Kid-niyot vs Kitniyot

Frume Sarah posted an item today, where she wrestles with the dilemma of making Passover palatable for her son “Beernut”, when his needs make Passover observance challenging, if not downright detrimental.

Like any real problem, there are details and complexities to consider. Beernut’s life is not truly in danger. Neither is Frume Sarah considering actually breaking Passover. I strongly recommend you check out her blog and read her summary of the matter.

At issue is not so much Passover and chametz as whether or not to allow the family to eat kitniyot – traditionally rice, corn, lentils, peanuts and beans but extended to include everything from green beans (which aren’t the form of bean originally excluded), wild rice (which is neither wild nor rice, but a grass), soy beans (because it has the word “bean” in it), etc. Why? Because the change in diet is so extreme that her son is developing a resentment against Passover.

So the question is whether to enforce the laws of Passover kashrut on a child and risk creating a bad association, or to be lenient to allow positive connections to be made.

It should come as no surprise that I came out in favor of happy kids / less Passover. Not because I don’t hold Passover in high regard, but because I think it’s justified to make the sacrifice of holding a less-stringent Pesach or two in exchange for a lifetime of good feelings for the holiday in the heart of my child.

Or as I commented on her blog:

Do what you can (what it takes) to help Beernut love love LOVE the Passover season. Make it so good he starts getting excited for it weeks (or months) ahead of time – food and all. If you do that, he will be a connected Jewish adult and that (in my humble, non-Rabbinic opinion) is worth more than a bushel of corn.

What do you think? Please take a moment to comment either here  or on Frume Sarah’s blog.