May 21, 2009

Rav Amar backtracks on the strawberry psak

Back to the strawberries again. I am only writing this because I wrote earlier about the strawberries, specifically quoting Rav Amar allowing strawberries because he considers the bugs to not be visible to the naked eye. I feel it only right to mention the latest turn of events.

Rav Amar has backtracked from what he "supposedly" said in the shiur the other day in Karnei Shomron. In an interview to "Shas Youth" Rav Amar says he was quoted out of context, and he was not discussing strawberries.
Rav Amar said that he was discussing the halacha of bugs that cannot be seen. He is not saying that is the metzius of the strawberries. Rav Amar says he mentioned strawberries in the context that if the bugs on strawberries are of this type, that cannot be seen, they would be allowed to be eaten. Because the experts say that the strawberries are infested with bugs that can be seen by the naked eye, one should be careful about eating them regarding the halachos of bugs, and of one cannot clean them properly, one should not eat them.

Oh well. I guess this Shavuos will be blueberry cheesecake instead of strawberry cheesecake.


  1. OK, what I understand this is his svara. He agrees that you do not need to check for invisible bugs. However he is saying that that does not say they don't exist or that they are inherently kasher, only that you can't see them so you are allowed to disregard them. If however you know that the bug is there, you cannot eat it.

    I still have a problem with this because it sends us back to our microscopes for checking everything. Experts in lettuce bugs claim that there are bugs I can't see. Does this mean that as soon as somebofy tells me this, I need to either stop eating lettuce or check it microscopically? Ain LaDavar Sof and this is precisely why we are allowed to ignore invisible infestations.

  2. if you open your mouth, all sorts of bugs, nearly invisible due to their small size, will fly in without you knowing it. must we walk around with face masks?

  3. Why did you tell me? Now I going to have to :).

  4. At least we can relax about swallowing spiders.

    I can think of a very appropriate quote from Yeshu (Yemach Shmo Vezichro, in case you had any doubts of my intentions) in the NT, regarding this day and age of Chumra quackery.

  5. I'm referring to Matthew 23:24:

    "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." (KJV)At this point, I would like to quote the book "The Disputation" on this chapter, overall:

    "A vicious and intemperate onslaught which was in no wise justified. The Church itself would never have given a fraction of the latitude to any dissenter that Jesus received. He came and he went freely, speaking as he wished, insulting and provoking many. The reference to scourging in synagogues could never take place. It would just not be permitted. The whole lot is an addition by the Neo-Christians of a later date in their quarrels with the obstinate Jews who refused to accept their pagan version of Christianity. And crucifixion is not a Jewish method of killing. No Englishman would address his compatriots as "ye English, ye vipers, etc." Nor a Christian likewise - nor a Jew. Such references to Pharisees and scribes are all later additions and all vicious."That being said, our Rabbanim today are not the wise Chachamim and Tzadikim of Chazal's time. But they are what we're stuck with.

  6. FWIW, I've found 'worms' in strawberries. Unless you are using over 20 strawberries for something, it's really not such a big deal to cut the tops off and rinse them.

  7. of course. cutting off the tops and washing/soaking is basic strawberry preparation. The question is that according to some/many this year that might not be good enough.

  8. Rafi said...

    Experts in lettuce bugs claim that there are bugs I can't see

    Thats not what the experts have said. Well, they might have said it, but these experts would agree that this is NOT the problem, as that which you cant see is not assur to eat.

    The problem is that you CAN see the bugs, you just dont realize that they are bugs. They are NOT invisible. They are there, visible to the naked eye. You just need to A) know what you are looking for and B) be able to identify it as either dirt or a bug.


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