Jerusalem – Rav Amar: Strawberries Kosher And May Be Eaten


    Charedi man inspecting strawberries for insectsJerusalem – During a visit to a Hesder Yeshiva in the Yesha town of Karnei Shomron, Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar gave a shiur on the permissibility of eating strawberries.

    He claimed that the recent psak issued by chareidi rabbis against eating strawberries because of the inevitability of their being infested by insects, is not correct because, “The Torah only forbad eating bugs and crawling insects which are visible to the eyes. It didn’t forbid eating insects which can only be seen by a microscope.”

    Rav Amar ruled that it is sufficient to soak the strawberries in water, rinse them off and then remove the top leafy part to eat them.

    The rav was welcomed by the yeshiva. The event was attended by notables from the Local Council, the heads of Yesha Council, local rabbis and many residents.

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    1. The Rav is incorrect in his ruling. You do not have to see the bug crawling you need to see the bug. The bug is visable – as a dot. That is sufficient to call it “seen”. As such, the microscope is only identifying what that dot is. The initial sighting is not via a microscope. If that was the case, it would be as the Rav said. Bugs like aphids cannot be “identified” by the naked eye. They are seen as specs. All of the Gedolim of previous generations (with so exceptions of Rabbanim whose psakos were ignored) ruled that if one sees the speck the bug is considered seen. I am not sure if the Rav here is merely agreeing with those rulings that have been disregarded in the past or he is coming up with his own svara. The bottom line is that the poskim have ruled against his theory. I am sorry that he has decided to come out against the psak that has been published. It will do nothing to help the Rav in his stature as a Gadol.

      • Being that you can’t tell the difference between these bugs and a speck of Dirt is why the Gemara doesn’t even consider them a problem and led them to think that they came into being by spontaneous generation, allowing you to even kill them on shabbat.

      • Does the micrscope create the insect, is it like a kohen to a nega? Either it’s or it’s not. If it was not usser at the time of mata torah, what changed. On ther hand I can be asked, does the eye create an insect.

        The right approach may be that, of course a insect is a insect, however, the torah does not hold you accountable for something that is beyond your means for seeing it. In other words Torah was given to people, not angles. So, as long as there were no mico-scopes you were not held responsible, but of course it’s an insect, now that we do have the technology we can be held responsible, because it’s in our hands to see it and we are aware of this issue.

    2. So does this mean that we don’t have to filter our NYC drinking water? What is that going to do to all of those people who are making a living selling filters?

      • According to the Kossever Rebby,(is the grand son of the possak Hador Harav Vosner) you dont have to filter the drinking water of NYC. Enough of this narishkeit. The Rabbonim should do something for the klall insted of machlokes and shtusim!!!!

        • It’s not narishkeit, it’s a serious machlokes in halacha. That these copepods exist is beyond dispute; the question is what is their halachic status. Those that permit them have serious reasons for doing so; they don’t dismiss the question as narishkeit. Anyone who permits *without* serious consideration is not a posek and not a rov, and should not be paskening anything.

          • You miss the point…the difference between a “rebbe” and a “rebbe” is their legitimacy as a posek. A rabbi has semicha and the knowledge to analyze a fact situation relative to halacha and masorah and provide guidance to his congregation and followers; a rebbe is an honorific term of affection for a pious yid who may or may not have semicha and the knowledge to issue a posek. Some rabbis are also call rebbe or rav.

            • Huh? How is this responsive to the comment it addresses? Ohhhhh, I see, it’s our old friend the lying sheigetz; in this case the giveaway phrase is “to issue a posek”. That is one of your tells, jerk. Nobody “issues a posek”, at least nobody who knows what he’s on about.

            • I shouldn’t respond in sefirah.. this is a busha to klal yisrael… maybe rebbe’s dont sit all day studying shulchan aruch but they arent exactly amaratzim.

              I was very close with Rav Rafael Grosz zt’l the “kerestier rebbe” by his bar mitzvah he was farherd on 400 blat gemara..

              The lubavitcher rebbe was not a moreh horaa but was buki in all of niglah and nistar.

      • Most Rabbunim, who signed on the Psak to put filters on the water, which I spoke to, admitted that they did it for political reasons. I can name names but there is no point, and I don’t want them to be harassed once again. (See parshas Lipa Schmeltzer).

        One Rav gave me a cute answer: He said that the water issue came on the heels of the Eiruv in B.P. issue, where the pros & cons were split along Polish Rabbunim vs. Hungarian Rabbunim. The Polish Rabbunim approve and the Hungarian Rabbunim oppose. So in the water issue it went the other way. The Polish are for filters & the Hungarian Rabbunim don’t insist on a filter (proof: The Hisachdus never gave an official letter saying that you must put filters, while even the O-U did).

    3. Rav Amar, is a gadol hador and his psak should end this nareshkeit about insects once and for all…as long as one makes a reasonable effort to wash fruits and vegetables, there is not and should never have been such a machlokes about kashruth. Maybe the hareidi rabbonim who created this non-existant issue in the first place can go back and find something positive to do for klal yisroel.

    4. This is a completely ridculous pesak. If you would have given almost any other reason for permiting them it can be argued but that the bugs are only visible under a microscope is completely inaccurate and ludicrous. Any mashgiach or other can see the bugs without a microscope if you have any idea how to check and what to look for.

      • The torah was not given to mashgichim, it was given to the every jew. These bugs are not visible to the average eye. While it’s possible that if you look long enough under certain lightings you can find them, is that what the torah demands of you?

        While I avoid eating them, my sense tells me that it’s permissible. I have searched and never found any bug on strewberries. Try it for yourself and post the results. I highly doubt that the torah requires you to SEARCH for bugs.

