Tuesday, August 23, 2011

UPDATED: Your Community Standards v. Travel

What happens when your community standards (which are either halacha or custom) are not the standards of a place you travel to?

Let's discuss some examples (this is not exhaustive):
  • You live in the diaspora, so you celebrate an "extra" day of yom tov for 8 days of Pesach. You travel to Israel, where Pesach is celebrated for only 7 days. (This is halacha.)
  • Your community says something is not kosher, but the community you're visiting says it is kosher. (Glatt kosher could be an example. Bailey's Irish Cream is a better example. See the comments to Shailah and Machlokas)
  • Standards of tzinus.
  • You're Ashkenazi, so you don't eat kitniyot on Pesach. You're staying with a Sephardi family, and they prepare kitniyot side dishes. 
As a general rule, you should maintain your community standards (assuming they are your standards), no matter where you travel. Thus, you celebrate 8 days of Pesach in Israel.

However, if you actually move to the new community, that may change things. It may also matter if your standards are "less strict" than the community you're visiting. In some cases, it may be appropriate to temporarily adopt the "stricter" standards (presuming that you want to do that). In such a case, you should speak with your rabbi.

This applies to all but the kitniyot, which is custom that has become halacha for the Ashkenazi. However, the halacha is about eating kitniyot, not possessing it, not being in the same room with it, not having it sit on a plate in front of you. So assuming that everything is kosher, you may eat with the Sephardi family (or invite a Sephardi to your potluck) during Pesach even if you don't eat kitniyot.


  1. Well there is a huge difference in some of these. 1 versus 2 day yontiff is a halacha of being outside of Eretz Yirsael, not a minhag. Kitniyot is a minhag. 2 versus 1 day is changed by moving to EY, but as far as I know, family minhag is family minhag -- you'll be avoiding kitniyot even after you make aliyah. (From my understanding of actual rabbi rulings, people may differ in practice regardless of rabbinic advice)

    1. Originally posted: August 23, 2011 at 12:20 PM. I would have edited its autocorrect FAILness, but I don't even know what it's supposed to say.

      I know that, biting think I tried to paint with too broad a brush. I'll edit it when I'm back at my computer. But FTR, I would still have used standards because I think o that as a word that encompasses both Halacha and custom.

  2. Just pointing out that there is at least one group, Chabad, that celebrates one day in Israel and two outside of Israel.