Dear Rabbi Simon,
Navah has asked me: is there anything that’s permitted for Ashkenazim which is forbidden to Sephardim. Funny how questions like this always materialise at Pesach…
All the best,
Hi Stefan (and Navah)
The answer is “plenty”, and year-round, not just for 8 days.
1. The Shulhan ‘Arukh rules that one must wait 6 hours between meat and milk. The Rama says our minhag is 1 hour. There are Ashkenazic families of impeccable religiosity who observe this practice even today. (Many Ashkenazim wait 3 hours, while others follow the Sh”A and wait 6 hours.)
2. The Shulhan ‘Arukh rules that non-Jewish wine must be poured out, and no benefit may be derived from it. Rama allows giving it as a gift or even selling it for profit (although possibly not trading in it as a matter of first principles).
3. The Shulhan ‘Arukh maintains that only “glatt” meat is kosher. Ashkenazim regard this as a discretionary stringency, not a requirement.
4. Many sephardim scrupulously avoid eating fish and dairy together. Ashkenazim do so with total impunity. (Think of lox and cream cheese.)
There are lots more examples, too numerous to cite in this impromptu email. But I will mention the most well-known seasonal difference: Sephardim rise early (some at 5:00am or earlier) for Selichot the entire month of Elul. Ashkenazim sleep in until the week of Rosh HaShanah. This may have little impact for Navah, but it made a difference for her ancestors! (Not that the Sephardim complain about the early and extended Selichot. They seem to thrive on it.)
Rabbi Rashi Simon