Guide to Passover

Click here to download the Rabbinical Assembly Guide to Pesah, containing information about food products need (and don’t need) kosher for Passover supervision, how to kasher items, counters, and ovens for Passover, and more.

Pesah Schedule
Sunday, April 21after dark (about 9:15 p.m.)Bedikat Hametz (see following)
Monday, April 228:00 a.m.Minyan and Siyyum Bekhorim
(conclusion of Fast of the Firstborn)
11:23 a.m.No eating hametz after this time
12:32 p.m.Bi’ur hametz (Destruction of hametz) by this time
8:19 p.m.Candlelighting and first Seder
Tuesday, April 239:30 a.m.Yom Tov services
1st day Pesahafter 9:20 p.m.Candlelighting * and Second Seder
Wednesday, April 249:30 a.m.Yom Tov services
2nd day Pesah9:20 p.m.Havdalah (No candle or spices)
Saturday, April 279:30 a.m.Shabbal services for Hol Hamoed Pesah
Sunday, April 288:02 p.m.Yom Tov candlelighting
Monday, April 299:30 a.m.Yom Tov services
7th day Pesahafter 9:03 p.m.Candlelighting *
Tuesday, April 309:30 a.m.Yom Tov services (including Yizkor)
8th day Pesah9:04 p.m.Havdalah **, end of Pesah (No candle or spices)
9:30 p.m.Hametz will be repurchased by this time

* From a flame lit before the beginning of Yom Tov
** Havdalah after Rosh Hashanah is the blessing over wine and havdalah alone (no spices or candle)

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 this mekhirat hametz form for the sale of leavened products to Congregation Ahavas Israel NO LATER THAN 12:00 noon on Monday, April 22. 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.

Searching for Hametz/Nullification of Hametz

The formal search for leaven (Bedikat hametz) is conducted on the night before Pesah – Sunday night, April 21, after dark (about 9:15 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 berakhah:

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

כל ֲחִמיָרא ְוֲחִמיָעה ְּדִאָּכא ִּבְרשׁוִּתי, ְּדָלא ֲחִמֵּתּה וְּדָלא ִּבַעְרֵּתּה, ִלָּבֵטל ְוֱלֱהֵוי
ְּכַעְפָרא ּדַאְרָעא.

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 Monday morning, April 22 by the fifth hour after sunrise, 12:32 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:

כל ֲחִמיָרא ְוֲחִמיָעה ְּדִאָּכא ִּבְרשׁוִּתי, ְּדֲחִמֵּתּה ְּדָלא ֲחִמֵּתּה, ְּדִּבַעְרֵּתּה וְּדָלא
ִּבַעְרֵּתּה, ִלָּבֵטל ְוֱלֱהֵוי ְּכַעְפָרא ּדַאְרָעא.

Kol hamira vahamia d’ika virshuti dahaziteih ood’la haziteih, dahamiteih ood’la 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.

Siyum Bekhorim – Monday Morning, April 22

A first born (whether of the mother or of the father) should fast on the day before Passover, in commemoration of the deliverance from Egypt. It is the custom for synagogues to make a siyum (a public completion of the study of a tractate of the Talmud) on the morning before Passover. Since the siyum is followed by a se’udat mitzvah (a festive meal which follows the performance of certain mitzvot), a first born who is present may eat, and having eaten, need not fast that day.
Our Siyyum will take place right after our regular morning service which begins at 8:00 a.m. on Zoom.