Pesach Halachic Digest

An Overview Of The Laws of Pesach



Birkas Ilanos (Bracha on Trees)

1) When you see blossoming fruit trees for the first time during the month of Nissan, you bentch: ...שֶׁלֹּא חִסֵּר בְּעוֹלָמוֹ כְּלוּם וּבָרָא בוֹ בְּרִיּוֹת טוֹבוֹת וְאִילָנוֹת טוֹבוֹת לֵהָנוֹת בָּהֶם בְּנֵי אָדָם.  (Who has made nothing lacking in His world, and created in it goodly creatures and goodly trees to give mankind pleasure).

2) The bracha is said just once a year—the first time you see it. Some Poskim, including Eliyah Rabbah, maintain that if one did not say the bracha the first time, it can still be said when seeing 
it the second time. Shulchan Aruch HaRav says that if one missed the opportunity the first time he saw it, he cannot say the bracha again during that year.

3) The bracha ought to be said specifically during the month of Nissan.

4) The bracha may be recited on Shabbos and Yom Tov too.

5) The bracha should be said be both men and women.

6) Preferably, the bracha should be recited when seeing two trees at one time. But even if there is only one tree, you should still say the bracha.

7) The bracha should not be said on trees that grow fruits grafted from two species.

8) In the southern hemisphere, where seasons are the opposite and trees blossom during Elul and Tishrei, the bracha can be said at that time.


Simchas Yom To1v

1) While cleaning and preparing for Pesach, Halacha requires us to ensure that others too have what they need to make Pesach. Even though the traditional Ma’os Chitin fund was originally established for Matzah only it was expanded in latter generations to include all needs for Yom Tov

2) Today this extends to unaffiliated Jews, who are spiritually starved, to ensure they have Shmurah Matzah to fulfill the Mitzvah properly and / or where to make the Seder, selling their chometz etc. The Jew you know is YOUR responsibility. You may be their only link to authentic Judaism. Order the MitzvahShare Matzah kit shipped directly by

“My Extended Family” will be providing Ma’os Chitin - food and clothing, for underprivileged families from YOUR neighborhood. If you’re having Simchas Yom Tov, help bring it to them too. $150 sponsors an outfit for a child / $500 for a full Yom Tov package for a child.

3) It is a mitzvah d’oraisa to make one’s wife and children joyous on Yom Tov. This is accomplished by buying her an outfit or jewelry; and for the kids something exciting too.


Shabbos Hagodol

1) The Shabbos before Pesach is called the great Shabbos because of the miracles that transpired on this Shabbos when the Yidden were in Mitzrayim that a civil war broke out amongst the Egyptians. It is a mitzvah to relate these miracles on this Shabbos.

2) The minhag is for the Rov to give a Shabbos Hagodol drasha of Halachos and agados for Pesach.

3) At Mincha time we recite the Hagada from עבדים היינו until לכפר על כל עונותינו as this is when the Geula began.

4) There is a well-known halachic debate regarding the recital of Vihi no’am and V’atah kadosh on Motzei Shabbos HaGadol when Pesach occurs on the following Shabbos, as it does this year. Whenever Yom Tov falls out during the week and we don't have 6 work days we omit Vihi no’am. The shailah is if one of the workdays of the coming week is Erev Pesach, when half the day we don’t do melacha, classifies as a full Yom Tov. In practice, we DO SAY ויהי נועם.     


The Arizal states, “One who is scrupulous regarding even the minutest quantity of chametz on Pesach is guaranteed not to sin the entire year.” He possibly refers to immunity from inadvertent sins; there is no doubt that every individual retains freedom of choice.

Preparing the Kitchen

1) If possible, it is best to dedicate utensils for Pesach and put away the chometz utensils.

2) If you need to Kasher dishes, or sinks, stoves, ovens, etc. consult a Rov. There are two categories of Kashering: “Libun” (fire) and “Hagalah” (purging in boiling water).

3) Before doing Hagalah, utensils must be spotlessly clean and without any rust. They may not be used for twenty-four hours prior to Kashering.

