Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Cleaning For Pesah

Erev Pesah 5769

I spent a few days helping my friend "Aharon" (not his real name) clean for Pesah (Passover). I'm glad to help him out. But, it's also only fair, as he will be feeding me and giving me a place to sleep for a few days during Pesah.

"Aharon," a former yeshiva mashgi'ah and Hassidishe Jew living in Me'ah She'arim, holds many humros (stringencies) regarding kashrus during Pesah, humros to which I do not hold, but certainly respect while in his home. Far be it from me to disrespect someone's customs in his own home,...let alone look a gift horse in the mouth...

However, I certainly do not mind teasing "Aharon" a bit over his stringent practices. The first thing I noticed when walked into his house last week, other than the disarray many Jewish homes are in at this stage of the game, was this:
10ag (Me): What's this?

Aharon: What? The toilet paper?

10ag: Yes. You can't use it on Pesah

Aharon: Why not?

10ag: It does have a Pesadik heksher.

Aharon: Oh, please!

Then later on, I noticed this...
10ag: You sure eat a lot of processed foods during Pesah a lot of frummeh wouldn't eat. You even bought mayonnaise? Even your your daughter makes her own mayonnaise.

Aharon: The mayonnaise is from "The Eidah" (BeDa"Tz Eidah Haredis).

10ag: How many on from "The Eidah" would actually eat this on Pesah?

Aharon: (eyes rolling)

The next week, we went shopping. When he was buying tupperware at the store...
10ag: You can't use this.

Aharon: Why not?

10ag: You don't hold by this rav. You don't eat his meat, and he eats qitniyoth during Pesah, of all things. How can you use his tupperware?

Aharon: (eyes rolling)

Back at home...
10ag: What? You use oil?

Aharon: It's OK. It's walnut oil.

10ag: How do you know hametz didn't get into the bottle during processing? If you were really frum, you would use only shmaltz.

Aharon: (piercing stare)

The cleaning extravaganza proceeded from there as you might imagine,...like whether to re-clean a table which accidentally touched a wall which had yet to be cleaned, or whether to throw out the plastic flowers for fear that hametz got stuck inside of them.

In every case, "Aharon's" response was "Oh, please!"

Later on, I asked a semi-serious question...
10ag: Don't you remember using peanut oil on in the U. S. many years ago?

Aharon: Sure. I even talked to the Rav HaMakshir ("Hahn" or "Kahn"), who said that peanuts were not kitniyos. They're not a pea; they're a nut. (Apparently, the word "pea" confused some people, or made them nervous.)

10ag: Then why don't you eat them?

Aharon: Because we're not noheg to (not our custom). (Translation: "What would the neighbors say?!)

That answers a lot, doesn't it?

Hag Kasher weSame'ah!


Milhouse said...

Um, no. Peanuts are peas, and are not nuts. If this mashgiach really told "Aharon" the opposite then his reliability should be doubted.

Matt said...

Is there no difference between tradion, custom, and law?

The question isn't what would the neighbors think?

It's what would my ancestors think?

Leah Goodman said...

I remember that THE pesach candies were sesame candies. What gives with them all of a sudden being kitniyot?!

I want my halva!!!

Esser Agaroth said...

Matt, ...sort of. It's more like "what does the halacha say?"


Sesame seeds fit all of the definitions out there of a qitnith. It's a seed and the main thing you eat of the plant {GR"A}, you can grind it into flour, I suppose, etc.

I'll eat it.