Yoshon Observers Breathe Easy During Post-Pesach Season


supermarketImagine the surprise of a store manager when a customer asked him about “Yoshon” products. While not universally observed, the law of Yoshon and Chodosh – now followed by tens of thousands of Bnei Torah –  may be the driving force behind the recent buying binge of cereal, pretzels, and other long lasting wheat, barley, oats, spelt, and rye based products at warehouse wholesalers and local supermarkets located in areas frequented by Orthodox Jews.

Yoshon, translating as old, a term used to describe grains that have been planted prior to Passover. Chodosh refers to grains that have taken root after Passover. During the days of the 1st and 2nd Botei Mikdosh, the korban omer  made permissible the consumption of the Chodosh grains from the previous year, which would then be referred to as Yoshon grains. In modern times the grains are permitted following the day when the korban would have been brought.

In recent years, retailers have noticed a growing trend towards the observance of Yoshon. Indeed, many restaurants, bakeries, and caterers that serve kosher consumers advertise that they comply with the Yoshon strictures. Some Kashrus agencies have developed special labeling that confirms a product’s Yoshon or Chadash status.

A Yoshon Guide, published by the ever dedicated Rabbi Yoseph Herman, who should be credited for the growth of yoshon observance in chutz laaretz,  helps to identify Yoshon products. Additionally, the guide includes a section about reading product bar codes and production dates to determine whether the grains present in a particular product are to be considered Yoshon or Chadash.

After Pesach, until the new crop, usually at the end of the summer, Yoshon observers breathe easy, as there is no need to seek yoshon products, as all products come from the old, winter crop.

For the store manager who already added words like glatt, cholov yisroel, and pareve to his lexicon, yoshon is just another aspect of his education.

{Kosher Today, Yossi Schneider-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. What happened to Chometz Shavar alav Haspessach; now is the hardest time to shop for those who observe this mitzvah.

  2. If it was sold, then it’s not she’avar alav hapesach. Even according to the Gra, who didn’t trust the sale of chometz mamash, it’s a d’rabbanan versus a d’oraysah.