Volume 12 Number 19
                       Produced: Mon Mar 21  0:54:03 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

cosmetics / products on Pesach, and egg matzah on erev Pesach
         [Lon Eisenberg]
non-gebrockt cooking
         [Leora Morgenstern]
Pesach Chumrot
         [Harry Weiss]
Pesach Foods for Sephardim
         ["Sephardic Institute"]
Pesach recipes: non-gebrockt
         [Leora Morgenstern]


From: eisenbrg%<milcse@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 94 09:26:19 -0500
Subject: cosmetics / products on Pesach, and egg matzah on erev Pesach

Jerrold Landau writes about various things that were previously permitted and
have become prohibited.  He offers 4 reasons:
>a) we have been making mistakes with these products in past years
>b) the manufacturing process has changed for these products
>c) klovim (dogs) have become less finicky about what they may consume
>d) epis, we are all getting frummer.

I'd like to offer a 5th:  halakhic inflation

As far as egg mazahs, apparently we Ashqenazim have a custom of not
eating them when hamez is no longer permitted.  The Mehaber recommends
them for seudah shelishith (the 3rd meal on Shabbath, erev Pesah).  Of
course, those who do use them (when hamez is still permitted) should be
aware that they are considered mezonoth, not lehem, so a larger quantity
(I'm not sure how many mazahs are needed) is required to constitute a

Related to the above, I have a question: After the Mehaber recommends
the mazah ashirah for seudah shelishith, the Rama mentions that we
(Ashkenzim) do not do this.  He recommends that meat, fish, and fruit be
used.  Why didn't he recommend mazah meal cake (as I believe someone
wrote in to suggest)?  Did he not use gebrokhts (wet mazah meal)?  [When
was not using gebrokhts "invented"?]


From: <leora@...> (Leora Morgenstern)
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 18:41:16 EST
Subject: non-gebrockt cooking

Jessica Ross asks (vol. 12 no. 11)

>i cook for the chabad at school and i just found out that they hold
>gebrocts (sp?) and as a result i'm very nervous what to do about pesach?
>i have many good recipes but they all have gebrocts.  does anyone know
of any recipes that i can use, preferably for shabbas, that is allowable?
>the cookbooks that i have don't have anything.  or will i just not be able
>to eat?

Don't worry.  A number of years ago, the Lubavitch Women's  Organization
put out a cookbook called
        The Spice and Spirit of Kosher-Passover Cooking
which is full of non-gebrockt recipes.  You can contact the organization
at 825 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11213, (718)604-2785

But even if you don't get a copy of that cookbook,  cooking non-gebrockt
isn't all that hard,  and there's no reason to starve.
First,  most main dish recipes (chicken, beef, fish) present no problem;
similarly for cooked vegetables,  salads,  and fruit deserts.
(There are some problems that may arise with your favorite year-round
recipes;  e.g. mustard chicken is out since mustard is considered
kitniot,  but that is true whether you eat gebrockt foods or not.)
The main problems arise with soup (what do you put in it),
side dishes,  and  cakes.  Here are some ideas:
1)  Soups (what to put in them).  Let's face it,  there is no
real replacement for matza balls,  the classic gebrockt food.
But there are adequate substitutes.  You have 4 options:
i)  egg-drop soup (pour thin stream of beaten egg into boiling soup)
ii) ersatz dumplings:  beat egg yolks;  beat egg whites until stiff;
    combine with potato starch; cook
iii)fake noodles:  mix beaten eggs with potato starch;  fry into thin
    crepes;  fry, roll, cut into strips,  and pretend they're noodles
iv) use cut-up vegetables to give the soup a chunky feel.  This is
    the approach I favor.  I use carrots;  you can also try squash
    or parsnips.

2)  Side dishes.  The problem here is that there's no matza farfel,
and no matza kugel.  Be prepared for 8 days of potatoes.  It's
amazing how many things you can do to a potato.  There's baked
potatoes (and yams), mashed potatoes (top them with sauteed mushrooms
and onions for a change), and the fattening variations:  latkes,
kugel,  fried mashed-potato patties,  french fries.
Many people who eat non-gebrockt complain loudly and bitterly
about potatoes.  I love them,  so 8 days of potatoes don't bother me, but
be prepared.  Not all of these work for Shabbat (e.g. you can't
mash potatoes then),  but there's still an adequate choice.

