MARCH 28, 2019
“This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are in need come and eat.”
These opening words of the Seder are a reminder to us. It is our responsibility to make sure every Jew has a Seder to attend. If you or someone you know is in need of a place to be, contact Sarah Jane Acheson at the synagogue office.
Preparing for Passover: The Search for Leaven
In addition to the biblical practice of eating matzah (unleavened bread) is the removal of all leavening and leavened products before the beginning of Passover. It is traditional to conduct a ceremonial scavenger hunt for crumbs on the evening before Passover (this year Thursday, April 18th). You are invited to bring in your crumbs and other leavened goods to add to the communal burning at 9:00am on Friday, March 30th, after minyan and the Siyyum Bekhorim.
Think of this as a ritual to ready our homes for Passover as well as a spiritual cleansing and preparation like the one our ancestors performed on the night before the 10th plague, just before their liberation. The personal search by candlelight of all the nooks and crannies of our homes that begins in the evening will end in the morning with a communal bonfire!
Services for the Firstborn:
The Siyyum Bekhorim for the first born will be held Friday, April 19th as part of the 7:30am minyan. The service will be followed by a teaching on a Talmudic Tractate by Rabbi Zehavi. We will enjoy a bagel brunch during the teaching and then burn our Ḥametz in the parking lot. This Siyyum absolves the firstborn from fasting the day before Passover.
Firstborn in each family and others are encouraged to attend. Parents are invited to bring their firstborn children to this service.
Passover Service Times:
Service for the Firstborn – Friday, April 19th at 7:30am followed by teaching and bagels.
Burning of Ḥametz in parking lot. Please bring your Ḥametz to burn!
1st Day of Passover Service – Saturday, April 20th at 9:30am
7th Day of Passover Service – Friday, April 26th at 9:00am – Yizkor will be recited.
Kabbalat Shabbat at 6:00pm
MORTARS WITHOUT BORDERS
Haroset itself is part of the symbolism of Passover. What’s more, according to the Talmud each decreed ingredient has its own significance: apple to honor the women who gave birth among the apple trees to hide their infants from the Egyptians; nuts and fruits to create a mortar like consistency; and wine, thicker than water, to hold it all together (the Talmud adds that the wine also symbolizes the blood of oppression). Here are typical worldwide variations on the theme. Mix, mash, grind, chop; play with the ingredients and proportions until you get the consistency, taste and texture you want.
Afghanistan: walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, apples, sweet wine, pomegranate seeds, black pepper, dates
Ashkenazic: apples, walnuts, almonds, cinnamon, wine
Bukhara: walnuts, almonds, dates, raisins, apples, sweet wine
California: apples, walnuts, wine fresh ginger, cinnamon
¨ apples, banana, dates, raisins, juice and grated rind of lemon, walnuts, almonds or pecans, dry red wine, matza meal, cinnamon, sugar
Egypt: dates, nuts bananas, apples, sweet wine, cinnamon, pomegranate seeds
Galicia: apples, nuts, sweet wine, cinnamon, horseradish
Germany: raisins, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, cinnamon, cloves, sweet wine
Greece (Zakynthos): almonds, raisins mashed in vinegar, pepper, good pinch finely ground brick
Hawaii: dates, apples, walnuts, almonds ginger, cinnamon, wine
Hungary: apples, nuts, cinnamon pieces, a little sweet wine
India: dates cooked into a syrup & sprinkled with ground walnuts
Iraq: chopped nuts sprinkled atop a special date honey
Israel: apples, bananas, dates, nuts, juice and grated rinds of lemon and orange, dry red wine, cinnamon, sugar or honey, matza meal for consistency
Italy: bananas, dates, apples, walnuts, orange including peel, sweet Malaga wine, matza meal
Lubavitch: pears, walnuts, wine or grape juice
Maimonides: dried figs, raisins, pitted dates soaked in boiling water to reconstitute, then boiled and crushed; add wine vinegar, shredded stick cinnamon and fresh ginger
Morocco: seven species
¨ dates, almonds, nuts, pomegranate seeds, figs, wine, cinnamon
Netherlands: chunky mixture of apples, nuts cinnamon, sugar, raisins, sweet wine
New American: apples, mango, pecans, lemon juice, cinnamon, honey sweet wine
Persia: dates, pistachios, almonds, raisins, apples, orange banana, pomegranate seeds, sweet wine, vinegar, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper
Poland: walnuts. almonds, apples, wine, cinnamon
Rhodes: dates, almonds and walnuts, orange, honey or sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves, sweet red wine
