PESACH GUIDE - 5777

PESACH GUIDE - 5777

Young Israel of North Woodmere, Rabbi Yehuda Septimus

 

1) Mechirat Chametz (Sale of Chametz)

 

As you are aware, during the eight days of Pesach, our homes must be cleared of all grain products and all products that have any grain content. All such items are to be placed in designated areas and sold for the eight-day period to a non-Jew. During the entire Pesach, the designated cabinets should not be opened, and no items in the designated areas should be used during this period. In addition to being available after most miyanim of the 7:45 Shacharit, I will be available to become your agent for the sale of your chametz at my home, 718 Sherwood Street, at the following time:

 

 

Tuesday, March 28th, 830-10pm

Sunday, April 2nd, 9-1030am

Monday, April 3rd, 830-10pm

Sunday, April 9th, 10-1130am

Sunday, April 9th, 830-10pm

 

 

I have enclosed the contract used to make me your agent, but I will have more with me when you come to see me.

 

IF YOU CHOOSE TO EMAIL OR MAIL THE FORM TO ME OR TO DROP IT IN MY MAILBOX, YOU CAN ONLY ASSUME THAT I HAVE RECEIVED IT AND HAVE BEEN APPOINTED AS YOUR AGENT IF YOU RECEIVE OFFICIAL CONFIRMATION THAT I HAVE RECEIVED IT AND PRINTED IT OUT!

 

2) Maot Chittin

Unlike Matanot L'Evyonim, Maot Chittin, the tzedakah given for the purchase of Pesach needs, should be given long in advance of the holiday. Online payments and checks should be marked "maotchittin" or "Pesach Poor" and given to Rabbi Septimus or left in the locked shul mailbox on the side door, on Hungry Harbor Road.

 

3) Shabbat HaGadol Derasha

Shabbat HaGadol this year is April 8th. Please join us at 6:00 pm for the Shabbat HaGadol Derasha, entitled, Praying for the Jewish Homeland and the Diaspora Hostland.


4) Pet Food
One of the many challenges of Pesach is finding permitted pet food. There are two separate Kashrus issues for us to be aware of: one related specifically to Pesach, the other related to the rest of the year as well. The year-round problem concerns meat and milk. Commonly, dog and cat foods that contain meat (not chicken) and milk together is rendered forbidden to Jewish pet owners all year round. However, there is even more for a Jewish pet owner to be concerned about during Pesach. Due to the prohibition of deriving any pleasure or benefit from chametz, we are not permitted to use or own pet food containing any type of chametz on Pesach. It is therefore important to be aware of the prevalent use of the five grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt) in dog and cat foods today. Almost all dry pet food list wheat or oats as their first ingredient. This is true for fish food and bird food as well.

 

Benefit from "Kitniyot" (legumes) is permitted on Pesach even for an Ashkenazic Jew. Therefore, rice does NOT pose a problem in pet foods. For guidance determining whether a given pet food contains forbidden milk and meat mixtures or forbidden chametz products, see http://www.star-k.org/articles/articles/seasonal/375/feeding-your-pet-barking-up-the-right-tree/

 

6) Kashering for Pesach

The Oven: In a non-self-cleaning oven, gas or electric, the oven must be completely clean before kashering can begin. Oven cleaner may be necessary to remove baked on grease. If a caustic type of oven cleaner (such as Easy-Off) was used to clean the oven and some stubborn spots remain after the caustic cleaner has been applied a second time with similar results, the remaining spots may be disregarded. Once the oven and racks have been cleaned, they may be kashered by libbun kal. Turning the oven to the broil setting for forty (40) minutes satisfies the requirement of libbun kal. In a gas oven the broil setting will allow the flame to burn continuously. In a conventional electric oven the highest setting, broil or 550oF, kashers the oven.

 

In a continuous cleaning oven, one cannot assume that such an oven is clean because the manufacturer claims it to be continuously clean. A visual inspection is required. Since caustic or abrasive oven cleaners, e.g. Easy-Off, cannot be used without destroying the continuous clean properties of the oven, a non-abrasive cleaner must be used to clean the oven. Grease spots will usually disappear if the top layer of grease is cleaned with Fantastic and a nylon brush. In addition, Easy Off now makes a cleaner that can be used on self-cleaning and continuous cleaning ovens, called Easy Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner. Then the oven should be turned on to 450oF for an hour so that the continuous clean mechanism can work. If the spots don't disappear the oven should be left on for a few hours to allow the continuous clean mechanism to deep clean. If the spots still do not disappear, the spots should be removed with oven cleaner or steel wool. At that point, if the spots are dark spots that crumble, they can be disregarded. In all of the above cases, the oven should then be kashered by turning the oven to the broil setting for forty minutes.

