The Day After Purim

Day-After-Purim

Pesach is 30 Days after Purim. It is time to clean the house for Pesach.

Dirt in not Chametz

My Favorite Pesach Cleaning Checklist by Rabbi Scheinberg

Is Passover cleaning getting you stressed out, tired out, and flipping out with your kids and husband? Rabbi Scheinberg Shlit”a says: Don’t go overboard, Jewish mom! If you are starting to look like the woman in this video, I recommend that you print up Rabbi Scheinberg’s thorough but easy room-by-room instructions as a sanity-preserving guideline for Passover cleaning. This is long, so I’ve marked the highlights in bold.

CLEAN FOR PESACH AND ENJOY THE SEDER! by Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg
Edited By Rabbi Moshe Finkelstein Kiryat Mattersdorf, Jerusalem
Pesach 5765

These notes are based on the responsa of Moreinu veRabbeinu HaGaon HaRav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, shlita, rosh yeshivas Torah Ore, to questions posed by women attending his regular talks. They have been compiled by a group of his students. The notes also include Hebrew sources and footnotes, which are not reproduced here.

PREFACE

In former times, wealthy people who had large houses also had many servants who did their bidding, while poor people, who could not afford servants, lived in small homes with one or two rooms. Understandably, the pre-Passover chores of the rich were performed by the servants, while the poor, who had only their one or two rooms to clean, a few pieces of furniture, a minimum of utensils, and some clothing, took care of their needs themselves.

In those days, cleaning was hard. Tables were made of raw wood, requiring them to be scrubbed or even to be shaven to ensure that no pieces of food were hidden in the cracks. Earthen or wooden floors also needed to be thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed.

Today, we seem to be caught in a trap. The average modern home is larger than formerly. Furniture, utensils and clothing are much more plentiful. The average home today can compare with the more affluent homes of previous generations. However, we do not have the servants that they had, so that today, all the chores fall on the woman of the home. At the same time she still feels obligated to clean and scrub as they did formerly, even though she has laminated furniture and tiled floors, making this type of cleaning unnecessary.

As a result of this, the pressure of pre-Pesach cleaning has reached unnecessary and overwhelming levels. The housewife often becomes overly nervous, unable to enjoy the holiday joy of Passover and unable to perform the mitzvos and obligations of the Seder night.

INTRODUCTION

Passover, like every other yom tov, must be enjoyed by every member of the family, including women. This is an obligation clearly defined in the Torah as explained by our Sages. We can understand a person dreading Tisha B’Av but Pesach is to be looked forward to and anticipated with joy. Every woman should be well rested, relaxed and alert at the Seder table so that she can fulfill all the Torah and Rabbinic obligations and follow the Haggadah with the rest of the family. Clearly, the performance of her pre- Passover duties must be balanced against her Passover obligations.

Pre-Passover cleaning is required to avoid the danger of transgressing any Torah or Rabbinic prohibition of having chometz in the house on Pesach. It is evident from the responsa of the Rosh Hayeshiva shlita that this need not be excessive.

It is not the intention here to abolish traditions which have been passed down by Klal Yisroel from generation to generation. Nevertheless, some practices adopted by women in the Passover cleaning today are not an actual continuation of the old traditions. For example, if a person does not sell his chometz, of course it is necessary to check his utensils and to wash off any chometz left on them, or to render the chometz inedible. But if the chometz is sold, then washing the pots, pans and dishes which are going to be locked away is not necessary.

One might be tempted to insist on doing the extra work anyway — to be machmir (stringent). However, in these stringencies lies the grave danger of causing many laxities and brushing aside many mitzvohs completely, including Torah and Rabbinic obligations which women are required to do on Passover and particularly during the Seder.


Many women like to do more “cleaning” than the bare minimum, to such an extent, that some even incorporate their general “spring cleaning” into their required pre-Passover chores. These extra exertions should not prevent them from fulfilling their obligations on Passover, and particularly on the Seder night.

