Shalom and welcome to our Passover newsletter. In this special
mailing, you will find a wealth of information for Passover. We all hope
that this issue will help you with everything from preparing your home to
purchasing Kosher L'Pesach products. We have even included some favorite
recipes to help your family celebrate Pesach. From all of us, we wish you
a festive, kosher and meaningful Pesach.
Preparing Your Home For Pesach
Pesach begins on Fri. Night, April 22nd this year. The
Search for Leaven will take place one night before Yom Tov – Thursday,
April 21st after dark. At that time, all of the usual blessings and
formulas would be recited. The *Bitul* (nullification) that is recited is
generally only for that chametz which we don't know about. It is very
important that we understand the words of the nullification formula.
Therefore, for those who don't understand the Aramaic or Hebrew, it is
fitting to read the words in English. The formula is found in the front of
The burning of the chametz is done the next morning
(Fri.,April 22) early in the day. At that time, all chametz must be gone
from the home. We do not recite the *Bitul*, but we do burn the chametz
that we bagged the night before. Please check with your rabbi for the
latest time you can eat chametz on Erev Pesach.
The Fast of the Firstborn takes place on Friday. In addition to
each B’chor, fathers of a minor B’Chor must also fast on behalf of that
minor child. Most synagogues will offer a Siyum (conclusion to a tractate
of Talmud) at the end of the morning minyan. Attending the siyum obviates
the need to fast.
All preparations of the house and foods must be done well
before Yom Tov. In order to prepare for Pesach, each room of the house
must be carefully cleaned. We have a number of tips and suggestions:
1. Check all sofa and chair cushions and vacuum carefully.
2. Use a vacuum cleaner with attachments to clean all
baseboards and corners of rooms. This works great in the corners of your
children's closets and their drawers, too! (We all know how children love
to hide things!)
3. Clean out toy boxes, and wash all toys that a baby may have
spilled formula or juice on, or even played with at meal time.
4. Check between mattresses; one never knows what could be
lurking there! We once found a “petrified” PB&J sandwich hidden there!
5. Pocketbooks should be carefully searched.
6. Be especially careful during the cleaning of your den/TV
room; you will be amazed at the places where chametz can be hiding.
The Kitchen--Ready, Set, Scrub!
The kitchen will require your most serious attention. If you
follow our guide, you should find the process much easier. (It won’t make
you happier, but it will make the work easier!!)
*The Refrigerator:* Empty the refrigerator. Clean the
interior thoroughly using a new (and, therefore, Pesachdik) sponge. Remove
all the racks, bins and shelves to facilitate cleaning. There are two
halakhic stances concerning the interior of the refrigerator: Sefardim
generally do not require lining/covering the shelves, etc. The Ashkenazic
custom is to cover the plastic racks and bins. However, there is *no
halachic need* to cover anything inside the refrigerator. Restock the
refrigerator with only Kosher for Passover foods.
* Toaster Ovens:* It really is not a good idea to use one of
these during Pesach, but if you must, do the following: Empty out the
toaster oven very carefully. Even better, use the reverse blower of your
vacuum cleaner or a hair dryer to blow out the interior of the unit. Wash
the tray and interior carefully. Cover the tray for the duration of the
holiday. Run the unit on full heat for one hour. Of course, your best
bet, if it is financially possible, is to purchase a new toaster oven to
use specifically for Pesach.
*Blenders and Mixers: *If you can afford it, it is best to buy
separate units for Pesach. Any parts that are plastic or rubber cannot be
made Kosher for Pesach, according to Ashkenazic *minhag* (custom).
Therefore, after thoroughly cleaning the motor part, and kashering the
metal blades, put away all the rest of the unit and get new parts for
Pesach. *Editor's note: Stand-up mixers are way too difficult to kasher for
Pesah, especially if used to make challah throughout the year. No matter
how much you clean the mixer, there are always traces of chametz. You can
solve this problem by purchasing an inexpensive mixer to use just for
* Dishwashers: *Sefardim require that the unit be run through a
full cycle. The Ashkenazic *custom* is to clean the interior with a brush
and then run two full cycles. Most Ashkenazic authorities also require that
new racks be purchased for Pesah. We recommend donning a pair of rubber
gloves and washing those dishes by hand, or better yet, having those
teenagers help out! *Running a full cycle with soap should be sufficient
for Pesach preparation. New racks are not needed.*
*Counters and Tabletops: *Sefardim clean and purge with
boiling water. They do not require the covering of tables or the counters.
