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Pesach 2019

Check out this page for all of your Pesach needs!

Pesach Bulletin: See here. 

Pesach Zmanim:  Access all relevant times here.  

Chametz Sale: Click here to sell your chametz online.  DEADLINE HAS PASSED.

Community Biyur Chametz: Anshe Emes is hosting a biyur Chametz on Key St. between Pickford and Airdome, off of Robertson, from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Friday, April 19. See flyer for details.

Kashering Day: Join us on Wednesday, April 10 between 11:00 am and 6:30 pm for all of your Pesach kashering needs.  All are welcome, members given priority.  Please bring towels.  Halachot regarding Kashering for Pesach are below.  

Got Pesach Questions?  Ask your sheilas here!   To see all the responses, visit our Pesach Questions Blog Page.

Teen Wellness Seder Supplement: Click here to access the document.

Pre-Pesach Learning at BDJ

Haggadah Seminar

Immediately following davening on 4/13, all are invited from 11:15am - 12:15pm to join Rav Yosef and Rabbanit Alissa in the Beit Midrash for our annual Haggadah Seminar. Meaningful Haggadah takeaways to share at your sedarim guaranteed! Plus, there will be a special kiddish!'

Rav Yosef's Source Sheet

Rabbanit Alissa's Source Sheet 

Shabbat HaGadol Drasha with Rav Yosef

Shabbat, April 13 - time tbd

Followed by Mincha 

In the old days, rabbis would formally address their congregation twice a year—on the Shabbats before Yom Kippur & Pesach. The latter talk has become known as the “Shabbat HaGadol Drasha.” As you can imagine, this drasha was a major community event & everybody came. Today of course, shul rabbis are perilously overexposed & no one talk feels like a “must attend.” But I truly believe that Shabbat Shuva and Shabbat HaGadol nonetheless still are. My intention always is to develop an idea that will occupy a central place in our religious lives for a good time to come.  Childcare will be provided during the Drasha.

Kashering for Pesach

A couple of guidelines for kashering:

  • Pieces of silverware should be put in individually.
  • Frying pans, baking pans and dishes, glass and most plastic items cannot be kashered via boiling water.
  • Whenever possible, handles should be removed from pots before kashering. The handles should be put into the water separately. If the handles cannot be removed, extreme care should be used in cleaning the point where the pot and the handle meet.
  • It is customary to rinse the kashered items in cold water to conclude the process. You can do that here, or when you get home.
  • Preferably, utensils to be kashered for Pesach should be not have been used for chametz during the 24 hours prior to the kashering.


Regarding cleaning in general the rule of thumb is as follows: the objective is to remove from our house (and offices and cars) any chametz that we might otherwise accidentally discover and be tempted to eat on Pesach. That is to say, all places where chametz might exist in edible form and quantity need to be cleaned out. The remainder (that might be, for example, under the clothes dryer or wedged in the crack between two tiles on the kitchen floor) is covered by "bittul" (the verbal nullification of our chametz that we recite on Erev Pesach).

Without a doubt, we have a generations-old custom of giving the house a thorough cleaning before Pesach, and this tradition should be honored. But we should understand what the halachik objective is, and keep in mind that there are many mitzvot (among them is visiting/calling people who are sick, learning the Hagadah in preparation for the seder) that are of higher priority than hunting down every microscopic crumb.


Oven: The oven should be cleaned carefully with oven cleaner, and then turned onto "broil" for as long as you typically broil food in your oven. The cavity of the broiler compartment may be kashered in the same manner as the oven, but the broiler pan itself needs to be covered with heavy-duty foil if you want to use it on Pesach. A self-cleaning oven is self-kashering. Allow 2 hours of self-cleaning for this purpose.

Stove top: The surface, grates and jets should all be cleaned well, and you should vacuum out the area beneath the stovetop. There is a custom to let the jets burn for 10 minutes after they have been cleaned. Any part of the range surface onto which you might place a pot or a food item during Pesach should be covered for Pesach.

Counter tops: If they are of kasherable material (stainless steel or stone) kasher them by pouring boiling water over them, or by "steaming" them with a steamer. In the latter case, be sure that the steamer is producing a coating of boiling water upon the counter. For non-kasherable counter materials, cover the counters throughout Pesach.

