JERUSALEM (AP) – Observant Jews in Israel craving a smoke during the weeklong Passover holiday that started at sundown Monday, March 25, can now enjoy a rabbi-approved puff.
It’s the first time cigarettes have joined the long list of goods stringently checked to ensure they comply with Passover rules on what items are allowed, or kosher for the holiday – meaning they have not come in contact with grains or other forbidden ingredients.
The stamp of approval came from the Beit Yosef private rabbinic group, which certifies foods as compliant with Jewish dietary restrictions. Last month, Beit Yosef approved three cigarette brands for smoking during Passover. The chief rabbinate in Israel, however, disapproved of the measure, saying cigarettes are life threatening and should not be approved by rabbis.
“Poison is not kosher. For all days of the year, not just Passover,” said the chief rabbinate’s spokesman, Ziv Maor.