Click here to download the Hebrew version in PDF format.
Monday, May 5, 2014
Click here to download the Hebrew version in PDF format.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Chapter 9 of his Pninei Halacha: the Laws of Pesach has recently been posted to Scribd and it offers good news for chocolate lovers:
Chocolate and candy labeled “Kosher for Pesach only for those who eat kitniyot" are technically permissible even for those who do not eat kitniyot, because the kitniyot in these products are added before Pesach and are batel be-rov. In addition, these products generally contain kitniyot oils, which, according to several leading poskim, are not included in the custom to prohibit kitniyot.
He goes on to write that kosher certification agencies label them as "Kosher for Pesach for kitniyot eaters" because "people are stringent".
I disagree and believe that this is really due to the Charedization of the kashrut organizations--and it seems that the Tzohar Rabbinical organization agrees with me. Last year, Tzohar started a campaign for more accurate "Kosher for Pesach" labeling. (See "Vered HaGalil and the Kitniyot Problem".)
By the way, on page 7, Rav Melamed cites the source of the "kitniyot cooties" in chocolate:
The Badatz is strict about lecithin derived from rapeseed. Halakhically there is nothing wrong with this substance; however, there are many uncertainties that mitigate toward leniency. Firstly, rapeseed is not a legume (the technical meaning of kitniyot), but a member of the Brassicaceae family of crucifers, whose fruit grips thestalk and whose seeds grow in pods, much like the mustard plant. Oil is extracted from these seeds. According to Igrot Moshe OC 3:63, we do not forbid anything that was not explicitly prohibited by custom. Additionally, it is debatable whether the status of kitniyot can be applied to the seeds of a plant when it is clear that the plant itself is not kitniyot....For more information go to Pninei Halacha: the Laws of Pesach (Kitniyot).
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
- Most olim continue to abstain from eating kitniyot during Pesach under pretense of following "Minhag Avoteinu", commonly understood as the custom of their parents, rather than the local custom.
- Most olim adopt what they believe to be the local custom despite the fact that their Fathers wore tefillin during Chol HaMoed.
- And this is the really interesting part--wearing tefillin is not actually a Minhag (custom), but a Mitzvah D'Oreitah, a commandment dictated by HaShem in the Torah.
And it shall be for a sign for you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the law of HaShem may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand did the HaShem bring you out of Egypt. (Exodus 13:9)The Rambam writes that tefillin are not worn on Shabbat since they too are called a "sign":
And the children of Israel shall keep the Shabbat, to observe the Shabbat throughout their generations, for an ever-lasting covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days HaShem made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased from work and rested." (Exodus 31:16-17)Regarding Yom Tov, the Rambam writes that there are six days--and only six days--in which tefillin are not worn: the 1st and 7th days of Pesach; Shavuot; the 1st and 8th day of Sukkot; and Rosh HaShana. (Yom HaKippurim is considered like Shabbat and is called "Shabbat Shabbaton" in the Torah (Leviticus 31:16)).
Chol HaMoed is not included in this list.
So what's the bottom line? If you have an established track record for adopting local customs in Eretz Yisrael, why hold onto what Rabbenu Yeruham called a "foolish custom"?
But seriously, we all need to realize that kitniyot are indeed "little things." Putting on tefillin during Chol HaMoed is a big thing. So is bringing a Korban Pesach. May we all merit both.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Section 453: Laws Concerning the Wheat and Concerning the Grinding of Wheat for Matzos
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Tzohar's Rabbinical leadership has been in touch with the Rabbanut and a revolution in Pesah labeling is on the way with more accuracy and less humrot that have no halachic justification (although they are popular in Haredi Judaism).
They also took the Rabbanut to task for not enforcing its own psak from many years ago that ruled that canola/"liftit" and cottonseed oil are kosher for Pesah even for those who do not eat kitniyot.
Tzohar concluded by saying the last year has witnessed the rise in power of the consumer. They call upon Jews who care about halacha to buy only from companies that have halachically accurate Pesah hekshers... not just during the seven days of Pesah, but all year long.
Today I was pleased to discover that Elite bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao) carries a halachically accurate heksher: "Kosher for Passover. Contains canola."
On the other hand, Vered HaGalil has a halachically inaccurate and misleading heksher: "Kosher for Passover for kitniyot eaters only." With no explanation of course.
The fine print says that there may be traces of soy and other products. But this does not render it fit only for kitniyot.