Russia: apples, raisins, cinnamon, honey, nuts (walnuts or almonds) if you could get them
Santa Fe: apples, nuts, sweet wine, whatever else you usually use, and finely chopped roasted and seeded green chile peppers
Sefardic: coconut, walnuts, sugar cinnamon, raisins, apricots, dried apples and pears, prunes, cherry preserves, wine
Spain: almonds, dates, apples, orange juice, ginger, cinnamon, vinegar rolled into balls about the size of an olive
Syria: dates cooked to a jam consistency
United States: apples, pecans or walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, sweet wine
¨ apples, mixed nuts, cinnamon, allspice, sweet red wine
Venice: chestnut paste, dates, figs, poppy seeds, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, orange zest, dried apricots, raisins, cherry or orange brandy, honey
Yemen: dates, raisins, almonds, other nuts, figs, sesame seeds, apples, pomegranate seeds, grape juice, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves
Mechirat Ḥametz – The Selling of Ḥametz
The prohibition of ḥametz on Passover includes both eating ḥametz and owning ḥametz. Originally, all ḥametz was to be eaten or destroyed by Passover. The Rabbis recognized the difficulties and hardships for those who possessed large quantities of ḥametz. To obviate this situation the custom of Mechirat Ḥametz was instituted. The Rabbi acts as the agent for individuals in the sale of their ḥametz to a non-Jew and then the repurchase of ḥametz back at the end of the holiday. Though the physical transfer of the ḥametz is not made, the non-Jew has the legal right to take possession of it. That is why a Rabbi acts as the agent. If you would like Rabbi Zehavi to act as your agent for the sale of your ḥametz to a non-Jew, please fill out this form and return it, in person or by mail, to the office.
RABBINICAL ASSEMBLY PESACH GUIDE
The Torah prohibits the ownership of ḥametz (leaven) during Pesach. Therefore, we arrange for the sale of the ḥametz to a non-Jew. The transfer, mekhirat ḥametz, is accomplished by appointing an agent, usually the rabbi, to handle the sale. It is valid and legal transfer of ownership. At the end of the holiday, the agent arranges for the reversion of the ownership of now-permitted ḥametz. If ownership of the ḥametz was not transferred before the holiday, the use of this ḥametz is prohibited after the holiday as well (ḥametz she-avar alav ha-Pesach).
- Since the Torah prohibits the eating of ḥametz during Pesach, and since many common foods contain some admixture of ḥametz, guidance is necessary when shopping and preparing for Pesach.
During the eight days of Pesach, ḥametz cannot lose its identity in an admixture. Therefore, the minutest amount of ḥametz renders the whole admixture ḥametz and its use on Pesach is prohibited. However, during the rest of the year, ḥametz follows the normal rules of admisture, i.e. it loses its identity in an admixture of one part ḥametz and sixty parts of non-ḥametz (batel be-shisim). This affords us the opportunity to differentiate between foods purchases before and during Pesach.
What follows is a general guideline. However, your rabbi should be consulted when any doubt arises. Kosher le-Pesach labels that do not bear the name of a rabbi or one of the recognized symbols of rabbinic supervision, or which are not integral to the package, should not be used without consulting your rabbi.
Most Ashkenazic authorities have added the following foods (kitniyot) to the above list: rice corn, millet, legumes, (beans and peas; however, string beans are permitted). The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards has ruled unanimously that peanuts and peanut oil are permissible, as peanuts are not actually legumes. Some Ashkenazic authorities permit, while other forbid, the use of legumes in a form other than their natural state, for example, corn sweeteners, corn oil, soy oil. Sephardic authorities permit the use of all of the above. Consult your rabbi for guidance in the use of these products.
- The following foods require no kosher le-Pesach label if purchased prior to Pesach: unopened packages or containers of natural coffee without cereal additives (However, be aware that coffees produced by General Foods are not kosher for Passover unless marked KP); sugar; pure tea; salt (not iodized); pepper; natural spices; frozen fruit juices with no additives; frozen (uncooked) vegetables (for legumes see above); milk; butter; cottage cheese; cream cheese; ripened cheese such as cheddar (hard), muenster (semi-soft) and Camembert (soft); frozen (uncooked) fruit (with no additives); baking soda.
