Skip to main content

Kitniyot Liberation - Redux

The seasonal battle over kitniyot has already commenced. According to Ynet (,7340,L-3686451,00.html), Rav Ovadia Yosef takes a machmir--though not entirely accurate approach--that the Ashkenazi custom of refraining from kitniyot has been around for 600 years.

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.


louis3105 said…
Hmm, with Rav Yosef's line of thinking, if we cling to our kitniyot and shelve the Temple idea, then we can give away Judea and Samaria--and even the Temple Mount.

Hey, Am Yisrael, it's time to wake up from your Purim stupor!!
YMedad said…
Kitniyot customs are different even among S'fardi communities in North Africa vs. eastern areas, i.e., Iraq and Yemen, too.
Jeff said…
Re: Peanuts
R' Moshe Feinstein zt"l served roasted peanuts (in the shell) to the kids at his seder. I have this on the authority of his son-in-law. He felt it was the equivalent of the gemora's egozim v'klayot, to keep the kids interested and occupied.
Rachel Inbar said…
I've already talked to a bunch of people who are interested in doing hatarat nedarim and to take on minhag ha'aretz (i.e. eating kitniyot). My understanding is that each person has to do it separately, but that there are Rabbis who permit it. I believe that by getting a lot of people involved, it can be something that will be more acceptable. It seems to me that a good time for this would be before Yom Kippur. I think Facebook is a good way to get a group like this going - and I see you've already got a group... What do you think?
According to Rav Bar-Hayim , "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, Issure Biya 11:13-14 (14-15). As pointed out by the Ya’abess (R. Ya’aqov Emden), a custom based on error can simply be dropped."

Popular posts from this blog

New Kitniyot Survey Reveals Big Changes in Approach to "Little Things"

It’s been 10 years since the Great Kitniyot Rebellion of 2007 when Rav David Bar-Hayyim issued his famous (or infamous) psak halacha that permitted Ashkenazim to eat kitniyot during Pesach. Back then, most people were so preoccupied with the removal of kitniyot that the removal of chametz almost seemed like an afterthought. But as the Rav explained, kitniyot are the little things & we need to focus on the bigger issues.
Over the last 10 years, many people have talked, written or blogged about eating kitniyot—or not eating them. Even the Reform and Conservative Movements have hopped on the kitniyot bandwagon. But until now, everyone has only cited anecdotal evidence.  
In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Great Kitniyot Rebellion, Machon Shilo created an online survey (in English) about Pesach customs and kitniyot. Circulated via Facebook and popular Israel-based email lists, the survey was answered by nearly 150 people.
While we can't claim that the sample is statistically val…

Moshe But Not Yehoshua?

Moshe received the Torah, but Yehoshua conquered Eretz Yisrael.
Many of us were a bit surprised with the outcome of the Likud primaries. Two of the biggest supporters for Jewish rights on Har HaBayit, Moshe Feiglin and Tsippi Hotovely, received very low spots on the Likud list and it's unlikely that they'll be in the next Knesset.

So what happened? The most obvious cause is that they were both victims of a hit list put out by Bibi and his cronies. This probably had a number of components that included:
Voting lists. Bibi's organization promoted lists of "kosher candidates" or pre-filled ballots that did not contain Moshe or Tsippi. These lists are designed to utilize all of your votes so that you only vote for approved candidates. Phony deals. Moshe and Tsippi were probably the victims of phony deals. Part of the wheeling and dealing of primaries is that the various "camps" agree to support each others candidates, or for a portion of their voters to supp…

For the Miracles

We thank You for the miracles, the bravery, the salvation, the wars and the redemption that You performed with us and our forefathers in these days at those times.

In the days of our rebirth, the Arab nations gathered together to destroy, kill and erase the immigrants who returned from the bondage of exile to the Good Land. And they said: “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel shall no longer be remembered.” (Psalm 83:5)
And You in Your abundant mercy stood with us in our time of trouble. You fought our adversaries, You passed judgment , You enacted our vengeance. You gave the many into the hands of the few and the evil ones into the hands of the righteous. “They are bowed down and fallen; but we have risen, and stand upright.” (Psalm 20:8)
And You made yourself a great name in the world and for Your people Am Yisrael, You made a great salvation. And in the second month on the 5th day, You removed the yoke of the nation from upon our necks.
Just as You…