Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tolerance, Acceptance, Pesach Can Be Complicated

The Passover (Pesach) Holiday is the most complicated time on the Jewish Calendar, in Jewish Life, which is pretty complicated compared to other religions.

We have all these food and cooking rules besides the no fire, drive and buy on Shabbat etc. Most of the year, and even most holidays it's pretty clear. Most who consider themselves Torah Observant Jews aka Orthodox do the mitzvot, keep the Gd Given Laws pretty much the same. Way back when, in the days I was enthusiastically learning all this, it seemed cut and dry. I was given the impression that everybody did it exactly the same.

On Pesach I figured all good Jewish housewives cover their kitchen like this. But I was very wrong. In Israel this sort of covering is more popular with Ashkenazi households, especially if from America or Europe.

While American rabbis took for granted that almost every surfaces or material used for making dishes, pots etc was too porous to be koshered for Passover, necessitating covering everything or buying special "only for Pesach use" kitchen tools, dishes etc, here in Israel many rabbis insist pretty much everything can be koshered.

I'll never forget the most difficult homework assignment my eldest got. She had to answer:
How does your mother kosher the following items:
and the list went on and on...
All I could tell her was that I didn't kasher any of those things. I had special for Passover ones in the upper cabinets stored away to use on Passover.

Over the decades, as Israelis have become more affluent, there are many who no longer kasher their everyday kitchen items and just take special ones out of storage. There are also many, especially the younger ones, who don't bother buying or kashering dishes etc and use disposables for almost everything. Gone are the days when people thought that it wasn't proper and formal enough to use disposable dishes. Now, instead of having a few miss-matched sets, like I have, they buy gorgeous disposable dishes even with matching serving dishes and impressive holiday wine cups. And they claim that by not having to wash dishes, it's good for the environment. And of course they set an exquisite table!

There was a time, when I'd say that I wasn't willing to go anyplace on Passover that didn't do what I did or more, but that changed. I've changed. I discovered that so many people more knowledgeable than myself, who, unlike yours truly, come from families that had always been religious, don't cover things up like I do. I still cover up my kitchen. And as we're still Ashkenazim we still don't eat kitniyot, legumes. But my now Tunisian daughter and her family bring rice to our house on Passover, and we eat in their house, though not the rice and kitniyot, legumes.

Chag Pesach Kasher v'Sameach!
Have a Happy and Kosher Passover!


Rickismom said...

I fail to see how using xisposables is good for the environment. We eat gebruks. My sons don't in THEIR housez...but they never took on the restriction formally, so they eat by me. My talmid chocham son keeps telling me I cover too much but I am loathe to decrease what I do...

Batya Medad said...

I also do not understand their love of disposables but they rationalize less water soap in washing dishes.