Passover Blessings, Prayers & Selling Your Chametz
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A “Virtual” Passover Mitzvah-
Some members of our congregation may not have family or friends with whom they can celebrate Passover. If you would consider hosting one or more persons at your family’s virtual Seder, or find that you will be alone for Seder, please contact Rabbi Vaisberg.
Erev Passover, First Seder: Wednesday, April 8
Passover, Second Seder: Thursday, April 9
Thursday, April 9, 10:00 AM, Shabbat/Passover Services
Thursday, April 16, 10:00 AM, Shabbat/Passover Services, Yizkor
Pesach Custom of Selling Chameitz
I am pleased to give you the opportunity to participate in the lovely Pesach custom of selling chameitz.
As you know, in preparation for Pesach we are to clean our homes of all forbidden foods. Technically, chameitz (“leaven”) is any food made of grain and water that has been allowed to rise. Practically, this includes bread, cake, cookies and so on, and depending upon our level of observance can also include items as diverse as beer and ketchup.
A key problem with pre-Pesach cleaning is what to do with chameitz we would rather not get rid of. That unopened box of Captain Crunch or those still sealed Oreos are definitely chameitz…but do we really have to throw them out?
Happily, Jewish tradition says no. Jewish law allows us to sell our chameitz temporarily. Even though the chameitz remains under our roof, as long as it is owned by someone who is not Jewish, and is therefore not technically ours, our home is kosher for the holiday.
The procedure is as follows:
1) Fill out the authorization form ( on the right) and return it to me. I need to receive it no later than Monday, April 6. Later that day I will enter into a contract with a non-Jew who will purchase our chameitz.
2) Go ahead and clean your house for Pesach. As you come across chameitz that you would like to keep, put it in a special, segregated place, like a cupboard designated for this purpose or a special section of the pantry. Once you have set aside all the chameitz you want to sell, seal it in some fashion, perhaps by putting tape across the cupboard door or by securing a large piece of paper or plastic wrap over the goods stored on a shelf. The seal should remain in place until late in the evening of Friday, April 17.
There are many online and print resources to help us in preparing for Pesach, including how-to guides for the proper way to rid our homes of chameitz and lists of permitted and forbidden foods for Pesach. If you have any questions at all, please call me directly.
I think that selling chameitz is a lovely way to enhance our holiday experience, as well as a practical way to keep our homes kosher l’Pesach while not being wasteful.
Best wishes from house to house for a chag sameach.
Rabbi David Z. Vaisberg