Thursday, April 01, 2021

Kitniyot ban may be on the wane

For centuries, Ashkenazi Jews have observed a ban on kitniyot -  eating lentils, peas, beans, rice and other foods at  Passover. The rabbis have reasoned that they must not bee eaten because they swell in cooking, and therefore resemble bread baked with yeast. Jeremy Sharon writing in the Jerusalem Post finds that this custom, never observed by Sephardim, is on the wane in Israel:



Perhaps because of the pushback against the custom, observance of it has actually waned significantly. According to research published by the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) in 2019, only 53% of Ashkenazi Jews in Israel who observe kashrut abide the kitniyot ban. 

The study found that even a majority of the conservative wing of the religious-Zionist sector, of which Lior is a leader, do not refrain from eating kitniyot on Passover. 

The only sector where it is still observed in the majority, some 71%, is among the ultra-Orthodox haredim.

 Senior JPPI researcher Shmuel Rosner said at the time that, outside of the ultra-Orthodox community, the custom could die out within one or two more generations.


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