Halacha for Sunday 23 Iyar 5780 May 17 2020

The Torah Prohibition of “Chadash”

Five years ago, we discussed some laws related to the prohibition of “Chadash” here at “Halacha Yomit”. Since about a month after the Pesach holiday, we find it prudent to review these very important laws.

The Law of “Chadash
The Torah (Vayikra 23) states: “When you come to the land which I shall give you and you shall reap its harvest; and you shall bring the first sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the Kohen. And he shall wave the sheaf before Hashem to be accepted for you; on the day following the Shabbat shall the Kohen wave it. And you shall not eat bread, parched corn, or fresh ears until the essence of this day.”

The meaning of this Mitzvah is that Hashem has commanded us that all of the harvest of the five grains (wheat, barley, spelt, oat, and rye) which was produced before the Pesach holiday is forbidden for consumption until the Sixteenth of Nissan which is the day following the first day of Pesach (this is what the verse meant by “the day following the Shabbat” which refers to the day following the first day of Pesach which is a holiday).

When the Bet Hamikdash stood, a special offering called the Omer offering was brought and immediately after this offering was brought, all grains grown and produced before Pesach became permissible for consumption. Nowadays when the Bet Hamikdash no longer stands, “Chadash” grains (i.e. “new” grains referring to grains produced before Pesach) are forbidden for consumption until the night of the Seventeenth of Nissan (outside of Israel until the night of the Eighteenth of Nissan). (Sukkah 41a)

The Laws Regarding “Chadash” Nowadays, Outside of Israel, and a Non-Jew’s Produce
The Gemara (Menachot 68a) states that the Torah prohibition of “Chadash” applies nowadays as well.

The Mishnah (Kiddushin 36a) states that the prohibition of “Chadash” applies both inside and outside of Israel equally. The Rif, Rambam, and Rosh rule accordingly. The Talmud Yerushalmi (quoted by Tosafot’s commentary ibid. 37a) states that the prohibition of “Chadash” applies to produce of both Jews and non-Jews alike.

The Time Which Determines if Grains are “Chadash
Based on the above, it is forbidden to consume wheat or barley produced before Pesach until the night of the Seventeenth of Nissan (or the Eighteenth of Nissan outside of Israel). The time which determines whether the wheat been “produced” before or after Pesach is the time when the wheat takes root. This means that once the wheat is planted, a certain amount of time passes until it takes root in the ground. (The Poskim disagree how much time passes until the grains take root; the Terumat Ha’Deshen writes that taking root takes place three days after planting while the Dagul Mervava, Gaon of Vilna, and others write that this process takes two weeks from planting.) Once the wheat takes root, it is then considered existent in the world.

Thus, if wheat was planted on Rosh Chodesh Adar and was harvested on Rosh Chodesh Iyar or Sivan, this wheat is permissible for consumption, for its taking root took place before Pesach and has been permitted for consumption from the Seventeenth of Nissan.

However, wheat that has been planted after Pesach, such as from the month of Iyar and on, and has been harvested before the following Pesach is forbidden for consumption until the following Seventeenth of Nissan.

In Israel, in general, wheat is planted before Pesach and harvested after Pesach in a way that by the time it reaches consumers, it will already be permissible since Pesach has already passed. Outside of Israel, however, there are many places where wheat is planted after Pesach and harvested during the month of Cheshvan (in the winter months) and this will be forbidden for consumption until the conclusion of the following Pesach holiday.

During his tenure as Chief Rabbi of Israel, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l discussed this issue with the Minister of Commerce and requested that the State of Israel purchase only wheat that Pesach had already “passed over” from the United States as opposed to produce which Pesach had not yet passed over so as not to cause people to transgress the prohibition of “Chadash”. In general, this was indeed the case and most produce imported into Israel was “Yashan” meaning produce which Pesach had already passed over.

In the following Halacha we shall discuss how this law should be observed, practically speaking.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Customary Order of Rosh Hashanah

It is customary to eat certain symbolic foods during the two nights of Rosh Hashanah which signify good fortune for the entire upcoming year. It is therefore customary to eat black-eyed peas, pumpkin, leek, spinach, dates, pomegranates, apples dipped in honey, and meat of a sheep’s head on the......

Read Halacha

Some Details Regarding the Prayers of the Days of Awe

Anyone who appreciates the loftiness of the Days of Awe customarily tries to recite all prayers of these days with much precision and care. There are many Machzorim on the market containing several versions for various texts, some which can be relied upon and others which cannot be relied upon at al......

Read Halacha

Lighting Candles on Rosh Hashanah and the Issue this Year

The Laws of Candle-Lighting on Rosh Hashanah On the first day of Rosh Hashanah, we customarily light Yom Tov candles before the onset of Yom Tov similar to the way we light them on Erev Shabbat. If the candles were not lit before the onset of Yom Tov, a woman may even light the candles on Yom Tov i......

Read Halacha

Should One Cry on Rosh Hashanah?

Question: What is the proper way to behave during the prayers of Rosh Hashanah: Should one arouse himself to cry during the prayers in order for Hashem to pity us and grant us all of our requests or should one pray amid great joy? Answer: The Mitzvah to be Glad on Rosh Hashanah The Poskim deli......

Read Halacha


Eating and Washing One’s Self Yom Kippur

Some Laws of Yom Kippur All are obligated to fast on Yom Kippur, including pregnant and nursing women. Any woman whose health is at risk due to the fast should consult a prominent Torah scholar who is well-versed in these laws and he should render his ruling whether or not she must fast. One whose ......

Read Halacha

Motza’ei Yom Kippur

Adding From the Mundane Onto the Holiness One must add some of the mundane weekday onto the holiness of Yom Kippur upon its exit, i.e. one should not end this holy day immediately with nightfall; rather, one should wait another few minutes. Thus, it is prohibited to eat or perform work on Motza&rsq......

Read Halacha

The Custom of Kaparot and the Custom of Maran zt”l

Question: Should one fulfill the custom of Kaparot specifically using chickens or should one merely use money? Answer: It is customary among all Jewish communities to perform Kaparot on Erev Yom Kippur by slaughtering chickens for every member of one’s household. It is customary to use a ro......

Read Halacha

Preparing for the Day of Judgment

During the days preceding Rosh Hashanah, every single member of the Jewish nation must contemplate his/her actions and perform some sort of self-introspection in order to ascertain how one can improve one’s actions and Mitzvah observance so as to guarantee one’s self powerful defenders o......

Read Halacha