Understanding Pesach

Below you can find various resources to better understand and adhere to the traditions of how to observe Pesach.  Should you have any more detailed questions, please contact Rabbi Dr. Eytan Cowen


2012 Recommended Passover Product List For the Sephardic Community of Indianapolis


Dear Community Member,


Etz Chaim Sephardic Congregation takes pride in presenting, for the first time, to the Sephardic Community of Indianpolis and the Midwest, a comprehensive guide to Passover products. In order to supply the community with our up to date information, this and all of our bulletins are available on the website: www.etzchaimindy.org


This list is compiled after extensive research and correspondence with food industry experts and experts in the field of Kashrut. Much acknowledgement and gratitude is conveyed to the wonderful va’ads and rabbinates of Seattle, the Jersey Shore, and the West Coast Rabbinical Court for assistance in formulating this guide.

Since Sephardic Jews have different customs and traditional foods than our Ashkenaz brothers, this list is designed to serve those whose custom includes the consumption of Kitniyot, or legumes on the holiday. Since the majority of Jews in America are of Ashkenaz descent, the major Kashrut organizations only certify those items permissible for them. We have included those items, and as well have listed those foods that are permissible without special Kosher for Passover (KFP) symbols.


Three prohibitions exist: Consumption, Ownership, and Benefit of Chametz.


The Top 10 Rules for a Kosher Sephardic Passover!


1. Get to know what Chametz is all about!

Any foods or food products, which contain ingredients, derived from one of the following fermented cereal grains: wheat, barley, oats, spelt, or rye are forbidden on Passover. Even foods that contain minute amounts of Chametz, or foods which are processed on utensils which are used for other chametz-containing foods, are not permissible for Passover use. Many Sepharadim have the custom of eating different legumes or kitniyot and foods that are derived from them. Even in the Syrian community, there are differences in customs as to which legumes are used.


2. Read Product Labels Carefully!

Make sure a reliable Kosher for Passover certification appears on the package. Take this guide with you to the store! Remember that “reading the labels” is impossible on Pesach, too many chemical may have Chametz ingredients. Alcohol, Ascorbic Acid, citric acid, Dextrose, Glucose, malt, dextrin, polysorbates, sodium citrate, sodium erythrobate, xantham gum & Sorbitol are among the list of common ingredients that can be derived from both grain and legume sources.


3. Beware of Look Alikes!

Often Kosher for Passover and non-Kosher for Passover products have identical packaging.


4. Do NOT buy any product simply since it is in the “Passover Aisle”!

Some stores do not remove the “chametz matzot” and other “year round kosher” foods from the shelf before restocking for the holiday. (Like marshmallows!)


5. Get to Know your Personal Kashrut Level!

Not all Kashrut certifications are created equal. Check with the people who will partake of your meals and see what they prefer - ask your family custom pertaining to corn, rice, beans. Even within the community there are different family customs to take into account. This advance planning will save heartache and promote shalom.


6. Look Before You Cook!

Even with the best intentions, a non-Kosher for Passover item could be purchased inadvertently.


7. Never Assume - Always Ask!

If you have a doubt about koshering or about a product being Kosher for Passover, clarify the question with your Rabbi.


8. Don’t Purchase a Product just because it was Good Last Year.

Discard old lists; they will confuse you as some things change.


9. Sell Your Chametz!

Avoid problems of Chametz that was in your possession on the holiday by making sure that it is sold to your Rabbi before Thursday evening April 5th. (The Rabbi sells all the Chametz to a gentile the next morning). This is true even if you get rid of all “real” chametz!


10. Enjoy the Spirit of the Holiday!

May the merit of our care in observing the commandments of the holiday bring us all closer to Avinu She’BaShamayim, our Loving Father in Heaven that we may merit the Redemption! Amen.


The Passover Food Guide


Whenever possible, buy those products that bear a reliable Passover label to be assured that the product has been prepared for the holiday.


All products whether or not they need special supervision should only be used if the package is new and unopened.


Aluminum foil products: All types are acceptable.


Baby Cereal: Due to information from the Rabbi at the O.U. in charge of Pesach production, Beech Nut Pure rice cereal should NOT be used. There is a Materna Brand from Israel that has supervision, but it is not widely available. Alternatively, may we suggest the following:

1. Cook rice thoroughly (after checking properly 3 times before Pesach begins) and then puree in the blender with formula.

2. Preparing the cereal from ground checked rice.

3. Soak Passover breakfast cereal or crumbled lady fingers in milk or formula and then mash or blend.

4. Try a variety of baby/hot cereals that are made from finely ground matza meal or potato starch.


Baby Formula: Carnation Alsoy; Enfamil; Isomil; Pedialyte; Prosobee; and Similac - are all acceptable. Additionally, the following store brands are good: Kirklnad Signature, Berkley & Jensen, CVS and Target Brands.


Baby Foods: Must have Kosher for Passover supervision. Exceptions: Gerber vegetables: Peas, Green bean, Carrots, and sweet potatoes are acceptable by the OU. The following brands are marked: Glicks and Hadar are KAJ-P and Gefen and Healthy Time are OU-P, Tuv Ta’am with OK-P.

Beech nut is no longer certified Kosher for Passover. In the event that food cannot be prepared at home, the OU has informed us that plain varieties of fruits which do not have any additives or cereal are acceptable.


Baking Powder: Supervision required. Gefen, Glicks, Haddar, Lieber’s, Mishpacha, and V.I.P. Masters are KFP.


Baking Soda: (Bicarbonate of Soda) No Passover Supervision necessary - just new box.


Beverages: See listing in; Coffee, Juices, or Soda


Candy and Chocolates: Passover Supervision is necessary for all chocolate candies; likewise hare sucking candies need supervision because they are often coated with flour. Acceptably supervised are Alprose, Barricini, Barton’s, Elite (with OU-P only), Gefen, Gedilla, Haddar, Krum’s, Le Chocolate, Lieber’s, Manhattan, Manishewitz, Maya, Paskesz, Rokeach, Savion, and Shufra - All must bear supervision for Pesach!

Do not use any candy, even from Israel, without verifying the supervision.


Cereal and Breakfast foods: All cereals made from the five grains are of course, chametz. In addition, may cold cereals such as corn flakes and rice krispies are chametz since malt is added to them. We strongly suggest that even those cereals in which the listed ingredients are 100% kosher for Passover, should not be used as they are in constant contact with grains that are real chametz.

Dayenu, Kojel, Manishewitz, VIP Masters and Savion produce a variety of hot and cold cereals with a reliable certification OU-P. (Most are from finely ground Matza flour.) Also available are Streit’s, Oberlanders, and PT Abraham.

Pancake mix: Gefen, Manishewitz and Savion OU-P

Granola mix by Savion, Dayenu - OU-P


Cider Vinegar: Requires supervision, the nutrient may be Chametz.


Cocoa: Any pure powder that is made in the USA.


Coffee: Instant - In former years, most instant coffees were acceptable if they were unflavored; this is no longer the case. As a flavor enhancer, malto dextrin, which may be derived from barley is added. This year, only the FOLGERS and TASTERS CHOICE brands of regular, unflavored instant coffee can be used without special Passover marking.

Ground: Regulare unflavored only:

No chicory or Decaf: The following brands may be used for Pesach (new jar) even without special supervision: Duncan Donuts (bagged only), Chock full O’Nuts, Foodtown, Folgers, Hills Bros., Melitta, Pathmark, Starbucks (bagged only), Winn Dixie & Wegmans.

