PASSOVER SUPPLEMENT

(ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW)

 

VESHINANTAM - AND YOU SHALL TEACH THEM

A GUIDE FOR THE CELEBRATION OF PESAH


 INTRODUCTION

According to the Torah, we are prohibited not only from eating Hametz on Pesah, but also from owning it or even deriving benefit from Hametz. These Biblical prohibitions are the basis of an extensive body of rabbinic discussion and halakhic (or legal) decisions on how these prohibitions must be observed.

The ensuing discussion will deal with the following topics that will provide a step-by-step approach to preparing for Pesah:

1. Removal of Hametz which includes cleaning for Pesah and selling Hametz.

2. Koshering for Pesah.

3. Permitted and Prohibited Foods.

REMOVING HAMETZ

Since we are not allowed to own Hametz on Pesah, the simplest thing to do is to get rid of it. Principal categories of Hametz like breads, cakes, cereals, and pastas should ideally be used up before Pesah. Unopened packages of cereal, pasta, or flour could be donated to food banks to help feed the non-Jewish poor.

Nonetheless, ours is not such a simple economy where we can afford to give away, let alone consume, all our Hametz before Pesah. Moreover, there are many food items where Hametz (leavened grain) is an ingredient and even the smallest trace of Hametz intentionally added as an ingredient of the product makes the entire mixture Hametz. Furthermore, there are other products such as rice, beans, and corn to name a few, that have been added to the list of foods that are considered Hametz in their own right among Ashkenazic Jews. These foods are also prohibited by the Rabbis, whether they are in their pure form or are one ingredient of a mixture. Finally, the Rabbis’ prohibition against Hametz even applied to Hametz that has adhered to or been absorbed by dishes and utensils.

With so many possibilities for Hametz in our homes and the concomitant need to remove the Hametz and not to own any Hametz; our Rabbis legislated in two directions:

1. Thorough cleaning before Pesah to remove as many crumbs as possible from cupboards and all the rooms where we typically eat meals or snacks.

2. Selling all the Hametz that we have not eaten or given away.

SELLING HAMETZ

Selling Hametz before Pesah includes the sale of all breads, cereals and pastas, all foods that contain Hametz as an ingredient, all utensils and dishes to which Hametz might have adhered or been absorbed and even these food items which are considered Hametz only by Ashkenazic Jews such as rice, beans, and corn. All Hametz that is being sold should be centralized and put in closed cupboards or closets that are designated for Hametz during Pesah.

To sell your own Hametz, all you need to do is to return the Delegation of Power of Attorney for the sale of Hametzto Reverend Asher Tannenbaum by Friday, April 22nd 9:00 am filling in your name and the address of all the places you live or work. The Delegation of Power of Attorney is on a separate sheet of paper, which is inserted in the synagogue Bulletin. This form appoints Reverend Tannenbaum to be your agent to sell your Hametz.

To obtain an extra form, please call the synagogue office. On Friday morning, April 22nd, Rabbi Moses will negotiate the sale of all the Hametz owned by those who have appointed Reverend Tannenbaum as their agent. That sale is a valid sale and the Gentile who buys the Hametz will have until the end of Pesah to decide whether he is interested in paying the full purchase price for all the Hametz he agreed to buy before Pesah. During Pesah, all the Hametz belongs to the Gentile purchaser and while he cannot take possession of it until he has paid for it in full, we also cannot use the Hametz, including our dishes, because they belong to the purchaser. Should the buyer decide at the end of Pesah that he/she cannot afford to pay for all the Hametz, then the buyer is released from the sale and the Hametz reverts to its original owners.

THE SEARCH FOR HAMETZ

Since Jewish law, going back as far as the Torah, prohibits us from owning Hametz, we take several precautionary steps before we are ready to sell our Hametz in order to get rid of any Hametz in our possession. First, we thoroughly clean the house, inspecting every room, closet, pantry or cabinet where we suspect that we might find Hametz. Pantries and kitchen cupboards should be emptied, the shelves vacuumed and washed and the shelf paper replaced. Cushions on sofas and chesterfields should be removed and the sofas should be vacuumed to remove crumbs. Dish towels and table cloths must be laundered before Pesah as well.

