Wednesday, April 2, 2014

PESAH, searching for Hamets before Pesah eve

Yesterday, we explained the Biblical prohibition of keeping any eatable Hamets product in our premises (see this). To comply with these Mitsvot, first we clean our houses removing any Hamets food that we find. Then, the night before the Seder night, on Sunday April 13th 2014 after nightfall, we proceed to do the bediqat Hamets, the final inspection, to search for any Hamets-food that might have remained in our property after cleaning.

With the aid of a candle or a flashlight, we search all spots in our house where we might have brought, eaten or stored food. We search every room where we may have eaten any Hamets food or snacks. And we particularly search the kitchen and every food-storage space like the pantry, the refrigerator, the freezer and all other places in which we usually keep food.  In the bediqa we are looking especially for Hamets "food", which we might have have not removed during the cleaning process (cookies, pasta, frozen Hamets food, pastries, cereals, a can of beer, a bottle of whiskey, fiber drinks, candies, etc.) and not so much for Hamets residues on the floor, which will be rendered hefqer, ownerless, by the bitul, when we renounce to the ownership of any undetected Hamets.  
We should also search our cars, since it is not uncommon to eat or keep snacks in a car. Cars should be washed and cleaned before Sunday night, in preparation for the bediqa.   We should also inspect our office or place of work, because we often bring food or snacks there. If it is impossible to search these locations Sunday night right after we do the bediqa at home, we should search our cars and workplace before Sunday night, or early Monday morning, April 14th.

When a family spends Pesah out of town, the last Hamets inspection (bediqa) of the family-home should be done the night before leaving home. If that is before Sunday night April 13th, they would not say any berakha before the bediqa. The Hametz found should be disposed, giving to a gentile, etc.  The night of the bediqa, Sunday April 13th, the family should search for Hamets in the house or in the Hotel room where they will stay for Pesah. This time they should recite the berakha before the inspection.

Dedicated to the memory of my father Ya'aqob ben Yehuda z"l