Congregation Tifereth Israel Congregation Tifereth Israel
 

WHAT TO EAT, WHAT NOT TO EAT, ON PASSOVER

Since the Torah prohibits the eating of hametz during Passover, and since many common foods contain some admixture of hametz, guidance is necessary when shopping and preparing for Pesah.

While many Jews adhere to the same rules for buying Passover foods before and during the holiday, Jewish Law actually draws an important distinction. Certain leniencies are permitted for some foods if they are produced before Passover begins. Still other foods must adhere to the same standard irrespective of when they are produced. The following guidelines, prepared by the Conservative Movement’s Committee on Law and Standards, clarify these possibilities.

PROHIBITED FOODS

Leavened bread, cakes, biscuits, crackers, cereals, coffee ‘‘blends’’, wheat, barley, oats, rice, dry peas, dry beans, and all liquids which contain ingredients or flavors made from grain alcohol or vinegar (other than cider vinegar). For Ashkenazi Jews, the tradition is not to eat peas, corn, rice, beans or other legumes, because their flour closely resembles hametz; string beans are permitted. The Rabbinical Assembly has permitted the use of raw peanuts.

 

PERMITTED FOODS

1. The following foods require no "Kosher for Passover’’ label if purchased prior to Passover: Unopened packages or containers of coffee (plain, not blends), pure white sugar, plain tea bags, salt (uniodized), pepper, pure spices, frozen fruit juices with no additives, honey, frozen (uncooked) vegetables (except legumes, as above), milk, butter, cottage cheese, cream cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables, kosher meat and poultry (fresh and frozen) and fish, baking soda, frozen (uncooked) fruit (with no additives), ripened cheeses (such as cheddar, muenster and Camembert), baking soda, 100% pure saccharin tablets.

2. The following foods require no "Kosher for Passover" label if purchased before or during Pesah: Fresh fruits and vegetables (for legumes, see above), eggs, fresh meat and fresh fish, as well as all detergents, cleansers and scouring powders that are certified kosher year-round.

3. The following foods require a "Kosher for Passover" label if purchased before or during Pesah: All baked products (matzah, cakes, matzah flour, farfel, matzah meal and any products containing matzah), canned or bottled fruit juices (which are often clarified with legumes), canned tuna (since tuna, even when packed in water, has often been processed in vegetable broth and/or hydrolyzed protein; however, if it is known that the tuna is packed exclusively in water, without any additional ingredients or additives, it may be purchased without a kosher for Passover label), wine, vinegar, liquor, oils, dried fruits, candy, chocolate milk, ice cream, yogurt, soda.

4. The following processed foods (canned, bottled or frozen) require a "Kosher for Passover" label if purchased during Pesah: milk, butter, juices, vegetables, fruit, milk products, spices, coffee, tea, and fish.

5. Medicine: If a particular medicine is mandated by your physician, it not only may but must be used on Pesah. If not, it should only be used if a hametz-free version is unavailable. Consult your doctor. In all cases, capsules are preferable. Advil, Bayer, Tylenol, Bufferin, Excedrin, Midol, Alka Seltzer, Pepto Bismol, Tums, Keopectate, Valium, Dramamine tablets, Contac, Sinutab, Sudafed, Tetracycline, Erythromycin, Ampicillin, Dimetapp tablets and elixer, Co-Tylenol, among many other drugs, are hametz-free and may be taken on Passover. If you wish to know the name of a hametz-free version of a particular drug, ask Rabbi Rosen.

6. Feeding Pets During Passover: During the year, treife [non-kosher] pet food may be brought into kosher homes, so long as the pet food is kept away from the kosher food and utensils. On Passover, the prohibition of owning hametz extends to all hametz products, including dog food, etc. Many pets can be fed a combination of table scraps, canned tuna, farfel, eggs, etc. For some pets, you may wish to consult with your veterinarian. On such a diet, most pets truly love Passover!