Passover (Pesach) At Home

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For the rest of the leaven, there is a formal search called bedikat hametz that takes place right after sundown on the night before Pesach. A blessing is said, and the search is done by candlelight or flashlight, with a small bag to sweep up the crumbs, usually by using a feather. Since the house has already been cleaned thoroughly, it is customary to put crumbs in a few places where they can be easily found. The following morning, the leaven is burned (biur hametz). No hametz is eaten after this ritual until the end of Passover.

In most homes it is customary to use a special set of plates and utensils during Passover. This is to ensure that none of it has ever been touched by hametz. Alternatively, it is possible to “kasher”--make kosher--many utensils for use on Passover. All tables, closets, and cupboards used for leaven are also cleaned and kashered for Passover. It is customary to cover them before using them for Pesach.

Once cleaning, kashering, and dealing with hametz have been completed, the home is then ready for the highlight of the Pesach festival--the seder. But despite the fact that the seder(s) take place at the beginning of the holiday, Passover pervades the traditional Jewish home for eight days (seven in Israel and among liberal Jews worldwide), with a family’s food, plates, utensils, and countertops all uniquely kosher for Passover.

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