Sinks: If they are stainless steel, kasher by (a) not using hot water in the sink for 24 hours and then (b) pouring boiling water over them. If not, you need either to line the sink (with contact paper) or use a sink insert.

Cabinets, drawers, fridge, and freezer: that will be used to store Pesach food should be carefully cleaned so that no "chametz" remains. No covering is necessary, though some people do have the custom of lining shelves and drawers.

Table tops: should be carefully cleaned and then covered (with a freshly-laundered tablecloth) throughout the holiday.

Microwave: Assuming that you use your microwave as most of us do, primarily for defrosting and warming as opposed to actual cooking, you may kasher it in the following way: Carefully and thoroughly clean all surfaces. The grate-like area on the inside wall should get special attention. After at least 24 hours have elapsed since the microwave's most recent use, bring a cup of water to boil in the microwave, so that the microwave fills with steam. Finally (an extra "chumra" for Pesach), cover the surface onto which you place the dishes inside the microwave. Wax paper is good as long as you replace the wax paper should it become wet.

Urn: After cleaning both interior and exterior surfaces, and at least 24 hours after its most recent use, fill the urn, plug it in, and allow it to reach its maximum temperature. After you empty and unplug the urn, bring it over to the sink and simply pour boiling water over the sides, taking care to keep the water away from the electrical component.

Blenders: Carefully clean the appliance to the point at which you are completely confident that is free of any food particles or residue. If you have used the appliance with hot food, then all detachable metal or glass components should be kashered. Metal can be kashered via "hag'alah" (boiling water) or in the same way that glass can be kashered (see below).

Dishwasher: Carefully and thoroughly clean all surfaces. After at least 24 hours have elapsed since the dishwasher's most recent use, run the dishwasher - with soap - on the longest, most powerful cycle it has.

Glass: Ashkenazim do not kasher glass baking utensils for Pesach. However, Pyrex or Duralex glassware that has been cooked in may be kashered via hag'alah (placed in boiling water). Glass into which hot liquids were poured can be kashered in one of two ways. You can pour boiling water over and into them (at least 24 hours after their most recent "hot" use). Or you can fill them with cold water (again, at least 24 hours after their most recent "hot" use), leave them in the water for 24 hours, and then repeat that same process two more times. As a practical tip, it might be easiest to simply place the glass into a large tub and fill the tub with cold water, covering all the glass inside. Drinking glasses that were never used with hot liquids at all simply need to be carefully washed for Pesach use, though the prevalent custom is to use the filling/soaking method anyway.

Halacha How To: Pesach

Halachah How To: Leaving for Pesach

Here's a perennial Pre-Pesach question: If I am leaving town before Pesach, what are my obligations relative to Bedikat Chametz (the search for chametz)? The answer is best understood if we first have clarity regarding the purpose of the search.

The Torah applies an unusual degree of stringency to the prohibition of chametz. In addition to not eating chametz, we are also prohibited to own chametz.  By law, we can dispossess ourselves of our chametz and thus avoid the prohibition, merely by "nullifying" the chametz  through the recitation of the familiar formulae that we recite each year. (You can find them in the Siddur, or at the beginning of almost any Haggadah). However, the Talmudic sages obliged us to actually search for (and destroy) our chametz anyway, to address two concerns that they had.

 They were concerned that if we failed to actually search our premises: (1) we might find chametz during Pesach and unthinkingly eat it before we remember that it's Pesach, and (2) our nullification might be less than whole-hearted if we suspect that there is actually still some valuable chametz in the house somewhere. Thus, the obligation to search on the night preceding Pesach.

However, given people's (apparently eternal) propensity to not be home for Pesach, the sages formulated the obligation so that it actually devolves upon us 30 days before Pesach. So as long as we are leaving fewer than 30 days before the chag, we are obligated to search, albeit without the bracha, on the night before we leave. This is true even if we will not be home at all over the course of Pesach (see concern #(2) above.)

Along similar lines the question is often asked how hotel-goers may fulfill the mitzva of "the burden of Pesach."  The concern is a serious one, as the Talmud reports that one of the 3 questions we are asked upon arriving in Heaven is, "did you dislocate any joints in your remembering of the Exodus?"

