Friday, April 04, 2008

Quinoa: the slow drift toward kitniyotization continues

Every year since 2005, I've been tracking the status of quinoa for Passover. I've been using the instructions on the Aish HaTorah website as a guide to when it would be considered kitniyot, on the theory that where that Chareidi kiruv organization goes, soon gets dragged down the Modern Orthodox world, then, whatever they said becomes "universal observant practice." This year, ADDeRabbi beat me to an update, adding in:
I’ve been informed that the Gedolim in Eretz Yisrael consider quinoa to be kitniyot. No surprise there.

Once again, I checked the trusty Aish "all about kitniyot" page. This year, it says:
There is one product called "quinoa" (pronounced "kin-O-ah," or keen-WA) that is the subject of much discussion. Although quinoa resembles a grain, it is technically in the "goose foot" family, which includes sugar beets and beet root. As such, some rabbis (for example, Rabbi Heinemann of Star-K) permit its use even for Ashkenazim on Passover, while other rabbis do not.

Compare that to the text I recorded in 2006. Notice a pattern? Does it conform to the process I described there?

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Comments:
Last year the London Beth Din ran a whole long article about quinoa in its Pesach supplement, talking about this newly discovered wonder food. Here's what this year's supplement says:

There are authorities in USA who allow it on Pesach,
although in Israel many Rabbis consider it Kitniyot. Thus
LBD recommend that you avoid quinoa on Pesach,
although if you need it for special dietary reasons it would
be permitted provided it is carefully checked to ensure no
other chametz grains are mixed in.
 
Anonymous, Thanks for the tip.

Here's the LBD magazine online. I don't see a record of their previous ones (Did anyone save it?) This year's:

"Is Quinoa allowed on Pesach? There are authorities in the USA who allow it on Pesach, although in Israel many Rabbis consider it Kitniyot. Thus LDB recommend that you avoid quinoa on Pesach, although if you need it for special dietary reasons it would be permitted provided it is carefully checked to ensure no other chametz grains are mixed in."

This reminds me a bit of watching the Montreal Vaad slowly change their opinion about normal-brand toothpastes from "the following toothpastes are allowed" to "the following toothpastes contain kitniyot" to "toothpaste requires a Passover hechsher." I can't find their product listing for this year, though. Also, one year, they prohibited romaine lettuce because of bugs!
 
Also, one year, they prohibited romaine lettuce because of bugs!

Can't people be trusted to check their own lettuce?

*Sigh* I'm definitely going to continue eating quinoa, and will make an effort to cook it every passover. Maybe I'll have a meal with quinoa as a main course, and everyone who is sane can come over and eat it with me.
 
I heard that it's uncertain whether beets are kitniyot.
 
I've been told that the only reason the Rabbis let us eat Potatoes on Pesach is because it was the staple food- it really pisses me off every time these so called "gedolei yisroel" shun democracy and just think that everyone is/wants to be as holy with all their made halachos.

All I really want to know- is when women will will be banned completely?
 
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