Baal Teshuva: What Comes First
Rav Moshe Shternbuch: Shabbos Or Kashrus, Where Does A Baal Tshuva Start?
Rav Moshe Shternbuch says (1:350) that a Baal Tshuva is like a small child. He needs to start slowly and learn first how to lie down, than sit, and then walk. During this process the Baal Tshuva is still not complete and the person guiding them will need to choose wisely what they are ready to accept. It should not depend on the stringency of the aveira but rather on the ability of the Baal Tshuva.
Rav Shternbuch says that it is easier to start with Kashrus although it is only a Lav rather than Shabbos whose violators are Chayav Misa, capital punishment. The reason is, that finding alternative kosher food is relatively easy whereas keeping Shabbos is not. He cautions that burdening a Baal Tshuva with more than they can handle at each stage, is counterproductive and you may lose them altogether if they buckle under the load.
The main thing, he says, is to strengthen their Emuna that Hashem created the world and that there is reward and punishment. You need to ignite the spark and move forward judiciously.
Quonfused about Quinoa
By Arlene Mathes-Scharf, Kashrut.com
Copyright © 2011 Kashrut.com
Quinoa has become a part of the Passover diet for many observant Jews since the Star-K published an article Quinoa, The Grain That’s Not, in the Kashrus Kurrents for Pesach, 1997. In this article the Star-K explains that quinoa is not related to the five types of grain that can become chometz, nor it is related to millet or rice. It is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium) related to the beet and spinach. (www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/quinoa.html). The Star-K tested quinoa to see if it would rise It did not, it decayed. The result was as Chazal termed, sirchon; the quinoa decayed - it did not rise. (www.star-k.com/kashrus/kk-passover-quinoa.htm.)
It is grown in the Andes mountains in locations that do not support growth of the five grains which can become chometz: wheat, rye, oats, barley and spelt.
Quinoa fills a diet hole for many people for Passover. These include people on gluten-free diets, vegetarians, and vegans. It is also a non-meat protein source for dairy-intolerant people. It has become so mainstream that Susie Fishbein has featured recipes using quinoa in her bestselling Passover cookbook that was published last year by Artscroll. Some of the companies that process quinoa do so in a chometz-free environment to enable the product to be consumed by people on a gluten-free or wheat -free diet.
The custom of not eating kitiniot evolves from the fact that it is similar to chometz grains.
The question is, is quinoa kitniot or not. Rabbi Blech in Know thy Beans Kitniyos in the Modern World quotes the following characteristics of kitniot that are listed by authorities: cooked grains which may be confused with chometz, grown in fields adjacent to chometz, and ground into flour and confused with chometz. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (in Igros Moshe O”Ch III:63) said that there is no halachic basis to extend this to new foods. The Chicago Rabbinical Council accepts the use of quinoa that has not come in contact with chometz on the basis of this ruling.
The OU has written the following at oukosher.org/index.php/passover/article/7555: “There is a difference of opinion among Rabbinic decisors (machloket ha-poskim) as to whether quinoa is considered kitniyot. Ask your Rabbi for his guidance. Additionally, while quinoa is not one of the five grains that can create chametz (wheat, oat, barley, spelt and rye), and quinoa is not grown in the same vicinity as the grains mentioned above, the processing of quinoa is sometimes done at the same location where they process wheat and wheat flour. It is highly doubtful that the mills are effectively cleaned between grains. The concern of wheat flour or particles finding their way into the quinoa flour would be a serious one.”Quinoa has become a very popular commodity and additional companies and areas have been producing it since it a very high value agricultural product. The Star-K this year has found barley present in one of the packing facililtes that they certify that also does quinoa and therefore has become concerned about the presence of chometz grains. This year they issued the following ruing:
“As a result of a recent investigation, we have found it possible that quinoa’s kosher for Passover status is compromised when it grows or is processed in the proximity of certain crops. Therefore, Quinoa will only be accepted with reliable Kosher for Passover supervision. “ www.star-k.org/alerts/alerts-February2011.htm
The Chicago Rabbinical Council has done additional research and has issued the following ruling at www.crcweb.org/alerts.php:
“The cRc approves the use of whole grain quinoa for Pesach on the following conditions:
- The quinoa is imported exclusively from Bolivia.
Ancient Harvest is one of the brands that only imports quinoa from Bolivia; there may be others. The label should state the country of origin.
- The quinoa must be carefully inspected by hand before Pesach.
This is done by spreading one layer of quinoa at a time on a board or plate and checked to be sure that there are no other grains or foreign matter mixed in with the quinoa.
This does not apply to Quinoa flour which is not permitted on Passover.”
I also researched other manufactuerers to see how their quinoa was packed. Each of these companies also packs other grains or products on the same lines or in the same facility. Arrowhead Mills packs their product on the same lines as they do flour, though on different days, after a clean up. OK Laboratories have reported that EDEN brand Quinoa is not co-packed with chometz. (Ed. note: The OK is not certifying quinoa for Passover). Earthly Delights Quinoa, which is certified by the OU, is packed on a line that also packs chometz grains. Bob’s Red Mill packs gluten-free oats in the same area.You should always follow the advice of your own rabbi. Purchase the quinoa befor Passover.Consumers are urged to carefully check grains before Pesach for extraneous matter.
Quinoa should also be rinsed to remove a bitter saponin layer that is found on the outside of the quinoa.
This information is accurate only for Passover 2011.