        • You’re right, plus the people how are against this great rabbi now – because it’s not conventional and understood for the laymen, the same will agree to every chumrah – because some rabbi said so. Sham!

        • EVERY halachic source says that if in that species, in that area and time of year, bugs are a mi’ut hamotzuy, then you do have to search for them. And that is how our ancestors have done for millennia. If you’ve searched and never found anything, then there are two possibilities: you got lucky and have never had an infested strawberry; or else you don’t know how to look. I’d suggest ruling out #2 by approaching an expert in the subject and getting a 10-minute lesson in how to look at a strawberry; if, having learned how to find them, you still can’t find them on a particular strawberry, then you can eat it. But if you don’t know what to look for, how can you say they aren’t right in front of your nose?

          • Only a mashugana would sit there like the bochurim in the photograph with a magnifying glass examining each individual strawberry for bugs that might be invisible to the eye. The time spent doing so could be better invested in learning shaas or ma’asim tovim. We should make a reasonable effort to wash the berries and clean them before eating but Rav Moshe Feinstein and other gadolim have repeatedly said that we need not impost chumras that have no real purpose other than to create the illusion of piety and outdoing the most machmir.

            • Determining practical halacha is more important than learning shas or doing “maasim tovim”. In fact it IS “maasim tovim”. “Godol chochmo” only because “shemevi liydei maaseh”; learning shas while not caring about bugs on strawberries is worse than worthless, it’s “lo zocho naaseh lo kesam hamoves”.

        • Ben Ish Hai says it’s enough to merely remove a visible bug, wash the fruit and then eat it. We had strawberries or Shabbat. I looked carefully at the water they were soaked in and guess what? No bugs. If we were to be concerned about every microscopic bug or what we THINK is a bug, there’d be nothing left to eat. Strawberries have those little seeds, tiny dots, that could be bugs except they just lie there they don’t crawl.

          • Ben Ish Hai lived in 19th century Iraq, not 21st century USA or Israel. These laws depend very much on the conditions of a specific crop in a specific location and a specific season. A problem can exist in one place and not in another, or a new problem can come up that didn’t exist last year and might not exist next year. I doubt the BIC wrote about strawberries in the first place, but even if he did it was about the ones available in Baghdad that particular year, and the psak would not apply anywhere else, or any time else.

            If you inspected your strawberries carefully enough, knowing what to look for, and didn’t find anything, then nobody would claim you shouldn’t eat them.

            • Sorry Milhaus but the torah is the torah, whether in the 19th or 21st century and whether in Bhagdad, Tel Aviv or Monsey. I guess you are one of those progressive yiddin who believe in a “dynamic” (aka reform) approach to halachic analysis under which the torah must be examined in the context of time and place.

            • Sorry, idiot, but if you take a psak that by its nature is specific to some time and place, and apply it elsewhere, then you are the “progressive” reformed sheigetz. Psak IS dynamic, and changes with the circumstances to which it is applied.

              You sound like those who carry on Shabbos wherever they happen to be, without checking whether there’s an eruv, and if so whether it’s up and how kosher it is, because 200 years ago in the “alter heim” they used to carry. Or those who insist that one CAN’T carry anywhere, even if there’s a perfectly good eruv, because some rov paskened somewhere sometime that one couldn’t. Both are wrong, for the same reason. The metzius changes, and the halacha changes with it.

              Quick: what brocho do you make on raw carrots? What brocho do the poskim say to make? Why the difference?

            • But crops are different and different bugs infest in different areas. The halacha is the same, the infestations are different. I think ypur comment indicates your lack of knowledge about the subject. The rabbonim understand the types of bugs that infest each crop in each area and how difficult it is to remove those bugs. They apply the halacha to the metzios. That is what many of the commenters are lacking and not understanding.

        • I agree with your first statement and mabe you’re right, but only if you were taught/shown what EXACTLY to look for. Often we look and don’t see simply because we aren’t aware that what we’re seeing is actually “it”.

      • I don’t know who you are, and I don’t care, and if you don’t like rabbi amar or his psak, you still have to respect him (he was the chief rabbi of Israel, lest time I checked) saying his psak is “ridicules” is wrong. The same tora that seys its osur to eat strewberry’s when there’s viseble insects also seys you have to respect your rabeim.

        • Being chief rabbi of Israel is not in itself a reason to respect him. Israel has had some very good chief rabbis, and also some very bad ones. There’s nothing inherent in the position that deserves respect. Certainly the Torah does not command us to respect the current holder of this government job.

          It so happens that R Amar is a talmid chochom, and deserves respect for that; but he deserves no more respect after his election than he did before it. And he’s not a bigger TCh than the candidates he defeated, who also deserve respect.

    5. The Rav is incorrect in his ruling. You do not have to see the bug crawling you need to see the bug. The bug is visable – as a dot. That is sufficient to call it “seen”. As such, the microscope is only identifying what that dot is. The initial sighting is not via a microscope. If that was the case, it would be as the Rav said. Bugs like aphids cannot be “identified” by the naked eye. They are seen as specs. All of the Gedolim of previous generations (with so exceptions of Rabbanim whose psakos were ignored) ruled that if one sees the speck the bug is considered seen. I am not sure if the Rav here is merely agreeing with those rulings that have been disregarded in the past or he is coming up with his own svara. The bottom line is that the poskim have ruled against his theory. I am sorry that he has decided to come out against the psak that has been published. It will do nothing to help the Rav in his stature as a Gadol.

      • As a matter of a fact most bugs like aphids and thrips can be identified as well fairly easily by the naked eye. Some smaller bugs would need a microscope for positive identification.

