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Karpas and Tumah

An Overview of a Shiur by Rav Daniel Dumbroff on Parshas Shemini

(וכי יותן מים על זרע ונפל מנבלתם עליו טמא הוא לכם (ויקרא יא:לח

  • Netilas Yadayim for fruit dipped in liquid – Chazal required this due to a complex gezeira related to tumah.
  • Mishna Berura – Many people do not do this today, and although there is some support for that, one should really comply with the gezeira.
  • If the fruit is less than a k’zayis Mishna Berura says there is room to be lenient, based on a precedent concerning netilas yadayim for bread.
  • Pesach Night – Everyone washes for karpas dipped in salt water to comply with the stringent opinions.
    • Tur – Eat less than a kezayis of karpas to allow the beracha count for the maror but still avoid questions about reciting a beracha acharona.
    • Mishna Berura:
      • If so, how does this help, if no netilas yadayim is needed for less than a kezayis?   
      • Response – Ultimately, we must agree with the Tur and be machmir (even if we don’t understand). Therefore, less than a kezayis of fruit or vegetable dipped in liquid also renders one chayav. 
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