Full Coronavirus Pesach Guide for 2020

Full Coronavirus Pesach Guide for 2020

A project of www.Shulchanaruchharav.com     

*This guide will focus only on Pesach laws that may be affected by the coronavirus and quarantine requirements. For the full digest on the laws of Pesach, and for further details on the laws explained in this guide, including detailed sources, see our corresponding Sefer, or our Pesach section on our website.


Be happy and encourage faith!We should all use this difficult period wisely, to strengthen our family members to increase in Bitachon and Emunah in Hashem and that He will keep us safe just as He did by the time of the exodus where he protected us from the Mageifa on the night of the 15th, and that all that is occurring now is the footsteps of Moshiach!

1. The Halachic obligation to self-quarantine during a plague [and miss Minyan, Mikveh, etc]:

During our current time of crisis due to the Coronavirus outbreak, many are being asked by the medical community to quarantine/isolate themselves from society and not leave their homes, so they do not become infected nor infect others. In many localities [i.e. Israel, New York, California], this is being applied to the entire general populace, whether or not one has the illness, or has been exposed to it. While people who have r”l caught the disease understand the necessity for them to go into isolation, people who have not caught it, and have no known exposure to it, question whether they are Halachically obligated to follow these medical requests by their government, especially if it comes in expense of fulfilling their religious duties, such as Davening with a Minyan, going to Mikveh, and matters of the like. The basis for this form of questioning often lies in complete lack of knowledge of how the Torah instructs one to act at a time of an epidemic. The same way there is no place for religious patriotism for one to fast on Yom Kippur when the doctors warn that fasting for such a person could be lethal, so too, there is no room for religious exemptions to allow defying the instructions of the medical community which are there to help prevent illness and death from oneself, family and neighborhood. All in all, people living in localities in which the Coronavirus has struck are to heed to all instructions and suggestions of the medical community and try as much as possible to remain home, and in isolation from the illness, even in expense of missing religious activities. The following is the Halachic background on this subject and an offering of Jewish perspective.

Quarantine in Halacha:[1]

It is stated in the Talmud, and Poskim[2] and Zohar[3] that during a time of an epidemic, every individual is to go into isolation or quarantine. In the words of the Talmud:[4] “Our Sages taught: When there is a plague in the city, gather your legs [i.e. flee] as the verse[5] states “And you shall not leave the opening of your homes until morning….Rava during times of wrath [Rashi=plague]would close his windows.” In the words of the Alter Rebbe in Hilchos Shemiras Haguf Vehanefesh Halacha 13 “When there is a plague in the city, one should not walk in the middle of the road being that the angel of death walks down the middle of the road, as he now has permission to pass.[6] One is to escape from a city when the plague first begins, although if one did not escape when it began then he should not run away towards its end.[7] Rather he is to hide himself in hidden places and is not to show his face in the marketplace due to the Mazikin, as it says in the verse[8] [regarding the plague that struck Egypt on the night of the 15th of Nissan] “And you shall not leave the opening of your homes until morning.[9] In explanation for why only in the beginning of the plague one is instructed to leave the city, the Taz [Y.D. 116:5] writes that this is because the disease has already spread and it will no longer help to avoid it by running away, and furthermore, going out into the public can make one susceptible to the disease being that the angel of death now roams the streets without limitation.[10] Indeed, Rav Yosef Caro, the famous author of the Shulchan Aruch fled the city of Tzefas during an outbreak in 1572 and lived in the nearby town of Biriyah during the interim. The famous Kabbalist, Rav Avraham Azulaiy writes:[11] It is implied from the Zohar that the most effective way to escape an epidemic is to seclude oneself in his room and therefore without doubt it is proper for people to seclude themselves during a time of a plague and study Torah, and Hashem will protect him.”

Placing ones family and children in isolation:[12] The Shelah Hakadosh[13] writes that when there is a plague in the city, every individual should help their children escape the city and if they abstain from doing so then they are liable for their souls.

Doctors, paramedics, and people working on the frontlines to help those stricken by the epidemic: Rav Avraham Azulaiy[14] emphasizes that by a long epidemic which lasts 3-4 months, those people who work on the front lines to help the sick and bury the dead are to continue with their holy work and not be worried of the plague and the fact that they are not following the protocol of isolation, as “Shomer Pesaim Hashem.”

Questions in Hashkafah

Why must I quarantine myself and act as if I can run away from G-d’s wrath? If I am meant to get ill r”l it will happen anyways and if not then I will live regardless. Everything has already been decided on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, so what is the worth of all this running away from reality and sabotaging religious life and activity?

Indeed, this very question has been addressed by the Gedolei Haposkim and Mefarshei Hatorah. Rabbeinu Bechayeh in Parshas Korach[15] explains that making oneself exposed to the illness naturally causes one to become infected by it, and hence even if he was not deserving to initially receive the illness, it does not afford him a protection to not receive it in face of open exposure. A precedent for this can be found in the Torah regarding Lot’s wife, that although she was destined to be saved, because she turned around and exposed herself to the punishment of Sodom she also lost her life. An alternative reason for the requirement to isolate oneself is because Chazal[16] state that in a time that the attribute of judgement is expressed in the world, it does not differentiate between a Tzaddik and Rasha, and hence placing oneself in the face of exposure to the plague can cost him his life even though he was not destined to die.

The Rashbash in Teshuvah 195[17] was likewise addressed this very question and explained in length that all those written on Rosh Hashanah in the book of life will outlive the epidemic even if they do not escape the city, while all those written in the book of death will die from the epidemic even if they escape the city. However, it is possible that certain people were left in limbo on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and were not written neither for life or death, and it is for this group of people that running away from the city, and going into isolation can help save their lives. He writes a parable for this matter: A certain state was found to be rebellious against the King and the King decided to send an army to destroy the rebels. He instructed the army to kill all the rebels in the city and search to kill any rebels who ran away into hiding. He likewise instructed that all of his loyal servants are to be protected even if they remain in the city. However, those who are not rebels but are likewise not servants of the King, were not afforded the King’s protection and therefore if they remained in the city they exposed themselves to death. 

How is it possible to close Shul’s, Mikvaos, and Minyanim of Tefila. Shouldn’t we have Mesirus Nefesh and trust in G-d, even during times of epidemics?

While it is certainly true that during times of religious persecution, Yidden were Moser Nefesh to learn Torah, congregate in Shul’s for Davening and operate Mikvaos and Talmudei Torah, nonetheless, this is not the case regarding a plague. The same Torah that instructs us by religious persecution to give up our lives for the sake of Hashem and not transgress any of the Mitzvos, also instructs us to transgress the Torah when it involves a medical emergency. So is the ruling of the Poskim in the laws of Yom Kippur that if one is sick, and fasting will place his life in danger, then he must eat. “If he does not do so, he is held responsible for the spilling of his own blood, which G-d will avenge against him.[18] Accordingly, any and all expressions of Mesirus Nefesh for public religious activity at this time, which contradicts the medical instructions, is a perversion of the true intent of Mesirus Nefesh which is uniquely applied to religious persecution, and on which the Torah instructs to the contrary that he must give up the Mitzvah for the sake of guarding his life.

Was there ever a precedent in Jewish history in which the Shul’s and Mikvaos were closed due to an epidemic?

It is understood from the ruling of the Talmud and Poskim brought above that if people were instructed to isolate themselves at home, or escape the city, that the city was left without any functioning Shul’s and Mikvaos. Furthermore, in the times of the cholera epidemic Rebbe Akiva Eiger instructed certain occupancy restrictions to be followed in the shuls on Rosh Hashanah which left many people unable to attend shul even during the high holidays.[19]

 

Why would Hashem cause Yidden to not be able to come to Shul and immerse in Mikveh and properly serve Him?

Obviously, we do not know the calculations of Heaven, and what G-d’s intents are. However, certainly every matter is for the best, and hence certainly we must find some positive derivative from this episode, and the possible message that G-d is sending us. When Davening alone, one is able to place more energy into his prayer, spend greater time in Avoda, and Daven aloud without fear of public reaction or disturbance. Perhaps Hashem wants us to focus on a more Penimiyus form of Davening and has hence sent us this message. Certainly, if each individual improves his form of Davening during this time, it will help capitalize on the Gam Zu Letovah that Hashem certainly has in mind.  

  1. Maos Chitim during an epidemic:[20]

It is a widespread custom amongst all Jewish communities, for each community to collect charity from its residents and set up a Pesach fund. This fund is cordially known as Maos Chitim, as in previous times it was established for the sake of helping the poor to purchase wheat for the Matzos. Practically, today, the custom is to distribute from this fund to the poor people of one’s community for all their Yom Tov needs.

Maos Chitim during a Mageifa: The distributing of charity during an epidemic is very important, as King Solomon states[21] that charity saves one from death, and as recorded in the Talmud[22] that four things tear the decree from a person, and the first is Tzedaka. Accordingly, one is to especially increase in charity during these days. This especially applies in light of the financial crisis the world currently finds itself in and the fact that many people have lost their Parnasa.

3. Eating Matzah before Pesach:

*See our corresponding Sefer “The Laws & Customs of Pesach” Chapter 1 Halacha 3

The Chabad custom is to abstain from eating Matzah from thirty days before Pesach, beginning on Purim. One is to avoid eating Matzah even if it is a Kefula, Nefucha, non-Shmura, or machine-made Matzah. It is disputed amongst Poskim if one may eat Chametz Matzah. Egg Matzah which has a strong taste of egg or fruit juice may be eaten. One may eat cooked Matzah, such as Matzah balls and the like. One may likewise eat fried Matzah if one uses enough oil to alter the taste of the Matzah. [Thus, if one is unable to leave his home to purchase bread, or there is no bread available in one’s locality, then one may eat Matzah in the above methods, and there is room to argue that such a person can abandon his custom for the current year, and eat Matzah regularly within 30 days before Pesach, excluding on Erev Pesach, in which the above permitted ways must be followed.] A child who is not old enough to understand the story of the exodus that is told to him [on the Seder night], may be fed Matzah throughout the thirty days, including on Erev Pesach, as well as on Pesach even prior to Kiddush, if needed.

4. Simchas Yom Tov-Buying wife and daughters clothing & Jewelry under Quarantine:

It is a Biblical positive command and obligation for one to rejoice and be of happy spirit throughout all seven days of Pesach, including Chol HaMoed. This obligation applies to oneself, his wife, his children and his entire household [even non-relatives]. The head of the household is responsible for rejoicing his household during this time. One is to buy his wife [and adult female children and other adult female household members] jewelry or clothing in accordance to his affordability.] If one cannot afford to purchase clothing or jewelry, then he is to purchase them new shoes in order to fulfill this Mitzvah. One is to buy treats for children.

Leaving quarantine for the sake of purchasing the above: One should not leave his home and his state of quarantine for the sake of fulfilling this Mitzvah, and is rather to order clothing and jewelry online and have it delivered to his home.]

5. Birchas Ilanos under Quarantine:

Those who are living in areas of the globe which have been struck by the coronavirus and are under quarantine are not to leave their homes to search for a fruit tree for the sake of saying this blessing unless conditions improve to allow for excursions.[23] If one needs to leave the house for other purposes, such as to buy food, one should try on the way to find a fruit tree to say the blessing over.

  • Video:[24] One cannot say the blessing of Birchas Ilanos through seeing a fruit tree by live hook up.
  • Window:[25] If one can see the fruit tree from his window, he may say a blessing over it.

*5. Kiddush Levana:

Inside the house: One who may not leave his home due to the virus, and does not have a roofless porch to exit, may say Kiddush Levana even in his house, if he can see the moon through a window or open door.[26]

Reciting Shalom Aleichem:[27] If there are not three people available, one is to say Shalom Aleichem to himself.

