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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 3 Apr 2020 06:52 PM and ends Sat 4 Apr 2020 07:50 PM

Erev Pesach falling on Shabbat

ט' אדר ב' ה' אלפים תשס"ח

What to Do when Erev Pesach Falls on Shabbat: A Short Guide by Rabbi Aryeh A. Frimer

(Note: For clarity, references have been kept to an absolute minimum.

Abbreviations - OH: Shulkhan Arukh Orah Hayyim; MB: Mishnah Berurah; IM: Resp. Igrot Moshe. Times are for Rehovot Israel, and following the general custom in Israel, are le-humra: Magen Avraham before noon and Gra after noon.)

I. General: Ta'anit bechorot is pushed up to Thursday morning. Bedikat hametz is performed Thursday evening. All hametz, not needed for Shabbat meals, should be sold, removed or burned before Friday morning 10:23 AM (End of 5 sha'ot zemaniyot; same she'at bi'ur time as in a regular year). By Friday afternoon, the house should be entirely Pesachdig and only kasher le-Pesach foods and utensils should be used - with perhaps the only exception, bread for lehem mishneh. All preparations for the Seder (removing challah from the matzot, preparing the maror, haroset, salt water, roasting the shankbone and egg) should have been completed. No preparations for the Seder or Yom Tov may be done on Shabbat.

II. Basic Principles:

A) Matzah

It is Rabbinically forbidden to eat matzah on erev pesach (OH 471:2). The majority of Poskim maintain that this prohibition starts only from the morning [alot ha-shahar] (ibid., MB no. 13). The minority view maintains that one should be stringent from the night before. (IM, OH, I, 154). Some have the custom of not eating matzah from Purim or Rosh Hodesh.

According to most authorities, this prohibition includes items baked with matzah mehl (e.g., cakes and cookies), but not those cooked (e.g., Kneidelach - kufta'ot) [OH 444, MB no. 8] or fried (matzah brei, chremzelach) [Erev Pesach she-Hal be-Shabbat, R. Zvi Cohen, chap. 21, parag. 5 and note 10].

In order to assure that matzah will be eaten with a zest Seder night, Haza"l forbade eating cooked or fried matzah or matzah ashira (see section II.C below) products starting from mid-afternoon (samuch le-mincha ketanah; 3 sha'ot zemaniyot before sunset), which is 2:53 PM.

B) Bread (Hametz)

Rabbinically, it is forbidden to consume hametz on erev Pesach (which this year falls on Shabbat) after 9:04 AM (End of 4 sha'ot zemaniyot).

All hametz must be removed and "Kol Chamira" recited by 10:23 AM (End of 5 sha'ot zemaniyot).

Hametz may be removed by flushing it down the toilet.

C) Matzah Ashirah (Matzah made without water using fruit juice or eggs)

Sefaradim use matzah ashirah on Pesach. The custom of Ashkenazic Jewry is to refrain from eating it, unless one is elderly or ill (OH 462:4). Matzah ashirah is not hametz, and may be stored in the house (ibid., MB no. 16).

There are three views regarding the time from which this Ashkenazic stringency begins: a) From the same time as it is Rabbinically forbidden to eat Hametz [i.e., 9:04 AM] (IM, OH, I, 154, 155); b) from noontime [11:42 AM], which is the time it is Biblically forbidden to eat Hametz (Resp. Nodah be-Yehudah 28); c) from samuch le-mincha ketanah [i.e., 2:53 PM; sec. II.A.3] (Derekh ha-Chaim, Hilkhot Pesah; Arukh ha-Shulkhan OH 444:5; Yehaveh Da'at, I sec. 91, no. 12). d) Children may eat it all erev pesach. (R. M. Feinstein quoted by R. S. Weissman)

Normally one makes a mezonot before and al ha-Mihyah after eating matzah ashirah. However, when it is used as bread - particularly for a seudat mitzvah (like a Shabbat meal) - and is eaten together with other foods, one recites ha-motzi and birkhat ha-mazon. [IM, OH, I, 154; Yehaveh Da'at, I sec. 91, no. 12; Erev Pesach she-chal be-Shabbat, chap. 15, note 17]. A minimum of a kezayit (~29.6 cc or approximately 1/3 of a Matzah) is required for birkat ha-Mazon [OH 184:6]; however, one should preferably eat at least the volume of a ke-beitzah (~59 cc or approximately 2/3 matzah) to fulfill the obligation of seudat shabbat [OH 291:1, MB no. 2; Shiurim de-Rabbanan based on "Halachos of Pesach" R. S. Eider, sec. XXI.D.7].

D) Kitniyot (The custom of Ashkenazim not to eat rice or lentils on Pesach).

As to the possibility of eating Kitniyot on Erev Pesach, Pri Migadim (Eshel Avraham, OH 444, no.2) indicates that the custom is only on Pesach proper. Nevertheless, Hok Yaakov (OH 471 no. 2) forbids it on Erev Pesach as well, and this seems to be the custom (Resp. Shevet HaLevi, III, end of sec 31; Nitei Gavriel, Hag HaPesach, II, Chapter 38, no. 14). Kitniyot may be eaten Friday night. Kitniyot are not hametz, and may be stored in the house.

III. Options for Three Meals:

A) Friday Night: use Bread (Challah or pita - the latter makes less crumbs), Matzah (if your custom permits it) or matzah ashirah. If bread is used: Make ha-Motzi over two hametz challot AWAY from the table. Eat the Challot over a paper towel or hametz plate, collect all crumbs and dispose of them by flushing them down the toilet. Wash plate in bathroom sink and put it with the hametz dishes. Wash out your mouth and hands and continue with your Kasher le-Pesach meal.

B) Shabbat Morning: use bread or matzah ashirah.

If you intend to use bread (Challot) - daven at the early minyan Shabbat morning and finish eating your challot and washing out your mouth before 9:04 AM. Continue with you Kasher le-Pesach meal. Finish the clean up and recite kol chamira before 10:23 AM.

If you intend to use matzah ashirah: a) If you follow the most stringent position (see section II.C.2.a) then attend the first minyan, and finish eating the matzah ashirah before 9:04 AM. b) If you hold like either of the two more lenient positions (section II.C.2.b or c), you can attend the regular minyan and finish eating the matzah ashirah by 11:42 AM or 2:53 PM, respectively. c) In all cases, BE SURE TO SAY KOL CHAMIRA BEFORE 10:23 AM. It can be said Shabbat morning before Shul. If you have no intention of using hametz at all on Shabbat, kol chamira can be said already on Friday after you have removed all your hametz.

C) Seudah Shlishit:

One approach is to eat two meals in the morning, separated by a period of interruption (go for a walk, read a book etc.). If you are using hametz or matzah ashirah [and you follow the most stringent position (sec. II.C.2.a)], then both meals must be finished before 9:04 AM. If you hold the middle position in matzah ashirah (section II.C.2.b) you have to 11:42 AM.

A second approach is to eat products made from cooked or fried matzah pieces or matzah mehl (section II.A.2) or matzah ashirah [if you hold the most lenient position (section II.C.2.c)]. Make mezonot and al ha-michyah - unless you eat ~236 cc (ca 2.7 matzot), in which case you make ha-Motzi. Use them before 2:53 PM. (Yehaveh Da'at, I, sec. 91, no. 12)

Use fruit, meat, fish or potato starch cakes and macaroons, even after 2:53 PM. Be sure not to fill yourself up, so you will have an appetite by the evening.

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