pesach guide
Shemot 12:15 “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the very first day you shall remove leaven from your houses…”
 As one rids the house of the chametz, a few rituals are performed. These are the procedures for searching for and burning chametz.
1. After nightfall on the night before the Pesach Seder (or when Pesach falls on a Saturday night, we do this on Thursday night), we search our homes for chametz. The house should already be clean for Pesach, and the chametz should have been sold. Please fill out the form below out and return it to the shul as soon as possible! 

2. Any chametz that will be eaten later that night or the next morning should be put together in one designated area. 

3. Prepare a candle (or flashlight), a feather or old toothbrush, some newspaper, and a small bag. 

4. Place pieces of chametz, (usually pieces of bread) in ten different places around the house. Chametz is hidden so that the searcher(s) will have something to find, and the blessing will not be said in vain. 

5. Turn off the lights in the house, and light the candle. 

6. In the room in which the search will begin, one should say, “Baruch attah, Adonai, Elohaynu melech ho’alom asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al bi’ur chametz.” “Praised are you God, Ruler of the Universe, who has sanctified us with the commandments, and commanded us to destroy our chametz.” 

7. Walking with the lit candle, search the house for chametz. 

8. When a piece of chametz is found, use the feather or toothbrush to sweep it into the newspaper. Put all the chametz into the bag. 

9. When all the chametz has been found and gathered, the following is said: “Any leaven that may still be in the house, which I have not seen or have not removed, shall be as if it does not exist, like the dust of the earth.” 

10. The next morning, when chametz can no longer be eaten, the chametz that was found in the search is taken outside and burned. Recite the following before burning this chametz: “All leaven and anything leavened that is in my possession, whether I have seen it or not, whether I have observed it or not, whether I have removed it or not, shall be considered nullified and ownerless as the dust of the earth.” 

11. And the following is said during the burning of the chametz: “May it be Your will, Lord, our God and God of our ancestors, that just as I remove the chametz from my house and from my possession, so shall You remove all the extraneous forces. Remove the spirit of impurity from the earth, remove our evil inclination from us, and grant us a heart of flesh to serve You in truth. Make all the sitra achara, all the kelipot, and all wickedness be consumed in smoke, and remove the dominion  of evil from the earth. Remove with a spirit of destruction and a spirit of judgment all that distress the Shekhina, just as You destroyed Egypt and its idols in those days, at this time. Amen, Selah.” 

¨ The complete mitzvah of searching for chametz includes the search the night before the Seder, the renunciation of the ownership of chametz made at night, the burning of the chametz the following morning, and the second renunciation of ownership repeated after the burning. 

¨ Make it a family affair. Divide the responsibilities so that one person hides the bread, another holds the candle, another the feather etc.

 Pesach is the ultimate home holiday. It takes the most work, but it also is the one that allows us the most wonderful collection of home traditions. This guide walks you through the various rituals of home preparation. Also, in this Contemporary, you will find the Olam Tikvah Pesach service schedule, and a form for selling your chametz.

 May your seders and your entire holiday be filled with all the richness of our glorious traditions. (Besides, the house needs a good cleaning anyway).

 Please read this guide carefully. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call.

Chag Kasher v’Sameach,
Rabbi Kalender

 Shemot 12:15 “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the very first day you shall remove leaven from your houses…”

 The Rabbis specified five grains that are the source of chametz: wheat, barley, spelt, rye and oats. Ashkenazic authorities later added rice and kitniyot (beans, peas, lentils, corn, millet and mustard). Sorry.

 As one rids the house of the chametz, a few rituals are performed. 

1. M’chirat Chametz—Selling the Chametz
 Since one may not posses any chametz during the holiday, it has become customary to rid the house of as much as possible. However, as that is virtually impossible, we now sell the chametz to someone who is not bound by this prohibition. Therefore, you must fill out the form on page 14 and return it to the synagogue no later than 9:15am on Wednesday, MARCH 27! You may either mail it or place it in the envelope outside the shul office. I will arrange to repurchase it for you at the end of the holiday, on Thursday evening, April 4, at 7:25pm.

 A crucial mitzvah of Pesach is Maot Chittim. It is customary to include funds with this form that I will use to assist in feeding the poor. Please do not forget the less fortunate at this season.

2. B’dikat Chametz—Searching for the chametz

3. Biur Chametz—Burning the chametz

4. Ta’anit B’chorim—Fast of the first-born
 In commemoration of our deliverance from Egypt, the first-borns fast on the day before Pesach. However, if a piece of traditional text (called a siyum) is completed at that time, one is allowed to eat in celebration of the moment, rather than fast. Therefore, any first-born present at our morning minyan and subsequent 10-minute siyum may eat. The service will be held at 7:00am on Wednesday, March 27.

