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Oats do not have gluten so they cannot rise - like rice and other such grains. I could understand why they would be kitniot but why are they chametz? I know in arvei psachim there is an opinion that even rice is chametz and rice flour can be used for matzah but we do not paskin that way. Is there a separate specific Talmud source for why oats are chametz?

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    Welcome to MiYodeya Noam, hope to see you around! – mbloch Apr 4 '18 at 3:46
  • It seems to me that your premise "Oats do not have gluten so they cannot rise" is not good. If you take a look here you will see that it is possible to make yeast dough without gluten. It seems that the function of gluten is related to the structure of the bread and not to the fermentation process. – Avrohom Yitzchok Apr 4 '18 at 15:48
  • @Avrohom Years of scientific research for a multibillion dollar market and if you throw together a cocktail of strange chemicals you can't even get to an equivalent item? That just proves his point that Chazal wouldn't have found oats to be able to become Chametz. You're right that it's the structure not the fermentation process that is affected, but after all you can add yeast to anything sugary and get fermentation (eg. grapes, milk or cabbage, yielding wine, yogurt or kimchi). It's not just fermentation that makes Chametz. It's fermentation into a dough. – Double AA Apr 4 '18 at 15:58
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There is no special Talmudic dispensation regarding oats.

The Mishna lists a grain called שבולת שועל as able to become Chametz. Most Rishonim don't identify that grain with what we call oats. Some Rishonim do identify that grain with what we call oats.

Your point is one very strong proof for the former position, according to which indeed oats can't become Chametz, can't be used for Matza, don't require Challah to be separated from them, etc.

The other Rishonim who identify oats as שבולת שועל may have simply been mistaken, maybe referred to a variation of oats that had some gluten, maybe we've mistinterpreted them and they never intended oats, maybe oat plants evolved in the last 1000 years to no longer rise, maybe oats can rise under special conditions, etc. We just can't know for sure.

  • My friend / rabbi emailed me this morning in response to my emailing him this Q. He tellls his congregation that b/c of this explanation, he tells elderly / sick people who cannot eat wheat matzot that they cannot fulfill the mitzvah of matza with either oat or rye matzot, and they are just exempt from the mitzvah, altogether. I forgot to ask him about spelt, though. – DanF Apr 4 '18 at 14:17
  • Maybe this is why they say only people who are unable to have wheat should have oat Matzah - since they’re only fulfilling their chiyuv according to some? – DonielF Apr 4 '18 at 15:14
  • @donielf sure, but also judaism.stackexchange.com/a/90391/759 – Double AA Apr 4 '18 at 15:22
  • Where are these Rishonim? Mishnah in Pesachim? Challah? Elsewhere? – DonielF Apr 16 '18 at 0:25
  • @DonielF Rambam to Kilayim 1:1, Rabbenu Gershom Menachot 70b, the Arukh under שבל, Rashi Pesachim 35a. There's also the manuscript commentary of R Natan Av HaYeshiva to Kilayim (המאסף) which is the oldest extant commentary on the Mishna. If you want to get in detail then Zohar Amar's book is excellent and extremely thorough. You also want to be careful in how you count rishonim who just cite the Laaz from someone earlier possibly without knowing that language – Double AA Apr 16 '18 at 0:42

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