Secondly, when we replace the food in the pantry or cupboard, we store it in a single location. Ideally the cupboard or pantry is one that can be closed and sealed off, if only by tying the handles with string. Similarly all our year-round dishes are put back into their cabinets, and the cabinets are also closed. Remember to put away all your liquor (Rye, Scotch, Bourbon, Gin, Vodka, etc.), and to include it in your sale of Hametz.

Finally, we perform a formal search called BedikatHametz, on the night before Pesah. This year, the search for Hametz takes place on Thursday evening, April 21st after 8:30 pm. Procedurally, we place a few crumbs of bread strategically in each room in the house. We light a candle and recite the blessing.

Barukh Atta Ado-nuy, Elohainu Melekh Ha-Olam, Asher

Ki-d’sha-nu B’Mitz-vo-tav, V’Tzee-va-nu, Al Bi’ur Hametz

This blessing initiates the search, by telling us that searching for Hametz is a Mitzvah, a religious obligation. Since by this time, the house should be clean, the crumbs are distributed so that the blessing will not have been recited in vain.

After reciting the blessing, we proceed from room to room, following the light of the candle. The candle should only have one wick, since the Talmud cautions against doing the search by the light of a torch. Traditionally, a feather is used to sweep the crumbs onto a wooden spoon. When the search is over, the crumbs, spoon and feather are wrapped up and tied with a string, so they can be burned the next morning.

The final act for removing Hametz is called Bi’urHametz. Bi’urHametz is done on Friday morning, April 22nd and must be completed by 11:27 am. The Hametz we collected during the search, together with the feather, the spoon, and the bits of Hametz (leftover cereals, remaining slices of bread, etc.) can be burned on our Barbeques.

KASHERING FOR PASSOVER

One of the banes of the Jewish household is never having enough dishes or utensils for Pesah. While it is certainly best to have separate dishes and utensils for Pesah, it is possible to “kosherize” certain types of utensils from year-round usage to Passover usage. Moreover, there are also rules for kosherizing kitchen appliances so that they can also be used on Pesah.

In the following paragraphs, we will explain the principles behind “kosherizing,” what utensils may not be kosherized, preparing utensils for kosherizing and the proper procedure for kosherizing those utensils and appliances that may be kosherized.

THE PRINCIPLES OF KOSHERIZING

Kosherizing for Pesah is the procedure by which we neutralize Hametz and render a utensil suitable for Passover use. The process of kosherizing or kashering depends on how the utensil was used. According to halakhah, Hametz can be purged from a utensil by the same means by which it was originally absorbed by the utensil. In Hebrew, this principle is referred to as         oflwp ik wlwbk.

Generally speaking, halakhah assumes that utensils only absorb Hametz in conjunction with heat, that is to say, the food being heated is absorbed by the utensil in which it is being heated. It follows that a vessel used for stove-top cooking is kashered by boiling and those used for broiling are kashered by fire and heat. Those utensils that are used only for cold foods presumably do not absorb the foods they contain, but many authorities hold that those utensils should still be kashered by rinsing in cold water.

METHODS OF KASHERING

There are four different methods of kashering, each of which is applicable for specific use. If we use the wrong method with a particular utensil, kashering has not been accomplished.

1. Libun (heating utensils until the surface glows red). This is the most intensive method of kashering and is used to kosherize utensils which have been used directly on the fire for baking

and broiling, without the addition of liquids. Libun is often done with a blow torch, but it is equally possible to heat the utensil in the oven.

2. Libun Qal is a lighter, less intensive form of Libun. Here the utensil is heated only to such a degree that if a piece of tissue is touched to its surface, the tissue would burst into flames.

3. Hagalah or purging, refers to the immersion of a vessel or utensil in boiling water. This type of kosherizing is used for silverware, hard plastic, and for metal pots in which food was prepared by boiling.

4. Iruy (pronounced Ee-roo-ee) is the mildest form of kashering where boiling water is poured directly onto the surface to be kashered.

