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Origin of Kitniyot Prohibition??

One of the greatest problems with the prohibition of kitniyot it that "al panav" the origin of the custom has been shrouded in mystery. It's not in Torah, Mishna, Yerushalmi or Bavli. It just seems to appear out of nowhere.

None of the contamination explanations or "marit ayin" really sit well with me (certainly not if eating pasta made from potato flour is OK). I recently stumbled across this interesting tidbit by
Rabbenu Manoah (Provence, ca. 1265) in his commentary on Maimonides (Laws of Festivals and Holidays 5:1):

"It is not proper to eat qitniyot on holidays because it is written (in Deut. 16:14) that ‘you shall rejoice in your festivals’ and there is no joy in eating dishes made from qitniyot."

Comments

louis3105 said…
Very interesting. His reasoning is the exact opposite of Rabbenu Yeruham. What a difference 200 years can make!
Anonymous said…
Kitniyot are a sign of mourning. That's why we eat chick peas (really beans) at a Shalom Zachar.
Anonymous said…
from what I have heard and read, the minhag against kitniyot is an outgrowth of the institution of crop rotation prevalent only in medieval Europe - some wheat berries and the like from previous years harvest would be included in the next years crop of beans or other legumes and so people stopped using such produce over Pesach. from what I have heard, there are writings from that era denouncing this practice specifically to prevent the institution of such a minhag due to laziness, really.

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