Messages from Rabbi Russo

April 15, 2016 - 7 Nissan

Shabbat Shalom. 
We celebrate Shabbat HaGadol this week, the last Shabbat before Pesach.  Many of you have asked me about the Conservative Movement's latest teshuvot that permit eating kitniyot (legumes) on Passover for Ashkenazi Jews.  I will give a formal class on this at the Siyum for the fast of the first born on Friday morning. You can also read the teshuvot here from the Rabbinical Assembly's website.  It is a complicated issue, and I encourage you to attend the class or read the responsa.
Traditions become very emotional and close to our hearts.  We do not know the precise reason for why certain rabbis forbid kitniyot, yet it is a tradition (not codified into Jewish law) that developed in the Ashkenazi circles that is still upheld today.  Kitniyot are not considered hametz.  Rabbis Golinkin, Levin, and Reisner make compelling arguments for why we can eat kitniyot today.  It is a tradition that will be hard for some to abandon, while others will joyfully embrace kitniyot this year.  I am happy to speak about this in more detail for anyone who is deciding what to do this year.  Everyone is welcome to come to my class next Friday morning and to bring your chametz to burn.  We will have an antique fire truck and pizza as well.  
We still have a few spots left for the community seder, but we need to know ASAP if you are attending.  We have a beautiful and interactive seder planned, and you do not have to do any work!  Please contact the office if you would like to attend. 
We are rescheduling Tot Shabbat from this week for next Saturday morning.  There will be a special Passover theme.  
Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom and a Zissen Pesach.