PREPARATION FOR KASHERING

1. All objects to be kashered may not be used for 24 hours prior to kashering.

2. All objects to be kashered must be cleaned meticulously before the 24 hours start.

3. Care must be taken to clean dents in a pot, the turned edges of pots and pans, and the places where the handles are attached to the pot.

4. The pot used for Hagalah should be large enough to immerse items completely. The pot can be a year-round (hametz-dik) pot or a Pesah-dik pot. A year-round pot must not be used for twenty-four hours before being prepared for Hagalah. It should be filled to the brim with water, allowing the water to reach a rolling boil. The water will then boil over the top edge of the pot.

 

PROCEDURES FOR HAGALAH

1. Once the pot for Hagalah has been kashered, the water in the pot should remain at a rapid boil.

2. Begin by immersing those items that are actually used for cooking. Immersing the item will draw off a lot of heat and the water may stop boiling. Leave the item in the pot until the water boils again. It the water does not return to a boil, leave the item in the pot for at least a minute until it becomes thoroughly heated.

3. Silverware and other utensils that were not used directly in the cooking process may be immersed in water that is not boiling, but is still too hot to touch (i.e. above 90 degrees Celsius).

4. After Hagalah, the kosherized items must be rinsed in cold water.

5. All kashering must be completed before the final act of burning Hametz that is before        11:27 am on Friday, April 22nd.

GUIDELINES FOR KASHERING UTENSILS

The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards is the body that interprets Jewish law and sets religious guidelines and standards for Conservative Jews. The following rulings on the proper procedure for kashering utensils for Pesah are in accordance with the standards set by the Law Committee.

1. Dishes made of pottery, china or stoneware may NOT be kashered.

2. Dishes made of melmac may not be kashered, even though they are made of hardened plastic.

3. Dishes made of fine translucent china (bone china) may be kashered if they have not been used for a year; they must be thoroughly scoured and cleaned in hot water both before and after the year of storage.

4. Flatware or cutlery made of sterling silver, silver plate, stainless steel or other metals are kashered by Hagalah. Care should be taken to immerse each piece of flatware separately and to rinse the flatware with cold water after Hagalah.

5. Pots and Frying Pans made of metal that are used for stove-top cooking and frying can be kashered by Hagalah.

6. Pots and Pans made of metal used for roasting or broiling may be kashered by Libun. After thorough cleaning and after not being used for twenty-four hours, these pots and pans can be placed in the oven, which is heated for an hour to at least 400 deg. Fahrenheit. After being removed from the oven, they are rinsed in cold water.

7. Baking Pans (cookie sheets, pie plates, cake pans, bread pans, etc.) made of metal cannot be kashered for Pesah.

8. Pots and Frying Pans coated with Teflon or Silverstone may be kashered by Hagalah, provided the Teflon or Silverstone has not begun to peel.

9. Baking Pans coated with Teflon may not be kashered for Pesah.

10. Drinking Glasses and Glass Bowls and Dishes may be kosherized for Pesah by cleaning and rinsing. The glasses should not be used for 24 hours before being washed for Pesah use. Alternately the glasses can be soaked in cold water for 72 hours before Pesah, changing the water every 24 hours.

11) Dishes made of Corelle, a type of treated glass, may be kosherized for Pesah like all other glassware, either just by cleaning and rinsing or by soaking in cold water. Others insist on kashering by Hagalah because of the regular contact between the dishes and hot foods.

 

12. Cooking Pots made of Pyrex, Corning Ware, or Visions, various types of heat-treated glassware, that are used for cooking or frying on the stove-top may be kashered by Hagalah.

 

13. Roasting Pans made out of Pyrex, Corning Ware or Visions may be kashered for Pesah by Libun with a blow torch or by being heated in an oven set to its highest temperature for an hour.  If the pans are used for baking cakes, kugels or pasta dishes, they may not be kashered for Pesah.

 

14. Kiddush Cups made of metal must be kashered for Pesah use. The method of kashering is Hagalah. The Kiddush cups should only be polished after completing the Hagalah.