4) Complete Kashering before the zman Issur of eating chometz on Erev Pesach

5) Counters, cabinets, etc. should be cleaned thoroughly and covered with aluminum foil or the like.

6) Sink faucets should be Kashered and covered or changed.

7) Stainless steel sinks can be Kashered (consult a Rav for directions)

8) Porcelain / enamel sinks must be cleaned well and lined. Some are Machmir to leave the sink unused 24 hours, then pour boiling water over the porcelain / enamel sink 3 times. Then line it.

9) Garbage disposals can be cleaned by putting ice cubes and Ajax cleanser and running the unit with the water on.  They cannot be kashered.

10) Tables must be cleaned: Table leaves should be opened, and the supports and the leaves carefully cleaned. Then, cover the table.

11) High chairs must be cleaned well and the tray completely covered - or dedicate a Pesach tray.

12) Refrigerators must be completely cleaned and the shelves lined.

13) Cookbooks etc. should be put away with the Chometz

14) Appliances e.g. phones, cell phones etc, should be cleaned thoroughly from year round chometz

15) Vacuum cleaners, mops and brooms must be cleaned. The old vacuum bag should be discarded.

16) Cell phones (and cell phone holders) should be cleaned thoroughly. Any grooves must be cleaned with a cloth with cleansing agent so that any actual chometz be rendered useless. Even so, one should be careful not to place the cell phone during Pesach next to any food and not to use the phone whilst eating.

Thursday night Bedikas chometz

1) It is preferable to search and burn the chometz yourself but if necessary (e.g. if you’re working or flying all night of Bedikas chometz) you may appoint an agent to search for your chometz.

2) Even if you appoint a Shliach to do bedika and burn your chometz, it is still proper to annul the chometz (bitul) yourself.

3) The correct time for bedika is immediately at tzeis 8:05pm. Don’t work too late.

4) Since Chazal established a time for bedikas chometz, one who fails to conduct his search at that time is not merely considered lazy [in fulfilling his duties], but is called a transgressor of an enactment of Chazal. (Shulchan Aruch HaRav)

5) If you have a Minyan for Maariv, daven first, then go home and immediately begin the search.

6) From tzeis till after the bedika, you may not eat or drink at all.

7) From half an hour before tzeis you may not eat more than a Kebaitza of mezonos or hamotzi, but you may eat fruits and drink.

8) In extenuating circumstances, appoint a shliach who will do the bedika, freeing you to eat and drink. (Still, it is recommended you leave at least one room to partake in the bedika yourself too).

9) A shliach, appointed to check someone else’s chometz or chometz in shul, even if he has done his own bedika, should, if possible, not eat till after all his bedikos.

10) Any room or area Chometz may have been brought to, must be thoroughly cleaned and searched.

11) Practically, it is nearly impossible to check every necessary place on the night of Bedikas Chometz, especially in the kitchen, which is often already Pesachdik. One solution is to check with a candle or flashlight before lining shelves and cabinets, even if it is before the night of Bedikas Chometz. You can do this in closets, under heavy furniture, etc.

Note - any Bedika done before the night of Bedikas Chometz is without ten pieces and no Bracha.

11) There is no need to check the areas that you will include in the sale to the goy, they but must be closed up or covered with tape.

12) Set aside any chometz you still need before Pesach in a safe place before Bedikas chometz

Any crack in the wall or floor, into which a hand cannot fit, need not be checked even if you know there’s chometz there. Nullifying the chometz (bitul) after the search is sufficient.

Your car must also be searched for chometz (using a flashlight).


Talking During Bedika

1) Once the bracha is recited, do not talk at all until the bedika begins, as this is a hefsek.

2) It is proper not to speak at all anything unrelated to the bedika until you complete the entire bedika and the bitul after.  However, you may say אשר יצר if you go to the bathroom. And you may answer Amen and ברוך הוא וברוך שמו if someone else makes a bracha.