 

In a self-cleaning oven, the self-cleaning cycle will clean and kasher the oven simultaneously. This is true for convection ovens with a self-cleaning feature as well. The oven need not be cleaned well before the process begins because everything inside of the oven is reduced to ash. The oven door and rubber around the door should, however, be completely clean before beginning the self-clean cycle.

 

The Cooktop: On a gas range the cast iron or metal grates upon which the pots on the range sit may be inserted into the oven after they have been thoroughly cleaned. (If one has a self-cleaning oven one need not clean the grates first.) The grates can be kashered simultaneously with the oven. The rest of the range should be cleaned and covered with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. The burners themselves do not need kashering or covering, just cleaning. The drip pans should be thoroughly cleaned and need not be kashered. In a traditional electric range, one only needs to turn the burners on the high heat setting for a few minutes in order to kasher them, since the burners come to a glow in a few minutes. The remaining cooktop areas should be covered. The knobs with which the electricity is turned on should be cleaned. No other process is necessary to kasher the knobs.

 

Kashering a Glass, Corning, Halogen or Ceran electric range for Pesach is a very difficult task. The elements of the stovetop can be turned on until they come to a glow. The burner areas are now considered Kosher for Pesach. However, the rest of the cooktop presents a serious kashering problem. The unheated area of glass top ranges cannot be kashered and cannot be covered with foil like conventional or porcelain tops. The simplest solution is to buy a portable electric burner (double and triple electric burners are available at very reasonable prices on Amazon.) However, such burners should not be left on all of Yom Tov; they should only be used on Yom Tov with a heavy duty timer, for a couple of hours at a time.

 

The Broiler: The broiler pan and grill cannot be kashered by just turning on the gas or electricity. Since food is cooked directly on the pan or grill, they must be heated to a glow in order to be used on Pesach. An alternate method is to replace the pan with a new pan and kasher the empty broiler cavity by cleaning and setting it to broil for forty minutes. If one does not intend to use the broiler on Pesach, one may still use the oven, even without kashering, provided that the broiler has been thoroughly cleaned. Similarly, other cooktop inserts such as a griddle or a barbecue broiler would require “libbungamur”- heating the surface to a red glow before usage. If not, the insert should be cleaned and covered and not used for Pesach.

 

Microwave Ovens are difficult to kasher as they are generally made with plastic on the inside. Clean the microwave and do not use for 24 hours. Then boil a cup of water on the highest setting for 10 minutes. Then quickly insert your hand and touch the oven ceiling. If it is burning hot, the microwave should not be used for Pesach. If it is relatively cool (or even warm) the oven may be used and has just been kashered. The glass plate (if you have one) should be covered with saran wrap.

 

Metal Utensils that have been used for cooking, serving or eating hot chametz may be Kashered by cleaning them thoroughly, waiting twenty-four (24) hours and then immersing them, one by one, into a Kosher for Pesach pot of water which has been heated and is maintaining a rolling boil when the vessel is immersed. Note that we do not kasher pans coated with Teflon.

 

The utensils undergoing the kashering process may not touch each other on the way in to the pot. In other words, if a set of flatware is being kashered for Pesach, one cannot take all the knives, forks and spoons and put them in the boiling water together. y should be placed into the boiling water at a rate that allows a moment of complete immersion of every piece of cutlery, without one being touched by another. The custom is to finalize the process by rinsing the kashered items in cold water. If tongs are used to grip the utensil, the utensil will have to be immersed a second time with the tong in a different position so that the boiling water will touch the initially gripped area. entire utensil does not have to be kashered at once; it may be done in parts. Please watch out for utensils that are rusty or difficult to clean properly. Even silverware made of two parts (a handle and a blade, for instance) should most often not be kashered.

 

A non-Kosher for Pesach pot may also be used for the purpose of kashering, provided that it is thoroughly clean and has not been used for twenty-four (24) hours. However, it is the custom to make the pot Kosher for Pesach before using it for kashering. This can be accomplished by cleaning the pot, leaving it dormant for twenty-four (24) hours, filling the pot completely with water, waiting until the water comes to a rolling boil, and throwing in a hot stone or brick which has been heated on another burner. The hot rock will cause the water to bubble more furiously and run over the top ridge of the pot on all sides at one time. The pot is now kashered. Ashkenazim today do not kasher Glass Utensils for Pesach. Arcolac, Pyrex, Duralex & Corelle should be treated as glass for kashering purposes. Plastic Utensils are not kashered.