      • Let us say that it is true that the “dot” is visible to the naked eye. And let us say that a “trained” mashgiach could spot these things very easily. I am certain that Rav Amar is well aware of this.

        However, previous generations did not have microscopes and magnifying glasses to allow them to realize that the dot was actually a bug. And the Torah was not given solely for the generations that would have these things. Nor was it given for trained experts. Therefore, as long as the naked eye cannot see legs, wings, etc, the Torah does not forbid eating it. Perhaps this is what Rav Amar was referring to.

        We have no record here as to what he actually said at the shiur. Anyone who has ever heard Rav Amar speak, however, would know that he is a formidable posek who is fully capable of writing a full-length analysis of any halachic topic under the sun.

        He is entitled to his opinion. And you are entitled to not listen to it.

        However, you are a fool and an apikorus to give your Da’as that he is “incorrect.’ And, if this makes him less popular with the “Gedolim” or with the goylems like yourself who think that they can judge talmidei chachamim and have the chutzpah to declare them “incorrect,” what of it?

        • I am sick and tired of am haaratzim like you calling people names. I believe sing spoke with the utmost respect and defended the rabbis he held of and worried that jerks like you might speak ill of rabbi amar. Furthermore, if sing is an apikoris for arguing with rabbi amar, whichn unfortunately, can be done by even an am haaretz like yourself, then rabbi amar would be considered – by your stupid logic – an apikoris for arguing with the people who asured. So keep your titles (and knowledge to yourself). As for sing and the ones quoting the aruch hashulchan (ther guy who quoted the chazon ish got it wrong – slightly); you will not settle this yourselves. You each have heard shitos from gedolim and whether you agree or not, they have the right to express their opinion. Personally, I miss strawberries and this is not going to change that. Rabbi Amar is not my posek. If he is your’s – kol hakavod. If your picking and choosing – join sd on the path to good intentions.

        • Stop already with the microscope. On the average there is about 1 insect per strawberry easily visible to anyone that takes the interest to. Don’t know why I am being called an apikorus. This is a question in metzius. Most people that say it is narishkeit never took the time to look.

        • The point that needs to be understood by all is this: This rav has all the right to rule however he believes is right. But not everyone can just go ahead and rely on him simply because you need to follow your one posek and you can’t nosh heterim. His ruling is good for the people who followed his rulings until now as well. Although I don’t know him, I greatly respect him for being able to stand up not thinking how his status as a rav will be affected because that would deem him an incompetent rav…

        • The reason with the water again is because they can be seen with the naked eye if you look. I am not getting into mutar or assur just this is the metzius. Any bug that can not be seen with the naked eye is mutar

        • R’ Blumenkrantz zt”l explains this. I will try to do this in short: The bugs in the water will never come up in a pail of water fetched from a big body of water because they immediately escape when they feel water being drawn. Now the water in the city is brought in such big quantities that they don’t feel being drawn so they just go with the flow. Because the city’s water sits awhile before it comes to the tap, they die before they get to you. That’s why you don’t see it so easily. But it doesn’t need to be seen easily to be assur, they simply need to be able to be seen. I know that R’ Blumenkrantz’s sons could be very helpful to you in this inyan. Hatzlacha rabba.

      • “All of the Gedolim of previous generations (with so exceptions of Rabbanim whose psakos were ignored) ruled that if one sees the speck the bug is considered seen”
        It’s so much easier when you define Rabbanim that you agree with as Gedolim and those who you disagree with are simply Rabbanim who were ignored.

    6. Wow. I was just reading this interesting sefer, the Aruch Hashulchan, and it says the same thing there. I wonder how everyone missed it. Or is it that we don’t hold from this?

      • It’s true that if it can only be seen with a microscope it’s o.k. You need to read Comment #4. I’m afraid that for meanwhile everything stays like it was. Sorry!

    7. It is correct that id its not seen to the eye you are aloud to eat it. However if its seen through a microscope then you are not sopposed to eat it. Its redicoulus that there are people going around making shalos and harming everone else, because once you know there is insects there it bcomes user.

      • Not true. If you see it through a magnifying glass, but when you look with the naked eye, knowing it’s there, you still can’t see it, then it’s MUTAR. There is no machlokes on this point. EVERY posek agrees on it; anything that can’t be seen with the naked eye has no halachic existence. Assuming you have normal corrected vision; obviously a blind person can’t eat chazer just because he can’t see it.

    8. Rav Amar is a godolei yisroel.He also studied in Lubavitch yeshivos in Morroco.He has every right to issue halachik rulings, as he knows both halacha and,importantly Chasidus and Zohar

      • Rav Amar is certainly capable of paskening, but not if he doesn’t know what the shayla is. His psak is completely uncontroversial, and also completely irrelevant. Nobody has EVER claimed that microscopic bugs are forbidden; his permitting them is like permitting eggs with milk. But the alleged problem with strawberries is MACROSCOPIC bugs, that are perfectly visible once you know they’re there. And he never paskened that such bugs are permitted.

        • Milhouse; please check your facts. The great Maharal (who is in the same class of gadolim as Rav Amar) poskens in Tiferes Yisroel that since the only bugs on strawberries that are visible are very tiny and only with the aid of a microscope (the first microscopes were actually invented in the 1400s), the fruit is always considered mutar since the prohibition only applies to visible bugs (“rak ba’anayim”).

          • The Maharal was certainly NOT in the same class of “gadolim” as R Amar. With all due respect to R Amar, he doesn’t come close the Maharal. The Maharal also, however, never saw a strawberry in his life; at least, not what we call strawberries. Whatever you’re quoting is not about strawberries. The bugs we are talking about are NOT MICROSCOPIC. When will you people get that through your heads? NOBODY claims that microscopic bugs are treif.