This is not the halacha. Following the advice of Tzohar, I will buy from Elite and not from Vered HaGalil.
P.S. The Tzohar parasha sheet also relate how Rav Shaul Yisraeli zt"l of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav would offer peanuts to his students guests. When they would ask the Rav whether he ate kitniyot of Pesah, he would laugh and answer that peanuts aren't kitniyot. (This story was also related by Rav Bar-Hayim related several years ago).
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The event marks 13 years since religious Jews began regularly visiting the Temple Mount in purity--and 11 years since my own first ascent in purity (which was followed by Ariel Sharon's ascent and the Oslo War).
I learned many things, but here are just ten:
|Louis Gordon and Rav Hagai Yekutiel|
- It's always great to ascent to the Temple Mount. There's no escaping the feeling of holiness where you're up there and you always learn something new. This time, I learned that when the Arabs say "Allahu Akbar", you should answer "Amen." (Hat tip: Rav Hagai Yekutiel)
- I feel especially grateful to the Holy One when I merit ascending with one of my children. It is such a blessing to be able to teach and be taught by the next generation. (Kudos to my wife for supporting our ascent).
- According to Noha Awad Hached, an Egyptian nuclear scientist, there is no Islamic claim to Jerusalem. Furthermore, she asked an Imam at Al Azhar University what should be done according to Islamic law if a mosque was built on stolen Christian property. He told her that the mosque should be destroyed. While she did not ask about a mosque on stolen Jewish property, she said that clearly the same verdict should be reached.
- Gershon Solomon of the Temple Mount Faithful has no faith in our leaders who have done everything possible to distance themselves from the Temple Mount. OTOH, Moshe Feiglin, leader of the Manhigut Yehudit faction of the Likud, has faith in the people who are growing in their desire for the Temple and authentic Jewish leadership. He also sees Noha's greetings to the conference as a taste of the future when Muslims will bring greetings to Jerusalem and worship at the Temple.
If Hogwarts had a shul....
- Yehuda Etzion doesn't think that salvation--or the solution--will come from the current system of Israeli government. The people will need to rise up--peacefully--and exchange it for another system. [KLF: hopefully we'll have our own Tahrir Square and ditch the yoke of our unelected Supreme Court for a Jewish monarchy and Sanhedrin].
- There is an active group of women who ascend regularly to the Temple Mount. In the tradition of Miryam in the Bible, they broke out into spontaneous song on the Mount. This upset the police who must have been worried about kol isha. Despite police attempts to bar their ascent, the women continue to ascend.
- If Hogwarts had a shul, it would be the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem (see the photo and judge for yourself).
- MK Rav Uri Ariel requested an urgent meeting when a new person was appointed to a very senior security position. At the meeting MK Ariel revealed the urgent issue--Har HaBayit--and proceeded to explain its importance as Judaism's holiest site. The official expressed surprise and then gratitude as he had erroneously be taught that the Western Wall was Judaism's holiest site. Education is key. There is a lot of damage that needs to be undone.
- Rav Yisrael Ariel, founder of the Temple Institute and the author of the Temple machzorim, is not well and we should daven for his speedy recovery. He said that when the Temple Mount was liberated that people erred and used the Mount as a corridor to go to the Western Wall. [KLF: Using a shul as a short cut is forbidden by Jewish law and this would apply even more so to the Temple Mount].
- "Lo b'shamayim hee." The Temple is not in heaven... and it's not in Uman. If only a fraction of those who go to Uman would ascend to Har HaBayit, we could literally move heaven and earth. Even better: we could chase away the foxes. How long can His House lie in ruin? How long will He wait? The choice is up to each and everyone of us... and it begins with a visit. This is a New Year's Resolution that everyone should make. Then tell your friends. As the the Hebrew expression goes: "chaver mevi chaver". A friend brings a friend.
|See BT Makkot 24B.|
|Burying the Oslo Accords? Hopefully. Did the police check |
inside the box?.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Actually... the above is not recorded in the Gemara, but only on the Kitniyot Liberation Front blog. Nevertheless, the incident is 100% true.Rebbi Avraham, Rebbi Yose, Rebbi Shlomo and Rebbi Ariel were walking along the colonnade on the eastern side of the Temple Mount, near the area closest to the Holy of Holies.
As they walked along, Rebbi Yose came upon a carcass of a ben-yomo, a day-old bird, lying on the floor. Rebbi Avraham asked "What is the din [law]? Are we all ritually impure on Har HaBayit from contact with a carcass?"
