Chapter 32 - PREPARING FOR PASSOVER; DISPOSING OF CHAMETZ (LEAVEN)
A person should begin studying the laws of Passover 30 days before the
holiday (429:1). It is customary to give wheat to the poor so they can
have MATZAH (429:1). TACHANUN is not recited and eulogies are forbidden
during the month of Nisan (429:2). Fasting, except because of a bad dream,
is forbidden during Nisan, but the male first-born fast on the 14th of Nisan
(the day before Passover), or on the preceding Thursday if the 14th is a
Sabbath (429:2;470:1-2). Psalm 100 is not recited on Passover or on the day
before it (429:2). The Sabbath before Passover is called the Great Sabbath;
it is customary to recite part of the HAGGADAH (the text of the service at
the Passover evening meal; see Ch.37) after the afternoon service on that
Sabbath (430:1). A person should not do most types of work during the day
on the 14th of Nisan, but preparations for the holiday are permitted; see
468:1-10. A person should not eat much during the last quarter of the day,
so that he will have an appetite for the evening meal, and he should not
eat ordinary MATZAH during the entire day; see 470:3 and 471:1-3.
After dark on the 14th of Nisan a person must search for CHAMETZ by
candlelight (see 433:1-2) in every place where CHAMETZ may have been
brought (431:1;433:3-5,9-11) and remained (see 433:6), and where it
is not dangerous to search (see 433:7-8;438:2). A person should
not eat, study, or do work when it is time to search for CHAMETZ (431:2),
and the search should not be interrupted (432:1). Before beginning the
search, the blessing "...Who commanded us about disposal of CHAMETZ" is
recited (432:1-2). After the search, the remaining CHAMETZ should be
put away in a safe place (see 434:1;438:1;439:1-4) and the unknown
CHAMETZ should be annulled (434:2,4). All of a person's CHAMETZ should
again be annulled the next morning just after disposing of the known
CHAMETZ; see 434:2-3.
If the search was not done at night, it must be done the next day, and if
it was not done before Passover, it must be done on or after Passover; see
435:1. On disposing of CHAMETZ that is found during Passover see 446:1-4.
It is unnecessary to search in places where the owner or his representative
will have no access on Passover or 30 days before it; see 436:1-3. On
who is responsible for searching in rented property see 437:1-4; on
responsibility for CHAMETZ that belongs to or is deposited with a non-Jew
see 440:1-4 and 441:1-2.
On the 14th of Nisan, CHAMETZ may be eaten until two hours (i.e., 1/6 of
the day) before noon, and benefit may be derived from it for an additional
hour; see 443:1-2. During that time (or earlier, if desired; 445:1) it may
be given to a non-Jew (445:2) or disposed of, preferably by burning (445:1-3);
when it is burned then, it is permitted to derive benefit from the fire
(see 445:2). If no CHAMETZ was found during the search, the utensil used in
the search should be burned; see 445:3. On a person who is unable to
dispose of his CHAMETZ see 444:7-8. Even after noon, if CHAMETZ was sold
or exchanged, the proceeds are permitted (443:3).
If the 14th of Nisan is on a Sabbath, CHAMETZ must be disposed of before
the Sabbath, except for what is needed for the Friday night and Sabbath
morning meals (444:1). Neither CHAMETZ nor MATZAH should be eaten at the
Sabbath afternoon meal; see 444:1. It is preferable to dispose of the
other CHAMETZ on Friday morning at the same time as when the 14th is on a
weekday (444:2), and to annul it then (444:6). On disposing of the CHAMETZ
left over from the Sabbath meals see 444:3-5; it is also annulted again then.
The prohibition against possessing CHAMETZ on Passover applies only to
edible CHAMETZ (see 442:2-3,5,9-10;447:12) and edible mixtures that
contain CHAMETZ (442:1). Mixtures containing CHAMETZ that are not
normally eaten may be kept, but not eaten; see 442:4. On cleaning
surfaces that may have CHAMETZ adhering to them see 422:6-8,11 and 447:5.
Shulchan Aruch, Copyright (c) 2000 Project