The Ten Pieces of Chometz

1) Before the search, hide ten pieces of hard chometz, wrapped in paper, around the house. Wrapping in aluminum foil is impractical because it won’t burn the next morning at biur chometz.

2) Remember where you put the pieces - If you don’t find all ten you’ll have to search until you do.  It’s advisable for someone to write down the hiding places, so you will have a back-up.

3) The minhag is to use a beeswax candle, a feather (to sweep small crumbs into the bag), a spoon and a paper bag for Bedikas chometz.

3) All ten pieces together should total more than a kezayis since you are supposed to burn at least a kezayis according to some Poskim.

4) However, each of the ten pieces of chometz should individually be less than a kezayis in case you end up not finding one piece. This way, at least it would not be forbidden d’oraisa.

5) Though you are supposed to get rid of all chometz, even less than a kezayis, some say the verbal bitul would suffice bedieved, even if you didn’t physically burn it).

Bedika In The Workplace

1) You need to check any place under your ownership, including your office or business. A Shliach may be appointed if necessary.

2) The minhag is to recite only one bracha even for two locations e.g. your home and business.

3) However, if you or your shliach, who is checking your workplace, is not making a bedika on your own chometz, then you should make a bracha on the bedika at the office.

4) If you find it easier, you may do bedika in some of your locations (eg your office) on one of the nights before the 14th, with a candle (assuming you are not selling that office with the chometz). Take care that no chometz is brought in after the bedika.

After The Bedika

1) After the search, extinguish the candle. Put the spoon, candle and feather into the bag with the chometz. The handle of the spoon should stick out of the bag. Make sure the bag is tightly closed and put away till the burning in the morning.

2) Nullify verbally all chometz you may not have found. This bitul should not be treated as a “prayer”: You should say it in English if you don’t understand the Aramaic original.

Bedikas Chometz When Going Away

1) Even if you’re going away for Pesach before the night of bedikas chometz, you still need to do a bedika, albeit without a bracha. The burning of the chometz may be done right after.

2) You may sell the entire house to the goy. But note, it is not right to avoid bedika entirely:

3) If you will be away the entire Pesach, you may either sell the whole house less one room where you do the bedika. Or, do your bedika if applicable, at the place where you will be on Pesach.   

4) If you arrive at a hotel before the night of the bedika, the chiyuv of bedika is yours (on the night of Erev Pesach).  

5) If you are staying in someone else's home the obligation is theirs. If you still wish to do the bedika, you may pay the host to officially “rent” your room. You could then hide the ten pieces of chometz in your room and do the bedika.

6) However, since it remains a shaila if you really own it, you shouldn’t make a bracha but rather listen and be יוצא with the baal habayis's bracha. Then go check for yourself immediately.

7) If you arrive in your hotel on erev Pesach, you should verify if the hotel management did the bedika the night before. In a frum hotel, even if there’s no way of finding out, you may rely on a chazaka. Otherwise you must do bedika by day with a bracha.

8) Needless to say, if the zman of issur has already begun, you may not hide ten pieces of chometz.

9) If you check into any hotel room in the middle of Pesach and they have not done a bedika, you must do a bedika (even on the days of Yom Tov (with the exception of Shabbos) on Pesach itself).  

10) Other halachos of a hotel:

  • If the hotel is enclosed by walls or fences, carrying on Shabbos is essentially muttar.

  • Electric keys may not be used on Shabbos or Yom Tov. Either leave the door open or have a goy open it for you.

Medicines And Cosmetics

1) Ointments etc that are medically necessary, yet contain chometz ingredients may be used on Pesach since this chometz is not fit to be eaten by a dog (ראוי לאכילת כלב).

2) However, ointments made on Pesach itself from chometz are not permissible.

3) Ointments that are solely alcohol may not be used.

4) Using soaps and cosmetics with chometz ingredients is a subject of controversy of poskim.

5) All medicines may be ingested if one is in danger.

6) For a regular illness, it is definitely proper to avoid anything with chometz ingredients, or to remove the chometz capsule before taking the pill.