Maxwell House Ground and Instant (with OK-P only), Elite Turkish Coffee (OU-P).

K-cups for Keurig Machines: are recommended when being the OU regular (not decaf) Green Mountain Co. Fair Trade, French Roast, House Blend, Sumatra, Dark Magic, Coffee Donut House, Extra Bold, Starbucks, Barista Prima Italian.

Decaffeinated: All Decaffeinated coffee must be marked for Passover. Sanka (with OK-P), Maxwell House Decaf varieties (with OK-P); Yuban (OK-P), Gevalia, Taster’s Choice (special run of Chug Chatam Sofer certfication)

Flavored coffees are not acceptable for Passover use.

Postum and Roma contain grains and may not be used for Pesach. Any leftovers of these brands must be sold with the chametz.


Coffee Creamer: must be marked for Passover; Gefen Kineret, Mishpacha.


Cooking Spray: Must have supervision. Gefen, Glick’s, Mothers, Seasons, and Mishpacha (OU-P).


Dairy Products:

Milk: It is preferable to purchase kosher milk with Passover Supervision for Pesach, but one may buy regular kosher certified milk for the holiday, if purchased before Pesach. In addition to the Chalav Yisrael brands,


Lactaid drops and caplets are not kosher for Pesach. Lactaid milk may be used only when purchased before the Holiday. Ask your Rabbi for additional information.


Chocolate Milk: Requires Passover supervision as the flavoring may contain Chametz.


Powdered Milk: Must be supervised for Passover: Ko-sure Star-K-P; Parmalat Kof K-P; Haddar; Dairymen OU-P


Hot Cocoa Mix: Haddar, Kojel KP (must be marked).


Butter/Cheeses/Creams/Yogurts: All require special Passover supervision as the cultures, flavorings, and coloring may contain Chametz.

Butter: with the Kosher for Passover mark are Breakstone’s, Pathmark

Chalav Yisrael: J&J, Kahal, Mehadrin, and Morning Select

Cream Cheese: must be marked Kosher for Passover. J&J, Temptee, Foodtown, etc.

Yogurt: Must have supervision. Many varieties are readily available. No Dannon this year for Pesach.


Non-Dairy Creamers: OU-P: Kineret, Mishpacha; Star-K-P: Unger’s & Eden Brand.


Milk Alternatives: Many brands or varieties of Soymilk and Rice Dream are not recommended for Passover use, as they have questionable ingredients. Many varieties are available this year. Visit www.crcweb.org for an extensive list.

Exceptions: (purchase before Passover): - These brands and ONLY these varieties. All others may actually contain chametz!

Soymilks: Vitasoy Brand Sansui Original Natural Soymilk, Fit and Active: Original Soymilk, Harvest Farms: Original, Hy-Vee Original and Original Enriched, Nature’s Promise: Original and Original Enriched, Soy Dream Brand Original & Natural.


Ricemilks: Original plain variety only!

Clearly Organic, Full Circle, Nature’s Place, Rice Sense, Rice Dream only the unsweetened Rice Milk (not standard rice milk).

Almond Milks: Almond Sense Original, Nature’s Place and Tree of Life Orginal and Unsweetened, Trader Joe’s, Kroger’s. All of the above unflavored.


Detergents and Cleaners: All varieties of detergents both liquids and powdered do not require Kosher for Passover certification. For those who interested: According to the OU directory, the following dish detergents may be used without the OU-P: Ajax, Dawn, Ivory, Joy, Palmolive.

Dishwasher Detergent: Palmolive, Sunlight, Cascade.


Eggs: Some have the custom to purchase before the holiday.


Egg substitute: Kinneret OU-P; Healthy Morn OU-P


Fruits: All fresh fruits are acceptable. Precut fruits: Delmonte, Star K-P: Cantaloupe, Fruit Bowl, Fruit Party Tray, Fruit Snack Tray, Honeydew, and Melon Medley.


Canned Fruits: may use a chametz enzyme to clarify the juice that is used to pack the fruit, therefore use only with Kosher for Passover marking.


Unsweetened frozen fruits: are acceptable with no additives or grape juice.

Dried Fruits: Most must be marked Kosher for Passover. Readily available are: Mariani OU-P, and Setton Farms OK-P. Homa and Trader Joe’s Star-K (including Bing cherries, fancy nectarine and Pears (no P necessary).


Dates: The following varieties may be purchased even without a mark: (They are certified - just not marked): California Whole Medjool Dates: Bard Valley, Royal Medjool, Sun Garden, and Western Medjool. Regular variety: Calavo, Sunworld, and Sun Glow brands Pitted and whole.

Available with supervision: Setton Farms: OK-P; Yum Tee, OU-P; Carmel and Walmart brands KP

Dried, rolled dates present a special problem for Passover since they are rolled in oats!

Note: all dates must be split open and checked for insects, which can be quite common.

A date paste is being imported from Israel that is reliably certified Kosher for Passover by the Chug Chatam Sofer - Bnei Brak. Or under Rabbi Didi; both are acceptable.


Raisins: Any with regular kosher certification.


Please be reminded, banana chips require kosher supervision for year round use as they are sometimes fried in the same oil as unkosher cheese. They are not recommended for Passover use.


Fish: Canned Tuna and Salmon: Kosher for Passover tuna is readily available: Star-KP: California Delight, Eden, Tuna Delight, and King of the Sea


Non-Chametz Grains: Quinoa, Flax Seed, and Hemp Seed: May be used after checking for other grains. Due to reports of chametz mixed in, use only Quinoa from Ancient Harvest 12 oz size, lot code 03-01-14K or Sugat Quinoa from Israel.

Kitniyot grains: Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Millet - whole only, check before use.


Grape leaves: Any that are kosher and not preserved in vinegar or citric acid. Please note: it is very important that all grape leaves be washed carefully. Inspect each leaf on both sides.


Honey: Requires supervision year round and for Passover. Many varieties are available such as Kirkland brand from Costco.


Juices: All juices need special Passover certification as the enzymes and clarifying agents may be chametz.

Available with certification are: Ceres, Eden, Gefen, Glick’s, Hadar, Kedem, Kirkland, Mishpacha, Mrs. Adler’s, Nature’s Own, and Rashi.

Lemon Juice: Realemon liquid lemon juice and lime juice are acceptable without a special marking.

Orange and grapefruit: Any brand frozen unsweetened, grade A concentrate is acceptable.

Prune Juice - Gefen and Sunsweet KFP


Liquors: In the last few years they have presented a new problem - Alcohol derived from wine is being used in production of liquors and cordials. This is completely separate from the issue of whether the liquors contain non-kosher wine. There are several varieties available for Pesach: Bartenura, Ashkelon, Zachlawi and Carmel Arak are Kosher for Pesach.

OU-P: The following brands produce different types of Vermouth, Vodka and Cordials: Bartenura, Binyamina, Carmel, Kedem, Sabra, Slivovitz and Zachlawi.

NB: Chopin Potato Vodka is not recommended.


Margarine: Many margarines use starch in their flavoring making Passover supervision necessary. Mother’s brand OU-P.


Marshmallows: Must be Kosher for Passover.

Matzah: One must be alert that the matzah for year round use is chametz, and it is marked, “not for Passover use”. Caution: many places may return items from previous years to the shelf. It is imperative to check all matzah products, cake mixes and spices for freshness. Old products have been found to contain insects and larvae!! Check carefully for a product code stating year of production. Lacking that information, the products must be inspected carefully.


