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A Passover Guide

Step #1: Removal of Chametz – Cleaning the House

Pesach cleaning is not spring cleaning. The goal is to clean away visible chametz. If you're not going to eat it, you don't have to clean it.

Step #2: The Sale of Chametz
The ritual sale of chametz must be completed by early Wednesday morning, April 8. There are those who prefer to perform the ritual in person. For those who cannot attend to the matter in person, please fill out this form which authorizes Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz to sell your chametz.  THIS MUST BE COMPLETED BY WEDNESDAY MORNING, APRIL 8, NOT LATER THAN 8:30 AM.

Step #3: Tevilat Keilim
As a rule, new metal and glass food utensils must be immersed in the Mikvah before they are used.  Due to the current circumstances, this is impossible. If you cannot immerse your utensils, you may use this form to have the Beth Din of America arrange to sell your new utensils to someone who is not Jewish and obviate the need for immersing the vessels.  They will then arrange to buy those utensils back at a later date (which will be shared with you), at which point your utensils must be immersed in the Mikvah.

Step #4: Kashering Appliances

Ovens/Burners/Stovetops
For gas or electric ovens, if the oven is self-cleaning, go through one cycle.

If the oven is not self-cleaning, the inside (racks as well) should be cleaned with an oven cleaner, and then not used for 24 hours.  After 24 hours, turn the oven to its highest temperature (broil) for one hour.

Burners should not be used for 24 hours.

Electric burners should be turned on high for 15 minutes.

Gas burners should be turned on high for 15 minutes. To ensure proper koshering of the burner grates, place a pot of water on top of the surface area of the burner, covering the grates, for 15 minutes. This will allow heat to cover the surface area of the grates to kasher them.

The stovetop should be covered with aluminum foil for the duration of Pesach.

Warming Drawers
Inside of drawer should be cleaned well from any food residue that may have spilled. After not using for 24 hours, pour boiling water all over surface area of warming drawer, cover, etc. If this is difficult or not feasible, then clean well and cover entire surface area and sides with aluminum foil.

BBQ Grills
After not using them for 24 hours, clean the grates well with an abrasive cleanser, clean the top and sides of the grill, and then put the grates back in the grill. Burn the grill on "high" for an hour. 

Microwaves
Microwave ovens should be cleaned, and not used for 24 hours, after which a bowl or cup containing a few ounces of water should be put in and ‘cooked’ until the water is vaporized into steam.

Sinks
Stainless steel sinks should be cleaned with a cleaning solution, and not used for 24 hours, after which boiling water should be poured on every area of the sink and its parts. Porcelain sinks cannot be kashered. They must be cleaned and covered.

Countertops
Most countertops (formica, granite, marble, corian, etc.) can be kashered by ouring boiling water over the surface or by covering. ​​​​​​

Dishwashers
Dishwashers may be kashered for Pesach after standing unused for 24 hours. Clean the inside of the dishwasher (including area around the filter/drain.) They should be put through three complete cycles, using soap in the first one.

Kashering Utensils
Many utensils used throughout the year may be kashered for use on Pesach. Items that are ‘kasherable’ include: metal, rubber, or hard plastic utensils used for hot and cold, providing they are not difficult to clean (i.e., a sieve, parts that are glued together), and glass utensils that were used strictly for cold food.

Items that may not be kashered are: glassware that is used for cooking, earthenware, pottery, porcelain, pyrex, and chinaware.

The procedure for kashering is as follows: Metal utensils should be thoroughly cleaned and then not used for 24 hours. Small utensils such as silverware or other cutlery should be immersed briefly in a large pot containing rapidly boiling water. If the pot is very large, more than one item may be immersed at a time. Each item should then be rinsed with cold water.

Pots are kashered by bringing water in them to a boil and then immersing a hot stone or iron such that the water will overflow onto the sides of the pot. Then rinse the pot in cold water.

Items which came into direct contact with chametz, without the medium of water (e.g. a broiler, frying pan) may be kashered by heating them until they are literally ‘red hot’ or by placing them in a self-cleaning oven during the self-clean cycle.

Glasses only used for cold (or room temperature) beverages need to be cleaned well and can then be used without any additional kashering. Any glass items used for warm or hot liquids cannot be koshered for Pesach.
 

Step #4: The Search for Chametz
One of the most beautiful and meaningful ceremonies associated with Passover is b’dikat chametz—the search for chametz. The ceremony is composed of five parts.

1. Reciting a special blessing over the mitzvah of the removal of chametz.

2. The search of the house by the light of a candle to find vestiges of chametz.

3. The reciting of the formula of nullification of chametz.

4. The burning or disposal of any chametz found during the search.

5. The reciting of a final, more inclusive formula of nullification.

The first three parts of this ceremony will be observed this year on Tuesday evening, April 7, after nightfall, 8:00 PM. The disposal should be on Wednesday morning, April 8.  Children especially will be impressed by the ceremony. It should, therefore, be performed with enthusiasm and dedication.

The children should be asked to place pieces of chametz in the various rooms — a practice which ensures that the search will not be in vain. They can hold the candle and the feather and they should examine their own possessions, dressers and desks, for long forgotten relics of chametz.

Passover is a beautiful festival. It is a serious one, too. Both these aspects can be captured in advance of the festival by a careful observance of b’dikat chametz.

Disposal of Chametz
No chametz may be eaten on Wednesday morning, April 8 after 10:47 AM.
 

Step #5: The Burning of Chametz
On Wednesday morning, April 8, it is customary to burn chametz. Chametz should be removed from one’s possession and burned by 10:52 AM. If there is no place to actually burn the chametz, it can be disposed of by throwing down the garbage chute or into an outdoor receptacle or dumpster. 
 

Step #6: After Pesach
According to Jewish Law, chametz that was owned by a Jew during Pesach may never be eaten by a Jew. Therefore, it is preferable that after Pesach one buys food from establishments owned by non-Jews, establishments owned by Jews who properly sold their chametz before Pesach, or after a month (time that a store’s stock has been used up) from any establishment.

Tue, March 31 2020 6 Nisan 5780