Chapter: 13 – The Laws and Customs of Erev Pesaĥ

1. The Prohibition against Work (Melakha) on Erev Pesaĥ

When the Temple stood, one who offered a sacrifice was prohibited from performing melakha (doing productive work) that day, as it was like a holiday for him, and it is inappropriate to perform melakha while one’s sacrifice is being offered … Continue reading

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2. Which Melakhot Are Forbidden?

The ban on melakha after midday on Erev Pesaĥ applies to full-fledged work that people typically do for a living, such as sewing, building furniture, and gardening. However, one may cook, clean the house, or travel before the holiday. As … Continue reading

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3. Ta’anit Bekhorot – the Fast of the Firstborns

Firstborn males have a custom to fast on Erev Pesaĥ to commemorate the miracle performed for them: all Egyptian firstborn males died while firstborn Israelites were saved. In order to give some sense of the significance of Makat Bekhorot (the … Continue reading

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4. Who Is Included in the Custom to Fast?

There are two types of bekhorim, and both are included in this custom, because both types of bekhorim died in Egypt. The first type is a bekhor to one’s father, the bekhor who inherits a double portion of his father’s … Continue reading

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5. The Custom to Rely on a Siyum Masekhet

Bekhorim customarily participate in a siyum masekhet (a festive ceremonial meal occasioned by the completion of a tractate of the Talmud) on Erev Pesaĥ after Shaĥarit. Afterward, refreshments are served to everyone in attendance, and the bekhorim present are permitted … Continue reading

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6. The Prohibition on Eating Matza on Erev Pesaĥ

The Sages forbade eating matza on Erev Pesaĥ, in order to increase our desire to eat it during the Seder and in order to distinguish between matza eaten before Pesaĥ and the matza eaten as a mitzva during the Seder. … Continue reading

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7. Summary: What Can Be Eaten on Erev Pesaĥ

As we have learned, the Torah prohibits eating ĥametz after midday on the fourteenth of Nisan, and the Sages extended the prohibition by two hours as a safeguard. Hence, one may eat ĥametz on Erev Pesaĥ until the end of … Continue reading

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8. Baking Matza and Reciting Seder Korban Pesaĥ

Some practice the enhancement of baking the matzot to be used for the Seder night mitzva after midday on the fourteenth of Nisan, at the time of day when the Paschal sacrifice would be offered (SA 458:1). Many do not … Continue reading

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