Rebbi Shlomo said, "Just this week, we learned that contact with a carcass renders you impure, but this is only from a dead 'sheretz' such as lizard or salamander. But from a kosher bird, you are only impure from eating it. We can surmise that bird is kosher."
Rebbi Ariel looked up and saw the swallows that had built a nest under the roof of the colonnade. "These are probably the birds of the ben-yomo. Listen and you can hear the chicks in their nest. We have no reason to believe the bird is not kosher. Praised are the words of Rebbi Shlomo."
It occurred on the 5th of Iyyar during an ascent to the halachically permissible areas of Har HaBayit. This is a true example of Torat Hayyim, of Living Torah.
There is no better place to learn and live the Torah than on Har HaBayit, where the Great Sanhedrin learned the Law.
For information about ascending to to Har HaBayit, contact email@example.com.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
- While Rav Goren zt"l ruled that the proper day should be observed, how can we separate ourselves from the public who observes the deferred day?
- When should we recite the Hallel prayer? Isn't the recitation of the Hallel a prayer in vain if we're not saying it on the day of the miracle?
- When do we add the Al-HaNissim prayer to our Birkath HaMazon and Shmona Esray?
- On the 5th of Iyyar (tonight and Monday), we should include the Al HaNissim additions to the Shmona Esray and the Birkat HaMazon. The special Torah reading should also be said on this day. These actions commemorate and sanctify the actual day of the event.
- On the 6th of Iyyar (Monday night and Tuesday), we should join the public celebrations of the deferred day and recite Hallel (with a beracha), Shechechiyanu and the "She Assa Nissim" prayers. This enables us to commemorate and sanctify the observed date and join the public celebrations.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
It is tragic that so many Jews have been bamboozled into avoiding foods that are both permissible and healthy. The good news is that it is simple to set yourself free. All that is required is a healthy determination not to be hoodwinked, a refusal to allow persons driven by commercial interest, fanaticism or a misconceived piety to distort Tora Judaism and recreate it in their own image.More from his tshuva:
- Peanuts may be consumed during Pesah even by those who choose to refrain from qittniyoth (or are still working up the courage…). At some point in the 1960’s, a campaign was launched by certain individuals to ban peanut oil so that they could sell their four-times-the-price substitute. Rav Bar-Hayim was informed of this by a Rabbi from NYC who served his community for over 40 years. It was a scam for profit.
- Exactly 29 years ago Rav Bar-Hayim heard the very same opinion expressed by HaGaon HaRav Shaul Yisraeli z’l. The conversation took place right after Shaharith in Y’shivath Merkaz HaRav, a few days before Pesah... HaRav Yisraeli added that peanuts are mutar, and that in his home town in Slutzk, Russia, peanuts were the item of choice placed before guests during Pesah.
- By the same logic quinoa may be consumed during Pesah even by those who refrain from qittniyoth.
Many of the students were not so knowledgeable about the Temple Mount so I was honored with leading part of the tour. Their Rav added several drashot and explained how the Cohanim performed the priestly blessing (he was a Cohen... if you get my drift).
In other news, this blog has had 3,000 page views in the last two weeks, clearly showing an increase in the quest for the "real deal" about kitniyot. The KLF really doesn't care whether you eat or don't eat kitniyot. Rather that you should realize that there simply a minhag from Galut that you should--or can leave behind in Galut--so that we can face the bigger issues that are ahead of us on the way to a complete Geula.
May this be the last Pesah without Korban Pesah.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Others, unhappy with holiday legume laws, launch Kitniyot Liberation Front.... A few week's ago, Rabbi Zvi Leshem, of Efrat, issued a ruling that it is permissible to consume products and dishes containing kitniyot, as long as they do not constitute the main ingredient and are not directly recognizable. His decision will help those who do not want to entirely abandon the tradition of avoiding kitniyot but have difficulties finding certain items - such as oil, mayonnaise or chocolate spreads - that do not contain kitniyot in their ingredients....But more and more Ashkenazim, especially Anglos, feel that in Israel it no longer makes sense to observe a custom followed by a minority.
Louis Gordon, for example, said he wondered about the kitniyot divide since he moved from Baltimore to Israel 21 years ago. "I couldn't understand how kitniyot is kosher for these and treif [not kosher] for those," he told Anglo File. "There are people for whom kitniyot is worse than hametz. It didn't make any sense."
