Letter: Kosher L’Pesach Pizza, bagels and pancakes? A Shanda

To whom this may concern. I write this letter in disgust.

How low can we stoop to feel the need to manufacture bagels, pancakes and pizza that are Kosher L’Pesach?

Is this what Pesach has become? Are we that far removed from what Pesach meant to our parents and grandparents? Do we no longer want to give our children a ‘Yiddish Taam’ of Pesach? Can we not survive one week without having every single food available as ‘Kosher L’Pesach’? Or have we now demanded that society provides us every comfort and convenience our hearts desire?

Is anything sacred anymore? Is this how we want our children growing up? Saying, “we grew up eating pizza and pizza bagels on Pesach”?

This has gotten out of control, and is a true Shanda.

Elky S.
Lakewood

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48 COMMENTS

    • To all readers:
      What should or should not be done is decided by halacha and hashkafa.. Feelings and sentiments are not factors. If you think it may be problematic speak with your Rav, not the woman next door. Pesach isn’t different than all year, if everything is available in the kosher for all year version why not pesach…..?

  1. Agreed! Keep in mind however, that many people buy these items to serve their families BEFORE Pesach or to stock up on gluten free items for year round use, for allergy reasons.
    Also, the food industry these days is out of control and beyond our comprehension. The fact that a supermarket the size of Shop Rite, can be full of only kosher (and mostly heimish and of course excluding cholov stam) products is mind boggling and not something our society should pride itself on.
    What will they think of next?

    • Is it possible that not every jew is on your level & the fact that there are so many kosher for passover options saves ppl from eating chometz on passover

  2. I am thoroughly confused. You are saying that the essence of pesach is not having good food to eat. You are insulting Decades of our parents and grandparents who slaved away to produce delicious food for their family.

    You created in your head a picture of what Pesach look like and since this picture is different you are outraged.

    Why are you okay with making meat chicken and soup that mimics your year-round dishes?

    What is so terrible about your child growing up saying that they ate these things?

    Please don’t create problems when none exist in the eyes of halacha or hashgafa.

    If you choose not to eat it because you’re Bubby didn’t, that is fine but don’t impose that on anyone else.

    Your Bubby also didn’t have a microwave or food processor. Perhaps you should do without to recreate the life that your Bubby had.

  3. Nobody’s forcing you to buy it or eat it. Not every little annoyance warrants a scathing letter to the public. If it’s permissible by halacha and it makes life easier for some people, live and let live.

  4. Where does it say that pesach should be associated with untasty food?
    The chasam said that one who doesnt eat gebrocks cannot properly fulfill Simchas yom tov. I’m sure he is happy that nowadays, even those that don’t eat gebrocks can enjoy tasty food.
    If you like pizza and it’s possible to make kosher l’pesach, why not eat it?

  5. Rebbitzen Elky,

    I used to think like you. Until this week..A friend of mine owns a large Behavioral Care program where almost certainly everyone does not eat Kosher. Rather than relying on a questionable Mechira, he bought thousands of dollars worth of Kosher L’Pesach “bagels, pancakes and pizza”, spending thousands of dollars extra to be Mihader. Was a real eye opener for me. We very often don’t know what’s going on “by yenim” (my young son won’t eat a thing besides pizza). Let’s do what we think is right in our own homes, but let’s be careful about judging others. Ah Kosherin Pesach.

  6. Our grandparents didnt have all this food available to them does that mean we cant enjoy good food that is now available to us. Ad a child i remember there never being a good variety to eat and therefore didnt love pesach, now i can help my children to love the yom tov and have good food to eat. If your bored and need to create problems don’t share them with everyone

  7. you are so wrong there is nothing wrong with eating anything that is kosher for Passover peasach is a yom tov and there is a mitzva to eat and enjoy yourself and not be restricted with non sense

  8. So the essence of Pesach is to have only three good options to choose from? That’s what delineates a “real” Pesach experience from a corrupt one?

  9. Herein lies your mistake my dear yidishe mama. When it comes to the nine days-yes the whole point is discomfort. When it comes to sefira-again the idea is discomfort. That is why ideas that seem to “fool the system” are not correct, because it is against the spirit of the laws of those days. But during pesach my friend, the laws have absolutely nothing to do with discomfort or any sort of perishus, it is one thing and one thing only-no chometz. If one wishes to grow in these areas-or even be machmir, one needs only to learn hilchos pesach and see the many areas that really can use improvement. And if by some miracle you are perfect in hilchos pesach areas, there are many other much much more important things in life than trying to figure out why everyone else is too happy on pesach.

  10. Who Are you to write such a letter & judge everyone,not everyone is on the same level as you. “Live & let live”!! Is it possible that since there are so many kosher for Passover products available it saves people that are not so strict like you from eating chometz on pesach,you clearly were thinking about yourself when you wrote this letter

  11. How does this make any sense? Pesach was never meant to be a holiday of this many restrictions. If you want to get all nostalgic, let’s go back a few thousand years when the options on Pesach included many more grains (kitniyos). כל המוסיף גורע

  12. Wow Erev pesach u have so much time on ur hands to write such a letter ?! Get involved take ur kids out and show them how nice Yom Tov is with all the goods the sell today

  13. When potato starch was introduced, many people were appalled, but over time we got used to it and accept it. Yes this stuff is new, but we’ll get over it. At this point you have two options, either like those that don’t use any products, or if you do, then go all the way and but anything kosher for pesach. A middle way, while it “feels” right, really has no basis in halacha.

