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Monday, Adar 27, 5780 / March 23, 2020


Q.  The traditional good wishes before and on a holiday are; Chag Same’ach (happy holiday). Before Pesach we wish each other, Chag Kosher v’Same’ach (a Kosher &happy holiday).  

Why do we add Kosher in the Pesach holiday wishes?


A. Throughout the year there are certain foods which we are permitted to eat (kosher foods) and those we are prohibited to consume (non Kosher foods).


The holiday of Pesach is different than all other holidays of the year. Foods which are kosher all year, like bread and cake, are prohibited on Pesach. In fact, (it may surprise you), the prohibition of eating chamets (bread etc.) on Pesach is much stricter than the prohibition of eating pork!


Not only eating, even the possession of chametz is prohibited on Pesach. All the chametz we intend to keep for after Pesach, must be sold to a non-Jew, before Pesach so it will not be ours during Pesach. Because these items are Kosher all year long, yet prohibited (non kosher) during the Pesach holiday, we need to be extra careful to make sure we do not come in contact with them during Pesach. Thus, we add to the regular “Chag Same’ach”, the word “Kosher”,  wishing each other that the holidays should pass in a most Pesach-Kosher way.


Q.We hear the term kosher so much. There are many products today with a “kosher” symbol. What is the meaning of the word “Kosher”?


A.Kosher” in Hebrew means “fit” or “worthy.” A kosher product means that it is fit for eating. Kosher fish and animals are those which are fit, permitted and worthy of being eaten. Non-kosher are those which a Jew is not permitted to eat, thus, they are not fit to be consumed.


All year long it’s much easier to keep the laws of Kosher and refrain from non-Kosher foods. But, as mentioned above, on Pesach we are prohibited to eat many of the items which are Kosher all year long. We need to take extra special care and protection to make sure that whatever we buy or cook for Pesach, should be 100% Kosher and fit to be eaten on Pesach. Many foods or medicines may contain non Kosher for Passover ingredients.


A small story, with a big moral lesson: Rabbi Akiva Eiger, one of the great Torah scholars of his day, would invite many poor people to his Seder and did everything he could to make them feel at home. Once, a guest accidentally spilled his cup of wine all over the new white Pesach tablecloth. Everyone at the Seder was shocked and the poor man became very embarrassed. 


Thinking quickly,  Rabbi Akiva Eiger “accidently” knocked over his own cup of wine and exclaimed,

"It seems that the table is not very sturdy..."