GENERAL NOTES

A. All property and possessions must be cleaned and checked to make sure that they are free of all chometz, except in the following cases: B. If, during the year, chometz is not brought into a place, that place does not have to be cleaned out or checked for chometz. C. Any article which is not used on Pesach does not need to be checked for chometz, provided it is put away properly and the chometz in it is sold. D. Crumbs which have been rendered completely inedible [C.J. Weisberg explains: by coating with small amount of household cleaner] to the extent that they are not fit to be eaten by a dog are not considered chometz. E. The general obligation to check for and destroy crumbs does not apply if the crumbs are less than the size of an olive (kezayis) and are dirty or spoiled enough to prevent a person from eating them. F. The household cleaner (mentioned below) used must spoil the crumbs slightly to the extent that people would refrain from eating them. G. It is customary that any item to be kashered should not be used for 24 hours prior to kashering, in order that it should not be a ben- yomo.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

1) CLOTHING CLOSETS: If there is some significant possibility that chometz went into them, they should be checked for fully edible crumbs of chometz, besides large pieces of chometz. If the probability that chometz entered these places is remote, a rav can be consulted to clarify the conditions under which they do not have to be checked. This includes chests, dressers, basements, and all other similar places (see General Note E).

2) FLOORS: We don’t have earthen floors with deep cracks in them. It is sufficient for tiled or covered floors to be swept and washed with a household floor cleaner. Cracks and spaces between tiles do not have to be checked if the cleaning solution reaches into them.

3) FOOD CABINETS: If the cabinet is not going to be used on Passover, then you just have to lock it or seal it in a manner that will remind you not to use it on Passover and sell it with the chometz (see General Notes C & E ). If the cabinet is going to be used on Pesach, take out all the food and wash it with a rag soaked in a household cleaner. Be sure the cleansing agent reaches into all the cracks and soaks into any crumbs that might be left there. The usual practice is to line the cabinets.

4) REFRIGERATOR: Take the food out, and wash it with a rag soaked in a household cleaner. The racks are usually covered. (It is advisable to leave holes for air circulation.)

5) KASHERING SINKS: Clean the sinks (see General Note G), and pour a kettle of boiling water into them and on their sides. Some people pour hot water mixed with bleach down the drain. The usual practice today is to use an insert, or line the sinks (e.g. aluminum foil, contact paper). If not difficult, this practice should be followed.

6) FAUCETS (TAPS): Cleaning, without any other kashering procedure, is sufficient.

7) MARBLE AND STAINLESS STEEL COUNTERS: If they were used for hot chometz they should first be cleaned well. They should either be completely covered so that nothing Pesach’dik touches them or (if it will not ruin the countertop) pour boiling hot water on them (see General Note G). Many people do both.

8 TABLETOPS: Wash them with a household cleaner. The usual practice is to cover the tables.

9) KASHERING RANGE/OVEN/STOVE-TOP: Wash the top and side surface areas with a rag soaked in a strong household cleaner. Clean the knobs well. Grates can be kashered by first cleaning them well (see General Note G), then put them back on the stove, and then lighting all the burners, raising them to their maximum heat, putting on a blech while the burners are on. This spreads the heat over the whole top and intensifies the heat on the grates. Let it burn for 5 – 10 minutes. [Be careful that the knobs don’t melt.] After kashering, the usual practice today is to cover the stove-top with aluminum foil (being extremely careful not to block the air inlets around the burners and on the back of the stove, as this could create poisonous fumes in the room).

* OVEN: If you want to use the oven: (a) First clean the oven well with an oven cleaner (e.g. Easy-Off). Make sure that it reaches into all the cracks and around the screws. (After using the oven cleaner, there is no need for further cleaning). (see General Note G). Then heat the inside of the oven by turning the oven on to its highest temperature for about one hour. (b) If your oven has a turbo option (a fan which circulates the heat ), consult a rav about your particular type. (c) After kashering, if the oven door has a glass window, preferably cover the entire inside of the door with aluminum foil. (d) If a closed oven insert is available, this would be preferable. In this case, only washing and cleaning are necessary. (e) Do not use the chometz-dik oven racks for Pesach. If this is difficult, then one can kasher the racks with the same procedure as for the oven, placing them as close as possible to the heating element.