Q&A

When saying Kiddush Levana indoors must one open the window?

In all cases, one must be able to see the moon when he says the blessing. Thus, a window which is not made of clear glass, or is fogged up due to rain, must be opened to allow one to see the moon. If the window is clear and the moon is visible through it, it is disputed amongst Poskim if the window must nevertheless be opened. Some Poskim[28] rule there is no need to open the window if one can see the moon through it. Others[29] rule one must open the window. Practically, one should try to open the window when saying Kiddush Levana indoors in a time of need.[30]

6. Tevilas Keilim under Quarantine:

  1. Background:

Due to the coronavirus breakout many individuals in many different countries are unable to immerse their new vessels either due to quarantine laws or due to the closing of the Mikvaos. This poses a dilemma especially prior to Passover when it is commonly accustomed to purchase new vessels in honor of the festival. In Halacha, there exists a precise solution for this situation, to temporarily circumvent the need to Tovel the vessel in a Mikveh. This is done through giving the vessels to a gentile as a gift and then borrowing them back. The following is the full article on the subject.

  1. The Law-Circumventing the need to Tovel-Giving the vessel to a gentile and then borrowing it back:

Vessels that are borrowed or rented from a gentile do not require immersion.[31] Accordingly, in a case that one is unable to immerse a vessel in a Mikveh, such as on Shabbos or in an area without a Mikveh, he can give the vessel to a gentile and then borrow it back and use it without immersion.[32] However, this only helps to allow one to use the vessels without immersion on temporary basis. It is however forbidden to use the vessels permanently without immersion, even though they are considered borrowed from the gentile. He is to thus immerse the vessel without a blessing [or immerse together with a vessel that requires a blessing[33]] in a Mikveh at his first opportunity.[34] [See Q&A for how long one has]

How to give the gentile the vessels as a gift-Which Kinyan must be done?[35] When a gentile is given a present from a Jew, according to all it suffices for him to carry the object in order for a valid acquisition to take place. [Accordingly, every person who has a gentile adjacent to him and the vessel, can perform the above acquisition with the gentile by simply giving him the vessel and placing it into his hands and then borrowing it back.] If, however, one sells him the item, then additional Kinyanim are needed and it is only to be done through a Rav who is expert in this field. [Thus, if one does not have a gentile adjacent to him and must thus do the acquisition over the phone, and the like, then a Rav is to be contacted. See our Sefer “The Laws & Customs of Pesach” Chapter 5 Halacha 6 for the full details of this subject!]

  1. Where to find a gentile to perform the acquisition:

Not everyone has a gentile available to perform the above-mentioned acquisition. One should try calling his local rabbi or Kashrus organizations to see if he has set up with a gentile the above procedure of acquisition. Otherwise one could do so online for a small fee, using the Israeli Tzomet organization’s sale. The following is the link for their website https://tickchak.co.il/10922/form/tickets. Another possibility is to do so through the Montreal Beis Din using the following link https://mk.ca/mechiras-keilim-form/. Or through Machon Halach Chabad: bit.ly/shtarm  Other websites: https://mk.ca/mechiras-keilim-form; https://www.chabadhouston.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/4690840/jewish/Mechiras-Keilim-Authorization.htm

Q&A

For how long may one retain the “borrowed” vessel of the gentile without it requiring immersion?

As stated above, the vessel is to be immersed at its first opportunity. This applies even if the vessel is still within 30 days of the borrowing.[36] From some Poskim[37] it can be understood that the maximum limit for this is 30 days, and hence after 30 days, even if the opportunity has still not risen, it becomes forbidden to use the vessel. Practically, however, one may continue to use it even after 30 days so long as a Mikveh has not yet become available.[38]

Does it help to be Mafkir the vessels and then take it back from Hefker without intent to acquire?[39]

No.[40] Nonetheless, some Poskim[41] suggest that in a time of need one can be Mafkir the vessel by throwing it into a public area and declaring it Hefker and then take it back with intent to not acquire it. [Practically, one should not rely on this opinion.]

 

 

7. Mechiras Chametz under quarantine & General Q&A on the Mechira

A. May one sell actual Chametz and leave it at home during Pesach?

Yes, and so is the Chabad custom. However, there are those who are particular against doing so, as explained in Halacha 1 and the introduction [of our corresponding Sefer on Pesach]. [Practically, however, this year one may be lenient to sell actual Chametz even if he is generally stringent throughout the year. One may likewise stock up on Chametz before Pesach, and include it in the sale, in order to have it available after Pesach without needing to leave the home and go shopping.]

B. May one appoint a Rav over the phone, or through fax, email or website registration form?[42]

Yes.[43] However, initially, it is best for one to personally sign on the Shtar Harsha and then send it in.[44] [Practically, this year due to the corona required quarantine, one is to suffice with selling his Chametz in any of the above methods of communication.] 

C. Does one have to do a Kinyan when appointing the Rabbi?

One is not required to perform a Kinyan with the appointed Rav who will sell one’s Chametz[45], although the custom is to do so.[46] [Practically, this year due to the corona required quarantine, one is to suffice with selling his Chametz over the phone, or through fax, email or website registration form, and need not worry about the performance of a Kinyan. Nonetheless, if he wishes, he may do a Kinyan by handing an object of his to another adult and have him lift it with intent to acquire it to the Rav, and then take it back to lift a Tefach for the Kinyan.]

D. Does one have to give money to the Rabbi who is doing the sale?[47]

Although there is no obligation to do so, the custom is to give a donation to the Rabbi doing the sale.[48] [Practically, this year due to the corona required quarantine, one should send money through an electronic method, such as using paypal, or bank transfer.] 

E. Selling Chametz through a Rav within your time zone:

One is to sell his Chametz through a Rav that is in the same time zone that he is in and not in an earlier or later time zone. If this is not possible, one may sell it through a Rav found in an earlier time zone, that takes Pesach in earlier than him. However, one may not sell it through a Rav that is found in a later time zone, that takes in Pesach later than him. Selling the Chametz in a later time zone can invalidate the entire sale, and require one to destroy all his Chametz, as by the time the Chametz prohibition arrived in one’s location, the Chametz has not yet been sold. On the other hand, selling in an earlier time zone can cause the Chametz to be sold prior to the end time of eating, which will disable one from eating any of his Chametz from that time and onwards, being it already belongs to the gentile.[49] Thus, when selling Chametz online, through the phone, email etc, one is to verify the location of where the sale will be taking place, and is to make sure to explicitly mention his city and country. [Practically, many Rabbanim and websites have arranged for people of later time zones to be able to sell Chametz through them through conditioning with the gentile that the sale not take place in these areas until the end of the 5th hour arrives in their time zone, or through stipulating in the contract that the gentile gives them permission to eat the Chametz even past the time of the sale. Furthermore, some websites have also arranged for people of earlier time zones to also sell Chametz through them, as they arrange for an additional sale to take place through a Rav in that time zone, or simply do an additional sale on the 13th of Nissan, prior to any time zone’s entrance of the Chametz prohibition.] Next, we will discuss what to do if one is traveling for Pesach and leaving his Chametz in a different time zone.

Websites who offer Chametz sales and their time zone status:

1.       Chabad.org.il: http://www.chabad.org.il/Articles/Article.asp?ArticleID=2049&CategoryID=450

*Time zone status: Israel.

2.       Beis Din Rabbanei Chabad in Eretz Hakodesh: https://www.d-card.me/rabanim/

*Time zone status: Israel.

3.       Tzefat-Rav Bistritzky: https://vaa770.org/home/chametz/

*Time zone status: Israel. Only valid for time zones of Israel or later [to west of Israel] and not to earlier time zones, to the east of Israel.

4.       Rav Yurkavitch-Machon Halacha Chabad: https://chabadigital.org/cl/

*Time zone status: Israel. Valid for all time zones, earlier and later. Earlier time zones must explicitly mention their location of city, country, and the Rav arranges for the sale to take place on the 13th of Nissan, on their behalf.

5.       Crown Heights Beis Din: https://col.org.il/news/123928

F. If a person has traveled to a different time zone for Pesach, where should he sell his Chametz?[50] 

  • Example 1: If an Israeli traveled to America for Pesach does he sell his Chametz in Israel or in America?
  • Example 2: If an American traveled to Israel for Pesach does he sell his Chametz in Israel or in America?

The dispute in Poskim: Some Poskim[51] rule that one goes after the area where the Chametz is located, whether to be stringent or to be lenient. Thus, if one travels from Israel to America he must sell it before the 6th hour of Erev Pesach in Israel. Other Poskim[52], however, rule that one goes after the time zone of his current location for all matters. Thus, if an Israeli resident traveled from Israel to America for Pesach, he one can sell it before the 6th hour enters in his city in America, and does not have to precede it to the time in Israel. Practically, we rule like this latter opinion, although its proper to be stringent like the former opinion to sell the Chametz prior to the 6th hour in the area that the Chametz is in, if it is in an earlier time zone.[53]

Practical application: One who owns Chametz in a different time zone, is to always do the sale in whichever area is the earlier time zone [east versus west], whether he traveled to an earlier time zone or later time zone. Thus, in both examples above, if one has Chametz in his home area he is to sell his Chametz through a Rav in Israel. [If one is in the later time zone, he should discuss with the Rav in Israel as what he should do about eating Chametz once the 6th hour has arrived in the earlier time zone.[54]]

A further example-Flying from east coast to west in America: When flying for Pesach from the east coast to the west coast in America, or from the east coast to the middle of America, one needs to make sure to sell his Chametz in accordance to the time that Chametz becomes prohibited in the east coast. Similarly, when flying to Hawaii from America for Pesach, one must be careful to sell his Chametz by the Rav in the area in which he currently lives.

Flying from west to east in America: He must sell the Chametz in accordance to the time of the east coast.

Selling the Chametz on the 13th: Some Rabbanim and Batei Dinim sell the Chametz to the gentile also on the 13th of Nissan. One who signs on such a document would avoid the necessity of finding a Rav who sells the Chametz in the earlier time zone, as in any event the Chametz will be sold before the 6th hour of the day enters in either area. Thus, if one is traveling from America to Israel, he can sign in America on a Shtar Harsha that sells the Chametz on the 13th of Nissan. Nonetheless, one is to advise with the Rav as what to do regarding eating Chametz after this time.   

Buying back the Chametz after Pesach: There is no Halachic issue involved with being located in a later time zone and having the Chametz bought back after Pesach in the earlier time zone, as one has no intention to buy back the Chametz until after Pesach ends for him.[55] However, some Poskim[56] rule that one is to sell the Chametz in the earlier time zone and tell the Rav to not buy it back from the gentile on his behalf, until Pesach ends in his later time zone.[57]

G. If one who sold his Chametz through a Rav in a later time zone, is the Chametz prohibited after Pesach?

Some Poskim[58] rule the Chametz is forbidden in benefit after Pesach, and thus must be destroyed. Practically, one is to speak with a Rav regarding this matter.

H. Does one have to particularize in the contract all the areas that he owns Chametz in?

One is to write the exact address of where the Chametz is located.[59] Additionally, one should mention all the areas in the home where the Chametz is stored.[60] Nevertheless, even if one does not mention all the areas that contain the Chametz, the sale is remains valid.[61]

I. May one appoint two different Rabbis to sell his Chametz?

Yes. Doing so poses no Halachic worry of invalidating the sale, and whichever sale is validated first, makes the sale for him.[62] However, some[63] write that initially one should not appoint two different Rabbis to sell his Chametz for him.