Halachah How To: Pesach   

1.  בדיקת חמץ (THE SEARCH FOR CHAMETZ)

The mitzvah to do בדיקת חמץ (the search for chametz) falls upon our shoulders 30 days before Pesach. What that means in practical terms, is that even though you may be leaving your home before Pesach, and not coming back until after Pesach, you are still obligated to do the בדיקה.

What’s the procedure if you are leaving town?  On your last night in town, you would use a candle as normal, and you would recite the ביטול   (nullification of chametz) afterwards. The only difference is that you would not recite the bracha.  On erev Pesach, you should recite the final ביטול, wherever you are. There is no requirement to burn the chametz on erev Pesach if you did an “early בדיקה, but if you wanted to take your “found” chametz with you, and burn it on erev Pesach wherever you are, that’s fine too. 

Everyone staying in town will do the bedika, with the bracha the night before Passover.


By erev Pesach morning we will mostly have consumed, given away, or arranged for the sale of our chametz. But what about any small amount of chametz that may be in your garbage can? Does it still belong to you? This is an important question, as we will presumably be making chametz deposits into our garbage, which may not be picked up by the city for a few days!

So the good news is, that this chametz actually doesn’t belong to you. This is both because your act of throwing it away is an expression of disowning it, and because long before that you will have recited the bittul (nullification of chametz).  As a result you cannot violate the prohibition of owning chametz as a result of what is in your garbage can.

HOWEVER, Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe O.C. 3:57) points out, that the positive mitzvah of destroying our chametz applies to any chametz that is on our property, even if we have disowned it. As such, we would either need to burn it on erev Pesach morning, or remove it from our property.  

Halachah How To: Sedarim

Thanks to daylight saving time, nightfall will be occurring rather late on the nights of the Sedarim this year. As you may know (and as is indicated on the BDJ Pesach schedule) we actually need to wait until nightfall to begin the Seder. This is because all of the mitzvot of the Seder, including the drinking of the 4 cups, can only be performed when it is halachikly “night”. This effectively pushes Kiddush to 8:06 pm this year. All of this creates a potential problem relative to children’s participation in the Seder. By the time we reach the eating of matza and maror, they may already be asleep. Let me make the following suggestion if none of the more conventional solutions (e.g., afternoon naps) proves successful. Begin the seder at 8:06 pm, but break the Magid section into 2 parts, with one part done before the meal, and the other part after. The pre-meal part should include the sections specified by the Talmud as the bare bones of the Magid. These sections are: • Mah Nishtana • Avadim Hayinu • At first our ancestors were idolaters • The section from “My father was a wandering Aramean,” through the ten plagues • From “Rabban Gamliel” to the end If this dividing of the Magid will enable the children to participate in matza and maror, it is well worth doing. If this too won’t do the trick, I’d suggest a “model seder” for the kids before the officially appointed hour.

 Halachah How To: Pesach Products

Please do avail yourself of the Pesach products lists published by Rabbi Eidlitz and by the OU (available on the back wall). The most valuable pages are those which list products than can be used WITHOUT any specific Pesach certification.  Here are a few “product” items especially worth review:


Pet Food: The prohibition of chametz includes a prohibition on feeding chametz to our animals (though we can feed them kitniyot - as long as they weren’t born in Eastern Europe). Rabbi Eidlitz lists non-chametz pet foods.


Milk and Eggs: A custom developed long ago to purchase these before Pesach. After all, milk and eggs came from the farm just outside of town where chickens, cows and chametz interacted freely. A minute amount of chametz that had found its way into an egg (not sure how) or into milk BEFORE Pesach was halachikly null and void, but not so if it found its way in ON Pesach. Thus the custom. Rabbi Eidlitz adds that Vitamin D additives in milk create a similar (and more actual) issue. If you run out of milk on Pesach, you should buy at the kosher stores, who will have Pesach-certified milk available.


Cosmetic Items etc.: Though these may contain chametz, because they are inedible they MAY be used on Pesach. Medicines taken in pill form may be used on Pesach without need for an ingredient check, Medicines taken in chewable or liquid form need to be chametz-free for Pesach. Rabbi Eidlitz has good lists on non-chametz medications, and I have a more exhaustive one if you have a question. 


Sun, June 16 2019 13 Sivan 5779