    9. Please remember that you cannot pasken based on an article that you read on the internet. You need to consult with your personal Rav, Rov, or Moreh Horoh in order to know what you should be doing vis-a-vis strawberries or any of the other numerous shaalos that get covered here. Pesokim given in news articles – whether from gedolim or ketanim – are not to be used for practical instruction.

      • I definitely agree. And since in our time we are all functional amaratzim, we can not make decisions for ourselves so you must go to your Rav (or whomever you depend on) to tell you whether you can eat strawberries or not. And do not rely on the fact that in previous generations they ate them. Previous generations were lacking the knowledge that our current Rabbanim and Gedolim have.

          • When the calendar was invented in the 4th century, the people in Bavel immediately had the same thought. But no dice. The same Sanhedrin that invented the calendar told the people in Bavel that they had to continue keeping 2 days. If you reject their authority to do that, then you must also reject their authority to make the calendar in the first place. Catch 22.

    10. Finally there is a voice of reason. If you follow the strictest microscopic standards you will not be able to eat anything. The world is full of bugs!

    11. #15
      1- the shavet halevy Rabbi shmuel Wosner writes ifyou see a dot even if you don’t see feet etc. its considerd nireh laynim
      2-but by srawberries this not the case any one that was to see it one time they will find it easly & see with naked eye feet hands etc.
      3-their was a kol koreh with all gedolim of USA -over 50 – litvish like
      R Belsky R Shlomo Miller etc & chasidish rabbonim who all said ASUR no one chalanged that psak
      so R amar is a das yochid
      in Isreal the strawberries have alt more bugs ask the mashgichim
      so don’t eat them unless it has a proper hechsher

      • Thanks for the tip.

        However, I wasn’t writing about strawberries.

        I was writing about YOU.

        Rabbis Wosner, Belsky, Miller, etc are all entitled to disagree with Rav Amar and say that he is “incorrect”.(although I would assume that they would say that the disagree with his psak, not argue ad hominem that Rav Amar is incorrect).

        But, you, my friend are not.
        Neither are you permitted to stand on the sholders of these poskim and give dey’os as to whether a bona fide posek is “incorrect.”

        And, if he is a da’as yochid, what of it?
        And what business is it of yours?

    12. #5 take a stawberrie and throw it hard on a white cloth on the table some red things will fall many of those can be toloim & can be seen easy by your eye
      it has nothing to do with the oruch hashulchon
      I found many great rabbonim that first wanted to say the same
      lo nire laineim because they never knew what to look for
      but once they were schown the bugs they said its ASUR
      I geuss we have to send a mashgiach to R amar

    13. #8 its asur please
      look at the Chazon Ish
      in hilchos toloim
      who writes clearly if some one can NOT see the toloim with his eyes
      but after that some mashgiach teaches him how to look & find it
      this is considerd Nireh layneim & its ASUR
      so srawberries or leafy veg. are ASUR with out proper hashgacha

    14. The Chicago Rabbinical Council (whose Av Beis Din is Rav Gedalia Dov Schwartz) has issued a similar ruling:

      “Strawberries – Fresh strawberries that are smooth and rounded in shape should have the tops cut off and the strawberries should be gently rubbed while rinsed well under a strong stream of water. Strawberries that have an unusual shape and are curved, causing some crevices and overlaps on the surface where small insects may hide, must have the tops removed and then also must be soaked for a short while in a kosher vegetable wash or a soap solution. They then must be rinsed off under a strong stream of water. All frozen without added flavors or colors are acceptable. Canned needs a reliable hashgacha. “


    15. I do not understand why everyone is so riled up. No one is forcing anyone to eat strawberries. If you don’t want to eat them or feel it is full of bugs avoid it. Rabbi Amar as a Gadol and a Posek has every right to issue a Psak. Those that want to rely on him can do so. If you feel he is not up to par, most likely you are not up to par. I would eat in Rabbi Amars house and I will eat strawberries based on his Psak. Thanks VIN form keeping us up to date with all this juicy news.

    16. the whole issue of teloim is complicated. mdeoreise it is botul, plus its duvur shlo mischaven that he does not want. for these reasons alone it should be mutter. besides, bugs that are hidden in the fruit that have never crawled out are also mutter. so there is plenty of room to be matir.

      let’s not kid ourselves. in years past, our ancestors did not have microscopes, pesticides, refrigerators. air tight containers etc. produce and flour was stored exposed long term. are you going to say that they ate less bugs than us?

      besides, many chassidishe hechseirim give hechshers an establishments that are filthy and unsanitary. there is no way bugs don’t find their way into the salads and foods in those stores. that is a much bigger problem and no one says a word.

      • The bugs on strawberries are on the surface, not inside the flesh itself, so there’s no question that they’re assur if present.

        Our ancestors didn’t eat strawberries, because they didn’t exist then; the modern strawberry that we eat is a hybrid that was only created in the 18th century, by crossing a North American species with a South American species. But our ancestors certainly checked everything that was known to have a problem.

        The question is always whether it’s a miut hamotzuy. For a miut she’eno motzuy you don’t have to look. And that depends not only on the species, but also on the place and the season. In some places it’s motzuy, in some places it isn’t. And then you have the machlokes about how big a sample it needs to be motzuy in (i.e. if it’s motzuy to find one bug in a whole head of lettuce, but it’s not motzuy to find even one bug on any specific leaf, do you have to look?)