If the oven is not going to be used: None of the above is necessary. Just make certain that there is no edible chometz inside, tape it closed well and see below #10.

10) POTS, PANS, DISHES, & SILVERWARE (CUTLERY): Whatever is not going to be used for Pesach should either be locked up, or put away and sealed in a manner which will remind you not to use them on Pesach. If there is a possibility of actual chometz in them, the chometz should be sold (see General Note C.). If you do not sell chometz, then they should be either washed or soaked in a household cleaner; it is not necessary to scrub them. (Concerning kashering utensils for Pesach consult a rav.)Fairy-Godmother-mitt+spoon1-72H

TIP: To clean Stainless steel Counters, Pots and Pans – Use oven cleaner on all your Stainless Steel Pots and Pans. Wear Rubber Gloves and have good ventilation! Wait 20 Minutes then scrub and wash clean.

TIP: To clean a Water Urns קומקומ that has calcium from Hard Water – Pour a bottle of Vinagar in it and let stand overnight. Then wipe out with a cloth.

11) FOOD PROCESSOR/MIXER: A rav should be consulted.

12) DISH TOWELS: If one does not have a Pesach’dik set of dish towels, then one’s regular dish towels may be used if they are washed with a detergent and no food remains attached to them. (It is customary to have a set of Pesach’dik dish towels.)

13) PESACH TABLECLOTHS: These can be ironed with the same iron as is used during the rest of the year.

14) CLOTHES, BLANKETS, POCKETS, ETC.: If they have been washed in detergent or dry cleaned, then there is no need for them to be checked (see General Note E). Otherwise they need to be cleaned and checked thoroughly by brushing or shaking them out well. However, if there is a possibility of crumbs between the stitches or in a hidden crevice which cannot be shaken out, then they must be wiped with a rag which has been soaked in a detergent. Clothes which will not be worn on Pesach do not have to be checked, but they should be put away and the chometz in them sold (see General Notes C. and Sec. 10 on Pots and Pans).

15) SIDDURIM, BENCHERS, SEFORIM, BOOKS: If there is a chance that they contain chometz, then they should either be put away and sold with other chometz utensils (see General Notes C.), or cleaned and checked well.

16) TOYS: If there is edible chometz, then it should be either removed, or rendered inedible (see General Notes E). There is no need to scrub them.

17) TECHINA & OTHER KITNIYOS (legumes): May be used after the house has been cleaned for Pesach. They should not be cooked in utensils that will be used on Pesach, and certainly not on Pesach itself (according to the Ashkenaz minhag).

20) LAST MINUTE PREPARATIONS: For example, setting the table, etc., should be completed early enough in the day, so that you will be able to rest a little bit. Be ready to start the seder immediately after ma’ariv, to ensure that the children won’t fall asleep at the Seder.

21) ENJOY PESACH! Try to make the Pesach chores easy for yourself. Don’t do unnecessary hard work. Don’t do unnecessary cleaning. You can be like a Queen and you must enjoy your Pesach!

Reprinted from www.Orchos.org. All Rights Reserved. Revised Edition. Permission is given to reprint for non-sale purposes only.

10 Adar, 5762. Jerusalem, Israel

Pesach Crisis Cleaning Checklist

April 13, 2008 by

When it comes to Passover I don’t like to talk about where I’m “holding,” because I don’t want to hear that my neighbor has set her seder table while my house looks like a tornado ran through it. But those who are inspired by others’ progress should look here.

This is for readers having trouble getting started with Pesach preparations. It’s all practical; no inspiring words tonight.

Mom in Israel’s Guide to Pesach Cleaning

Make a schedule including a column for each day. Mark any appointments you have, and pencil in the Pesach chores that are left. Try to distribute the heavy jobs among different days, according to when you will have help.

