Halacha for Monday 20 Sivan 5781 May 31 2021

Legumes Roasted by a Non-Jew and the Acceptance of the Rulings of the Ari z”l

Question: In recent years, a well-known rabbi has publicized that it is forbidden to eat chick peas roasted by a non-Jew as this is included in the prohibition to consume food cooked by a non-Jew. Is this indeed the correct Halacha?

Answer: In previous Halachot we have explained that our Sages have prohibited eating food cooked by a non-Jew. We have likewise written that if the dish is a very simple one such that it is unworthy of being served on a king’s table, this food is not included in this prohibition.

Regarding chick peas, it seems that since they are fit to be served on a king’s table, they should be included in the prohibition of food cooked by a non-Jew and it should be forbidden to consume them if they were roasted by a non-Jew.

The Opinion of Maran Ha’Bet Yosef
Nevertheless, Maran Ha’Bet Yosef (Chapter 113 and in his Kesef Mishneh, Chapter 17 of Hilchot Ma’achalot Assurot, Halacha 17) writes that according to the Rambam, the prohibition of foods cooked by a non-Jew does not apply to roasted chick peas, for this is considered such a simple food that one would not invite a guest over to one’s home only to eat chick peas. (The basis for this enactment was because our Sages were concerned that a non-Jew would invite a Jew over to eat and this would cause them to mingle, as we have explained.)

The Opinion of the Ari z”l
On the other hand, Rabbeinu Ha’Ari z”l, whose rulings are followed by all of the great Mekubalim, writes that one may not eat chick peas roasted by a non-Jew, for they are ultimately fit to be served on a king’s table.

The Disagreement Among the Poskim Regarding Whether or Not We Rule in Accordance With the Ari z”l
This leads us into a great disagreement among the Poskim. Do we say that when the Ari z”l rules on a given matter are we bound by his ruling or do we say that when Maran disagrees with the Ari z”l we follow the ruling of Maran and not that of the Ari?

Regarding our scenario, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes (in his Halichot Olam Volume 7, page 102) that even according to the opinions that we must rule in accordance with the Ari’s rulings even when it contradicts other Poskim, this only applies to matters which the Ari ruled based on his knowledge of the hidden Torah, in which he was more fluent than others. However, regarding matters which unrelated to the hidden Torah and the Ari ruled a certain way based of his great wisdom of the revealed Torah, the opinion of the Ari z”l certainly has no precedence over the opinion of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch.

Therefore, regarding our case where the Ari’s ruling is not based on his knowledge of Kabbalah, rather, he ruled this way because this is what the Halacha seemed to have been to him, we certainly need not forsake the opinion of the Rambam and Maran in favor of the Ari’s ruling. Thus, halachically speaking, the prohibition of foods cooked by a non-Jew does not apply to chick peas roasted by a non-Jew.

This is certainly true based on our tradition in Halacha that we do not forsake the opinion of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch even when the saintly Ari z”l disagrees with him; we must therefore rule that roasted legumes, such as chick peas, are not included in this prohibition.

Summary: The prohibition of foods cooked by a non-Jew does not apply to roasted chick peas. They may therefore be eaten when there is no other Kashrut concern surrounding them. The same applies to any other kind of roasted legumes, such as fava beans and the like. Nevertheless, cooked legumes are included in the prohibition of foods cooked by a non-Jew. However, regarding chick peas and other beans cooked by a non-Jew which are canned and meant for commercial sale, there is room for leniency and they are permitted to be eaten (see Responsa Yabia Omer, Volume 10, Yoreh De’ah, Chapter 8).

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Taking Haircuts and Shaving During the Omer Period

Abstaining from Taking Haircuts During the Omer It has become customary among the Jewish nation to refrain from taking haircuts during the Omer counting period: According to the Ashkenazi custom, until the 33rd day of the Omer and according to the Sephardic custom, until the morning of the 34th day......

Read Halacha

Praying Barefoot

Question: May one pray while wearing sandals or while one is barefoot? Answer: When one prays, one must prepare one’s environment, clothing, body, and thoughts accordingly, for one will be standing before the King of all kings. Respectable Garments While Praying The Gemara (Shabbat 9b) ......

Read Halacha

Question: How many “Kezayit”s (olive’s volume) of Matzah must one consume during the Pesach Seder?

Answer: One is obligated to eat altogether three “Kezayit”s of Matzah during the Pesach Seder. Every Kezayit amounts to approx. 30 grams of Matzah. Nevertheless, there is room for stringency to eat four or even five “Kezayit”s of Matzah, as we shall now explain. The Order......

Read Halacha

Kissing One’s Parents’ Hands on Shabbat Night- The Students of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

Question: Should one kiss the hands of one’s parents and receive a blessing from them on Shabbat night and does the same apply equally to one’s father and mother? Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Avodah Zarah (17a) tells us that when Ulah (a sage who lived during the Talmudic era) would......

Read Halacha


Reciting the “Shehecheyanu” Blessing Upon Performing a Mitzvah for the First Time

Question: The custom in our community is that when a young woman reaches the age of Bat Mitzvah, she performs the Mitzvah of separating Challah for the first time and before doing so, she recites the blessing of “Shehecheyanu” as well upon performing this Mitzvah for the first time. Is t......

Read Halacha

The Pesach Seder-Kadesh

The famous order of the Seder of the eve of Pesach, Kadesh, Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz, Magid, Rochtza, Motzi, Matzah, Maror, Korech, Shulchan Orech, Tzafun, Barech, Hallel, Nirtzah, was established by the leader of the entire Jewish nation, Rashi. The entire Jewish nation customarily follows this ord......

Read Halacha

Taking a Haircut of the Night of the 34th Day of the Omer This Year (5782)

Tomorrow night and Thursday will mark Lag Ba’Omer (the 33rd day of the Omer) and Friday will be the 34th day of the Omer. Until When Are Haircuts Forbidden? We have already discussed that one may not take a haircut or shave during the period of the counting of the Omer in addition to sever......

Read Halacha

Using Holy Names

The Mishnah in Pirkei Avot (Chapter 1, Mishnah 13) states: “He (Hillel) would say: Whoever does not add shall be gathered, whoever does not learn is worthy of death and whoever uses the crown shall pass.” Rabbeinu Ovadia of Bartenura explains the phrase “And whoever uses the cr......

Read Halacha