This year with Erev Pesach falling on Shabbat, there are various adjustments to the regular routine and halachic considerations to be aware of.
Taanit Bechorot – The fast of the (male) firstborns is pushed back earlier to Thursday, the 12th of Nissan, so as not to come into Shabbat while fasting. The custom is to partake in a siyum to exempt oneself from fasting. A Siyum on Masechet Pesachim will take place via zoom on Thursday, March 25, at 8 am.
Bedikat Chametz – Checking for Chametz is done as usual immediately after nightfall at 8:22 pm. The Bracha of ‘Al biur Chametz’ is recited, followed by the search, and then ‘Kal Chamirah’ is said 3 times.
Biur Chametz – As in regular years, one should burn the Chametz before 12:15 pm. However, ‘Kal Chamirah’ is not said as Chametz will still be eaten for the Shabbat meals.
Seder prep – As it is forbidden to prepare anything on Shabbat for Yom Tov, all Seder night preparations (including setting the table if possible) should be prepared on Friday to avoid delaying the Seder on Motzai Shabbat. This includes the ‘Zeroah’ (roasted shank bone), the ‘Beitzah’ (boiled egg), ‘Charoset,’ checking the lettuce for bugs & preparing the saltwater.
All food for Shabbat should be kosher for Pesach, prepared in Pesach dishes and served in recyclable/disposable plates.
Friday night – Make sure to have (preferably a 3-day) candle to light candles from an existing flame for the following nights of Yom Tov.
As Chametz is required for both the Friday night and Shabbat morning meal, one should only purchase the minimum bread needed for the two meals. Ideally, one should buy pita or rolls that have minimal crumbs.
All food for Shabbat should be kosher for Pesach, prepared in Pesach dishes, served in recyclable/disposable plates and discarded at the end of the meal. After finishing the meal, the area should be swept for crumbs.
Shabbat morning – Latest time for eating Chametz is 11:11 am.
The latest time to dispose of Chametz is 12:15 pm. If there are any leftover pieces of bread, one should break them into small pieces and flush them down the toilet. One should then carefully brush and floss their teeth (ensuring the teeth don’t bleed on Shabbat). After all the Chametz has been disposed of and the area has been swept clean of crumbs, We annul the Chametz by reciting ‘Kal Chamirah’ 3 times.
Seudah Shlishit – As of the tenth halachic hour of the day, both Chametz or Matza can not be eaten on Erev Pesach. For Seudah Shlishit, one should fulfill the obligation by eating some fruits or vegetables, taking care not to spoil one’s appetite for the mitzvot of the Seder.
Seder night Motzai Shabbat – At 8:25 pm, one says ‘Baruch Hamavdil ben Kodesh Le’Kodesh’ and can begin preparations for the Seder. The ladies light the candles from an existing flame and add the blessing of ‘Shehecheyanu.’ Care should be taken to start the Seder as soon as possible.
Kiddush, which includes Havdalah and a blessing on a candle(s), is recited over the first cup of wine. The order of the blessings (acronym, Yakneha”z) is Hagefen, Asher Bachar Banu, Bore Meorai Ha’esh, Hamavdil ben Kodesh le’Kodesh & ‘Shehecheyanu.’
There will be a practical Shabbat Hagadol Halacha class on Wednesday at 7 pm via zoom.
Wishing you a Chag Kasher V’Sameach,
Rabbi Shlomo Gabay