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FRUMToronto Articles Parsha Pearls

Devrei Torah relating to the weekly Parsha.


Blog Image: michalowiz.jpg
The Step – by – Step Pesach Seder:
Reprinted from Rabbi Yossi Michalowicz
Kadesh – Recite the Kiddush:
1. A father should bless the children before the Seder, just as he always does on Friday night all year
long.
2. The actual Kiddush should be made as soon as it is nightfall. The preferred time for nightfall for this
year of 5779 is 8:56 PM. One can be lenient and begin at 8:48 PM. One should not make Kiddush
earlier than that time. If the late start will cause Shalom Bayis issues, please contact your Rabbi for
practical suggestions. All preliminary activities may begin earlier. [such as singing the Kadesh,
Urchatz…song]
3. The Matzos should be covered during the Kiddush. The rule throughout the Seder is that the Matzos
should be uncovered except when the wine is held.
4. The leader of the Seder should not pour his own cup, but another person should pour for him. Some
have the custom that no one pours his own cup.
5. There are different customs as to who recites the Kiddush:
• The leader of the Seder recites the Kiddush and the others listen.
• Each head of the household recites the Kiddush and their family members listen.
• Everyone recites the Kiddush together, including the women and children.
6. All the participants should have their own cup of wine and hold it during Kiddush, whether they are
listening or reciting it.
7. It is preferable to use red wine. If there is a white wine of a better quality, one may use it; but it is
preferable to mix it with a little red wine to give it a red color. In that case one should preferably pour
the white wine into the red wine when mixing on Yom Tov.
8. Sparkling wine is acceptable if it tastes like wine.
9. If one can not tolerate even weak wine, one may use grape juice.
10. The Kiddush cup must be able to contain at least three fluid ounces. On a Friday night, the first cup
must contain at least 4 ½ fluid ounces.
11. When reciting the Kiddush, one should have in mind to fulfill two Mitzvos: The Mitzvah of Kiddush and
the Mitzvah of drinking the first of the four cups of wine.
12. When saying the “Shehechiyanu” blessing one should have in mind that it applies to the Holiday and all
the Mitzvos of the Seder.
13. Ideally, one should drink the entire cup. If this is not possible, it is sufficient to drink the majority of the
cup. It is better to use a small cup containing the minimum quantity that can be finished, than a large
cup that can not be finished.
14. Ideally the cup should be drunk without pausing. If this is not possible, one may stop once for a short
pause during the drinking. If this too is not possible, one fulfills his obligation if he drinks the required
quantity within four minutes.
15. Men must recline on their left side when drinking the wine. [The same is true for a left-handed person.]
16. If one did not recline while drinking the first cup, and realized after its completion, he should not drink it
again.
17. One is permitted to drink non-alcoholic beverages between the first and second cups.
Urchatz – Wash the Hands:
1. All the participants should wash their hands in the same manner as is done before eating bread or
Matzo, except that no blessing is made.
2. Some have the custom that the leader of the Seder has his hands washed at his seat by the table by
one of the children.
3. Care should be taken not to speak after the washing until the Karpas is eaten, unless the talking is
related to the performance of the Mitzvah.
Karpas – Eat the Vegetable:
1. Karpas is a vegetable, preferably one that is eaten raw. The most commonly used are celery, sweet
radish, cabbage, and parsley. [make sure to inspect for insects before Yom Tov where necessary]
2
Some use potato. Lettuce should not be used, since one may not use a vegetable that qualifies as
Maror.
2. Each person at the Seder is given a piece less than 30cc.
3. The Karpas should be held with one’s fingers.
4. The Karpas is dipped in salt water.
5. Each person recites the blessing “Borei P’ri Hoadama.”
6. When reciting the blessing, one should have in mind that this blessing should include the Maror that
will be eaten later in the Seder.
7. One is not obligated to recline when eating the Karpas, but one may do so if he wishes. The prevalent
custom is to eat it without reclining.
8. The remaining Karpas may be removed from the table. Some have a custom to leave a piece of
Karpas on the Seder plate until the meal. The salt water may be removed.
Yachatz – Break the Middle Matzo:
1. The middle Matzo is broken into two uneven pieces.
2. The smaller piece is returned to the Seder plate or Matzo cover, and the larger one is wrapped
in a cloth and put aside to use as the Afikoman.
