Guide to erev Pesach she’chal b’Shabbat
Thankfully, erev Pesach rarely falls on a Shabbat, as balancing the two is not easy. This infrequency also makes it difficult to remember what needs to be done when. The following is a quick reminder:
Thursday – Taanit Bechorot
The Fast of the Firstborn is moved up to Thursday. (OC 470:2)
Thursday night – Bedikat Chametz
Check for chametz in the usual way, albeit one night early. Before checking recite the blessing – intending to fulfill the biur (eradication) chametz through burning on Friday and disposal of any small amounts that remain on Shabbat itself. After searching recite kol chamira – nullifying chametz one does not know about and has not found. At this point all remaining chametz should be gathered in a set location.
Friday erev Shabbat- Biur Chametz
Burn the chametz on Friday before the 5th halachic hour, so that it remains consistent with other years. (Shulchan Aruch OC 444:2) Since chametz may still be owned and eaten, do not recite kol chamira after burning. (Mishna Berura 444:10) One may kasher utensils the whole day.
Hamotzi: Matza or Bread?
The short answer is that for various reasons many people have bread for hamotzi at both Friday night dinner and on Shabbat day. Matza ashira is also an option, however, due to multiple halachic questions regarding the status of matza ashira some have the custom not to use it. These options are discussed further here.
Shabbat day meal
On Shabbat day finish eating bread and any foods you do not eat on Pesach (depending on custom – matza ashira, kitniyot) by the 4th halachic hour (sof zman achilat chametz). If eating bread or other chametz clean out your mouth (with other food, drink, or teeth-brushing if you brush your teeth on Shabbat).
Note: There are poskim who rule that matza ashira may be eaten until midday or until the beginning of the 10th halachic hour. (Respona Noda b’Yehudah Mahadura Kama OC 21)
Disposing of chametz on Shabbat
If there is any chametz left it can be disposed of by flushing down the toilet – before the 5th halachic hour. (Mishna Berura 444:21) Recite the text of kol chamira recited after biur chametz, which nullifies all chametz one possesses, even chametz that is known about.
Prevalent custom is to eat the third meal after mincha. If having matza ashira or mezonot (see here for cooking with matza meal) eat before the 10th halachic hour of the day – to ensure an appetite for matza at the seder. Rema adds that those who do not eat matza ashira at this point in the day can fulfill the third meal with fruits, fish, or meat. While these can also be eaten after the 10th hour, make sure you will be able to eat matza at the seder with an appetite.
(There are some that have a custom to eat two meals with bread before sof zman achilat chametz. This is in accordance with Tosafot who rule that the third meal may be eaten at any time on Shabbat. (Beiur Ha-Gra) Many poskim rule that the proper time for seudat shlishit is after mincha, which makes a rush to eat another meal is unnecessary. Therefore, if one does not have this custom there is no need to take it on.)
After shabbat is over recite “v’todiyanu” during ma’ariv or “baruch hamavdil bein kodesh l’kodesh” and then light candles and finish preparations. Havdala is inserted into kiddush.
- When lighting shabbat candles, light a 25+ hour burning candle to light Pesach candles after shabbat.
- Prepare the items for the seder plate before shabbat. These items may not be prepared on shabbat, and many are problematic to prepare on Yom Tov.
- One may not prepare for Pesach on Shabbat. Anything that needs to be koshered or well-scrubbed should be done before Shabbat:
- The zero’a should be cooked before – as it is not eaten on the seder night. If one cooks the zero’a on yom tov then it must be eaten during the day. (Mishna Berura 473:32)
- Charoset, chazeret – mashing or grinding charoset ingredients is problematic on yom tov and should be done before. B’dieved one can mash or grind with a shinui on yom tov. One may mix the charoset ingredients together on yom tov. (Rema OC 504:1)
- Maror and karpas – it is better to wash and check for bugs before Shabbat, but this may also be done on yom tov.
- Salt water – it is best to prepare before Shabbat, however one may prepare it on yom tov as long as it is in small amounts and not stronger than 2/3 salt, 1/3 water. (OC 321:1)