  14. I am sure can all manage without all the new kosher l’pesach foods like the way we’ve done in the past. This is the world we live in today (unlike our bobbies and zaidys that slaved away) and there’s really not much we can do other then following our own minhagim and mesorah. These products are not for everyone!!

  15. @tryingtobenormal- we’ll said! In addition years ago our grandparents ate soft matzos and kitnyos- it’s all relative. I have to guess that you are also anti- vaccine, just a hunch. Focus on the important things!

  16. These items were created for the nursing home business were you need to serve not only Jewish residents we have to be Dan lekaf zechus as the chofetz Chaim says and yes our children need to know it’s pasach and my having restrictions realize how chasuve it is to be a Jew.

  17. our great grandparents also didn’t have phones so they spoke less lashon hara, and they made all their own clothes so they were more tznius and they didn’t read Jewish magazines so they weren’t as trendy and competitive. They didn’t have refigerators so they cooked everything on erev pesach and made due with less. Maybe we should all go back to living how they did in 1901 and give up every modern convenience since that time. or you can pick and choose what works for you according to your shita and minhag. We don’t eat processed foods on pesach so we don’t buy all this stuff but many people do. There’s hundreds of minhagim, just abide by yours and respect other people’s minhagim. If people respected other people’s minhagim more there would be a lot more achdus. Just do what your rav says is right for you.

  18. I am sure each one of these comments brought pain to the writer of this letter. There are ways to comment nicely and there is absolutely no need for each of you to state your opinion by degrading a jewish mother who is bothered by the taam of Pesach changing. Whether you agree with her or not, jewish people should never speak like this to one another. Please change the tone of your comments. Bein Adam Lachaveiro is more important than this debate. L’shana Haboah B’Yerushalayim!

  19. I find it so interesting that Every Single comment disagrees with the letter writer! I actually disagree too! Your grandparents did not have lots of things that you have today. I’d venture to say that their Succah consisted of some wood scraps and Pine Branches covering? Yet, I’m sure your Succah looks a lot more modern and exciting. Because the food was pretty bland years ago does not mean that it needs to remain that way. What about all the canned vegetables and other foods that we have these days?? Just thank goodness for the convenience!!!

  20. Your great grandparents lived in a one room shack and rode on a wagon pulled by a horse had no indoor plumbing it’s a shanda that you don’t live like that oh they also didn’t have meat and they had one dress for shabbos and one for the weekday what a Shania that you have a closet full of clothes in a house with indoor plumbing and you have a car to go shopping

  21. I 100% agree with the author of this letter. It’s gotten out of hand. All the comments about people eating this food instead of Chometz, seriously?! That’s applicable to a very small % of people if at all.

    The idea of “Pesach is not about more restrictions” is just an excuse to live a specific lifestyle that I prefer not to live. To each their own.

  22. To answer bein Adam lachaveiro, yes you’re 100% right and ppl shouldn’t answer like that to someone who is truly bothered by what they see in the stores.
    But maybe not everything should be written in TLS? Apparently ppl don’t like to be took that whay they do is wrong!!!
    Dear Elky, Keep your thought to yourself. It bothers you but it’s not against halacha. It fills a need, the proof is that it’s being sold. So if it bothers you,don’t buy it, nobody’s forcing you!!

  23. I always had this shaila grada. I know we have a Moroccan minhag not to eat to eat chickpeas (even though for you people its kitniyos anyway) because the name chummus resembles the word chametz. And yes an entire city has this custom not just us. I also think there may be a hashkafic inyan on Pesach to view chametz as miyus and disgusting on pesach although before you all have canaries I don’t have the mekor handy. so maybe the writer has somewhat of a point- its not clear

  24. To all judgmental commenters,

    Of course you can enjoy delicious food on Pesach and you don’t have to live in a shack without a fridge. But as the countless halachos and minhagim (kitniyos, no bitul, gebrokts, mishing, no fish, etc.) on Pesach convey, Chazal were exceptionally machmir to avoid any chance of chometz, more than they were for treifos or any other edible issur.

    When you have thousands of products made in special rush runs, with scores of complex ingredients from around the world, made in plants around the world, you cannot get that exacting standard. Not ch”v saying that they’re halachically forbidden, but there are inevitably many shailos and leniencies that you do not have if you stick to purchasing staples and cooking them in your home kitchen.

    So yes, you can have delicious food, made in a modern kitchen with food processors, refrigeration, etc., while maintaining the optimal Pesach kashrus standard and atmosphere. And you do not have to purchase everything on your grocery shelf, or lash out at someone who doesn’t.