7) If you must take such a pill, it is best to wrap it up in a tissue and swallow. But if you have no other choice, you may take the medicine as is.

8) Medicines with kitniyos ingredients are permissible even for Ashkenazim.

9) There are consumer lists available today that enable you to use kosher for Pesach products. Ask your doctor/pharmacist. Cosmetics (mouthwash, toothpaste) are available kosher for Pesach.  

Kitniyos and other Chumros 

1) Kitniyos are any type of seed that when planted, produces seeds like it e.g. rice, beans, peas, corn, legumes Tomatoes and cucumbers are not kitniyos.  

2) Ashkenazim are completely forbidden to eat kitniyos but they need not be sold with the chometz.  

3) Coffee beans are permissible.  

4) If a baby depends on formula with kitniyos, you may feed him. But make sure it does not contain any actual chometz. (E.g. rice milk could potentially contain chometz ingredients). Designate a specific bottle for the formula and do not wash it in the regular Pesach kitchen sink.

5) Different kehilos accepted various other chumros and each should keep to their minhag e.g. not eating garlic or radish.

Selling chometz

1) Do not wait until the last minute to sell your chometz. Chometz may be sold any time before Erev Pesach, but there is no reason to wait until the last minute, especially if you are going out of town

2) If you are traveling to a more eastern time zone for Pesach, be aware that the Rov usually sells the chometz on Erev Pesach morning in which case you will already be into the zman issur. You should sell it rather through a Rov in the time zone where you are going to.

3) There is also an option of actually selling the chometz to the Rov so that he now owns your chometz, rather than appointing him merely as a Shliach.  

4) If traveling to a more western time zone for Pesach, inform the Rov you’re selling it to. You don’t want him (lechtachila) to make the transaction with the goy on Motzei Pesach in his time zone when it is still Pesach in your western time zone. Some Rabbonim resolve this by allowing the transaction with the goy to take effect a little later for those in a later time zone.

5) The majority of Poskim hold that the chometz has to be sold in the time zone you are on Pesach, rather than the location where the chometz is.

6) Areas in the house that were sold to the goy should be clearly marked.

7) On Pesach, it is best not to enter a room sold to the goy, unless absolutely necessary.

8) The sale is real, so you can’t sell crumbs of chometz that may be in your car for example, to avoid checking your car. If you won’t be using your car on Pesach, you may sell the entire car though.


Retainers, fillings and braces:

1) One who has braces, retainers, fillings or false teeth should clean them well 24 hours before the last zman of eating chometz ie by 10:40am on the day before Erev Pesach and refrain from eating hot or sharp Chometz thereafter, and at least ensure that cold chometz not get stuck.

2) At the zman issur Chometz on Erev Pesach, rinse your mouth with hot water (as warm as you usually have hot coffee). For teeth retainers, also pour hot water on them (Not boiling water as this may ruin them).

Burning of chometz

1) Ensure the chometz is burned to the point that it is not edible by a dog.

2) Pouring alcohol on the chometz to burn easier defeats the purpose, since the mitzvah is to render it inedible through fire, whereas pouring alcohol on it already renders it inedible before the fire reaches it.

3) Throw the wooden spoon and the paper bag used for the bedika into the fire, with the chometz.

4) Some also use the opportunity to burn the Lulav from Succos to use it in another mitzvah.

5) If you have no chometz, you should get hold of some, to fulfill the mitzvah of burning it.

6) No chometz should be left in the garbage on your property after zman issur. Either pour on it alcohol, or take it off your property completely (in a garbage bag, not in a container you own).



PART 2 - First Days & Chol hamoed

 Erev Pesach  

1) Chometz may not be eaten after Zman Issur 10:40am (or 10:16am acc to Magen Avrohom).

2) Remove all chometz from the garbage and burn it before 11:47am (or 11:35am Magen Avrohom)

3) We refrain from eating any ingredients that form part of the charoses (or maror).  

4) It is forbidden to eat matzah from dawn all day. (Many refrain from matzah 30 days before Pesach.)

