I have run across a seed called Job’s tears. Anybody know if this would be considered Kitniyot?

Some brands are certified kosher. Would this need a special hechsher for Pesach? A Rabbi from a prominent kashrut organization claimed it was. Yet, he cited no evidence.

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There appears to have been no particular custom against them.

When the Star-K came out strongly arguing that quinoa was not kitniyos, I'd heard that there was talk of then certifying other semi-grains about which there was no custom, such as Job's tears (or teff, for that matter). Instead there was strong opposition to quinoa, so the Star-K stopped there. At least that's the way I heard it.

That doesn't mean it's not kitniyos; it means that no major US kashrus organization has publicly gone out and called it "kosher l'Pesach for Ashkenazim."

Some have interpreted kitniyos as a categorical ban that would include plants unbeknownst to our Ashkenazic ancestors if they meet certain criteria; if so, one could argue that newly-identified semi-grains are included.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein zt'l wrote in Igros Moshe OC3:63 that there was no categorical ban; what makes something kitniyos? Only if a custom developed about it. He also suggested that they stopped adding things to the blacklist or else there would be nothing left to eat! One of Rav Moshe's proofs is -- why for 500 years was mustard prohibited and caraway allowed; which of those two would you more logically expect to be cross-contaminated or confused with wheat?

The plain reading of Rav Moshe's responsum (addressing peanuts, actually) would indicate that Job's tears should be permitted.

Those reading kitniyos as a categorical ban would disagree; some even claimed that Rav Moshe would agree quinoa is kitniyos because it is so absolutely, clearly a grain ... therefore some would prohibit.

Lastly, this is all a moot point if we can't identify a production of these seeds that we are confident were not cross-contaminated with wheat or barley. On that question, you'd have to consult someone who knows the food industry well.

  • Since Job’s tears are marketed strongly as gluten free, and some are certified as such. Less than 20ppm. I would say that should be enough to cross threshold of no grain contamination. Therefore, according to Rav Moshe’s ruling, Job’s tears should be allowed. – Chaim Mar 28 '19 at 2:01

The OU doesn't list Job's tears or coix seed on their list of kitnyiot products, but they list millet (and Wiki says Job's tears are also called adlay - or adlay millet - but it appears to be a different species).

There is controversy whether beans and grains that became popular recently (e.g., sunflower seeds, string beans, peanuts and quinoa) are included or not in the prohibition of kitniot. Some hold that they are, others that they are not. R Aharon E Marcus (in his book Halacha 24/7/12 p. 243) writes R Moshe Feinstein held they are not.

Both of these could be reason enough to consider Jobs' tears not kitniot but you should ask your own rav if this is relevant to you in practice.

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