3) Cakes.  There are two ways to go here.  You can make one of
those recipes that call for lots of potato starch.  In my opinion,
these cakes are uniformly awful.  The second and better approach
is to use recipes which don't require standard starches to begin with.
For example,  classic Viennese tortes are made with lots of eggs
(eggs separated,  egg whites beaten stiff) and chopped nuts to hold
their shape;  they are also truly delicious.  I've got recipes for
a chocolate torte and a nut torte.  I don't know if I'm supposed to
post them here (Avi, what are the rules on posting recipes?) but if
anyone would like them,  send me a note,  and I'll send them to you.
Similarly, macaroons are a good idea.  If people get bored with only
two or three types of cake, you can disguise them with different
fillings and frostings,  but these cakes are so rich,  they really
don't need them.

Other problems for eaters of non-gebrockt:  breakfast,  and dairy
foods in general.  We don't get to eat matza brei or matza cereal.
Solutions are generally of the high-cholesterol variety:  scrambled
eggs, omelettes, cheese omelettes, etc.  I make substitute blintzes
(batter is made of eggs and potato starch) with mixed results.
What works best for me is matza and jam  or matza and cheese
sandwiches.  However,  this may not work for non-gebrockt purists,
who won't even make matza sandwiches to be eaten right away.

The general principle, I've found,  is that it's better to find
recipes that don't call for any forbidden ingredients to start
with,  then to try substituting potato starch or matza substitutes
across the board.

Remember that it is only 8 days,  so you don't need that
large a repertoire.  In fact,  for Chabad,  it's only 7,  since
they make a point of eating gebrockt foods on the the 8th day.
On the other hand,  my recollection is that Chabad have other
chumrot (stringencies):  they don't use some spices that the rest
of the Jewish community do use.

The worse part of non-gebrockt foods,  and of Pesach cooking in
general,  is that it is so heavy on  fat and cholesterol.
I suppose most healthy people can take 8 days of a diet like this,
but this might be problematic for a person with high cholesterol
or heart disease.  The best approach then,  I suppose,  would
be white chicken meat or fish,  baked potatoes, and salad.
Boring but safe.

Actually, to my surprise,  despite all the eggs, nuts,  and oil,
I've never gained an ounce on Pesach.  Today,  reading mail.jewish,
I came across a possible explanation:  cottonseed oil can't be
metabolized.  Or else, it's due to the fact that there are relatively
few processed foods available on Pesach.  On balance,  the standard
diet for Pesach might not be as bad as we think.


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 94 18:08:46 
Subject: Pesach Chumrot

In a recent post on Mail Jewish (sorry I lost the issue and don't
remember the number or poster)  there was a discussion about Kosher
L'Pesach toothpaste (and shampoo).  

I hate to be cynical, but several months ago, our shul (and I am
sure most other shuls as well) received a sample package of Kosher
L'Pesach toothpaste, with a sales pitch of why it is necessary, and
an offer of a sales commission.  

I discussed this with our LOR on Shabbat, who quoted a story about
Rabbi Soleveitchik.  Someone asked the Rov about  the need for
Kosher L'Pesach toothpaste.  He said that toothpaste was not fit
for a dog's consumption.   The person said that his dog ate
toothpaste.  The Rov responded saying "I can't be help it if you
have a Meshuge dog."

In the Jewish Press dated March 4 there is a letter from Rabbis
Gorelik and Freundel from the RCA.  (Rabbi Freundel is a regular
contributor to MJ and may wish to comment.)  The letter addressed
two issues.  The first was price gouging on Pesach and the second
was excessive Chumrot.  I would like to quote the second.

"Pesach also brings with it the promulgation of many stringencies
that go far beyond the requirements of halacha.  While personal
practice may at times be enhanced by Chumarah, placing such burdens
on the community may well be counterproductive or even halachically
problematic for the following reasons.

1.   Increasing the cost of Pesach, thus providing additional
     economic disincentive to those of marginal commitment, while
     burdening the committed.

2.   Fostering an atmosphere of cynicism that no standards are ever
     good enough.

3.   Creating unnecessary division and machloket between those who
     keep a clearly halachic standard and those who keep a more
     "machmir" standard.  

