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Ask the rabbi Shabbat and Holidays Kitniot

Tofu on Passover

Rabbi David SperlingNisan 4, 5775
I’m an Ashkenazi Jew, can I eat Tofu on Pessach. I’m lactose intolerant
Shalom, Thank you for your question. As you know Ashkenazi Jews refrain from eating kitniyot (legumes) on Pessach. Even though there is much discussion as to what exactly is included in this custom to not eat legumes, the practice today is to include soy products in the list of those things we do not eat. So, tofu, which is made from the soy bean, is forbidden for Ashkenazi Jews on Passover (… sorry!). I understand from the fact that added you that you are lactose intolerant that you are perhaps finding it hard to find a full and satisfying diet over Pessach. While I can appreciate your situation, unless a person is in a very real situation of hardship (such as times of famine, real health risks and illness, etc) we do not depart from our traditions of what to eat on Pessach (and certainly not from the laws of Passover). We are blessed to live in a generation with a tremendous bounty – and I am sure that with a little thought and effort you will be able to enjoy a wonderful Pessach table of all things that are good, including matzah, salads, meats, vegetables, parve chocolate and ice-cream. May you be blessed with a wonderful Pessach!
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