When Erev Pesach coincides with Shabbos, the difficulty arises that on the one hand we have to remove all Chametz and prepare the house for Pesach before Shabbos commences. On theother hand, for the Shabbos meals one is required to partake ofthe loaves of לחם משנה. As one may not eat Matzah on ErevPesach, it is necessary to partake of Chametz. It is inevitabletherefore, that the last remains of Chametz will have to becleared away on Shabbos itself. There are a number of other changes too, as you will see. The following advice is offeredon the procedure to be followed according to Halachah.

The Derashah for Shabbos HaGadol

The traditional Shiur/Derashah given on the Shabbos preceding Pesach, is brought forward by one week, i.e. on Shabbos Parshas Metzora, 7th of Nissan. In the Derashah, the focus would be on the relevant Halachos for the imminent Yom Tov.. ראה שוע"ר סי' תכט ס"ב.

The Fast of the Firstborns

The Fast of Firstborns (normally held on Erev Pesach) is observed on Thursday the 12th of Nissan/21 April. (Accordingly, the customary Siyum is made in Shul on Thursday after Shacharis).. שוע"ר סי' תע ס"ז, לקו"ש חי"ז ע' 66 ואילך.

The Search for Chametz

The search for Chametz is done on Thursday night. As usual: a) the appropriate berachah is said before the search; b) when one has completed the search, one would be mevatel — declare null and void — all unknown Chametz.1 (Those who do not understand the Aramaic text of Kol Chamira should say it in a language that they are familiar with).2

As of the time when one searches for Chametz, all Chametz food which one intends to use until Shabbos morning should be stored in a safe place, out of reach of small children or rodents.121

By this time the house in general should be Pesach’dik, having stowed away all Chametz dishes etc. From this time onwards, the general eating of Chametz will be done with caution so that no crumbs should scatter.

Prior to the search for Chametz, one is not be allowed to eat a meal in the evening. However, a Firstborn who had fasted a whole day, would be allowed to eat a small amount (less than the volume of an egg), so that he should have the energy to search for Chametz properly.3

Burning the Chametz

The burning of the Chametz is done on Friday 22 April, at the same time as usual, i.e. during the 5th hour of the day4 (check your local calendar for the specific times). Don’t forget to empty all crumbs of Chametz from your pockets as well as the children’s pockets.5 (Trouser cuffs should also be checked for Chametz).

When burning the Chametz, the prayer Yehi Ratzon.. is said, as usual.6 However, the saying of the 2nd Kol Chamira, annulling all known and unknown Chametz, is left until the following day (see below).

The Sale of Chametz

The sale of Chametz is effected on Friday, usually by midday.7 The Chametz retained for burning and for eating (until Shabbos morning), is not included in the sale, nor is it included in the Bitul (nullification) said on Thursday night at the end of the search for Chametz.8

Biur Maasros

Before partaking of produce grown in Eretz Yisrael, one is obliged to separate Maaser. Part of this procedure is to designate a coin upon which to transfer the sanctity of Maaser Sheni. Prior to Pesach of the 4th and the 7th year of the Shemittah cycle, all Maasros hoarded in our possession are to be disposed of.9 Accordingly, the above-mentioned coin should be destroyed before Erev Pesach this year.

Preparing the House for Shabbos

Where should one eat the Shabbos meals?

If one has a room which is included in the sale to the gentile, it would be ideal if one could eat the meals there. If planning to do so, it would be correct to indicate this intention to the gentile who is buying the Chametz.

Care should be taken that:

a) the Chametz which has actually been sold should not be tampered with;

b) before anyone leaves that room, to brush off any crumbs;

c) the room must be locked before the end of the 5th seasonal hour (check your local calendar for the specific time).

If the above option is not feasible, one may eat the meal in one of the Pesach’dike rooms — preferably one without carpet. When eating bread, take care not to scatter crumbs.

After the meal is over, remove the tablecloth and store it away with the Chametz utensils. Sweep the floor (with a soft broom — as on every Shabbos).10 The crumbs should be disposed of carefully (seebelow).

If one ate the meal in the open air, such as a balcony, patio etc., one may not sweep the floor.11 Just carefully pick up any visible pieces of Chametz.

Using either option, think ahead what to do about candlesticks:12 in the first option, the candlesticks used for Friday night will remain locked up in the Chametz room. In the second option, do not place the candle-sticks on the tablecloth as usual, since one intends to remove the tablecloth after the meal on the following morning. Consider placing the candlesticks on a separate table. Alternatively use two tablecloths, and have the Chametz tablecloth reach until the tray of the candlesticks.

Foods that may be eaten on the Friday?

On Erev Pesach one is not allowed to eat Matzah. Chabad custom is to refrain also from eating Moror and any of the ingredients of the Charoses. Some have the custom to refrain from having these foods even on this Friday too.13

Food Arrangements for Shabbos

Challos — One should retain only the bare minimum of Chametz for use on Shabbos. Small Challos for Lechem Mishneh are a good idea. A useful tip: Soft Pita-bread does not create crumbs easily, so consider using whole Pitot for Lechem Mishne.

