Passover 2021/5781 FAQs and Resources

In response to questions you may have regarding Pesach in the time of COVID, Rabbi Passow and the co-chairs have put together the FAQs below.

 

If you are in town for Pesach and you are in need of a seder, food, or other resources that are not listed here, please contact us.

 

PREPARATION FOR PESACH

Q: How am I supposed to sell my chametz this year?

A: The KVH can arrange to sell your chametz via an online form. You should fill out this form even if you have the practice to not keep real chametz (chametz gamur) over Pesach. Additionally, R. Hershel Schachter shlita and other poskim ruled last year that it is acceptable even for those who don't normally sell chametz to do so given the situation. We will provide an update if guidance changes for this year.

 

Q: I've never made Pesach before, so I don't know how to kasher my kitchen, what utensils can be kashered, or what food I can buy. Where do I start?

A: The KVHOU and CRC Pesach guides all provide a great overview of how to prepare your kitchen for Pesach. Additionally, they have lists of foods that are acceptable for Pesach without special certification. For a complete list of Pesach guides available online see kashrut.com/Passover.

 

Q: I just found out that I'll be home for Pesach and I don't have any groceries! Where should I shop?

A: The Butcherie in Brookline is now fully stocked with Pesach packaged products, meat/poultry, and prepared foods. The Stop & Shop and Star Market locations in Allston should also carry many Pesach products.

 

Q: I'm quarantined or unable to leave home. How can I get groceries delivered?

A: For Pesach-specific groceries, the Butcherie delivers throughout Cambridge and Somerville with a $100 minimum order. See their website for more information. Limited KFP groceries are available via Amazon Fresh, Peapod, Instacart etc. (please note that matzah sold in supermarkets is often NOT KFP).

 

Q: This is my first time making Pesach and I have new utensils that need to be toveled. What are my options?

A: The Keilim Mikvah at Daughters of Israel in Brighton is open Thursday and Sunday 10am-12pm. The Keilim Mikvah at Young Israel of Brookline is open during office hours by appointment only (email office@yibrookline.org). 

The Charles River is a kosher mikvah and may be used for toveling keilim. There is a boat launch by the Magazine Beach baseball field that provides easy access to the water (search "Magazine Beach Cartop Launch" on Google Maps). Additionally, there is a spot to the right of the Weeks Footbridge (down the street from Hillel) that allows access to the water. Wear shoes that can get wet. 

Those who are unable to tovel their keilim may rely on a mechirat keilim (sale of utensils) for a 30-day period. Montreal Kosher is arranging this service on their website (please read the halachic guidelines before submitting the form).

 

Q: I have questions that are not answered here. Where can I find other resources for making Pesach this year?

A: Check out the Passover page!

 

EREV PESACH

Q: How do I handle Erev Pesach being on Shabbat?

A: See the guides linked on the Passover page.

Q: I normally burn my chametz at Hillel on erev Pesach. What do I do this year?

A: We are not planning a communal biur chametz this year. For the biur on Friday, erev Shabbat, you can use an outdoor BBQ grill if you have access to one. If you do not have access to a grill (and on Shabbat, erev Pesach, for everyone), you should dispose of chametz in another way (i.e. by flushing it down the toilet or putting it in a public garbage can).

 

Q: I'm a bechor (first-born). How can I hear a siyum this year so I don't have to fast on Thursday before Pesach?

A: R. Schachter and other poskim are allowing a siyum to be conducted virtually via livestream. We will provide information for our siyum and others at various times via an email to the community.

Passover Preparation and Seder Resources

*Disclaimer: These guides are provided as-is as a resource only. Any halachic positions presented are those of the authors, not of Rabbi Passow or other local halachic authorities.*

The following guides have been put together to aid those who are making Pesach for the first time, either alone or in small groups and/or with limited resources. We extend our profound thanks to those who have put these resources together in this difficult time.

"Minimalist Pesach Guide" by former Orthodox Minyan clergy intern Rabbanit Leah Sarna (updated for 2021)

"A Different Pesach: Ideas for Solo and Small Sedarim" by Rabbanit Dasi Fruchter and others (from 2020)

"Haggadot 2020," a guide for how to figure out a haggadah given the circumstances (from 2020)

Additionally, we have collected extra haggadot for those would like to borrow. Please contact Zoe for more information.

 

Please reach out to the co-chairs, Rabbi Passow, Chessed Chair Miriam Renz, or any member of the board if you have any questions or are in need of assistance. We are here to help.

 

Best wishes for a Chag Kasher v'Same'ach!

The Orthodox Minyan at Harvard Hillel is a welcoming community rooted in Modern Orthodox values serving students, professionals, and young families in Cambridge and Somerville.

For service times, please click here.

52 Mount Auburn Street

Cambridge, MA 02138