Sunday, April 24, 2011

Don't Go Nuts Over Peanuts

Rav David Bar-Hayim responded to a question about eating kitniyot and quinoa:
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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. By the same logic quinoa may be consumed during Pesah even by those who refrain from qittniyoth. 

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