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The following hypothetical case was raised in class today:

An American (ashkenazic) Jew is visiting Israel. On Erev Pesach, he has a hankering for sushi (the word hankering was not used in class -- this is my emendation). So he goes to a Sephardic, K for P restaurant. Can he order and eat sushi with rice?

This developed from a broader question -- can a Jew eat someone else's chameitz on erev pesach (so there is no issue of owning it) even if it means accepting any punishment for theft?

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What was the answer in class? –  Seth J Apr 4 '12 at 15:24
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the students raised the hypothetical -- I had no answer so I promised I'd post it. They'll ask anything to avoid studying literature. –  Danno Apr 4 '12 at 15:28
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Eating any chametz on Erev Pesach after Chatzot is for sure a Biblical prohibition! Kitniyot is only a minhag and there may be what to talk about, but I think the minhag is not to eat it. But certainly no chametz. –  Double AA Apr 4 '12 at 16:09
    
the zmanim for this friday indicate a 2 hour window between last time to eat and chatzot and a 1 hour window after bi'ur and chatzot –  Danno Apr 4 '12 at 16:42
    
@Dan That's because there is a 2 hour period prior to Chatzot where eating chametz is rabinnically prohibited and a 1 hour window prior to chatzot where owning chametz is rabinnically prohibited. But starting from chatzot the prohibition is biblical. –  Double AA Apr 4 '12 at 19:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

According to Chok Yaakov, cited by Shevet Halevi (OC 31), the custom to refrain from eating kitniyot begins on Erev Pesach, just the same as the prohibition of eating chametz.

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Custom, not halakhic obligation. –  Aman Apr 4 '12 at 21:57
    
@Aman no halachic obligation exists at all concerning kitniyot- the whole thing is a minhag! –  Baal Shemot Tovot May 20 '12 at 15:27

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