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Rabbi David Bar-Hayim of Machon Shiloh, in this video, argues that it is time for Ashkenazim to abandon the prohibition against eating Kitnyot (legumes) on Pesach.

After hearing his argument, what do you think?

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140 COMMENTS

  1. One does not take changing their minhags lightly, therefore before doing anything check with a competent rabbinical authority. We’re talking about one week people, get a life, what’s the big deal. The opinions of this group are of a very small minority, not widely accepted at all.

  2. its more widespread than you think. if your observance is based on torah raher than tradition, as is my family and myself, then there is no prohibition. the wonderful thing about being a jew is that I can choose for myself. we have no pope.

  3. If one looks into when and why some non-Torah based minhagim started you will find that they were politically or economically motivated and have nothing to do really with the chag itself. Where there is no Halacha we should be free as a community to make decisions that make our practice of Judaism more inclusive and enjoyable and more important; meaningful.

  4. Thank you for sharing. He quotes an impressive array of sources, but he misquotes some, he deliberately quotes no sources to the contrary, ignores the ramah, the author of the ashkenazic Shulchan aruch. It is typical of some sepharadim who have no regard for Ashkenazic Minhag.

  5. Rabbi Finkelstein please with all due respect the regard that sepharadim have for ashkenazic minhagim is no less that the regard ashkenazim have for sepharadic minhagim. As an ashkenazi married to a MIZRACHIA (Persian-as compared to a sepharadia) I feel that we should be looking more at and respecting our commonalities rather than our differences and differences of opinion and minhag. it's all good. Our G-d must love us all regardless of Adah.

  6. He is quoting all the sfardi poskim. Minhag Hamokom would also mean for us to take on all other sfardi minhagim. Why is he just talking about peach?!?
    On a side note there is a source(Shaare Tshuva quoting the Maharil) On the same Siman where it talks about Kitniyot. It says Those who try to change the minhag are a Poretz geder and are Chayav Mitah Bde Shamayim because they are not following the commandment of לא תסור. He goes further to say a case of Chachamim who did try and change the Minhag but failed because they realized they were wrong.

    I have no doubt that this will be a dying "fad"…

  7. Rabbinic Judaism has done an excellent job of keeping Jews in the galut, to the point that many, if not most charedim even think present day Israel is still the galut. All this in an attempt to divide the people, not unite them. For those of you with a brain, one that thinks analytically, you would understand that that any time 2 minhagim clash with one another, the more strict one should give way to the more lenient. Since both minhagim are from the rabbis, and not the Torah, than the goal should always be to do whatever unites the nation. Any rabbi can come along and make a more stringent minhag for his followers. But doing this is going against everything God wants of his people. Minhagim are not halacha and certainly not on the same level as mitzvot from the Torah. For those that cannot differentiate between man made laws and laws that God gave us, you are part of the problem, not the solution. 2000 years of galut should teach people something.

  8. Kitniot is a fake custom, it undermines achdut at our greatest holiday when we should be unified, it separates families and fellow Jews from one another, it's a local custom that grew too big, too far, it includes things like corn, which cannot possibly be mistaken for wheat etc. I'm proudly Ashkenaz and proudly eating kitniot with my SY brother in law. Chag kasher v'sameach, everyone!

  9. The Talmud (Pesachim 50b) rules that a minhag that was followed by a family or community is halachically binding on later generations as well. The Talmud derives this from the latter part of the verse in Mishlei (1:8), “Shema, beni, mussar avicha, veal titosh Torat imecha,” “Listen, my son, to the rebuke of your father, and do not forsake the Torah of your mother.” Why does the Talmud understand “the Torah of your mother” to allude to minhagim? Why is a minhag associated more with a mother than a father? Furthermore, what is a mother’s Torah as opposed to a father’s Torah?

  10. Josh – I still love you baby – just showing the other side – something our lefty friends don't know how to do! Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach – with or without kitniyot!

  11. Its about time. Why did this custom take hold in the US when the Sephardim were here first. Also my understanding of minhag is that it is related to place, so when the migrations came to the US the minhag does not follow. And didn't the OU reverse itself on quinoa. Oh one more thing – weren't potatoes going to be chametz?

  12. The Kitniyot Liberation Front , if you are not aware, there is a view of some spharadic posekim that Spharadim are simply superior in their practices. That is their right to think so and the right of the Ashkenazic Jews to ignore them and follow their holy customs, as Sepharadim should as well.

