Kitniot

June 20, 2006

Leguminous vegetables such as beans, peas, corn and rice. The consumption of these foods is restricted (on “Pesach”/Passover) by European Rabbinic Tradition, though these foods are not “Chametz.” [The reason for this prohibition is probably based on the fact that these foods were frequently used in those locations to make what was called, and what looked like, “bread.”] Unlike “Chametz,” benefit from and possession of Kitniot during Passover are permitted.

Yeminite, Sefardic and Oriental Jews are not bound to this custom by their traditions. The tradition of the Kitniot restriction has been steadfastly maintained by all Jews of European origin for centuries. This includes the Jews of France, England, Germany, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Austria and the Low Countries.