Acceptable only when marked kosher for Passover: too many to list.

For those with allergies, Oat and Spelt matzah is also available by special order.

It is recommended to use Matzah Shemurah for the Seders.


Mayonnaise, Ketchup, and Mustard: One should avoid the use of any product containing vinegar even if the company assures that the vinegar used is not of grain origin. We therefore recommend that all mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard, etc., should have proper Passover supervision.

Ketchup: OU-P: Blanchard & Blanchard, Gefen; Haddar; Manishewitz, Rokeach, Savion, Star K-P; Eden.

Mayonnaise: OU-P: Gefen, Glick’s, Manishewitz; Mishpacha, Unger’s Star K-P; Haddar.

Mustard: (artificial): Blanchard & Blanchard, Savion OU-P.


Milk: See Dairy


Nutritional Supplements: Boost, Ensure - Without Fiber only: Reg., Light Plus, Pudding (Vanilla & Chocolate). (The Ensure with Fiber contains chametz!). Ensure Glucerna OS.


Meats and Poultry: All brands of kosher raw poultry and meat are kosher for Passover year round. Chalak Bet Yosef meat is recommended.


Nuts: Raw nuts, without additives are all acceptable for Passover. However, one must refrain from any roasted nuts unless it is KFP certified. Do not use any nuts that state on the bag or container: “This product packed in a facility that produces wheat...”

NB: Midget Pecans and pecan pieces (even raw) require a reliable KFP supervision. Due to insect infestation, they are washed in grain alcohol.


Oils: Since all major Kosher agencies in the USA are geared to Ashkenazic customs they supervise only non-legume based oils. Available are: Gefen, Mishpacha, Nutola, Pathmark, Rokeach; Grapeseed oil: Bartenura OU-P

Kof-KP: Hain Oils.

Sepharadim: whose custom is to use soybeans and corn may use any certified kosher for year round use brand of PURE corn, canola, or soybean or vegetable oils such as: Mazola or Wesson.

Some manufacturers have added “citric acid” to their oil. Although this ingredient is usually extracted from corn, it can be made from a chametz source, therefore we do not recommend any oil containing this ingredient as we have no verification of the source of the citric acid.


New container only all oil.


Pet Foods: Fish food often contains meat and milk ingredients and is forbidden for use the entire year. Most pet foods contain chametz. Since we are forbidden to derive any benefit from chametz, we may not feed any pets those varieties that contain chametz ingredients. Krill fish food is permitted. Alfalfa, sunflower seeds, split corn or millet for feeding birds. There are brands of cat and dog food that are available that do not have chametz or the prohibited mixture of meat and milk. A detailed list can be found at www.star-k.org or at www.crcweb.org


Pickles: Need Passover supervision. Batampte, Flaum, Gefen, Gliboa, Beit Hashita, Kvuzat Yavne, Manishewitz and Osem, Schorr’s, Unger’s.


Potato Chips: Passover certification necessary with the OU-P: Bloom’s, Herr’s, Pathmark, Manishewitz, and Utz Potato Chips. Also KFP: Lieber’s


Rice: White Rice: Any unenriched or organic rice is acceptable. Lundenberg, Rice Select and- very easy to check Super Luck Elephant brand from Costco, or Golden Elephant Brand, along with Sugat brand from Israel. Nishiki brand medium grain is not enriched.

Most supermarket brands of rice are enriched. The enrichment is diluted with starch in order to distribute it evenly on the rice. This can be a corn, rice, or a wheat starch base. Care must be taken to buy only rice that has enrichment that is not mixed with chametz. We have consulted major Sephardic poskim who have instructed us that the enriched varieties that are mixed in a non-chametz starch are permissible.

The following brands were checked and are acceptable: Ancient Harvest, Carolina, Goya, Mahatma, Publix, River, Riceland, Blue Diamond, WaterMaid, Success, Carolina Gold (parboiled), and Uncle Ben’s.

Brown rice: Any brand without additives. The brand at Costco looked very clean and easier to check than most.

Basmati: Deer brand or any unenriched (2 kinds at Costco)

Pure wild rice: (looks like short black sticks) is acceptable without a marking: it is from the grass family, not a legume at all.


It has been our custom throughout the generations to check all rice three times before Pesach. It is not uncommon to find grain in rice fields. Check carefully.

Salt: Regular (Pure) and Coarse salt are permitted for Passover use without special supervision.

Check that dextrose and Polysorbates are NOT in the ingredients.

Salt Substitute: Freeda Free Salt, No Salt or Spice of Life No Salt/No Sugar.


Sodas: Sodas MUST have Kosher for Passover certification due to possible Chametz in the flavoring base. Many varieties are readily available in 2 liter and cans.

Coca cola classic and Diet Coke, Sprite: must have the OU-P on the cap (yellow).

America Dry: Ginger Ale OU-P

Canada Dry: Ginger Ale and Dr. Browns (Kof K-P)

Pepsi products must bear a KP on the cap; they are under supervision of Rabbi Charlop.


Soup mixes: Beware containers bearing a “P”

Soy foods: while actual soybeans are permissible for most Sepharadim, products made of soy, such as soy sauce, TVP and Tofu may not be permissible. These products are made through an extraction process that uses grain alcohol in the processing of the soybeans. Acceptable Tofu: Nasoya - plain, firm, extra firm (only unflavored varieties).


Seltzers: Any unflavored seltzer with KP certification is acceptable.


Spices: Due to recent changes in the spice industry, even pure ground spices require reliable Kosher for Passover certification. Consult with your Rabbi on individual issues.


Peeled Garlic: Spice World brand: Star-K (no P necessary).


Sugar: Any pure white granulated cane sugar may be purchased for Passover as long as dextrose or glucose are not listed in the ingredients. These may be derived from barley or wheat! Domino brand - OK-P.


Confectioner’s Sugar: does contain 3% corn starch but according to some Sephardic customs, may be permissible for Pesach. Only sugar and cornstarch allowed! According to one passover publication, they found that C & H brand contains wheat starch. Therefore, use only a kosher for Passover marked brand, since it’s impossible to ensure there is no mixing of Chametz (chas veshalom).

There are several types of confectioner’s sugar without corn starch: OU-P: Mishpacha and KAJ-P: Haddar brand.


Vanilla Sugar: May contain grain alcohol and therefore, Passover supervision required.


Brown Sugar: Need Passover Marking: Domino and Brownulated are OK-P. C & H Golden Brown and C & H Dark Brown are acceptable without a mark.

Sweeteners: OU-P: Gefen, Kojel, VIP Masters. Paskesz Sweetie (Badatz) and Liebers (KFP)

Equal and Splenda: are NOT recommended for Sepharadim by the OU. California Delight mad a Sucralose equivalent called Sucralis that is Star K-P.

Stevia must be marked KFP

Agave Nectar: (a natural sweetener): Health Garden brand OK-P, Wholesome Sweeteners: Blue Agave OK-P and Cucamonga is OK-P.

Xylitol: Healthy Garden, Natrazyle OU-P.


Teas: Any unflavored, non-herbal regular tea bags are acceptable without special KFP: Due to chametz ingredient in the decaf process, decaf varieties should be used only with supervision: (Salada Caffeine free is Chametz!).

Exception: Lipton Decaf may be used without an OU-P.