J. May a Lubavitcher Chassid sell his Chametz through a non-Lubavitch Rav?

Being that there are areas of dispute amongst Poskim regarding the validity of the acquisitions, in which Admur rules in a specific way[64] it is therefore incumbent for one to sell his Chametz through a person who will be doing the sale in accordance to the rulings of the Alter Rebbe.[65] Most notably, is the Takana of Admur to use a Jewish Eiruv Kablan to guarantee payment for the sale, which is not followed by all sects of Jewry. [see Halacha 6A] Thus, when selling the Chametz through a non-Lubavitcher care should be taken to verify that it will be a valid sale according to Admur, and that a Jewish Eiruv Kablan will be used. Nonetheless, being that all standard sales of Mechiras Chametz use various forms of acquisitions, and if one is invalid the other validates the sale [See Halacha 6], Bedieved, one may appoint a non-Lubavitch Rav to do the sale on one’s behalf even if he will not be using an Eiruv Kablan.[66]

K. May one leave Chametz in his fridge or freezer and close it off?

No unless the entire fridge and freezer will be closed off and sold. This applies even if he wraps the Chametz well and writes sold or Chametz on it. However, there are Rabbanim that are lenient in this matter.

           

L. May one leave sold Chametz in his kitchen cabinets?

Yes. However, there are Rabbanim that discourage one from doing so.

M. May one leave Chametz in the cabinets under his counter?

Yes. However, some write against doing so as if one does so he will no longer be allowed to use the counter for his needs being that it is rented to the gentile.

8. Cleaning for Pesach with no cleaning help-The minimum requirement for cleaning:

A. Introduction-Din versus Minhag:

Cleaning the home for Chametz is known to be one of the more strenuous jobs that falls upon the household in preparation for Pesach. Many are unaware that there exist areas where one is not obligated at all to clean or check for Chametz, and in certain cases, one may even initially allow visible Chametz to remain in its space throughout Pesach. These laws will clarify all of one’s obligations in terms of where one is required to clean and search for Chametz, and when can even visible Chametz be allowed to remain in its place. Despite the above, as brought in Halacha 10, the Jewish people are holy and go above and beyond the letter of the law and clean the entire home from Chametz, even from areas where one is not obligated to clean. Nonetheless, it is worthy to make note of the statement said in the name of the Rebbe that “Dust is not Chametz and the children are not the Karban Pesach.” It is important that the Pesach experience be one of fun and joy, which will bring good memories to all involved. Thus, one should not be overly scrupulous when the matter is not Halachically required, in expense of the sanity or good will of oneself or others. Certainly, if one only has a limited amount of time available to clean the home, they must first make emphasis to clean that which contains a Halachic requirement, and only later, if time remains, to do things which are considered Chumras or extras on the list.

This year due to the coronavirus: This year due to the coronavirus, those who are sick, or have a lack of cleaning help, and those who usually go away for Pesach and now face the stress of making Pesach at home, are to especially focus first and foremost in cleaning the obligated areas, and only then move on to areas of stringency or Hiddur.

B. The Holiness of the Job of cleaning for Pesach:[67]

From the following incident, it is understood that the job of cleaning the home for Pesach carries tremendous holiness: It occurred one year on Rosh Hashanah, after Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchiv blew the Shofar, that he exclaimed “Sweet Father, if the angels which were created from the Shofar blowing of Levi Yitzchak the son of Sara are weak, let the holy and healthy angels which were created from the hard work and toil of your people before Pesach, in which they scrubbed, smoothened and Kashered in honor of Pesach and for Hiddur Mitzvah; let those angels come and appease you.”

C. The general rule of where and what to check-Important points to take into account to diminish your cleaning list:

  • Crumbs: One must clean for, and destroy, even a crumb of Chametz. However, this only applies if the crumb is clean and edible, however if the crumb is dirty and less than a Kezayis [i.e. 27 grams] in size then it does not need cleaning or checking. Thus, all areas that contain a worry that they may contain only dirty crumbs of Chametz, do not need to be cleaned or checked.
  • How-Bedika: After cleaning an area for Chametz, one should check it at night with a candle or flashlight to verify that it is clean. However, one should leave at least one room unchecked for the night of the 14th.
  • Where: One is to clean all areas that one remembers having entered Chametz into, or in it which is common for him to enter while eating.
  • Sold areas: Areas of Chametz that will be sold to the gentile do not require Bedika. Accordingly, one can store Chametz, and all moveable items that he does not want to check in the sold room, and save himself the time for checking them. Likewise, closets may be closed, sealed and sold to the gentile, and hence escape the need to be checked. One who is stressed by the job of cleaning for Pesach or simply does not have enough help or energy to do the complete job should make a list of all the things he needs for Pesach, and clean them alone, while everything else should be put away in a sold room or closet.
  • Unreachable areas: Chametz that is found in unreachable areas do not need to be removed. There is thus no need to unscrew an item in order to reach the Chametz. If possible, one is to pour bleach on Chametz that is found in unreachable areas.
  • Furniture & Appliances: Pieces of furniture or appliances which are not commonly moved and are the height of 24 cm, such as closets, book cases, and items of the like, do not have to be moved and have their Chametz cleaned even if one sees Chametz under them.
  • Chametz on walls or furniture: Chametz on walls or furniture are to be cleaned off.
  • Bathroom: Bathrooms need cleaning and checking for Chametz if one has small children at home.
  • Bedroom: Even if one never recalls entering Chametz into his room, if it is common for one to enter there to get something in middle of a Chametz meal or snack, then it is required to be checked.
  • Bookcase: A bookcase must be checked.
  • Books: Books do not need to be checked. However, do not place them on any eating table during Pesach.
  • Clothing: One is to check the pockets of clothing. However laundered clothing does not have to be checked. One is to check the cuff of pants.
  • Shtreimal: Some suggest checking and cleaning one’s Shtreimal.
  • Alcohol: Remove all whiskeys, beers and other Chametz alcohol and place it in the area that will be sold to the gentile.
  • Inedible products: One is not required to sell or put away inedible Chametz mixtures; cosmetics; perfumes; soaps; shampoo.
  • Medicines: One is not required to sell or put away medicines.
  • Keyboard: A keyboard for a computer should be sold to the gentile and a new Pesach keyboard should be used for Pesach.
  • Chametz vessels-Cleaning and storing: Chametz vessels are to be cleaned from Chametz and hidden in an area which he will not enter into throughout all the days of Pesach. The area is to be locked and have its key hidden away.
Item or Area Obligated to clean Not obligated
Bathroom If have kids must check. No need to check if no kids
Books No need to check. However, some are stringent.
Bookcase Must be checked
Bird cage Must be cleaned
Briefcase Must be checked
Car Clean and Check car. No need to unscrew the benches. Remove floor mats.
Computer Keyboard should be sold to gentile
Computer bag Clean and check
Couch Must remove the cushions but no need to unscrew.
Desk Clean and check
Table Must be cleaned and checked. No need to undo screws to remove Chametz from cracks and crevices.
Chair Must be cleaned and checked. No need to undo screws to remove Chametz from cracks and crevices.
Kitchen Cabinets Clean and check
Medicine cabinet May be owned. Chametz vitamins are to be sold
Microwave Clean and check
Oven Clean and check
Phone cover Undo phone cover to check for Chametz under
Bedroom Clean and check
Suitcase Depends. If did not use throughout year, no need to check.
Refrigerator Clean and check

9. Kashering under quarantine-Guideline for self-Koshering:

A. May one be lenient this year to Kasher his Keilim that need Haggalah through heating them up in an oven, or over a fire?

Some Poskim[68] rule that heating the inside of a vessel to Yad Soledes through it sitting over a fire or inside of an oven is considered as if one has performed Libun Kal, or Hagalah to the item, and hence all items that require Hagalah can be Kashered through placing them over a fire, or inside a clean oven [i.e. no Chametz], until they reach the state of Yad Soledes.[69] Other Poskim[70], however, rule that it is invalid to perform Libun through heating up an item from the outside, or from under, and rather the fire must be inside the actual pot, in the area that the cooking took place[71], and so is the implied opinion of Admur.[72] Practically, one may not be lenient to Kasher vessels that require Kashering according to the letter of the law, through placing them over a fire or inside a hot oven, and rather one is to perform Haggalah to them. However, vessels that only require Kashering due to a stringency, such as new vessels, may be “Koshered” through placing them on a fire without any food inside until it heats up to Yad Soledes from the inside.[73] 

B. The steps for doing Haggalah to your vessels-Hagala checklist:

See here for the full details of this matter!

  1. Review Hagala laws and verify if the vessel is Kasherable through Hagala.
  2. Do not use the vessels with hot Chametz, or soaked Chametz, for 24 hours before Kashering.
  3. Clean the vessel with scrub and water. Remove rust and clean cracks, and do Libun Kal to required areas. Some say this should be done before it waits 24 hours.
  4. Dry the vessel well.
  5. Kasher the Hagala vessel [if was used for Chametz] during the year, prior to placing the Hagala water inside. Kasher it by boiling water inside of it to the very top, and then drop inside of it a red hot metal wrench, or hammer, causing the boiling water to overflow.
  6. Place clean water into the Hagala pot without any other substance, and bring to a boil. [Nonetheless, some are accustomed to place a spoiling agent, such as soap, into the water prior to Hagala, in order to make the water Pagum.]
  7. Prepare a second pot with cold water.
  8. Insert the vessels to be Kashered into the boiling water. Only insert while boiling [i.e. 100 degrees Celsius].
  9. One can use heat resistant gloves, or pliers, to enter the vessels one at a time into the water. One is to make sure to move the hands/pliers to a different area of the vessel while in the water. Alternatively, one is to use a perforated sack or basket to dip it in. This is the preferred method. One may insert many vessels at the same time. One may insert meat and dairy utensils at the same time if not Ben Yomo. One may not insert many vessels in a sack or box if they are touching each other.
  10. By a public Hagala, it is best to have two pots, one for meat and another for dairy vessels, or to never immerse more than one vessel at a time, or to make sure that all the vessels being immersed at one time are only meat or dairy, or are not Ben Yomo.
  11. The vessel is to remain a few moments in the boiling water.
  12. Immediately after removing the Kashered vessel from the boiling water, place it in cold water.
  13. Kasher the Hagala vessel if one wants to use for Pesach.
  14. Spill out the Hagala water to the drain.

C. List of vessels and their Kashering status

Vessel Law
Aluminum Kasherable based on use
Baking Pan Libun Chamor They are thus not Kasherable.
Burners of stove top Libun Chamor
Ceramic Cannot be Kashered
China Cannot be Kashered
Counter Iruiy Keli Rishon with Even Meluban
Cups Cannot be Kashered unless made of metal, in which case needs Hagalah
Earthenware Cannot be Kashered
Enamel Custom is not to Kasher for Pesach
Frying pan If coated with enamel/Teflon may not be Kashered. If not coated may be Kashered based on use.
Glass Cannot be Kashered
Grates of stove top Libun Chamur
Grinder Hagalah
Marble Hagalah
Oven Libun Chamur
Kiddush Cup [silver or metal] Hagalah
Knives Best not to Kasher for Pesach; if Kasher needs sharpening and Hagalah
Plastic Dispute amongst Poskim if may be Kashered.
Pot [not coated with enamel] Hagalah
Porcelain Cannot be Kashered
Pyrex Dispute amongst Poskim if may be Kashered.
Silverware Hagalah
Sink spout Clean and wash
Sink [made of enamel/ceramic/glass/plastic] Cannot be Kashered
Sink [made of metal] Iruiy with even Meluban
Skewer for barbecue Libun Gamor
Steel [including stainless steel] Kasherable based on use
Stove top [enamel] Cannot be Kashered
Stove top [stainless steel] Iruiy Keli Rishon with Even Meluban
Teflon Cannot be Kashered
Toaster Oven Do not Kasher. Sell to gentile and put away
Wood [without cracks] Hagalah
Wood [with cracks] Cannot be Kashered

D. The Kashering Checklist

Is the vessel Kasherable?