 

15. Dentures should be thoroughly cleaned and soaked at least over night. If they can be washed with hot water without ruining the dentures, this should be done.

 

GUIDELINES FOR KASHERING THE KITCHEN AND ITS APPLIANCES

1. Refrigerators and Freezers are kashered by thorough cleaning with water and detergents. It is not necessary to line the shelves, since this might interfere with the proper functioning of the refrigerator by blocking proper air circulation.

 

All ice in the freezer should be removed and fresh ice should be made for Pesah. It is best to use separate ice trays for Pesah. The ice making equipment in the freezer should be cleaned thoroughly.

 

2. Regular Ovens and Continuous Cleaning Ovens are kashered by Libun. The oven should be set to the Broil setting for one hour. The oven should not be used for 24 hours before kashering.

 

3. Self-Cleaning Ovens should be cleaned thoroughly and are kashered by being put through a self-cleaning cycle. The oven should not be used for 24 hours before kashering.

 

4. Electric Stove Tops must be cleaned thoroughly. The burners should be lifted to clean the pans underneath. The pans themselves can be kashered by Hagalah, while the burners are turned on until they glow red (Libun). Once the burners are red hot, they should be left burning for ten minutes.

 

5. Gas Stove Tops are kashered by cleaning the grates and placing them in the oven to be heated at the highest setting for one hour. The jets themselves should be cleaned and then allowed to burn for ten minutes.

 

6. Stove Surfaces between the Burners should be thoroughly cleaned. If the surface is enamel, it should be covered with heavy-duty tin-foil. If the surface is stainless steel or glass, it is kashered by Iruy, pouring boiling water over the surface.

 

7. Microwave Ovens should be thoroughly cleaned and are kashered by placing a cup of water inside and boiling it until a thick steam coats the interior of the oven. This takes twenty to thirty minutes. The microwave should not be used for 24 hours before kashering. Microwave ovens with a browning element cannot be kashered for Pesah.

 

8. Dishwashers may be kashered by running through a complete wash cycle with detergent, after the machine has not been used for twenty-four hours. Special care must be taken to clean the filter and the edges of the dishwasher which do not get cleaned during normal operation. If the inner surface of the walls is enamel or porcelain, the dishwasher cannot be kashered.

 

9. Kitchen Sinks made of stainless steel are kashered by Iruy after the sink has not been used for twenty-four hours. Sinks made of porcelain or enamel cannot be kashered and should be covered on the inside with aluminum foil. In all cases, dishes should be placed on a dish rack in the sink and should only be soaked and washed in a dish basin. A separate basin is needed for dairy and meat.

 

10. Countertops should be thoroughly cleaned. Formica and Corian countertops can be kashered by Iruy, even though Formica and Corian are forms of plastic. As a precaution, we generally cover the counter top with plastic even after kashering.

 

Marble countertops can be kashered by Iruy and do not need to be covered.

 

Ceramic tile countertops cannot be kashered and hence after thorough cleaning, must be covered with plastic.

 

11. A hot water urn must be kashered, even though it is only used to boil water. The urn should be filled to the top with water and then heated until the water bubbles and flows over the sides.

 

12. Pyrex Percolators and their parts are kashered by Hagalah.

 

13. Mr. Coffee coffee makers are kashered by passing boiling water from a kettle (Iruy) through the water compartment. The Pyrex pot is kashered by Hagalah.

 

14. Food Processors should have a totally new bowl unit used exclusively on Pesah and the motor should be thoroughly cleaned.

 

15. Hot Plates used for keeping food warm can be kashered by Libun Qal, by turning the plate on to its maximum temperature for an hour. After kashering the hot plate, it should still be covered with aluminum foil.

 

SHOPPING FOR PESAH: THE PRINCIPLES OF PERMITTED AND PROHIBITED FOODS

Since the Torah prohibits the eating of Hametz on Pesah, and since many common foods contain Hametz as an ingredient, guidance is necessary when shopping and preparing for Pesah.

