4 Myths About Pesach Halacha

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Hello dear readers,

I got an email last week from a reader named Ayelet P. about my quinoa recipe from last year:

Hey Ariella love the blog! The recipes are great, where do you get them do you invent them or what? Also I just tried the Spicy Quinoa recipe and it was great!!! But quinoa is grain right, you can’t have it on pesach??  

First of all, Ayelet P., thanks for writing! Glad to hear that you like the blog 😉

Second, I always write the source if I’m sharing a recipe I found. So if there’s no source then it means that it’s something I cooked up myself! (Or someone in the blog circle—a lot of the vegan recipes come from Ronit. The Spicy Quinoa is actually from my mother-in-law.)

Third, quinoa is definitely NOT chametz. It’s not even kitniyot! It’s 100 percent kosher for Pesach. According to Wikipedia, quinoa is a “pseudocereal” and is closely related to spinach and beetroot?! There are only five grains that are considered chametz: barley, rye, oats, wheat and spelt.

In that vein, here are four more Pesach halacha myths:

1. MYTH: YOU HAVE TO SELL YOUR KITNIYOT ON EREV PESACH.
FACT: No you don’t’! There is no halachic problem with owning kitniyot on Pesach (eating them, though, is another story… ). In fact, I remember a few years ago at a passover resort in Israel that Pesach ended on erev Shabbat, so Shabbat wasn’t Pesach but no one was allowed to buy back the chametz either! So the hotel served kitniyot! We had rice and corn on the cob (Reuven loved it, but for the millionth time, no Reuven we aren’t having corn on the cob this year, it’s still not our minhag!!). Kitniyot is NOT chametz. Keep your facts straight, people!

2. MYTH: YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE LAMB ON PESACH BECAUSE OF THE KORBAN PESACH.
FACT: This one is close, but not quite. The korban Pesach in the Bet HaMikdash was indeed lamb, and though our seders are joyous occasions we’re supposed to remember that our joy is not complete until the Bet HaMikdash is rebuilt. The key part is that the korban Pesach was roasted, so halachic authorities (such as the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim) tell us not to have roasted meat of any kind at the seder. So no roasted chicken either!

3. MYTH: PET FOOD HAS TO BE KOSHER FOR PESACH TOO.
FACT: Again, almost but not quite. We’re prohibited from owning chametz of any kind on Pesach, and that includes pet food. However, we are not prohibited from owning traif food on Pesach, or from benefiting from it. So pets don’t have to eat kosher food on Pesach – they can have bacon! (Our Alfie will be thrilled to hear that.)

4. MYTH: THE SILVER/JACOBSEN/BLUM CLAN PREFERS ARYEH’S FAMILY’S TUNE TO CHAD GADYA TO THE JACOBSEN SIBLINGS’ TUNE.
FACT: Sorry darling, but you’re fighting a losing battle there. We’ve tried doing the two tunes at the two seders, but the cousins like the Jacobsen tune better 🙂

More soon!

Ariella

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