    17. When anybody that has a 20/20 vision spots a speck, he does not know if it is a bug or just dirt. If the bug is alive, then you may be able to tell is a bug when it starts crawling. If the bug is wet or dead, and doesn’t move, it is also assur. Even before the magnifying glasses came about, any Jew had to have a question, and the answer was taking it away, it is a sofek deoiraiso, or a doubt from a Torah prohibition.
      Nowadays we are able to get help from the microscope in identyfying these creatures and show to those that for some reason thought to be lenient that they should be more careful in their broad psak, but didn’t change the outcome, you just have to get rid of the speck.
      How do you do that? As follows: get kosher veggie wash (Bio degradable detergent will also help but I don’t want to get on the bad side of the health conscious person)
      Put the veggie wash in a glass with hot water and dissolve it. Then add it to fresh room temperature water in a larger vessel. (The previous step was done to make sure the soap mixes in the water and you don’t end up having a chunk of concentrated soap in one side and nothing on the other)
      Make sure that the water feels slightly slippery between your fingers. This soapy water should have been slippery enough to clean the grease left over on a knife after being rinsed with hot water.
      Cut the top of the strawberries (leaves and white part) making sure you don’t cut too much and you don’t expose the hole in the middle (so no soap goes in)
      Add the strawberries to the soapy solution shake vigorously in the water for a little while and the rinse each under a strong stream fresh running water. To make sure there is no more soap and no more bugs put the strawberries in clean fresh water again and swish them around. If there is no foam whatsoever it is good already, if you want to be machmir spot check 3 strawberries. If there is some foam on the water repeat the swishing in new clean water until clean.
      Then eat leshem shomaim. To have koach to serve Hashem besimcha.
      Ess gezuntereit, labriut and what’s best according to all opinions.

    18. The fact that 40 posters are debating whether or not microscopic life forms on a strawberry may be a kashruth issue, and the chief rabbi of Eretz Yisroel and one of the greatest gadolim of many generations has to issue a psak on this trivia shows the ridiculous exent of the chumras that some ignorant poskim have issued and the absolute waste of time they engage in. Of all the great concerns facing klal yisroel today, this has to be the most stupid concern of all. Please focus your energy and lamdus on somthing positive and contribute to the well being of yiddin.

    19. As the chief rebbe of EY, Rav Amar’s psak is final and binding on all the other rabbonim. None would dare challenge the decision of this gadol so I suspect his psak will end the debate once and for all. It would be a big chilul hashem to say he is “wrong”.

      • Certainly you are joking when you ascribe authority to Rav Amar because he is “chief rebbe of EY”. He is the chief rav mi’taam hamedine and as such his psak has no particular weight because of his position. He may well be right but his psak carries no more weight than that of any other talmid chochom.

      • What nonsense. Are you joking? Just because some politicians appointed him to a government job, that makes his psak final and binding? Since when? Which rabbonim acknowledge the authority of the rabbanut harashit? Who made Hechal Shlomo into some sort of Sanhedrin?

        R Amar is a talmid chochom, but a “gadol”??? He’s not among the first tier of talmidei chachomim or poskim in EY, and not even among the second tier. His psak is not capable of ending debate on anything, because there are many who are his equal or greater.

        And he’s Chief RABBI, not “chief rebbe”.

      • I think you are wrong. I believe reb moshe assured the bug issue and his sons assur both the strawberries and water. I think Rabbi Tendler is matir but I don’t believe he says so in his shver’s name.

        • You’re both right. Reb Moshe permitted microscopic bugs, as did the Aruch Hashulchan, and as did and does EVERY posek. But none of them permitted bugs that are NOT microscopic!

          • Rav Moshe Tender, Z’tl, has written that strawberries and other berries may be eaten if one thoroughly washes the fruit and removes any VISIBLE insects. He does NOT require using magnification to view each berry nor does he require use of toxic chemicals to kill the organisms before the fruit is eaten.

            • R Moshe Tendler “z’tl” (your term, not mine), is not a man de’omar. And NOBODY requires using magnification; the magnification only helps in identifying where to look with the naked eye.

    20. #38 You sound like a lamdon vos fashteit lenen
      but your heterim are wrong
      1- the krasy uPlasei on shulchon oruch from R Yonathan eibshitz writes
      that if some thing can be checked its osur medureisa- their for he never ate things that have to be bodek
      2-since you know & every one knows that thes fruit & veg . have toloim -its not aino meskaven
      3-almost all toloim that we have are piraish which runs all over the fruits & veg. so they are osur
      Please don’t say a booch sevora with out knowing the halacha

      • excuse me sir, but because you know the bugs are there that does not make is mischavein. in all cases of psik reishe we ‘know’ the issur is there. we just allow it because he does not care for it, or in the cases of bugs, is disgusted by it.

        I never said you shouldt check. you should certainly check and remove any bug that you can. but to assur it catagorically because its ‘impossible’ to clean makes no sense. you do what you could and rely on clear halachah for the rest.

        I am assuming that the bugs close to the surface can be cleaned off. and even if there is one hiding deep inside, there is a tzad to be matir because did not ‘crawl’.

        what do you have to say to the fact that no hashgochah checks for sanitary conditions of the establishment? some places are so filthy and crawling with vermin that’s its a sheilah of baal teshaktzu.

    21. I don’t get it! The Torah said bugs are no tpermitted. Now if all these vegetables are not permitted because of bugs, why didn’t the Torah just say that vegtables are not permitted? Why this indirect way of saying it?

      • Strawberries didn’t even exist when the Torah was given. Nor did most of the vegetables we eat. The Torah gave the rules; the metzius changes all the time, and the rules must be applied to it. And very few vegetables are completely forbidden; it may take you hours to check it, but if you’ve done so you’re welcome to eat it.

    22. The picture of these idiots sitting there examining the strawberries says it all. If this is all they have to do with their time and energy, they make the laws of kashruth seem like a joke on Saturday Night Live. If ehrleche yiddin don’t have anything better to do with their time, perhaps they should focus on the millions of people with real needs and desparate for help from anyone. The sense of disgust I feel looking at this picture cannot be put into words.

