Apr. 19th, 2016

parvuss: (Он самый)
וואס איז טריף טאר מען ניט, וואס איז כשר דארף מען ניט

If the reader does not mind the musings of an old-fashioned Jew: in previous times (decades, not centuries, ago), Pesach was a time when one learned that one can make do with less. Life was generally simpler and Pesach was simpler yet. There were hardly any “kosher for Pesach” products; there were neither groceries nor cosmetics, not even aspirin or coffee for Pesach. One managed for eight days with even less than the little that was available kosher year-round. There was a beauty to the simplicity that Pesach imposed upon us. One looked forward to, and even relished, the thick, dark baking chocolate or the hard, barely tasty macaroons that were the only treats available for Pesach. Times have surely changed; baruch Hashem we are affluent and more comfortable, both year-round and on Pesach. However, we pay a price: we have lost touch with that simpler way of life. There is an unspoken feeling that we must have everything. This feeling pervades our lives all year. Whatever product is available to the non-Jewish society must be obtainable in a kosher form; whatever is available all year must be available for Pesach as well: we cannot do without it.

This is a serious threat to the recognition of Jewish separateness and the mesiras nefesh that one must feel for Torah. Perhaps there is something wrong if our children must have kosher for Pesach potato chips, bubble gum, or pizza. Perhaps it means that we may not have imbued our children with the awareness that sometimes you must sacrifice something for the Ribbono Shel Olam. We adults are not immune to this attitude either. When we ask a sheilah, often it is with a subconscious assumption that there must be some way that halachah permits me to do what “I” wish. “It is the Rav’s duty to find me some heter.” It is sometimes difficult to accept a psak that prohibits what we wish to do. In such cases, there is no recourse but to submit to the dictates of halachah. This attitude is relevant to Pesach preparations as well. When we plan our Pesach preparations, we must understand and accept that one does not need every appliance on Pesach. Those that are difficult to kasher, or it is questionable whether they can be kashered, should be cleaned and put away. Do we really need a dishwasher or an outdoor grill for Pesach? How many days of Chol Hamoed are there to use a dishwasher or grill? Is it really necessary to kasher a microwave? Although a microwave is convenient, it probably cannot be kashered for Pesach. If we have difficulty managing for four days a year without a microwave or grill, we need to re-evaluate our relationship to Hashem, His mitzvos, and our attitude to life in general. These are thoughts that we should contemplate while making our kitchen kosher for Pesach.

Rabbi Binyomin Forst, " The Kosher Kitchen" Ch. 15 Kashering for Pesach.


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