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The Pesah Countdown

My son has started to count down the days to his Pesach vacation from school, so we must be getting close to chag. This year we hope to spread the word about the "shtuth" that is kitniyot (qitniyoth). Last year we generated a lot of interest with just few emails. G-d willing, we will have even greater success.

As Rav David Bar-Hayim once said, "I really don't care whether you eat qitniyoth or not. What is important is that you make conscious decisions about the way you observe Judaism, that you don't just do what you're doing because your Father did it."

Too many of us just blindly follow the practices of our Fathers of galuth, but as Dorothy said, "We're not in Kansas anymore." Nor in Babylon. We need to return to the wisdom of our fathers, of the Talmud HaYerushalmi.


Anonymous said…
Yay, we can eat rice! I hate potatoes!
Roland Thomson said…
I too eagerly await the celebration of Pesach in Jerusalem. This will be the forth time I celebrate Pesach in Jerusalem since I made aliyah.
Tradition is what Judaism is about. The minhag of our fathers is the basis of our religious belief and practice.
I recently made a wedding and the other side has a lot of sefardi relatives so we made sure that all the food was 'basar chalak'. The meat was also a hashgacha that my charedidi family eats. The idea was that everyone would be comfortable so we chose the highest reasonable common denominator.
Most commercially sold foods sold on Peasch can be made without kitniyos. Wouldn't it be great if the vast majority of kosher lepesach foods certified by the Rabbanut as Kosher lepesach would be OK to eat by all eduyote then we would have achdoos. All of us could eat by everyone else even if it was only to eaten store-bought food.
It is possible that at some point in the future the gedolim (Hashoftim byameinu) will decide that the minhag of kitniyos is no longer relevant (I would like to say 'like the minhag of.....' but I can't think of another example, maybe none exsists?) then maybe we can say that the minhag's time is over. Until then to call a minhag practiced by the majority of observant Jews is "shtute" (to quote this blog) Is sure to bring divisiveness and not achdute and will definitely not lead to the binyamin bais hamikdash or bringing the Korban Pesach.
If i have time at a later date i will write a very long (and respectful) response as to why I think Rabbi David Bar Chayim (yibadeh lechayim) is mistaken about when a minhag binding on an individual.
Rav Bar-Hayim is not the first to take issue with kitniyot. There have been many meforashim who have thought that it should have been abandoned, including Rav Yacov Emden and the Chacham Tzvi. I believe it was Rabbenu Tam who called it a "minhag stuth".
Roland Thomson said…
If you pasken like Yaavetz or the chacham tzvi in other halachos (eg. when you visited Israel before Aliyah did you keep one day yom tov?) then i have no argument with you. But to advocate that all Jews should abandon their family minhag, against the psak of their usual rav and posek, is irresponsible and breeds divisiveness.
I do not think that Yaavetz and Chacham zvi agree with Rav Bar Chaim's view on when and where minhag applies that he uses as the basis for abandoning the ancient Jewish custom of not eating Kitniyos.
Anonymous said…
actually the majority of Observant Jews in Israel don't Keep Kitniyoth. (as their are many Spharadim) And certainly the majority of Jews who keep Kosher don't keep Kitniyoth.(even ashkenazim)
So it is a very good idea to do away with this minhag.
It will certainly bring more achduth. The issue of Kitniyoth is a big problem today in Israel. It causes many families to not eat together on Pesach.
The solution is simple. As Rav David Bar Hayim said the minhag hamakom in Israel is to eat Kitniyot. We can put the Eurupean mihag behind us.
David Ross said…
I love rice I love kitniyot

I want to eat yummy things on Pesach!

Aren't we supposed to be happy on Pesach-why should we be even partially fasting?

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