      • You have a very strange view of what makes an ehrlicher yid. Dovid Hamelech spent all day with his hands dirty with afterbirths and blood, in order to pasken shaylos in niddah. Checking strawberries is exactly what rabbonim are supposed to do with their time and energy. Ignoring kashrus and other mitzvos maasiyos because there are “millions of people with real needs” is apikorsus. Kashrus is a real need. Taharas hamishpocho is a real need.

    23. I must be blind. I have never seen crustaceans in my NYC tap water and after washing strawberries (wehich we should all do for hygiene reasons) I have b=never seen bugs.

      • The copepods are hard to see, not because they’re too small, but because they’re nearly transparent, and because they’re dead and therefore not moving. You have to look carefully to see them. But if you have looked carefully and still can’t see them then it’s highly possible that your house has no problem. The problem is scattered unevenly around NYC.

        The reason there’s a machlokes, though, is not because of how hard they are to see, but because many rabbonim hold that these bugs are muttar, even if you see them clearly. The reason the OU could not issue a clear psak is because R Shachter holds these particular bugs are assur and R Belsky holds they’re muttar; the OU can’t be machria between these two poskim, so it merely issued a fact sheet outlining the metzius, and told people to show it to their rov and ask for a psak.

    24. Any rav who insults the intelligence of yiddin by issuing poseks on water, invisible insects on strawberries, etc. is a katan b’torah, not a gadol, and should be ignored. This mishugaas needs to end.

    25. You guys are all lunatic!! when some rabbi bar chaim paskens (i dont support him) you start shrieking “messorah”

      We have a messorah of eating strawberry’s! We have a messorah of drinking unfiltered water.. (shulach aruch harav says one should filter his water erev shabbos, and if he did not, he should filter with his teeth.. hardly the microscopic bugs!!!)

      Here we have casses of rabbanim who decided to pass their chumros off as halacha!!

      Open up Rabbi Levin’s chasidic tales to read about chumros.. dont impose them on us..

      • We do not have a mesorah of eating strawberries. And whether water needs to be filtered depends on the location. Look in SA Harav again; he distinguishes between places where filtering is halachically required, in which case it cannot be done on Shabbos, and places where it’s not required, and therefore may be done on Shabbos.

    26. I really love the animosity here. Let’s get something straight. To the litvishe yeshivishe olam, all the sephardi rabbis and chasidishe admurim are nothing more than the janitor in a yeshiva. Most of the litvishe world feels that chasidim are all michalei shabbos b’farhesia and can’t wait to do the stoning. Sephardim who know anything were taught in litvishe yeshivos. This is the truth no matter what you guys will write. The litvish don’t really care how many malkos the chasidim and sefardim are chayuv. They are happy that you keep giving them money so they can learn torah while you guys write about how the torah has to be reasonable and allow water, an eruv and strawberries. So, follow the rebbes and the sephardi rabanim all you want. Call them all the titles you like. But, just remember when you daven @ 11 am on a shabbos or don’t wear tzitzis to work, who really follows the shulchan aruch. And yes, the truth hurts.

    27. First of all, use spell check:…””The Torah only forbad eating bugs …” what is forbad? I think it is bad that ‘gedolim’ and jews can’t speak or write English – Get out of this country if you can’t.. Secondly, what constitutes a ‘gadol’? Is it the same guy who bans concerts? Indian wigs? ‘Unkosher’ cell phones? Is this what they are busy with?

    28. go and speak to some of the rabbonim that have there names on the posters about the filtered water thay will tell you that what it says on the sign is not how thay poskined but what the people who like to make trouble printed unless you feel as though a knife is over your head frightend to poskin wrong your psok is worthless so go and speak to the real gidolim about the halacha and not the posters or your next seat neighbor in shul . FACT YOU DO NOT NEED A FILTER ON NEW YORK CITY WATER! FACT WASH AND CLEAN THE STRAWBERRYS AND MAKE A LOUD BROCHA AND ENJOY!

      • This is not a “fact”, it’s an opinion. In the case of NYC water, R Shachter forbids it, and not because of any pressure that was brought to bear on him, but because his halachic opinion is that these copepods are “sheretz hamayim” which are forbidden. You don’t have to agree with his opinion; there are plenty of equally learned rabbonim who don’t, but it’s a matter to be decided on halachic grounds, not politics or grand declarations of “facts”.

    29. I offer a very different light, perspective tell me your take.
      Maybe The Rishon LeTzion Shlita holds on very different grounds, why the strawberries are permitted. The fact, he offers an explanation according to the ones who worry for the bugs in strawberries just shows what special midot he has; he cares for their assur enough to offer a heter for it, even though we are not told what the disagreement is.
      I saw different opinions here, but I guess it’s safe to assume, that all of us here are patzers, when it gets to halacha of this level, and we can’t even be expected to be taken seriously when trying to argue a psak.
      So the question is asked what can be the basis of difference, maybe nothing to do with what we hold here?
      One person who wrote mentioned, that Rav Amar is well versed in Zochar, Chassidus, plus the Shulchan Aruch so he comes from a broader perspectvie. I propose this, not as his opinion but as mine, as a question on the assur from a chassidish perspective.
      We all know eating is not stam, and we don’t just eat like animals. Therefore kashrus questions have to do with the fact that Jews are eating them…The reason is that the whole purpose of a person in this world is to create a Dira Betachtonim, and elevate the sparks of godliness invested in the food he is eating.
      Now it’s true, the food has to be kosher, and Hashem in his infinite mercy gave us the Torah to be able to tell what kosher is, but that’s more of the technology. The ‘how to do it right guide’. That’s not the what to do. Now it doesn’t seem reasonable to say, that the rabbonim who assered the strawberry can force Hashem from now on only have sparks in Bodek (TM) strawberries or similar. It’s just doesn’t sound real.
      So maybe Rav Amar holds that this is an invalid argument, but out of respect to the gedolim, he argues with them on their way not to Has Veshalom cause a Chillul Torah and Gedolim.
      Do you think that’s possible?