Keep in mind that anything you plan to kasher must be cleaned carefully and cannot come into contact with hot chametz for 24 hours prior to kashering.

Anything not coming into contact with food does not need to be cleaned, only checked for pieces of edible chametz.

Here are the jobs, in some kind of logical order. Skip anything that doesn’t apply to you.

  • The refrigerator and freezer. Empty them and clean carefully.
  • Chametzdik Menus. As you empty cabinets and the refrigerator/freezer, sort food into the following categories: Kosher for Pesach, eat before Pesach, sell (chametz), put aside (not chametz, but not KFP either), and give away/throw out. If you need more food, add it to your shopping list. Make menus for the meals until Pesach.
  • Cover one shelf of the fridge and freezer with newspaper for the last of the chametzdik food.
  • Cabinets. Empty out and line one or two cabinets for Pesach food as early as possible. Continue to prepare cabinets as you finish up the cooking and can put away utensils you no longer need. If you come across an item that you haven’t used since last Pesach, give it away.
  • Don’t clean more cabinets than you need. Wipe off the crumbs and gook, and ignore stains. If it’s convenient, put Pesach utensils in the cabinets as you prepare them.
  • Bedrooms. The kids should do their own, if they are old enough. If you are compelled to clean every toy small children might use during the holiday, set aside a few and pack up the rest. Check backpacks, pockets, purses and drawers. Don’t clean them.
  • Plan menus for Shabbat and the seder. Make them simple. Mark down any items not on your standard shopping list.
  • Shopping. The longer you wait, the more crowded the stores. Pick a calm, quiet time to write the list, and don’t forget non-food items like toilet paper, dish and laundry detergent, candles, toothbrushes and cleaning supplies. Avoid going to more than one or two stores, and if no one in the family can help, go with a neighbor (at least in Israel).
  • Set aside utensils to be kashered. Arrange for the sale of chametz.
  • Clean the car. Or at least check it.
  • Keep up with the household laundry. If the leader of your seder wears a kittel (special white robe) is it clean? Any summer clothes you want to take out? Ironing? Linens? Tablecloths and dish towels?
  • Check that medicines are kosher for Passover.
  • Scrub the top of the stove, grates, and knobs.
  • Clean and kasher the oven.
  • Clean and kasher the dishwasher. Since this involves taking it apart and cleaning a million pieces individually, you may decide it’s possible to survive without it. Ours is electronic so the timer will be useless anyway by the time the seder rolls around this year.
  • Vacuum the sofa, or at least pull up the cushions and look for chametz. Maybe you’ll find something good.
  • Polish silver. Not essential but nice�maybe you can find an available pre-teen.
  • Haircuts and clothes shopping, if necessary.
  • Kasher utensils.
  • Finally, clean, kasher and cover the counters and sinks.
  • Cook. Start with the items that keep well. As soon as I “turn over” the kitchen I make the mayonnaise, hard-boiled eggs, and egg noodles. The kids make the “ice cream” (sherbet). (I bought two boxes of macaroons; no baking for me.) Then I do the soup, haroset, meat and vegetables, leaving the horseradish for last. I calculate the vegetables I need and prepare them at the same time. For example, if I need carrots for soup, pot roast and carrot salad, I peel them all at once. Chopped onions also keep in the refrigerator. I wash all greens at once, dry them on towels, and store in the refrigerator.
  • Last minute items: Wash floors, empty garbage and vacuum canister, open packages, set timers, and check the refrigerator and cabinets for chametzdik food.

Allow time after every task to clean up and “put out fires” that have built up elsewhere, and to make sure your kids are fed and supervised. Get them involved whenever you can (see below). Take frequent breaks to eat, drink, and rest. Alternate heavy and light jobs, sitting and standing. Try to sweep and do a light mop at the end of each day (ha).

Wishing you all happy cleaning, and pleasant memories of this time for ourselves and our children.