  25. @Elky, S. – Thanx for a very well written letter. The style & grammar were excellent; the content, however, was seriously flawed. And, it’s fairly clear, you work as a Morah or other position of auhtority – You judge everyone & you are really quick to criticize. There is no Mishnah prohibiting Kosher L’Pesach pancakes but there is a Mishnah prohibiting judging other people. So, maybe get your priorities straight b4 you bash Thousands of ppl in Klal Yisroel.

    Wishinga happy &Serene Yom Tov

    • I have no idea who the letter writer is, but there is no Mishna or any other Chazal prohibiting someone from judging an action or societal trend as to whether it is appropriate/upstanding according to Torah values. And while there is no Mishna prohibiting Kosher L’Pesach commercial pancakes, there are thousands of years of halachos, minhagim and mesorah of a very different spirit – whether or not you prefer to blind yourself to them.

      If you want to eat (just about) everything over Pesach, go ahead, but please get off your high horse.

  26. You don’t have to buy it if u don’t feel it’s right. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you don’t feel it’s right don’t if u do,do. Have a nice Pesach .

  27. i think most people are missing the point – you can have plenty of delicious yummy food on pesach that does not look chametzdik – years ago there was a food call in show on wor with a not-yet-frum host – arthur schwartz – when someone called before pesach to ask him to suggest how to make pizza for pesach, this not-yet-frum person said ” you can’t live eight days without pizza?!’
    noone is asking you to suffer or not enjoy food on yomtov. my homemade mayonnaise tastes way better than bought and there’s loads to enjoy – the home squeezed oj is way better too – it’s a matter of keeping minhagim and TREASURING them.
    Chag kosher v’sameach

  28. If I understand what the letter writer meant to say, I’m not sure why it was printed on TLS. It is a sensitivity that 99% of the readership no longer has in todays media exposed iPhone and WhatsApp generation and the need for kosher alternatives to everything those mediums expose us to. Explain to your average person that there is something wrong with a kosher DVD with endorsements from “noted mechanchos” ( in my house we call those anonymous endorsements “noted mechanics”) and they will look at you like you are from mars. The responses to the letter were a foregone conclusion. The letter was also printed in an abrasive and over the top manner, and given the above, would be better off not being printed.

  29. I agree with the letter writer and praise her for speaking up the truth and how low we have sunk in kedusha as a holy nation.

    Hold yourself back from just one desire even if it’s permitted. Can you do it so that you can help bring yourself closer to Hashem?

    Pick one pleasure item of Pesach that you will hold yourself back from this Pesach even though it’s permitted in honor of Hashem and serving Hashem.

    Wishing everyone a chag kosher vsameach

  30. Why does everyone think “good food” is synonymous with pizza, pancakes, and bagels?! I wait for Pesach all year, I love my Pesach recipes, and my family begs me to make my Pesach dishes year round, but I insist on saving them l’kovod yom tov. And I do not use any processed foods. Pure food is GOOD!

  31. Some people don’t use any ready made products at all, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make all kinds of delicacies in their own kitchens. I personally don’t patchke too much, but we have plenty of delicious variety to eat, more than enough for 8 days. I don’t .is bagels and pizza at all but if someone wants it let him have it, only make it very clear to your kids that it’s strictly Pesachdik so they don’t get confused.

  32. Going to put up my k for p bread in the bread maker. Mmm can’t wait for all the simchas Yom Tov we will have enjoying all this delicious food.

  33. I cannot believe all these negative comments coming from Lakewooders,
    Elki is 100% right.Pizza, bagels, pastas are all equal to Chometz food. It is unbelievable that Herscherim are being given for these products. It is horrible for the Chinuch of our children. Why can we be ONE WEEK without all these food products that we over indulge the whole year ? And don’t tell me that if is for the Baal Teshuva, etc. they are stricter than we are. Let’s celebrate Pessach like our forefathers and mothers did, and yes, they used Potato Starch, even 100 years ago. Chag Kosher Vesameach.

  34. I also agree with the letter writer. And by the way why does everyone have to be so nasty.

    The same way ur entitled al pi Halacha to eat them, others are entitled al pi hashkafa to feel its wrong to make them. They weren’t judging you specifically for buying it, but the “need” for us to dream up of every thing that’s osur or looks osur and torn it into mutar.

    Instead of imitation crab, How about coming out with immitation lobster or pork.. any other ideas?

    Some choshuve old timer Roshei Yeshiva and gedolim spoke out against the need to always come up with these things.

  35. the korban pesach was delicious !
    Hashem wants us to eat for the sake of a mitzvah, not for the sake of our taavois

    The point she is trying to make is, why cant cant we restrain ourselves, for one week & eat what our forefathers ate?

    its true that they didnt have it, nonetheless, every one in the alte hiem,DID NOT MISH even with close friends & neighbors.

    We cant abolish all our hileige traditions & minhagim just because its now readily available.

    Im also certain that the web browsers are quicker to negate her feeling, due to the fact that the internet has influenced your hashkafos.

    Lets eat geshmak & make our childrens yomtov geshmak & teach them that not only can pizza bring happiness, following minhagim is more geshmak !

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