    30. #82
      where is that tiferes yisroel?
      the pri chodosh writes asur
      name me on rav who changed
      his mind about the bugs in water
      look in teshuvas Eretz tzvi
      that writes its considerd meskaven if you know its there

    31. 45
      sorry to inform you
      Hisacdus harbonim did give out a statement that water has to be filterd
      almost all Rabbonim said in NY city water has0to be filterd

    32. several weeks ago I was by Rav Abadi in Lakewood with ten others. we brought a case of fresh strawberries and examined them with our plain eyes, and every person in the room found bugs without fail. They were all visible without any microscopes. we checked over 3 dozen of them and 95% had at least one bug on it. we then put them in water and washed them well and then rechecked them and all the bugs were still there. only after we took tooth brushes and brushed each one down, did the bugs disappear. These are facts. You can try for yourself!

      • Interesting. Now what are the odds that the very same people who are always championing R Abadi’s kulos in kashrus will ignore this, and continue to insist that there’s no problem?

    33. So many of us are so concered about what comes into our mouths than what comes out of them (or in this our typing)

      In halacha there is almost never a deffinitive ruling. must halachic issues vary from one community to another with some being more machmoer than others. and just becuase someone holds diffrently than you or what your rabbi toldy does not make him an Appikoros or even a Shagietz. If this is Rav Amar Psak. then he said it for the ppl who follow him and his halachic rullings. If you want to machmer may hashem send u an extra brocha from heaven.

      and as the posuk says and theses words and these words are of the living G-D.

      Moderation is the key to life, Striking the proper balance is the question.

      • “So many of us are so concered about what comes into our mouths than what comes out of them”.

        Um, you do know where that comes from, don’t you?

        As it happens, eating an insect is five lavin, or 195 lashes. What speech are you complaining about that compares to that?

    34. 89
      the ben ish chai was very machmir
      a lady washed &didnt ck well the lettuce
      he told her that in it is their more toloim then her hair on her kup
      & she will be in gehenim for that

    35. please dont
      make fun on Rabbonim
      who are trying to do rotzn hashem checking for toloim
      as if you are a groser tzadik
      & have more importent things wh to do to bash rabbonim on VIN pls be carfull what write
      its sefira days
      what happend to talmedei rabbi akiva
      lo nohagu kovod ze boze
      chazal say
      kol hamivaze talmidei chacomim
      ein refua lmakoso
      hashem yishmorenu

    36. Thats one of the vonderful things about those who post on VIN…the same poster (Milhaus??) who several weeks ago was telling everyone that kitiyos are mutar for everyone on the 8th day of pesach (or did you have the wrong calendar) is now a machmir about toloim since its obvious tht strawberries have toloim -its not “aino meskaven” but you wouldn’t understand that.

    37. About 30 years ago a Rov who is a bokie in tolaim asked R Yaakov Kaminetsky if people had checked for tolaim. R Yaakov said of course they did and they limited what they ate. There were certain vageatbles that people would not eat because of bugs.
      I remember that almost no one would eat romaine lettuce because of bugs. Only by pesach would people eat it after spending hours checking the leaves.
      People over the last number of years have become more health conscious and therefore are eating more fruits and vegetables than they used to. So they would not get bored with meals, they are eating a much broader variety of vegetables than before. In addition many are eating organic foods which use little or no pesticides. Until about 35 -40 years ago there was overwhelming use of DDT which was an extremly effective pesticide eliminating almost all infestation in all crops. DDT has since been banned in the US as well as most other countries because of its carcinogenic nature. Because of the above reasons, the metzios has changed.
      Of all those who say that pepole did not check for bugs in the past, don’t know what they are talking about. Soon they will say that no one used to be menaker or salt meat because they don’t do it themselves.
      People always used to check for bugs and depending on the crops and prevelant infestations of the day they used to check based on the principles of halacha, if it is muchzak or miut hamotzuy or miut sheanoi motzuy. Current laziness does not mean that there is not a reason to ignore halacha. The same with the water in NYC, several years ago the City was able to stop filtering the water from the resevoirs because the water had consistently passed certain federal guidelines. That is why the copepods are a newish issue. They way the issue came to the forfront was because people saw it with their naked eye. Some one was checking prechecked lettuce for a hashgocha to see if it was a good batch on a light table and the lettuce was infested. The mashgiach investigated and ad the bugs sent to a lab which determines that the bugs were copepods from the tap water that was used to rinse the sample before checking. They are clearly not invisible. Therefor almost every posek reccomends filtering NYC tap water.

      • While DDT is a probable or possible carcinogen, the reason for its ban was its horrific effects on wildlife.

        And New York City has *never* filtered its public water system. Anything that is in the water today was there in 1842 when the Old Croton Aqueduct was completed.

        • Indeed. Nobody noticed these critters, because nobody thought to look for them, and they’re very hard to spot without looking carefully. They were only discovered when someone was checking lettuce, noticed these bugs in the water, and mistakenly assumed they had come from the lettuce, which was supposed to be bug-free.

      • One correction: there is no evidence that DDT is a human carcinogen, or at all harmful to humans. It was banned because it was allegedly harming birds. Because of the ban in the USA and Europe it became unavailable in many third-world countries where it was absolutely vital in combating mosquitoes, and as a result millions of people have died of malaria. So to save a few birds, the environmentalists caused all those deaths of humans. But that’s OK, because they value birds more than humans.