 

Kitniyot List

OU Kosher Staff

The following are considered Kitniyot:
Beans
Buckwheat
Caraway
Cardamom
Corn
Edamame
Fennel
Fenugreek
Lentils
Millet
Mustard
Peas
Poppy Seeds
Rapeseed (Canola oil)
Rice
Sesame Seeds
Soybeans
Sunflower Seeds

The following are not considered Kitniyot, but may require special checking:
Anise
Carob
Chia Seeds
Coriander
Cottonseed
Cumin
Guar Gum
Linseed
Locust Bean Gum
Saffron

The following may be Kitniyot and are therefore not used:
Amaranth
Peanuts

Pesach and Halachic Issues with Pets

Chometz from the five grains16 is assur b’hanaa on Pesach, i.e. we are forbidden to eat it or derive benefit from it. One may not even have chometz in his possession on Pesach.

The following commonly listed items found on pet food ingredient panels are not acceptable for Pesach: Wheat (cracked, flour, germ, gluten, ground, grouts, middlings, starch17), barley (cracked, flour), oats (flour, grouts, hulled), pasta, rye, and brewer’s dried yeast. Note: Any questionable ingredient should be reviewed by a competent Rabbinic authority. Dog and cat food made with gravy or sauce generally contain chometz.18

Kitniyos

legumes, such as rice and beans, may be fed to animals even though they are not eaten by Ashkenazic Jews. The following commonly listed items found on pet food ingredient panels are acceptable for animals on Pesach: Beans, buckwheat, brewer’s rice,19 corn, grain sorghum (milo), millet, peanuts, peas, rice, safflower, sesame, soybeans, soy flour, and sunflower.

What is Kitniyot?

OU Kosher Staff

In addition to the Torah’s restrictions on owning, eating and benefiting from chametz, an Ashkenazic minhag developed in the middle ages to not eat certain foods known collectively as “kitniyot”. The Mishnah Berurah (453:6 & 464:5) cites three reasons for the minhag (a) kitniyot is harvested and processed in the same manner as chametz, (b) it is ground into flour and baked just like chametz [so people may mistakenly believe that if they can eat kitniyot, they can also eat chametz], ( c ) it may have chametz grains mixed into it [so people who eat kitniyot may inadvertently be eating chametz]. Although initially there were those who objected to the minhag, it has become an accepted part of Pesach in all Ashkenazic communities.

Which foods are kitniyot 

The earlier Poskim mention that rice, buckwheat/kasha, millet, beans, lentils, peas, sesame seeds and mustard are included in the minhag (see Beis Yosef O.C. 453, Rema 453:1 & 464:1 and Mishnah Berurah 453:4, 7 & 11) and it is generally accepted that corn (see below), green beans, snow peas, sugar-snap peas, chickpeas, soybeans, sunflower and poppy seeds are also forbidden. On the other hand, potatoes (see below), coffee, tea, garlic, nuts, radishes and olives and not treated as kitniyot (see Sha’arei Teshuvah 453:1, Chayei Adam 127:7 and others). Iggeros Moshe (O.C. III:63) assumes that peanuts are not kitniyot but notes that some have a custom to be machmir. Some other examples of foods which are or aren’t kitniyot will be noted below and in the “Derivatives of kitniyot” section.

Iggeros Moshe explains that the minhag to not eat kitniyot developed differently than other minhagim and therefore rules that only foods which we know were specifically included in the minhag are forbidden. [See also Chok Yaakov 453:9 who makes a similar point]. With this he explains the generally accepted custom to not consider potatoes to be kitniyot even though logically they should be, as follows: the minhag of kitniyot can be dated back at least until Maharil, who died in 1427, and potatoes didn’t come to Europe until the 16th century, so potatoes were a “new” vegetable which wasn’t included in the minhag. An important “exception” to the aforementioned rule that “new” vegetables aren’t included in the minhag, is corn/maize which Mishnah Berurah 453:4 and others rule is kitniyot even though it was introduced to Europe after the minhag had already begun.

