Tuesday, March 2, 2010

INTRODUCTION TO PESACH

16th of Adar, 5770

Pesach is almost a month away. The first night will be celebrated BH Monday March 29th 2010. Pesach’s laws and customs are so many and so diverse that our Rabbis indicated that thirty days before Pesach we should start reviewing the laws of Pesach.

Let’s begin then by mentioning what the Mitzvoth of Pesach are.

In its introduction to Hilkhot Pesach, Maimonides describes very briefly each Mitzvah and its timing, enumerating a total of eight Mitzvot (excluding Korban Pesach): 3 positive commandments and 5 prohibitions.


THREE POSITIVE COMMANDMENTS
1. To eat Matza during the first night of Pesach (in the Diaspora, it becomes automatically the first “two” nights)
2. To tell the story of Pesach to our children during the night of Pesach (idem)
3. To dispose/disown of our Chametz Pesach eve, the 14th of Nissan.


FIVE PROHIBITIONS
4. The prohibition to eat Chametz during Pesach.
5. The prohibition to eat anything that contains Chametz, during Pesach.
6. The prohibition to own Chametz during Pesach (bal Yera-e)
7. The prohibition to own Chametz during Pesach (bal Ymatse). Mitzvot 6 and 7 are indeed identical: an exceptional case in the Torah!
8. The prohibition to eat Chametz Pesach eve, from noon.


In the following days BH we will have the opportunity to define and review all these Mitzvot.