(Bear in mind that: a) for the Mitzvah of eating a Shabbos meal it is preferable to eat a bit more than a kebeitzah (volume of 1 egg) of bread, and at the very minimum one should eat a kezayis (volume of 1 olive);14 b) one eating less than a kebeitzah of bread should not say the Berachah Al Netilas Yadayim when washing).15

General Shabbos food — Ideally, non-Chametz-foods should be cooked for Shabbos, in Pesach’dike pots. However, as Chametz (the Challah) is eaten with the meal, it is not advisable to serve the food on Pesach’dike dishes.

One simple solution is to use disposable dishes & cutlery. After the meal is over one would check them for any visible remains of Chametz, which should be eaten or flushed down the toilet. The used paperware etc. could then be placed with the trash. Any trace of Chametz which may have remained upon the dishes unnoticed will be annulled when one says Kol Chamira.

If one does serve with Chametz dishes, then:

a) one should not pour hot food from Pesach’dike pots directly into Chametz’dike dishes;16

b) even when removing cold food from Pesach’dike pots etc., one should only do so with Pesach’dike cutlery;

c) once one has finished eating on Shabbos the used dishes may not be washed.17 They should be stored away with the rest of the Chametz utensils.

Hot drinks — Likewise, it would be ideal to prepare hot water in an urn which is Pesach’dik. When serving hot drinks with the Chametz meals, one could use disposable cups. If one does serve with Chametz’dike cups, one should pour the hot water into a Pesach’dike cup, from which one would then pour into the Chametz’dike cup.

Preparations of Foods for the Seder Plate

The Zeroa (shankbone or — in Chabad custom — chicken’s neck) to be used for the Seder Plate should be roasted before Shabbos.18 It is also preferable to grate the Maror and Charoses before Shabbos.19 (The Maror should be kept sealed so that it’s pungency should not dissipate). One should be careful not to leave the lettuce soak for more than 24 hours.20

Cutting of hair and nails is permitted until sunset.21

Shabbos Morning

Davening starts early, so as to allow enough time for the Shabbos meal.22

For Haftorah, the Chabad custom is to read V’Orvah. Verify the prevailing custom of your Shul.23

Chametz may not be eaten later than two seasonal hours before noon (check your calendar for the specific local time).

After this time, any remaining Chametz should be disposed of. Crumbs etc. may be flushed down the toilet.

If one is left with a larger amount of Chametz, one may give this to a non-Jew, who will remove it from one’s premises. For this purpose, the non-Jew would have to enter the premises of the Jew. He would then be able to take the Chametz and then leave the premises at his own volition.24 However, one should not hand the Chametz directly to the non-Jew.25

All this must be over and done with, no later than one seasonal hour before noon (check your calendar for the specific local time).

(Merely placing Chametz in the trash can in one’s own premises is not an acceptable solution for disposing of one’s Chametz).

It is advisable to rinse one’s mouth out, to remove any remaining particles of Chametz.26

Annulment of All Chametz

Kol Chamira— After having disposed of the Chametz remains, one should then annul all Chametz in one’s possession. This declaration is the 2nd Kol Chamira to be found in the beginning of the Haggadah. (Those who do not understand the Aramaic text of Kol Chamira should say it in a language that they are familiar with). This declaration must be said before one seasonal hour before noon (check your calendar for the specific local time).

Any Chametz discovered after this time is Muktzah. It should be covered over (until Chol HaMoed, when it should be burnt).27

Shabbos Afternoon

As on every Shabbos HaGadol, after Minchah it is customary to read the Haggadah, from עבדים היינו until לכפר על כל עונותינו.28 [This has been included in the annotated edition of the Tehillat HaShem Siddur, p. 398ff]. In addition, before sunset we study the Order of the Pesach Sacrifice in the Beis HaMikdash, as is done every Erev Pesach [ibid. p. 407-8].29

At Seudah Shlishis in the afternoon, neither Chametz nor Matzah is permissible, but one should serve meat or fish (with vegetables etc.).30

If eating in the latter half of the afternoon, one should not each much food. This is to ensure that one will eat the Matzah in the evening with greater appetite.31


Maariv should be recited as early as Shabbos is over.32 Add Vatodieynu in the Shemoneh Esreh.33

Preparations for the Seder

Preparations for the Seder may only be done after Shabbos is over (check your calendar for the specific local time). One would then say Boruch HaMavdil Bein Kodesh leKodesh before going ahead with the preparations for the Seder, including the lighting of the candles in honor of Yom Tov.34

Kiddush at the Seder

Kiddush tonight incorporates Havdalah. Specific instructions are to be found in the Haggadah.