4.   allowing for the development of "chumrah arrogance" wherein
     the keeping of large number of stringencies becomes the source
     of boastful arrogant attitudes.

5.   Denial of an ever more halachically educated laity's
     appropriate understanding of halachic standards.

6.   Bordering on, if not crossing into, the domain of the Biblical
     prohibition of Bal Tosif.

We call on all Rabbis and Kashrus certifiers to maintain basic
halachic standards.  Beyond that to balance the seriousness of the
Pesach prohibitions and the desire to respond with additional
restriction against the harmful effects caused by excessive

IMHO that letter says it all.  Best wishes to everyone for a Chag
Kosher V'Sameach and a Mazal Tov to Avi and Carolynn.



From: "Sephardic Institute" <ny001067@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 94 10:23:34 -0500
Subject: Pesach Foods for Sephardim

We have a list of foods that are kosher for Passover for Sephardim
(those who eat rice and kitniyot, including corn) in the 
Northeast U.S. (without specific Pesah supervision indicated on 
the label). Part of the list is the result of research done by 
and under the supervision of Rabbi Moshe Rosner of Lakewood & Rabbi 
Mordechai Grunberg of the Orthodox Union; part is the result of research 
done by and under the supervision of Rabbi Yishak Abadi and Rabbi
Chaim Abadi of Lakewood. The combined list was prepared by the 
Sephardic Institute. 

Please let us know if you would like a copy of the list.

Chag Kasher v'Sameach,
Sephardic Institute

<ny001067@...>  or,


From: <leora@...> (Leora Morgenstern)
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 94 13:02:30 EST
Subject: Pesach recipes: non-gebrockt

Here are the recipes I mentioned in my posting on
non-gebrockt Pesach cooking.

Chocolate Cake  (adapted from a recipe in the New York Times)
10 extra large eggs
14 tablespoons sugar (== 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons)
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
2 cups very finely chopped walnuts (NOT ground)

1.  Break chocolate into small pieces;  melt over double boiler;
    set aside to cool.
2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3.  Beat the eggs yolks and half the sugar until very thick and
    lemon-colored.  Stir in melted chocolate.  Fold in nuts.
4.  Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form;  gradually add
    remaining sugar and beat until stiff but not dry.
    Fold into other mixture.
5.  Pour into ungreased tube pan.  Bake 1 hour or until the center
    springs back when lightly touched with fingertips.
    Remove from pan;  invert (e.g. over soda bottle) until cool.

NOTES:  Use the best quality ingredients possible.  The quality of
the chocolate really makes a difference.  I use Swiss bittersweet
chocolate (Schmerling puts out Noblesse,  which is Kosher for Pesach).
There's no comparison,  unfortunately,  if you use Paskesz or Elite.

The best method for getting the nuts to be very finely chopped but
not ground is by hand,  with an old fashioned chopper;  next best
is a food processor or an electric chopper;  next best, and still
adequate,  is a blender.  When I was a kid  and would get off from school
several days before Pesach,  I would chop the nuts by hand (after
cracking and shelling the walnuts by hand, too), but I can't afford
that luxury anymore.  Whatever method you use, do it in small
batches;  otherwise,  some nuts will be ground before the rest
are very finely chopped.

Nut Cake

7 extra large eggs (or 8 large eggs), separated
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup ground filberts
1 1/4 glasses of sugar
juice and grated peel of 1 lemon
vanilla flavoring (NOTE:  vanilla extract is not available for Pesach;
                   you can make vanilla sugar by placing a split vanilla
                   bean in a jar of sugar (do this a few days before
                   baking), or use ready-made packets of vanillin sugar)
2 rounded tablespoons potato starch
1 tablespoon oil

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease BOTTOM ONLY of a 13 X 9 X 2 pan.
2.  Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored;  add 1/2 cup of sugar
    gradually and beat thoroughly;  add vanilla flavoring, lemon
    juice and grated peel,  potato starch and oil,  beating well after
    each addition.
3.  Beat egg whites until soft peaks form;  gradually add remaining
    sugar (3/4 cup) and beat until stiff but not dry.
4.  Fold egg-white mixture into yolk mixture.
5.  Gently fold in ground nuts.
6.  Turn into pan;  bake for about one hour,
    or until center springs back when lightly touched with fingertips.

This cake will fall slightly as it cools (especially in the center).


End of Volume 12 Issue 19