When Erev Pesach Falls On Shabbat
This year 5768 - 2008 the day before Pesach (Erev Pesach) falls on Shabbat 19 April. The following is a brief guide to events
as they should take place this Pesach:
Thursday 17 April
Normally on Erev Pesach first born males are obligated to fast. This year the fast is pushed back to Thursday. Those bechorim (first born) who do not wish to fast should attend a siyum (completion of a tractate of Talmud). Thursday night after it gets dark one should immediately perform Bedikat chametz. The bracha (blessing) and Kol Chamira should be said.
The house should be thoroughly cleaned and the Bedikah and Biur completed as explained in “A Guide to the Observance of the Laws of Passover”, section III.
Friday 18 April
Chametz which is necessary for the Friday night and Shabbat morning meals should be placed in a disposable container away from all Pesach food and children.
Although chametz may be purchased and eaten all day Friday, the custom is to sell and burn the chametz before 10.58am. Burning it later could lead to confusion in subsequent years. Kol Chamira is not recited at the time of burning. All vessels should in the first instance be kashered by this time. Bedieved (after the event) one could kasher vessels until candle lighting on Friday.
Friday Evening and Shabbat Day
In order to distinguish between the ordinary eating of matzah and the mitzvah of eating matzah on seder night, matzah may not be eaten in close proximity to Pesach. It is therefore necessary to use bread (challah) for the Friday night and Shabbat morning meals in order to fulfill the obligation of eating the Shabbat meals in the proper manner.
Because the house is already clean and ready for Pesach, this bread (or rolls) must be handled and eaten carefully. It is important that the challah to be eaten is kept in a secure place away from children and pets.
The most practical method of arranging the Shabbat meals is to prepare all food in the Pesach kitchen using only Pesach utensils and Pesach ingredients. Kiddush should be made at the Pesach table. A special table or chair should be prepared covered with a disposable tablecloth or the like, upon which the Shabbat challah is placed. The challah should be in sight of the place where Kiddush is being made, or at least in the same house. This is in order to fulfill the requirement that Kiddush be made where one eats the Shabbat meal.
Care should be taken that any crumbs be confined to the one spot. This may be facilitated by eating rolls or challah over a bag. Bread or challah the size of an egg should be eaten to fulfill the requirement of eating bread at the Shabbat meal.
Great care should be taken when giving challah to the children that they not carry it through the house but eat it on the spot without making crumbs.
After eating, any crumbs should be carefully disposed of by flushing them away in the bathroom. Care should be taken that all crumbs be removed from clothing. It is not sufficient to place actual chametz waste in the garbage, for so long as this garbage is on one’s property one transgresses the prohibition of possessing chametz and nullification does not help.
According to the letter of the law, crumbs that fall where they will be trampled on, do not constitute a problem. Nevertheless one should be scrupulous, and clean even those crumbs and flush them in the bathroom. The bread knife, tablecloth or bag should be scraped clean (and the waste flushed away in the bathroom). They should then be placed with the locked away non-Pesach utensils. One should rinse one’s mouth and then return to the Pesach table to complete the Shabbbat meal.
If one wishes to avoid any challah (chametz) in the house at all, especially with children, the following may also be done: One can make Hamotzi on egg matzah as “the bread” of the meal provided that one eats as much matzah as one would eat bread at the meal. (There are those who rule that Hamotzi cannot be made on egg matzah unless 3 whole egg matzahs will be eaten during the course of the meal. Those who follow the Siddur Harav should be strict like this view). Egg matzah may not be eaten after 10.03am.
Services in Shules on Shabbat morning will be timed to enable the completion of bread eating at the Shabbat meal before the time of the prohibition of eating chametz. This year that time is at 10.03 am. The challah eating at the morning meal must be finished before this time. The method of eating this meal when bread must once again be used is the same as the method outlined above for the Friday night meal. Equally egg matzah in the right amounts may be used.
Before 10.58am on Shabbat morning all chametz waste and left-overs should have been disposed of and any utensils put away with the other non-pesach utensils in the manner described above.
Before 10:58am a statement nullifying the chametz - the “Kol Chamira” - must be recited with all sincerity. This statement reads: “All manner of leaven that is in my possession that I have seen or have not seen or have removed or have not removed should be null and disowned as the dust of the earth”.
The obligation of Seudah Shlishit should be fulfilled after midday by eating foods other than matzah that are Kosher for Passover. Those who are not careful about Gebrokts should eat Seudah Shlishit by making the b’rachah of Mezonot on cooked matzah foods such as matzah balls - cooked matzah items are not subject to the Erev Pesach prohibition of eating matzah.
No preparations may be made on Shabbat for the Seder until Shabbat is over at 6.15pm. Candle - lighting should not take place until that time. Roasting of the shank bone, preparation of salt water, checking the leaves of Romaine lettuce, grinding the charoset and grinding of horseradish for maror should all be done on Friday. If one fails to make these preparations before Shabbat one should consult one’s rabbi.
If there are any questions regarding the above procedures do not hesitate to contact your local Rabbi or the office of The Kashrut Authority before Pesach.
There are other methods available for preparing the Shabbat meals on this Shabbat, and the eating of the third meal, but we believe that the above method is the most simple and practical. The Sephardi community has different customs involving the use of egg matza, especially in relation to the third meal. Ashkenazi practice, however, is not to eat egg matza at all on Pesach or erev Pesach, after 10.58am.
Consult your rabbi for further advice.