3. The smaller piece should be at least the size of 25 grams, and it is therefore advisable to
select a large Matzo for the middle Matzo.
4. It s a custom for the children to take the Afikoman and hide it when the leader of the Seder is
not watching.
Maggid – Relate the Story of the Haggadah:
1. Before beginning the narrative of the Haggadah one should have in mind to fulfill the obligation
to relate the story of the Exodus from Egypt.
2. The Mitzvah is not fulfilled by mere recital of the Haggadah if the words are not understood.
Those who are not familiar with Hebrew are strongly advised to spend time studying the
Haggadah, in order to turn the Seder night into a deep and meaningful experience.
3. It is better to read the Haggadah in a language that you understand than to read it in Hebrew
and not understand it at all.
4. The leader must ensure that everyone understands at least the most essential sections of the
narrative.
5. The most important sections of the narrative are the ten plagues and from the section that
begins “Rabbi Gamliel used to say” until the second cup is drunk.
6. Everyone can either recite the Haggadah or listen to the leader read it, as long as one
understands what is being said. Most people follow the custom to recite the Haggadah if they
are fluent in Hebrew.
7. The leader of the Seder should hold the broken middle Matzo while saying “Ha Lachma Anya.”
8. The Seder plate containing the Matzos should be removed from the table, or at least moved
away from the leader, after saying “Ha Lachma Anya.” The second cup is filled.
9. The custom is for the youngest child capable of asking the “Ma Nishtana.” If the child is
hesitant, his father or mother may assist him. If there are no children present, the wife or any of
the participants should ask the four questions.
10.After the “Ma Nishtana” the Seder plate containing the Matzos should be returned to their
place in front of the leader of the Seder and left uncovered during the narrative. The story of
the slavery and exodus is now related in detail.
11. One should not recline during the narrative – one should sit upright with awe and respect.
12.A total of 16 drops of wine are spilled out when enumerating the ten plaques and the
surrounding text, as indicated in the Haggadah.
3
13.One should use the index finger to spill out the one. If a person is too sensitive to use his
finger, he should spill out the drops by tilting the cup.
14.If necessary the cups should be refilled before saying “Rabbi Gamliel etc.”
15.The leader should hold up the broken middle Matzo when saying “This Matzo etc.”
16.The leader should hold up the Maror when saying “This Maror etc.”
17.The leader should not hold up the shank bone when saying “This Korban Pesach etc.”
However, the custom is to look at the shank bone.
18.You drink the second cup of wine [while reclining] at the conclusion of the Maggid. If a man
forgot to recline he should immediately drink anther cup without a blessing.
Rochtza – Wash the Hands:
1. Wash your hands like you normally would do for the eating of Matzo. You do recite the blessing
of “Al Netilas Yodayim.”
2. The leader of the Seder should announce that one may not speak after washing the hands
until after “Korech,” unless it concerns the Mitzvos.
3. He should inform everyone about the next few steps of the Seder, and tell them the relevant
laws.
4. Each person should be given a piece of Matzo weighing at least 25 grams in preparation for
the Mitzvah of eating Matzo. Children may be given 10 grams each.
5. The steps “Rochtza, Motzi, and Matzo” should be announced.
6. Some have the custom that the leader of the Seder has his hands washed at his seat by the
table by one of the children.
Motzi / Matzo – Two Blessings Are Recited on the Matzo:
1. The Matzo eaten for the various Mitzvos of the Seder night must be Shmura Matzo. It can
either be handmade or machine made Matzo. It is preferable to use handmade matzos for the
Seder plate.
2. The leader of the Seder should have in mind to include everyone else with his blessings.
3. Everyone else should have in mind to fulfill his obligation by listening to the blessings.
4. While the blessings are said, everyone should have in mind to fulfill the Mitzvah of eating
Matzo on the first night of Pesach.
5. You should have in mind that the blessings should also apply to the Korech and Afikoman.
6. The men should remember to recline while eating the Matzo.
7. The Matzos should be covered while the blessing of “Hamotzei” is recited.
8. All three Matzos should be held for the first blessing, after which the lowest Matzo is released.
The remaining two Matzos are held for the second blessing.
9. Ideally, the two Matzos should be broken simultaneously after the blessing.
10.The leader of the Seder should take for himself 15 grams from the top matzo and 15 grams
from the middle one. Both pieces should be eaten together.