  • If the material is made or coated with earthenware; glass; porcelain, enamel, Teflon then it is not Kasherable.
  • If the vessel was used for cooking with water then it needs Hagalah. If it was used for baking without liquid then it needs Libun Chamor.
  • If the vessel is attached using glue it’s not Kasherable.
  • If the vessel is rusty or contains cracks or holes then one must perform Libun Kal to those areas.

Preparing the vessel for Kashering:

  • Clean and wash the vessel well.
  • If the vessel is rusty or contains cracks or holes then one must perform Libun Kal to those areas.
  • Dry the vessel from the water.
  • Do not use the vessel for a period of 24 hours.

The vessel one is Kashering inside of:

  • The Kashering vessel is to either be new [never used for Chametz], or is to be koshered prior to use. A Pesach vessel should not be used unless one plans to Kosher it afterwards, as explained next.
  • If one desires to use the Kashering vessel for Pesach, then one is to Kasher it. One may do so with the same boiling water and Even Meluban.

How to Kasher:

  • See B above!

 

Must one cover all kitchen surfaces such as tables, counters, cabinets, refrigerator shelves and the like?

From the letter of the law, once these areas have been properly cleaned and Kashered they may be used for all foods without any cover. However, some Poskim rule that one is to cover the surfaces even after they are Kashered due to suspicion that perhaps they still contain actual Chametz that was not properly removed. Practically, the widespread custom is to cover all items that contact food even after they have been cleaned and Kashered.

 

Forks/Spoons:

All forks, spoons and other cutlery made of Kasherable material, such as silver or stainless steel, is to be Kashered through Hagalah.

Knives:

It is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar for all those which have the capability of doing so, to buy new knives for Pesach. However, from the letter of the law doing Hagalah to them does suffice [and one may certainly rely on this if it is not so feasible for him to get new knives.] One must sharpen the blade prior to doing Hagalah in order to remove any rust he blade may contain. If the knife contains a handle and the blade is inserted into the handle then it cannot be koshered due to the inability to remove any Chametz from in between the crevices. Likewise, if the blade is attached to the handle with glue it cannot be Kashered.

 

Cups:

The custom is to Kasher cups through Hagalah. If one used the cup for a hot Pesach drink without previously Kashering it, the drink remains Kosher.  

Glass cups: Are not Kasherable.

May one Kasher a Kiddush cup that contains an upper lip? Yes, as the lip is external and there is thus no worry that Chametz entered inside.

Pots:

Whether or not a pot may be Kashered is dependent on the material that it contains of-See previous Halacha E! If the pot is made of a Kasherable material, such as metal without a Teflon coating, then if it is used for cooking with liquid it requires Hagalah. 

Teflon/Enamel: If coated with enamel/Teflon then it may not be Kashered.

Do the handles of pots and pans need to be Kashered? From the letter of the law they do not need to be Kashered and certainly one need not worry of the cracks that they contain [which may have food on them]. Nevertheless one should clean it and do Hagalah to it, or do Iruiy Keli Rishon without needing a stone.

Do pot covers need Hagalah? Yes.

Frying pans and all pots used for frying:

If one used this pot to fry the food with a nice amount of oil, then by Kashering for Pesach the pan needs Hagalah. If, however, one fried food in it using very little oil, just enough so the food does not stick, then the pot needs Libun Chamur.

Teflon/Enamel: If coated with enamel/Teflon then it may not be Kashered.

 

Kashering a stove:

  • The grates: Require Libun Chamur [heated with a blow torch until sparks come out]. If one cannot do Libbun Chamor, then one is to clean it very well and wrap the grates in thick aluminum that will last throughout Pesach.
  • Burners: Clean the burners and use toothpicks or needles to remove any dirt or food from within the gas holes of the burner. Afterwards, turn on the fire for some time to accomplish Libun Kal.
  • Stove top surface: One is to clean the stove surface well and then do Iruiy Keli Rishon to it. If the surface is made of non-Kasherable material, such as enamel, that it must be covered with aluminum.
  • Knobs: One is to clean the stove knobs very well, cover them, or attach clean replacement knobs.
  • Covering all items: Practically the custom is that even after Kashering all the above items of the stove, one covers all the surfaces with aluminum.

Electric hot plate [Shabbos Plata]:

  • If possible, one is to purchase a new electric hot plate for Pesach.
  • In a time of need, one is to clean the entire hot plate, including the cord, its sides, and bottom areas, with a killing agent such as bleach. After 24 hours pass, one is to then turn the hot plate on to its hottest setting for some time and then pour boiling water over it.  One is to then cover the hot plate with a thick piece of tinfoil.  For extra care, one can place a second sheet of tinfoil or aluminum pan on the hot plate.

Kashering an Oven

  • An oven with self-cleaning mode can be Kashered by simply placing it through the self-clean cycle. An oven with a “Continuous cleaning” cycle is not valid.
  • If one’s oven does not have self-clean oven it is very difficult to Kasher and hence one is to buy a Pesach oven, or alternatively Kasher it in the following way:
  • Clean the oven well using a Chametz killing agent, such as bleach or oven stain remover.
  • Wait 24 hours prior to Koshering.
  • Turn the oven on for a period of at least one hour to its highest temperature or blow torch the oven from the inside.
  • After the Kashering process is complete, one should cover the walls and floors with aluminum foil.

Kashering a Microwave:

One is to purchase a new one for Pesach. If this is not possible, some Poskim rule the microwave is to be cleaned, not used for 24 hours and have water with bleach placed in it and heated for about 10-20 minutes, until it steams out.

Water urn/Kumkum:

Water urns are to be Kashered for Pesach and it is thus advised to purchase a new one for Pesach. If the urn is made of metal, then it is to be Kashered through Hagalah.  If it contains plastic, it is disputed if it can be Kashered. In all cases, one must beware to remove the hardened calcium from the urn before Kashering.

Kashering a Counter or Table:

  • Clean and dry the table or counter surface.
  • Pour boiling water from a Keli Rishon onto the surface. Use a hot iron to simultaneously press on the water and bring it to a boil. Alternatively, use an electric water boiler that is still attached to the plug and pour it over the surface while boiling.
  • Covering the counter or table: The custom is to cover the counter after it is Kashered.
  • The walls of the counter: Are to have boiling water from a Keli Rishon poured over it and then covered.

Kashering the Fridge:

  • One is to wash it down very well using a water based killing agent, such as bleach and the like.
  • The elastic insulation: One must take special care to wash well the elastic insulation from Chametz crumbs. A suggestive form of cleaning is to use Q-tips dipped in bleach.
  • Bedikas Chametz: One is to perform Bedikas Chametz to his fridge prior to entering the Pesach foods back into or and prior to covering it shelves.
  • Covering the shelves: Some are accustomed to cover the shelves of the fridge.
  • Cord: One is to clean the electric cord of the fridge that enters into the outlet.

Kashering a sink:

  • If the sink is made of Porcelain or Enamel, it cannot be Kashered. One is to pour boiling water from a Keli Rishon on such a material sink. One is then to insert a sink insert which will be used throughout Pesach.
  • If the sink is made of metal, then it can be Kashered through pouring boiling water from a Keli Rishon on the sink.
  • The spout: The custom is to clean and wash the spouts of the sink as throughout the year they have been used with hands that are dirty from Chametz. [One is to pour boiling water of the spout, and leave it open with the hot water running.]
  • Knobs: Wash and clean.
  • The drain: Pour boiling water that contains bleach or Drano down the drain.
  • Metal strainer: Perform Iruiy Keli Rishon.
  • Using the hot water on Pesach: It is advised not to use hot water that is over Yad Soledes [110° F] on Pesach in a sink that is not made of Kasherable material, and has thus not been Koshered.

Tablecloths: 

It is best to buy new tablecloths for Pesach. Nevertheless, from the letter of the law one may Kasher and use the tablecloths that he uses during the year. The following is how they are Kashered: One is to wash them with hot water and laundry detergent.

Toothbrush:

It is customary to purchase a new toothbrush to use on Pesach.  However, from the letter of the law, it suffices to simply clean it properly before Pesach.

Toothpaste:

It is customary to purchase Kosher for Pesach toothpaste. See Chapter 5 Halacha 4 in Q&A!

Pacifier:

Seemingly, a pacifier does not require Kashering as it is never used for hot Chametz.  However, it is best to clean it well and then Kasher it, or purchase a new one for Pesach.

Broom stick:

It is not necessary to clean or purchase a new broom stick for Pesach, as even if it contains Chametz, it is less than a Kezayis, is dirty, and are nullified. [See Chapter 3 Halacha 2!] Nonetheless, some are particular to buy a new broom for Pesach.

Vacuum cleaner:

It is not necessary to change the vacuum bag before Pesach, as even if it contains Chametz, the individual pieces are less than a Kezayis, are dirty, and are nullified. Nonetheless, the custom is to do so.

10. Bedikas Chametz under quarantine:

Maariv: One should Daven Maariv before doing the Bedikah even though he is Davening alone.

If one is living in the house of a gentile, does he have to check the gentile’s house for Chametz? Seemingly he is obligated to check the house for Chametz in order to remove all Chametz that he owns from the home. If he has his own room, then certainly he is obligated to check his room with a blessing.

The ten pieces of bread: If bread is not available to distribute the ten pieces of bread, one can use crackers and the like. If no Chametz is available, one should nevertheless do the Bedika with a blessing.

Candle versus flashlight: If a candle is not available, one may use a flashlight to perform the Bedika, and may recite a blessing. One may not use a Havdalah candle.

Feather, wood spoon: These items do not invalidate the Bedika, and hence one should not leave his home simply in order to retrieve them.

Does a shul or Beis Medrish need to checked for Chametz? Shul’s and Batei Midrashim need to be checked on the night of the 14th with a candle. The Gabaim may say a blessing on their search for Chametz in the Shul and Beis Midrash. This applies even this year.

11. Biur/Sereifas Chametz under Quarantine:

Chametz garbage: Prior to the 6th hour of the day, one can free himself from the prohibition of owning Chametz by throwing Chametz into the public garbage [excluding a building garbage]. If throwing it into a public garbage is not available, one is to spill bleach into the Cahmetz that is in the garbage and throw it in the building garbage shoot. If one cannot leave his home due to the Coronavirus, then he may simply place all his Chametz garbage in the area that will be sold to the gentile, and have it included in the sale.

Biur Chametz: One can perform Biur Chametz at home by simply burning a slice of bread in his toaster oven. Once the bread turns black like charcoal, it is considered burned. One can also burn it in his Chametz barbecue. One need only burn a Kezayis of bread to fulfill the Mitzvah. [If one cannot burn his Chametz for whatever reason, a Kesayis of it is to be crumbled and flushed down the toilet.] Any remaining Chametz can be thrown into the public garbage prior to the 6th hour of the day, or flushed down the toilet, or placed in the room designated to be sold to the gentile. The candle, spoon, and feather used for the Bedika [if available] are to be discarded in the garbage.

12. Leniencies regarding Kosher for Pesach products during an epidemic:

In general, even during an epidemic, all laws and customs relating to products that are avoided during Pesach are to be kept and guarded unless there is a specific health reason to be lenient, or there is a lack of Kosher for Pesach products available. Accordingly, the following products are to be avoided this year as well, just as by other years.

  1. Kitniyus: Ashkenazim are to avoid all Kitniyus just as they do every year. If there is no famine or shortage of food, then there is no basis to warrant any leniency for eating Kitniyus even during an epidemic. If there exists a specific Kitniyus product that an ill person needs to eat, then he may do so.[74] Certainly, Kitniyus medicines may be taken during Pesach.
  2. Matzah Ashira: It is forbidden for Ashkenazim to eat Matzah Ashira throughout Pesach. It is thus forbidden for Ashkenazim to eat egg Matzah or any other Matzah which contains any liquid other than water. There is no reason to be lenient in this even during an epidemic. However, an old or sick person who cannot eat other Matzah or foods, may be lenient. It is permitted even for Ashkenazim to own Matzah Ashira products during Pesach, as the above adherence is only with regards to eating it, and not regarding owning.
  3. Machine made Matzah: The Chabad custom is not to eat machine Matzah at all on Pesach, and one should not give it to kids either, as by Emunah one cannot be lenient. There is no reason to be lenient in this even during an epidemic, unless regular hand made Matzah is not available, or is unaffordable, and other foods cannot6 be eaten.
  4. Gebrochts: Matzah that is dipped in water is not considered Chametz, even if it remains for less than 18 minutes. However Chassidic Jewry is careful in this regard and avoid eating any Matzah that contacted water. There is no reason to be lenient in this even during an epidemic. The Matzas are thus covered with a bag when eating them by a meal in order to prevent crumbs from falling into food. One may eat Matzah with 100% pure fruit or fruit juice such as avocado, olive oil and the like, if it is absolutely free of all water and condensation.
  5. Processed foods: Many are accustomed not to eat any food that is processed. Thus, they do not eat any canned foods, packaged foods, etc. The Rebbe writes that Anash use oil with a good Hashgacha and not necessarily Shmaltz. If there is a shortage of regular Pesach products that one eats annualy, one may certainly be lenient this year to eat processed foods with a good Kosher for Pesach Hashgacha.
  6. Sugar: Many are accustomed not to eat sugar on Pesach. Some boil their sugar before Pesach and make sugar water. The Rebbe stated he does not know if this custom of not eating sugar is a directive for the public.
  7. Garlic and other foods which are good for the immune system: There are those which are accustomed not to eat garlic on Pesach. Practically, those who desire to eat garlic this year to boost their immune system, may do so even if in general they are stringent not to eat garlic during Pesach. The same applies for any other food which is avoided due to mere custom, and does not contain any real worry of Chametz, such as ginger.
  8. Non-edible products: Non-edible products that contain Chametz may be owned and used throughout Pesach. This includes: eardrops/eyedrops or other medical ointments, deodorant and perfume, facial creams, oils, and cosmetics, skin creams, shoe polish, soap, shampoo, gas, denatured cleaning alcohol, cleaning detergent, floor detergent. Lip stick, chap stick, toothpaste, mouthwash, should only be used with an authorization for Pesach. It is proper to use dish soap with a Hashgacha. If they are not available, or one cannot leave home to purchase them, then one may be lenient to use them on Pesach even without certification. Plastic plates and cutlery may be used without a Hashgacha. Paperware and paper goods, as well as tinfoil, are to be used only with a Hashgacha. Dental floss does not require a Hashgacha for Pesach unless it is flavored.
  9. Medicine: Chewable pills or syrups need to be Kosher for Pesach. Swallow-able pills may be taken by one who is sick or in pain even if they are not Kosher for Pesach. If, however the pill contains a tasty coating, it is to have a Kosher for Pesach Hashgacha. There is no need to be stringent to avoid taking medicines which contain Kitniyos. A full English and Hebrew Medicine list can be found on the Kelalit website: http://www.clalit.co.il
  10. Vitamins: Vitamins need to be Kosher for Pesach. This applies even if one desires to take them in order to boost one’s immune system from the corona.

May one use or own rubbing alcohol and sanitizing lotions that contain alcohol?

The ingredients: Rubbing alcohol comes in two verities; Ethly rubbing alcohol and isopropyl rubbing alcohol. The alcohol content of the rubbing alcohol can be made from either isopropyl alcohol or ethanol-based alcohol. Isopropyl is a compound with the chemical formula C3H8O and is not grain based. Ethanol alcohol is grain based, although in many countries is produced from corn rather than from one of the five Chametz grains. Nonetheless, without verification, all ethanol-based rubbing alcohol is suspected that it may be made from Chametz. In general, many countries require that all ethanol-based rubbing alcohol be denatured, which means that a poisonous ingredient must be added to it, thus making it unfit for human consumption.

The law: Isoproply rubbing alcohol may be owned and used on Pesach. Likewise, denatured ethyl rubbing alcohol may be owned and used on Pesach if it was produced before Pesach.[75] Pure Chametz alcohol may not be used.[76]  

Sanitizing lotions: All sanitizing lotions may be used even if they contain Chametz alcohol, so long as they contain other ingredients which make them inedible for consumption.

13. For Taanis Bechoros this year, what should one do?

  1. Background:

*See our corresponding Sefer “The Laws & Customs of Pesach” Chapter 10 Halacha 2 for the full details of this subject!

The fast: On Erev Pesach, it is customary for the first-born to fast until nightfall in commemoration of the miracle of them being saved from the plague of death of the firstborns in Egypt.[77] [Practically, today the custom is for all those obligated to fast to participate in a Siyum Misechta and exempt themselves from the fats, as will be explained in below. Nonetheless, one who did not participate in the Siyum Misechta, is obligated to fast as stated above.]

Who is obligated to fast, or participate in a Siyum to exempt their fast? All firstborns, whether from a father or mother, are to fast or participate in a Siyum. A father who is not a firstborn, is to fast on behalf of a young son who is a firstborn. It is not customary for women to fast even on behalf of their firstborn son, and they likewise are not accustomed to participate in a Siyum, although some who are meticulous do so even today.

Participating in a Seudas Mitzvah, such as a Siyum/Bris:[78] The custom is to participate in a Siyum Misechta, Bris Mila or other Seudas Mitzvah in order to exempt the fast. Nonetheless, the participant is to fast until the Seudas Mitzvah takes place.

  1. The law:

It does not help to join a Siyum Misechta via radio, telephone or live hookup.[79] Accordingly, one should not rely on joining a Siyum Misechta through the telephone or radio and is rather to be physically present by the Siyum and try to eat a Kebeitza of food or drink a Revius during the Siyum.[80]

The law this year due to coronavirus outbreak: Based on the above, all those who will be unable to participate in a Siyum Misechta this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, are to make their own Siyum Misechta at home. It is not required for one to learn a long Misechta which will take a long time, and one can study even a small Misechta, such as Miseches Tamid, Miseches Kallah, Sofrim, and Avos Derebbe Nasan. If one is unable to make a Siyum Misechta due to whatever reason, then he is nevertheless not to fast.[81] This applies even if one feels that he is able to fast, and certainly applies if he will have difficulty fasting. In such a case one is to redeem the fast with charity[82], and try to listen in to a live siyum through radio, or telephone, or internet.

Summary:

It is not possible to join a Siyum Misechta via telephone or live hookup. Hence, all firstborns, or fathers of firstborns, who assess that this year they will be unable to make it to a Siyum Misechta due to the Covid-19 restrictions, are to make their own Siyum at home. If one is unable to make a Siyum Misechta due to whatever reason, then he is nevertheless not to fast. This applies even if one feels that he is able to fast, and certainly applies if he will have difficulty fasting. In such a case one is to redeem the fast with charity, and try to listen in to a live siyum through radio, or telephone, or internet.

14. The Seder night:

A. Guests:

One is not to have any guests this Pesach, including relatives who are not part of one’s direct household. Each family unit is to make Pesach alone.

B. Leaving on Zoom/Hangouts/Skype for the sake of relatives [grandparents] virtually joining one’s Seder:

One may not rely on the leniency publicized for one to leave his computer on into Pesach for the sake of allowing his relatives to virtually participate in the Seder night.[83] The Chief Rabbi’s of Israel have explicitly negated this Heter as defective and unreliable, as such matters are only permitted in a case of Pikuach Nefesh.[84] Nonetheless, every individual is to try to ensure that his relatives have a Seder Pesach arranged for them. One can also do a mock-Seder on Erev Pesach and have his relatives participate through it.

C. Using tea or coffee for the four cups:

One who cannot drink wine or grape juice either due to illness, or due to lack of availability, may use tea or coffee for the four cups and recite Shehakol over it. The tea and coffee are to be cooled down enough to drink it in one shot.

D. Maror:

If horseradish is not available, then simply use only lettuce.

E. Zeroa:

If the neck of a chicken is not available, then one may use another piece of chicken or meat that contains a bone, such as the chicken leg or wing. If this too is not available, then one may use any piece of chicken or meat.

F. Starting the Seder immediately after Davening:

One is to begin the Seder immediately after Davening Maariv.

G. The eating Shiurim of Matzah for those who are sick:

Those who are sick and cannot consume the larger Shiurim typically eaten for Matzah, may suffice with eating the lesser Kezayis amount of 17.6cc, which equals between 9-17 grams of Matzah. This applies for all times that Matzah is eaten, Motzi Matzah, Koreich, and Afikoman. A sick and elderly person may be lenient to eat this amount up until nine minutes.

Measuring in volume-How: A typical matchbox contains around 30cc of volume. Thus, a practical way of measuring the volume of a Kezayis of Matzah is to pack the matchbox with crushed Matzah until it is full to capacity and this ends up being a Biblical Kezayis. This method should be used for the old or sick who cannot consume the larger Shiurim typically eaten when following weight.

May one measure the above Shiurim on Yom Tov? One may not measure the above Shiurim of weight or volume for Matzah, Maror, or the four cups of wine, on Yom Tov itself.  Thus, one is to measure the amounts before Yom Tov begins.  If one did not do so, then one is to eat a lot of Matzah and Maror to the point he is certain that he ate Keshiur. Nonetheless, some are lenient to allow measuring on Yom Tov itself.

Loss of taste: Even one who is sick with the Coronavirus and hence has a lost of taste, is nevertheless to eat the Matzah and Maror with a blessing.

H. The eating Shiurim of Maror for those who are sick:

One is required to eat slightly more than 17 grams of Maror in order to fulfill the Rabbinical Mitzvah of eating a Kezayis of Maror on the night of Pesach. A Kezayis of 19.3 grams is equal to approximately one large leaf or two medium leaves of lettuce. If one is sick and cannot eat a Kezayis of [even the minimum Shiur of] Maror [which is 17 grams], then at the very least it is proper for him to chew the Maror until he tastes its bitterness. A sick and elderly person may be lenient to eat this amount up until nine minutes.

I. Shefoch Chamascha:

One who lives in a building is to suffice with simply opening the door of his house and not the door of his building.

15. The Pesach Davening and schedule:

A. Saying Hallel on the first nights of Pesach:[85]

Even if one is Davening without a Minyan, he is to say Hallel with a blessing.

B. The Torah reading

After Shemoneh Esrei of Shacharis and Shir Shel Yom, read the Torah from a Chumash. This applies for all days of Pesach, including Chol Hamoed.

C. Musaf-Morid Hatal:

Prior to Musaf announce “Morid Hatal” and recite it within the Musaf Shemoneh Esrei.

16. Chol Hamoed-Washing contaminated clothing:

One may wash contaminated clothing during Chol Hamoed for the sake of disinfecting them.