The Friday night twist
 When Yom Tov (yontiff—festival) occurs on Erev Shabbat, we make an Eruv Tavshilin which allows us to prepare food on the holiday for Shabbat. At least two different forms of food are prepared and set aside on Wednesday for Shabbat consumption. On Wednesday, we recite the following (found in Hebrew on page 306 of our siddur):

Baruch atta adonai, Elohaynu melech haoalm, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al mitzvat eruv.
Praised are You, God, who rules the universe, instilling in us the holiness of mitzvot by commanding us to observe the mitzvah of Eruv.

 By means of this eruv (mixture) we are permitted to bake, cook, warm, kindle lights and make all the necessary preparations during this Yom Tov for Shabbat, we and all who live in this place. 

Kashering appliances, dishes & utensils

A. Only dishes and utensils especially reserved for Pesach should be used, with the following exceptions:

1. Silverware, knives, forks and spoons made wholly of metal can be kashered by a thorough scouring and immersing in boiling water. Any utensil which is to be kashered should not be used for a period of 24 hours between the cleansing and the actual kashering by immersion. 
 a. bring a Pesach pot of water to a rolling boil
 b. dip the silverware into the water 1 piece at a time until it is totally immersed (or glass). If the parts that come into contact with chametz cannot be removed, it cannot be kashered.

you may do several in a net bag). They’re kosher.

 c. if you’re going to polish them (what would Bubbe think), make sure you use kosher-for-Pesach polish.

2. Glasses: There are 2 acceptable kashering methods:
 a. Immerse them in water for 72 hours, changing the water every 24 hours.
 b. Clean them, then run them through a dishwasher cycle (the dishwasher must have already been scrubbed).

3. Utensils used for baking during the year should be put away for the holiday.

4. Chinaware, enamelware, earthenware, porcelain and plastic cannot be kashered.

5. Refrigerators should be cleaned and scoured (including the metal shelves). Some people also cover the shelves with foil.

6. Ovens can be kashered by a thorough scrubbing and cleaning. It should then be turned on the highest heat for ½ hour. If it is self-cleaning, scrub then run through a self-clean cycle.

7. Stoves may be kashered by a thorough scrubbing, then turned on to the highest heat for ½ hour.

8. Microwaves may be kashered by a thorough scrubbing then placing a glass of water in the oven and running it on high for a few minutes until the cavity fills with steam and the water disappears. A microwave that has a browning element cannot be kashered.

9. Dishwashers may be kashered by scouring, not using it for 24 hours, then running it through a full cycle.

10. Toaster ovens are a real pain to properly clean so just put it away for the holiday if you can. If you must use it, clean it really, really well and turn it on high for 1 hour.

B. Surfaces
1. Thoroughly clean all tabletops, shelves and other surfaces that are to be used. They should be covered by plastic, foil, or heavy shelf paper (or put in new granite counters.)

C. Sink
1. A metal sink is kashered by a thorough cleaning and by pouring boiling water over it.
2. A porcelain sink should be cleaned and sink rack used. If you are going to soak the dishes, a dish basin must be used.

D. Electrical appliances may be kashered if the individual parts can be removed and kashered in the appropriate way (metal orglass). If the parts that come into contact with chametz cannot be removed, it cannot be kashered.

E. Any detergents permitted during the year are fine for Pesach.

Prohibited foods
Leavened bread, cakes, biscuits, crackers, cereal, coffee containing cereal derivatives, wheat, barley, oats, spelt, rye, and all liquids containing ingredients or flavors made from grain alcohol.

 As most of our community is of Ashkenazic ancestry, the category of kitniyot is added to the prohibited list. Therefore, the following are prohibited as well:

Rice, corn millet, legumes, beans, peas (but string beans are permitted). Some Ashkenazic traditions forbid, while others permit, the use of legumes in a form other than its natural state, for example, corn sweeteners, corn oil and soy oil.

Permitted Foods
 The following do not require kosher-for-Pesach labels if purchased prior to Pesach:
Sugar, pure tea, non-iodized salt, pepper, natural spices, frozen fruit juices with no additives, frozen uncooked vegetables with no additives, milk, frozen uncooked fruit with no additives.
 The following do not require kosher-for-Pesach if purchased before or during Pesach:
Fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, kosher fresh fish and meat.
 The following require a kosher-for-Pesach label if purchased before or during Pesach: All baked products, canned or bottled fruit juices (even if they seem to be pure), canned tuna, wine, vinegar, liquor, oils, dried fruit, candy, ice cream, yogurt, soda.
 The following require a kosher-for-Pesach label if purchased during Pesach: Milk butter, juice, milk products, spices coffee & tea.

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