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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Lots of Legitimate Kosher for Passover Customs/Psak/Laws Part 1

Note that I didn't use the word "choice" in my title here. As many people know, I'm in the midst of planning a new kitchen. We never made a change or even major repair in the kitchen we built as part of our house almost thirty-five years ago. We've changed the major appliances, but that's it. We probably should have done work, like major repairs, on the plumbing, but we didn't.

Some of you may be wondering why I'm writing about something as mundane as a kitchen on Shiloh Musings. Isn't that more a topic for A Jewish Grandmother? Yes and No. When it comes to the logistics, aesthetics, planning, appliances and things like that, yes, I'll be blogging a lot on A Jewish Grandmother. But a Jewish kitchen isn't just about style and even convenience. There is a lot of halacha, Jewish Law involved when planning a kitchen and choosing materials and even appliances.

Once my friends, in real time and the internet, facebook and blogging, heard that I was going to totally redo/renovate my kitchen the advice began flooding in. In almost all cases, I was told to get "X," because it would make Passover cleaning easier. And, inevitably, the recommended type of appliance or sink or countertop that can be kashered more easily for Passover is more expensive.

In Torah aka Orthodox Judaism we follow our rabbinic instructions/decisions/customs etc. Not all Orthodox rabbinic instructions/decisions/customs are the same, especially when it comes to Passover. There's a major difference between the instructions/decisions/customs of Ashkenaz (European) Jewry and the Sefardi (North African) Jews. And even within Sefardi Jews there's a big difference between, Yemenite, Moroccan and Tunisian etc including which cities the family had lived in.

It's not just a matter of who eats rice and/or lentils.

In general, Ashkenaz psak, decisions and procedures are strictest and most difficult. We are Ashkenazim, so we change and cover pretty much everything. We always had Passover sets of silverware, dishes, pots etc, so I never found myself learning how to kasher anything for Passover. Just take it out of storage.

Now I keep hearing that I must get a stainless steel sink, because it can be kashered for Passover. I may get one, but since I may have the chance to get a good regular one much more cheaply, then since I already have Passover sink bowls, I may decide to save the money. Renovations always entail extra expenses. We also need to buy new lighting fixtures, and now my husband is talking of changing the livingroom windows...

Countertops are another major issue. We have always completely covered our countertops. It's no big deal for me. Certainly in this stage of life I don't see the point in spending extra money and then have to pour boiling water over everything, which has safety and other risks.

When I say "this stage of life," I'm reminding you that the one week Passover Holiday is no longer a time of major cooking and entertaining for us. Our daughter, may she and her family live and be well, has taken over the big family Passover Seder and most other family entertaining/hosting. Our new kitchen must be suitable for two senior citizens, which is a topic for  A Jewish Grandmother.

What do you think?


dlz said...

We have stainless steel sinks, but we don't kasher them - it is somewhat difficult, and we would probably freak out seeing those uncovered surfaces on Pesach!

Batya Medad said...

Exactly, though when we are at our daughter we eat whatever doesn't have kitniyot.

Mr. Cohen said...

Congratulations for starting your
Passover preparations so early,
but I speak for millions of Jews
who are still working on Purim.

This quick blog post refutes the
latest insanity from the Jewish Far-Left:

FOR PURIM: Refuting the Fans of Vashti:


Joe in Australia said...

When we renovated I chose stainless steel sinks specifically because they're so easy to kasher. But I can see your argument too.

I feel that people should generally just follow their own traditions, particularly since (in my experience) most Orthodox Jews' Pesach cleaning practices are considerably tougher than what halacha actually requires.