This question asks if Beer is a davar charif based on the hops being bitter. I was very surprised at the premise because charif means sharp, not bitter. I also vaguely recall seeing a list of 5 items in shulchan aruch (onions, garlic, vinegar, ?, and ?) but contemporary rabbanim consider hot sauce (charif in modern hebrew) and the like to be dvarim charifim. In short, I have a twofold question:
1- What physical characteristics make a food "charif"?
2- Are all foods having those characteristics treated as charif for תערובות purposes, or are there specific foods mentioned in poskim that are treated as such while other, similar foods are not?

  • Thanks to the misconception that horseradish root is bitter, most people probably don't realize bitter and sharp are different adjectives.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 3:58
  • Isn't charif sauce considered charif because it has onions?
    – Daniel
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 23:25
  • 1
    For your first question Rabbi Chaim Jachter discusses this with great clarity. koltorah.org/ravj/13-14%20Milk%20and%20Meat%20-%20Part%202.htm
    – sam
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 0:57

1 Answer 1


From the Sefer Ateres Moshe Aron:

1.Esrog - charif , Magen Avraham 557:33 in the name of the Rashba

2.Onion - charif , Shulchan Aruch 96:2 ,Sifsei Daas 96:12

3.Olive - charif (see footnotes for further discussion )

4.Horseradish - charif , Rama 96:2 , Darchei Moshe 96:4 (stricter than radish)

5.Sauerkraut - charif , Taz 96:12, Yad Yehuda 96:32 - not charif)

6.Leek - charif , Shulchan Aruch 96:2

7.Lemons - charif , Shulchan Aruch 96:4 and Rama

8.Sour pickles - Aruch Hashulchan 96:13 not charif ,Tuv Tam Vdaas 1:198 seems like it is charif.

9.Radish - charif

10.Garlic - charif

11.Ginger - charif

  1. Mustard - seemingly cahrif (Maharsham 1:70 dh ub'ikar,Daas Torah 96:2)

13.Salt - charif

14.Ground pepper - charif

15.(salty) Herring - charif ( discussion in notes about salty and not so salty)

  1. Brine - Charif

  2. Vinegar - Charif (machlokes if its not strong vinegar some are meikel in such a case)

  3. Borscht - Charif (there is a discussion on this if it is always considered charif)

  4. Wine - Some say its charif and they bring a proof from a Yerushalmi that says wine is like vinegar,others say that todays wines arent considered charif (Daas Torah 105:1)

  5. Whiskey - Charif (Taz OC 442:4 ,Magen Avraham 447:25 , Mishna Brurah 447:63 , Shulchan Aruch Harav 447:46)

  6. Brine - Charif

  7. Beer - not charif based off Mishbitzos Zhav end of siman 104 that beer isn't like vinegar.

23.Olive oil - Machlokes , Piske Tosfos AZ os 73 writes that it is charif but one can be lenient in a case of a big loss(hefsed merubah ) and some are lenient completely see Pischei Tshuva 105:2.

  1. Kneading pin - Charif (Daas Torah 69:9 )

  2. Yeast(by itself ) - charif ,Mishbaztos Zahav 451:26

*Regarding a halchic question which may arise concerning a davar charif one should ask there Rabbi since this is not a straightforward topic.

  • will hopefully add more with their sources
    – sam
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 19:47
  • 1
    Who wrote "Sefer Ateres Moshe Aron" and when did he live?
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 21:06
  • It was written by 2 Rabbanim and they are considered contemporary, they bring these items from the achronim,the actual items of davar charif since the time of the Gemrah have been vauge
    – sam
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 21:19
  • jewishusedbooks.com/prodview.asp?idProduct=37083
    – sam
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 21:20
  • Chazal's wine was significantly stronger than our modern wines (source: npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/12/25/372727808/…). I realise that the article refers Yh"N, but I think that this is close enough. Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 23:53

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