Tuesday, March 18, 2014

PESAH, less than a month away

Pesah is less than a month away. The first night will be celebrated B'H Monday April 14th, 2014.  Pesah's laws and customs are so many and so diverse that our Rabbis indicated that thirty days before Pesah we should start reviewing the laws of Pesah. So, we are a little behind schedule...

Anyways, let us begin by reviewing the Biblical Mitsvot of Pesah.

In his introduction to Hilkhot Pesah, Maimonides describes each commandment enumerating a total of EIGHT Biblical Mitsvot for Pesah. In this number, Maimonides obviously excludes all the Mitsvot related to the Pesah sacrifice (qorban Pesah).

We have 3 positive commandments and 5 prohibitions in Pesah.


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

2 והגדת לבנך . To tell the story of Pesah, the Hagada, to our children during the first night of Pesah (in the Diaspora,  the first "two" nights). This Mitsva includes many other Mitsvot and traditions, like drinking the four cups of wine, eating maror, etc.

3 השבתת חמץ. To dispose (=disown) of our Hamets on Pesah eve, the 14th of Nisan (Monday April 14th) before noon.


4 איסור אכילת חמץ . The prohibition of eating Hamets during Pesah

5 איסור אכילת תערובת חמץ. The prohibition of eating anything that contains Hamets during Pesah

6 בל-יראה . The prohibition of owning Hamets during Pesah

7 בל -ימצא. The prohibition of owning Hamets during Pesah.
(Mitsvot 6 and 7 are indeed identical, an exceptional case in the entire Tora!)
8 איסור אכילת חמץ ערב פסח אחר חצות היום. The prohibition of eating Hamets on Pesah eve (Monday, April 14th), from noon time.
In the coming days B'H we will have the opportunity to define and review each one of these these eight Mitsvot.