There are different opinions among the Rishonim about שבולת שועל, one of the "five grains" that can become chometz and can be used to make matzah. Some say that it is oats, and that seems to have been the accepted tradition among Ashkenazim at least.
More recently, Prof. Felix raised a number of objections to the tradition, and brought evidence that a different grain ("two-row-barley") is שבולת שועל.
What do contemporary poskim say?
(See also Why are Oats Chametz if oats cannot rise, Are there communities which permit oats on Pesach?, Why is oatmeal considered chometz?)

  • @fulltimekollelguy Yeah. I think it's an interesting case, because it is unlike, say, the z'manim of Rabbeinu Tam, or the large shiurim of the Nodah Biyehudah, where R' Shlomo Zalman said clearly that the minhag of Yerushalayim was just not like that, finished. In all three cases, there is pretty strong outside evidence, but this one has a stronger mesorah pushing back. I guess the Sefardim started accepting oats as well, is that true?
    – MichoelR
    Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 18:32
  • Reb Shlomo Zalman הילכות שלמה page רצז brings down and reject Prof Feileix because of Mesorah. Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 18:37
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    At the time some charedi zealots badmouthed Prof Felix and turned the whole mundane discussion into a political litmus test with this issue elevated to the epitome of mesora (despite its historically having a relatively mediocre mesora as mesorot go), so don't be surprised if anyone not toeing their party line stays mostly under the radar
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 19:12
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    Here is a "contemporary posek" saying the "halachic process" has changed a grain into being able to be used for matza even though it never was library.yctorah.org/2018/08/birkat-hamazon-and-the-oral-torah here's one saying it's a safek and might as well eat sans bracha torahmusings.com/2011/08/oat-matzah and here's one saying oats are not grain even lechumra kashrut.org/?p=6913 and here's one (r mordechai willig, pg 58) that only oats "contaminated" with gluten are grain but "gluten free oats" are sfeika ddina yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/725402
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 13:50
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    @MichoelR To defend the practice of kitniyot, the AhSh notes that in the gemara there's a machloket how to interpret the results of an experiment they did to see if rice leavens. He says all the more so now we can't determine that kind of stuff so we are machmir to not eat all sorts of semi-grains in case any of them can become chametz and we're just bad at telling. We see he thinks which species make chametz/matza is entirely a metzius based halacha and not a matter of a five-fold traditional identification, and also that he thinks that we can't be so sure which things belong in what category
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 18:52

1 Answer 1


The only contemporary posek I have heard who holds oats cannot become chametz is Rav Yitzchak Abadi. Rav Abadi is a serious posek in the chareidi world (he was a shaliach of the Chazon Ish and a talmid of Rav Aharon Kotler), but he's an original (and often lenient) thinker so his views are often controversial or not mainstream. His sons run a website based on his rulings and they claim he hold oats are not one of the five grains whether l'kula or l'chumra. https://kashrut.org/?p=6913. The website says they are kosher "for Sephardim," so I assume they consider oats kitniyot.

I have heard a few rebbeim say that oats should not be used for matzat mitzvah l'chumrah because there is at least a safek whether they are among the five grains. Rabbi Michael Broyde is one such authority. He thinks the evidence that oats are not shibolet shual is convincing. https://www.torahmusings.com/2011/08/oat-matzah/. He cites Shevet Halevi 9:117 and Minchat Yitzchak 9:49 as holding that "there always was a very strong tradition not to use oat matzah at the Seder," but I can't see those sources inside so I'm not sure if their reasoning is the same as his or based on something else. According to this Star-K article cited by Avrahom Yizchok in a comment, Rav Sternbuch originally was choshesh to the botanical evidence l'chumrah in Teshuvot v’Hanhagot I:302, but "17 years later, in V:130, he discounts the notion entirely." https://www.star-k.org/articles/wp-content/uploads/sugya-of-oat-matzos.pdf.

Of course, it ought to go without saying that many rebbeim have said the mesorah identifying shibolet shual as oats trumps botanical/historical evidence and there is no safek. Secondary sources cite Rabbi J.B. Soloveichik, Rav Moshe, and Rabbi Merzbach in this camp. See here page 8-9 https://www.kof-k.org/articles/FFT.Pesach.5773.pdf I believe I've also heard the same in the name of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach. I am away from my library and haven't seen any of the primary sources inside; many of the sources in the Star-K article are themselves secondary sources.

Interestingly, I have never heard anyone say l'chumrah that Ahskenazim should not eat oat matzah other than leil haseder due to a chashash they are kitniyot.


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