Let my people toke: A prominent Orthodox rabbi ruled that weed is kosher for Passover​

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There's a pivotal scene in the biblical story of Passover in which Moses encounters the presence of god who then speaks to him from within a burning bush. This year, observant Jews have license to celebrate the holiday with some flaming foliage of their own.

Pot, it turns out, is finally kosher for Passover.

According to the website Times of Israel, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky (described as "widely considered the leading living ultra-Orthodox halachic [Jewish religious law] authority") declared that marijuana can be both smoked or ingested over the course of Passover's eight days, during which many Jews refrain from eating a number of religiously prohibited items like bread.


"The smell is medicinal" explains a man filmed offering Rabbi Kanivesky a handful of pot to sniff, before receiving the go-ahead to recite a full blessing, which credits god as the creator of "fragrant plants."

At issue is marijuana's rabbinic definition as existing within a class of food (primarily legumes) known as kitniyot, which includes things like corn and rice. While Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern European origin have traditionally refrained from eating kitniyot, which were occasionally mixed with and confused for the grains that are forbidden during passover, Sephardic Jews—descendants of the Iberian Jewish communities of the 16th century—allow them.

Rabbi Kanivesky's declaration came following questions posed by Seach, an  Israeli cannabis advocacy group, explains the Times of Israel, adding that the rabbinic ruling applied specifically to medicinal marijuana, and follows judgements from other rabbis who have previously declared medical pot kosher, specifically when smoked.

The rendering of marijuana as kosher for Passover does, itself, raise an important question, however: What happens when you get a serious case of the matzah munchies?

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