 

The First Principle is that any food that is by definition Hametz may not be eaten on Pesah and may not even be purchased during Pesah for use immediately after Pesah. Such prohibited foods include the following: leavened bread, cakes, biscuits, crackers, and cereals made from wheat, barley, oats, spelt, or rye. Similarly prohibited are all alcoholic beverages made from one or more of these grains including all beers, Canadian rye whiskeys, Scotch whiskey and any liquor containing ingredients of flavours made from grain alcohol.

 

The Second Principle is that most Ashkenazic authorities have added Kitniyot (beans and legumes) to the list of foods that may not be eaten on Pesah. The primary list of Kitniyot that all Ashkenazic authorities are agreed upon as prohibited are: rice, corn, millet, beans (soy, kidney and lima), peas, chick peas, lentils, buckwheat, and grouts. While not all of these are legumes from a botanical definition, Ashkenazim have universally not eaten any of these foods on Pesah.

 

Some Ashkenazic authorities also prohibit the use of certain types of seeds such as mustard seeds, sunflower seeds, cottonseeds, caraway seeds, cumin, fennel, cardamom, and coriander, because of the similarity between how they grow and how true legumes grow. While these restrictive prohibitions have gained widespread acceptance, there seems to be no absolute prohibition against their use on Pesah. In using these spices and condiments on Pesah, fresh jars should be purchased.

 

 

The Third Principle is that foods that contain any of the five principle types of Hametz as an intentional ingredient are prohibited for use on Pesah. Some instant coffees, especially those manufactured by General Foods, are mixed with grains. Similarly, most flavoured coffees are flavoured with grain-derived alcoholic flavours and are prohibited on Pesah.

 

The Fourth Principle is that derivatives of Kitniyot such as corn sweeteners, corn oil, soybean oil, etc. are permitted by some authorities. Today, there is a widespread tendency to be strict and restrictive and the major kashrut supervising agencies such as the MK and COR do not supervise products with Kitniyot derivatives as ingredients and hence none is marked Kosher for Passover. All such products must be purchased before Passover for use on Passover.

 

The Fifth Principle is that the unintentional addition of even the minutest amount of Hametz into a product can make an entire product hametz-dik and therefore render it prohibited for use on Pesah. This is because on Pesah, even the most minute amount of Hametz is forbidden and therefore even the minutest amount of Hametz that is unintentionally added to a mixture cannot lose its identity.

 

Before Pesah, however, Hametz follows the normal rules of mixtures, that is, it loses its identity in a mixture of one part Hametz and sixty parts of non- Hametz (what the sources call “batel beshishim”). It follows; therefore, if Hametz had inadvertently been added as an ingredient to a product before Pesah and the product was purchased before Pesah, we would not be transgressing the prohibition of eating Hametz on Pesah.

 

However, if the Hametz were inadvertently added as an ingredient and we purchased and ate the product on Pesah, since no amount of Hametz can be nullified on Pesah, we would have transgressed the prohibition of Hametz on Pesah.

 

Based on the above five principles, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards has set out the following policy for purchasing food for Pesah:

 

Foods that do not require a Kosher LePesah label if purchased before Pesah: Unopened packages or containers of natural coffees without cereal additives or flavours; sugar (but not confectioner’s sugar or brown sugar); pure teas (but not herbal teas); salt (not iodized); pepper; ground natural spices; frozen fruit juices without added sweeteners; frozen uncooked fruits and vegetables; milk, butter, cream cheese, cottage cheese; ripened cheese such as cheddar (hard), muenster (semi-soft) and camembert (soft); pure cocoa and unsweetened chocolate, and baking soda.

 

The following foods do not require a Kosher LePesah label if purchased before or during Pesah: Fresh fruits and vegetables; fresh eggs, meat, fish, and poultry.

 

The following foods require a Kosher LePesah certificate if purchased before or during Pesah: All Matzah products including matzah, matzah meal, matzah farfel, and cake meal; all baked products including cakes, cookies, and macaroons; all wines, liquors, brandies, and liqueurs; vinegar, Gefilte Fish; dried fruit, candy, potato chips, ice cream, yogurt; instant coffee, and herbal teas.

