Preparing For Passover

(טו) שִׁבְעַ֤ת יָמִים֙ מַצּ֣וֹת תֹּאכֵ֔לוּ אַ֚ךְ בַּיּ֣וֹם הָרִאשׁ֔וֹן תַּשְׁבִּ֥יתוּ שְּׂאֹ֖ר מִבָּתֵּיכֶ֑ם כִּ֣י ׀ כָּל־אֹכֵ֣ל חָמֵ֗ץ וְנִכְרְתָ֞ה הַנֶּ֤פֶשׁ הַהִוא֙ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מִיּ֥וֹם הָרִאשֹׁ֖ן עַד־י֥וֹם הַשְּׁבִעִֽי׃

(15) Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the very first day you shall remove leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day to the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.
(יז) וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם֮ אֶת־הַמַּצּוֹת֒ כִּ֗י בְּעֶ֙צֶם֙ הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה הוֹצֵ֥אתִי אֶת־צִבְאוֹתֵיכֶ֖ם מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֞ם אֶת־הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּ֛ה לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶ֖ם חֻקַּ֥ת עוֹלָֽם׃
(17) You shall observe the [Feast of] Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your ranks out of the land of Egypt; you shall observe this day throughout the ages as an institution for all time.

One of the many fun customs associated with Passover is to search for, collect, and destroy any chametz (leavening or grain that ferments) in the house. Children are particularly enthusiastic about this “search and destroy” mission. Look any place in the house where chametz was used during the year. Or designate one family member to hide 10 pieces of chametz (a Kabbalistic tradition) throughout the house (just remember where you put them). Before the search, this blessing is recited. Use the feather to sweep all the crumbs into the spoon and deposit them in the paper bag. The next morning, make one final search and then burn or discard the bag and its contents.


Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al biur chametz.

Blessed are You, our God, Ruler of the world, who sanctifies us with mitzvot and calls upon us to remove chametz.

(א) אור לארבעה עשר בודקין את החמץ לאור הנר. כל מקום שאין מכניסין בו חמץ, אין צריך בדיקה. ולמה אמרו שתי שורות במרתף, מקום שמכניסין בו חמץ. בית שמאי אומרים: שתי שורות על פני כל המרתף. ובית הלל אומרים: שתי שורות החיצונות שהן העליונות.

(1) On the evening of the fourteenth [of Nissan] we check for chamets [leavened grain products] by candlelight. Any place into which we do not bring chamets does not require checking. And why did [the Sages] say [that we must check up to] two rows in the wine cellar? [It is] a place which we bring leavened bread into. Beit Shammai says, "Two rows upon the entire wine-cellar." But Beit Hillel says, "The two outer rows, which are the uppermost."

(ב) אין חוששין שמא גררה חלדה מבית לבית וממקום למקום, דאם כן, מחצר לחצר ומעיר לעיר - אין לדבר סוף.

(2) We do not need to be concerned [that] perhaps a weasel dragged [chamets] from [one] house to [another] house, or from [one] place to [another] place. Since if [we were to be concerned, we would also need to be concerned that chamets was dragged] from [one] courtyard to [another] courtyard, and from [one] city to [another] city — there [would be] no end to the matter.