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Kosher Smokes for Passover? Oy Vey!


Three brands of smokes are now branded “Kosher for Passover” after thorough inspections of local cigarette factories.  Jews that observe the Passover tradition in Israel can now enjoy a “rabbi-approved puff” during the week-long holiday.  The Passover holiday started at sundown last Monday.

The website Judaism 101 defines Kashrut as the body of Jewish law dealing with what foods we can and cannot eat and how those foods must be prepared and eaten.  ‘Kashrut’ comes from the Hebrew root Kaf-Shin-Reish, meaning fit, proper or correct. It is the same root as the more commonly known word ‘kosher,’ which describes food that meets these standards. The word ‘kosher’ can also be used, and often is used, to describe “ritual objects that are made in accordance with Jewish law and are fit for ritual use.”

Beit Yosef, a private rabbinic group, which approves all kinds of foods and other goods as accommodating with Jewish and kosher restrictions, sanctioned three local cigarette brands (Noblesse, Time, and Golf) for smoking during Passover.  Beit Yosef’s chief supervisor, Rabbi Igal Ben Ezra, explained that the authorization was put into place for Israeli smokers who strictly purchase products only marked as “Kosher for Passover” and who might be deterred from buying cigarettes that lack the kosher label.  It’s “mostly for people who have doubts on this subject,” he stated.

However, the chief rabbinate in Israel, Ziv Maor, opposed the measure, stating cigarettes, no matter if approved by rabbis or not, are dangerous and hazardous to health, and should not be approved by rabbis under any circumstance.

“Poison is not kosher. For all days of the year, not just Passover,” said spokesman, Maor.

However, he added that “there are some communities who consider it important that everything they bring home has a kosher stamp on it.”

This approval is the first time cigarettes in Israel are carrying the kosher label for the Passover holiday.


Works Cited

Rabbi-approved Cigarettes for Passover. News24., 25 March 2013. Web. 26 March 2013.

Rich, Tracey R. Kashrut: Jewish Dietary Laws. Judaism 101. 5756-5771 (1995-2011), Tracey R. Rich. n.d. Web. 26 March 2013.

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