Instant Tea: Nestea Instant unflavored only. Regular and Decaf. No KP needed.

Herbal Teas: Need to be marked: OU-P: Bigelow, Swee-Touch-Nee: Herbal and Wissosky - many varieties.


Tomato Products Canned: Any Kosher pure paste, puree, stewed is permissible without citric acid in the ingredients. When possible, purchase with proper Pesach supervision - Mishpacha, Gefen, Glicks, Haddar, Lieber’s, Ungar’s.


Vegetables, Frozen: Several years ago, a new lighter cuisine heralded the beginning of frozen pasta and vegetable mixtures. Vegetable companies blanch vegetable and pasta blends together and then use the same equipment for plain vegetables. Thus, Kosher for Passover Supervision required for frozen vegetables. The use of fresh vegetables is highly recommended despite the convenience of the frozen. Please ensure all relevant vegetables are checked for insects.


Pre-Washed Salad: Some brands use citric acid in the rinse water to balance the pH are are not recommended.

All fresh packaged salad from Dole bearing a star-K are Kosher for Passover without the additional Passover symbol.


Canned vegetables: Need supervision: the following companies produce reliably supervised products: California Delight, Glicks, Gefen, Haddar, Mishpacha, Season, Ungars: KP only for all!


Whipped Topping: Kineret certified OU-P. Ungar brand Star K-P.


Whiskeys and Beers: and man liqeurs are chametz and may not be consumed on Pesach. They must be sold to a non-Jew through the Rabbi before Pesach.


Wine: Some varieties of Mnishewitz wine are NOT kosher for Passover. Check all wines - be certain that all are certified Kosher for Passover.


Fruit wines: Wine varieties that are made from other fruits such as peaches, may have a question if the beracha is Hagefen making them unacceptable for the Seder. Usually, the proper blessing will be stated on the back of the bottle.


Getting Ready for Pesach


Just as it is forbidden to eat chametz on Pesach, it is forbidden to cook with utensils which have been used for cooking chametz, since the cooking process transfers he chametz status to the utensils. Of course, the simplest thing to do is to have a set of Pesach utensils which were never used with chametz. However, where this is not possible, certain types of utensils may be rendered usable for Pesach within the following guidelines.


Koshering the Kitchen:


Ovens: Ovens should be cleaned thoroughly so that no tangible chametz remains on its floors, walls or the oven door. Preferably wait 24 hours and set the oven for its highest temperature and burn for one hour. If you have a self-clean cycle, fun a full cycle.


Stove top: The stove top must be cleaned very well, giving special attention to burner wells and edges. Wait 24 hours without using prior to koshering. Burners, grates, and the area between may be koshered in two ways: 1) By Hag’alah, pour boiling water over them; or 2) By means of Libun, whereby the stove top area are covered by a metal covering known as a Blech or a sheet of heavy aluminum foil (covering the entire area) and then the burners are turned on for 15 minutes. The second method may discolor the stove top, or break it if is glass.


Microwave: Clean thoroughly, and then place a bowl of water in the oven. The microwave is operated until the oven is filled with steam.


Sink: Thoroughly clean the sink especially around the drain and faucet. Do not use for hot chametz for 24 hours. Boil water on the stove or kettle and pour over all the parts of the sink. Some recommend using a rack in the sink.


Counters and table tops: Clean thoroughly, taking extra care in cracks and crevices. These areas may then be koshered by Hag’alah, pouring boiling water over all areas of the counter top or table. Or alternatively, they may simply be covered.


Dishwasher: Clean away any tangible chametz and run through one cycle empty. Some recommend replacing the racks for Pesach.


High chairs: Must be cleaned very carefully and then either covered or pour boiling water over the chair to kosher.


Coffee makers and urns: Must be koshered by filling with water and turning on so that the water boils over. Care should be taken to clean well the exterior beforehand.


Mixers, food processors, and Kitchen Aids: Any of which were used to mix dough, should be cleaned well and put away with the rest of the chametz utensils.


Refrigerators: Must be cleaned thoroughly, taking extra care to remove crumbs in the cracks and crevices.


Types of Untensils:


1. Earthenware utensils: These utensils which were used with chametz at high temperatures cannot be koshered at all. These include porcelain, enamel, stoneware, corningware and china. These should all be washed from any visible chametz and should be put into a sealed closet until after Pesach.


2. Glass: Glass utensils need only be washed both inside and outside, and then they may be used for Pesach.


3. Wood, stone, metal, natural rubber or plastic: Any of these types of utensils which are used in or with water may be made usable for Pesach by Hag’alah (immersion in boiling water) in a manner described below. Metal utensils which were used directly on the fire, without water in them, require Libun (koshering by fire) as will be described shortly, to render them usable on Pesach.


Please Note: All utensils must be cleaned thoroughly as koshering removes the taste of chametz, not actual pieces of food. Items that are cracked, rusted or difficult to clean should be put away for the holiday. Handles should be removed and extra care should be taken to scrub the edges where food may accumulate.


Koshering Utensils:


Utensils are koshered in the manner in which they are used. Therefore, the same level of heat must be used to accomplish the koshering. There are 4 levels:


1. Libun: Libun is application on to direct flame or heat. for utensils that come in direct contact with chametz over an open flame. Utensils are either put in the self-clean cycle of the oven or are torched by a blow-torch (not for the faint of heart!).


2. Kli Rishon Hag’alah: A pot of hot liquids on the stove. Primary vessel: For pots used for cooking chametz with water. After proper cleaning and waiting 24 hours, utensils may be immersed in a large, clean pot which was not used for 24 hours that water has been brought to a full, rolling boil. Either completely cover the utensil for several seconds, or if not possible, do it in stages, so that the entire utensil passes through the boiling water. Rinse with cold water. When multiple utensils are being koshered, allow the water to return to a full rolling boil between items.

            If the pot does not fit inside another pot, the pot itself should be filled to the to and allowed to boil. Meanwhile a stone or large piece of metal is heated until it is red-hot, place the heated item in the boiling pot, causing the water to overflow, thus koshering the rim. Empty and rinse with cold water.


3. Iruy Keli Rishon: A flow of hot liquids from the primary vessel. Utensils which have boiling hot liquid poured into them may be koshered by a flow of boiling water (i.e. serving trays that the food is poured into them).


4. Keli Sheni: This is a vessel containing hot liquids poured from a primary vessel. Spoons and forks which are used in a secondary vessel, such as for serving may be koshered this way.

Please note that a utensil which requires a lower level of heat to be koshered may surely be koshered at a more intense level.


In conclusion, we must all continuously review the laws of koshering our kitchens in order to make sure that we do things properly. The best thing is to attend a class given by your Rabbi to obtain a full explanation. This short review is by no means a full detailed guide. Many items may not be included. When in doubt, always ask!


May we all merit to keep the laws of Pesach properly and experience the true sensation of the Redemption from Egypt!!


Buying Chametz After Pesach


We are prohibited from buying from a store that is owned (even partially) by a Jew that did not sell his Chametz before the Holiday. The following list of supermarkets and establishments that either properly sold their Chametz or are owned by non Jews and that will be acceptable for purchase of Chametz after the holiday:


Aldi’s, Costco, CVS, K-Mart, Target, Walmart.




