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Pesach 2020

Check out this page for all of your Pesach needs!

Halachic Guidance specific to this year: click here.

Pesach Zmanim:  Access all relevant times here.  

Chametz Sale: Click here to sell your chametz online.  Deadline is Thursday, April 2nd.

OU Guide to PassoverClick here to view or download.

Rabbi Eidlitz Passover Guide: Click here to view or download. 

Rabbanit Dasi Fruchter's Guide to Making a Seder Alone. Click here to view or download. 

Community Biyur Chametz: not applicable this year.

Kashering Day: Canceled due to "stay at home" restrictions.  See below for guidance on kashering at home..  

*** NEW *** Pesach Prep WhatsApp Group: Share tips and tricks with fellow members.  Join here.

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

Pesach Preps: An in-depth look at some hot topics for Pesach: Kitniyot, Pets & Glass.  Click here to read.

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

Pre-Pesach Learning at BDJ

To Access our Online Learning:

Preparing for Pesach

  • Haggadah Shiur: Wednesday, April 1st at 7:30 pm -  "Finding Hope in the Haggadah" with Rabbanit Alissa
  • Shabbat Hagadol Drasha: Sunday, April 5th at 7:30 pm - While we will not be able to gather on person this Shabbat Hagadol, we will nonetheless have this annual opportunity to learn and think together about ideas that enrich and deepen the great holiday we are about to enter. This year, Rav Yosef will deliver the Shabbat Hagadol Drasha via Zoom on Sunday evening April 5th, at 7:30. Please mark the date and time, as this may be year in which we will especially benefit from a spiritual framing of our observance of Pesach. (You’ll be on your own for childcare during the Drasha.)
  • Siyum B'chorim: April 8th at 7:15 am - Siyum with Rav Yosef via Zoom
  • Yizkor: April 13th at 7:30 pm - An evening with Josh Sharfman, in the spirit of Yizkor.  

Kasher L'Pesach Food Options

As we hear more about Pesach resources, we will be sharing them with you. 

Caterers & Restaurants for Pesach: 

 

Grocery Stores:

  • Livonia Glatt Market 
  • Glatt Mart 
  • Pico Glatt Mart 
  • Western Kosher
  • Ralphs

Kashering for Pesach

Kashering Utensils and Appliances for Pesach

What utensils may be kashered?

As a general rule, metal implements such as silverware, pots, and most other kitchen implements can be fairly easily kashered for Pesach use. Boiling water is the kashering medium we can use. Metal baking pans, baking sheets or frying pans however (unless you typically use the frying pans with very generous amounts if oil, making them more like pots), are more difficult to kasher, as they require the application of “direct heat” either in the form of a blowtorch or through being heated in the high heat of a self-cleaning oven. Both of these options come with potential hazards, but are theoretically possible. Please be in touch with the clergy if you are in need of kashering such an implement.

 

How does one kasher silverware, pots, etc.?

The basic process is that of immersion in boiling water.

  • To begin, kasher your stove top, or at least the burner you will be using for kashering, FIRST. See “Kashering the Kitchen” below for how that’s done.
  • Next, bring a large pot of water to a bubbling boil. It does not matter what kind of pot this is (Pesach or chametz, dairy or meat) as long as it is completely clean, and has not been used in the prior 24 hours.
  • The items that you will be immersing in this boiling water should also be completely clean and, ideally, also unused in the prior 24 hours.
  • The items should be immersed in the boiling water individually, so that the water touches the entire surface. It is not necessary to immerse the entire object all at once. You can immerse the bottom half, remove the item and then immerse the top half if this is necessary.
  • When immersing a pot, you should first remove any removable handles, which should then be immersed separately. If the handles cannot be removed, extreme care should be used in cleaning the point where the pot and the handle meet. Same is true of the lids.
  • It is customary to rinse the kashered items in cold water to conclude the process. You can cold rinse all the kashered items together, when you are done with the boiling water portion.
  • If you want to kasher a pot that does not fit into your “kashering” pot, here’s the procedure:
    • Fill the pot and bring it to a boil.
    • Simultaneously heat a small object (a stone, a metal implement) on an adjacent burner.
    • When the water in the pot boils, use plyers to gently drop the heated object into the boiling water, causing the water to overflow and thus kasher the outside of the pot as well.
    • This can be a mess, so put towels down in the floor beforehand. Also it may cause the gas flame to extinguish, so be on alert for that.
    • It is not typically possible to kasher the lid of this pot though, as one cannot get the entire lid immersed, even in stages.

Kashering Glass:

  • Glass baking pans cannot be kashered for Pesach.
  • Glass into which hot liquids were poured (i.e. they were never on a stovetop, in a microwave, or in an oven) 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), empty the water after 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 tub, fill the tub with cold water covering all the glass inside, drain and refill after 24 hours and after 48 hours.
  • 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.

 

Cleaning the House for Pesach:

All of us (I hope) will be completing the Sale of Chametz form, and thereby transferring ownership of our chametz to righteous non-Jewish person. If that’s the case, why is there a need to clean for Pesach, a cleaning culminating in the Bedikat Chametz that we do the night before the seder? The answer is that we clean in order to remove from our house (and office and car) any chametz that we might otherwise accidentally discover and be tempted to eat on Pesach. As such, the rule of thumb is that we need to clean out all the places where we may be over Pesach where chametz might exist in edible form and quantity.

 

In addition, cleaning also insures the credibility of the "bittul" (the verbal nullification) of our chametz that we recite on Erev Pesach. We will be able to say the “bittul” without any reservation, knowing with confidence that there isn’t a bottle of expensive liquor (for example) in some closet that we neither cleaned out nor included in our Sale of Chametz.

 

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 halakhic objective is, and especially when there are so many other Mitzvot calling to us, to set our priorities and use our time appropriately.

 

KASHERING THE KITCHEN:

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), and the glass can be kashered according to the information about glass, above.

 

Dishwasher: Carefully and thoroughly clean all surfaces (including the drain). 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.

 

Pesach Products

Here are the links to two fine publications:

OU Passover Guide: https://oukosher.org/passover/passover-guide/

Rabbi Eidlitz’ Guide: https://kosherquest.org/kosher-conscience-magazine/

Video of Rabbi Eidlitz’ Pesach Products Review https://www.anshe.org/rabbi-eidlitz-pesach-products-review-2020/

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.

2. THAT LAST LITTLE BIT OF CHAMETZ

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. 

 

Tue, March 31 2020 6 Nisan 5780