Technical query about Pesach - Livre d'Or








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livredor
Technical query about Pesach
Sunday, 27 April 2008 at 09:28 am
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Can anyone who understands these things explain to me how Pesach is supposed to work when it falls on Saturday night? We had a long debate about what we were supposed to do, and couldn't think of any way to coordinate things, and our haggaddahs weren't helpful at all.

I assume you're supposed to wait until shabbat is fully out to start the seder? We didn't bother, because it would have been ludicrously late at this time of year, but in theory, you're supposed to, right? Then what? How do you light the festival candles if it's already been chag for an hour? Are you supposed to mess around with tapers and a long-burning candle?

Obviously you do havdalah before starting the festival stuff, that's normal, but how exactly does it work? The best instructions we could find implied that you were supposed to do "between holy and holy" with only the candle, leaving out the wine and spices. I don't quite get that either; I assume you don't do the wine because you're about to make kiddush anyway, and you don't want to bless the same wine twice. But why leave out the spices? And with the fire, Screwy thought that you say "the lights of the fire" over the festival candles themselves, rather than lighting a havdalah candle. Dad thought you should light the havdalah candle and then not extinguish it, because as soon as you lit it it would be chag, but I'm not sure that's right, I have it in my head that you can extinguish on chag even if you can't light.

In terms of food, it makes sense that you're supposed to clear out the chametz by lunch time (or halachic midday, or something) on Friday, and then not eat any chametz over Shabbat. Fine. But does that mean you eat breadless meals with no motzi, even on Shabbat itself? Or is there some workround I haven't thought of?


Whereaboooots: Shelford, Cambridge, UK
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From:ewtikins
Date:April 27th, 2008 07:56 am (UTC)
11 minutes after journal entry
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Jeremy Rosen had quite a bit of discussion of this when I was at Yakar.

You may find this pdf helpful although personally it doesn't really go into the 'why' of things quite as much as I'd sometimes like.

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livredor: words
From:livredor
Date:April 27th, 2008 11:17 am (UTC)
3 hours after journal entry, 11:17 am (livredor's time)
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Thanks, that's a good place to start. I didn't know you could annul the chametz on Shabbat, so that allows you to set aside one tray or corner of the room to have challah for motzi until the festival itself begins. (I don't want to get into eruv stuff, that's just too confusing.)

Of course, most of the people who are likely to know this technical stuff are probably offline due to eighth day Pesach today, so I picked the wrong time to post! I'm glad you happened to be around with useful information, and I like the icon too.
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From:kassrachel
Date:April 27th, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC)
6 hours after journal entry
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The resources I found suggested that the thing to do was to make kiddush, and then add an extra paragraph at the end of kiddush which is basically "between holy and holy." So blessing the wine becomes sort of a dual-purpose affair. We weren't sure what to do about fire; none of the sources mentioned it, so we wound up deciding that our festival candles were also the light of fire, suitable for seeing one's fingernails through.
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livredor: teeeeeeeeea
From:livredor
Date:April 27th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
9 hours after journal entry, 05:35 pm (livredor's time)
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OK, incorporating havdalah into kiddush would make some amount of sense. I just have it so ingrained (from chanukah, mainly), that you do havdalah first and then festival candles. Thanks for weighing in though!
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lethargic_man: green!
From:lethargic_man
Date:April 28th, 2008 12:05 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 12:05 pm (lethargic_man's time)
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In some mediaeval הגדות, you see illustrations of people chasing rabbits into a net (and some rabbits escaping). This is partially a metaphor for the Egyptians chasing the Israelites (and persecution of the Jews in the Middle Ages generally), but it also refers to a delightful little cross-language pun: To help keep track of the order of the to make ברכות for קידוש and הבדלה during the קַדֵּשׁ part of the סדר, there exists an acronym, יָקְנְהַ״ז, signifying: wine, kiddush, נֵר, make הבדלה, and זמן (i.e. שֶׁהֶחֶיָנוּ). Because this sounds like jage den Hase, German for "chase the rabbit", the custom arose of illustrating this in הגדות.
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hatam_soferet: default
From:hatam_soferet
Date:April 28th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
17 hours after journal entry
(Link)
Yes, you're supposed to wait until Shabbat is fully out before you start the seder, in the interests of not ending Shabbat before the proper time and in the interests of doing the seder on the appropriate day.

Festival candles: you're supposed to have a long-burning candle over Shabbat, from which you light the festival candles. Transferring flame isn't a problem, just igniting from scratch (I suppose the distinction is clearer in a culture where you use flints or whatever to make fire - before matches). It helps to have something handy on which to dump the match, to let it burn itself out.

Havdalah: actually when yom tov happens on Saturday night you combine it with kiddush for the festival. You don't do a separate havdalah. So you do borei pri ha-gafen, like for any yom tov falling on weekday, then asher bachar-banu mi-kol am, ditto, then borei meoirei ha-esh and hamavdil bein kodesh lekodesh, and then shehehiyanu.

For the esh, some people use the light from the festival candles (lit from an existing flame), some people hold them together so that their wicks blend, some use a separate havdalah candle (but then you have the problem of what you do with it afterwards, since you can't extinguish it). I think using the festival candles is tidiest.

Havdalah being actually part of kiddush answers your question about why no wine. Why no spices is a good question; I suppose because the spices are about providing consolation that it's no longer shabbat, and we don't need that consolation because of it being yom tov.

Your dad's right that you can't extinguish on chag. You're right that you can't light from scratch, but he's right that you can light a havdalah candle, provided from a flame lit before Shabbat. I'm not sure he's right that chag starts as soon as the havdalah candle is lit; I think it either starts at sunset or at dark no matter what you do. The not being able to extinguish carries over from Shabbat, though, so it's a distinction that doesn't need to be made for this particular question.

Chametz - one option is to have breadful meals *very carefully* on Shabbat and make sure to have lunch early, so as to be done eating chametz by the appropriate time. Frummers today make a big thing about using all disposables on Shabbat and flushing the crumbs down the toilet; earlier sources aren't so profligate (thankfully) and will let you use your ordinary crockery, as long as you're careful about dumping the crumbs out afterwards.

Another option is to have egg matzah for your Shabbat motzi; there's a minhag not to have any matzah for a month before Pesach, but since egg matzah isn't matzah from a seder perspective, some argue that you ought to be able to eat it.

Myself I think this is a rather silly rationale, because the minhag is so that you develop an appetite for matzah, and egg matzah tastes just the same as regular matzah, so experientially it's exactly the same thing, and its not counting for the ritual purpose of the seder is a different issue altogether. So I think real chametz is probably a better way to go, as long as one is careful about timing. On the other hand, that custom comes from a perspective where you're clearly basically eating matzah all year round; I don't, and in fact find that eating matzah a few days before the seder makes me think oh, matzah isn't so bad actually, yum, I'm looking forward to the seder - which is the point...so I had egg matzah for Shabbat :)
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hatam_soferet: default
From:hatam_soferet
Date:April 28th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
17 hours after journal entry
(Link)
Damn, that got long.
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From:llennhoff
Date:April 28th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry
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I find egg matzah and regular matzah taste quite different to me, so I had egg matzah on the relevant Shabbat.

I heard a dvar torah about why we don't use spices for havdala after a festival that also explains why we don't use spices for the bayn kodesh l'kodesh combined kiddush havadala. Bli neder I'll post the details when I get a chance on my blog and provide a link from here.
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pne: default
From:pne
Date:April 29th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 06:13 pm (pne's time)
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I found this technical discussion fascinating, from an outsider's viewpoint.

Meaning no disrespect.
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