Halachos for Shabbos Erev Pesach 5768

By Rabbi Herschel Welcher

When Erev Pesach occurs on Shabbos, it is necessary to observe a number of the Mitzvos in an unconventional manner. This letter as a guide to practical observance, based on zmanim for Queens, NY.

1. Bedikas Chometz should be conducted on Thursday evening, April 17.

2. The first Bittul Chometz should be done immediately after the Bedika.

3. Biur Chometz should be done on Friday morning, April 18 before 11:48 A.M. If the Biur was not done before this time, it may be done at any time before Shabbos. The second Bittul Chometz is not done on Friday.

4. Preferably, we should finish eating Chometz before 10:16 A.M. on Shabbos morning, April 19. We must finish eating Chometz before 10:40 A.M.

5. The second Bittul Chometz must be done on Shabbos after we have finished eating Chometz. Preferably, it should be done before 11:36 A.M. It must be done before 11:48 A.M.

6. There are two basic approaches to fulfilling the mitzvah of Seudas Shabbos. Some make Hamotzi on Challah and eat the Challah in an area of the house that is not adjacent to the table where the actual meal will be conducted. After each person eats the equivalent of a large slice of Challah, the crumbs should be cleaned away, the clothes should be shaken clean, and the tablecloth should be removed. Then the hands should be washed and the mouth should be rinsed. Then the actual meal should be eaten; it should consist of Pesach foods, served on Pesach dishes.

Some use egg matzos, instead of Challah. If egg matzoh is used it may be eaten at the same table where the meal will be conducted. Even though we don’t eat egg matzoh on Pesach, it isn’t considered Chometz. It is permissible to keep egg matzoh in our home on Pesach. If egg matzoh is used, the Hamotzi is recited on two egg matzos. Preferably, each person should eat two egg matzos at each meal. The minimum amount of egg matzoh is one egg matzoh per meal.

7. The most significant difficulty with the Shabbos meals concerns the Seuda Shlishis. It is appropriate to recite the Hamotzi for this meal. However, on this Shabbos afternoon it is not permissible to use bread or matzoh.

Preferably, one should divide the morning meal into two parts. One should make the Hamotzi and eat the first course of the meal. Then the Birchas Hamazon should be recited. After the Birchas Hamazon, it is preferable to take a fifteen minute break which should be used for learning, strolling or any other activity. Then, one should wash again and recite the Hamotzi. After finishing the Challah (by 10:16 A.M. or 10:40 A.M.–see # 4), the main Shabbos meal should be eaten.

If egg matzoh is used it may be eaten until Chatzos (12:54 P.M.).

During the afternoon, it is preferable to eat a piece of meat or fish (or at least a fruit) to fulfill the view that this Seuda cannot take place before Chatzos.

Those who wear braces on their teeth should only use egg matzoh, on this Shabbos. (Such a person should not eat solid Chometz or liquid Chometz which is hot or sticky after 10:40 A.M. on Friday morning.)

7 comments on “Halachos for Shabbos Erev Pesach 5768

  1. In the library of our shul, a kid once put animal crackers into the grille of the window air conditioner.

  2. “Normally we rule leniently in cases of doubt arising from rabbinic law, and stringently in doubt arising from torah law.”

    The parameters of when and how to apply this and what is a stringent and what is lenient is complex, but for starters:

    1) When we follow an accepted psak halacha (ie the Gra’s Kriah Shema time) that would *not* be an example of ruling leniently in a Torah prohibition.

    2) With regard to Seudah Shilishit, the Shulchan Aruch first states that it should be made with bread, but brings down an alternative view that it need not be made with bread. The Mishna Berurah states “According to all views, the most preferred way of performing the mitzvah is with bread and with 2 loaves.” That wording indicates that this is normative and not a stringency.

    3) Prohibitions against chametz are in a different class because of the koreis prohibition associated with it.

    4) Wherever possible we should fulfill the normative halacha and not rely on leniencies unless we are forced to.

    So we try on Shabbos Erev Pesach to fulfill the halacha in the best possible way. In addition to to the halachic considerations, it’s a good preparation for the mitzvah filled Yom Tov of Pesach.

  3. I love this issue. Normatively we say that seudah shlishit must include bread or matzah (although I’ve personally received a psak to the contrary), and normatively we say that it should be after halachic noon. It is impossible to hold by all the opinions! This to me is a lesson for life in general, especially in this time when people want to take on stringency after stringency.

    This also shows an inconsistency in how we apply stringencies. Normally we rule leniently in cases of doubt arising from rabbinic law, and stringently in doubt arising from torah law. Most people I know hold by the lenient opinion of the Gra regarding sof zman keriat shema, which is clearly a matter of torah law. The prohibition of eating chametz after the fourth hour or owning it after the fifth hour is rabbinic (the torah prohibition only applies after halachic noon). Yet people who do are perfectly willing to accept the lenient position in the Gra for zman keriat shema are stringent this one day in a matter of rabbinic law and hold by the earlier times listed in this article?


    Everybody please remember that all the specific clock times above refer to NYC and not necessarily to where you live.

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