Delegation of Power of Attorney for Sale of Chametz


Know ye that I, the undersigned, fully empower and permit Rabbi Dr. Eytan M. Cowen to act in my place and stead, and in my behalf to sell all Chametz possessed by me (knowingly or unknowingly) as defined by the Torah and Rabbinic Law (e.g. Chametz, doubt of Chametz, and all kinds of Chametz mixtures). Also Chametz that tends to harden and to adhere to a surface of inside of pans, pots, or cooking and usable utensils, and all kind of live animals that have been eating Chametz or mixtures thereof. And to lease all places wherein the Chametz owned by me may be found, especially in the premises located at




, and elsewhere.


Rabbi Cowen has the full right to sell and lease by transactions, as he deems fit and proper and for such time which he believes necessary in accordance with all detailed terms and detailed forms as explained in the general authorization contract which have been this year to Rabbi Cowen to sell or effect the sale of Chametz.


This general authorization is made part of this agreement. Also, do I hereby give the said Rabbi Cowen full power to appoint a substitute in his stead with full powers to sell and to lease as provided herein. The above given power is in conformation with all Torah, Rabbinical regulations and laws, and also in accordance with the laws of the State of Indiana and of the United States. And to this I hereby affix my signature on this ________________day of Nissan in the year 5772.



Voluntary Donation to Etz Chaim: $_____________


Please Print:












מכירת חמץ

Sale of Chametz





If you wish to have Rabbi Dr. Eytan M. Cowen effect the sale of your Chametz, please complete and sign the attached form and bring it together with a voluntary donation to Etz Chaim Sephardic Congregation.




The forms must be received by us no later than 10:00 AM two days before Pesach (i.e. on the morning of the 13th of Nissan, or Thursday April 5th, 2012).







Rabbi Dr. Eytan M. Cowen

Etz Chaim Sephardic Congregation

6939 Hoover Road,

Indianapolis, IN, 46260


Etz Chaim Sephardic Congregation Presents:


The Pesach Night Seder Guide

Prepared by Rabbi Dr. Eytan M. Cowen


Preparing the Table


  1. 1.It is recommended to set the table during the daytime of Erev Pesach, so that the Haggadah may be started immediately upon returning home from the Kahal.
  2. 2.The table should be set with the finest dishes, according to one’s ability, in order to accentuate the sense of freedom that we must feel on Pesach night.
  3. 3.The Seder plate placed on the table must contain: Three Matzot; Maror (Romaine lettuce); Karpas (celery or parsley); Haroset (a spread consisting mainly of dates); A roasted shank bone (in memory of the Korban Pesach); an Egg (in memory of the Korban Chagigah); Hazeret (endives). According to the Ariza”l (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria zatsa”l), the above-mentioned items are placed on the Seder plate in the following manner:


                                                Three Matzot

                                    (sitting on top of the plate)

Egg                                                                  Shank Bone




Celery                                                             Haroset




The Obligation of Reclining


  1. 1.Reclining is required while drinking the four cups of wine, eating the Matzah, eating the Matzah and Maror sandwich (but not when only eating the Maror), and eating the Afikoman. Both men and women are required to recline. One who wishes to recline during the remainder of the meal is praised.
  2. 2.In order to fulfill one’s requirement of reclining, one must lean on one’s left side. If one leaned to the right, it is considered as if one did not recline at all. Therefore, if one mistakenly leaned to the right while eating Matzah or drinking wine, one must repeat the activity while leaning to the left. However, anyone who is physically weak and finds it difficult to eat more Matzah or drink more wine, is not required to repeat the activity (men or women).
  3. 3.If one forgets to recline while drinking the first cup of wine, and therefore repeats and drinks an extra cup of wine, the blessing on the wine is not repeated.
  4. 4.One may also recline while reciting the Haggadah and the Hallel. However, while reciting the Birkat HaMazon (Grace after Meals), one must sit up without reclining.
  5. 5.A student enjoying the Haggadah with his rabbi, may only recline if permission is granted by his rabbi.
  6. 6.A person who is left-handed (who performs all his daily activities with his left hand), must also recline on the left side, just as a right-handed person.
  7. 7.One who is mourning on a close relative is also obligated to recline.


The Four Cups of Wine


  1. 1.Both men and women are required to drink four cups of wine during each evening of the Haggadah.
  2. 2.Kiddush should be recited on red wine. It is the Sephardic custom to recite Kiddush on red wine even if there is a better white wine available. However, if one does not have red wine, one may fulfill one’s obligation using white wine.
  3. 3.One who is sensitive to wine and cannot drink four cups of wine may also fulfill one’s obligation with grape juice.
  4. 4.A poor person who lives on the contributions of the congregation, is also required to drink the four cups of wine on Pesach night even if he must sell his clothes or borrow the money.
  5. 5.If one only has enough wine for one cup, one should use it for the Kiddush (i.e. the first cup of the night).
  6. 6.There is a tradition that one should have someone else pour one’s cup throughout the Haggadah, in order to emphasize the sense of freedom.
  7. 7.Each cup of wine must contain at least one Revi’it (approximately 3.3 ounces) of wine.
  8. 8.For each of the ceremonial four cups of wine, one should try to drink the majority of the contents of the cup. This is why it is better to use smaller glasses/kiddush cups for the four cups of the Haggadah. If one only drinks a Revi’it of the wine, one’s obligation is fulfilled.
  9. 9.One must drink a Revi’it of wine within seven and a half minutes, and not by gradually sipping it over the course of the evening. If it took one longer than seven and a half minutes to drink a Revi’it, the obligation was not fulfilled, and one must drink another cup of wine.


Kadesh: Recite the Kiddush


  1. 1.All participants in the Haggadah must hear Kiddush. Both the one reciting the Kiddush as well as those hearing it, must have in mind to fulfill the obligation of Kiddush. One should not interrupt the blessing by saying “Baruch Hu U’Baruch Shemo”. Only “Amen” is answered.
  2. 2.Even on Pesach night, when everyone has a cup of wine in hand for Kiddush, the head of the household recited the entire Kiddush alon, as done on every other Shabbat and Yom Tov. At the end of the blessing, those listening answer “Amen”.
  3. 3.If the one saying Kiddush stutters, or does not pronounce the blessing well, or does not know how to have everyone in mind when saying the Kiddush, each person at the table recites the Kiddush quietly with the leader. When this is done, Amen is not answered, lest there be an interruption between the blessing and drinking the wine.
  4. 4.Kiddush is said while standing. The order of the Kiddush is as follows: the blessing of “Boreh Pri HaGefen”, the blessing of “Asher Bahar Banu.....Mekadesh Yisrael veHaZemanim,” followed by the blessing of “She’hecheyanu”.
  5. 5.When reciting the blessing “She’hecheyanu” over the wine, one should have in mind to include the Matzah and the Maror in the blessing as well.
  6. 6.After reciting the Kiddush, one drinks the wine while reclining to the left side.
  7. 7.It is our custom only to say the blessing, “Boreh Pri HaGefen” on the first and third cups of wine only.


Urchatz: Washing the Hands for Karpas


  1. 1.One must wash one’s hands without a blessing before dipping the Karpas (celery or parsley) in salt water or watered-down lemon juice. (This is the halacha whenever one eats any wet vegetable or wants to dip food in liquid).
  2. 2.One’s hands must be washed exactly the same way they are washed for bread, pouring water three times on the right hand first, and then three times on the left hand.
  3. 3.It is proper not to talk after washing one’s hands until after one recites the blessing on the Karpas and eats it.
  4. 4.While washing one’s hands for Karpas, it is good to have in mind that the washing is solely for the eating of the Karpas.
  5. 5.If one mistakenly said the blessing of “Al Netilat Yadayim” after washing for Karpas, when one washes later for “Rochtzah” before eating the Matzah, one must again recite the blessing of “Al Netilat Yadayim”. In this case, one should touch something that generally requires an individual to ritually wash their hands (i.e. shoes, covered body part, etc.), so that the blessing can be said a second time without any doubt.