 

The following foods require a Kosher LePesah label if purchased during Pesah: Milk, butter, all cheeses, sweet cream and sour cream; salt, pepper, all spices; ground coffee, natural teas; frozen fruits and vegetables, frozen fruit juices; canned or bottled juices.

 

In addition to the foods already listed in this article, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards has issued responsa, that is, answers to specific questions, about specific types of food and their use on Pesah:

 

1. Baking Powder is prohibited on Pesah because it contains cornstarch.

 

2. Baking Soda may be used on Pesah. It must be bought before the festival and may not be purchased during Pesah. As with all other foods used on Pesah, the box must be opened exclusively for Pesah preparations.

 

3. Cheeses that are used year-round do not need special Kosher for Passover certification if purchased before Passover. This applies to cottage cheese, unflavoured cream cheese and ripened cheeses, which all follow the ruling that rennet, the enzyme that causes cheese to form, is an inert chemical that does not transfer its taste to the cheese.

 

Processed American cheese slices do need Kosher for Pesah certification even if purchased before Pesah.

 

Those people who only eat kosher certified cheese year-round should continue to do so on Pesah.

 

4. Confectioner’s (Icing) Sugar may not be used without a Hekhsher (Kosher for Pesah certification) because it is manufactured with cornstarch.

 

5. Corn Syrup may not be used on Pesah.

 

6. Peanuts are not classified as Kitniyot not only by our Law Committee, but also by such eminent Orthodox scholars as Rabbi Yehiel Yaakov Weinberg, author of the Seridei Esh and Rabbi David Tzvee Hoffman, author of the Melamed LeHo’il. By this reasoning, peanut oil and pure peanut butter bought before Pesah may also be used.

 

Processed Peanut Butter, the type we normally find in the supermarket, is not permissible because it contains hydrogenated vegetable oil and dextrose, both of which are typically derived from Kitniyot, such as corn or soy.

 

7. Soda or soft drinks, as well as many fruit juices, especially those in small boxes, are sweetened with both sugar and corn sweeteners. While some authorities permit corn sweeteners, because the Ashkenazic prohibition is only for Kitniyot in their natural form, whereas the sweeteners are derivatives of the corn, most Ashkenazic authorities extend the prohibition to corn derivatives as well.

 

Since here in Montreal, there is an ample supply of beverages manufactured for Pesah under rabbinic supervision and that do not contain corn sweeteners, it is preferable to buy soft drinks and fruit juices with Kosher for Pesah certification. Those who buy soft drinks and juices without Kosher for Pesah certification must do so before the beginning of Pesah.

 

8. String Beans are permissible on Pesah, because despite the name, they are vegetables and not Kitniyot. This is not only the opinion of the Law Committee, but also of the late chief Ashkenazic Rabbi of Montreal, Rabbi Avraham Niznick.

 

9. Tuna Fish packed in water without additional ingredients or additives may be used on Pesah without certification. It must, however, be purchased before Pesah. Extreme caution must be taken, because even tuna in water may contain hydrolyzed protein or vegetable broth which may contain Kitniyot or even Hametz.

 

Tuna in vegetable oil may not be used on Pesah without certification, since the oil is likely to be Kitniyot.

 

THE SEFIRAH PERIOD

The seven-week span between the beginning of Passover and Shavu’ot is known as Sefirah - the days of the counting of the Omer. Sefirah literally means counting. In the days of the Temple, our people celebrated the beginning of the winter harvest by bringing an Omer, a measure of barley, on the second day of Passover, as an offering of thanksgiving. From that day, they counted seven weeks, celebrating Shavu’ot on the fiftieth day. After the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the practice of counting the forty-nine days carried over to our Ma’ariv liturgy, commencing on the second evening of Passover. Thus, the period between Pesah and Shavuot is designated as the days of counting of the Omer, or simply Sefirah. Because of certain tragic events which occurred in Jewish history in the Passover-Shavuot season, the Sefirah period has come to be considered a time of mourning. In this doleful spirit, weddings, music, dancing and hair cutting are not permitted until Lag B’Omer (33rd day of Omer, Thursday, May 26th) except on the festive day of Rosh Hodesh.