5) A child too young to relate to the basic story of Yetzias Mitzrayim may eat matzah, and can even do so at the start of the Seder, after tzeis, before kiddush.

6) A child who comprehends the story of yetzias mitzrayim should not eat matzah all day.

7) We omit Mizmor desodah in Shachris today and through Pesach too.

8) After Chatzos, 12:55pm:

  • Melacha may not be done, just like on chol hamoed.

  • Haircuts may not be taken. If you missed the zman, go to a non-Jewish barber only. 

  • Only clothing needed for yom tov is allowed to be washed.

  • Pressing suits, shirts etc. is permitted.

  • Nails should only be trimmed and shoes polished if you have no choice.


ונשמרתם מאד לנפשותיכם

1) If you leave a gas flame lit over Yom Tov, fire safety organizations recommend that a window near the fire be open at least 4 inches. Allow ventilation by opening another window on the other side. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be active.

Preparing for the First Seder

1) The Seder should begin at night right away, so all preparations should be done Erev Yom Tov. This year the first Seder is on Shabbos, so everything for the Seder must anyway be prepared on Friday.

2) Each romaine leaf must be carefully checked, to remove tiny worms or insects. Lettuce should not remain in salt water over 18 minutes. To clean it well, discard outer leaves, wash each leaf under running water, soak it briefly in salted water, rinse well and check under the light. Dry thoroughly.

3) Roasting: On both nights of the Seder we may not eat any roast chicken or meat as it resembles the Korban Pesach.

4) Meat that is cooked in its own juices, (ie in a pot without water or other liquid and it stews in the fluids that emerge from the heated meat itself, is not considered roasted meat. Nevertheless, it is prohibited since there is an issue of maris ayin, as an observer may conclude that it is muttar to eat roasted meat at a Seder.

5) Even meat that is first cooked in water and then roasted is assur because of maris ayin.


עירוב חצירות

 1) If you live in a shared building (eg two family home, apartment complex, neighbors on the block who share an eruv) you need to make an עירוב חצירות between the neighbors ie place bread in a shared location of one of the tenants. This should be renewed every year. Pesach is an opportune time as matzah can last a whole year.

2) Last year’s eruv matzah can be burned on erev Pesach.

3) The custom is to burn it or otherwise eliminate it on erev Pesach along with the chometz. The reason it cannot be used for this year’s eruv, is because the matzah has not been guarded throughout the year with the extreme care usually taken for items that are to be eaten on Pesach.

4) If one forgot it could be made by בין השמשות.

First night of Pesach Leil Shabbos 

1) We say “... להדליק נר של שבת ושל יום טוב ” and שהחיינו

2) The candles should be large enough to remain lit until after the Seder.

3) Women who said שהחיינו at candle lighting do not repeat it even if they recite kiddush themselves.

4) If a woman plans to sleep at her hosts as well she would light in the house she will be eating.

5) Some hold that you always light where you eat even if you don’t plan on sleeping there.  

6) Daven mincha early enough to be able to say סדר קרבן פסח (printed in the siddur) before sunset, as if we are offering the Korban Pesach. ונשלמה פרים שפתינו

7) If one didn’t say it after mincha, it could be said by night.

8) Many shuls say הלל at Maariv

Shabbos considerations

1) Candles must be lit BEFORE the zman

2) After  we say Vayechulu and then kaddish. The “Brocho me’ein sheva” is skipped.

3) If you forgot to prepare the:

4) Zeroa: use instead a piece of cooked meat (or other cooked food).

5) Beitza: use instead any cooked food

6) Marror: cut pieces but you may not grate.

7) Charoses: cut fruits into pieces. Add some wine but in a Shinui (ie first add wine, then fruits)

8) Salt water: prepare the minimum needed and with a Shinui (ie put the salt in before the water).

Setting up the קערה

1) We set up the קערה before the Seder. Those who wear a kittel, put it on before setting up the קערה.

2) We arrange three matzos and place a cloth between each.

