Lonely Man of Cake

April 10, 2007

Passover Prohibition Predictions

Filed under: Culinary,Judaism,Orthodoxy,Passover,Religion — lonelymanofcake @ 8:24 am

I predict that 50 years from now, the following will have become normative prohibitions on Passover:

  1. Potatoes: There is no reason that potatoes should not be included in the same category as kitniyot. As potato flour can be easily confused with wheat flour, one should be able to consume neither potato flour nor potatoes.
  2. Matzah: Same as above. Ashkenazim will no longer be allowed to consume matzah as it will be considered kitniyot, given that matzah meal and flour can be confused.
  3. Matzah II: If you don’t eat gebrochts, you won’t be able to eat matzah either. Why? Because your saliva is no different than any other fluid that, according to this specific custom, can potentially cause fermentation (!) in the already baked matzah. Potential solution? Eating matzah with a dentist type suction device.
  4. Sugar: Potentially kitniyot. Why? Can be confused for flour.
  5. Cocaine: See above.
  6. Cranberries: Some folks refrain from eating pickles on Pesach because in Hebrew they are called חמוצים (chamutzim), and they have fabricated a custom which prohibits the consumption of foods containing the three letters of חמץ. Cranberries are called חמוציות (chamutziyot) in Hebrew…
  7. Oxygen: See above (חמצן).

Please share your ideas. I’ll update this post as soon as I can think of more.

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March 28, 2007

Pesach Petrol

Filed under: Biofuel,Diaspora,Faith,Judaism,Orthodoxy,Passover,Religion,Transportation — lonelymanofcake @ 3:59 pm

In thirty years, when rabbis will have issued a real prohibition against fueling with Ethanol on Pesach, people will find it hard to believe that this was a parody. (UPDATE: The New York Times caught the story [Times Select req’d].)

Of course, there is no (current) prohibition against deriving benefit from kitniyot, of which Ethanol is a derivative. I put “current” in parentheses because earlier last century kitniyot derivatives, like corn syrup, were permitted for use on Pesach as they fall under neither of the main “rationales” for kitniyot. This is no longer the case, with the Kosher for Pesach Coca Cola craze being a prime example. It wouldn’t surprise me if those who follow the mistaken custom of not consuming kitniyot on Pesach continue to expand the scope of the ban, much as they already have, until the innovated stringencies are so expansive that the people forget that kitniyot are not chametz. It is precisely in that type of atmosphere in which the ground would be fertile for a declaration that would prohibit even benefiting from kitniyot, Ethanol fueled vehicles included.

Many folks have extra sets of dishes for Pesach. Some people even have a totally separate kitchen for Pesach. Are we going to see special Pesach cars?

March 27, 2007

Cannabis Kitniyos

Filed under: Israel,Judaism,Orthodoxy,Passover,Politics,Religion — lonelymanofcake @ 4:51 pm

Israel’s (very secular) pro-marijuana party עלה ירוק (Green Leaf) has apparently entered the halakhic sphere and issued a notice which states that marijuana is considered kitniyot (definition), as it is related to hemp (or not), which is apparently kitniyot.

Some musings:

  1. It would be funny if marijuana was actually considered chametz. Would selling your chametz then be considered a criminal act? (Note: Kitniyot need not be sold.)
  2. Does inhalation amount to the halakhic standards for consumption? (The Gemara in Tractate Avodah Zarah speaks about this with regard to inhaling smells emanating from an idol worship ceremony. If I’m not mistaken, the Tosafists say that inhalation is to be considered a category of drinking… I’ll dig up the source.)
  3. What of hashish, which is a marijuana derivative?

I’m not sure how to read into the fact that this “psak” has so far appeared only in English language publications.

(Hat tip: yeho)

Matzah Bus

Filed under: America,Culinary,Diaspora,Judaism,Orthodoxy,Passover,Religion — lonelymanofcake @ 3:28 pm

Read about the matzah bus, or watch the video.  And is it just me, or do local news shows take themselves way too seriously?

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