First of all, the word ‘kitniyot’. It doesn’t mean ‘legumes’. It means ‘little things’. That’s what the word means. There was a Pesach ban, at some point that is shrouded in mystery, for some reason that is shrouded in mystery, on little things that grow and are edible. Over time, the category has grown to include new little growing edible things that were discovered (fortunately, like grains, only little edible things that grow from the ground were included in the ban; can you imagine Pesach without chocolate or coffee?), like soy, peanuts, corn and most recently quinoa.
Generally, we don’t extend the scope of gezeirot if there’s no compelling reason to. Normal halakhic reasoning would note that any grain that was unknown in
I also can’t understand why oils made from plants that are not generally eaten would be considered kitniyot. Even if the derivatives of edible things (like corn oil) are included in the ban, why would things like rapeseed oil (known to us in its more popular variety, Canola Oil) be considered kitniyot? People don’t eat rapeseed, in any form! Cottonseed oil goes without saying. Only hippies eat linseed oil, and even then, as a type of organic supplement and not as a food. The rest of us use it to make clothing. And nobody eats marijuana (I’m like, doin’ biur chametz, man…).
I’m not ready to go all the way and eat things that I don’t think are kitniyot but many do consider kitniyot – yet. Corn and soy will stay of the list this year. However, my 2-year-old son lives on peanut butter, and I’m not going to deny him that this week. Last year, I found a whole bunch of old haggadah’s with Planters’ ads in them, reinforcing for me the oft-heard claim that peanuts became kitniyot in the past generation. I’d stay away from them myself as a symbolic way of saying ‘Screw you, Jimmy Carter’.
If I could get a hold of some quinoa, I’d use it for karpas – ‘le-hotzee mi-liban…’. Maybe next year I’ll use peanuts for karpas. I’d love to use tortilla chips and dip them in salsa. Karpas is hors d’oeuvre.
Regarding this recent psak of R’ David Bar Hayim, it’s apparently consistent with his general approach to halakha and Eretz Yisrael. I can’t say I’m a fan of his approach to lo titgodedu – more on that in a different post – but he’s got a worked-out position. I’m not into the idea that folks will use the individual rulings of an idiosyncratic posek to dispense with an inconvenient minhag.
The truth of this definition still resonates.
Well, it just so happens that one of my ‘clients’ it the proud owner of the Dancing Camel Brewery. Needless to say, this man owns a heck of a lot of chametz. So whichever lucky gentile purchases this man’s chametz can have a really fun week (although the brewer is hosting a Pre-Pesach Keg Party this Thursday night at the brewery, so stocks will be somewhat depleted).
This evening, we were trying to dream up ways to brew a Kosher for Passover beer. We actually had an idea. You’d start with a mild honey or potato beer, but then add roasted barley (since it’s already roasted, it can’t become leaven, unless you don’t eat gebrokhts) like you would to a stout beer. You’d end up with something that might just be halfway decent. We’ll let you know how the experiment goes.
Apparently, some chassidishe rebbele attached a retrofitted school
Nevertheless, we’re generally very, very careful to keep the matzah under close scrutiny from when the wheat is reaped, sometimes even before, and some of us, Chassidim mostly, won’t eat matzah that has become wet, in case there’s an unbaked flour particle in there. Just as we wouldn’t want the tiniest bit of chametz to get into the matzah, wouldn’t one also want his matzah to be as free from any moral wrong as possible (ok, matzah bakeries are like sweatshops, but it’s hard not to sweat when you’ve got a superhot oven going)? I’m done moralizing.
It sounds like the cops had a sense of humor about this. I’m glad.
I will now pose a challenge to Chabad: Can you guys figure out how to drive the thing through town? You can have the le-shem matzos mitzvahmobile!
But if it’s a general law against something non-obligatory, then it must be observed. Swiss Jews have learned to live with imported meat. Jews in Western countries have adapted quite nicely to regimes that prohibit slavery and polygamy. We’ve gotten over the fact that American law won’t let men marry their nieces or very young girls. Whether it’s ideal or not, the fact that we obey the law of the land – indeed, are obligated to obey it- is a foregone conclusion.
Apparently, however, this is not so obvious to our monotheistic cousins. This fact alone should not be terribly shocking, especially coming from a religion that aspires to global domination (don’t we all). [Though, as Larry points out, this doesn't really say anything about the Muslim position either. It's about one jerk hiding behind the Koran and one wacky judge buying it.]
What’s surprising, even shocking, is that a German court upheld this worldview. This is absolutely incredible! A woman is denied a divorce from a husband who beats her because the Koran says it’s muttar (is sharia the Arabic word for muttar? In Aramaic it’s shari)? The Koran also says it’s muttar to kill infidels. Maybe the judge is not saying that it’s muttar, just not grounds to sue for a religious divorce. You sleep in the bed you make. But here the issue is not just divorce, but the safety and wellbeing of the woman’s kids. Send hubby back to
The Israeli Reform movement called the appointments a “slap in the face” to Religious-Zionists, but this is what they can expect from now on, and this is what they get for supporting an Orthodox religious monopoly for all those years. Too true.
Tzohar weighed in as well, all over the place, making the basic claim that nobody but them really knows how to deal with the man on the street. I’d argue with them on two counts (other people do, too; they don’t always), but that’s for another time.
Justice Minister Daniel Freidmann said that the R-Z are full of baloney, because when they actually had a say in rabbinical court appointments, they didn’t do squat for agunot. Good point. It is hard for any court to force a guy to give a get.
Ha’aretz laments that only one of the judges has a background in law. No kidding. Perhaps they should expand their understanding of law to include Choshen Mishpat.
