Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's official: Jews in the UK can eat kitniyot

In an interview with the UK's Jewish Chronicle, Rav Bar-Hayim explains that it's permissible for Jews in the UK to eat kitniyot:
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.


Ants_Diary said...

Machon Shilo's logic regarding kitniyot makes sense to me, but social and rabbinic peer pressure means nothing changes. 99% of people resent day 8 of Pesach in the UK. Same problem.

Israel exists. Time to get up to date with reality.

Yonathan Ben Shimshon said...

8th day of Pesah can be seen as punishment for being in the UK. Unfortunately visitors mistakenly keep an 8th day in Eretz Yisrael!!