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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 10 Apr 2020 05:41 PM and ends Sat 11 Apr 2020 06:40 PM

Erev Pesach that falls on Shabbat

כ"ו אדר ב' ה' אלפים תשס"ח



Erev Pesach this year falls on Shabbos (19th April). This calls for a number of changes to the usual pre-Pesach routine. Outlined below is a brief guide to the order of events as they occur this year. For furtherdetails contact your Rabbi or the Kosher Australia office.

Thursday, 17th April:

  1. The Fast of the First-Born. (Ta'anit Bechorim) All first-born males should fast from dawn (5.30 am) on this day (as they may not fast on Erev Pesach that falls on Shabbos this year) unless they attend a Seudas Mitzvah such as a "Siyum" which is traditionally held in the Synagogue after morning services.
  2. The Search for Chometz (Bedikat Chometz) is carried out immediately after nightfall (6.17 pm) on Thursday evening. It is to be conducted exactly as in every other year even though it is taking place a night earlier than in other years. The "Kol Chamirah" declaration nullifying any unfound Chometz is to be recited at the end of the search.

Friday, 18th April:

  1. Burn Chometz by 11:07am (11:24am according to the Gra & Alter Rebbe). Kol Chamirah is NOT said. (If deadline missed, then Chometz can be burned until candlelighting).
  2. Chometz for Friday night & Shabbos morning must be stored in a secure area.
  3. The Sale of the Chometz will be completed by the Rabbi by 11.07 a.m. (According to the Gra and Shulchan Aruch HaRav: by 11.24 a.m.). Ensure that the authorisation for the sale reaches the Rabbi before this time.
  4. All cleaning and kashering for Pesach should be completed by the time Shabbos begins at 5.31 p.m.
  5. Preparations for the Sedarim should be made on Friday such as:
    • roasting of the shank bone or egg,
    • preparation of the Charoses,
    • and preparation of the salt water
    If not done before Shabbos, these may be made ONLY after Shabbos is over (6:28pm).
  6. Where there is no Eruv, ‘wheely bins' should be placed outside one's property before Shabbos. (As these remain the property of the council, one may dispose of chometz in these even if the rubbish is not picked up for some days as the rubbish is considered ‘ownerless'.)

Shabbos Evening, Friday 18th April

  1. Candlelighting is at 5:31pm and this is the absolute deadline for burning Chometz, kashering dishes and kitchens, and preparations for the Seder.
  2. Suggesions for the Friday Night (Shabbos) Meal:
    • It is necessary to use bread or rolls for Lechem Mishneh. Matzah should not be used in such close proximity to Pesach.
    • The Shabbos meals should preferably be prepared in Pesach utensils using Pesach ingredients.
    • The table upon which the Challahs are placed should be set using disposable plates and cutlery on a Chometz tablecloth. Alternatively, the table at which the meal will be eaten can be set with a Pesach cloth and dishes and another small table or separate area should be set aside for the Challahs which will be used for HaMotzi.
    • The food should be served on the Pesach or disposable utensils but care should be taken that the Pesach pots and other utensils should not come in contact with the table or area where Chometz is found.
    • Challah or rolls should be eaten very carefully (over paper serviettes for example) so that all crumbs etc are confined to the one spot. After HaMotzi, wrap up and clean away any crumbs and flush them (together with any serviettes used) down the toilet.
    • Make sure that no Chometz should be allowed to fall even on disposable utensils and/or mixed with the food being served on them as cleaning and/or disposal of such items then becomes problematic.
    • Where one is using Pesach utensils for the meal, the hands and mouth should be rinsed (in a non-Pesach sink) after eating the Challah at the separate Chometz table or area and the rest of the meal is then eaten at the table set with Pesach utensils.
    • Any used disposable plates etc, which have not come in contact with any real Chometz, may of course be disposed of in the garbage bin even if the bin remains on one's property.
  3. Other suggestions:
    • Do not use Chometz dishes as transferring food from Pesach utensils in which they are prepared or cleaning them after the meal involves numerous conditions that make this alternative impractical.
    • If you wish to use Kosher for Pesach Egg Matzos instead of Challah or rolls, consult your Rabbi as there are conditions and restrictions involved.
  4. If one eats the Chometz outside (if in a Reshus HaYochid or with an Eruv) then crumbs may be swept onto the ground but should NOT dispersed into the wind.

