Passover Guide for 5779/2019
PESACH is celebrated from sundown Friday evening, April 19, 2019, through sundown Saturday, April 27, 2019.
THE SEDARIM are held on Friday evening, April 19, 2019, and Saturday evening, April 20, 2019.
SELLING OF HAMETZ-Jews are required to rid their home of Hametz on Passover. To avoid a “significant financial loss” (hef’sak m’ruba) a legal fiction was introduced allowing one to place their “hametzdik” non-perishable food items in a closed-off area for Passover. The Rabbi is then empowered to sell these items, and those of the rest of the community, to a non-Jew. At the end of Passover the Rabbi purchases them back from the non-Jew. Though the “hametzdik” food never leaves one’s home, it is also not formally in their possession during Passover. A form for the sale of Hametz is included in this edition of Chai-Lites.
IN PREPARATION FOR PASSOVER:
A. “Siyyum B’chorim-A first born should fast on the day before Passover immediately after Sunset. This is done in commemoration of the deliverance of the first-born Israelites from Egypt. It has become the custom for synagogues to make a “Siyyum” (public completion of a tractate of Mishnah or Talmud) on the morning before Passover. Since the “Siyyum” is followed by a “Seudat Mitzvah” (festive mea-in this case a light breakfast), a first born who is present may eat. Having eaten, he/she need not fast that day. A “Siyyum” service, followed by a light breakfast, will be held at Kol Ami on Friday morning, April 19, from 7:30-8:15 AM.
B. Search for the Leaven-The search for the leaven is customarily done on the night before Passover immediately after sunset. This year it takes place in the home on Thursday evening, April 18th. For instructions on doing a “search for leaven” with the appropriate blessing, please refer to the opening pages of your Haggadah.
C. Burning of the Leaven-The burning of the “Hametz” gathered during the search on Thursday evening takes place on Friday morning no later than 11:00 AM.
D. Meals Prior to Passover-It is customary to refrain from eating matzah on the day before Passover, so that one will eat the matzah with an appetite at the seder.
WHAT IS HAMETZ & WHAT FOODS MAY NOT BE USED DURING PASSOVER? Hametz are those five grains that when in contact with water become fermented. The grains include: wheat, oats, rye, barley & spelt. Passover baked goods are made from flour which has not been fermented.
All these foods are considered Hametz and may not be used during Passover: leavened bread, cakes, biscuits, crackers, cereals, and liquids containing ingredients made from grain or grain alcohol.
WHAT FOODS REQUIRE RABBINIC SUPERVISION BEFORE PASSOVER? Matzah, noodles, candles, cakes, beverages, canned and processed foods, butter, jam, cheese, jelly, relishes, wines, liquors, salad oils, gelatin, shortening, and vinegar require a “Kosher L’Pesach” label indicating they may be used on Passover.
WHAT FOODS REQUIRE NO CERTIFICATION? Pure natural coffee (instant or ground), sugar (not confectioner or powdered), brown sugar, saccharine, tea, salt, pepper, vegetables (string beans are permitted), pure garlic and onion powder, dried fruit, honey, Hershey’s cocoa, pure unadulterated safflower or soy bean oil, nuts (except legumes), dish detergent and scouring powders. Dairy products do not require certification if they are purchased and unopened before Passover.
WHAT ABOUT CANNED TUNA OR SALMON? Oil packing introduces an uncertain element possibly containing additional ingredients. Therefore, use the water packed variety and purchase it before Passover.
WHY DO SOME ASHKENAZIM (JEWS OF EASTERN EUROPEAN LINEAGE) PERSIST IN NOT EATING BEANS, RICE, CORN, PEAS, OR PEANUTS ON PASSOVER? Although these are not among the five species of grain that can become Hametz, Ashkenazim avoided their use because when cooked they tend to rise giving the impression of being Hametz. Sephardim (Jews of Oriental lineage-Spain, Morocco, Iraq, Turkey, etc) do permit the use of these items. “Everyone” permits the use of Kosher for Passover Peanut Oil.
KASHERING OF DISHES, STOVES, MICROWAVES, DISHWASHERS, AND REFRIGERATORS
Dishes-It is preferable to have dishes & utensils specifically reserved for Passover and stored away during the rest of the year. However, since this is not always possible, certain types of utensils may be “Kashered” for Passover. These include: silverware, knives, forks and spoons made wholly of metal (with no wooden handles), table glassware, fine translucent chinaware if not used during the previous year, metal pots & pans. Earthenware, enamel ware or porcelain utensils are considered porous and cannot be kashered for Passover.
Silverware, knives, forks, spoons, metal pots & pans are Kashered by immersion in hot boiling water. This is done by filling a large pot with water and heating it to a boil. Then, each item is dipped into the boiling pot.
Glassware requires a thorough scouring. There is also a practice of soaking glassware for 72 hours.
Stove-The stove is prepared by thoroughly scrubbing and cleaning all parts and turning on full flame or using the self-clean cycle in the oven.
Microwave-Microwave ovens present a special case since the inside surface does not become hot. Thoroughly clean the oven, then place a dish of water in the oven and allow it to reach a boil.
Dishwasher-Thoroughly clean the dishwasher and then run it empty for two cycles-one with soap and one without.
Refrigerator-Remove all Hametz food items and open packages. Clean thoroughly the inside of the refrigerator and its racks.