  13. Our unity as a nation has nothing to do with different customs. .On the contrary,it is a stronghold in our tradition to have a variety of opinions and practices and the more we welcome,the richer and more diversified we are. Also,Judaism doesn't stop in the USA. Our national home is Israel.

  14. What is eight days of avoiding one segment of foodstuffs in almost six thousand years? Once one starts chipping away at laws, there will be something else and then another and eventually there will be a watered down dietary law which will be as radical to the substance of Judaism as fracking will be to the environment.

  15. I have thought for many decades now, that the Ashkenazic prohibition against eating kitniyot on Pesach is absolutely ridiculous. Isn't Judaism's laws restrictive enough, without making it even more suffocating? Judaism as a way of life should be the way of plesantness, not torture. So let's please stop this silly prohibition against eating kitniyot on Pesach. Bring in the corn, beans, and rice!

  16. That the Ashkenazis are the only Jewish Diasporic community to have banned Qitniyot, plus the fact that it does not even precede the late 12th century (not your "6000 years") is enough to invalidate your entire premise of fearing an eventual watered down "dietary law" and exposes your line of thinking as plain neurosis.
    Come join the rest of the people and quit segregating yourself with your obsolete tradition.

  17. I must be missing something… since Israel is our national home and where the ingathering of exiles and the Redemption is supposed to occur, and its local custom never included abstaining from Qitniyot, it has been proved empirically that clinging to the anti-Qitniyot custom creates unnecessary hardship and barriers between Jews instead of facilitating unity. Who in their right mind believes that when we finally merit to have a rebuilt Bayt Miqdash, that this difference between Qitniyot eaters and non-eaters will still exist, even in feasts held at the Temple's courtyards during Ḥagim?

  18. Every rabbi seems to have their opinion. But what I do not see is one single unified opinion of a-l-l rabbis. Therefore, the logic of Pores Gader and Hayav Mita crumbles to dust.

  19. Did you not watch the video? This is not an issue of chipping away at laws. Kitniyot is _not_ a law, and has no Torah basis. According to Torah law, you should _not_ be restricting kitniyot, as most of the rishonim a said at the time this minhag had just started taking hold.,

  20. Moses Nachman Actually, Fred is being pretty tame under the circumstances, and even so, he has exposed himself to the prospect of being virulently attacked by the Orthos commenting. He deserves lots of kudos for his courage.

  21. the Baal Hatanya speaks about the prohibition of kitniyos in his Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 453 Seifim 3-4), it is quite arrogant of this Rabbi to think that he has it all figured out

  22. If he had figured it out, why wouldn't he publish his findings in halachic/rabbinic journals and have debate with those in the know instead of publishing in jewish media outlets where many people don't know much about the sources of the Halachot or minhagim and so jump on his bandwagon.

  23. the justification for the prohibition rests solely on the possibility of contamination by the hametz of mixed-in wheat.

    proper supervision and sourcing could totally obviate that concern the way it has for many other products

    the problem is that there is no "big man in town" who has the guts to do it; the only times the ban has been "suspended" is when there was a local food shortage

  24. Zvi Zimri Your point implodes on itself, Since most poskim Do not agree with Bar Chayim. The source I brought down is mentioned by many poskim. But obviously noone cares anymore about what the poskim say. People nowadays want quick and easy, that is where we all are slaves…

  25. Yechiel Goldhaber,
    Rabeinu Yerucham – Minhag Shtuth
    Baal Haturim – Humrah Yeteirah
    R' Shmuel of Falaise – Mistaken custom
    Shall I go on? All in all over 50 rishonim condemned the practice, including the greatest of the Ashkenazi rishonim.

  26. Larry Rosen , at other times we know that Hazal released individuals from minhagim, sometimes even demanding that a minhag be dropped.

    The rule for determining a meaningful and binding custom is simple. In Masechet Soferim we are told that any custom which was not initiated and backed by the greatest sages of the generation and has no Torah basis, is nothing more than an error in judgement.

    Kitniyot fulfills neither of those conditions and is not binding upon anyone.

  27. First of all if you look it up, mixing of grains isn't the main reason. Even so the sfardim do check their rice many times before use.
    Second of all bar chayim is a single opinion and has no humility, people like him aren't trustworthy.

  28. Samson Meyer Freundlich: Any crackpot or self-viewed important guy can state what they wish. The Torah's Miṣwot were upheld by the Nevi'im, and they are what we will remain with as long as humanity exists.