To vent his frustration, Gordon, 44, recently created a Facebook group called Kitniyot Liberation Front. The site, which currently has over 600 members, many of them local Anglos, seeks to promote awareness of lenient rabbinic opinions regarding the use of legumes on Passover. His opinion is mainly based on the views of Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, the head of Jerusalem's Shilo Institute, who in 2007 issued a ruling allowing Ashkenazim in Israel to eat kitniyot.
"The issue of kitniyot turns the holiday of Pesach from one of abstaining from hametz into abstention from kitniyot. Ashkenazim won't eat with Sephardim - this is not what God put us on earth for, to divide the people," the Yad Bimyamin resident told Anglo File.
The opposition against kitniyot will soon reach the "breaking point," Gordon predicted. "A lot of people are pushing hard for this." Especially Anglo immigrants are ready to drop the kitniyot prohibition, which has to do with the fact that newcomers often feel they're abandoning their family traditions as soon as they arrive in Israel, he said.
“If you’re looking to leave the galut [Diaspora] mentality behind then you’re definitely going to leave kitniyot behind.”
Leshem, too, said he noticed many Orthodox Israelis disavowing the kitniyot prohibition. “It bothers me even though I can understand where it’s coming from,” he told Anglo File. “I’m in favor of unity among the Jewish people. But it does not seem to me halakically legitimate to just abandon the custom.” His ruling allows Ashkenazim to eat in Sephardic homes, as long as they’re not eating actual recognizable kitniyot, or dishes containing mostly of kitniyot, he added.
Although Gordon, of the Kitniyot Liberation Front, argues for an end to the “foolish custom” of banning kitniyot, he hinted that his wife is not ready to introduce the controversial items to her kitchen. “We don’t serve kitniyot, but if I’m out or if I’m with Sephardim and they’re serving it, it’s not an issue at all,” he said.
“The real idea behind the Liberation Front is that we need to forget about the little things. Kitniyot are little things. We mustn’t panic about eating something we know is not hametz on Pesach,” Gordon said. “If this is the thing that consumes the attention of the Jewish people, we’re really in a bad situation. We have much bigger issues to worry about.”
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
My family made Aliyah from the States in August 2006. We are Ashkenazim. The following Pesach I asked the Rav of our Yishuv if we could eat Kitniyot as taking on the custom of Eretz Yisrael etc. and he said no. Are we bound by this answer and is there a way to change our minhag? I feel strongly about this issue.
The system whereby Rabbanim become the Rav of a Yishuv/town/city in Israel is a political and bureaucratic process which, in my view, is neither Halakhically valid nor binding. See Rambam, Mishne Tora, Sanhedrin 2:11 (Vilna edition: 8). Even if this were not the case, a Rav is appointed Rav of the Yishuv and communal issues fall within his purview; one is not required to accept the Yishuv's Rav as one's personal Rav.
The Mishna (Avoth 1:6, 1:15) states: "'Asse l'kha Rav", i.e. choose a Rav and follow him. Similarly, the Talmudh ('Eruvin 6b) states that one should not always seek out the lenient opinion, and one who does so is deemed a "rasha" (a sinner). A Jew should choose a Rav and/or system and implement that choice with intellectual honesty and consistency.
Having researched the issue of Qitniyoth on Pesah extensively, it is quite plain to me that this custom was originally based on the mistaken notion that foodstuffs such as rice, beans etc., like the five species of grains (essentially wheat and barley), can become Hametz. This position, which stands in direct contradiction to the Mishna, the Talmudh and universal Jewish practice until its appearance in France in the 13th century, was so problematic that alternate explanations were suggested (wheat and rice being packed in the same sacks, being difficult to tell apart when ground into flour etc.)
The facts, however, are otherwise: qitniyoth were considered a secondary form of Hametz, as stated explicitly in several medieval sources. It follows that this custom is based on an error, believing something to be assur when in fact it is mutar. Several Rishonim describe this custom as “foolish” (e.g. Rabbenu Yeruham quoted by Beth Yoseph OH 453) and “extreme” (Tur ad loc). The fact that many Karaites consider anything fermented to be Hametz (e.g. yoghurt) and all items that can ferment as possible sources of Hamess raises the possibility that this custom has its roots in Karaite Judaism.