3)On top of the matzos we put the simonei HaSeder: two cooked foods, the egg symbolizing the korban Chagiga and the neck bone symbolizing korban Pesach; מרור, כרפס, חרוסת, חזרת

4) The order of their arrangement varies by custom. The Ari Zal would make two segols.

5) The egg on top right, the neck bone top left, maror in the center under them

6) The כרפס on bottom right and the חרוסת bottom left with the חזרת bottom middle.

7) Make sure you check the matzos so that there is no halachic issue:

8) If a matzah is chipped, it cannot be used for לחם משנה

9) If the matzah is burnt it should not be used lechatchila, since it’s considered broken.

10) If one only has broken matzos, as long as they complete each other like a puzzle, it could be used.

11) Some say that if a matzah is broken, burn the edges in an oven and it becomes a Shlaimah - but not on Shabbos


1) On a regular Shabbos or yom tov one can make an early Shabbos and recite Kiddush before sunset. However, since the Korban Pesach had to be eaten at night, and matzah and maror too, as well as the four cups, therefore kiddush and the Seder must begin only after tzeis hakochavim.

2) In extenuating circumstances eg in hospital, nursing home etc,, where they cannot stay up too late, bedieved the Seder could start before sunset and do the entire Seder till the אפיקומן which cannot be eaten before tzeis as it is in remembrance of the korban Pesach.

3) Push yourself to drink 4 cups of wine. In extenuating circumstances, substitute with grape juice.

4) Women have the same obligation of four cups, matzah and maror, just like men. 

5) Use a cup that can contain a minimum of a revi’is (4 oz; or 2.9 oz according to Reb Chaim No’oh).

6) For Kiddush year round, drinking a majority of a revi’is is sufficient. For the 4 cups, it is proper to drink the entire cup but bedieved you may suffice with the majority of a revi’is.

7) Rather use a smaller cup (that holds only a revi’is) and finish it completely than a larger cup that you won’t finish each time. 

8) Some have the custom to have someone else pour the cup for Kiddush for them.

9) If one forgot to say שהחיינו the first night, it could be said whenever s/he remembers and the 2nd night’s bracha could be yotze the first night.

Leil HaSeder 

1) Reclining (הסיבה) to the left is a requirement for men. It is part of the mitzvah when eating the (a) drinking 4 cups, (b) eating matzah, (c) korech and (d) afikoman  .Women do not do הסיבה. 

2) After washing hands at ורחץ, one may not speak until eating the כרפס although there is no bracha. 

3) Maror includes both radish and lettuce (even if sweet, since part of the bitterness was the Mitzrim's initial kindness which only later evolved into bitterness.) 

4) When the door is opened for שפוך חמתך, it is an opportune time to daven for one's spiritual needs 

How big is a kezayis of Matzah?

1) The size of handmade Shmurah Matzah varies. The amounts below are basedon the maximum size of a normal shmurah matzah:

2) The size of a kezayis d’oraisa is one third of a matzah:

  • 1 oz. Note, this is measured in liquid. Converted into solid that is 0.6 oz =  maximum a third of an average matzah to be sure.

4) Kezayis derabanan is a quarter of a matzah:

5) A kezayis derabanan is a third of a kebaitza (34 grams) = about 11 grams. Since matzahs are not all the same, we should regard this as max one quarter of a matzah.

How much Matzah do we need to eat?

1) One must eat a minimum of one kezayis of Matzah min hatorah.

2) There are 3 times we eat matzah in the Seder, as follows:

A. For Motzi Matzah:

  • If you do not have a ke’ara in front of you you need only eat one kezayis d’oraisa i.e. one third of a matzah.

  • If you have a Ke’ara in front of you, you need to eat two kezaysim, one from the top whole matzah and one from the middle broken matzah. Practically, these 2 kezaysim can be Rabbinic kezaysim i.e. two quarters = one half a matzah

B. For Korech, eat one kezayis derabanan = one quarter of a matzah

C. For Afikoman:

  • Eat preferably two kezaysim derabanan ie half of one matzah

  • If you can’t, eat one kezayis derabanan ie a quarter of one matzah

Within how much time must the kezayis be eaten?

