Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Eight Misvot of Pesah

Pesah is less than a month away. This year, 2013, we will celebrate the first seder of Pesah Monday, March 25 at night. 

The laws and customs of Pesah are so many and diverse that our Rabbis indicated that immediately after Purim we should start reviewing the laws of Pesah

Let us begin then by remembering what the Miṣvot of Pesah are.

In his introduction to Hilkhot Pesah Maimonides describes very briefly each commandment, enumerating a total of eight Misvot from the Tora (excluding the subject of the Pesah sacrifice orqorban Pesah). There are 3 positive commandments and 5 prohibitions.


1. To eat Maṣa during the first night of Pesah (in the Diaspora, it becomes automatically mandatory to eat Maṣa on the first "two" nights)

2. To tell the story of Pesah --the Hagada--to our children during the night of Pesah (in the Diaspora, it becomes automatically mandatory for the first "two" nights). This Miṣva includes many other Miṣvot and traditions, like drinking the 4 cups of wine, eating maror, etc. 

3. To dispose (=disown) of our Hameṣ on Pesah eve, the 14th of Nisan (Monday March 25th in the morning). 


4. The prohibition of eating Hameṣ during Pesah

5. The prohibition of eating anything that contains Hameṣ during Pesah

6. The prohibition of owning Hameṣ during Pesah (bal Yera-e)

7. The prohibition of owning Hameṣ during Pesah (bal Yimaṣe). 

(Miṣvot 6 and 7 are indeed identical: an exceptional case in the entire Tora!)

8. The prohibition of eating Hameṣ on Pesah eve (Monday March 25th), from noon time.

In the coming days B'H we will have the opportunity to define and review these Miṣvot.