I heard that Minhag Yisroel is Torah, and that some Jews get annoyed about the minhag of Kitniyot.

Should they try to stay away from that feeling?

I understand the Rambam in hilchot daiot that a Jew must control his personality, so is a Jew obligated to distance away the trait of "letting himself be annoyed" and acquire the trait of "love" regarding torah (minhag)?

  • Judaism is suppose to motivate people to ask questions. Compassionate arguments are part of equation. So, I would tend to say yes, one could be upset about Ashkenazi exclusion of kitniyot. In a Sephardic-Ashkenazi marriage, I'm not sure which partner is suppose to follow the minhag of the other. Ultimately in such circumstances either husband or wife will be enjoying rice and beans for Pesach.
    – JJLL
    Nov 7 '14 at 22:58

As a J.SE user with a rep of over 70k, I can hereby say that I find the minhag annoying on occasion.

Rav Yaakov Emden went further than "I find it annoying." He bitterly complained about it, noting that because people can't eat rice and corn, instead they'll have to eat more matza, and it's likely that the demand for high volumes of cheap matza will cause improper baking, which will be chametz.

I'm told of a talmid who was advised by a big-name American posek (this was a private conversation so I'm omitting his name) to get a hataras nedarim regarding gebrochts, referring to it as "this stupid minhag."

Rav Moshe Feinstein zt'l was of the opinion that there is no grand theory of everything why one food is kitniyot and other is not. (Why was mustard on the list for 700 years, yet caraway didn't show up until maybe 100 years ago?) If the practice developed regarding a certain food, nu it's on the list now. (He also suggests that rabbis stopped adding to the list at some point so there would be something left to eat on Pesach!)

Sometimes minhag is about acknowledging we are part of something much bigger. Even if the particular practices can feel a bit odd at times.

Now I don't think it's healthy to sit down to every Pesach meal going "oh boo-hoo I hate the Ashkenazi minhag." But on a philosophical level? Yes it's kind of weird.

  • 1
    Can you cite the Yaavetz?
    – msh210
    Nov 9 '14 at 5:43

The Baal Shem Tov wrote that while a Tzaddik should say "I'd love to eat pig, but what can I do if Hashem prohibited it to me", a Baal Teshuva has to be disgusted by it. That's why we say "sins become like merits", that he has no more desires for that sin.

I guess the same would apply to "the sin of eating kitniyos"

  • Hashem prohibited Kitniyot? When?
    – Double AA
    Nov 7 '14 at 6:37
  • 1
    @DoubleAA "i heard that minhag yesloel is torah" Nov 7 '14 at 7:45
  • Thats not what that means...
    – Double AA
    Nov 7 '14 at 14:17

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .