The Search for Chameitz

67. One who will be leaving his home within 30 days of Pesach and who has no intentions of returning before Pesach so that no one will be at home to search the chameitz the night before Pesach can do one of two things:

(a) He can appoint a representative to search his home on his behalf the night before Pesach and that person should also nullify the chameitz that night and the next morning on his behalf1.

(b) He should search his home the night before he leaves on his trip. This should be done without a berachah. That night, after the search he should also nullify the chameitz which he has not seen2. Then, on Erev Pesach, wherever he is, he should nullify the chameitz in his possession3.

It is preferable however, for a family who will not be spending Pesach at home, and who will be leaving after Purim, to search for the chameitz the night before their departure, rather than have an agent do it for them the night of Erev Pesach4.

68. When appointing a representative to search the chameitz, it is preferable that the individual be a male5.

69. Even when appointing a representative who will nullify the chameitz for him, he should nevertheless also personally nullify his chameitz [wherever he is] on Erev Pesach at the appropriate time6.

70. When he is searching for the chameitz on the night before his departure [and it is not the night before Erev Pesach], it is not necessary for him to place the 10 pieces of bread throughout the house7.

71. After the search, he should close up the rooms and his house and not bring in any chameitz. If there is any chameitz needed for the children, it should be removed to a friend’s house and eaten there8.

72. If he will be departing more than 30 days before Pesach and he has no intention of returning until after Pesach, there is no need for him to search the house. However, he does need to nullify the chameitz on Erev Pesach wherever he is9.

73. If he has intentions of returning during Pesach, then even if he leaves right after Pesach of the previous year, he needs to search for the chameitz right before his departure10.

74. If a person is going away on a short trip (even within the 30 days before Pesach) and has intentions of returning a few days before Pesach, he does not need to search before leaving. However, if one will be traveling overseas, or by ship and the like, where unexpected delays are possible, he must search for chameitz before he leaves, despite his intentions of returning a few days before Pesach11.

75. Just as one may not eat, learn or do any work a half hour prior to the time of bedikas chameitz on the night of Erev Pesach, so too, these activities may not be done on the night that he will be searching for chameitz before his departure12.

76. One who will be away from home for the duration of Pesach and “leases” his house, with the chameitz inside sold to a non-Jew, nevertheless must search his house before leaving. The reason is that the sale and lease does not take effect until Erev Pesach. So on the night before, the house and chameitz still belong to him13.

 [An alternative to avoid searching used by many Rabbanim is to sell the chameitz and house on the thirteenth of Nissan.]

According to some opinions, it is not necessary to search whichever premises are being “leased” to the non-Jew. All he needs to do is nullify the chameitz14.

77. If one leaves home before Pesach without searching for the chameitz and later on realizes his error, and he is positive that there is chameitz in the house at least the size of an egg, he must return and search or delegate another person by phone or through other means to search the house on his behalf.

A second solution is to sell the chameitz to a non-Jew from where he is15.

78. When one rents a room in a hotel where he will be spending all or part of Pesach and he arrives there prior to the night of Erev Pesach, he is required to search the room at the proper time with a berachah.

If he arrives during the day of Erev Pesach or during Chol Hamo’eid, and upon inquiring finds out that the room had not been searched in the proper manner on the night of Erev Pesach, he must perform the search with a berachah.

If he is spending the night of Erev Pesach in a hotel room, but plans to vacate it the next day, before the start of Pesach, he is nevertheless obligated to search the room, but he should not recite the berachah16.

Working on Erev Pesach

79. After mid-day (chatzos) of Erev Pesach, the korban Pesach was brought. The day that a person offered a sacrifice was considered by him as a Yom Tov. Thus, Erev Pesach (after chatzos) when everyone offered the Pesach sacrifice was considered as a Yom Tov for everyone. Therefore, our Sages prohibited doing labor at that time. Even after the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, this prohibition remained in force. Therefore, even at present, it is forbidden to do work after chatzos of Erev Pesach17.

80. There are communities where work was disallowed from the morning onwards18.

81. If one travels from a community where work is forbidden only from chatzos, but finds himself on Erev Pesach in a community where work is prohibited the whole day, he is prohibited from doing any of the forbidden labors, even in the privacy of his present dwelling19.

82. If one travels from a community where work is forbidden the whole day, and finds himself on Erev Pesach in a community where work is forbidden just from chatzos, he would be prohibited from doing any of the forbidden labors the whole day following the custom of his city. On the other hand, it should not appear to others that his refraining from work is based on a prohibition and making himself in a way greater than the others and possibly creating animosity and confrontation. It should appear that he has no work to do20.

1st Day Pesach — Birkas Tal

83. On the first day of Pesach we stop saying “Mashiv haru’ach umorid hageshem” and some substitute this with “Morid hatal.” There are two customs in how this is done. In certain congregations 21  “geshem” is still said in the silent Musaf. Once the chazan has said Birkas Tal in the repetitive Musaf, it is then omited from the Shemoneh Esrei, starting with the following Minchah. In other congregations (Sefard and Chabad) an announcement is made before the silent Musaf to start saying “Morid hatal” and “geshem” is no longer said in the silent Musaf.

84. If one finds himself in a congregation where “Morid hatal” is said during the silent Musaf on the first day of Pesach and his custom is to say “geshem” rather than “tal,” he needs to nevertheless omit “geshem” in his silent Musaf. He does not however have to add “Morid hatal22.”

85. If his custom is to start saying “tal” in the silent Musaf on the first day of Pesach, but at present finds himself amongst a congregation that still says “geshem” he must also say “Mashiv haru’ach umorid hageshem,” since Birkas Tal nor an announcement to say “tal” has been proclaimed23


86. In Eretz Yisrael, the complete Hallel is said just on the first day of Pesach, whereas in the Diaspora, the complete Hallel is said the first two days. If someone from Eretz Yisrael is spending Pesach in the diaspora, he should say the complete Hallel on the second day as well, even though this day is considered for him Chol Hamo’eid24.

Last day of Pesach

87. If one who needs to say Yizkor is in a place where there is no minyan, he is permitted to say it alone25.

88. In Eretz Yisrael, where there is only one day Yom Tov, Yizkor is recited on the seventh day of Pesach. In the Diaspora, where there are two days of Yom Tov, Yizkor is recited on the eighth day of Pesach.

A question thus arises concerning a visitor from the diaspora who is spending Yom Tov in Eretz Yisrael and celebrating two days of Yom Tov. In this situation he should refrain from saying Yizkor on the seventh day of Pesach, and say it on the following day as he usually does.

A visitor from Eretz Yisrael spending Yom Tov in the diaspora, should nonetheless say the Yizkor on the seventh day of Pesach, even though he is the only one saying it. However, he should say it quietly and discreetly. If he wishes, he is permitted to repeat the Yizkor on the following day along with the congregants26.

89. When the eighth day of Pesach comes out on Shabbos, there will be a discrepancy between the Torah readings in the Diaspora and Eretz Yisrael for many weeks. Therefore when an individual and surely a group from the diaspora travel to Eretz Yisrael during this time frame, should preferably arrange or seek out the first Shabbos after arrival a minyan where they can read the parshah that is being read in the Diaspora, followed by the parshah which is presently being read in Eretz Yisrael27.

Another alternative which the author has heard is that the group should read the next parshah during Minchah of the Shabbos prior to their departure from the Diaspora, rather than stop at Sheni.