17. Shevi’i Shel Pesach-Yizkor:

Yizkor may be recited in private as it is regularly recited. Following the custom of all those with living parents to leave the area, one can say it in a closed room.  

18. Going to Shul versus Davening at home:

A. The general rule:

All medical and Rabbinical directives for one’s locality are to be guarded regarding going to Shul or arranging a private Minyan. This means that if the local Rabbinate or medical authorities request that shuls be closed and there be no congregation for Minyanim, then one may not make a Minyan and is to Daven in private at home. In Israel, following the guidelines of the ministry of health, as well as those of the Chief Israeli and local Rabbinate, Minyanim may no longer be conducted in any method [no Shul or home or street Minyanim!]. You have an obligation to guard your health and it Halachically overrides the joining of a Minyan who will not keep the standards.

B. Directives for those making a private Minyan [In par with local Rabbinic and medical directives]:

Meiyn Sheva: Don’t recite Meiyn Sheva after Maariv of Friday night with a blessing. It is to be recited without a blessing just as one who Davens in private. See Here for the full details of this matter.

Bringing Sefer Torah: In this situation, you may bring a Sefer Torah to the Minyan on Shabbos for the sake of Kerias Hatora and then return it after the reading. However, it is best to set up the Sefer Torah in a makeshift ark on Friday and use it to read on Shabbos day and Shabbos Mincha, and if possible, also on Monday. See Here for the full details of this matter.

C. Directives for those not going to Shul:

Davening time: Try to Daven the same time as your usual local Minyan if it is still taking place, [unless it takes place past Zeman Tefila in which case you should try to Daven beforehand].

Reading Parsha from Chumash: After Shemoneh Esrei of Shacharis and Shir Shel Yom, read the Torah portion of Vayakehl Pekudei and Parshas Hachodesh from a Chumash. See Here for the full details of this matter. You can simultaneously utilize this for the saying of Shnayim Mikra, if you have yet to do so.

Making up the reading the next Shabbos that a Minyan becomes permitted: See Here for the full details of this matter.

19. Corona Minyanim-The laws applicable to street Minyanim:

A. May one make a public outdoor Minyan despite the corona fears?

As already explained in a previous Daily Halacha, the view of Halacha on how to act during a time of an epidemic is that one is to self-quarantined and remain at home. This would exclude leaving the house even for street Minyanim, especially if the rules of social distancing will not be properly followed. The following laws hence apply only to public outdoor Minyanim which abide by the rulings of the local health ministry and the rulings of the local Rav. If there are people who are not being careful to keep these guidelines joining the Minyan, then it is a Mitzvah Habah Beaveira, and one should not join the Minyan at all, and is rather to Daven alone at home, and hence all the below laws are irrelevant. Likewise, anyone of age, or of medical condition, which is of higher risk to catching the virus should not join any Minyan even if the medical directives are followed, unless he joins from the window of his home. Once again, we must emphasize that people who refuse to keep the laws and medical directives are tantamount to silent murderers irrelevant to how their conscious interprets their actions, and certainly there is no right to murder someone for the sake of making a Minyan. Unfortunately, many public outdoor Minyanim are not keeping to the medical guidelines and are hence to be nullified or fixed.

B. Who joins the Minyan to make up the required forum of ten?[86]

All those who are outside and within sight and hearing of each other join for the Minyan of ten. There is no requirement for them to be very close together and they thus join even if they are a number of meters/feet apart from each other[87], so long as they remain within each other’s sight and hear the Chazan. People who are within their homes could likewise join if they stay by their window, or balcony and are “Maareh Panim” [face and look] towards the Minyan, or Chazan.[88] They may even join for the making of a Minyan of ten.

Balconies:[89] Ten people who are on ten balconies can only join if they can see each other or if the Chazan can see them all. Thus, if people are standing on porches of two adjacent buildings, the Chazan chosen should be a person who is in a position to see all of the ten participants.

Inside car: One can also Daven from inside his car and join the Minyan if the Chazan/Minyan can see his face.

Opposite sides of street/sidewalk:[90] Regarding joining people for a Minyan if they are on opposite sides of the street or even opposite sides of a sidewalk, then they do not join even if they can see each other. Accordingly, people standing on balconies of apartment buildings of opposite sides do not join to make up the total number of ten for a Minyan. Likewise, when making a Minyan on the street level, all participants are to be on the same side of the street and sidewalk.

If there is trash/feces or idolatry in-between:[91] Some Poskim[92] rule that one may only answer for [Amen[93]] Kaddish or Kedusha [or be Yotzei a blessing[94]] from a different area than the Minyan if there is no feces, or idolatry which is considered like feces regarding this matter, found in-between the two areas. [Other Poskim[95] however argue that feces and idolatry do not intervene.] Practically, [although the main ruling is like the lenient opinion[96]] one is [nevertheless] to suspect for the stringent opinion.[97] [However in a time of need, some Poskim[98] rule one may choose to follow the lenient opinion. Others[99] rule one is always to be stringent.]

C. Davening near a car/tree versus in the open:

Ideally, one is not to Daven in an exposed area, such as a field, unless one is traveling on the road.[100] Accordingly, one should try to Daven opposite a tree, or parked car, or other immoveable item.[101] This applies only for Shemoneh Esrei.

D. Sefer Torah:

Due to the mandatory closing of shuls caused by the coronavirus, one may bring a Sefer Torah to the public street Minyan on Shabbos or Monday/Thursday for the sake of Kerias Hatorah and then return it after the reading. See Here for the full details of this matter.

E. Meiyn Sheva on Friday night:

Don’t recite Meiyn Sheva after Maariv of Friday night with a blessing. It is to be recited without a blessing just as one who Davens in private. See Here for the full details of this matter.

20. Going to Mikveh [men]:

A. The general rule:

Follow the Rabbinical and medical guidelines given. The Israeli Rabbinate has ordered all men Mikvaos closed, and so has been ordered by the Rabbanim in many other Jewish localities in the Diaspora. If this is the case in your locality, do not go to Mikveh even if you are aware of Mikvaos who are defying the instructions and leaving them open.

B. Directives for those not going to Mikveh:

Men who are unable to immerse in a Mikveh either due to their closure in one’s locality [as has been decreed in Israel] or due being placed in quarantine, can perform the following alternatives in place of Mikveh:

  1. Immerse in a swimming pool
  2. Shower for several minutes [on Shabbos, in cold water]
  3. Wash one’s hands forty times
  4. Learn Mishnayos Mikvaos

See here for the full details of this matter!

21. Going to Mikveh [women]:

In those localities that Mikvaos are open and under proper hygiene, one who is not ill is to go to Mikveh, and not push it off. There is no allowance for breaking of the laws of Harchakos, and certainly not of hugging and kissing until a woman immerses ina  Kosher Mikveh. Immersing in a bathtub or

Intimacy:[102] There is no need to abstain from intimacy during an epidemic.

22. General directives for Shabbos and Yom Tov:

Washing hands with liquid soap: It is permitted to use liquid soap on Shabbos, although the custom is to liquify it with water before Shabbos, or to liquify on Shabbos before use if this was not done before Shabbos. Ideally, one should use only unscented soap to wash his hands, although if unscented soap is not available, then scented soap may be used so long as one does not intend at all to place the scent on his hands but simply to clean them. See Here for the full details of this matter. Initially, it is proper to use Kosher for Pesach hand soaps throughout the days of Pesach, although from the letter of the law, all soaps may be used even if they are not Kosher for Pesach, as explained in 12.

Kiddush: Those who may not leave their room due to quarantine may be Yotzei Kiddush from their room, upon listening to Kiddush recited outside their room. There is no need for them to drink the wine to be Yotzei. However, for the night of the Seder, they must make their own private Seder in their room with the drinking of all four cups.

Wearing gloves and face mask: In those areas without an Eiruv, one should consult with his local Rav regarding if he may wear medical gloves and face mask outside, and if it is better that he stay home rather than walk out with them due to the carrying prohibition. During Pesach, one is to only use gloves that do not have starch or that have a Pesach certification, as explained in Halacha 12.

[1] Regarding the definition of a plague in halacha: See Michaber O.C. 576:2 regarding establishing a fast day [ratio of 3:500 of the employed population dead in three days and that if there is a plague in all of Israel, all the world fasts and if there is a plague in an area of the world in which people travel to and from, then all destinations of travel must fast]; 576:3 [That even if the plague is by pigs, and certainly by gentiles, one must fast]; M”A 576:2 that today we no longer fast due to danger;

[2] Hilchos Shemiras Haguf Vehanefesh Halacha 13; Rama Y.D. 116:5; See Zecher David Mamar Alef chapter 39 p. 98

[3] See Zohar Vayakhel p. 197; Vayeira p. 107b

[4] Braisa Bava Kama 60b

[5] Shemos 12:22

[6] Admur ibid; Taz Y.D. 116:5; Braisa Bava Kama 60b

[7] Admur ibid; Rama Y.D. 116:5; Maharil 50; Maharshal Yam Shel Shlomo Bava Kama ibid

[8] Shemos 12:22

[9] Admur ibid; Bava Kama ibid; Zohar Vayakhel p. 197

[10] See also Rashal ibid; Iyun Yaakov Bava Kama ibid; See however Torah Temima Shemos 12 footnote 195; Zivcheiy Tzedek 2:116

[11] Chesed Leavraham Mayan Chamishi Eiyn Mishpat Nehar 28, brought in

[12] M”A 576:3; Beir Heiytiv 576; M”B 576

[13] Shaar Haosiyos Erech “Derech Eretz” 14

[14] Chesed Leavraham ibid

[15] Brought in Hagahos Rebbe Akiva Eiger Y.D. 116:5

[16] Bava Kama 60a

[17] Brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah Y.D. 116:8

[18] Admur 618:11

[19] See Igeres Sofrim 29

[20] See Admur 429:5-6; Rama 429:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos 429:2; Nitei Gavriel Pesach 1

[21] Mishlei 10:2

[22] Rosh Hashanah 16b

[23] In addition to the general Halachic obligation of quarantine during an epidemic which would preclude one from fulfilling this Mitzvah, the wording of this obligation is “One who walks outside in the month of Nissan and sees trees which are sprouting” implying that it only applies to one who happens to see a blossoming tree, and not that there is an obligation to search for it.

[24] See regarding Kiddush Kevana: Rosh Hashanah 24b; Yechaveh Daas 2:28; Shalmas Chaim 253; Pashut, as Halacha states “see” and seeing a reflected image of the item is not the seeing of the actual item, even though there may be joy involved in seeing it. “Veiyno Domeh Shemia Leriyah.” So is also implicit from the wording of “one who walks outside”

[25] See regarding Kiddush Levana: Bach 426; M”A 426:14; Taz 426:4 ;Shaar Hakolel 33:1; Leket Yosher p. 70

[26] Bach 426; M”A 426:14; Taz 426:4 ;Shaar Hakolel 33:1; Leket Yosher p. 70

[27] Shaar Hakolel 33:7; See however Levush in previous footnote that this is negated.

[28] Shvus Yaakov 1:126; Birkeiy Yosef 224:1 brought in Kaf Hachaim 426:19; Shaareiy Teshuvah 426:1; M”B in Shaar Hatziyon 426:4 and 25

[29] Dvar Shmuel 242 brought in Beir Heiytiv 426:1; P”M 426 A”A 14

[30] Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid. He concludes that so is implied from the story with the Rashal that he opened the window.

