PASSOVER 2020/5780 FAQs

In response to the questions we've received recently regarding Pesach in the time of COVID-19, 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 fill out this form.

 

PREPARATION FOR PESACH

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

A: The KVH can arrange to sell your chametz via this 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 have ruled that this year it is acceptable even for those who don't normally sell chametz to do so given the situation.

 

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 OU and CRC Pesach guides both provide a great overview of how to prepare your kitchen for Pesach. Additionally, both 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 fully stocked with Pesach packaged products, meat/poultry, and prepared foods. They have expanded their hours significantly to keep density down in the store. Call them at 617-731-9888 to confirm. The Stop & Shop and Star Market locations in Allston should also have significant Pesach availability.

 

Q: I'm quarantined or unable to leave home because I or a member of my household is high-risk. How can I get groceries delivered?

A: For non-Pesach specific groceries, that are many delivery services that may have availability before Pesach (such as Amazon Fresh, Instacart, and Peapod). If you are not able to get a delivery slot, please contact us, and we will try to arrange for a member of the community to shop for you and leave groceries at your door.

For Pesach-specific groceries, the Butcherie is delivering to Cambridge and Somerville with a $100 minimum order. There are still delivery slots available before Pesach but availability is limited. See their website for more information.

 

Q: This is my first time making Pesach and I have new utensils that need to be toveled. How do I do that with the shuls that have keilim mikvaot closed?

A: 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 really don't have any Pesach supplies at home. How can I get a seder plate?

A: CJP is offering free seder plate kits to the Boston-area Jewish community that will be distributed next Tuesday night (April 7). You can sign up to receive one here (availability is limited). If you can help deliver or distribute, please sign up to volunteer here

 

Q: Where can I find a Hagaddah?

A: Israel Book Shop is open in a limited capacity if you'd like to buy yourself a Hagaddah (call 617-566-7113 to confirm hours). You can also borrow a Hagaddah by contacting Zoe.

 

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

A: It is permissible to get rid of your remaining chametz in a different way this year, such as flushing it down the toilet or throwing it away in a public dumpster. Like burning, this disposal and the recitation of kol chamira must be done before 11:26am.

 

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

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

 

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