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Rosh Hashanah food

Question:

Hello Rabbi. Are any of the following NOT permitted between Rosh Hashanah and Simchat Torah?

  1. Peanut butter
  2. Purple grapes
  3. Chickpeas, Onion
  4. Salad dressing with vinegar used in sweet sauce, Cole slaw with vinegar that is tangy.

Thank you

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

Before getting to the specific foods that you are asking about, it is noteworthy, that there are different customs, depending on the reason for not eating these foods. One reason not to eat nuts is because they cause a person to salivate, and that will disturb our concentration while we daven. According to this, it will not apply after Yom Kippur. Another reason given is because אגוז has the same numerical value as the word  חט”א, which we want to avoid during the time of judgement. Therefore some have this minhag only for Rosh Hashana, others are careful about this only until after Yom Kippur, while others have the minhag to abstain from eating these foods until even later.

Regarding the specific foods that you mention.

  1. Regarding peanut butter, there is controversy if it is included in “egoz” (which is translated as a walnut). Therefore, many are careful about all “nuts”, however some poskim say that since peanuts are specifically called “butnim”, therefore they are permitted. There are still others who say that the minhag is not to eat them. The poskim do say that peanut butter is permitted, on days that there is no concern that it will disturb the davening. Their reason is because there is another lenient factor here, that the peanuts are not noticeable.
  2. There are those who don’t eat (red) grapes for kabalistic reasons, however many people don’t have such a minhag. Even those who are careful about his, it applies only to Rosh Hashana.
  3. I never heard of such a minhag, in fact in Morocco they specifically eat chickpeas as good siman on Rosh Hashana. The minhag is to eat onions.
  4. Regarding mixtures that have vinegar in them. If the mixture is not sour, and the vinegar gives it a good taste it isn’t considered eating something sour, and it is permitted.

Have a gmar chasima tova

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