Kitniyot – Soy Milk

It would appear to me that soy milk should be as permissible as peanut oil.  Rav Moshe Feinstein (ig"m o"h 3:63) permitted the consumption of peanuts in a community that did not have a custom to the contrary.  I would assume that it was on this basis that the OU used to give a hashgacha to peanut oil.  Despite Rav Moshe's lenient approach, it is clear that the "community" chose to be more strict. 

Based on Rav Moshe's logic, soy milk should be the same a peanut oil.  Peanuts were not part of the original decree of kitniyot.  That being the case, we ought be permitted to be lenient regarding the liquid form of peanuts.  Soy beans were not part of the original decree.  That being the case, we ought to be permitted to be lenient regarding the liquid form of soy beans – soy milk!

Despite the fact that my entire family drinks soy milk on a daily basis and that my kids never drink regular milk at all – I was not willing to be lenient. 

The raises the extremely challenging question of who defines the parameters of our "community"?  I am not sure what the answer to this question is, but I would be curios what people think about this issue.  Are we defined by the teshuvot of Rav Moshe Feinstein or the writings of Rav Soloveitchik?  Is there a single person, or group of people that would define the boundaries of our community?  Please share your thoughts…


8 Responses to Kitniyot – Soy Milk

  1. Evenewra says:

    Why isn’t soy milk Kosher for Pesach then? What is the basis for being more strict?

  2. Rabbi Jeffrey Fox says:

    It is not permitted because ‘the community’ does not eat it. That raises the obvious question of who is ‘the community’? There is also the problem that much Soy Milk has Gluten which is chametz – one can always find gluten free soy milk!

  3. Doni says:

    When were the original decrees made? And when were soy and peanuts added to the list? WHY were they added?

  4. Rabbi Riskin, among many others, does permit soy to be eaten on Pesach. Why were you machmir in terms of soy? A better question, one actually raised by Rav Moshe, is why potatos should be OK.

  5. Rabbi Jeffrey Fox says:

    I have to do some more research on the history of the acretions to the gezeirah.

    Does Rabbi Riskin have anything in writing?

    Rav Moshe’s general approach is not to extend rabbinic gezeirot beyond their original setting, even is they would logically apply. This is in contrast to Rav Ovadia who loves to extend gezeirot. There are times where either position can be a kula or a chumrah. Also, given the East European diet, it seems that forbidding potatoes was just not an option!

  6. jdub says:

    Our rabbi permitted soy milk for our child who is allergic to dairy. He would not let us use our regular keilim for soy products, however.

  7. Rabbi Jeffrey Fox says:

    Permitting only for children assumes that it is still kitniyot! Also, there should not be a untensil problem at all.

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