as maror?

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay

I wanted to know—can garden cress (rashad) be used as maror? Garden cress is an herb, very similar to mustard, and its stems are very sharp-tasting. It is, of course, edible. It is also easier to digest despite its spiciness, as opposed to sharpness like that of sechug, since it passes more quickly (similar to wasabi, Japanese horseradish, for those who are familiar).

Pesach: Hydroponically grown maror

Rabbi Ehud Ahituv

Is it possible to fulfill the mitzva of eating maror on lettuce grown hydroponically?

Pesach: conditioning wheat kernels today

Rabbi David Eigner

Is wheat conditioned (where the kernels are exposed to moisture before being milled) in modern milling? There is a responsum by Rabbi Epstien in Chevel Nachalato about wheat conditioning (letita). I recently heard that this is not done today (including to a taped conversation with a professional on the matter; yet I don't know who the speaker is and what the context of the discussion). My question is if conditioning is still performed in the wheat milling process, or has technology changed and with it the halacha with regarding to chametz. Have the rabbis recently reinvestigated the matter? Thank you!

Peasch: Are gluten-free products kosher for Pesach?

Rabbi Tzvi Ben Reuven, Emunat Itecha 119 Nissan 5778

Are gluten-free products kosher for Pesach?

Pesach: Matzah for those with celiac

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel

Someone with celiac, who cannot eat regular grains—even oat matzah—can only eat matzah made of gluten-free grain. Can he fulfill the obligation of eating matzah on Seder night with this special matzah?

Pesach: Lecithin and rapeseed on Pesach

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel

In recent years, my family has begun to avoid eating lecithin and rapeseed products on Pesach. I'm not sure what the source of this custom is. I would like to know if these are considered legumes (kitniyut) and on what basis should one not eat them on Pesach.

Pesach: Gluten-free matzah

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay

I have celiac. In recent years, gluten-free matzah has now been made available. I'm somewhat confused: leavening is caused by the gluten, so how can I observe the mitzvah of eating matzah on Seder night by eating matzah that can't become leavened?

Rosh Hashana: Shehechiyanu on a fresh pineapple on the second night

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Elul 5779

Can I say a Shehechiyanu on a fresh pineapple on the second night of Rosh Hashana?

Kilei HaKerem abroud:

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I have a garden in my small backyard in Brooklyn. My backyard is largely concrete with a small rectangle of soil in the back right corner. In the front left corner of the soil area, there is a single old grapevine that has been there since before we purchased our house 8 years ago. It produces grapes. I recently learned that Kilei HaKerem applies in Chu"l and wanted to make sure we arrange things properly. I have four basic questions:

(1) About one foot behind the trunk of the grapevine (i.e, the part where it comes out of the ground) we built a raised-garden bed (which sits on the soil). The garden bed is made out of wood and is two feet high. We usually plant lettuces, squash, and cucumbers in that garden bed. Do I have to worry at all about what is planted in that raised bed and its proximity to the trunk grapevine?

(2) To the right of the trunk of the grapevine we plant carrots and lavender in the ground. Those plantings are at least two feet away from where the grapevine comes out of the ground. Do we need to worry about that? In general, how far away do we need to make sure to start other plantings?

(3) In front of the grapevine, on the concrete section of my backyard we have some planters with herbs in them. Do we have to worry about proximity to the grapevine?

(4) We don't trellis the vine. It tends to spread out in lots of directions as vines tend to do. Do we have to worry about proximity to the actual vine part or just the trunk? If it is not too much of an imposition, I would be grateful if you could provide citations to support your answers. I would love to learn about these things inside the relevant sources.