  • Within the time of כדי אכילת פרס ie

  • 3 minutes according to Reb Moshe Feinstein

  • 4 minutes according to Reb Chaim No'oh

  • Up to 6 minutes according to the Tzemach Tzedek.

In unique circumstances for someone who finds it difficult to eat so much in such a short period of time, consult a Rov as there are even more lenient opinions on the size and the length of time.NOTE: The above shiurim apply equally to the second seder as they do to the first. Even though the second night is Rabbinic, the Rabbis enacted the same dinim for the second night as for the first.

Tefillas Tal From First Day Mussaf  

1) If you forgot to say Morid hatal but remembered before saying Hashem's name at the end of the bracha, go back to אתה גיבור. This applies even if you caught yourself immediately. If you already said Hashem’s Name, return to the beginning of Shmone Esrei.

2) If you remembered after Mussaf on the first day of Yom Tov that you forgot morid hatal, there is a dispute what to do. The best option is to listen to the chazzan and be יוצא. Otherwise, the Mishnah Berura says you should repeat Mussaf.

3) Any time you’re in doubt within 30 days if you said Morid haTal, consider it as if you forgot. 

Second night Motzei Shabbos

1) We say havdala in Amida and Kiddush

2) If you forgot Vatodi’einu in the Amida, you do not repeat anything. However, you must first recite hamavdil bein kodesh lekodesh before performing any activity that is forbidden on Shabbos (and permitted on Yom Tov for the sake of food preparation). If you inadvertently ate before reciting Vatodi’einu or hamavdil, repeat the entire Amidah with Vatodi’einu.

Sefiras HaOmer

1) Sefiras Ha’omer begins after Hallel on the second night of Pesach.

2) We stand while saying the Bracha and counting Sefira.

3) If you forgot to count at the end of Maariv but remember during the night, you may still count with a Bracha.

4) If you remember during the following day, count without a Bracha. Continue the following night to count with a Bracha

5) If you forgot entirely at night and by day, until the next night, continue Sefirah without a Bracha.

6) If you are uncertain whether or not you counted the night before, count with a Bracha.

7) If someone asks you after sunset, what the Sefirah count is, tell him what yesterday’s count was. If you tell him how much tonight is, you may not count with a Bracha that night.

8) We count Sefirah when it's fully night, not during twilight.

Second Seder

1) No preparations for the Seder or the second day of Yom Tov may be done before 8pm.

2) Before starting any preparations for the Seder after tzeis, first say “Boruch Hamavdil bein Koidesh Lekoidesh”. You may then start preparations even before Maariv

3) Candle-lighting for the second night of Pesach is after 8pm, from a pre-existing flame. We say “...להדליק נר של יום טוב” and שהחיינו.

4) A guest at someone else’s seder, should light in her house either before she leaves or when she comes back home if possible. (But do not forget to light at the end of the Seder!).

5) The second night: Cooking / roasting is permitted on Yom Tov only if you plan to eat the food on Yom Tov. Since the Zeroah may not be eaten at the Seder, it must be roasted Erev Yom Tov. If you forgot to roast before Yom Tov, roast it before the seder. Be sure to eat it on Yom Tov by day.

Second Day Yom Tov

1) At the meal of the Second day we eat something special to commemorate Ester’s feast on this day, the same day Haman was hanged

If you find chometz on Pesach 

1) If you discovered chometz on Pesach it must be burned.

2) If for whatever reason you did not sell your chometz, you do so with a Bracha “על ביעור חמץ” as long as it is at least a Kezayis (according to Shulchan Aruch haRav)”.

3) If you did sell all your chometz, and are burning on Pesach a piece of chometz you discovered, even if it a kezayis, you would not make a bracha since this chometz may have been incorporated into your sale.

4) If you found chometz on Shabbos and Yom Tov, it is muktzeh and may not be burned or even moved but should be covered till after Shabbos or Yom Tov.

Some Poskim permit asking a Goy to flush it down the toilet. 