Ashkenazic *custom* today is to clean and cover all tabletops and
countertops. Most hardware and/or decorating stores sell clear plastic. This
can be cut to size and makes a nice counter cover. *There is no need to
cover the counters at all- it is only a custom. (cf: Mishneh Brurah)*
*Sinks: *Sefardim require a complete cleaning followed by
purging with boiling water. The Ashkenazic *custom* is to kasher only metal
sinks. All other sinks must be cleaned, purged with boiling water and lined
or covered. A plastic dish tub with a few holes poked in the bottom, which
sits upon a sink rack, works great. We believe the Sefardic custom to be
*Microwave Oven: *(This does not include convection ovens,
which must be made Kosher for Pesah the same way as a conventional
the inside of the microwave thoroughly. Remove any trays. Put a bowl of
water in the oven. Turn on the power and boil the water for a few minutes
until the entire interior is wet with steam. Move the cup or bowl, and
microwave for a few minutes more.
*Drawers and Cabinets: *These must be cleaned and lined. Those
that will not be used during Pesah need not be lined. We recommend that any
cabinets and drawers that will not be used be sealed with a bit of tape,
(or better still- put a “closed for Yom Tov” sign on it) to avoid any
accidental use of items that remain inside.
*Self-Cleaning Ovens: *Run the self-clean cycle. Kick back
with a glass of good wine. Wait four hours. Voila! One Kosher for Pesah
oven. (And if that isn't the best reason to own one...!) You may also be
able to put racks and stove-top trivets in the oven during the cleaning
cycle, but please check your owner's manual first, as temperatures reach
approximately 700 degrees during the clean cycle.
Note: The above pertains to *self-cleaning* ovens only, NOT
*Ovens: *Plain and simple, clean the oven the best you can.
Basically, clean it until it won't come any cleaner! Use a lot of oven
cleaner, but if you have a “continuous-clean” oven, check your owner's
manual before applying an oven cleaner. Some oven cleaners will destroy
the finish on continuous-clean ovens. After a complete cleaning turn on the
oven full blast for one full hour. When cool, cover your racks with
aluminum rack covers, found inexpensively at the supermarket, or use new
racks for Pesach. Your broiler pan cannot be kashered for Pesach unless
you use a blowtorch! It must be brought to a higher temperature than it is
normally used for, hence the blowtorch.
*Gas and Electric Ranges: * These cooktops must be cleaned as
thoroughly as possible. Remove all parts that you can and scrub. Remove the
trivets from the range top, and after a good cleaning, cover them with
heavy-duty aluminum foil. Lift up the range top--it is amazing all the
chametz that you will find here. Clean it all out! For electric ranges, the
coils are self-kashering. Just let them get red, and they are ready to go.
For gas ranges, put your cooktop back together and turn on the burners for
one full hour. When everything has cooled down, line the inside of your
range with aluminum foil, and do the same for the range top. You have now
completed kashering your stove for Pesach. Please keep in mind that the*
“blech”* we use all year round cannot be made Kosher for Pesach. A new one
will need to be purchased.
*Bread Drawers: * Ashkenazic custom is to clean the bread
drawer and close it for Pesach.
Kashering -- The do's and don'ts
*What Are The Kashering Methods Used For Pesah? *There are
four possible ways to kasher for Pesah. A. *Hagalah*--immersion in boiling
water; B. *Libun*--purification by flame by turning the metal white-hot
(such as with a blowtorch, used to clean items like broilers and barbecues)
C. *Irui*--pouring boiling water over the surface; and D. *Milui v'irui*--
soaking in cold water.
*How Do We Kasher Utensils For Pesah?* In general, the rule we
follow is simple: Each utensil is kashered according to its use. Halakhically,
we say, "as the utensil has absorbed, so will it emit what it has absorbed."
Many items can be made kosher for Pesah by *Hagalah* (the total immersion
of an item into a larger pot of boiling water for a few seconds).
