Halacha for Wednesday 22 Adar 5780 March 18 2020

Food Products for Pesach Use Nowadays

Beginning from thirty days before Pesach, the Mitzvah of eliminating Chametz takes effect. This includes all of the Pesach cleaning and all measures taken to ensure one does not transgress the prohibition of consuming or owning Chametz on Pesach.

It is therefore incumbent on each of us to begin to take heed that any food products one plans on using on Pesach not come in contact with Chametz. Similarly, shop-keepers and store-owners must make sure to place kosher for Pesach food items in clean places so that they do not come into contact with Chametz, such as flour and the like.

The basis for this law is from the Gemara (Pesachim 6a) which states that if one sets sail thirty days before Pesach, one is obligated to eliminate all Chametz in one’s possession before departing. The Rishonim derive from here that the Mitzvah of eliminating Chametz begins thirty days before Pesach and continues until the time Chametz is burned on Erev Pesach. (If, G-d-forbid, one finds Chametz later than this time, one must likewise eliminate it immediately.)

In previous generations, food products were generally made from basic, raw ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and the like. In the past several generations, however, where the food service market has been largely commercialized and subjected to many technological advancements, it has become necessary to appoint Kashrut supervisors for Pesach and year-round. Thus, nowadays, food products acceptable for Pesach use must be marked with a “Kosher for Passover” denomination.

All loose food products that could conceivably contain Chametz, such as dried fruits, nuts, seeds, cheeses, and the like may not be purchased for Pesach unless the shop-keeper is a G-d-fearing individual who knows all of the ingredients these Pesach-sensitive items contain (it is sometimes difficult to ascertain all of the ingredients in some products, like cheeses), in which case one may rely on his word that these foods are kosher for Pesach. However, one may not rely on the word of shop-keeper who is not G-d-fearing regarding the Kashrut of food products.

Thus, if a shop-keeper is non-religious or non-Jewish (applicable to many supermarket chains in Israel and abroad), one may not purchase food products for Pesach from such an establishment, unless it is a sealed product with a reliable “Kosher for Passover” symbol.

Maran Ha’Chida writes in his Sefer Avodat Ha’Kodesh (Section 196) in the name of our Sages that anyone who is careful not to transgress the prohibition of consuming or owning Chametz on Pesach even in the slightest is guaranteed to have a good year, for the Pesach holiday is the source of the rest of the year.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Laws of Taking Haircuts During the “Three Weeks"

The Customary Prohibition of Haircuts As a result of the mourning observed during the “Three Weeks,” the Ashkenazi custom is to abstain from shaving and taking haircuts beginning from the Seventeenth of Tammuz until the Tenth of Av. The Sephardic Custom Nevertheless, the Sephardic c......

Read Halacha

Mourning Customs Observed During the “Three Weeks”

---------------------------------- By Popular Request: There is room for leniency regarding listening to music during the "Three Weeks" for those who are in isolation or quarantine in cases of need. This is especially true regarding young children and one must do one's utmost to lif......

Read Halacha

Eating Meat with Fish

Since we have discussed several laws related to eating meat and dairy in the previous days, let us now discuss some laws related to eating fish with either chicken or meat and other related laws. Fish Baked With Meat The Gemara in Masechet Pesachim (76b) states: “Regarding fish that was ba......

Read Halacha

The Prohibition to Eat Meat and Dairy on the Same Table

----------------------------- Correction: There was a typographical error at the end of yesterday's Halacha which stated that the prohibition to take haircuts and shave does not apply this year according to the Sephardic custom. Clearly, this is incorrect and all of the laws of the week durin......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Eating Meat and Dairy on the Same Table-Continued

In the previous Halacha we have explained that it is forbidden to eat dairy foods on a table on which meat foods are placed, for there is concern that the individual eating will taste some of the other foods on the table, thus having transgressed the grave prohibition of eating milk and meat togethe......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Glassware and Pyrex Regarding the Prohibition of Milk and Meat Mixtures-Continued

In the previous Halacha we have written that according to Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch, glassware does not absorb any flavor from foods placed in it and thus, there is no prohibition to use a glass vessel for meat and then after it is washed well, to use it for dairy (although the Rama does rule st......

Read Halacha

Question: Must one designate two different sets of glassware for dairy and meat as one would with other utensils?

Question: Must one designate two different sets of glassware for dairy and meat as one would with other utensils? Answer: We have already established in the previous Halacha that one is obligated to designate two separate sets of dishes and flatware for dairy and meat, for dishes used with either......

Read Halacha

The “Shehecheyanu” Blessing on a New Garment

Question: When is the appropriate time to recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing on a new garment, at the time of purchase or the first time one wears it? Similarly, must one recite this blessing for every new piece of clothing one purchases? Answer: The Mishnah (Berachot 54a) teaches us ......

Read Halacha