On the night before Passover , we conduct a solemn candle-lit search for any remaining or forgotten chametz. When Passover begins on Saturday night, this is done on the Thursday night before Passover. You'll need: a candle to illuminate the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies , a feather to sweep up the small crumbs , a wooden spoon to hold the chametz and facilitate its burning , and a paper bag to hold all of the above. By this time, the house should be completely cleaned for Passover; hopefully there's no chametz to be found.
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Jun 5 13 Sivan Torah Portion. Every effort should be made to start bedikas chametz at nightfall. Therefore, a person should leave his place of work before nightfall in order to do bedikas chametz on time.
When a person is involved in various activities he may not notice the passage of time, and may miss the ideal time to do bedikas chametz.
Therefore, one may not start any new activity within half-an-hour before nightfall. If one began before the half-hour period, one may continue until nightfall. At nightfall, one must stop all activities. During the half-hour before nightfall, one may not eat more than a kebeitza of bread or cake. There is no restriction on other foods or drinks during this period.
At nightfall, one should begin the search without delay. If one finished the entire search without reciting the blessing, according to some opinions, the blessing may be recited before the chametz is burned on the following day. Ideally, yes. If he wishes, he may ask another person to assist in the search, and in extenuating circumstances may even ask another person to do the entire search on his behalf.
Who should recite the blessing if the homeowner himself is not participating in the search? The person who is doing the search should recite the blessing. If possible, the homeowner himself should recite the blessing and search a little. A person should have in mind that he is starting to fulfill the mitzvah to destroy his chametz, and will conclude the mitzvah on the following day.
It is forbidden to speak after reciting the blessing before beginning the search. A person who speaks must repeat the blessing, unless what he says is connected to the search. The blessing does not need to be repeated.
However, in order not to be distracted from the search, one should not speak unnecessarily. If it is far from the house and it is very inconvenient to travel there on the night of the fourteenth, he should include the office in the sale of chametz provided he will not be there during chol hamoed. Alternatively, he should search the office without a blessing on the previous evening.
Every part of the house must be checked for chametz and it is not sufficient to simply look for the "ten pieces of bread" see question Even if many days have already been spent cleaning the house, one must utilize this opportunity to confirm that every part of the house has indeed been thoroughly cleaned and that chametz has not been brought there since.
Before the search, one should put out of children's reach all chametz that is to be sold to a non-Jew or that one yet wishes to eat. Similarly, all chametz found during the search should be put in a safe place until it is burned the next morning. One must check any area that chametz may have been brought into during the year.
Since it is common for small children to carry food around the house, one must check any area that they may have entered. Opinions differ about this, but the main custom is not to search these areas, since any chametz there will in any case be sold to a non-Jew. One may even deliberately avoid checking sections of the house for chametz, and include them in the sale.
A person who does not wish to rely on the sale for definite chametz should search these areas for definite chametz.
If the whole house has been thoroughly cleaned before Pesach, why is there a search for chametz on the night of the fourteenth? According to some opinions, one does not need to search a house that clearly contains no chametz.
Other opinions require the search in any event. In order to satisfy both opinions, one part of the house should not be cleaned thoroughly beforehand. Why are "ten pieces of bread" distributed around the house before the search? In order that the search can be performed with a blessing in a house that is completely clean, the custom is to distribute ten pieces of bread around the house before the search. Whoever puts out the pieces should make a note of where they are located, in case any are not found during the search.
Each piece should be less than the size of a kezayit 15 grams. The pieces should be wrapped, to ensure that they do not leave crumbs around the house. One is not required to search the house again to find the last piece s , and one may rely on the declaration that all unseen chametz shall be null and void.
It is perfectly acceptable to use a flashlight, although many maintain their custom and conduct part or all of the search with a wax candle. In places where a person is hesitant to take a candle e. The lights may be left on since they assist in the search. If they disturb the effectiveness of the candle or flashlight, they should be turned off. If one forgot to nullify the chametz immediately after the search, he should say the nullification as soon as he remembers.