*How Do We Do Hagalah? *First take a pot and fill it with
water. Bring the pot to a boil. Take a large stone or brick (clean it
first) and make it red hot by putting it over a burner with the flame on
high. Then, while the pot of water is boiling, lower the stone (tied to a
strong string works well) into the pot so that the water spills over the
sides of the pot. An alternate method would be to keep a kettle of water
boiling and pour from it into the kashering pot to make it overflow. The
whole idea is that the pot of boiling water must overflow in order for the
entire pot to be kashered.
You are now ready to kasher (by dunking into the boiling water)
each item that requires *Hagalah*. You may do only one item at a time. We
recommend heavy-duty rubber gloves (the kind for handling chemicals), so
that you do not get burned. Another great idea for dunking is to purchase
a nylon net bag, and put your items into the bag, and then dunk the bag.
Each item to be boiled must be clean and must not have been
used for the preceding 24 hours. If you do not have a Pesach pot big
enough to use for *Hagalah,* use a chametz pot. Bring the pot to a boil,
spill it over as above and you are ready to dunk.
*What Can Be Kashered This Way? *In general, items made of
metal and stone may be kashered this way. There is an alternate way to
kasher glassware for Pesah.
*How To Kasher Glassware. *Again, there are differing opinions
on this. The Sefardim say that one only has to thoroughly wash the glass
item. *We follow the Sefardic view*. The Askenazic view is that glass needs
to be kashered for Pesah use. To kasher glassware, you must first make
sure that the items are glass, and not Pyrex. Only pure glass that has been
washed and allowed to stand for 24 hours may be kashered.
Ashkenazic custom requires a three-day dunk for glassware! Yep,
count 'em, three days. We suggest using an "extra" bathtub or a very large
wash basin. Put all glassware into the tub, and then fill with cold
water. Completely empty the tub after 24 hours, and refill. Then empty it
again, after another 24 hours have passed, and refill it. Finally, after
the third 24-hour period has passed, you may remove your glassware. They
are now Kosher for Pesah. (This method can also be used whenever you need
to kasher your glassware that may have become trefe for some reason, or if
you are just becoming kosher.)
ITEMS YOU CANNOT KASHER
There are a number of items that cannot be made kosher for
Pesah. They include the following:
Any plates or bowls made of stoneware, bone china, porcelain or
various clays are all porous and cannot be kashered. (Most china is a
combination of various clays.)
According to some Ashkenazic rabbis, anything made out of
plastic may not be made KP, as plastic absorbs food particles. Not every
rabbi holds this point of view. At the Kosher Nexus, we believe that
plastic *can* be made kosher for Passover.
Baking pans cannot be made Kosher for Pesah.
*All pills are kosher for Passover. NO elixirs are kosher for Passover and
may not be used.*
Kosher L'Pesah Foods
Purchasing Kosher for Pesach foods takes some thought and
planning. Many products that you use every day cannot be used for Pesach.
Most items require special certification for Pesach. The list below will
help you in determining which products do and do not need special Pesach
*The following items do NOT require special certification for Pesah:*
Bicarbonate of soda
Cocoa (Hershey's Pure) - just open a new container
Ensure and Sostocal
Frozen juices without added vitamin C
Unsweetend, natural frozen fruits - not in any syrup
*Fresh* fruits and vegetables (NOT frozen)
Domino Brownulated and Domino Brown Sugar
Plain, unflavored seltzer
*The following products *
*certification for Pesach use:*
Canned fruits and vegetables
Salt (it may not contain Iodine)
Frozen fruit with any additives
Herbal Teas require Pesach certification.
Liquid Sweet and Low is OK to use for Pesach.
There is powdered Sweet and Low (in packets) that is kosher for
Pesach, in *specially
marked* packages from Israel. The American kind is not certified for Pesach.
Cottonseed oil needs only to be marked kosher for it to be used for
Extra Virgin Olive Oil that is certified kosher needs no other
certification. As of now, we do not suggest using *Italian* EVOO as much of
it is not really EVOO.
Salada Caffeine Free Tea is actually chametz.
Saccharin tablets (available in most drug stores) are kosher for Passover
with no special labeling.
BEST WISHES FOR A HAG KASHER V’SAMEACH!