Wednesday, March 30, 2011

PESACH: What's the matter with rice?

Today is the 24th day of Adar II, 5771

As we explained yesterday there are only five grains which could become Chametz: wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt.

Rice then, is not Chametz. Still, the Ashkenazi and the Moroccan custom is to refrain from rice during Pesach. Why? The reason for their abstention of rice has to do with the fact that it was very common to find grains of wheat in the bags of rice, since the fields where rice was grown were usually nearby or within the same fields where wheat was grown. Even today, there are many places in the world (India, Pakistan, Iran) where they rotate wheat and rice crops yearly:

Therefore, it would not be unthinkable to find a grain of wheat mixed with rice. To avoid the possibility of accidental presence of a grain of wheat in rice, the Persian and Syrian custom is to check the rice very carefully, three times before using it for Pesach.

We also refrain from buying enriched rice, which sometimes could be enriched with wheat starch.

Brown rice could also be used, provided is not enriched and there are no other additives. The ahskenazi custom is also to refrain from consuming any seeds (kitniot). Click here to see why:

The following brands of rice are recommended by Rabbi Eliyahu Ben Haim as being 100% pure, not enriched, and with no additives or preservatives. LALQUILA, SHAZADEH, PARI, ROYAL, ZEBRA, DEER, TILDA.

Anti-Israel activists have declared that March 30th will be a global day of action for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aimed at the boycott of all Israeli goods.

To counter calls for boycotts, World Jewish Congress encourages BUYcotts, and, together with other pro-Israel organizations, is calling on constituents to purchase Israeli products.

We are calling for March 30th to be a Buy Israeli Goods (BIG) Day.

We encourage you to visit

To find a list of Israeli-made items which can be bought as part of your regular shopping needs, as gifts, or occasional purchases.

Please, circulate this website to your members and friends.

On March 30th, please use the website to find stores near you from which you can purchase these goods. Tell the store managers you wish to purchase Israeli goods, and encourage them to carry these products. Products from Israel meet the highest quality standards. Collectively, the frequent purchase of Israeli products will have a significant impact on the Israeli economy and all segments of the Israeli population.

Make March 30th a record day for sales of Israeli

products by organizing a BUYcott for your members.

Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024

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