Culture, Religion

"Foolish Custom"

Doubtless, some of you are already suffering from Pesach digestive woes (three days of matzoh will do that). Maybe you’ve already hit the stage where rice and broth is sounding pretty good. For those of you looking for a concise explanation of why it’s fine for Ashkenazim to eat kitniyot on Pesach, check out R. David Golinkin’s reasoning (an English summary of his Hebrew-written tshuvah) here.
(x-posted to Jerusalem Syndrome)

4 thoughts on “"Foolish Custom"

  1. R. David Golinkin is a Conservative Rabbi. I’m pretty sure that Ashkenazic Orthodox Rabbis would have a different take on the issue. As for me, I’m Sephardic but my family nonetheless does not eat Kitniyot. I discussed this with my Mom and she made it clear “We do not eat Kitniyot.” So that’s that for me.
    As for R. David Golinkin, not to nitpick but he did make one minor factual error.
    He states that “This custom is mentioned for the first time in France and Provence in the beginning of the thirteenth century by R. Asher of Lunel, R. Samuel of Falaise, and R. Peretz of Corbeil”
    This implies that the origin of the minhag was in the 13th century. However, in Sefer Mitzvot Katan (The Little Book of Mitzvot) by Rabbi Yithak Ben-Yosef of Corbeil, the prohibition is not mentioned as a new custom but rather as one “from the times of previous sages” – implying that the minhag was already well established.
    Why was it established? There are many different reasons – but the fact remains that this minhag is at least 700 years old and well established. Orthodox Jews sanctify custom, Conservative Jews? Not so much. So, you know, do whatever you like. I’m not messing with Brakha – it’s not like there’s a lack of food or anything.

  2. I’m doing kitniyot for the first time. Enjoyable, but not too exciting. Unfortunately, it hasn’t prevented Pesach digestive woes 🙁

  3. “Orthodox Jews sanctify custom, Conservative Jews? Not so much”
    Rabbi Golinkin directed this teshuva at the Israeli Maosrti/Conservative community. As anyone knows who has been in Israel for Pesach, the preponderance of K for P products are made with kitniyot. Even basic stuff like margarine and things are marked “kosher for Passover for those who eat kitniyot”.
    Second, Conservative Jews that I know do honor this minhag in large numbers in spite of Rabbi Golinkin’s teshuva.
    Lastly, kitniyot are not chametz! And as you correctly poited out it is a minhag. Longstanding and well established or not minhagim do not carry the same weight as halacha itself (yeah I know the line about a minhag is tanatmount to halacha, still…).
    Try to be more careful when labeling an entire movement as not sanctifying custom.
    Chag Sameach

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