I saw the list of names. I actually recognize three as ramim at KBY: R’ Yishai Buchris, R’ Tzion Luz, and R’ Zvi Birnbaum. Are all three Religious-Zionist appointees KBY ramim? Or are not all of the charedi appointees actually charedi? Remember, Chief Rabbi Metzger, a KBY guy, was the charedi candidate.
What is really upsetting people is not the agunah issue (because nobody is attacking the reconrds of any of these dayanim on the issue, with the exception of one dayan who once performed a wedding after a heter me’ah rabbanim) or the fact that the courts are being haredized (which they are). It’s politics. The decisions were made before the meeting began, and NRP was left out of the loop. So now they cry about how they were left out in the cold while the charedi parties increase their hegemony over the religious establishment. Chaimi Navon put it well – NRP wasn’t bothered by this as long as it was on the inside.
I also think that the automatic reaction that charedi dayanim are a disaster for women is downright prejudiced. Not every charedi is a misogynist. True, there are dayanim who are performing a form of ‘afkinhu rabbanan le-gittin minei’ by retroactively disqualifying divorce documents. And it may well be that this new crop is a disaster as well. On the other hand, we should probably wait and see before passing judgment.
At the end of the day, though, the whole thing stinks because everybody is related to everybody else. There is high demand and short supply for these appointments, so protexia is the name of the game. It’s not just about being qualified anymore. So maybe these guys are good, maybe not. It definitely wasn’t a factor in their appointments, though. And that, more than anything else, is what alienates the people from the dayanim (well, that and the fact that religious law is enforced by the state in matters of personal status, like marriage, divorce, and conversion).
It’s silly to protest political appointments. Politics is politics. Either deal with it, or start agitating for major reforms like civil marriages (like Chana Kehat of Kolech recently did - link). If the system stinks, then get rid of it (or ignore it) but don’t complain that you didn’t get a large enough piece of the pie.
As we all know, there are 50 states in the
But it gets better. 9 of those states (again, incl. DC) have 2 teams each, which leaves 34 teams, more than half the field, from just 9 states. Those 9 include the 2 most populous states:
The other 25 teams are from 7 states which all happen to be contiguous. They are:
And he made the bronze laver and its bronze base from the mirrors of the [female] congregators, who congregated at the doorway of the ‘Ohel Mo’ed’. (Shemot 38:8)
And Eli was old, and he heard what his sons had done to all of
, and how they slept with the women who congregated at the doorway of the ‘Ohel Mo’ed’. (I Samuel 2:22) Israel
I’m fairly certain that this group of women, the ‘tzov’ot’ is only mentioned in these two places in TaNach. The connection seems clear: this was a group of dedicated and religious women who stayed as close to God’s precincts as they could. They wanted to give what they could and even gave up on earthly vanities (symbolized by the mirrors – according to Midrash, the same mirrors they used to beautify themselves to allure their husbands in Egypt) in order to be close to God.
Tragically, members of the religious establishment took advantage of their naiveté (without getting into the discussion of what the bnei Eli actually did) for their own advantage. See here and here for more on the sons of Eli and their milieu).
Unfortunately, it does not seem to be uncommon that religious leaders take advantage of their congregants’ naïve devotion for their own purposes. This is true of Judaism and other religious communities. Power tends to corrupt.
And Moshe commanded, and they passed a rumor throughout the camp, saying that every man or woman should no longer make any more work for the offering of the Sanctuary; and the people stopped bringing. -Shemot 36:6
I’m currently reading two books. Both are non-fiction. Both are simply fascinating, excellent books. I’m reading each for totally different reasons, and in totally different places (one in shul, the other someplace else). One is Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, by Juan Williams. The second is Community, Covenant And Commitment: Selected Letters And Communications by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, edited by Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot. Before discussing the books themselves (not in this post), I wanted to point out a single person who appears, albeit briefly, in both books.
The person is Dr. Milton Konvitz (1908-2003). In the Rav book, he appears as the addressee of the first letter in the collection. In 1950, he wrote to the Rav regarding the Interfaith Chapel that was being constructed at
I found it to be extremely interesting and also very inspiring that the same man would be mentioned in these very disparate contexts. The same man who stood for halakha in a prestigious university also stood up for the rights of black citizens decades before it was in vogue in liberal circles.
I cannot help but sense that these two facets of his personality were integrally connected. The same commitment to halakha which motivated him to protest human images in a place of worship also motivated him to fight for justice on behalf of those created in the Divine image.
I also like the team name. It’s rooted in Modiin’s ancient history. We also could have been the Oilers or Maccabees (though there are enough Maccabi teams around). The Petah Tikva Pioneers are a good team name as well. The rest pretty much stink, but only for lack of imagination. I mean, Samson lived in or near Beit Shemesh. He was a pretty good athlete. What’s wrong with the Beit Shemesh Jawbones? David killed Goliath a few minutes drive from Beit Shemesh, in Emek Ha-Ela. Why not the Fighting Davids of Beit Shemesh? Doesn’t every underdog always look to David for inspiration? Or how about the Suns? It works for
The other three host cities – Ra’anana, Netanya, and Tel Aviv – will have a harder time, since they are newer cities. Typical names (Express, Tigers, and Lightning, respectively) are to be expected, but not necessarily welcome. Some imagination can be used – maybe the Tel of Tel Aviv representing a pitcher’s mound or something?
The teams from Modiin and Beit Shemesh will share a home field in Gimzo. That invites the question, in what sense are the teams from Modiin and Beit Shemesh? Maybe we should be the Gimzo Gizmos (and the team motto should be ‘It’s All Good’).
As it turns out, I even know one of the players. It was this guy’s counselor at a sports camp in
In other local sports news, it seems that Tamir Goodman is averaging almost 20ppg for the nearby Maccabi Shoham (link). Maybe I’ll get to catch a game at some point. Remember, I made Aliyah from