    ῌag Same'ah pal

  29. Aharon Mendlowitz To blast him as lacking humility is a crock of claptrap… unlike Ovadia Yosef and some other high profile rabbis, I have never seen him engage in Leshon Hara` or other iniquities while delivering his opinions.

    ῌag Aviv Mevorakh

  30. Since when was the Tanya's author even remotely authoritative as the Talmudim and Rishonim !??!
    Perhaps you should follow a new religion where the Mequbalim and their ilk are the decisors.

  31. Andrzej Lozowski: Your childish logical fallacy whereby what occurred before Matan Torah matters for this argument betrays your lack of valid counterarguments. Remah is outweighed by 50+ Rishonim, many of whom of Ashkenazi extraction; the Rishonim are greater in wisdom that the Aḥaronim (the previous generations matter more, which is one of the basics of the Rabbinic system). Period.

  32. Aharon Mendlowitz Over 50 Rishonim "agree" with R. Bar-Hayim. The Rishonim are greater in wisdom than the Aḥaronim (the previous generations matter more, which is one of the basics of the Rabbinic system). But the "anti-Qitniyot" fanatics never cared what previous generations of Rabbinic greats said.
    BTW (or not so), this sanctification of absurdly-reasoned practices devoid of a Torah basis is just one example of how the Rabbinic maze has become so confusing even for serious Orthos, so much so that Rabbinic Judaism is incurable and totally messed up.
    If your ilk truly despised "quick and easy", you'd observe the true, "written" Torah, or at least "real" Rabbinism.

    ῌag Maṣot Same'aḥ

  33. Zvi Zimri the baal Hatanya is considered someone who fully understands the Talmudim and Rishonim, unlike this rabbi, whom I am confident would lose a debate with any knowledgeable torah scholar,

  34. Fay Kay: your beloved rabbi's mastery counts for tiddly squat when he twists anything he wants to his desired contortion. Hopefully you will sober up over the long haul.
    -ῌag Kasher w'Same'aḥ-

  35. Waiting Six Hours between Meat and Dairy
    The Time of Waiting
    The Rama18 says some wait one hour after meat before eating dairy. Those who wait one
    hour must bentch or make a beracha achrona before eating dairy.19 One does not have to
    wash his mouth out before eating dairy in this situation.20 There are some people who
    have the custom to wait three hours. This is the custom of the Jews originating from
    Germany.21 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita holds one who has the custom to wait three hours should not change his custom to wait six hours.22 Some have the custom to wait five or
    five and half hours.23

  36. you are, indeed, missing plenty. Mostly not understanding the place of minhagim in Judaism. BTW, any calls to discontinue sephardic ban on cooking fish in milk – which is based on a misprint of Shulchan Aruch? Or maybe for the sace of unity Ashkenazim ought to adopt this minhag???

  37. Andrzej Lozowski, you can stay inside every single fence imposed on the Jews by a bunch of the medival european rabbies, but do not call anybody who wants to follow the Torah, not the rabbies, a nonsense. Offensive – you are. Shut up.

  38. Rabbi Joel Finkelstein – the only traditions that Jews need to follow are those written in the Torah of Israel. Ashkenazin rabbies created so many fences around the Torah for the last 1000 years that the House inside has become completely invisible. It's time to drop the fences.

  39. Andrzej Lozovski – when you refer to "Ashkenazim" please do not think of yourself that you are the "rep" of the whole community. Every Jew is the person by himself and not dependent on a rabbi of a Shtetl on his livelihood any longer. Thanks G-d. We need to follow the Laws of the Torah of Israel how we as individual Jews understand them. You wish to foolow Rema, do it. Do NOT impose the fences on the rest of the Jews.

  40. Michael Felgin Dear Michael, It is Lozowski, not Lozovski. As to Ashkenazi Jews who ignore Rema , Gra , and Mishna Brura, – you'd be the first one I meet (I am referring to Torah observant Jews). Chassidim who differ somewhat from mainstream ashkenazi customs are even "stricter" in their minhagim – gebrochts and what nots… So please do tell me, who is your rabbi.

  41. Andrzej Lozowski Or maybe for the sake of unity Ashkenazim ought to drop minhag on cooking chicken in milk? After all it was imposed by some medivial rabbi in a tiny shtetl after some local neboch could not distinquish between red meet and chicken? If, by chance, you never heard of this, please read Rav Kook.

  42. Andrzej Lozowski To the contrary. What is offensive is the haughtiness whereby folks like you purport to effectively redefine what Halakha is; in your version of Halakha, Minhagim are on a par with Torah.