Karpas: Celery or Parsley


  1. 1.Less than an ounce of Karpas is taken and dipped in salt water or watered-down lemon juice. The blessing of “Boreh Pri Ha’Adamah” is said, having in mind that the blessing includes the Maror to be eaten later in the Haggadah (whose blessing is also “Boreh Pri Ha’Adamah”.
  2. 2.If more than this amount is eaten, the blessing of “Boreh Nefashot” is still not recited.
  3. 3.All leafy vegetables must be thoroughly cleaned and checked for insects before eating them. If there is any chance of infestation, it is better not to eat the vegetable rather than transgress on the prohibitions involved in eating insects. Therefore, it is preferable to to use celery stalks without the leaves. The same is true for Romain lettuce stalks for Maror.
  4. 4.If one is using lemon juice, water must be mixed with it so that there is more water than lemon juice. The reason for this is that dipping a vegetable in lemon juice does not require the washing of one’s hand, for it has a status of fruit juice, which halachically does not require Netilat Yadayim.
  5. 5.It is most proper for the leader of the Seder to recite the blessing, “Boreh Pri HaGefen”, while having in mind to include all other people in the blessing. However, if each person wishes to say his or her own blessing on the Karpas, they may do so.
  6. 6.If the leader of the Seder has difficulty in reciting the blessing or in having the proper intentions, each person should recite the blessing themselves. The same applies to all the blessings throughout the Haggadah.
  7. 7.One is not required to recline while eating Karpas.
  8. 8.According to Kabbalah, the Seder plate must remain complete (all the items on it should remain in place) throughout the entire Hagaddah until the Matzah and Maror have been eaten. Therefore, even after eating the Karpas, a small piece should be left on the Seder plat.


Yachatz: Dividing the Matzah


  1. 1.The leader of the Seder takes the three Matzot that were place on top of the Seder plate, removes the middle Matzah, and divides it into two pieces. The larger piece is put aside for the Afikoman, and the smaller piece is returned to the Seder plate, and placed between the other two whole Matzot.
  2. 2.According to Kabbalah, the middle Matzah must be divided in the shapes of two Hebrew letters: a large Vav and a small Dalet. The Vav is placed in the napkin as the Afikoman. The Dalet is replaced back in between the other two Matzot. The Matzah is not to be broken with a knife, but rather by hand, as a poor man would break his bread, reminding us how we were slaves in Egypt.
  3. 3.Some have the custom of acting out the Exodus from Egypt using the Afikoman.
  4. 4.If one forgets to divide the Matzah at this time in the ceremony, one may divide the Matzah at any other time during the Haggadah.


Magid: Telling the Story of the Exodus


  1. 1.It is a positive commandment from the Torah to relate the story of the Exodus on the first two nights of Pesach.
  2. 2.The essential part of the commandment is to relate the story to one’s children, even to those who are young.
  3. 3.Before beginning Magid, the Seder plate with the Matzot is lifted, and Ke’Ha Lachma Aniya is recited. The Seder plate is then removed from the table, as if everyone has finished eating. This is done so that the children will be puzzled and ask about what is happening (formally written in the Haggadah as “Mas Nishtanah”). The adults then respond to the children, that we are not permitted to eat until we tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. If no children are present, one’s spouse should recite the questions. If one is alone, then one asks the questions oneself.
  4. 4.Both men and women are obligated to recite this section in the Haggadah. It is also a Mitzvah to add enlightening commentaries on the Haggadah, to interest those around the table as to why we are doing what we are doing.
  5. 5.One who does not have any Matzah or Maror is still obligated to relate the story of the Exodus on Pesach night.
  6. 6.One should refrain from interrupting the reading of the Haggadah except when absolutely necessary.
  7. 7.If one desires, one may recline during the entire Haggadah.
  8. 8.When “Ve’Hee She’Amdah” is recited, the Matzot are covered and each member of the family raises their cup of wine. Upon completing the paragraph, the cups are placed back on the table and the Matzot are uncovered until the conclusion of the Haggadah when “Lefi’Kach Anachnu Chayavim” is recited, at which point the cups are raised and the Matzot are covered again.
  9. 9.When enumerating the ten plagues, the leader of the Seder pours a few drops of wine into a bowl symbolizing each plague. The wine is poured directly from the cup and not sprinkled with one’s finger. The wine is poured a total of sixteen times in the following manner:
    1. a.Once for each of the three signs that will precede the final redemption, Dam-Blood, Va’Esh-Fire, Ve’Timrot Ashan - Pillars of Smoke (Yoel 3:3)
    2. b.Once for each of the ten plagues.
    3. c.And once for each of Rebbi Yehudah’s three abbreviations, Datza”ch, Ada”sh, Be’Achav).

Only a small amount of wine is poured each time, until the entire cup is poured out. Afterwards the wine in the bowl is thrown away.

10. When one recites “Matzah Zu She’Anu Ochlim” (This Mazah which we eat), the broken Middle Matzah is lifted up and shown to everyone. Similarly, one lifts the Maror when saying “Maror Zeh She’Anu Ochlim” (This Bitter Herb which we eat). However, the shank bone is NOT lifted when reading its description in the Haggadah, in order to prevent people from confusing it with the actual Korban Pesach (Passover offering) which can no longer be offered.

  1. 11.Magid is concluded with the blessing of “Ga’al Yisrael” and the drinking of the second cup of wine without a blessing.
  2. 12.the Me’en Shalosh blessing “Al HaGefen Ve’Al Pri HaGefen” is not recited after drinking the wine, because the reciting of the Birkat HaMazon/Grace After Meals later in the Haggadah, covers the meal and the drinking of the wine.


Rochtzah: Washing the Hands for Matzah


  1. 1.One must wash one’s hands before eating Matzah, as one would wash one’s hands before eating bread. After washing one’s hands, the blessing of “Al Netilat Yadayim” is recited.
  2. 2.It is important not to speak unnecessarily between the blessing “Al Netilat Yadayim” and the eating of the Matzah.
  3. 3.One should also refrain from speaking unnecessarily while eating the required amounts of Matzah and Maror.


