Friday morning I opened the newspaper (the Jerusalem Post in this case; we subscribe to both the Post and Haaretz) and was greeted by the following headline:
Unless you’ve studied a little bit of Talmud or halacha, you probably have no clue what this headline is talking about. "Zayit" is an olive; "kezayit" means "like an olive." Many measurements in halacha are tied to this measure. How much bread do you have to eat to be obligated to say the blessings? A "kezayit." How much matzah do you have to eat on Passover to fulfill the mitzvah of eating matzah? A kezayit.
So only in Israel is it front page news on the newspaper that someone claims he now has proof that a kezayit is less than 5 grams, substantially less than what has generally been considered the proper amount. Researchers looked at the olives from some 3000 year old olive trees and concluded in the days of the Talmud, olives were pretty small.
Who cares? Most of us eat lots of matzah at the seder. This is really for the benefit of those who have a digestive condition, such as celiacs, that make it difficult for them to eat wheat.
Not a headline you are likely to see on the front page of the Toledo Blade…