As a rule, spices are not considered to be kitniyot and Rema 453:1 makes a point of noting that anise/dill and coriander are not kitniyot. Taz 462:3 notes that all spices should be checked before Pesach to establish that no chametz-grains are mixed in, and elsewhere Taz (453:1) specifically notes that anise and coriander seeds should be thoroughly checked. In addition, Taz and Magen Avraham (453:3) discuss whether fennel, cumin and caraway seeds (i.e. three variations of “Kimmel” ) can possibly be checked (and used) for Pesach. Thus, as a rule, spices are not kitniyot but require special care to guarantee that no chametz-grains are mixed into them. Some hashgochos consider fenugreek to be kitniyot while others do not, and the surprising ramifications of this question will be noted towards the end of the article.

From Chabad.org What is Chametz?

Chametz is “leaven” — any food that’s made of grain and water that have been allowed to ferment and “rise.” Bread, cereal, cake, cookies, pizza, pasta, and beer are blatant examples of chametz; but any food that contains grain or grain derivatives can be, and often is, chametz. Practically speaking, any processed food that is not certified “Kosher for Passover” may potentially include chametz ingredients.

Chametz is the antithesis of matzah, the unleavened bread we eat on Passover to recall the haste in which we left Egypt, and the humble faith by which we merited redemption. Matzah is the symbol of the Exodus, a central component of the Seder rituals, and the heart of the “Festival of Matzot” (as Passover is called in the Torah). And the flip-side of eating matzah is getting rid of chametz — and the egotism and spiritual coarseness it represents.

Guide To “Real” Chometz

PRODUCT
“REAL” CHOMETZ?
Barley (if pearled, raw and packaged) No
Beer Follow Family Custom1
Bread Yes
Cake Yes
Cake mixes (dry) No
Cereal with primary ingredient of wheat, oats, or barley Yes
Chometz content is more than a k’zayis. The chometz can be eaten in a time span of kdai achilas pras2 (e.g. box of Froot Loops cereal) Yes
Chometz content is more than a k’zayis. The chometz can not be eaten b’kdai achilas pras2 (e.g. box of Cap ‘N Crunch cereal) No
Chometz content in entire package is less than a k’zayis but is greater than 1/60 of the product (e.g. Corn Flakes cereal) No
Chometz content is less than 1/60 of the product Not chometz 4
Chometz Nokshe (e.g. chometz glue) No
Condiments containing vinegar (e.g. ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, pickles) No
Cooked on chometz equipment (not during Pesach) but contains no chometz in the product. Not chometz3
Cookies Yes
Detergents Not chometz4
Extracts No
Farfel Mix Yes
Flour No
Food Coloring No
Ketchup No
Kitniyos Not chometz3
Licorice Yes
Malt flavoring (in product) No
Maltodextrin No
Maltose (in product) No
Mayonnaise No
Medicine containing chometz No
Modified food starch (from unknown sources) No
Mustard No
Pasta Yes
Pickles No
Pretzels Yes
Products non-edible even for canine consumption (nifsal mayachilas kelev) Not chometz3
Rolled Oats Yes
Vanillin and Ethyl vanillin No
Vinegar (from unknown sources) No
Vitamin tablets containing chometz No
Wheat gluten (unknown amount in product) Yes
Wheat protein (unknown amount in product) Yes
Whiskey Follow Family Custom1
Yeast (Baker’s) Not chometz3
Yeast extract No
1. Some individuals sell this chometz, others do not. One should follow his family custom.2. Kdai achilas pras is the amount of time it takes to eat the volume of buttered bread equaling 3-4 eggs (approximately 2-4 minutes). For example, if one eats a bowl of Foot Loops cereal, he will eat a k’zayis of chometz within 2-4 minutes. However, if one eats Cap’N Crunch cereal, he will not eat a k’zayis of chometz fast enough as the amount of chometz in Cap’N Crunch cereal is relatively minimal.3. These products are not chometz. One may even retain possession on Pesach. Sale is not necessary (mutar b’hana’ah b’Pesach). The product may not be eaten on Pesach.4. These products are not chometz. One may even retain possession on Pesach. Sale is not necessary (mutar b’hana’ah b’Pesach).

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