A custom based on error does not have the legal standing of a valid minhagh, and can therefore be undone. See Yerushalmi P’sahim 4:1 and Rambam, Mishne Tora, Isure Biya 11:13-14 (or 14-15). As pointed out by the Ya’abess (R. Ya’aqov Emden), a custom based on error can simply be dropped.
This minhagh has been extended over time to include many items that cannot be defined as qitniyoth, e.g. peanuts. HaGaon Rav Shaul Yisraeli z”l said to me exactly 27 years ago that in his Russian home town of Slutzk peanuts were not only consumed during Pesah but were placed on the table when guests arrived. He mentioned that this was done in the home of HaGaon Rav Isser Zalman Melzer z”l, the Rav of Slutzk and later Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivath ‘Ess Hayim in Jerusalem. 45 years ago all Ashkenazim in North America used peanut oil during Pesah; today it has mysteriously become qitniyoth.
This minhagh has further been extended to oil and qitniyoth derivatives (e.g. lecithin). This is beyond extreme. HaGaon Rav Dov Lior Sh’litta has published his opinion in writing that qitniyoth derivatives may be consumed on Pesah.
Due to all the foregoing, I believe that you and your family may consume qitniyoth on Pesah.
It is my considered opinion that this issue constitutes a litmus test of our aspirations and commitment to laying the foundations for a more authentic and meaningful Tora Judaism for ourselves, our children and for future generations.
Rabbi David Bar-Hayim
Saturday, April 9, 2011
1. Some of the oils designated as "kitniot" or "only for those who eat kitniot" are permissible also to Ashkenazim (even according to the position which prohibits kitniot oil), such as peanut, soy, canola and cottonseed oils.2. Some of the products that are labeled "for those who eat kitniot only" are permissible according to all opinions, since the ratio of kitniot ingredients is less than 50%, and they are therefore annulled in the majority of non-kitniot ingredients. Additionally the kitniot ingredients are often oils such as soybean, that were never included in the prohibition, or derivatives of these oils. Only those foods in which the kitniot ingredients constitute the majority are prohibited. Therefore, many dairy products, "kosher for Pesach" cookies, chocolates and more, which are labeled "kitniot" or "only for those who eat kitniot" or "for those who eat liftit" (liftit and lecithin are both types of canola) are completely permissible for Ashkenazim.3.Quinoa, which is a very new food (other than for native South Americans), is permissible.4. There is no problem for an Ashkenazi to be a guest of a Sephardi on Pesach and to eat food prepared in vessels that were used to cook kitniot, even within 24 hours of the meal. This is true since if the kitniot themselves can be annulled in a mixture of a majority of other ingredients, their taste is certainly annulled. Moreover, even if the food contains a kitniot ingredient, as long as it is not the majority and is not recognizable as a separate element of the dish, it is also permitted.5. Those people who have thus far been careful not to purchase any food item labeled "for those who eat kitniot only", because they believed that this was in fact the Halacha, are not considered to have accepted this as their custom; it is at best a "mistaken custom" and they are not required to perform "vow annulment" in order to eat such items.6. It is a mitzva to publicize this decision, which is based upon the traditional Halachic methodology of the great authorities throughout the generations, and not upon looking for unnecessary stringencies.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
So what does this have to do with Har HaBayit? Everything of course. When you go to Har HaBayit on a monthly basis, it's never really convenient. And at times it even seems impossible to go. You're sick. Your spouse is sick. Or your kids, or your driver or even your car/horse. So you reschedule, and reschedule and reschedule and suddenly there are only a few days left before the end of the month.
And so it was this month. After rescheduling twice, we finally set a date two days before Rosh Hodesh. On the big day, I woke up at 5:30 am, went to the mikveh with my son Yishai, and then to synagogue at 6.
At 6:10, my son nervously informed me that our driver hadn't yet arrived at shul. I wasn't panicked. But minutes passed and I sent out my first of several SMS messages. No luck. Finally, I called him... and there was no answer. Then I started to worry.
Finally he called... with bad news. He had fever and had to cancel. Oy.
"Sure I can take the bus," I lied. I was actually not sure whether we could make it there before 10 am, when the Temple Mount is closed to non-Muslims.
"I guess there is always next month," I said to myself. "I tried. I did honestly try. I got up early and even went to the mikveh. My 'hishtadloot' is done."
Or was it? While I thought it was, my son felt otherwise: "Abba, you've been going each month for such a long time. I can't remember when you last missed a visit. Can't we take the bus? You promised me that I could go with you this month."