        • Your “no evidence” statement is false. See this review:

          The abstract states:

          “DDT (bis[4-chlorophenyl]-1,1,1-trichloroethane) is a persistent insecticide that was used worldwide from the mid 1940s until its ban in the USA and other countries in the 1970s. When a global ban on DDT was proposed in 2001, several countries in sub-Saharan Africa claimed that DDT was still needed as a cheap and effective means for vector control. Although DDT is generally not toxic to human beings and was banned mainly for ecological reasons, subsequent research has shown that exposure to DDT at amounts that would be needed in malaria control might cause preterm birth and early weaning, abrogating the benefit of reducing infant mortality from malaria. Historically, DDT has had mixed success in Africa; only the countries that are able to find and devote substantial resources towards malaria control have made major advances. DDT might be useful in controlling malaria, but the evidence of its adverse effects on human health needs appropriate research on whether it achieves a favourable balance of risk versus benefit.”

          Please do your research before posting.

    38. 115 comments about strawberries and 3 about Bibi and Obama’s meeting. What does that teach us? Eating is a major Jewish activity while Eretz Yisroel can go to the bugs.

    39. Even if you follow a ravs opinion that you don’t have to filter the water, ithink it is advisable to filter it anyway. Did you see how much dirt and how quickly on the filters during Pesach?
      I think we should filter for health reasons.

    40. “Strawberries didn’t even exist when the Torah was given. Nor did most of the vegetables we eat. “

      What are you talking about? I guess you’re a bigger believer in evolution than the scientists! All these species evolved so rapidly!

      Anyway, the point is irrelevant because whatever vegetables they did eat, there would be a lot more old sources for which vegetables required what types of checking and cleaning if, in fact, they checked for bugs in a manner similar to the way you think they did. In old times, with no pesticides, there would have been far more bugs than today.

      • OK, so you’re an utter ignoramus. Go and look it up. Most of what we eat did not exist when the Torah was given. That is a cold hard fact. It doesn’t matter what you believe; the truth doesn’t depend on what goes on in your head.

        And yes, they checked everything. Look in Shulchan Aruch. Or ask your grandmother, if you have a Jewish one.

    41. “Dovid Hamelech spent all day with his hands dirty with afterbirths and blood, in order to pasken shaylos in niddah. “

      No his hands were bloody with war. And the story of shimshon fighting the lion has nothing to do with his learning a sugya. Don’t take revisionist nach so literally; it looks silly.

    42. “I doubt the BIC wrote about strawberries in the first place, but even if he did it was about the ones available in Baghdad that particular year, and the psak would not apply anywhere else, or any time else.”

      Right; the banghdad strawberries were bug free while our are infested. Keep grasping at straws.

      • You are obviously ignorant of the entire topic, if you think this is a clever comment. Yes, it is entirely possible that strawberries in the USA in 2009 have a higher incidence of thrips and aphids than did strawberries in Baghdad in 1909. Assuming that there *were* any strawberries there and then.

    43. “With all due respect to R Amar, he doesn’t come close the Maharal. “

      i like your godol ranker. Listen, I’m going to be walking around eretz yisrael tomorrow and need to know who’s who and how they rank and all that. Can I borrow it? How many sets of batteries will it need for the day?

      • You don’t need much of a ranker to tell you that the Maharal and R Amar are not in the same class, any more than you need one to tell you that a giraffe and a meerkat are not in the same class of height.

    44. “Indeed. Nobody noticed these critters, because nobody thought to look for them, and they’re very hard to spot without looking carefully. They were only discovered when someone was checking lettuce, noticed these bugs in the water, and mistakenly assumed they had come from the lettuce, which was supposed to be bug-free.”

      Well, since R’ Moshe says microscopic stuff is mutar since even the chamor of r pinchas ben yair wasn’t allowed to eat treif, you seem to be calling R’ Moshe lower than the chamor if he was allowed to drink this infested water. Shame on you, Milhouse.

      • Once again with the “microscopic”? How many times must you be told, these bugs are NOT MICROSCOPIC. Anyone who brings up the word “microscopic” in regard to either the strawberries or the water ought in all honesty to SHUT UP and not comment on the topic again until they have read up on it.

        As for whether RMF consumed these bugs, and what implications that has, that’s a matter for speculation. Lo ye’uneh letzadik kol oven. But you cannot bring any proof from this that the bugs are permitted.

    45. 1. When the issue of filtering the water first came up in Brooklyn – I looked and actually saw the copepod in the water (once I knew what to look for)… and to this day I will filter the Brooklyn water, which comes from an open reservoir upstate…
      2. As for the strawberries, I know what to look for now – and guess what, **I can see the little thrips without a microscope and without a magnifying glass… ** So regardless, if the fresh strawberries were no longer prohibited and I wanted to eat a fresh strawberry I would check it first, just as I check any other fresh fruit and vegetable.
      3. But you know, with so many competent rabbis, who make it their business to regularly check these strawberries, saying that they continue to see the thrips (as I do see them from time to time) I am not so hot to eat a fresh strawberry these days. There’s so much else to eat in the line of fruit that’s good and has no current problem.
      4. As for those who don’t care about what they put to their mouths, what can I say. People eat all sorts of things and I cannot stop them. I am not their LOR nor am I their mother.
      By the way, have you noticed how quickly those water filters get so dirty … I for one am glad the issue to filter water came up… Who knows, as a divinely appointed protection to us… just as washing hands and other hygeinic measures helped us through the Black Plague.
      5. There is upfathomed merit in listening to the Rabbis of our Day.


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