If one sold, as most do, “all chometz he owns, wherever it is” some hold that the chometz you found is actually already owned by the Goy. As such, you should hide it with the rest of the chometz. However, the accepted Minhag is to burn in all cases. 

Chol hamo'ed 

 1) The days of Chol Hamo’ed are known as מועד in the Torah as they are included in the mitzvah of yom tov to rejoice. Chol hamoed is also like yom tov with regard to doing מלאכה.

Simcha on Chol Hamo’ed 

The main simcha of yom tov in the times of the beis hamikdash was eating the meat of the korban shlamim. Nowadays as well, there is a mitzvah to eat a כזית of meat each day. Meat is best, but bedieved, chicken is also considered meat..

  • Although there is no obligation to eat hamotzi, many say it is proper to eat matzah every day of Pesach.

  • We drink a רביעית of wine every day.  

    • Some hold that women too should drink wine - or grape juice.

  • One should preferably wear yom tov clothing on chol hamo’ed.

  • The table should have a yom tov table cloth on.


General Principles of מלאכה


  • The default setting in halacha is that Chol hamoed has the same prohibitions as Yom Tov, for both men and women. Eg

    • laundering (except baby clothes), haircuts and nail cutting are forbidden.

    • writing, printing, taking professional pictures

    • buying things for after yom tov

    • fixing things around the house e.g. a broken chair etc

    • going to work

  • Exceptions permit certain forms of work eg -

    • Work necessary for the sake of Chol hamoed or Yom Tov - צורך המועד eg a trip for family enjoyment of chol hamoed

    • Financial loss (but not loss of profits) - דבר האבד eg going to work if you will lose your job or your existing clients

    • In case of tremendous need - צורך גדול - eg for a mitzvah, medical emergency, need for food, for the sake of a deceased person

  • The above forms of work are only permitted if you didn’t knowingly plan to push them off davka to chol hamo’ed.

  • Actions that are Rabbinically forbidden on yom tov eg. driving a car, are permitted on chol hamo’ed.

  • Asking a non Jew to do melacha which is forbidden to do on chol hamo’ed is forbidden, unless its for a mitzvah eg a goy may not build your house for you or fix your car if you may not do it yourself. 

  • ותן ברכה

  • On Chol hamo’ed we start to say ותן ברכה in Shmoneh Esrei.

  • If you said ותן טל ומטר and realize your error before or after finishing the Bracha, begin again from ברך עלינו, [if you’re still saying Shemoneh Esrei].

  • If you realize you said ותן טל ומטר after finishing Shemoneh Esrei, (and you already said the second ,יהיו לרצון repeat the Shemoneh Esrei.

 יעלה ויבוא


  • We say יעלה ויבוא in Shemoneh Esrei throughout Chol Hamoed.

  • If you forget יעלה ויבוא in Shemoneh Esrei on Chol Hamoed (or aren’t sure you said it) and haven’t said HaShem’s name at the end of the Bracha, say יעלה ויבוא and continue ותחזינה.

  • If you remember after HaShem’s name, but before מודים say יעלה ויבוא and continue with מודים

  • If you said מודים go back to רצה and continue through the rest of Shemoneh Esrei.

  • If you finished Shemoneh Esrei and didn’t say יעלה ויבוא, (and you already said the second יהיו לרצון), repeat Shemoneh Esrei.

  • If you forgot יעלה ויבוא at Shacharis and already davened Musaf, don’t repeat Shemoneh Esrei for Shacharis.

These halachos apply to Shacharis, Mincha and Maariv of Chol Hamoed.

יעלה ויבוא in Bentching


  • If you forget יעלה ויבוא in Bentching on Pesach and remember after בונה ברחמיו ירושלים אמן, say the Bracha in the Siddur for this situation.

  • If you remember after the word ‘Baruch’ of the fourth Bracha, on Yom Tov start Birkas HaMazon over; on Chol Hamoed don't repeat the Bentching.


חג פסח כשר ושמח!

May we celebrate this Pesach the ultimate Geulah in Yerushalyim!