If truth be told, I really wanted to make this visit too. I'd been out of work for 3 months and had been fervently requesting His assistance in finding a new job. And now, just one day after I had signed a new employment contract, was I really not going to Har HaBayit to thank Him?
And then I thought of Nachshon. He probably felt the same way when he first got his feet wet: "I tried. I really did. My feet are wet and my sandals are nearly ruined. I'll try again next month." But did Nachshon really say that... did he really give up so easily?
Nachshon didn't and neither did we. We raced home and set out for the bus stop by foot. Hopefully we'd make the next bus. Hopefully the bus wouldn't be full and would actually stop. Hopefully there wouldn't be any traffic jams.
No sooner than we had arrived at the bus stop, a car stopped to offer us a ride to the Holy City. We were on our way.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
- Rav Goren zt"l ruled that the proper day should be observed, but what about separating ourselves from the public who observes the deferred day?
- When should we recite the Hallel prayer? Isn't it in vain if we're not saying it on the day of the miracle?
- When do we add the Al-HaNissim prayer to our Birkath HaMazon and Shmona Esray?
- The early/deferred day would include the public celebrations, including Hallel, Shechechiyanu and the "She Assa Nissim" prayer
- The actual day, the 5th of Iyyar, should include the Al HaNissim additions to the Shmona Esray and the Birkat HaMazon as well as the special Torah reading.
'על הניסים' לה' באייר -יום תקומת ישראל (יום העצמאות)
עַל הַנִּסִּים, הַגְּבוּרוֹת, הַתְּשוּעוֹת, הַמִּלְחָמוֹת וְהַפְּדוּת שֶׁעָשִׂיתָ עִמָּנוּ וְעִם אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה.
בִּימֵי תְקוּמָתֵנוּ, בְּקוּם עָלֵינוּ בְּנֵי עֲרָב, לְהַשְׁמִיד לַהֲרֹג וּלְאַבֵּד אֶת הָעֹלִים מִשְּׁבִי הַגּוֹלָה אֶל אֶרֶץ חֶמְדָּה. אָמְרוּ: לְכוּ וְנַכְחִידֵם מִגּוֹי, וְלֹא יִזָּכֵר שֵׁם יִשְׂרָאֵל עוֹד תהילים פג, ה.
וְאַתָּה בְּרַחֲמֶיךָ הָרַבִּים עָמַדְתָּ לָּנוּ בְּעֵת צָרָתֵנוּ. רַבְתָּ אֶת רִיבֵנוּ, דַּנְתָּ אֶת דִּינֵנוּ, נָקַמְתָּ אֶת נִקְמָתֵנוּ. מָסַרְתָּ רַבִּים בְּיַד מְעַטִּים, וּרְשָׁעִים בְּיַד צַדִּיקִים. הֵמָּה כָּרְעוּ וְנָפָלוּ; וַאֲנַחְנוּ קַּמְנוּ וַנִּתְעוֹדָד תהילים כ, ט. לְךָ עָשִׂיתָ שֵׁם גָּדוֹל בָּעוֹלָם, וּלְעַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל עָשִׂיתָ תְּשׁוּעָה גְדוֹלָה. וּבַחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵׁנִי בַּחֲמִשָּׁה לַחֹדֶשׁ, פָּרַקנוּ עוֹל גּוֹיִם מֵעַל צַוָּארֵנוּ.
כְּשֵׁם שֶׁעָשִֹיתָ לָּנוּ תְּשׁוּעָה בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם, כָּךְ עֲשֵׂה עִמָּנוּ בָּעֵת הַזּאֹת, וְנוֹדֶה לְשִׁמְךָ לָנֶצַח.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
- We make mention (Mazkirim) of HASHEM’s great powers which cause the rain to fall from the evening prayers of last day of Sukoth
- In Erets Yisrael, praying for rain from the 7th of MarHeshwan is no longer relevant since there are no pilgrims who need time to return to their homes outside the Land before the rains begin. We should "mazkir" rain starting from Mossa’e Sh’mini Assereth.
- The Rambam writes that people should pray for rain (Sho’alim) based on the rainy season of that area. This is why the Jews of Bavel differed in their Halakhic practice from their brethren in Erets Yisrael. They waited until the 60th day after the equinox, often erroneously taken to mean, based on the Julian calendar, December 5th, but in fact November 22nd or 23rd. (TY Ta’aniyoth 1:1; TB Ta’anith 10a).
