Passover Blessings, Prayers & Selling Your Chametz
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A 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 Seder, or find that you will be alone for Seder, please contact Rabbi Kulwin at email@example.com or 973.994.2290
Erev Passover, First Seder: Fri, March 30
Passover, Second Seder: Sat, March 31
Sat, March 21, 10:00 AM, Shabbat/Passover Services
Sat, April 7, 10:00 AM, Shabbat/Passover Services
Seder Song Sheets & About the Seder (PDF)
Pesach Custom of Selling Chametz
I am pleased to give you the opportunity to participate in the lovely Pesach custom of selling Chametz.
As you know, in preparation for Pesach we are to clean our homes of all forbidden foods. Technically, Chametz (“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 Chametz we would rather not get rid of? That unopened box of Captain Crunch or those still sealed Oreos are definitely Chametz…but do we really have to throw them out?
Happily, Jewish tradition says “no.” Jewish law allows us to sell our Chametz temporarily. Even though the Chametz remains under our roof, as long as it is owned by someone who is not Jewish, and is therefore not really “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 first thing Friday, March 30 . Later that day I will enter into a contract with a non-Jew who will purchase our Chametz.
2) Go ahead and clean your house for Pesach. As you come across Chametz 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 Chametz 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 Tuesday, April 18.
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 Chametz and lists of permitted and forbidden foods for Pesach. If you have any questions at all, please call me directly.
I think that selling Chametz 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. I hope you will consider selling your Chametz this year.
With best wishes from house to house for a hag sameach,
Rabbi Clifford M. Kulwin