Motzi Matzah: Eating the Matzah


  1. 1.It is a mitzvah from the Torah to eat Matzah on the first two nights of Pesach. Therefore, one should have the proper intention while eating the Matzah that one is fulfilling one’s Biblical obligation.
  2. 2.Both men and women are obligated in the Mitzvah of eating Matzah. One should also educated one’s children in the Mitzvah of eating Matzah.
  3. 3.The leader of the Seder lifts all three Matzot (including the broken one in the middle) and the blessing of “Ha’Motzi Lechem Min Ha’Aretz” is recited. The bottom Matzah is then immediately placed on the table, leaving the top Matzah and the middle broken Matzah in hand. The second blessing, “Al Achilat Matzah” is then recited over the two remaining Matzot.
  4. 4.A piece is then taken from the top Matzah, and another piece is taken from the middle Matzah. Both are dipped in salt and eaten together while reclining to the left side. The leader of the Seder then gives each person the same: two pieces of Matzah, one from the top Matzah and one from the Middle Matzah. To ensure all members of the Seder have the required amount (discussed below), one may supplement, using additional Matzot from storage.
  5. 5.One is required to eat Two Kazaytot (27 grams x 2), 54 grams of Matzah for Motzi Matzah. However, if one is weak, or unable to eat that amount of Matzah, one may rely on more lenient opinions, and eat at least 36 grams of Matzah. This usually equals a little more than half of the hand-made large cracker-like Shemurah Matzah (which are typically about 60 grams each).
  6. 6.One must eat the required amount of Matzah withing seven and a half minutes.
  7. 7.If one did not recline while eating the Matzah, the obligation was not fulfilled, and one is required to eat the Matzah again while reclining. However, those who are physically weak and cannot digest this additional amount are not required to eat the Matzah again while reclining.
  8. 8.One who mistakenly eats Matzah without saying the above-mentioned blessings, has still fulfilled the obligation of eating Matzah. If one has more Matzah, it is permitted to recite “Ha’Motzi Lechem Min Ha’Aretz” and eat another kazayit. However, “Al Achilat Matzah” is not said in this case.
  9. 9.One who is very ill and cannot eat a full kazayit of Matzah, should eat at least 18 grams of Matzah. However, when eating this amount, only the blessing “Ha’Motzi” is recited. “Al Achilat Matzah” and Birkat HaMazon/Grace After Meals may only be said when at least 27 grams of Matzah is consumed.

10. An elderly or sick person, as well as someone with a toothache, who have difficulty eating Matzah, may break it into very small pieces and eat it. The Matzah may also be soaked in cold water.

  1. 11.For the sake of fulfilling the obligation of eating the proper amount of Matzah (and Maror) on Pesach night, it is permitted to use a non-electric scale to weigh out the correct portions.


Maror: Eating the Bitter Herbs

  1. 1.During the times of the Bet HaMikdash/The Holy Temple, the Torah obligated us to eat Maror (bitter herbs) with the Korban Pesach (Passover offering). In our days, although the Holy Temple is no longer standing and the Korban Pesach is temporarily discontinued, we are still obligated by Rabbinical Law to continue eating 27 grams of Maror on Pesach night. Before eating the Maror, it is proper to have in mind that we are doing so in order to fulfill this Rabbinical obligation.
  2. 2.Both men and women are required to eat Maror on Pesach night. Children, who are old enough to understand why we eat Maror, should also be given Maror to eat.
  3. 3.Since Maror is eaten to remind us of how the Egyptians embittered the lives of our people with slavery, the Maror is eaten without reclining.
  4. 4.The following vegetables may be used to fulfill the obligation of eating Maror on Pesach night: Romaine lettuce, endives, horseradish, and eryngo.
  5. 5.The obligation is fulfilled whether the leaves or stalks of the vegetable are eaten. However, as we mentioned previously, when eating the leaves, on should be very careful to check for insects or infestation.
  6. 6.The Bitter Herbs must be wet. Therefore, the bitter herbs should be soaked in water, but not for more than 24 consecutive hours.
  7. 7.The obligation is not fulfilled with bitter herbs which were cooked or pickled.
  8. 8.Romain lettuce is preferred for fulfilling the Mitzvah of Maror on Pesach night even when it does not taste bitter.
  9. 9.One must dip the Maror in the Haroset as a testament to the mud used by the Children of Israel in Egypt to make bricks. However, in order not to dull the sharpness of the Maror, it is customary to dip only a small portion of the Maror in the Haroset. If one eats the Maror without dipping it in Haroset, another serving must be eaten again with Haroset.

10. Before eating the Maror, the blessing “Al Achilat Maror” is recited, and the full quantity of Maror (27 grams) must be eaten within seven and a half minutes.

11. There is no additional blessing made on the Haroset, for it is secondary to the Maror.

12. The blessing “Boreh Pri Ha’Adamah” is not said on the Maror.


Korech: Matzah and Maror Combined into a Sandwich


  1. 1.The leader of the Seder gives all members of the family a piece from the third and final remaining Matzah. Again, if needed, one may supplement using additional Matzah from storage, ensuring that each person has at least 27 grams of Matzah.
  2. 2.The leader of Seder also distributes (27 grams) to each member of the Seder.
  3. 3.The Matzah and Maror are made into a sandwich and dipped into the Haroset, while saying “Zecher Le’Mikdash Ke’Hillel”, and eaten while reclining.
  4. 4.If one ate the Korech sandwich without dipping it first in the Haroset, the obligation is fulfilled, and one does not have to eat another serving.
  5. 5.If one did not recline while eating the Korech sandwich, one must repeat the activity while reclining.
  6. 6.If one is sick or elderly, and finds it difficult to eat the prescribed amount of Matzah and Maror, it is permitted to be lenient and eat any amount of Maror with at least 18 grams of Matzah.


Shulchan Orech: The Festival Meal


  1. 1.The table is set for the meal, which is to be eaten with true holiday celebration and joy. One who wishes to eat while reclining is praised, but it is not required.
  2. 2.There is a custom to eat a cooked egg commemorating the Korban Chagigah (Festival Offering). When eating the egg, it is customary to say “Zecher Le’Korban Chagigah” (In Commemoration of the Festival Offering).
  3. 3.It is forbidden to eat a purely roasted shank bone on Pesach night, for it may be mistaken as the Korban Pesach which was roasted and eaten during the time the Holy Temple stood.
  4. 4.However, there is a custom to eat the shank bone on the day of Pesach, especially amongst Egyptians and Jews from Halab. The custom is to roast the shank bone but also to cook it in water afterwards.
  5. 5.The custom of not eating roasted meat is specifically on Pesach night itself. Eating roasted meat (even the shank bone) is permitted from the morning onwards.
  6. 6.It is proper to speak words of Torah at the table.


Tzafoun: Eating the Afikoman


  1. 1.After the meal is finished, the piece of the middle Matzah that was separated earlier, is brought to the table as the Afikoman.
  2. 2.Both men and women are required to eat one kazayit (27 grams) of Matzah for the Afikoman.
  3. 3.The Afikoman must be eaten while reclining, and finished withing seven and a half minutes.
  4. 4.Before eating the Afikoman, some have the custom of saying, “Zecher Le’Korban Pesach Ha’Ne’echal Al Ha’Sova” (In commemoration of the Passover offering eaten on a full stomach).
  5. 5.The Afikoman is to be eaten alone, and not be dipped in Haroset.
  6. 6.One must be careful not become overly satisfied from the meal. This way the Afikoman can still be eaten with an appetite.
  7. 7.If the Afikoman is not sufficient for all those present, additional Matzah may be used.
  8. 8.The Afikoman should be finished before chatzot (halachic midnight, this year 1:47AM).
  9. 9.One who did not recline while eating the Afikoman, did not fulfill his/her obligation and must eat the required amount again while reclining.

10. If one began reciting Birkat HaMazon/Grace After Meals without eating the Afikoman, one should not stop in the middle in order to eat the Afikoman, rather one should finish reciting Birkat HaMazon. Then, one should wash one’s hands, say HaMotzi, eat the Afikoman, and recite Birkat HaMazon again.

