I must say that there is a general tendency on my part to not auto review prayers or things I’m used to saying or thinking. This Pesach was no different. As a child when it came to Karpas, I’d always have no issue aligning what I had said in the Hagada with what I did. In particular, the idea of dipping a food item such as a vegetable in water is something that only happened on Pesach.
This year, after the Seder, it dawned on me that my culinary predilections had been augmented. I wasn’t quite the new age guy or tree hugger who lovingly waxed lyrically of ‘vegetarian‘ cholent (there’s nothing wrong with that dish but calling it CHOLENT is sacrilegious) I am certainly happy to try new types of potato stews, but unhappy when these aren’t recognised as Nuevo dishes forcibly cast into a skillet of tradition when there is no tradition associated with them.
So, despite the fact that I had augmented and savoured many a new style of food, they had not regstered in my halachic mind when I absent mindedly read from the hagada one more time.
Specifically, I am reminded of the fact that “finger food”, including sushi varieties are ubiquitous at Simches. A common aspect amongs all types (and I confess that Peter Unger’s Potato Piroshki is a trophy winner with me and the band for many years due to its unsurpassed delectablity) is that they are all served with a dipping liquid. The actual liquid or semi liquid (yes, I also have a weak spot for the rare real wasabi, which is not probably classified as a liquid unless it is the texture of the common fake variety that is essentially horesraddish mayonnaise with green dye.
There is, of course, the healthier variety of finger food which is raw vegetable dipped in water (much like karpas.)
These thoughts led me to wonder whether times had changed and we were now returning to dipping again and typically, this hadn’t registered with me despite my healthy expanse.
Shulchan Aruch doesn’t except any liqid for dipping as requiring the ritual (and practical) dipping 158:4. This is limited to wine, honey, olive oil, milk, dew, fish blood, and of course water. We don’t make a bracha on this washing but it is curious that even if one doesn’t touch the finger food the Mishna Brura 158:12 requires a washing of the hands despite the fact that they might be accessed via a tooth pick, fork or the like.
I’m not sure of the reasoning since where one is unable to wash for bread itself, then ensuring one’s hand’s don’t touch the bread (eg via a serviette or gloves) obviates the need to wash.
Anyway, I thought it was an interesting vinaigrette (pardon the pun) given an ingrained notion that I didn’t eat foods that were dipped. Practically speaking one should always ask their LOR, as with some dips, it will depend on the percentage of unaccepable liquid in the mixture.
PS. If you ever see someone double dipping, there is no doubt in my mind that apart from it beng a gross practice, it is forbiden according to Halacha (but ask you LOR)