  43. Andrzej Lozowski : You do not understand the place of common sense in Rabbinic Judaism. This is because you subscribe to Orthodoxy, where priorities are seriously skewed such that nonsensical Minhagim trump Halakha.

  44. Michael Felgin : I basically subscribe to your underlying pro-(true)Torah premise which is the thrust of all your comments; I have argued with such people from a Rabbinic standpoint just for fun. A man like Andrzej is not going to be swayed by logic, whether from a Rabbinic perspective or otherwise.
    We should all flip the bird to this "anti-Qitniyot" thing and return en masse to the Miqra and chiefly the Torah.

  45. Michael Felgin Surely you jest. The prohibition of milk and chicken goes back to the end of the second temple era. Please show me a quote by Rav Kook to the contrary. This whole discussion is a farce. Neither you nor Zvi ZImri understand halachic process. Nor do you have any idea about the most important ashkenazic poskim of the last 500 years.

  46. Andrzej Lozowski : For someone like you to charge others as lacking a grasp of Halakhic principles is the joke of this year. Back in the late Second Temple era, only members of the Pharisaic minority (numbering 6000 out of 2.5 million Jews in Eres Yisra'el) wished to prohibit mixing milk and meat. The prohibition on mixing milk and *chicken* emerged only in the post-Destruction era, and even then there were dissenters to this among the rabbis, e.g. R. Yosse haGelilee. But I am sure that none of this registers with you since you have no heart for truth except where it meshes with your views. The farce here is that Jews like you support absurd Minhagim and insist that Minhagim trump the real Torah and even Rabbinic Halakha, thus stranding us in the morass of spiritual Galut, to the detriment of our entire people.

  47. Andrzej Lozowski : Andrzej Lozowski : I would not indiscriminately throw Rema and Gra's Pesiqot down any hole the way you throw the real Torah of Moshe out the window. I would probably embrace whatever these "holy" rabbis opined that aligns with the true Torah (Khumash).

  48. Andrzej Lozowski : Actually,,, the notion that an Orthodox Jew can follow Torah "shebkhav" is a mammoth oxymoron. Being Orthodox — or even "merely" Rabbinic — prevents one ipso facto from being able to properly adhere to the "written" Torah.

  49. Zvi Zimri How much Torah have you actually learned, and know? I challenge you to learn just as much as these rabanim did, Lets see what conclusions you will come to…

  50. Aharon Mendlowitz And how do you know how much they learned? How much have you learnt to understand if their conclusions are correct? Why do we all have to adhere to the "fences" they have put around the Torah of Moshe? Why did they think the Jews were so stupid not to be able to understand the Laws Of Torah? You want to stay in the getto of fences, just do it but do not impose it on the rest of the Jews.

  51. as I mentined already , any discussion with you or Zvi ZImri n this subject is pointless. Neither yo nor he understand authentic Judaism as it is practiced today. You both sound like messianic Hebrews at worst and Conservative / mesorti Jews at best. There is no way to follow the Torah of Moshe based solelely on Torah she'b'ktav. How does one even begin to study Torah without Talmud? Since the time of Moshe Rabeynu it was meant to be studied with its oral component. Get real!

  52. Andrzej Lozowski : You have been posting quite a few comments lately to me or to Michael. This betrays that your statement has no credibility.
    And I am neither a Hiloni nor Reform.

  53. Andrzej Lozowski : You have shown that you have no inkling of what authentic Judaism is, trapped as you are in Rabbinic revisionistic lies. The very fact you believe the Torah was meant to be studied with its so-called oral component betrays your total confusion.
    You can follow Torar Moshe based on Peshat exegesis, _without_ non-Peshat interpretations. This has been proved in pre-Pharisaic times,,, and you can ad the Qaraite Jews to this enterprise.
    How can someone confounded like you urge others to get real????!!!

  54. Andrzej Lozowski : Making me out such a person when you had no idea what my level of observance and knowledge of Judaism is makes you a laughable imbecile. But you were too foolish to quit ahead of yourself.

  55. Andrzej Lozowski : The irony in your comment is that you and your ilk do not truly follow Rabbinic Halakha eithe; you [pl.] follow a highly twisted version of it, and this is why I do not take you seriously in the least.
    If you considered your argument with me a means to get me to observe Halakha, then your effort was indeed pointless.

