new heksher "kosher for those who eat kitniyos" sign now

DISCLAIMER PLEASE READ WHAT I'M SAYING BY SIGNING SECTION BELOW BEFORE SIGNING

This is a petition to the OU, the CRC, the Chaf K, and the Circle K, regarding how Kitniyos (meaning of kitniyos explained below) on passover are handled by American kosher certification organizations. It is to request that a hecksher (certification symbol) of Kosher Licokley Kitniyos (kosher for those who eat kitniyos) be introduced and used by American kosher certification organizations. This would be a similar Hesksher to the current heksher on egg matza-which says kasher for the sick and children and refers to shulchan aruch (code of jewish law). It would also parallel the situation in Isreal..where such a heksher is commonly used. This is the only way that many jews would be able to eat kitniyos on passover-since even if they would eat kitniyos they must be sure that kitniyos is the only problem with the product.

(see the Bad arguments refuted section below for common arguments against this idea refuted)

Kosher certification by a respected Kahrus organization of a processed or manufactured product on passover is the standard many jews use to establish what they will eat on passover. (and during the year) Many of these Jews feel that when it comes to processed or manufactured foods such certification is the only way to verify that:
that a product does not/does not contain chametz (Levin from 5 spcific grains) or chametz derivative
that a product was not prepared with chametz or chametz derivtive
that a product was not prepared with utensils that had once cooked chametz or chametz derivative and was not rekasherd before processing the product.
That a product is not unkosher for any-not passover-related reason which would make it impermissible any time of year-including passover. (including but not limited to- dairy and meat mixtures-dairy cooked with meat utensils or vice versa-products containing derivatives of or actual impermissible meat/improperly slaughtered meat-derivatives of or actual insects or shellfish-otherwise kosher products contaminated by non kosher utensils-wine that was handled by a non jew prior to being boiled or drunk)
That it was not prepared by violating the shabbath or yom tov (holiday) and hence an inappropriate to be marketed to observant jews, or that the manufacturer of the product has not otherwise become hostile to working with the certification system.

For many jews-it is necessary to have a respectable organization determine all those things before eating it on passover.

In addition, many, but not all, of these same jews feel that the only way to determine that a product does not contain Kitniyos or Ktiniyos derivatives.

Kitniyos is a Hebrew word meaning little things. On passover, a widespread minhag (tradition) has developed among Ashkenazim jews not to eat certain little foods on passover that have come to fall under this minhag. Some even follow the custom of not eating Kitniyot derivatives (things that are made from kitniyot but are not Kitniyot themselves.)

Becasuse of the Kitniyos Minhag/Minhagim The OU, the CRC, the Chaf K, and the Circle K, and many other respectable Kosher Certification systems do not certify any product as kosher for passover if it contains Kitniyos or Kitniyos derivatives.

With these certification systems, there is no indication of the package if the product only contains kitniyos or kitniyos derivatives. Such a product would simply not be certified.

Now, A large number of jews who use the Kosher certification system on passover either do not follow the minhag not to eat ktiniyos-or will eat only kitniyos declivities but not kitniyos themselves. Also, some do not eat some kitniyos but have issues with the number of things that have recently been added to the list of what the kosher certification systems now consider kitniyos. This includes nearly all Sephardi American Jews as well as many children and sick people. It also inculdeds many learned and pious jews who simply have other views on what,in terms of kitniyos, may be eaten on passover.


Many jews who require their food certified but do not follow the kitniyos minhag-or follow some variation of it-have no choice but to follow the minhag anyway. They cannot be sure their food contain kitniyos isn't impermissible for some other reason, because the kosher certification organizations refuse to provide a heksher certifying that kitniyos or a derivite is the only problem. This system forces these people to keep minhagim they do not follow and spend money on alternative more expensive products that are not necessary. This petition is an attempt to create and use a kosher for those who eat kitniyos heksher


Such a change would:
1.allow people to be true to their beliefs about jewish law
2.allow the Kosher certifiers to charge many more products for certification, generating more revenue.
3.It would also open the market of passover products to tons of items-lowering the operating cost of passover for every kashrus observing jewish family.