- For the last 1500 years the practice in almost all Galuth communities has been according to the Babylonian custom without regard to their own local conditions--which is a fossilization of Halakha. The Rosh, Tur and Ran spoke out against this and found it strange that Jews living in Western Europe should act as if they resided in Baghdad.
- Jews in Northern Hemisphere countries with climates and seasons similar to Erets Yisrael should act in accordance with the stipulations of the Mishna and Talmudhim. In Northern Hemisphere countries with significantly different weather patterns should adjust when they begin and cease praying for rain.
- Jews in the Southern Hemisphere should pray for rain during their winter.
- Off hand, Rav Bar-Hayim cannot think of any country today with a significant Jewish population with a climate and seasons similar to Bavel.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Religious resident of Bet El B':
“I know so many Ashkenazim who eat kitniyot now. But, we're just not there yet.”
(In previous years, this same Jew was adamantly opposed to the idea.)
Religious resident of K'far Tapu'ah:
“I see the logic behind kitniyot being permissible during Pesah, and I will say so openly. But, I am choosing not to eat them for now.”
Religious woman of Iraqi decent in Jerusalem:
“There is no way I would consider marrying an Ashkenazi man,...unless he ate kiyniyot during Pesah,...then maybe I would consider it. What's Pesah without rice?”
Two friends at the beach:
“Hey, wait a minute! You're always talking about what a hard core Litvak you are. What are you doing eating tehina?”
“I eat kitniyos during Pesah.”
“Have you ever heard of Rav Bar-Hayim?”
“No, but I don't need a rabbi to tell me that the issur of eating kitniyos is stupid.”
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
The Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) wishes to express grave concerns about a new product called “Laffa Matza” being sold in certain food outlets in Melbourne, which bears a Kosher for Passover symbol and is soft and chewy.
What is clear from this discussion is that:
- The RCV has not been able to explain why they are concerned--except that the soft matzot are chewy (I have not seen a source for this being a problem nor have they said soft matzot are actually chametz, chas ve shalom)
- There are vested business interests in this and the "Laffa Matza" is selling well despite their efforts
- The replies on the Galus Australis blog with the most invective come from people who have never made matzot and don't know what they're talking about
- There are thinking Jews everywhere who can separate truth from shtuth (yippee!)
Having baked both "cracker matzot" and soft matzot by hand, I've concluded that the process for baking soft matzot is actually superior.
With cracker matzot, if you leave them in a second too long, they're totally scorched. If you take them out too soon, they're not fully cooked. (I think a machine would avoid this problem as the timing could be more consistent). As a result, many are thrown away and it seems like bal tashchit.
With soft matzot, there is much more control over the baking process and much less waste. If matzot do not look fully cooked (and the Mishnah Brura describes a cooked matza), then you can leave them on the blech a bit longer to cook. They won't get burned if you cook them for another second or even a minute.
BTW, 18 minutes is a lot of time to cook matzot before you need to clean everything. This is the time from when the water hits the flour until they are put on the blech.
For thousands of years, our forefathers made and ate soft matzot. They were people, not angels.
The problem with soft matzot is one of HASHKAFA not HALACHA. G-d willing, we will soon have the Bet HaMikdash and then people who refuse to eat soft matzot can struggle to make a real Hillel sandwich.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
His reasoning is that the tradition of avoiding kitniyot emerged at precisely the time that Jews were expelled from England - 1290 to 1656. This means that, just as the kitniyot custom cannot be considered native to Israel, it cannot be considered native to England.
The tradition became established in England, he believes, by Jews who moved from Europe continuing to observe it out of habit after they immigrated. But he argues that according to halachah, when arriving in the "halachic virgin territory" of England they were free to either retain or discard the tradition. He believes that immigrants to England were unaware of this choice and therefore their descendants are free to either retain or discard the kitniyot custom.
Manuscripts from the Cairo Genizah, a collection of ancient Jewish writings stored in an Egyptian synagogue, which were recently examined reveal new segments of the Talmud, Mishnah (oral Jewish laws) and rabbinic literature.
