The ideal vegetable for maror is some kind of leaf and/or stalk; roots are distinctly inferior and may not count at all (Shulchan Aruch and commentaries, 473:5).

Being extra-strict about, and adding safeguards to, the prohibition of eating chametz is widely practiced and is approved of by the pos'kim. (Citation needed.) One example is that some people won't eat a fruit or vegetable without removing its outermost surface. Obviously that contradicts the preference for using leaves or stalks for maror (unless they use the interiors of stalks, which I suppose is possible, though difficult).

Do any authorities explicitly discuss the tension between these two ideals? What do they say people (with that stringency) should (or do) do for maror?

  • Perhaps checking for bugs is sufficient to ensure it's Very Clean.
    – Double AA
    Mar 16, 2018 at 0:01
  • @user6591 "We only use fruit and vegetables that can be peeled. [An exception is made for the lettuce used on the Seder night]." - chabad chumros for pesach
    – aBochur
    Mar 16, 2018 at 1:32
  • @user6591 I'm trying to find a good source, but it's definitely the minhag by all chabadniks i know including my family. The same mihag is mentioned here footnote 23, but again without a good source.
    – aBochur
    Mar 16, 2018 at 1:43
  • 2nd @aBochur, this is what is done
    – SAH
    Mar 27, 2018 at 11:50

1 Answer 1


This post references the minhag brought down in the Nitei Gavriel who quotes the Chayei Adam.

The reason seems to have been borne out of concern that chametz would stick to the outside of the fruit/veg. This was initially a concern with regards to dried fruit and the drying process - chametz could stick onto the outside of the fruit while it is in the oven or they used to dust/sprinkle the fruit with flour to help the drying process - and the minhag seems to have spread to general fruit/veg.

Your question is based on the premise that there is tension here - "Obviously that contradicts" and "Do any authorities explicitly discuss the tension". I believe this may be mistaken. There may not be any tension and there is no obvious contradiction.
I would argue and say that by removing the outer layer of leaves of (somewhat) closed, leafy vegetables (e.g. cabbage, lettuce) would be the equivalent of removing the peel. (This is what I do at home.)

  • 1
    "Do any authorities explicitly discuss the tension between these two ideals?" You didn't actually answer that question...
    – aBochur
    Mar 27, 2018 at 9:20
  • You're right. However, my answer is that the questioner's premise is incorrect. There is no tension.
    – Ben
    Mar 27, 2018 at 9:50
  • The fact that in chabad we use lettuce only for the seder and not during the rest of pesach, shows that there most probably is tension. See my comments on the OP for links.
    – aBochur
    Mar 27, 2018 at 10:51
  • 1
    You clearly agree there clearly is a tension that you solve by removing the outer leaves. Just because you found a resolution doesn't mean the premise that there is a tension is wrong. Your answer is not a rejection of any premise of the OP
    – Double AA
    Mar 27, 2018 at 12:14
  • @DoubleAA, I respectfully disagree. I realize now that my answer doesn't directly answer the OP's question. However, there is onlyperceived tension because of a mistaken contradiction. Based on this assumption the OP asks for sources discussing this tension. My point is that there is no contradiction in upholding this minhag with using lettuce for maror because the same way that other fruit and veg are peeled, so too the lettuce is 'peeled' but just not in the conventional sense. Thus there need not be any sources regarding the tension..
    – Ben
    Mar 27, 2018 at 12:28

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