It may even reduce the amount fo people who, fed up with the system, simply eat products they THINK only contain kitniyos but dont have a heksher. The new heksher would give them a way to guarantee that the only problem is kitniyos. This argument may appeal to the more frum (pious) among us.

A number of false/bad apologetic/anti change arguments for not using this proposed heksher

BAD ARGUMENT #1- It's too expensive for these organizations to change their system to provide for a new heksher for passover to tell us what is only a kitniyos problem not a chametz or other kashrus problem.

Answer-Well it would require some costly restucturing but in the end they would be able to put different hekshers on vastly more products and genreate much more revenue than they do now.

BAD ARGUMENT #2-National kashrus organizations rely on smaller organizations to tell them whats in products. Thus they couldn't tell you whehter there is kitniyos or some other problem.

(this bad argument is actually made by the OU-REALLY!!) see http://www.oukosher.org/index.php/passover/article/5711

Answer-so the national system can rely on these organizations to tell them whats kosher or whats chametz-but not what;s kitniyos??

What they are really saying is that the OU and its smaller associates doesn't keep track of kitniyos when it gets info on ingredients so it cant issue the new kitniyos certification system when pesach comes around-my response?-start keeping track

BAD ARGUMENT#3-telling people what had only kitniyos will encourage people who otherwise would not eat kitniyos to break their minhag and start eating kitniyos.

Yes-and the current system encourages people not to keep kosher at all and to just assume the only problem with a product is kitniyos when it could be chametz! So the current system encourages the eating of chametz and my proposed system would only encourgae the eating of kitniyos.

For those who accept bad argument #3 I have a question: Why dont you apply this logic to egg matzah? The box says it should only be eaten by Sephardi jews, children and the sick and references shulchan aruch. Why not simply not certify it at all-that would be consistant with bad argument#3,.


The author of this petition all sis not a rabbi. Although this petition makes claims about what some people believe about kitniyos what some people do to observe the minhag, and what the Heksher system does in response to the minhag, it does NOT make any claims about what is permissible in jewish law or what is impermissible according to jewish law. Nor does it make claims about what minhagim should be followed or not followed, nor the manor in which these minhagim should be followed or not followed.

It does NOT endorse the eating of kitniyos by anyone on passover, particulary those who have the minhagh not to. It does NOT even endorse the eating of kitniyos derivatives by anyone. It simply recognizes that anyone who use Hekshers also would eat kitniyos as defined by the certification systems in America if they could be sure that the food was not somehow otherwise assur.

It DOES request for a more informative heksher system that would include kosher liokley kitniyot.


What I'm Saying by Signing:



-That I understand that this petition was written by a layman, not a rabbi.
-That although this petition makes claims about what some people believe about kitniyos, It does NOT make any claims about what is permissible in jewish law or what is impermissible according to jewish law. Nor does it make claims about what minhagim (traditions) should be followed or not followed, nor the manor in which these minhagim (traditions) should be followed or not followed. It is simply a request for a more informative heksher system that would include kosher liokley kitniyot. I may or may not have my own beliefs about what appropriate jewish law/minhagim/actual practice is or should be-but these beliefs are not reflected by signing this petition.
-That I am jewish. (defined as..considering myself jewish) or am in the process of converting to Judaism (at any level)
-That I am at least 13 years old if a male or at least 12 years old if a female.
-That I keep kosher to some degree during the Jewish holiday of passover.
-That I rely/have relied/will rely to at least some degree on the system of Heksher in America to establish what manufactured/processed foods I will eat on passover.
-That I am familiar with the widespread minhag among Ashkenazim not to eat kitniyos on passover but understand that both interpretations of jewish law and actual jewish practice concerning concerning Kitniyos vary substantially.
-That I would like to see a kosher liokley kitniyos (kosher for those who eat kitniyos) heksher added to the system of kosher certification in America.

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Jacqueline BairdBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
users of american kashrus organiaztions

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