Among the scriptures was a whole sentence off the Jerusalem Talmud's Tractate Bikkurim which had been missing until now. The incorporation of the phrase in the Gemara renders the tractate chapter intelligible.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
When the Festival of Rosh Hashana falls on Shabbath, the Shofar was blown in the Beth HaMiqdash [the Temple], but not in the rest of the country. (Mishnah Rosh Hashana4:1; Talmudh Bavli 29b)
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
"So what's the secret of your success? Did you take a vaccine or allergy shots?" I asked him. "No," he answered non-chalantly. "I just go to Har HaBayit each month and pour out my heart to HaKodesh Baruch Hu. There's no place like it for prayer, not even Monsey."
Monday, August 3, 2009
There is an end and there is hope, And the sons will return to their borders.And then we will sing a new song like Shirat-HaYam.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
As Rav Bar-Hayim pointed out, we are in Eretz Yisrael, not Europe, and we should all be adhering to the local custom. The error of importing this foolish custom only occured 100-150 years ago and has become increasingly popular as it became more profitable for askanim (wheeler-dealers).
And speaking of Europe, a number of years ago, Rav Shaul Yisraeli of the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva recounted to Rav Bar-Hayim how peanuts were served during Chol HaMoed in Lithuania since they were considered a luxury.
Maybe we could argue whether peanuts are really kitniyot... or whether they shouldn't be included on the Ever-Growing List of Kitniyot and Things That Make Askanim Rich.
It is interesting why Rav Ovadia Yosef couldn't just take the easy way out and admit it's a foolish Ashkenazi custom and the Sefaradim have been correct all along. IMHO, this would open him up to admitting that we're in Eretz Yisrael and that we need to worry about the "big things, not the little things", like korban pesach, the Temple, etc. etc.
By creating a big deal out of a little deal, we can continue the Purim veil over existence right through Pesah.
What is especially nice about this article is that Ynet has appropriately given credit to Rav Bar-Hayim and Machon Shilo for its revolutionary halachic ruling.
We are looking forward to an official reply from Machon Shilo.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
As he recently wrote:
And yet. As Palin spoke, I realized that I now identify with those Americans who live in small towns, who love their country and feel deeply rooted in it, who carry guns for defense, who have large families, whose children fight its wars. That's my life now.Well put... even if my family ain't as large as it could be.
Though still a registered Dem, I can't believe how the Democratic party has been taken over by the radical left. (And unfortunately this is a familiar story in Eretz HaKodesh. I remember when even the Labor party believed in settling the land of Israel).
I've always been a southern conservative who couldn't stand Carter yet helped the Young Dems send Mondale to victory over President Reagan in a 1984 mock election at a major southern university.
Now seeking the quiet life in the land of my forefathers, I really admire McCain for thinking out of the box and Sarah Palin for taking such a walloping from the media.
McCain has put the dems on the defensive and it's not pretty. Obama has proven himself to be more of the same and only pedals "change we can deceive in." Most of all, he should not be comparing any women to animals when he's got a wife like Michelle (and I'm not thinking of a pitbull).
In the upcoming election, it's clear who's peddling stuth. I just hope that the American public still haven't given up the battle for truth.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Yes, it came after Pesach, but Elliot Resnick at the Jewish Press appears to be sympathetic to the Kitniyot Liberation Front, and posted an essay (and link) to Rabbi David Bar-Hayim and Machon Shilo.We couldn't agree more, but this certainly gave some of their readers something to kvetch about.
The most entertaining (and sad) comment talked about the dwindling intelligence of the charedi gene pool. I think that it's sad when anyone is driven out of Torah Judaism due to shtuth, especially when there are so many choices/options that let you stay within the fold.
The following is an interesting article written by an interesting person who heads an interesting oganization.Read the blog here.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
In reaction, a supposedly haredi Jew stripped naked at the bread counter of a store selling chametz during Pesah. He claimed that he was not violating the law against public indecency since the store was not a public place and that he was not visible from the street.
Read more at the Jerusalem Post.
Unfortunately Ynet seems to have buried their article which provided a fuller account.
It is refreshing to see that even haredim can uncover shtuth as well!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Unfortunately the Orthodox Establishment is similar to the Zionist Establishment: it does not know who and where we are or where we are supposed to be headed. It is hesitant and uncertain and prefers the familiar comfort of the downtrodden, Exilic version of the Torah rather than the majestic, vibrant and uplifting Torah of the Land of Israel, of Abraham, Moses, David and the Maccabees.Read more at http://machonshilo.org/content/view/93/1/
Have a Happy Passover and make your kitniyot be tasty. And more importantly--may we soon enjoy the taste of a delicious Korban Pesah on soft matzoth. Peanut butter topping is optional.