10 April 2009

Pesach Chatter on Facebook

Just two notes from the wonderful world of Facebook and kitniyot:

A colleague wrote about a congregant posting on Facebook that s/he was making peanut butter and jelly on matzah. I made a suggestion to my colleague and shared this with Michelle who said the same debate was happening on one of our congregant's Facebook pages. One friend had said that matzah with peanut butter was very tasty. Another friend replied that peanut butter was "technically chametz". Luckily, your Rabbi is Facebook savvy and was able to swing into action. For the curious, my answer about peanut butter and "kitniyot" is detailed below:

Just to clarify - peanut butter is not "technically chametz" it is of a second category "kitniot". Kitniot - according to the Orthodox - are ok to own during Pesach, but not to eat. "Kitniot" are those beans and legumes (such as peanuts) that, supposedly, expand - usually when cooked. Because they expand - which is similar to rising, to make a fence around the law, some Jews (notably Ashkenazic) banned them during Pesach. Modern Jews, including the Conservative movement in Israel, have come out against the kitniot ban, as they feel it distracts from the actual prohibitions of Pesach.