What is Kosher for Passover for me?
I know there is some anxiety in the congregation (and the greater Jewish community) about gathering the essential items for a joyous Passover.
I want to do what I can to allay those fears – for most of us, we have the ingredients we need right around us (and if you do not, please be in touch if you need emergency resources).
First, let’s talk about what is needed before we switch to avoiding chametz.
Most of the seder plate is still readily available:
Karpas: You may like the fresh taste of parsley, but some cooked potato or a piece of onion also works
Maror: though for many, horseradish is traditional, you can use bitter lettuce
Beitzah: Eggs, thankfully, are still readily available
Z’roah: Instead of a shank-bone from a lamb, you can roast a beet – or some families (including mine, in a tradition created to make it clear that we are not sacrificing a lamb) prefer a chicken bone.
Matzah: Preheat the oven to very hot – 500°F (260°C) or above. Start a timer. Take some flour. Mix in water until it is dough-like. Add some salt. roll very flat. Bake. And Matzah is only required for the seder night.
Now to what to avoid: Many of us are ‘ingredient kosher’ and search through the ingredients to make sure food is fit for our consumption on Passover. The Orthodox Beit Din in London England posted a guide, which lists products where people look for the hechsher, but they really don’t require a hechsher – including milk and washing-up liquid/dish soap: Pesach 5780-2020 / Covid 19: Product Guidelines “in-extremis”
A careful review of this list reinforced that most ingredients are Kosher for Passover, especially if you eat corn/rice/kitniyot, except for spirit vinegar and sodas (which use wheat glucose).
I know many of us have added anxiety at this time – and I hope that this list is helpful in making sure you have less anxiety around your Passover observance. As we move from captivity to freedom in our seder, I pray that we may also do so, soon, with our bodies, in a way that keeps everyone safe and healthy.
RSVP for our Livestreamed seder for the first seder! Next Year in a Rebuilt (in so many ways) Jerusalem.