It is crucial for a person to understand what he is saying and recite it in a familiar language. If he does not understand the Aramaic words, he should say the following declaration in English: "All chametz and leaven that is in my possession that I have not seen, that I have not destroyed, and that I do not know about, shall be null and ownerless like the dust of the earth.
A person who does not want to sell food that is definitely chametz should remove pieces of chametz from the house. If the departure date is after Purim, a search for chametz must be made on the evening before departure, but a blessing is made only if the search is done on the night of the fourteenth of Nissan. The standard sale of chametz should also be arranged before leaving. A person who has the custom to sell food that is definitely chametz does not need to do any cleaning.
Instead, he should arrange a special sale of chametz that takes effect before the fourteenth of Nissan. This creates an exemption from searching the house for chametz. What are the rules of bedikas chametz when performed prior to the night of the fourteenth?
If a person or a family leaves the house before the night of the fourteenth, bedikas chametz must be performed on the evening before departure. In this situation, all the rules of bedikas chametz apply fully e. The nullification should be said as usual after the search.
A visitor is not required to do bedikas chametz even if he is given a private room in the host's house. This includes married children who go to their parents for Pesach. A visitor is required to do bedikas chametz at his own home on the night of the fourteenth. If he goes to his host before the night of the fourteenth, he should do bedikas chametz without a blessing on the night before he leaves home see previous question.
If he is selling the entire house to a non-Jew, he is exempt from bedikas chametz. According to some opinions, one part of the house should not be sold, so that he can fulfill the mitzvah of bedikas chametz there.
Students who live in a dormitory are obligated to do bedikas chametz in their rooms on the night of the fourteenth with a blessing. If they intend to leave the dormitory before the night of the fourteenth, they should do bedikas chametz without a blessing on the evening before they leave. I have been very thankful to have the opportunity to read this and have the blessings also. It helped me during my "search for chametz" Tomorrow morning one of my grandsons will help me to burn it.
Thanks for telling us every year!!! Thank you for your attention to detail. Surprisingly these are difficult to locate on the web. In future renderings if possible please include brocha in Hebrew characters as well. Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment. Current Issues. Healing Words During Times of Strife. Face Your Fears. Look for the Helpers. Virtual Date Ideas.
Iranian Waiting for Political Asylum in Israel. Remembering Rabbi Norman Lamm. Torah Portion. The Great Dictator. Shavuot at a Social Distance. Tisha B'Av. Aish Academy. When should bedikas chametz be done? At nightfall on the evening of the fourteenth of Nissan. What if a person is unable to begin the search at nightfall?
He should begin as soon as possible. When should one daven Maariv? The custom is to daven Maariv at nightfall and do bedikas chametz immediately afterwards. What if a person is usually at work at nightfall? Is there any work restriction before nightfall?
May one eat or drink before bedikas chametz? Is a blessing recited over the search? What if a person forgot to recite the blessing? The blessing should be recited if the search has not yet been concluded.
The Jewish Chronicle
Jun 5 13 Sivan Torah Portion. Every effort should be made to start bedikas chametz at nightfall. Therefore, a person should leave his place of work before nightfall in order to do bedikas chametz on time. When a person is involved in various activities he may not notice the passage of time, and may miss the ideal time to do bedikas chametz.
The biblical injunction, "Even the first day shall ye put away leaven out of your house" Ex. It follows the Ma'ariv prayer immediately after nightfall and before any other kind of activity is undertaken. The ceremony is preceded by the blessing: "Blessed art Thou O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who hast sanctified us by Thy commandments and commanded us concerning the removal of the leaven. By the light of a wax candle, with a wooden spoon and a whisk made of several chicken or goose feathers tied together, the master of the house searches every corner in the house for stray crumbs. Since a blessing must never be recited without good reason, a few crumbs of bread are deliberately left on window sills and in other obvious places.