GUIDELINES FOR PASSOVER BY RABBI A Z SAUNDERS.
There are 2 prohibitions concerning Chometz on Passover.
ONE- Not to eat Chometz,
TWO- Not to own Chometz.
Therefore we have to clean out our homes.
Passover like any Yomtov must be enjoyed by every member of the family. This obligation is clearly stated in the Torah. Passover should be looked forward to and anticipated with joy. However, there are a lot of myths concerning ‘Pesach cleaning’ so I wanted to set out the basics.
1) Chometz is any bread or grain based food with the exception of Matzah.
2) – only places where Chometz is usually stored or eaten needs to be cleaned.
3) – Small crumbs on the floor are not a problem. However care must be taken not to eat food that has fallen to the floor or been in contact with them.
4)- New cutlery and crockery should be used and the Chometz ones put away in locked cupboards and sold using the form supplied in the shul mailing list.
5) The night before Passover we search for Chometz after nightfall with a candle. We are only concerned with finding big pieces of Chometz left lying around. E.g. under sofas or on shelves. After this we make the special declaration found at the front of the Passover Machzor which should be said in English. This is repeated in the morning.
6) Amongst Askenasi (not Sephardi) communities one must refrain from eating ‘Kitniyos’ lit’ small things’ These include rice, buckwheat/kasha, millet, beans, lentils, peas, sesame seeds and mustard and it is generally accepted that corn , green beans, snow peas, sugar-snap peas, chickpeas, soybeans, peanuts, sunflower and poppy seeds are also forbidden.
KASHERING THE KITCHEN.
If possible a new table top oven should be used. If this is not practical then do the following.
Let 24 hours pass after last using the oven
Clean thoroughly with a chemical oven cleaner.
Leave the oven on its maximum temperature for an hour.
If possible line the oven with foil or use an insert. If not, then make sure all food is properly wrapped when being cooked.
The same applies to the hobs and hob rings.
Some self clean ovens get hot enough to effect kashering on their own.
SINKS- These should be cleaned properly. Then boiling water should be poured round the entirety of the sink. Bleach should be poured down the plughole. Any folds in the metal or areas of rust must be gone over with a blow torch.
All work surfaces and tables should be washed and covered for Passover.
Cupboards and fridges should be cleaned from all Chometz and then washed with water and a cleaning agent. The shelves should be covered during Passover.
New tea towels should be used for Passover.
There are two Torah mitzvot to be preformed at the Seder – eating Matzah and relating the story of the slavery and Exodus. There are three main rabbinic mitzvot – drinking four cups of wine, eating marror and reciting Hallel.
The most important parts of the Haggadah are;-
Mah Nistanah (4 questions)
avodim Hoyinu (the answer)
The 10 plagues and from ‘Raban Gamliel used to say’ until the end of the blessing.
A person is required to eat a Kezayis of Matzah for ‘Matzah’, a kezayis for ‘koreach ‘ and a kezayis for the ‘ Tzofun or afikomen’.
The Matzah should be 6.25 inches by 7 inches. Korech is d ‘Rabbanan, so 4 by 7 inches is enough. The Afikomen Matzah should also be 6.25 inches by 7 inches. This is approximately 1 and a 1/3 pieces of a rakuzens Matzah. – see attached sheet for visual size guidelines.
This should be eaten in 2-9 minutes without interruption.
SHEMURAH MATZAH MUST BE USED FOR THE SEDER.
People who can’t swallow Matzah can grind it up and even mix it with water.
One should try and drink ¾ of their Kiddush cup for each of the 4 cups of wine. Grape juice may be used where necessary.