Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Do You Light Yahrzeit Candles on Passover?

My Darlings,

It has come to my attention that many of you are wondering if/when one should light a Yahrzeit  candle on Passover. The short answer - Yes!

Yahrzeit candles are also supposed to be lit whenever a Yiskor (remembrance) service is said in synagogue. This would be, Yom Kippur, and the last day of the three pilgrimage holidays: Shemini Atzeret (the 8th day of Sukkot), Passover, and Shavuot.

Remember my quizative ones, Jewish 'days' begin at sundown of the previous day (according to our secular-everyday- calendar). So, for Pesach you will light the Yahrzeit candle at sundown the evening before the final day of Passover. If you are Reform or live in Israel and celebrate the holiday for 7 days, this will be after sundown on April 20th 2014. If you are Orthodox or Conservative and observe Pesach for 8 days, you will light your candle(s) on the evening of April 21st 2014.

Now don't fret if you forget the evening before. It is still permissible (among all streams of Judaism) to light the candle the following day if you have forgotten.

Here is a link to find the candle lighting times in your area. There is even a mobile app if your phone is smarter than you are!

If you have more questions, please feel free to leave me a comment and I'll be glad to respond!

May you have fond memories of sharing Pesach with your departed loved ones.

Tanta Golda

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Are Locusts Kosher?

Dear Tanta Golda,
I was reading in the news that in early March, 30 million locusts invaded Egypt and have since then migrated to Israel. Are locusts kosher? If so, are they meat or dairy? Can I eat them with ice cream? 
Creeped Out But Curious

Dear Creepy,
What planning by those locusts - just in time for Pesach! Apparently this is an annual occurrence, they just happen to be more abundant than usual this year.

Leviticus 11 states that all things that creep on the ground, and all winged swarming things, including insects, are not kosher - with the exception of those with jointed legs above their feet which they use to leap upon the earth. The Torah specifically enumerates: locusts, the cricket, and the grasshopper as being okay. Now darling, there are some rabbis who say since we can’t know exactly which types of locust the Torah was referring to, it is advisable to avoid eating them altogether so as not to risk eating the non-kosher variety. (Like anyone would need to tell Tanta Golda not to eat locust, uch - so...crunchy!)

However, according to Tanta Golda’s Pentateuch, it says: the locust after its kinds…(Lev. 11:22) That seems to me to include all locusts. But, what do I know?

Locusts, like fish, are considered parve (neutral), so neither strictly meat nor dairy. That means bubbelah, that you can go right ahead and sprinkle locusts all over the top of your ice cream sundae!

Have a joyous Passover, may your matzah balls be fluffy, and your locusts...oy.

Love, Tanta Golda