11. Everyone else should be given a small piece from the top matzo in addition to the prepared
piece of 25 grams that was distributed before washing. Both pieces should be eaten together.
12.NOTE: An average hand Matzo is between 50-80 grams and a machine Matzo is 30 grams.
13.The main custom is not to dip the Matzo in salt.
14.The Matzo should be eaten as quickly as possible, but in no more than two minutes. If this is
difficult, it may be eaten within four minutes. This is measured from the time that one
begins to swallow the Matzo. One should nevertheless not eat in a state of frenzy or with
voracity, but rather with dignity and joy as one fulfills the Mitzvah of Hashem.
15.One may drink a little water to facilitate swallowing if one’s mouth is too dry to swallow.
4
16.If a man forgot to recline while eating the Matzos, he must eat another 30 grams of Matzo
while reclining, but no blessing is said.
Maror – Eat the Bitter Herbs:
1. The widespread custom is to use either romaine or iceberg lettuce or grated horseradish.
Great care must be given to insure that all lettuce is insect - free. Horseradish may not be
eaten whole. Commercially processed horseradish is not acceptable.
2. One should eat a quantity of lettuce leaves that covers an area of 8” X 10” or lettuce stalks that
covers an area 3” X 5”. If grated horseradish is used, one should eat 27 cc if possible. If this is
difficult, it is sufficient to eat 17 cc [approx. one heaping tablespoon].
3. One may combine both types of Maror to make the required amount.
4. The Maror should be eaten as quickly as possible, but in no more than two minutes. If this is
difficult, it may be eaten within four minutes. This is measured from the time that one
begins to swallow the Maror.
5. Dip some of the Maror in the Charoses [a mixture of finely chopped fruits, spices, and red
wine. Traditionally, the fruits are sour apples and nuts and the spices are cinnamon and
ginger]. Before the dipping, the Charoses should be diluted considerably at this stage by
adding more wine, making it suitable for dipping.
6. The custom is for each person to recite his own blessing of “Al Achilas Maror.”
7. When making the blessing one should think about fulfilling the Mitzvah of eating Maror and that
the blessing should also apply to the Korech.
8. One does not recline when eating Maror.
Korech – Eat the Sandwich of Matzo and Maror:
1. The bottom Matzo is used for Korech. Since this is usually not sufficient for everyone, the
leader of the Seder should distribute to each person a small piece from this Matzo and
supplement it with other Matzo to make the required quantity.
2. Each person should have 15 grams of Matzo.
3. One eats the same amount of Maror for Korech as one eats for Maror.
4. The main custom is to dip the Maror in Charoses
5. The custom is to place the Maror between the two pieces of Matzo.
6. No blessing is recited before eating the sandwich, but a paragraph is said beginning with the
words “Zeicher LeMikdash KiHillel.”
7. The Korech should be eaten as quickly as possible, but in no more than two minutes. If this is
difficult, it may be eaten within four minutes. This is measured from the time that one
begins to swallow the Maror.
8. Men should recline when eating Korech.
9. If a man forgot to recline, he need not eat another Korech.
Shulchan Orech – Eat the Yom Tov Meal:
1. The custom is to begin the meal with eggs dipped in salt water. Some people eat the egg from
the Seder plate.
2. Some have the custom to eat fish as well.
3. One must not eat poultry or meat that is prepared without any liquid. This includes roasted,
barbecued, and broiled. One may eat poultry or meat that is roasted in a pot with some liquid.
5
4. The shank bone should not be eaten.
5. One should not eat excessively. Overeating may cause drowsiness and one will not be able to
conclude the Seder successfully. One must also remain with some appetite for the Afikoman at
the end of the meal.
6. One must leave sufficient time after the meal to eat the Afikoman before Halachik
midnight, which is 1:17 AM.
7. It is praiseworthy for a man to recline during the meal, but not a requirement.
8. According to some opinions, it is a Mitzvah to drink some wine during the meal in honor of Yom
Tov.
Tzafun – Eat the Afikoman:
1. The last item of food to be eaten at the Seder meal is a piece of Matzo called the Afikoman.
2. We use the piece of the broken middle Matzo that was put aside at the beginning of the Seder.
Since this is usually not sufficient for everyone, the leader of the Seder should distribute to
each person a small piece from this Matzo and supplement it with other Matzo to make the
required quantity.
3. If possible, each person should eat 30 grams. If it is difficult, one may eat 15 grams.
4. There is no blessing recited for eating the Afikoman, but one should have in mind that he is
fulfilling the Mitzvah of eating the Afikoman.
