A copy of our Pesach Check guide can be downloaded here.
The ideal way to sell your chametz is to print and fill out the document and then email, fax or mail to to BCK offices by Thursday, March 25, 2021. The document can be downloaded here
If you are not able to fill out the document, you may use this electronic form
Hard copies of the guide will be distributed to local kosher establishments next week.
This year, Erev Pesach is on Shabbos so there are a number of things to do a bit differently than most years:
Fast of the Firstborn
It is an ancient tradition for the firstborns to fast on the day before Passover. Since we (generally) do not fast on Shabbat, which is a day of feasting, or on Friday which may interfere with our Shabbat joy, this fast is observed on Thursday, 12 Nissan. The widespread custom is for firstborns to participate in a siyum or another celebratory event that overrides the fast and allows them to eat for the remainder of the day. This, too, is done on Thursday.
Search for Chametz
On the night before Passover we search for chametz (which we are forbidden to own or eat on Passover) by candlelight. Since this cannot be done on Friday night, which is Shabbat, we do it after nightfall on Thursday.
The last bits of chametz must be burned the day before Passover (Friday morning), before the fifth halachic hour of the day (12:14 pm in Vancouver, please see page entitled PESACH SCHEDULE in our Pesach guide for other cities). Since this cannot be done on Shabbat, the burning of the chametz takes place at the same time on Friday, even though we keep just enough chametz to eat at the Friday night and Shabbat morning meals.
The Sale of Chametz
All chametz that we wish to save for use after Passover must be sold to a non-Jew and then repurchased after the holiday has passed. This sale typically takes place on the morning before Passover. Since buying and selling are forbidden on Shabbat, the sale is transacted (by the community rabbi on behalf of his community) on Friday Morning.
Eating Chametz on Shabbat
Since the house cannot be cleaned on Shabbat, all the cleaning must be finished on Friday. Yet it is a mitzvah to eat bread at the Friday night and Shabbat morning meals.
In practice, we retain a small quantity of chametz, carefully kept away from our food and utensils all of which are strictly kosher for Passover by this time.
On Shabbat morning, services are held early so that the Shabbat meal, which requires two challah loaves (which are chametz), must be concluded before the deadline (11:10 AM in Vancouver).
On a practical note, it is advisable to prepare small rolls, one per meal for each participant -for the Friday night and Shabbat meal - which can be distributed and eaten without the use of a knife. It is advisable to eat on a napkin or tissue, which does not come in contact with the peach utensils and away from any kosher for Passover food and can be flushed down the toilet. After finishing the chametz before partaking of the remainder of the meal, which is eaten on Pesach utensils, one should rinse their mouth.
Make sure that you eat all the chametz that has been left for Shabbat before the deadline as chametz cannot be sold, burned, or taken out to the street on Shabbat. Any remaining challah pieces and crumbs should be flushed down the toilet. At this point, we say the second Kol Chamira declaration, disowning any leftover chametz.
Preparing for the Seder
Shabbat is a day of rest, and we may not start preparing on Shabbat for after Shabbat. As such, setting the table, cooking, and preparing can only be done once night has fallen on Saturday night. Therefore, it is advisable to do whatever possible preparation for the seder before Sabbat.
Before commencing any tasks after Shabbat, one should say bah-rookh hah-mahv-deel bayn koh-desh leh-koh-desh, ‚ÄúBlessed is He Who divides between the sacred (Shabbat) and the sacred (holiday).‚ÄĚ
Even though cooking is allowed on yom tov (with certain caveats), it is forbidden to kindle a fire from scratch. So if you wish to have your oven and/or stove on over yom tov, be sure to ensure the fire is on before Shabbat, even though no cooking is allowed on Shabbat itself.