Tuesday, March 22, 2011

PESACH: The eight Mitzvot of Pesach

Today is the 16th day of Adar II, 5771


Pesach is almost a month away.

Pesach's laws and customs are so many and 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 Mitzvot 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.


THE THREE POSITIVE COMMANDMENTS

1. To eat Matza during the first night of Pesach (in the Diaspora, it becomes automatically mandatory for the first "two" nights)

2. To tell the story of Pesach --the Hagada--to our children during the night of Pesach (idem)

3. To dispose/disown of our Chametz Pesach eve, the 14th of Nissan.


THE FIVE PROHIBITIONS

4. The prohibition of eating Chametz during Pesach.

5. The prohibition of eating anything that contains Chametz, during Pesach.

6. The prohibition of owning Chametz during Pesach (bal Yera-e)

7. The prohibition of owning Chametz during Pesach (bal Ymatse). Mitzvot 6 and 7 are indeed identical: an exceptional case in the entire Torah!

8. The prohibition of eating Chametz Pesach eve, from noon.

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



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Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024