  56. Andrzej Lozowski Uhhhh… why should we care more about R. Student's opinions than R. Bar Hayim's?
    Moreover, why do you suddenly give a damn about the " rabbinical laws of Eretz Israel"?

  57. Andrzej Lozowski : So what gives you the right to insult or complain about the Jews like me who reject Halakha, especially when you follow a very contorted version of it, and I see on top of this quasi-Orthodox Rabbinic Jews who actually truly follow Halakha and complain about your contortions?? Therefore, do not expect Jews like me to take you seriously.

  58. Andrzej Lozowski : Take for example the Dor De`ah circle and its rabbis who actually do follow Rabbinic Halakha, but are mercilessly slandered by your ilk as goyim with self proclaimed Rabbinic titles instead of being praised by all Orthodox Jews for being the avante gard of a return to Halakha.
    If you have similar slanderous beliefs about their bona fides, please just sit silently rather than share this poison with this page's readers..

  59. Aharon Mendlowitz : You have never properly learned the Khumash and the remainder of the Miqra, but have blindly followed the favorite Haredi Mefarshim. You know nothing more about Judaism than what you have gleaned about it from your narrow obscurantist Haredi circle.
    And since the Feast is behind us, I propose you drop your drive to offend me, unless you wish to prove that you are an idler whose ideal of Judaism is spending time on offending other Jews who do not subscribe to Halakha (never mind that you do not truly observe it either), and publicly showing that you were not taught that Judaism's mode of contact with fellow Jews is Ahavat Yisra'el.

  60. Zvi your hypocrisy amuses me. Many of you are blindly following Bar Hayim, as he is also quoting rabinic commentaries. Your logic is as skewed as your faith. I don't hate you I feel sorry for you…

  61. Aharon Mendlowitz : I know you're not smart (otherwise you would've taken my advice and dropped the entire exchange), but you even prove you're the opposite, because I've already stated today that I reject Halakha and had written that I do not recognize the idea of Rabbinic authority as true, which renders your charge of following Bar Hayim total rubbish.
    That someone pitiful like you is intent on insulting me and claiming to feel sorry for me are indications that I am on the correct path in Judaism. You might as well be confused for the hate consumed clowns of Neturei Karta whose hallmark is their pea brainpower.

  62. Aharon Mendlowitz : Thank you dude!!! 😀 You do not know what you miss by eschewing soft Matsot for the 7 days, roasted goat or lamb on the Seder Night, and mixed dishes of Kasher meat & dairy or chicken & dairy throughout the year ! 😀 mmmmm… yummmm…
    When you desist from feeling sorry for me I will be disappointed! (((-:
    Keep on being a sucker duped by individuals with contempt for your intelligence !

  63. Andrzej Lozowski: First of all, somebody dis-agreeing with your opinion does not mean this person is secular. Secondly your version of what you call "Judaism" must be qualified as "Rabbinical". You should admit that his qualifier by itself points to existence of another version of Judaism – the authentic one, practiced by the Jews prior to the current Galut. Your version was probably somewhat justified then, although, it's hard to understand why some medival rabbi in a tiny shtetl in France, Lithviniya or elsewhere would impose some subjective opinion on the entire Jewish people and why this opinion must be followed by the entire Jewish people when curcumstances of that olden times have long dramatically changed. But that a question coming to the free minds of the people who can THINK. Apparently it's the case with you and your ilk. Your mind is closed. It's funny to see how arrogant your responses are and how high brow you perceive yourself only for one and only reason – that you blindly follow the often baseless and lacking common sense "fences around fences" built by some people for whatever reason named "sages" by some other "sages". But I firmly believe sooner or later G-d of Israel (not some "sage") will sort it out and will see the Truth. This conversation is over for now.

  64. Zvi Zimri: I'm with you. It's just so sad to see how the generally smart nation, the Jews, became so trapped in the multiple "fences" built by multitude of subjective rabbinical minhags, that the "house" became completely invisible. Of course, the G-d will sort it out sooner or later, but it makes me really mad that we may not see it in our life times.

  65. I fully agree with your last sentence. But ideal is different for our people vs. what is ideal for all other peoples. In the ideal Jewish society, everyone realizes that the Minhag to avoid Qitniyot is obsolete and it is abandoned while everyone shuns Ḥameṣ and Se'or.

  66. Childish putdowns among other forms of evil minded Rekhilut and Leshon Hara`. Really unconvincing; I actually know a very serious, academically educated Jew of Ashkenazi background who has joined the Dor De`ah.

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