The Arizona Wheat Controversy


arizona-wheatHarav Aharon Teitelbaum of Satmar and others, for a while now, have been using Arizona wheat exclusively for all his Pesach needs. In recent months, however, a new sefer was introduced describing the deficiencies of Arizona wheat for Pesach use. Written by Rav Avrohom Laufer, Doroger Rav, sefer Ho’aishel Beramah, in three volumes, describes the traditions of which wheat to use, by our parents and grandparents. Arizona wheat, because of the lack of rain in wheat-growing areas, may be thought of as ideal for matzoh baking, since the likelihood of it becoming chometz seems unlikely. However, Rav Laufer focuses on irrigation systems that feed water to the wheat, and finds it unacceptable. 

The sefer has the haskamos of Rav Yisroel Chaim Menashe Friedman, Satmar Rosh Beis Din; Rav Sholom Pollack, Skverer Dayan; Rav Moshe Chaim Tirnauer, Montreal Satmar Dayan; Rav Yoel Morgenstein, Sharmasher Rov; Rav Noach Isaac Oelbaum, rov Khal Nachlas Dovid of Queens; Rav Moshe Yitzchak Farkas of Flatbush; Rav Simcha Yisroel Blum, Kashau Rov; Rav Shlomo Gross, Boro Park Belzer Dayan; Rav Yaakov Zeida, Williamsburg Vishnitzer Dayan; Rav Wolf Ber Lerner, Montreal Belzer Dayan; Rav Yitzchok Mandel, Rosh Beis Din Chaker Halacha; Rav Yeshaya Binyamin Holczer, Shevet Halevi Dayan; Rav Dovid Rosenberg, author of Minchas Dovid; Rav Chaim Yeshaya Shwimmer, Rosh Kollel Rema; and Rav Elimelech Yechezkel Shraga Gold, rov of Beis Medrash Shaar Chesed Monsey.

In a full-page proclamation published in Der Yid, the Yiddish Chassidishe weekly, Rav Sholom Pollack, Skverer Dayan, indicates that he is pained that his letter of approbation against Arizona wheat was published. He claims that he wrote the letter without having heard the arguments of the proponents of Arizona wheat. He further claims that the letter was not issued to be published. After having studied the benefits of Arizona wheat, he is now convinced that it is indeed superior and that his original letter against Arizona wheat published without full authorization is now rendered null and void, as the dust of the earth.

{Dovid Newscenter/Rabbi G. Tannenbaum}