 

SHABBAT HAGADOL

The Sabbath preceding Passover is known as Shabbat Hagadol, the Great Sabbath. It derives its name, Hagadol, from the importance of the approaching festival and from the fact that the Haftarah for the day closes with an allusion to The Great Day of the Lord. This year Shabbat Hagadol falls on Shabbat, April 16th, 2016.

 

PRE-PASSOVER OBSERVANCES

Mehirat Hametz

All Hametz in the household and places of business, be it in the nature of food or utensils, should be sold not later than Friday morning, April 22nd. Please contact Reverend Tannenbaum, the selling agent for our Congregation, through the office (514.481.7727) or send in your completed Mehirat Hametz form which appoints Reverend Tannenbaum as our agent for the sale of Hametz. This form is included with the mailing of the Bulletin. The form can be scanned and emailed to Reverend Tannenbaum at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . It is customary to voluntarily make a donation or to pay a nominal fee to the selling agent.

 

Bedikat Hametz

All Hametz in the house, including food, dishes and utensils, should be removed before Passover and stored away. Bedikat Hametz, the ceremony of Searching for    the Leaven, takes place this year on Thursday evening, April 21st. The prayers accompanying this ritual are found in the Haggadah and in the Standard Prayer Book.

 

Bi’ur Hametz

No Hametz may be eaten after 10:04 am on Friday, April 22nd. The ceremony of Removing and Burning the Leaven, Bi’ur Hametz, can be found in the Haggadah and must be performed on Friday, April 22nd no later than 11:27 am. The special formula of nullification should be recited no later than 11:27 am on Friday, April 22nd, even if you are away from home and/or have no Hametz to burn. Shaare Zion members can leave their Hametz for burning at Shaare Zion no later than 9:00 am on Friday, April 22nd, but every family should recite the formula of nullification on their own before 11:27 am on Friday, April 22nd.

 

Siyyum for the Fast of the First Born

The Fast of the First Born normally occurs on the day before Pesah. This year the fast is on Friday, April 22nd.

 

The Fast of the First Born is a limited fast in that it only applies to first-born male children       (first-born to either the father or the mother) and it can be avoided altogether by being invited to participate in a Seudat Mitzvah (an obligatory festive meal following a Brit Milah or wedding). Concluding the study of a tractate of Talmud is also an occasion for a Seudat Mitzvah. This year, Rabbi Moses will complete the study of a section of tractate Bava Metzi’a at a Siyyum on Friday morning, April 22nd immediately following Shaharit.

 

 

 

 

 

MATZAH

On Erev Pesah, Friday, April 22nd Matzah may not be eaten until the Seder night. The consumption of a minimum of at least one piece of Matzah is a requisite at the Seder.

 

ERUV TAVSHILIN

One of the key differences between a festival (Yom Tov) and Shabbat is that on Yom Tov we are permitted to prepare food that we intend to eat that day. Under normal circumstances we may not prepare food on the first day of a festival which we intend to eat only on the second, since our sages thought that such excessive preparation would detract from our enjoyment of the festival.

 

If, however, the second day of the festival is Shabbat when we cannot cook at all or if Shabbat follows the two days of festival without an interruption, we are in a bind, since, at least until modern times; it would have been difficult to prepare food before Yom Tov that could be preserved through Shabbat.

 

To resolve the problem, our sages created the Eruv Tavshillin (literally “the mixture of cooked foods”) whereby part of the food that was prepared before the festival for the first day of the festival was set aside for use on the second day, or on Shabbat as it were, mixing pre-festival preparations for the first day with those of the second. The procedure, a sort of legal fiction, thereby allowed for the continued preparation of food for the second day of the festival which fell on Shabbat, on the first day of the festival, since the work was considered a continuation of preparations that were initiated before the festival began.

 

This year, 5776, we will need to make an Eruv Tavshillin on Thursday April 28th before sundown since the eighth day of Pesah occurs on Shabbat April 30th.