Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Friends don’t let friends go to restaurants on Passover

There are a number of people who think they can maintain a strict kosher-for-Passover diet if they patronize restaurants during Passover. They believe ordering from the restaurant’s special “Passover menu” or asking the kitchen to keep bread off the plate is the same as a kosher-for-Passover meal.

It is not. It is 100 percent treif.

Think this through: if a restaurant is not at all kosher 51 weeks a year, what makes it acceptable for Passover?

There is no substitute for a meal cooked in a home Passover kitchen; or if that’s not an option, a frozen certified-Passover meal heated in a cleaned toaster-oven. If a friend signals his intent to go to a restaurant and get cute with the rules, implore him to stay home. Offer to cook a strictly kosher-for-Passover meal for him. Offer to make deli sandwiches on matzah (with kosher meat and kosher-for-Passover condiments) with fresh fruit or applesauce for dessert. Offer to make eggs in a new or kaschered saucepan with kosher-for-Passover margarine. Offer wine or grape juice or kosher-for-Passover diet Coke.

A treif meal on Passover violates the letter and spirit of the Torah-based Passover law on so many levels. Convincing a friend to delay such a meal for one week is a huge mitzvah and very much worth the effort.

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