  1. 11.If one completely forgets to eat the Afikoman:
    1. a.If one remembers after Mayim Aharonim (wetting the fingertips before Birkat HaMazon), one eats the Afikoman while reclining without saying “HaMotzi”.
    2. b.If one remembers after starting Birkat HaMazon, one completes the entire Birkat HaMazon, washes one’s hands again, recites the blessing of “HaMotzi”, and eats the Afikoman while reclining. One then needs to repeat Birkat HaMazon, and continue the Haggadah as usual with the blessing “Boreh Pri HaGefen” for the third cup of wine, etc.
    3. c.If one remembers after blessing on and drinking the third cup, one must wash one’s hands, say “Hamotzi”, and eats the Afikoman reclining. Birkat HaMazon is then recited again, but is not followed by what would have been the third cup. Hallel is then said over the fourth cup.
  2. 12.No food may be eaten after the Afikoman, so that the flavor of the Matzah will remain in one’s mouth. If one mistakenly eats fruit after the Afikoman, as long as the Birkat HaMazon was not yet recited, the Afikoman may be eaten again. However, once Birkat HaMazon is recited, it is not necessary to eat another piece.
  3. 13.Although eating is forbidden after the Afikoman, drinking tea or coffee is permitted, even with sugar. Water and soft drinks are also permitted after the Haggadah. However, no wine is permitted after the fourth cup.


Barech: Grace After Meal


  1. 1.After eating the Afikoman, Mayim Aharonim (wetting the fingertips) is done, and Birkat HaMazon is recited while holding the third cup of wine. Both the leader of the Seder and all particpants must recite Birkat HaMazon while holding the third cup of wine.
  2. 2.There is no reclining during Birkat HaMazon.
  3. 3.“Ya’aleh VeYavo” is included in the Birkat HaMazon.
  4. 4.After Birkat HaMazon, one recites the blessing “Boreh Pri HaGefen” for the third cup of wine, while having in mind to include the fourth cup as well.
  5. 5.If one did not recline, one must drink another cup while reclining, without the blessin of HaGefen.
  6. 6.No other wine may be drunk between the third and the fourth cup.


Hallel: Praise


  1. 1.The fourth cup of wine is poured and the remainder of the Hallel is completed with joy and fervor. It is begun with “Shefoch Chamatcha” while holding the fourth cup of wine in hand. If one cannot hold the cup in hand for the entire Hallel, he may place it in front of him on the table. Nevertheless, one should try one’s utmost to hold the cup during the final blessing of “Yehaleloucha”.
  2. 2.The guests should be encouraged to read the Hallel with great happiness, especially after a long night at the table. Hallel should not be read while sleepy, and certainly not with light-headedness.
  3. 3.After completing the Hallel, one recites the twenty-six verses of Hallel HaGadol (Psalm 136), “Nishmat Kol Chai”, and “Yistabach”. Instead of completing Yishtabach with its own regular blessing, however, we conclude with “Yehaleloucha”, the closing blessing of the Hallel.
  4. 4.If one mistakenly said, “Baruch Ata HaShem” at the end of Yistabach, as is done in our regular tefilah, one does not recite “Yehaleloucha”.
  5. 5.After finishing the last blessing, we drink the fourth cup of wine while reclining. We do not recite the blessing of Boreh Pri HaGefen on the fourth cup of wine.
  6. 6.If one did not recline for the fourth cup, as long as there is still wine left in the cup, it is refilled and drunk again while reclining without a blessing.
  7. 7.However, if there is no wine left in the cup, another cup must be poured and one drinks it with reciting a blessing. The blessing is said in this case because one did not originally have in mind to drink again after the fourth cup when one made the initial blessing on the third cup of wine (that included the fourth cup alone).
  8. 8.After drinking the fourth cup of wine, the Beracha Aharona (final blessing), “Al HaGefen Ve’Al Pri HaGefen”, is recited. Pesach is mentioned in this blessing with the words, “Ve’Samcheynu HaShem Elokeynu BeYom Chag HaMatzot HaZeh, BeYom Tov Mikrah Kodesh HaZeh.”
  9. 9.On Shabbat, we add, “Retzeh Ve’Hachalitzeynu BeYom HaShabbat HaZeh.”

10. If either of the above were not mentioned, one does not go back and recite the blessing again.

  1. 11.One should be careful to complet the Hallel before the Halachic Midnight (this year, 1:47 AM). If one was unsuccessful in doing so, the blessing of “Yehaleloucha” is recited without HaShem’s Name.


Nirtzah: Acceptance (Conclusion of the Seder)


  1. 1.It is a great Mitzvah to continue telling the story of the Exodus even after the Haggadah. One should study Torah and Midrash until sleep overcomes them.
  2. 2.Some have the custom to conclude the Haggadah with songs like Echad Mi Yode’a (Who knows One?) and Had Gadya (One kid). Some have the custom to conclude the Haggadah with Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs). These are both praiseworthy customs.


Shabbat March 30-31, 2012: Shabbat Hagadol Shalom




Minha Erev Shabbat:

6:45pm (sunset 8:07PM)

Candle Lighting:




Shabbat Hagadol Derasha by Rabbi Cowen:


Mincha of Shabbat:


Third Meal with Song and Words of Torah:

following Mincha

Arvit and Shabbat Ends:



Thursday April 5, 2012: Bedikat Chametz


Bedikat Chametz: Any time after 8:54pm (sunset: 8:13pm)

  • Blessing "Al Biour Chametz"
  • Recite 1st "Kal Hamira"

Friday April 6, 2012: Ta’anit Bechorot/Fast of the First Born & Erev Pesach




Siyoum/Completion of Tractate of Talmud:

Immediately after morning service

Stop Eating Hames By:


Ceremonial Burning of Chametz at Etz Chaim:


Biour Hames/Burning & Recite 2nd Kal Hamira:

Before 12:30pm


8:00pm (sunset 8:14pm)

Candle Lighting for Shabbat & Yom Tov:


First Night Haggadah - Eat Afiqoman By:



Shabbat April 7, 2012: First Day of Pesach



9:00am - Morid Hatal in Mousaf


Third Meal of Shabbat is eaten at home during Pesach

7:00PM (sunset: 8:15pm)

Arbit of Yom Tov:

8:56PM ***Begin Counting the Omer

Candle Lighting for Yom Tov:

Any time after 8:56pm (only from an existing flame)

Second Night Haggadah - Afiqoman By:



Sunday April 8, 2012: Second Day of Pesach





8:00PM (sunset: 8:16pm)

Yom Tob Ends:



Monday-Thursday April 9-12, 2012:


During Hol Hamoed we do not wear Tefillin.

During Shaharit, we recite Half Hallel on Hol Hamoed, read the Sefer Torah and pray Mousaf.







Thursday April 12, 2012: Hol HaMoed, Erev Shevi’i (7th) Shel Pesach




*Must do Eruv Tavshilin to prepare for Shabbat on Yom Tov* Mincha:

7:00pm (sunset 8:20pm)

Candle Lighting for Yom Tov:



Friday April 13 2012: Shevi’i Shel Pesach: Yom Tob





7:00pm (sunset 8:21pm)

Shabbat & Yom Tov Candle Lighting:

8:03pm (only from an existing flame)


Shabbat April 14 2012: Final Day of Pesach





Special Third Meal and Seudat Mashiach is eaten at home during Pesach

7:00pm (sunset: 8:22pm)



Shabbat and Yom Tov Ends:



Sunday April 15 2012: Isru Chag: Mimouna Celebration


Mincha and Arvit :

7:00 PM

Mimouna Celebration with Deserts and Musical Celebration:

Immediately following prayer!

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