The following is a short checklist. See our corresponding Sefer “The Laws & Customs of the Pesach Seder-Summary Edition” for the full details of this matter!
A. Erev Pesach Seder preparation list
- The leader of the Seder is to review the Hagadah and story of the exodus with the Mefarshim and contemplate the best ways of giving over the information to the participants, each on his level.
- It is strongly advised for the Seder participants to take a nap on Erev Pesach. This is especially imperative upon the leader of the Seder and upon the children of the home, in order so they have strength to stay awake.
- Immerse new vessels in a Mikveh
- Don’t eat lettuce; apples; pears; nuts
- Wash and clean the lettuce. Don’t soak the lettuce that will be used for Maror, in water, for 24 hours.
- Those who follow the custom of abstaining from eating Gebrochts, are to make sure to dry the lettuce that will be used for the Koreich sandwich.
- One is to grind the horseradish before Yom Tov and keep it in a closed container.
- Roast the Zeroa-neck of the chicken.
- Prepare the Charoses: The Charoses is made from apples, pears, nuts [i.e. walnuts, hazelnuts, or chestnuts, and not almonds], and wine. It is our custom to only add the wine later on during the Seder. In years that Pesach falls on Shabbos, place wine in the Charoses before Shabbos. According to the Chabad custom [to be particular to use only dry Charoses for Koreich, due to the worry of Gebrochts] one is not to add water to the Charoses, and is to be particular to dry any of the ingredients prior to being ground.
- One is not to say regarding meat or poultry, that “This meat is for Pesach” or “Buy me this meat for Pesach.”
- Do not roast any meat or poultry to be eaten for Seder night. One may roast fish. Don’t cook the meat in a pot without liquids, even if it will simmer in its own juice. One may roast the meat and then cook it.
- Set up the Seder table.
- Prepare cushions on seat for leaning. Women don’t lean.
- Check the Matzos for Kefulos and Sheleimos.
- Separate Challah from the Matzos, if needed.
- Prepare the bags of Kezayis of Matzah and Maror for all participants. Weigh/measure the Kezaeisim beforehand.
- Prepare the Karpas
- Make salt water.
- Cook the egg for Beitza.
- If you don’t have a broken plate for the spilling of the wine by the Makos, then chip a plastic bowl before Yom Tov.
B. Upon coming home
- One is to return home immediately after the conclusion of Maariv in order to begin the Seder right away.
- Prepare vessels of gold and silver and wear silk and expensive garments of all that Hashem has made available for one’s family.
- One may feed the kids a little food before the Seder. Children below Chinuch may be given Matzah.
- One is to distribute nuts to the kids prior to the Seder.
- One is to begin the Seder as soon as he comes home, without delay.
- When Pesach falls on Shabbos one is to recite Shalom Aleichem and Eishes Chayil in an undertone upon returning from Shul.
C. Setting up the Kearah
- Take three curved shaped Matzas. Verify that the Matzas are complete [Shaleim] and do not contain any folded [Kefulos] areas.
- Place a plate on bottom, and place the Matzas on top of the plate.
- First place the Yisrael and then the Levi, and then the Kohen. The Matzas are separated from each other with a cloth. The largest of the Matzas is to be used for Levi.
- Place the Simanim directly on top of the Matzah cover. We do not use small bowls to place it in.
- Dry the Maror prior to placing it on the cover.
- One is to use romaine lettuce and horseradish for both Maror and Chazeres. This means that both vegetables are to be placed by the area of Maror and likewise by the area of Chazeres. If the leaves of the Chazeres became dry, then one cannot fulfill his obligation with them.
- The Rebbe used an egg with a shell.
- Set the plate up in the following order:
D. General Directives
- One is to have all the children of the family, including babies, present by the Seder.
- Look inside the Hagadah prior to each step and read the Siman of that step.
- One is to read the Hagadah out loud and with a Niggun.
- One is to guard his speech throughout the Seder, and not talk of matters unrelated to the Seder.
- Throughout the Seder one needs to concentrate on being a Mentch.
- Always drink each of the 4 cups entirely in one shot.
- Lean by Matzah, Korech, Afikoman, 4 cups of wine. Lean to the left. This includes lefties. If one forgot to lean by the above required parts then by Matzah of Motzi Matzah [not Afikoman or Korech] and by the second cup of wine, one is to repeat the eating/drinking.
- Women do not have to lean.
- The Shiurim:
- Matza 28.8 grams. By Koreich and Afikoman, in time of need may take 21.2 grams
- Maror 27 grams Lechatchila if unable than 21.2.
- Achilas Pras: 4 Minutes.
Girls and boys who have reached the age of Chinuch, who can understand the story of the exodus, are obligated in the following:
- 4 Kosos
- Birchas Hamazon
- Halel Hagadol
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