Marijuana not kosher for passover
March 30, 2007
In case you were wondering, marijuana is not kosher for Passover.
That ruling comes from Israel's Green Leaf Party, which sent an alert to members warning them of hemp's possible kashrut problems.
"We are warning our people not to eat anything with hemp products if they follow the practice of kitniyot on Pesach," said party spokesperson Michelle Levine. "We are considering announcing a ban on everything containing hemp just to be on the safe side. We are going with the rabbis on this. People should remove all cannabis and hemp from their homes."
Hemp fits into the category of kitniyot, which includes beans, and is forbidden by most Ashkenazi authorities during Passover.
Of the dozen rabbis whom The Jerusalem Post questioned on this issue, none offered a conclusive statement about how hemp should be classified for Pesach. As Rabbi Daniel Kohn of Bat Ayin explained, the issue ultimately boils down to an individual decision by each rabbi about whether hemp seeds themselves could be considered edible. If a rabbi decides that the seeds are edible, then hemp ‹ and, by extension, marijuana ‹ would not be considered permissible for Pesach.
Hemp clothing remains OK.
Levine, meanwhile, said one of the party's main arguments for cannabis legalization was biblical references to it. "We would like to ask people Š if it's listed as not kosher 'for Pesach,' [doesn't] that mean it must be kosher the rest of the year?" said Levine.
or Easter eggs?
When it comes to intermarried couples, Christian partners are comfortable with Pesach, but Jewish partners have no such affinity for Easter, according to survey results issued this week.
Perhaps the blood libel has something to do with those attitudes.
The third annual Passover/Easter survey by InterfaithFamily.com, an organization that promotes intermarried couples making Jewish choices, looks at the holiday behaviors and attitudes of 236 interfaith couples raising their children solely as Jews. The survey shows that the springtime holiday dilemma brings up the same issues as the Christmas-Chanukah conflict, with some subtle distinctions.
Seventy-eight percent of the Christian respondents look forward to Passover, according to the survey, while only 13 percent of Jewish respondents said they look forward to Easter. More than half, 51 percent, of the Jews said that participating in Easter celebrations made them somewhat or "very uncomfortable."
Three local rabbis have made it onto a list of the 50 most influential rabbis in America. (We're kvelling, but shouldn't there be more from the nation's capital?).
This list, which appears this week in Newsweek, was put together by Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, Newscorp's Gary Ginsberg and JTN Productions' Jay Sanderson, with a system that gives points for such questions as: Are the rabbis known nationally/internationally? (20 points); do they have a media presence? (10 points); do they have political/social influence? (20 points); and have they made an impact on Judaism in their career? (10 points).
The three admit their judgments are subjective.
Making the list from Greater Washington are, at No. 10, Bruce Lustig, Washington Hebrew Congregation; No. 16, David Saperstein, director of the Reform movement's Religious Action Center; and No. 41, Sid Schwarz, founder and president of Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values.
Lustig says he's flattered to be not just on the list, but ranked so highly. He credits the opportunities he's had working with both Washington Hebrew and the Abrahamic Dialogue he created with Episcopal Bishop John Chane and American University Islamic studies chair Akbar Ahmed for leading to his rank.
And, he says, he doesn't know the three people who created the list, but he found the scoring very interesting.
The No. 1 rabbi is none other than the Simon Wiesenthal Center's very quotable Marvin Hier.
Supersized matzah oven
There must be a better way to make matzah than this. A bus, in the backyard of a home owned by a chasidic rabbi in Spring Valley, N.Y., was turned into a huge matzah oven, fueled by wood and a gas line extended from the house, according to the Associated Press. Police were called to the house after a neighbor smelled smoke, but it was unclear by press time whether the rabbi had to dismantle his oven, or was able to make adjustments to keep it legal.
Today, I am
a man (woman)
A mass b'nai mitzvah ceremony of some 1,000 immigrant teens from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was scheduled to take place today at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, as they celebrate the completion of a period of intensive learning about their Jewish heritage.
Four-thousand guests were expected, and at the ceremony's conclusion, pairs of tefillin, candlesticks and copies of the Tanakh (Bible) were be handed out to the young people.
‹ compiled with reports from JTA News and Features, The Jerusalem Post and other sources