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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
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Is it Time to Abandon Kitniyot?


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 Responses to “Is it Time to Abandon Kitniyot?”

  1. What happens ? Tel me please

  2. I think he’s an ahm haoretz in the very least!

  3. It’s sounds reasonable since he said it’s not Torah based.

  4. Yes it is time to abandon it. It makes passover less joyful and more difficult. Passover is the time of our deliverance. It should be a very joyful time.

  5. There is no chametz in beans and it’s nowhere written in the Torah. Sure, get people totally constipated eating only matze.

  6. Gina Abraham says:

    Sephardim know best haha

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. interesting debate….

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. "typical of some sepharadim"

    Some of your best friends are…


  13. Join The Kitniyot Liberation Front – this year is the tipping point.

  14. what other minhagim should we (Ashkenazi Jews) abandon?

    Q. Why do the Sephardim say slichot for the whole month before Rosh Hashana?
    A: If you ate chometz on Pesach, you'd also be saying slichot for the whole month ! :-)

  15. 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.

  16. Aharon Mendlowitz says:

    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"…

  17. 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.

  18. Josh First says:

    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!

  19. Larry Rosen says:

    And now, the other side of the story from the OU website: http://www.ou.org/jewish_action/03/2013/curious_about_kitniyot/

  20. Larry Rosen says:

    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?

  21. Larry Rosen says:

    I would like to eat Joyva kitnayot products, but I'll manage without them for one week. Just the other side of the story by Tom Brokaw.

  22. I am very sephardic myself but it is not for sephardic rabbis to tell ashkenazim what do. The beit yosef himself says ashkenazum adhere to it. Selective scholarship is not honest.

  23. Larry Rosen says:

    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!

  24. Mike Sysut says:

    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?

  25. Mike Sysut says:

    For those on an animal flesh diet thats easy to say but for the vegetarians and vegans its not so easy.

  26. Mike Sysut says:

    With all of Sephardim and the mixing of cultures in the US this is never going away. You cannot go into a kosher grocery and not see kosher for Sephardim only and not be taken aback.

  27. Mike Sysut says:

    With all of Sephardim and the mixing of cultures in the US this is never going away. You cannot go into a kosher grocery and not see kosher for Sephardim only and not be taken aback.

  28. 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.

  29. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Yes, it is time for this minhag to be dropped!

  30. Sara Brott says:

    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.

  31. David Brock says:

    Any minhag shtut is required to be dropped. The rishonim said it was a minhag shtut. So what's going on with continuation of kitniyot?

  32. Davide Ovadia Scelsi says:

    of course…this ban have not meaning

  33. Basha Kline says:

    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.

  34. 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!

  35. you are a man of good sense. i agree with every word you said here.

  36. Zvi Zimri says:

    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.

  37. Zvi Zimri says:

    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?

  38. Zvi Zimri says:

    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.

  39. Aharon Mendlowitz says:

    Tipping to what?

  40. Aharon Mendlowitz says:

    Mike Sysut So are you going to be sfardi?

  41. Zvi Zimri says:

    Eating Qitniyot during the Feast was the local Minhag in Ha'Ares before the division to Sphardics and Ashkenazics. So there.

  42. Zvi Zimri says:

    The notion of holy customs is bunk; there are only holy miswot. The Ramah's work is not binding Halakha, hence why the rabbi omitted his opinion.

  43. were did you find such Reshonim?!!

  44. David Brock says:

    Yechiel Goldhaber Watch the video, the Rav there gives the sources. If you prefer to read a short summary concluding the same thing from a different sources, read this one: http://www.responsafortoday.com/engsums/3_4.htm

  45. David Brock says:

    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.,

  46. David Brock says:

    Larry Rosen This does not apply to minhag shtut.

  47. Zvi Zimri says:

    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.

  48. Fay Kay says:

    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

  49. Avigail Wonder says:

    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.

  50. 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

  51. this article was sponsored by Skippy's Peanut Butter

  52. Mike Sysut says:

    I think everyone who eats potatoes on pesach should stop because it was banned as kitniyot until common sense or was it a rebellion by the people that swayed those that had outlawed them.

  53. Aharon Mendlowitz says:

    Mike Sysut clearly you are ignorant

  54. Aharon Mendlowitz says:

    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…

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. Zvi Zimri And eating chametz was a minhag before meamar Sinai, so what? The minhag exists. Rema endorses it. Period

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