Halacha for Thursday 12 Nissan 5781 March 25 2021

Setting the Table for the Seder Night

This year (5781), the Seder night will fall out on Motza’ei Shabbat.

Since Halacha dictates that one may not prepare for the holiday on Shabbat, it is therefore forbidden to set the table on Shabbat, which is Erev Pesach, for the Seder night. Only once approximately twenty minutes have passed after sunset on Motza’ei Shabbat (i.e. nightfall) may one begin preparing for the Seder.

If there is great need to prepare the table, flatware, Maror, and the like before nightfall on Motza’ei Shabbat, for instance, if there are many family members and guests, one may begin setting up for the Seder immediately at sunset.

This year, when Motza’ei Shabbat is the first night of Pesach, the special “Va’Todi’enu” text is inserted into the Arvit Amida prayer and can be found in all Machzorim. This text discusses Havdala (the distinction) between the sanctities of Shabbat and Yom Tov. If one forgets this text and remembers in the middle of the blessing, one should go back and insert it. If one has already concluded this blessing, one does not return to insert this text since one will later recite Havdala in Kiddush, as we shall soon explain.

If a woman forgets to insert the “Va’Todi’enu” text into her Arvit prayer, before lighting Yom Tov candles, she should recite the following blessing, without Hashem’s name: “Baruch Ha’Mavdil Ben Kodesh Le’Kodesh.” She may then proceed to light the Yom Tov candles.

During Kiddush of the Seder night this year (5781), one must also add Havdala. The order of Kiddush for the Seder night is, as follows:

Boreh Peri Ha’Gefen,” “Mekadesh Yisrael Ve’Hazemanim,” “Boreh Me’orei Ha’esh” (on a candle), “Ha’Mavdil Ben Kodesh Le’Kodesh,” and finally, “Shehecheyanu”. The unique text for this Kiddush can be found in all Pesach Machzorim and Haggadot. (One may recite the “Boreh Me’orei Ha’esh” blessing on the Yom Tov candles.)

On behalf of the entire “Halacha Yomit” team, we would like to wish our members and the entire Jewish nation a very joyous, healthy, and kosher Passover holiday. Just as our forefathers were redeemed from Egypt during the month of Nissan, may Hashem likewise usher in our Ultimate Redemption. May we merit eating from the Paschal lamb and other offerings through the coming of our righteous King Mashiach, Amen!

Tizku Le’Shanim Rabbot Ne’imot Ve’Tovot!

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