[31] Michaber Y.D. 120:8

[32] Michaber Y.D. 120:16 and Admur 323:8 regarding Shabbos; Rama 120:16 that so applies even during the week in an area without a Mikveh; Mordechai Beitza Remez 677

Other opinions: Some Poskim question this allowance to give a vessel as a present to a gentile and then to take it back, as this is not a true acquisition to the gentile and is rather Harama. Additionally, it is forbidden to give a present to a gentile. [Rashbash 468; Pischeiy Teshuvah 120:15] See M”A 13:8 and Yeshuos Yaakov 13:4 who invalidate this option regarding Tzitzis Vetzaruch Iyun as to why they allow it regarding Tevilas Keilim

[33] Taz Y.D. 120:18; Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 6 that this applies even according to Admur, and the reason Admur did not state this explicitly is because he is dealing with a case that one only has this vessel to immerse.

[34] Admur ibid; Taz Y.D. 120:18; Chelkas Binyamon 120/133

The reason: One cannot use the vessel forever on the basis that it belongs to a gentile as when an item remains forever in the hands of the Jew it is similar to him having acquired it. Furthermore, it is similar to a borrowed Tallis which requires Tzitzis after 30 days being that after 30 days it appears as if it belongs to him. Based on this it should be immersed even with a blessing. Nevertheless, since I have not found the matter explicitly ruled in Poskim I am hesitant to rule this way, and rather one should immerse another vessel that requires a blessing together with it. [Yoreh Deah Taz 120/18]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is not necessary to immerse the vessel. [Kneses Hagedola 120]

[35] Admur 448:9; Regarding Kiyna Udisa: See Choshen Mishpat 250:3; Ketzos Hachoshne 194; Nesivos 40

[36] Taz ibid “This Takana is only temporary, meaning for that Shabbos, or on a weekday so long as a Mikveh is not available.”; Implication of Admur ibid who instructs to immerse the vessel after Shabbos.

[37] See Taz ibid who brings a proof regarding Tzitzis that it can only be used without Tzitzis for up to 30 days, from which some Rabbanim understand that past 30 days the allowance become void. Regarding the 30 day period of Tzitzis see: Admur 14:4; Michaber 14:3; Menachos 44a

[38] Setimas Haposkim; See Taz ibid who explicitly writes that one can use it until a Mikveh becomes available, and does not give a time limit of 30 days. His later statement regarding the 30 day period for Tzitzis was simply used as a proof for the idea that one cannot use it forever. As for the difference between Tevilas Keilim versus Tzitzis, one can possibly explain that only by Tzitzis did the sages give a 30-day limitation, while by Tevilas Keilim they did not, as tying Tzitzis to the garment is more feasible then finding a Kosher body of water to immerse the vessels in. See the wording in Admur 14:4 “As after thirty days it appears that the garment belongs to the person, and hence the Sages decreed that it is to have Tzitzis tied to its corners.”; So is also evident from the fact that the M”A 13:8 invalidates the ability to lend the Tzitzis to a friend even though he agrees to the ability to do so by Tevilas Keilim, as he explicitly writes, hence proving a difference between the two and therefore one cannot recruit rulings from Hilchos Tzitzis to that of Tevilas Keilim. Vetzaruch Iyun.

[39] See Minchas Shlomo 2:66-16;  Regarding the ability to not acquire something even though it is in your property by having explicit intent to not acquire it, see: Admur 448:5 [that it helps remove liability]; M”B 448:6; Chok Yaakov 448:8; Mahariy Mintz 82; Mahariy Asad 83; Hamakneh; Beis Meir Sireideiy Eish 2:26; Kaf Hachaim 306:47

[40] Setimas Kol Haposkim; Maharil Diskin Kuntrus Achron 5-136 p. 79; P”M 13 A”A 8 “To make it Hefker was not given as an option as he requires it when he takes it”

The reason: The Shulchan Aruch does not offer this as an option and simply offers the option of giving the vessel to a gentile as a present, as stated above. Seemingly, this is because such an option would be invalid being that he requires it when he takes it, and at the very least it appears as if he has acquired it, and indeed he has total intent to keep the item. [See P”M ibid; Minchas Shlomo ibid]

[41] Rav SZ”A in Minchas Shlomo ibid; See also M”B 13:15; Artzos Hachaim 13; based on advice of brother of M”A

[42] Tzemach Tzedek 46 “Since he revealed that he wants to appoint him as his messenger, it is valid”; brought in Shaar Hakolel 10; Sdei Chemed Chametz Umatzah 9:6-7; Piskeiy Teshuvos 448:17

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that it does not suffice to appoint a Rav to sell one’s Chametz, as the seller must personally sign on the sale document with the gentile. [Makor Chaim 8] According to this opinion, signing on the Shtar Harsha is an obligation, as only then is it considered that one signed on the sale document. Nevertheless, we do not rule like this opinion. [See Sdei Chemed ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 69]

[43] The reason: As stated above, and in the coming Q&A, one only needs to reveal to the Rav that he

[44] See Sdei Chemed Chametz Umatzah and Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid that one should suspect for the opinion of the Makor Chaim ibid who requires a signature.

[45] Tzemach Tzedek 46; Shaar Hakolel Seder Mechiras Chametz 10

[46] Shevach Hamoadim 8:6; Piskeiy Teshuvos 448:17

The reason: This is done merely to elucidate to the seller that it is a true sale, as in truth no acquisition is needed in appointing the Rav to be one’s sale messenger. [Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid]

[47] See Sdei Chemed Chametz Umatzah 9:6 that he would not take payment; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:218 that there is Halachic basis for giving money; Piskeiy Teshuvos 448:17; Rabbi Blumenkrantz page 3-53

[48] Some authorities suggest that this is more than a mere custom, and may be required by the letter of the law, as the Rav cannot be trusted simply as a Shliach to sell the Chametz, and through paying him money it turns him into an employee working for the owner of the Chametz, of which he then can be trusted sell the Chametz for the owner. [Teshuvos Vehanhagos ibid]

[49] See however Chapter 16 Halacha 1 for conditions in which it would be allowed to eat the Chametz after the sale even in such a case!

[50] Igros Moshe 4:94; Minchas Yitzchak 7:25; Mishneh Halachos 6:93; Beir Moshe 7 Kuntrus Elektri 115; Shraga Hameir 2:65; 4:84; Piskeiy Teshuvos 443:1; The leaning opinion of Rebbe in Shulchan Menachem 3:229 is that we follow the area of the Chametz

[51] Oneg Yom Tov 36 based on Pesachim 32a; Kaf Hachaim 443:17; Opinion of Rebbe ibid

[52] Chesed Leavraham Kama 35; Levushei Mordechai Tinyana 47; Eretz Tzevi 1:83; Mikraeiy Kodesh 1:55; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[53] So rules Igros Moshe 4:94; Minchas Yitzchak 7:25 brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[54] One suggestion is to specify that he is only selling him the Chametz in that time zone, otherwise he will not be able to eat Chametz even before the 5th hour, as it was already sold. Accordingly, when one has traveled to a later time zone [east to west] one would need to make 2 sale contracts, writing in each one that it is only valid for the Chametz of its area, in order so he be able to still eat Chametz in the west after the time of the East has arrived. However, in truth, many contracts give the Jew explicit permission for him to take the Chametz for himself, with intent to repay the gentile, and hence the above is not necessary. One should discuss these points with the Rav.

Left his wife and kids for Pesach in a later time zone: One who is in an early time zone than his wife and children who have been left at home, must sell his Chametz in his current location and thus enters into the same dilemma as described above, as how can his family now eat the Chametz in his home? Minchas Yitzchak 7:25 suggests that the husband needs to give over the Chametz to his family as a complete present saying that they have permission to do with it whatever they wish, and they should sell their own Chametz through the Rav in their time zone.

[55] Admur 448:3; 450:21 in parentheses; Piskeiy Teshuvos

[56] Igros Moshe 4:94

[57] Rather the Rav is to buy it for himself and then the original owner will buy it back from the Rav.

[58] See Igros Moshe 4:94 and so is implied from Admur in Seder Mechira who rules the sale is Biblical; However, see Mishneh Halachos 6:96; Piskeiy Teshuvos 443:1 and Admur 448:8 that the Chametz is permitted in benefit so long as one showed interest in selling it

[59] Divrei Malkiel 4:22; Igros Moshe 1:150; See Kinyan Torah 4:43 that this must be written even Bedieved; Piskeiy Teshuvos 448:29

[60] In the contract, Admur writes that the rooms with the Chametz have been marked for the gentile to know. Thus, one should mention within the contract all the areas which he has Chametz in. Shaar Hakolel Seder Mechira 4 writes that one needs to mention all the types of Chametz that he is selling, making sure to mention all the areas that they are being stored in; See Divrei Malkiel 4:22; Moadim Uzmanim 3:289

[61] Tzemach Tzedek 46 writes that even if the gentile was not made aware of the areas that contain the Chametz, it is nevertheless valid, as anyways the gentile knows that all the rooms which contain Chametz within them are rented to him, and there is thus no greater sign for him then that, Brought in Shaar Hakolel Seder Mechira 12; Piskeiy Teshuvos 448:29

[62] Peri Hasadeh 3:91Minchas Yitzchak 6:38 based on Michaber C.M. 240:13; Piskeiy Teshuvos 448:6

The reason: There is no Halachic invalidation of the sale involved in appointing two different Rabbis to sell one’s Chametz, as whichever Rabbi sells the Chametz first, is the one who actually sells it for the person.

[63] Rabbi Blumenkrantz 3-55; However, see Orchos Rabbeinu 2:2 that the Chazon Ish and Steipler would even initially sell through many different Rabbanim

[64] Such as that one must have a Jewish guarantor, and that a Kinyan chatzer does not help for a gentile. This is in addition to the fact that by all means one should use the sale contract which Admur authored as opposed to contracts taken from other sources. See Shaar Hakolel on Seder Mechiras Chametz for the explanation of the various nuances found in the Shtar Mechira of Admur, in contrast to that of other Poskim.

[65] So replied Rav Eli Landau and Rav S.B. Levin, that the main Kinyan of Admur in the Siddur is Kinyan Kesef, and it hence needs an Eiruv Kablan, while the other Kinyanim are just “Litosefes.” Hence, if the Kinyan Kesef is invalid, it can nullify the whole sale according to Admur. Vetzaruch Iyun, as Admur 448:8 clearly rules that Kinyan Kesef alone does not suffice, and hence one cannot rely on it alone. Thus, one must say the other Kinyanim are also valid in their own right, otherwise there is no Kosher Mechiras Chametz today according to Admur.

[66] Admur 448:7-8 rules that the main Kinyan is Meshicha, although Lechatchila one must do also Kinyan Kesef with an Eiruv Kablan because some say Meshicha is not enough; In 448:11 he rules that if one can’t do Meshicha, then he must do one of the other Kinyanim listed there [and here below]. This implies that the entire need of an Eiruv Kablan is only when one is relying on Kinyan Kesef with Meshicha, otherwise, one can rely on the other Kinyanim even without an Eiruv Kablan. So is also implied from Tzemach Tzedek in Piskei Dinim, brought in Shaar Hakolel 2, that “By Kinyan Kesef one needs an Eiruv Kablan.” In other words, lack of an Eiruv Kablan does not nullify the other forms of Kinyanim.