Shabbos, 19th April - Erev Pesach:

  1. Shabbos services should finish early enough for congregants to finish their Shabbos morning meal by 9.56 a.m. (10.30 a.m. according to the Vilna Gaon and the Shulchan Aruch Ha Rav)
  2. The Shabbos Morning Meal - should be eaten in the same manner as the Friday night meal as outlined above.
    • At the end of the meal, any Chometz utensils that were used, such as the bread knife, bread board etc should be thoroughly wiped of any Chometz. (If the Chometz cannot be removed in this manner it is permitted to wash the utensil in cold water and obviously in a non-Pesach sink.)
    • All left over crumbs or Chometz pieces must be disposed of effectively in the bathroom.
    • Where there is an Eruv, chometz may be placed in the "wheely" bins which must be then placed outside the property and declared ownerless.
    • The tablecloth, Challah cover and other Chometz utensils used with the Challah should then be hidden away with the rest of the Chometz utensils for the duration of Pesach.
  3. NO CHOMETZ MAY BE EATEN AFTER 9.56 A.M. (According to the Vilna Gaon and Shulchan Aruch HaRav: 10.30 a.m.) One should rinse one's mouth. If necessary a tooth pick or dental floss may be used (if one can be sure that gums will not bleed). Dentures and false teeth should be carefully rinsed.
  4. The cleaning away of the Chometz and utensils, etc, may continue only till 11.06 a.m. (According to the Vilna Gaon and Shulchan Aruch HaRav: 11.23 a.m.) The "Kol Chamirah" (the statement nullifying all found and unfound Chometz) must be recited in all sincerity by this time. The following statement is recited with all sincerity:
    "All manner of Leaven (chometz) that is in my possession that I have or have not seen, that I have removed or have not removed, shall be null and disowned as the dust of the earth."
  5. Seudah Shlishis may be fulfilled eating foods other than matzah or other foods that will be eaten as part of the Seder ritual.
  6. No preparation for the Seder may take place on Shabbos including setting the table. Shabbos ends at 6.28 p.m. The Seder may begin any time after this.

Sunday 27th April

Pesach finishes on Sunday, 27th April at 6.18 p.m. Chometz may be eaten after a reasonable amount of time has passed to allow the Rabbi to buy back the Chometz from the non-Jewish owner. Allow approximately half an hour.

The greatest emphasis should be placed on the fact that any Chometz remaining in the possession of a Jew over Pesach cannot be eaten, used bought or sold even after Pesach.

One should avoid purchasing obvious Chometz such as biscuits, breads, pasta, wheat-ethanol vodka etc from retail outlets owned by Jews who have not sold their Chometz for up to six weeks. Major supermarket chains in Australia with significant Jewish ownership do sell their Chometz. Check with your local Jewish supermarket.





Normal machine-made matzos, even if produced for Pesach under reliable supervision, are almost always supervised only from the time of the milling of the flour. The supervision following this is usually a "preventative" supervision that ensures that the flour and dough do not become chometz.

Shmurah (meaning "guarded") is matzah that is supervised and protected from water that could make it chometz, already from the time of harvesting the grain. It also has a "positive" form of supervision - with the participants in its making not just ensuring that it does not become chometz, but actively expressing their intention that the matzot are made for the purpose of fulfilling the mitzvah of eating matzah on Pesach.

All major authorities state that it is the correct practice to use Shmurah Matzahat at the Seder at least when eating the minimum amount necessary to fulfil the obligation of eating matzah on Pesach night. This is in keeping with the pasuk "and you shall guard the matzah" (Shmos 12:17).


To fulfill the biblical obligation one must eat just over a "k'zayis" (the size equal to the volume of an "olive"). This is traditionally termed "eating" rather than just tasting or nibbling. There is much debate on the halachic size of an ‘olive' (k'zayis) as well as on the time frame allowed to consume it.

