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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
Halacha - 'Kemach Yashan' and OU
Submitted by Sagi  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: 1) Can you please clarify the laws of 'kemach yashan' 2) I live in eretz Israel but on occassions I buy OU products both in Israel and on business trips. Are all OU products in accordance with the laws of kemach yashan. Any additional clarification would be very much appreciated.
Answer:

1) The Torah says that one may not eat grains from the 5 species of wheat, oats, barley, rye and spelt that began growing after Pesach until the following Pesach. In practice this means that winter wheat is not a problem since it begins growing before Pesach, but spring wheat in many parts of the world would be problematic from the end of the summer when it has been harvested and processed until Pesach. However, there is a machlokes in the Mishna whether this prohibition only applies to grains grown in Eretz Yisroel or even to crops planted in Chutz l'Aretz, and the Rishonim disagree who the Halacha follows. While the majority of the Rishonim forbid chadash grown in Chutz l'Aretz and it is an issue of an issur d'oraisa, the minhag in most places was to follow the lenient opinion due to the difficulty in storing their dietary staple for extended periods, and many Poskim justified this leniency.

2) The OU's position is to rely on the lenient opinion and permit grain products grown outside of Eretz Yisroel. Therefore, during the fall and winter it should be assumed that any OU product containing any flour, starch etc. is chadash unless you know otherwise. The biggest expert in the practicalities of which products are problematic and when, is Rav Yosef Herman who prints an annual Yashan Guide. He can be contacted at yherman@earthlink.net.

2) The OU's position is to rely on the lenient opinion and permit grain products grown outside of Eretz Yisroel. Therefore, during the fall and winter it should be assumed that any OU product containing any flour, starch etc. is chadash unless you know otherwise.

posted:2008-07-30 11:02:31


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