April 6-14, 2012
Other than having a seder, the primary mitzvah of Pesach is to avoid chametz, or leavened foods.
Chametz is any product other than matzah or matzah meal made up of wheat, barley, spelt, rye or oats. Jewish tradition forbids both the eating and the possession of chametz for the entire week of Passover.
It is therefore customary to clean one’s home thoroughly prior to the festival, burn the last bit of chametz that is out, and then sell, to a non-Jew, all stored-away (out of one’s view) chametz that will not be consumed or burned before Pesach.
The way we do this is by using the form below to transfer the chametz to Rabbi Fink, who will then symbolically sell it to a non-Jew on the morning before Pesach starts and buy it back the evening after Pesach ends.
Among Ashkenazi Jews, it is also traditional to refrain from eating kitniyot— which refers to all other grains and legumes, such as corn, rice, lentils, and beans. However, in recent years, many in the Ashkenazi world have set aside this prohibition on kitniyot, as a way of unifying Jewish practice. Both the Reform and Conservative movements sanction the consumption of kitniyot for their Ashkenazi practitioners during Pesach.
When we clean our homes for Pesach, it is important to see this as an opportunity to do a kind of inward cleansing as well. The Rabbis viewed chametz as a metaphor for anything that “puffs us up” spiritually. By removing such sources of arrogance and insensitivity from our lives, we can better prepare for the coming festival of freedom
April 6th and 7th
(Click here for the Seder Matching Form)
Have extra seats at your seder table? Do you or your family want to join someone for a seder? This year, we once again plan to match up all those wanting to attend a seder with those having extra room in their homes. If you are in either category, please fill out the seder matching form and return it to the CABI office. How to Host a Seder Are you intimidated by the thought of hosting or running a seder? Would you like to make your seder more lively? If so, we have a special handbook and information in the office. Call and we will gladly help you organize a lovely seder in your home.