Passover begins Wednesday night, April 8. You can find this year’s Rabbinical Assembly Pesah Guide here

The Mikheret Hametz (selling leavened products) form is here.

Pesah Schedule - 2020

Tuesday, April 7 after dark (about 9:00 p.m.) - Bedikat Hametz (Search for Hametz)

Wednesday, April 8 7:15 a.m. Minyan and Siyyum Bekhorim

(Conclusion of Fast of the Firstborn)

11:51 a.m. No eating hametz after this time

12:57 p.m. Bi’ur hametz (Destruction of hametz) by this time

8:03 p.m. Candlelighting and first Seder

Thursday, April 9, 9:30 a.m. Yom Tov services

1st day Pesah after 9:03 p.m. Candlelighting* and Second Seder

Friday, April 10, 9:30 a.m. Yom Tov services

2nd day Pesah 6:58 p.m. earliest Candlelighting

8:05 p.m. Latest Candlelighting

Tuesday, Apr. 14, 8:09 p.m. Yom Tov Candlelighting

Wednesday, Apr. 15, 9:30 a.m. Yom Tov services

7th day Pesah after 8:29 p.m. Yom Tov Candlelighting*

Thursday, Apr. 16, 9:30 a.m. Yom Tov services

8th day Pesah 9:09 p.m. Havdalah, end of Pesah**

9:30 p.m. hametz will be repurchased by this time.

*From a flame lit before the beginning of Yom Tov.

**Havdalah is made over a cup of wine only (omit the blessings over the candle and spices).

Mekhirat Hametz - Selling Hametz

If possible, all hametz -- leavened products, foods not acceptable during Pesah, or materials containing such unacceptable food -- should be destroyed or given away before the holiday begins.  Should this be impossible, the hametz may be stored in such a way that we are sure not to use it during the holiday and its actual ownership is transferred to a non-Jew until the holiday ends.  Please return the mekhirat hametz form for the sale of leavened products (which can be found in the Voice or downloaded from to Congregation Ahavas Israel NO LATER THAN 12:00 noon on Wednesday, April 8.  It is customary to make a donation to a Ma’ot Hittim fund at the time of mekhirat hametz to help others fulfill the mitzvah of Pesah.

Home Hospitality:

One of the central lines in the Haggadah is kol dikhfin, yeitei v’yeikhol.  “All who are hungry, let them come and eat.”  Every year we have requests for hospitality.  PLEASE make room for one or more guests at your Seder, and help us ensure that each member, potential member, or guest in our community has a warm home in which to spend the Sedarim. You can find a “Home Hospitality” form in the Voice or can download it from

Searching for Hametz/Nullification of Hametz

The formal search for leaven (בדיקת חמץ) is conducted on the night before Pesah - Thursday night, April 7, after dark (about 9:00 p.m.). This symbolizes the final removal of leaven from the home. Before the search, it is customary to deposit small pieces of bread (ten pieces, according to kabbalistic lore) in strategic places so that the inspection should have a purpose. It is traditionally carried out by the light of a candle, with a feather and a wooden spoon to collect the hametz; all this is set aside until morning.

There is always a chance, no matter how thoroughly you clean your house for Pesah, that tiny crumbs of hametz will still be lying around after searching for hametz.  Therefore, after searching, conclude by reciting the following statement of bitul hametz, nullification of hametz, in a language you understand so that your intention to nullify hametz is clear.

Before beginning bedikat hametz, recite the following berakha:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִיוָּנוּ עַל בֵּיעוּר חָמֵץ.

Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al bei’ur hametz.

The Source of blessing are You, Adonai our God, Eternal Sovereign, who has made us holy with commandments, and commanded us concerning destroying hametz.

After bedikat hametz, recite the following statement:

Bitul Hametz - Nullification of Hametz

כָּל חֲמִירָא וְחֲמִיעָה דְּאִכָּא בִּרְשׁוּתִי, דְּלָא חֲמִתֵּהּ וּדְלָא בִּעַרְתֵּהּ, לִבָּטֵל וְלֱהֱוֵי כְּעַפְרָא דּאַרְעָא.

Kol hamira v’hamia d’ika virshuti, d’la hamiteih udla viarteih libateil v’lehevei hefkeir k’afra d’ara.

May all hametz in my possession, even if I have not seen or removed it, be nullified, and become like the dust of the earth.

Bi’ur Hametz - Burning of Hametz

On Friday, April 19 before 12:44 p.m., take all the hametz that you found during bedikat hametz and destroy it.  Bi’ur hametz is usually done by burning, though it can be done by scattering the hametz outside for the birds to eat.  While destroying your hametz, recite:

כָּל חֲמִירָא וְחֲמִיעָה דְּאִכָּא בִּרְשׁוּתִי, דְּחֲמִתֵּהּ דְּלָא חֲמִתֵּהּ, דְּבִּעַרְתֵּהּ וּדְלָא בִּעַרְתֵּהּ, לִבָּטֵל וְלֱהֱוֵי כְּעַפְרָא דּאַרְעָא.

Kol hamira vahamia d’ika virshuti dahaziteih udla haziteih, dahamiteih udla hamiteih, d’viarteih udla viarteih libateil v’lehevei k’afra dara.

May all hametz in my possession, whether I have seen it or not, whether I have removed it or not, be nullified, and become like the dust of the earth.

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