Cigarettes Deemed Kosher for Passover
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Passover began yesterday at sundown, but observant Jewish smokers no longer have to pass on cigarettes for the duration of the holy week. The Beit Yosef private rabbinic group determine what foods are compliant with Jewish dietary restrictions, and for the first time, the list of items deemed kosher for Passover includes three brands of cigarettes. The annual Jewish holiday commemorates the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt; throughout the week, observant Jews do not eat pasta or leavened bread to pay homage to their ancestors, who were forced to flee Egypt before the bread had time to rise. During the holiday, Jewish law also forbids consumption of chametz—anything consisting of grains that may have come in contact with water, starting the process of fermentation. Ben Ezra, a Kosher supervisor for Beit Yosef, inspected the factor that produces Noblesse, Time and Golf cigarettes, and concluded that the products are kosher for smoking on Passover—as long as the factory's ingredients had not come in contact with leavened products. Still, not every Passover abiding Jew is thrilled with the decision. “Poison is not kosher," says Ziv Moar, Beit Yosef's chief rabbinate’s spokesman, "For all days of the year, not just Passover."