Introduction-Cleaning for Pesach

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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.

How to clean for Chametz:

The following paragraph is explained in Chapter 4 Halacha 2 regarding the laws of Bedikas Chametz, and is advised to be implemented throughout the cleaning process done before Pesach: All areas that require cleaning for Chametz, likewise require a Bedika with candle light [or flash light] at night to verify its cleanliness. In order to lessen the burden of requiring a rechecking of the entire home and its belongings on the night of the 14th, one can intend to check the room/item the same night that it was cleaned, even several days before the night of the 14th, and thus fulfill his Mitzvah of Bedika without needing to recheck it later on. Nonetheless, many are lenient not to recheck at night any area or furniture that was thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned from Chametz. See Chapter 4 Halacha 2 for the full details of this matter.


Throughout this chapter, the concept of Bittul or nullification is introduced. This refers to the disownment of Chametz which is commonly done after the Bedika of Chametz, and after burning the Chametz the next morning, in the statement of Kol Chamira. For further details on this concept, see Chapter 2 Halacha 8 and Chapter 4 Halacha 16!


A Chassidic perspective-The Holiness of the Job:[1]

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.”


[1] Likkutei Dibburim 180

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