The Night Before Passover
Once the house is Passover-tidy, it’s time to do the search-and-destroy ritual.
After nightfall, gather the family, light a candle, and say:
Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and has commanded us concerning the removal of chametz.
Bag the evidence and store away for tomorrow’s burning ceremonyThoroughly search your home and car for any chametz that may have been missed in the cleaning (yes, it happens). Bag the evidence and store away for tomorrow’s burning ceremony.
After the search, say:
All leaven and anything leavened that is in my possession—which I have neither seen nor removed, and about which I am unaware—shall be considered naught and ownerless as the dust of the earth.
- The kids love this part: Before the search, carefully wrap ten pieces of bread in paper and hide them throughout the house. Just don’t forget where you hid them.
- Aside for the candle, it is customary to take along a feather and a wooden spoon.
- Away from home for the holiday? Ask your rabbi when and how to do the search.
Day Before Passover
Last day to sell your chametz! Click here to do it online.
Chametz may be eaten until the beginning of the fifth hour of the day. By the sixth hour, all chametz must have been destroyed or sold. (These “hours” are each one-twelfth of the daylight period. For example, if sunrise is at 5:40 AM and sunset is at 6:40 PM, then the fifth hour would begin at 10:00 AM, and the sixth hour at 11:05 AM.) Note: The times given here are for illustrative purposes only. To find your local chametz-eating and -burning deadlines, click here.
All food from here on should be kosher for Passover.
Before the beginning of the sixth hour of the day, make a fire and burn the chametz bag from last night, plus any other leftover chametz.
While burning the chametz, say the following:
All leaven and anything leavened that is in my possession—whether I have seen it or not, whether I have observed it or not, whether I have removed it or not—shall be considered naught and ownerless as the dust of the earth.
You are now chametz-free—and free to enjoy the liberating Seder experience and the eight-day Festival of Freedom.