[67] Likkutei Dibburim 180

[68] See Avnei Nezer Y.D. 110 regarding Libun Chamur that it helps for metal vessels even from the outside; Magen Halef 451:3 that metal is different than Keli Cheres; Maglei Eliyahu [shlezinger] 1:3; Mikraeiy Kodesh 80:7; Rabbanut Hareishit Leyisrael for year 5780 due to the Coronavirus as signed by the Chief Rabbi’s Rav Yitzchak Yosef and Rav Dovid Lau

[69] The reason: As Libun effectively burns the taste of the food absorbed in a metal vessel, and hence so long as the vessel reaches Yad Soledes on both sides it is valid irrelevant of where the source of the heat derived from, and only by earthenware are we stringent that the heat be from its inside being that its absorbance of taste is much stronger than in metal. Furthermore, just as the pot absorbed the taste through an external fire, so too it can expel it through an external fire. [See Poskim ibid]

[70] P”M 451 A”A 10; Beis Shlomo Y.D. 164; Imrei Yosher 2:144; Rav SZ”A in Minchas Shlomo 2:67 and Halichos Shlomo Nissan 3:1; Siddur Pesach Kehilchaso 5:3 footnote 10 in great length from the Poskim; Piskeiy Teshuvos 451:3 that this form of Koshering is completely worthless; Rav Yehuda Henkin in Noam 20:169; See Tosafus Avoda Zara 33b; Smag Lo Sasei 148; Sefer Hateruma 161; Hagahos Maimanis Machalos Assuros 11:15; Or Zarua Avoda Zara 2:169; Hagahos Ashri 2:22

[71] The reason: As Kebolo Kach Polto, and hence just as the vessel absorbed the taste through having food cooked inside of it, so too it can only expel all its taste through having the fire placed inside of it. [See Admur 451:8; 11; 38]

[72] Implication of Admur 451:10 “Fill the inside with coals”, 16, and 44 who emphasizes the placing of the coals inside the vessels and so can also be implied from Admur 451:70 who requires the melted led to reach all areas of the pot from inside and does not suffice with the burner on the outside. So rules Admur regarding doing Libun Gamur to earthenware vessels that it must be done from the inside, with the fire inside the vessel: 451:8 and 11 and 65; So also rules Admur regarding doing Hagallah to metal vessels that it must be done from the inside, with the water inside the vessel: 451:38 and 452:2; So also rules Admur regarding earthenware that the coals must touch all the surfaces of the inside of the vessel: 461:1; 494:16 in parentheses [See regarding the rule of Cham Miktzaso Cham Kulo: Michaber and Rama 94:1 and 98:4] See Igros Kodesh Rebbe Rashab 5:226

Possible contradictions in Admur: See Admur 451:38 that doing Libun over a metal patch helps, however in truth one can argue that one cannot compare a patch to the actual bottom of a vessel. See also Admur 451:70 that heating up the pot from under it in order to coat its inside with led is valid as Libun Kal, although in truth there it is valid because the led inside serves as the fire material, and on the contrary, Admur explicitly requires the led to reach all areas of the pot inside. See also 509:11 where Admur allows doing Libun to a dairy pot on Yom Tov through leaving it in the oven, which implies that external heat suffices, although in truth one can argue that it refers to one who turns over the pot over the coals, and hence the coals are inside. Alternatively, we are more lenient by “Heter Bala” or by Libun Kal”

[73] Rav SZ”A ibid

[74] M”B 453:7

[75] See Igros Moshe 3:62

The reason: As it is no longer fit for human or dog consumption and hence falls under the allowance explained in Halacha 4 and the Q&A that all agree that we do not say Sicha Keshtiya when the item is used for medicinal purposes.

[76] Igros Moshe 3:62

The reason: As it is drunk by people in times of need for alcohol and therefore it may not be used and must be sold before Pesach. [Igros Moshe ibid]

[77] Admur ibid; Michaber 470:1; Tur 470; Tosefos Pesachim 108a; Rosh 10:19; Miseches Sofrim 21:3

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is not necessary to actually fast, but one is to simply avoid eating a meal, such as Hamotzi or Mezonos. [Rav Yechiel, brought in Mordechai and M”B 470:2]

[78] Admur 470:8; M”A 470:4; Olas Shabbos; Maharash Halevi 3; Peri Chadash 470; Chavos Yair 71 in name of Rashal; M”B 470:10; Aruch Hashulchan 470:5

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one may not exempt himself from fasting by joining a Siyum Misechta. [See Teshuvah Meahvah 2:261 in name of Nodah Beyehuda; Shut Rav Akiva Eiger Kama O.C. 34; Haalef Lecha Shlomo 317; Maharsham 25; Arugas Habosem 139]

[79] Mayan Omer 50 that so replied Rav Ovadia Yosef; Shaareiy Yosher 2:64; So is evident from the following Poskim who all rule eating by the actual Siyum is required: Maharam Brisk 1:133; Mikraeiy Kodesh 2:22; Chazon Ovadia p. 98; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:300; See Michaber 568; See Shach 246:27 in name of Mahram Mintz 2:119; Taz 246:9 in name of Rashal in Yam Shel Shlomo end of Perek Merubah Bava Kama 37 that it is a Mitzvah even on other people to rejoice together with the Baal Hasimcha, which implies that if they are not physically with him then they are not included within the Siyum celebration; See Biur Halacha 551:10 “Vesiyum Misechta” for the conditions necessary to be considered part of the Siyum.

The reason: As only those who are physically present by the Siyum to rejoice with the person who finished the Misechta are considered a participant of the Seudas Mitzvah which exempts him from fasting. This is in addition to the debate in Poskim as to whether one must also eat some food by the actual Siyum in order to be exempt from the fast, in which many Poskim  rule that if one did not eat any of the food served, then he is not exempt from the fast even if he was present by the actual Siyum. [Maharam Brisk 1:133; Mikraeiy Kodesh 2:22; Minchas Yitzchak 9:45 [Lechatchila]; Chazon Ovadia p. 98; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:300; See Michaber 568] At the very least it should be required for the person to be present by the Siyum and at least fulfill the Mitzvah of learning the end of the section with him. Thus, participating virtually through radio, internet, or telephone, loses out on all aspects, as there is no meal participation, and even the Torah which he hears is not considered to be Motzi him with the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah, as one can only be Yotzei Talmud Torah if he hears the words said from the direct mouth of a Jew, in contrast to a telephone or radio which is a mimicked voice. See Daas Torah 689 based on Halachos Ketanos; Mahraiy Engel Brachos 25; Rav SZ”A in Minchas Shlomo 1:9 “One cannot be Yotzei anything from a microphone and speakers or the radio and telephone, and those who puzzle at this ruling simply do not understand the mechanics of these machines, thinking erroneously that there is some kind of magical transportation of the persons actual voice. I have lengthened in this Teshuvah to negate this mistake, as they do not know the truth, and I have spoken with people knowledgeable of this matter, and they all agree with me.”; Eretz Tzvi 1:23; Mishpitei Uziel 1:5; Minchas Yitzchak 1:37 and 3:38; Yechaveh Daas 2:68; 3:54; Chazon Ovadia Megillah 56; Mishneh Halachos 4:85; Kinyan Torah 1:75; Beir Moshe 3:166-168; Piskeiy Teshuvos 689:3; Rebbe in Igros Kodesh 23:304 and Likkutei Sichos 21:496, printed in Shulchan Menachem 3:319,“What is heard is not a man’s voice at all (and does not even resemble the case of one who sounds a Shofar in a pit). It is obviously most novel, even strange, to suggest that an indirect effect (koach kocho) and a basic transformation of the very nature of speech, should serve as a substitute for speech. Even though the recent scholars who have ruled otherwise include reputed poskim, it is evident from their very responsa that those who explained them the nature and workings of the telephone made a basic mistake.”; Rav Yaakov Yosef Z”l completely invalidates using it, and states the Poskim who permitted made a mistake in their understanding of these systems; The following lenient Poskim all agree that one is initially to be stringent: Igros Moshe 2:108; 4:126; Tzitz Eliezer 8:11; Sheivet Halevi 5:84 that it is forbidden to hear from the above systems even though it is possible that one is Yotzei

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that by a Siyum, it suffices to simply hear the Siyum, and he may then go home and eat. [Beis Avi 2:16; Rav Elyashiv, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 58] See Maadnei Shlomo 1:2 and Shalmei Moed p. 416 that Rav SZ”A once permitted a person to not fast Taanis Bechoros on the basis of joining a Siyum over the telephone

[80] See Minchas Yitzchak ibid

[81] See M”A 576:2 that during a pandemic one is not to abstain from eating and drinking

[82] See Peri Hasadeh 4:57; Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 52

[83]

[84] So also ruled Rav Amar, the chief Rabbi of Israel

[85] Admur 487:8 that so is custom of some; Siddur Admur; Michaber 497:4; Gr”a

[86] See Admur 55:16 [depends on sight]; M”B 55:48 [in building no need sight, implies out of building depends on sight]; Mishneh Sachir 1:12 [34 in new edition; depends on being in hearing distance]; Minchas Yitzchak 2:44 [depends on hearing distance and sight]; Birchas Shamayim 1:24; Rivivos Efraim 1:45; Piskeiy Teshuvos 55:22

[87] Mishneh Sachir 1:12 [34 in new edition]

[88] See Admur 55:16

[89] See Admur ibid and 55:17 [that when in two different areas, such as two balconies, then the Chazan can be Mitzaref them if he sees them all, even though they do not see each other]

[90] See Michaber 195:1; Taz 195:2; Admur 195:1 [By Zimun two groups that have Derech Harabaim between them do not join even if see each other]; Kaf Hachaim 195:11 [applies even if see each other]; P”M 55 A”A 12 [the same applies by Minyan for Davening]; Mishneh Sachir ibid; Minchas Yitzchak ibid

[91] Admur 55:22

[92] Opinion in Admur ibid; Michaber 55:20; Bahag in name of Rav Yehudaiy Gaon in name of Rav Acha; Mahariy Abuhav in name of Orchos Chaim in name of Rav Achaiy Gaon

[93] Halef Lecha Shlomo 40; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 55:30; Minchas Elazar 2:72

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the above law only applies to answering for a Davar Shebekidusha and not towards Amen. [Ashel Avraham Butchach 55; See Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos 55:30 footnote 212]

[94] Machatzis Hashekel 273:13 regarding Kiddush; M”B 194:8 regarding Birchas Hamazon; Vetzaruch Iyun from Admur ibid who positioned this opinion between the Halacha of Kedusha:Kaddish and being Yotzei, hence implying they only argue regarding if one may answer, Vetzrauch Iyun.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the above law only applies to answering for a Davar Shebekidusha and not towards Amen. [See Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos 55:30 footnote 212]

[95] First opinion in Michaber and Admur ibid;

[96] Implication of Michaber who only brings as Yeish Omrim, and Admur ibid who does not write Vichein Ikkur and simply writes to suspect for their words; Levushei Serud  55:20; Maaseh Rav 47; M”B 55:62 that it is implied from Michaber and Rama that they mainly hold like the lenient opinion; See Shulchan Hatahor 55:8

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the main opinion follows the stringent opinion. [Kaf Hachaim 55:95]

[97] Admur ibid; Levushei Serud ibid; Kaf Hachaim 55:95

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is only to be stringent regarding Barchu and other matters which mention Hashem’s name, and not regarding Kaddish and Kedusha. [Makor Chaim 55:20; M”B 55:62 in name of Chayeh Adam; Ashel Avraham Butchach]

[98] Levushei Serud ibid

[99] Kaf Hachaim 55:95

[100] See Admur 90:5

The reason: As only in a conspicuous setting does one feel the awe of the King and have a broken heart. [ibid] 

[101] Piskeiy Teshuvos 90:5

[102] Taharas Yisrael 240:77; See Kneses Hagedola 240:5; Tzitz Eliezer 13:21; See 2nd opinion in Elya Zuta 240:11

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