Pesah Schedule - 2021

Thurs. March 25 8:00 a.m. Minyan and Siyyum Bekhorim

(Conclusion of Fast of the Firstborn)

after dark (about 8:30 p.m.) - Bedikat Hametz (Search for Hametz)

There is a page of bedikat hametz instructions elsewhere in the Voice.


Friday, March 26 12:32 p.m. Bi’ur hametz (Destruction of hametz) by this time


Saturday, March 27 11:15 a.m. No eating hametz after this time

8:45 p.m. Candlelighting* and first Seder


Sunday, March 28 10:30 a.m. Yom Tov services

1st day Pesah 8:46 p.m. Candlelighting* and Second Seder


Monday, March 29 10:30 a.m. Yom Tov services

2nd day Pesah 8:48 p.m. Havdalah**


Tuesday - Friday 8:00 a.m. morning minyan on zoom


Friday, Apr. 2 7:52 p.m. Shabbat and Yom Tov Candlelighting


Saturday, Apr. 3 10:30 a.m. Yom Tov services

7th day Pesah 8:53 p.m. Yom Tov Candlelighting*


Sunday, Apr. 4 10:30 a.m. Yom Tov services (including Yizkor)

8th day Pesah 8:55 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 Shabbat/Yom Tov.

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


Special instructions for a Pesah beginning on Saturday night

Adapted from the teshuvah “When Passover Begins on Saturday Night,” by RABBI KASSEL ABELSON, adopted by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative movement, December 9, 1993.


Many of the practices that are usually performed on the night or the day before the seder are moved back to Thursday or Friday. This is done to assure the proper observance of Shabbat.


Siyum Bekhorim - Thursday Morning

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 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. Since a fast for the firstborn cannot take place on Shabbat or be moved to Friday, the siyum and the se’udat mitzvah are held on Thursday morning.


Bedikat Hametz - Thursday Evening

Bedikat hametz (search for leaven) is customarily done on the night before Passover immediately alter sunset. When Passover begins on Saturday night the bedikat hametz is done on Thursday night. The blessing for bedikat hametz is recited. One may elect to keep enough hametz for the Sabbath meals. If so the kol hamirah (“All the hametz ...” formula for nullifying unseen hametz) should not be recited at this time, since one does not want to nullify hametz the reserved for Shabbat. However if the intention is to use egg matzah for Hamotzi on Friday night/Saturday lunch, then the kol hamirah is recited Thursday evening.


Bi’ur Hametz- Friday Morning

This day should be treated as an ordinary erev Pesah in regard to bi’ur hametz (removal of hametz). The burning of the hametz should be completed by the fifth hour after sunrise. The stove should be kashered for Pesah. All cooking should be done in Pesah pots and only Pesah utensils should be used. Food required for Shabbat as well as for the first Seder should be cooked at this time.


Shabbat Meals

It is customary to refrain from eating matzah on the day before Pesah, so that one will eat the matzah with appetite at the Seder. Because of Shabbat, however, meals on Friday night and Saturday should be kosher for Passover meals (it is possible to eat some hametz, like challah, but this presents complications and challenges. If you want more information, contact Rabbi Krishef). Therefore, in place of challah, one should use matzah ashira (enriched matzah, that is to say egg matzah) for hamotzi. Though matzah ashira, may not be used for the seder, it is not hametz. It is produced under strict rabbinical supervision and may be used during Passover. It may not be used for the seder, for it is ashira (rich) and what is required for the seder is lehem oni (the bread of poverty and affliction). And precisely because egg matzah may not be eaten at the seder, it may be eaten on erev Pesah, both at the Friday night meal and at the Shabbat lunch.


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 here) to Congregation Ahavas Israel NO LATER THAN 12:00 noon on Friday, March 26. 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.


Guide to Passover

You can download the Rabbinical Assembly Pesah Guide here. If you would like it emailed or mailed to you, please contact the synagogue office.


Searching for Hametz/Nullification of Hametz

The formal search for leaven (בדיקת חמץ) is conducted on the night before Pesah - Thursday night, March 25, after dark (about 8:30 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 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.

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