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Passover Prep 5781

The following Halachot are meant as a guide to preparations for Pesach.  PLEASE NOTE WELL THE CHANGES FOR THIS YEAR BECAUSE EREV PESACH FALLS OUT ON SHABBAT.  IN ADDITION, CHANGES FOR COVID-19 ARE ALSO A PART OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

CLEANING
All property and possessions must be cleaned and checked to make sure that they are free of Chometz, except in the following cases:

  1. If Chometz is not brought into the place during the year, it does not have to be cleaned or checked.
  2. Chometz that is rendered inedible by being completely soaked in foul-tasting liquid such as detergent, bleach or ammonia is no longer considered Chometz because it is unfit to be eaten by an animal.
  3. The obligation to check for and destroy crumbs does not apply if the crumbs are smaller than an olive and are dirty enough to prevent someone from eating them.
  4. IF YOU ARE GOING AWAY FOR PESACH, and you are selling all of the Chometz in your house, you need not clean or check for Chometz.  The regular sale will take place this year on Friday, March 26 but those heading out, including (at least theoretically) to Eretz Yisrael, should sign up for a sale that will go into effect on Thursday, the 12th of Nissan (March 25).

    Those who are leaving should still check (without saying a blessing) one room of the house before leaving and to say the text for the nullification of Chometz only for that room after you finish the search.  This way one can still fulfill the positive commandment to search for and destroy any Chometz in your possession.      

    If you are going away to a hotel, then you must check for Chometz (and say a blessing before you check) in your quarters in the hotel.  If you are going to a private home and you will have your own quarters (with your own key), then you must check your quarters.  If you don't have your own quarters, then the head of the household at the place where you actually are on the night of the 13th of Nissan will say the nullification of Chometz for the entire household (including guests) and you do not have to say anything that night.

    For those who own multiple properties, it is important to note that the tenant and not the owner is responsible for checking.  But a tenant-less property would still have to be checked by the owner.  If one has a beach house, for example, checking would have to be done either by the owner or an agent.  If the check could take place on the night of the 13th of Nissan, that would be best.

 

A longer guide, detailing how to handle specific cleaning situations and other items, can be found here.

SELLING CHOMETZ
There is an online form for those who want to use it but the normal in-person meeting of past years is again an option.  The online form can be found here .

One should be careful to specify whether one needs an early sale (Thursday, March 25th) because one is going away for the duration of Pesach or the normal sale on Friday, March 26th for those who are staying local.

EITHER WAY, ONE MUST BE MINDFUL TO ISOLATE AND MINIMIZE THE CHOMETZ ONE IS EXCLUDING FROM THE SALE FOR USE ON FRIDAY AND SHABBAT MORNING.  ONLY WHAT ONE INTENDS TO USE SHOULD BE EXCLUDED.  EVERYTHING ELSE IS SOLD.  LEFTOVER CHOMETZ (FROM WHAT WAS EXCLUDED) AFTER THE SHABBAT MORNING MEAL SHOULD BE DISPOSED OF VIA THE COMMODE BEFORE THE END OF THE TIME FOR DISPOSING OF CHOMETZ AT 12:11 PM.

HAG'ALA - (Kashering Metal utensils for Pesach)
One easy way to make sure there are plenty of utensils (pots, pans, cutlery) for Pesach, is to use old ones which have been newly Kashered for Pesach.  This is accomplished by "purging" them of their ingrained Chometz by placing them in boiling water.  For an entire community, a large-scale "purging" is usually done with a large vat sitting on top of a big burner.  This year, Emek Beracha will be able to host this activity on Sunday, March 21st.

All utensils must be unused with hot items for 24 hours before taking them to be "purged."  They must also be completely clean of any substance.  In anyone has any further questions, they should not hesitate to turn to R’ Feldman. 

MAOT CHITIM
As Pesach approaches, the intense preparations shouldn't divert our attention completely from those Jews in need of assistance for the holidays.  EB has traditionally taken contributions and distributed them to Jews who are in need.  Please send in contributions marked Maot Chitim or drop them off at the Minyan

IMMERSING NEW UTENSILS IN THE MIKVE
New metal or glass utensils made by a non-Jew or bought from a non-Jew must be dipped in a Mikve.  The Mikve at EB is open (it is chlorinated) and the Bay and ocean are also functional Mikva’ot.  If one uses the EB Mikve, one should maintain social distancing (one person at a time) and it is recommended to cover the surfaces with a towel or some other covering if one puts utensils down on them.

If one is afraid of using these options, one is urged to speak to R’ Feldman about alternatives.  

COMPLICATIONS WHEN EREV PESACH FALLS ON SHABBAT

Fast of the First Born
we do not fast on Shabbat, and once we are moving the Fast, we do not put it on Erev Shabbat.  So the Fast for the First Born will be Thursday, March 25th.  There will be a Siyum, a celebration of the completion of a Talmudic tractate, that morning following Shacharit.  That will allow the first-born who would be fasting to join in and to eat.

Bedikat Chometz
The search for Chometz, takes place on the night of the 13th of Nissan instead of the night of the 14th.  This means it will be Thursday night, March 25th.  One recites a blessing, as in other years, and says the declaration of nullification for Chometz afterward.  One does not say the nullification on Friday morning, however.  One will say it on Shabbat morning.

Erev Shabbat, March 26th
Chometz left for Friday or the meals on Shabbat should be stored and marked as such to avoid confusion.  They are not to be stored with Chometz that will be sold.  All other Chometz should be burned or put away for sale by 12:11 am on this Friday, March 26th.  (We try to be mindful of these deadlines as we would in a normal year.)  This is not the hard deadline that it normally is, but people should still strive to minimize the Chometz left over for Friday or Shabbat.  The nullification of Chometz does not take place until Shabbat.


Shabbat
The hard deadline for eating Chometz is 11:09 am on Shabbat and the deadline for the destruction of extra Chometz (by flushing it down the toilet) is 12:11 pm on Shabbat.  The declaration of nullification for Chometz takes place by then too. 

These deadlines complicate the meals on Shabbat day.  The Shul will have Shacharit early Shabbat morning (starting at 7 am) to facilitate having a bread meal for at least one of the meals on Shabbat day.  It is possible to have even two meals before the deadline for eating Chometz (11:09 am).  It is recommended that any bread be something like Pita which leaves few crumbs.  Another alternative for the third meal, which allows for it to be eaten in the normal slot in the afternoon (between 1:15 and 5 pm), is to have meat and/or fish without HaMotzi.  NB: If one uses egg Matza instead of bread, it should still be eaten before 11:09 am.  

No matter which option is chosen, one should be sure to eat nothing but small snacks after 5 pm, in order to preserve one’s appetite for the Matza on Seder night.

Chag
Preparation of the food and of the table for the Seder begins only after Shabbat ends, at 8:10 pm.  One can recite Baruch HaMavdil Bein Kodesh L’Kodesh at that point.  Havdalah is also part of the Kiddush at the beginning of the Seder.

Thu, July 29 2021 20 Av 5781