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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…
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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…

Good News for Chocolate Lovers!

Rav Eliezer Melamed is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Bracha in Beit El and is a prolific author on Halacha. His series of clear, yet comprehensive, Halachic works called Pninei Halacha are mainstays of baalei batim and yeshiva students alike.

Chapter 9 of his Pninei Halacha: the Laws of Pesach has recently been posted to Scribd and it offers good news for chocolate lovers:
Chocolate and candy labeled “Kosher for Pesach only for those who eat kitniyot"  are technically permissible even for those who do not eat kitniyot, because the kitniyot in these products are added before Pesach and are batel be-rov. In addition, these products generally contain kitniyot oils, which, according to several leading poskim, are not included in the custom to prohibit kitniyot.
He goes on to write that kosher certification agencies label them as "Kosher for Pesach for kitniyot eaters" because "people are stringent".

I disagree and believe that this is really due to the Charediz…

The Custom of Tefillin

The custom of Tefillin is very ancient, even predating the custom of kitniyot. In the USA, tefillin are commonly worn during Chol HaMoed. When making aliyah, most olim from the USA adopt the the "Minhag HaMakom", a.k.a. the local custom, and stop wearing them during Chol HaMoed.

What makes this so interesting is that: Most olim continue to abstain from eating kitniyot during Pesach under pretense of following "Minhag Avoteinu", commonly understood as the custom of their parents, rather than the local custom. Most olim adopt what they believe to be the local custom despite the fact that their Fathers wore tefillin during Chol HaMoed. And this is the really interesting part--wearing tefillin is not actually a Minhag (custom), but a Mitzvah D'Oreitah, a commandment dictated by HaShem in the Torah.  Ironically, the first source in the Torah that commands us to wear tefillin has a Pesach theme: And it shall be for a sign for you upon your hand, and for a memorial bet…

Mishnah Brurah on Rice

Section 453: Laws Concerning the Wheat and Concerning the Grinding of Wheat for Matzos Even if a person kneads rice flour and the like with steaming hot water and covers it with cloths until it expands like leavened dough, this does not mean that the rice dough has become leavened, but that it has decayed, and it is therefore permitted to be eaten on Pesach.


Vered HaGalil and the Kitniyot Problem

In last week's the Tzohar parasha sheet, they ran a series of articles on kitniyot. After an article by Rav Dov Lior and some Q&A, there was a fascinating article about Tzohar's efforts to bring some sanity--and some halacha--back to the kitniyot issue.

Tzohar's Rabbinical leadership has been in touch with the Rabbanut and a revolution in Pesah labeling is on the way with more accuracy and less humrot that have no halachic justification (although they are popular in Haredi Judaism).

They also took the Rabbanut to task for not enforcing its own psak from many years ago that ruled that canola/"liftit" and cottonseed oil are kosher for Pesah even for those who do not eat kitniyot.

Tzohar concluded by saying the last year has witnessed the rise in power of the consumer. They call upon Jews who care about halacha to buy only from companies that have halachically accurate Pesah hekshers... not just during the seven days of Pesah, but all year long.

Today I was pleas…