This and That

Random bits of my life

More Passover Preparations

Posted by Avital Pinnick on March 28, 2010

Seder night is tomorrow! Tonight we do bedikat chametz (checking the whole house for leavened foods) when it gets dark. In the meantime, I’ve been doing little else other than preparing for the holiday with all the cleaning and shopping to be done. Fortunately, I have a strong teenage son to help with the heavy work while my husband is at his new job.

Can you believe that this is what my kitchen looks like now? Everything has been put away or cleaned. Last night, after Shabbat finished at 7:32 p.m., I scrubbed the counter, cupboards, drawers, and taps, so this is the only photo I had time to take. Tonight, after bedikat chametz, my husband will kasher the counter and sinks with boiling water.

Preparing for Passover

The kashering stand outside my house was in full swing today, so I sent my son down with the stove grates and kiddush cups. The service is provided by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. There’s no set payment but there is a voluntary donation. People have been lining up since 9 a.m., with their pots, pans, cutlery, and other metal things that need to be dipped in boiling water or heated with a blow torch.

Kashering Dishes for Passover

A father and daughter are toiveling (dipping in the mikveh) new dishes.

Kashering Dishes for Passover

Student volunteers from local yeshivas immerse the pots in boiling water. Afterwards the pot is dipped into cold water on the left. It’s not pleasant work, working in the heat and noise from the propane torches. I heard the torches in my flat starting at an early hour and I will hear them until this evening.

Kashering Dishes for Passover

Kashering Dishes for Passover



8 Responses to “More Passover Preparations”

  1. Wow, never imagined Passover required so much preparation. Good thing for that kashering stand outside!

    • Avital said

      Yes, it is a lot of work. One has to decrumb the entire house! But the bulk of the work is done in the kitchen, preparing all the appliances (or packing away the ones that can’t be made kosher for Passover), buying Passover food, etc. I’m lucky to have a son who’s old enough to be a real help around the kitchen. Now I can get him to stand in line in the hot sun with the stove grates or send him to the store to help with the shopping. 😉

  2. What is the requisite for Passover food? (sorry for my ignorance)
    I knew about Passover in a very, very general way…..
    (Hope you don’t mind the questions)

    • Avital Pinnick said

      I don’t mind at all! First, Passover food has to be kosher by regular kosher standards. Second, it must contain no flour from certain grains (wheat, oats, barley, spelt, and rye. Those grains can become chametz. which makes them forbidden on Passover. Some Jews also avoid products containing matzah meal, but our practice is to allow them. In addition, it is our custom not to eat certain grains or legumes like corn, peas, etc., which are referred to as kitniyot. Food kosher for Passover has to be kept away from these grains, so if they come from factories that prepare non-kosher or non-Passover-kosher food (like crackers), then they have to be prepared in a special cleaned part of the factory, under supervision. All our food, except for fresh produce and water, has a special seal indicating that it is kosher for Passover. Since I live in Israel, it’s fairly easy to find food but outside Israel people often have to stock up on supplies in one big shopping trip, so it’s a much bigger job to get ready.

  3. Can I ask some more?
    What do you usually eat during passover, and how long does Passover last?

    BTW, love how you kitchen looks, and your photographs are really incredible!

    • Avital said

      Passover lasts 7 days in Israel and 8 days outside Israel, because many of the holidays outside Israel are observed for 2 days rather than 1 (dates back to the time when the lunar calendar had to be confirmed by witnesses who had seen the new moon and it took time for the date to be relayed outside the country before modern communications). What do we eat? A lot of matzah. 😉 Also vegetables, meat, things made with matzah meal and potato starch. We have to get pretty inventive!

  4. Thank you so much!!
    What greeting is said during this Holiday, Happy Passover?
    Or, May you have a Peaceful Passover?
    Anyway I wish you the best!

    • Avital said

      Pesach kasher ve-sameach (kosher and happy Passover) is quite common. Chag sameach (happy holiday) is another common greeting. My husband likes “mo’edim le-simchah”, for which the reply is a tongue-twisting, “chagim u-zmanim le-sasson.” It doesn’t exactly roll off my tongue but after hearing it for so many years I’ve gotten to the point where it almost flows automatically.

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