 

Sinks are generally made from china, corian, porcelain, stainless steel or granite.

  • China sinks cannot be kashered at all.
  • Porcelain or corian sinks should also be considered like a china sink, since there is a controversy whether these materials can be kashered. These sinks should be cleaned, not used for twenty-four hours, and completely lined with contact paper or foil. The dishes that are to be washed should not be placed directly into the sink. They must be washed in a Pesach dishpan that is placed on a Pesach rack. Alternatively, a sink insert can be purchased, allowing for the placement of either milchig or fleishig dishes directly into the sink. It is necessary to have separate dishpans and racks for milchig and fleishig dishes.
  • Stainless steel and granite sinks can be kashered by the following method. Clean the sink thoroughly. Hot water should not be used or poured in the sink for twenty-four (24) hours prior to kashering.


It is recommended that the hot shut-off valve under the sink be turned off twenty-four (24) hours before kashering. Kashering is accomplished by pouring boiling hot water from a Pesach kettle/pot over every part of the stainless steel sink. The poured water must touch every part of the sink including the drain and the spout of the water faucet. It is likely that the kashering kettle will need to be refilled a few times before the kashering can be completed.

 

Countertops Made of granite may also be kashered. Formica countertops should be cleaned and covered with a waterproof material. The same goes for tables with synthetic tops. Wood tables could theoretically be kashered with boiling water, but the custom is to clean and cover them.

 

Separate dishtowels should be purchased for Pesach to avoid confusion with dirty chametzdik towels.

 

Dishwashers are often made from plastic or stainless steel, and then they are kasherable. However, if they are made from porcelain they cannot be kashered for Pesach. Some individuals wish to avoid leniencies, particularly in their Pesach observance. This is commendable. However, for others having use of their appliances on Passover is a basic essential. Kashering dishwashers is difficult and requires much time, effort, and care, but it is doable.

 

If one wishes to use a non-porcelain year-round dishwasher on Pesach, the following should be done:

  • Clean all surfaces very well using liquid cleanser.
  • Clean out the filter, racks, silverware holders, and any detachable pieces very well.
  • Pay special attention to gunk found in the crevices of the racks.
  • Leave the dishwasher idle for 24 hours.
  • Run a heated cycle of the dishwasher with soap.
  • Run two additional heated dishwashing cycles without soap.

 

7) Shabbos/Yom Tov Safety

 

  • Ensure that functioning/up-to-date smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are installed in the proper locations throughout your homes with fresh batteries.
  • Leaving on ovens/stovetops all Yom Tov should be kept to an absolute minimum. If you have any questions about how this can be done, please contact me.
  • Hot plates/warmers should be used with heavy duty timers so that they are not on all Shabbat/Yom Tov.
  • Ensure that your electrical appliances, especially those used over Shabbat and Yom Tov, are UL Safety Certified.
  • Extension cords should not be used for kitchen appliances.
  • If you have a gas oven and/or stovetop on over yom tov and your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, immediately turn off the oven and stovetop, open all the windows and doors in your house, and evacuate the house for a period of time. If anyone is experiencing headaches, dizziness, vomiting, or if you have any other safety concerns, for example even the SLIGHTEST concern that it was NOT the stovetop or oven that was causing the carbon monoxide alarm to go off, call 911 immediately.
  • Numerous poskim advise use of a flash light rather than a candle for bedikat chametz. This is ideal. If you begin your search with a traditional candle, transition to a flash light before checking any area where it is dangerous to use a candle (e.g. near furniture).
  • Shabbos/Yom Tov candles should be lit in a safe place (i.e. on a sturdy and non-flammable surface, away from curtains, out of reach of children / pets, etc.). If you are invited out Friday night or Yom Tov night (or even if you will have to leave the room where the candles are burning for more than a couple of minutes), rather than leaving Shabbat candles unattended, people should either make their berakhah and light where they are eating before Shabbat or make their berakhah on an incandescent bulb before Shabbat and make sure to use that light for at least a few minutes at some point that night. If you don't have any incandescent bulbs, you can light a CFL without a berakhah UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD CANDLES BE LEFT UNATTENDED!!!

8) Complete Product Info

 

For an excellent and thorough Pesach Guide, including a product guide on page 47, please visit http://www.crcweb.org/Passover/Passover_Guide_2017.pdf

 

As always, I encourage you to contact me with all questions at 646-418-1633 or at rabbi@yinw.org.

 

 

Wishing you and your loved ones a chag kasher v’sameach!

 

 Download the For Sale of Chametz Form here 

Wed, November 22 2017 4 Kislev 5778