The minimum accepted size of a k'zayis is approximately 29 grams (or a volume of 29 millilitres) or 1 ounce. This is the equivalent of 2/3 of a machine matza - an area of approximately 14cm by 15cm - or just over 1/3 of a hand-made shmura matza. It should be eaten in four minutes (leaning to the left). It is the practice to actually eat more than this minimum amount during the various stages of the Seder as outlined in the Hagadah.

Morror (Bitter herbs):


The Mishnah in Pesachim (39a) lists the ancient Hebrew and Aramaic names of five types of plants that are considered as the "Bitter Herbs" to be used on Pesach at the Seder. The commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch properly identify only two of these species today which are universally accepted as:

1) Romaine or Cos Lettuce stalks or leaves;

2) Pure Horseradish.

3) If both the horseradish and Cos lettuce variety are unavailable then the next preference should be given to ordinary lettuce (the "crisp-head" or "iceberg" variety) and the appropriate blessing over the marror may still be recited. In reality, it is actually lettuce that is the most preferred type of marror, even if it is not bitter. The fact that it may not have been as commonly used as horseradish was for the practical reasons that lettuce was difficult to find in Europe at the end of winter at Pesach time and/or that if it was found, it was very difficult to remove the infestation found in such lettuce. The usual custom is to eat a proportionate mixture of both these varieties (lettuce and horseradish) though, of course, either one alone is perfectly acceptable.

It should be carefully noted, however, that the bitter herb must be absolutely pure. It may not be mixed with anything or preserved with anything, such as vinegar, that can affect its natural taste. Commercially produced Kosher for Pesach horseradish relish (white, red and green), contains vinegar and other ingredients and the brocha over the marror may not be recited over such a mixture as one has not fulfilled one's obligation of eating marror.

If none of the above-mentioned herbs are available, then any bitter vegetable may be used in order to obtain a bitter taste. However, as one does not fulfil one's real obligation in this manner, therefore the blessing over the marror may not be recited in such circumstances.

Note that although some authorities discuss the possibilities of using ordinary radish as marror, it appears seriously questionable as to whether our common radish (with the red skin) is the same species as the one they were referring to. For this reason ordinary radish should be treated as any other bitter vegetable and not used for marror.


As the eating of marror, in the absence of the Pesach rituals in the Beis HaMikdash, is today only a Rabbinic requirement, the minimum size requirements are slightly less. For horseradish the minimum size of a k'zayis can be taken as approximately 20 ml (2/3 oz.) or one tablespoon full. If lettuce leaves are used this is the amount of leaves that would cover an area of approximately 20 cm by 25 cm. The time allowed for consumption is 9 minutes. Note that the custom is not to lean when eating the marror.



All wines, grape juice and other beverages mentioned below must, of course, bear a reliable Kosher for Pesach certification. The following are listed in order of preference:

1) Red wine (unless one has a white wine of superior quality) that is not sweetened with sugar (i.e. it should be naturally sweet or "dry') so that one tastes the natural taste of pure wine. It should also in the first instance not be "mevushal" (cooked or pasteurised).

2) Red sweetened wine, or white unsweetened or sweetened wine, are the next preferences. Again, in the first instance it should not be "mevushal". When using white wine it is also preferable to add a little red wine to the white so that the preferred red colour is discernable.

3) Wine diluted with grape juice (if one finds it too difficult to drink wine for instance, due to health reasons).

The stronger alcoholic taste of the wine must still be discernable.

4) Wine diluted with water. The general rule that covers virtually all kosher wines currently available is that the wine may be diluted to as much as one part wine to one part water. Such a mixture may still be used for the Seder and the blessing for wine still recited.

5) Pure grape juice.

6) Grape juice diluted with water in the proportion of one part water to one part of grape juice.

7) As a last resort, such products as raisin wine or any other popular, yet distinguished, (kosher for Pesach) beverage may be used. (Note that the correct brocho for the particular beverage used should be recited if it is not Borei Pri HaGofen e.g Shehakol.)


"Drinking" is defined as at least half a cup of wine for each of "the four cups" - the cup having a volume of at least 86 millilitres (approximately 3 fluid ozs). The wine should be drunk each time without interruption while leaning to the left and may take up to 9 minutes to finish.

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