5. A man should recline when eating the Afikoman.
6. If a man forgot to recline, he should eat another Afikoman if it is not too difficult. However, if he
already washed his hands for “Mayim Acharonim” he should not eat another Afikoman.
7. An effort should be made to eat the Afikoman before Halachik midnight, which is at 1:17 A.M.
for the year of 5779. Nevertheless, if this time passed, the Afikoman should still be eaten.
8. If the Afikoman cannot be found, other Shmura Matzo should be eaten instead.
9. One may not eat anything else after the Afikoman. One may drink water if he is thirsty after
eating the Afikoman. After Birchas Hamazon one should preferably refrain from any other
drinks, but in a case of great need one my drink tea, seltzer, apple juice, lemonade, or mildly
flavored soda. Coffee should not be drunk. One should not smoke after the Afikoman as well
Barech – Saying the Birchas Hamazon:
1. The third cup of wine is poured before the Birchas Hamazon.
2. One should wash Mayim Acharonim before the Birchas Hamazon.
3. If there are three men present, the custom is for the head of the household to lead the “Zimun.”
If there is an important visitor, he may be given this honor.
4. If there is someone who led the Zimun, only he must hold the cup of wine during the Birchas
Hamazon. If there is no leader, then everyone should hold the cup of wine.
5. Men should recline when drinking the cup of wine after the Birchas Hamazon. If he forgot, he
need not drink another cup.
6. After drinking the third cup, the cups are refilled with wine. An extra cup, the cup of Eliyahu, is
filled.
7. The custom is for the leader of the Seder to fill the cup of Eliyahu. It should be a large and
especially beautiful cup.
8. The door is opened and “Shfoch Chamascha” is recited standing.
9. Many have the custom to leave the full cup of Eliyahu covered on the table overnight and use it
for Kiddush on Yom Tov morning. Others pour it back into the bottle.
6
Hallel – Recite the Hallel:
1. Women are obligated to remain at the Seder for Hallel and the fourth cup of wine. Children
aged five or six should be encouraged to do so if possible.
2. One should not recline during Hallel. Rather one should sit upright with awe and respect.
3. If there are three people present, including one’s wife and children, the verses of “Hodo” and
“Ana” should be said responsively, as is done in Shul. The leader of the Seder should recite
these verses and the others should respond.
4. The fourth cup of wine is drunk at the conclusion of the Hallel.
5. Men should recline when drinking the fourth cup, and do not drink it again if they forgot to
recline.
6. Effort should be made to drink 3 ounces of wine in order to recite the after blessing.
7. The after blessing is recited by everyone who drank 3 ounces. When making the blessing, one
should have in mind that it also applies to all the other three cups of wine.
Nirtzah – The Seder is Accepted:
1. After the paragraph of “Chasal Siddur Pesach,” the final part of the Haggadah comprises
songs of praise to Hashem. Since these songs were added later, a person who is exhausted is
not obligated to say them.
2. Some people have the custom to recite “Shir Hashirim” after the Seder.
3. Tonight is the only night of the year where it is a Mitzvah to remain awake as long as
possible after the Seder and study the laws of Pesach and continue relating the
miracles of the Exodus. [Shavuos is only a custom.] It would be preferred to stay up all
night and pray Shacharis at sunrise. A person is exempt if he is overcome by sleep.
Similarly, if he will not be able to pray Shacharis properly without a good night’s sleep, he may
go to bed.
4. If one has the strength, one should say Shir Hashirim after the Seder.
5. Before going to sleep, the custom is to recite only the first paragraph of the bed time Shema
and the blessing of “Hamapil.
Second Seder:
1. There are differences at the second Seder:
• All preparations for the second night of Yom Tov may not begin before nightfall, which
is at 8:57 PM for the year 5779.
• On a Saturday night, please remember to insert Havdala in your Kiddush
• One may be lenient and only eat 15 grams for the first eating of Matzo. Nevertheless,
the leader of the Seder must eat 30 grams. A sick or elderly person may be lenient and
eat 10 grams of Matzo.
• Some have the custom to not hurry and eat the Afikoman before Halachik midnight.
• One may have any non-intoxicating drinks after the Afikoman.
• One may retire to bed immediately after the Seder.


Posted 4/12/2019 1:54 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)

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