- The following foods require no kosher le-Pesach label if purchased before or during Pesach: Fresh fruit and vegetables (for legumes see above) eggs, fresh fish and fresh meat.
- The following foods require a kosher le-Pesach label if purchased before or during Pesach: All baked products (matzah, cakes, matzah flour, farfel, matzah meal, and any products containing matzah); canned or bottled fruit juices (These juices are often clarified with kitniyot which are not listed among the ingredients. However, if one knows there are no such agents, the juice may be purchased prior to Pesach with a kosher le-Pesach label); canned tuna (since tuna, even when packed in water, has been processed in vegetable broth and/or hydrolyzed protein–however, if it is known, if it is known that the tuna is packed exclusively in water, without any additional ingredients or additives, it may be purchased without a kosher le-Pesach label); wine; vinegar; liquor; oils; dried fruits; candy; chocolate flavored milk; ice cream; yogurt and soda.
- The following processed foods (canned, bottled or frozen), require a kosher le-Pesach label if purchased during Pesach: milk, butter, juices, vegetables, fruit, milk products, spices, coffee, tea and fish, as well as all foods listed in Category C.
DETERGENTS: If permitted during the year, powdered and liquid detergents do not require a kosher le-Pesach label.
MEDICINE: Since ḥametz binders are used in many pills, the following guidelines should be followed. If the medicine is required for life sustaining therapy, it may be used on Pesach. If it is not for life sustaining therapy, some authorities permit, while others prohibit. Consult your rabbi. In all cases, capsules are preferable.
KASHERING OF UTENSILS:
The process of kashering utensils depends on how the utensil was used. According the halakhah leaven can be purged from a utensil by the same process in which it was absorbed in the utensil (ke-voleo kakh poleto). Therefore, utensils used in cooking are kashered by boiling, those used in boiling are kashered by fire and heat, and those used only for cold food are kashered by rinsing.
- EARTHWARE (china, pottery, etc.) may not be kashered. However, fine translucent china ware which has not be used for over a year may be used if scoured and cleaned in hot water.
- METAL (wholly made in metal) UTENSILS USED IN FIRE (spit, broiler) must first be thoroughly scrubbed and cleansed and then made as hot as possible. Those used for cooking or eating (silverware, pots) must be thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned and completely immersed in boiling water. Pots should have water boiled in them which will overflow the rim.
- The utensils should not be used for a period of at least 24 hours between the cleaning and the immersion in boiling water. Metal baking utensils cannot be kashered.
- OVENS AND RANGES: Every part that comes in contact with food must be thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned. Then, oven and range should be heated as hot as possible for half an hour. If there is a broil setting, use it. Self-cleaning ovens should be scrubbed and cleaned and then put through the self-cleaning cycle. Continuous cleaning ovens must be kashered in the same manner as regular ovens.
- MICROWAVE OVENS, which do not cook the food by mean of heat, should be cleaned, and then a cup of water should be place inside. Then the oven should be turned on until all of the water evaporates. A microwave oven that has a browning element cannot be kashered for Pesach.
- GLASSWARE: Authorities disagree as to the method for kashering drinking utensils. One opinion requires soaking in water for three days, changing the water every 24 hours. The other opinion requires only a thorough scrubbing before Pesach, or putting them through a dishwasher.
- DISHWASHER: After not using the machine for a period of 24 hours, a full cycle with detergent should be run.
- ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES: If the parts that come into contact with ḥametz are removable, they can be kashered in the appropriate way (if metal, follow the rules for metal utensils). If the parts are not removable, the appliance cannot be kashered. All exposed parts should be thoroughly cleaned anyway.
- TABLES, CLOSETS AND COUNTERS: If used with ḥametz, they should be thoroughly cleaned and covered, and then they may be used.
- KITCHEN SINK: A metal sink can be kashered by thoroughly cleaning and then pouring boiling water over it. A porcelain sink should be cleaned and a sink rack used. If however, dishes are to be soaked in a porcelain sink, or the sink does not drain immediately or backs up, a dish basin must be used.
- ḤAMETZ AND NON-PASSOVER UTENSILS: Non-Passover dishes, pots and ḥametz whose ownership has been transferred, should be separated, locked up or covered, and marked in order to prevent accidental use.