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When Passover Falls on a Saturday Night

Dear friends,

This year, the first night of Passover falls on a Saturday night (March 27). When this occurs, many of the rituals which are usually performed on the night or day before the First Seder are moved back to Thursday or Friday, so as not to conflict with Shabbat observance.

For example, Ta’anit B’chorim, the Fast of the First Born, and the custom of breaking the Fast through completion of an order or tractate of Talmud, is observed on Thursday morning. B’dikat Chametz, the search for chametz, is conducted on Thursday night and biur chametz, disposal of chametz is done on Friday morning.

The central challenge is preparing the Shabbat meals. There are different recommendations to follow, and I share what I believe is the easiest solution, and the one least likely to occasion unintentional violations of either Shabbat observance or the proper preparation of the kitchen and home for Passover. It follows a responsum of the 20th Century Orthodox sage, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein.

It is a Rabbinic commandment to eat three meals on Shabbat, and two of these should include food over which the Hamotzi blessing is said. If one has fully disposed of chametz on Friday morning, one cannot use challah or other leavened bread for these meals. However, by tradition we also do not eat matzah until the Seder so that we can enjoy then the mitzvah of achi’lat mitzvah, eating matzah, “with relish”. 

So what to do?

Rabbi Feinstein recommended making one’s home completely kosher for Passover by the proper times on Friday morning (this year that means not eating chametz after 10:54am and disposing of chametz by 11:56am). Then, on Shabbat, enjoy kosher for Passover meals in your fully Pesachdik home, using egg Matzah on Friday night and Shabbat lunch for Hamotzi. Egg matzah is halachically matzah ashira, or “enriched matzah”. It is not chametz and it is generally produced under strict Rabbinical supervision for Passover. However, it may not be used at the Seder, because it is “rich” and at the Seder one must wholeheartedly describe, bless and eat lachma anya, the bread of poverty or affliction. Because egg matzah may not be used at the Seder to fulfill the mitzvah, it may be eaten on the day before.

Finally, to make sure that the Seder matzah and meal are eaten with appetite and newness, the third Shabbat meal, s’eudah sh’lisheet, should not include matzah but rather foods such as fruit, fish and eggs, all associated with good mazal, fortune and rebirth and all healthy, tasty and in keeping with the need to make Shabbat always an Oneg, a delight!

Chag kasher v’samei’ach, a happy, kosher Passover!

Rabbi Weintraub

5781/2021 Schedule of Passover Services and Z’manim, Ritual Times

Thursday, March 25
Fast of the Firstborn

7:30 am — Morning Service and Siyyum Study, go to
After 7:42pm — Bedikat Chametz (Search for chametz)

Friday, March 26

By 11:56am — Dispose of Chametz
By 6:54pm — Shabbat Candle lighting
6:00pm — Torah Study
6:30pm — Kabbalat Shabbat, go to

Saturday, March 27

9:30am — Shabbat Hagadol Morning Services, go to
By 11:56pm — Recite Kol Chamira, formula nullifying possession of chametz
After 7:56pm — First day of Pesach Candle lighting
First Seder

Sunday, March 28
First day of Pesach

9:30am — Morning Services, go to
7:57pm — Candle lighting
Second Seder
Count Omer 1

Monday, March 29
Second Day of Pesach

9:30am — Morning Services, go to
7:58pm — Havdalah  

Friday, April 2

6:00pm — Torah study
6:30pm — Friday night service, go to
7:02pm — Candle lighting
Omer Day 6

Saturday, April 3

9:30am — Seventh Day of Pesach Morning Services, go to
8:02pm — Candle lighting for final day of Pesach
Omer Day 7

Sunday, April 4
Final Day of Pesach

9:30am — Morning Service with Yizkor Memorial Prayers, go to
8:04pm — Havdalah

Torah Readings

Passover I
Torah Portion: Exodus 12:21 – 12:51 & Numbers 28:16 – 28:25
Maftir: Numbers 28:16-25 (10 p’sukim)
Haftarah: Joshua 5:2 – 6:1

Passover II
Torah Portion: Leviticus 22:26 – 23:44 & Numbers 28:16 – 28:25
Maftir: Numbers 28:16-25 (10 p’sukim)
Haftarah: II Kings 23:1 – 23:9; 23:21 – 23:25

Passover VII (on Shabbat)
Torah Portion: Exodus 13:17 – 15:26 & Numbers 28:19 – 28:25
Maftir: Numbers 28:19-25 (7 p’sukim)
Haftarah: II Samuel 22:1-51

Passover VIII
Deuteronomy 15:19 – 16:17 & Numbers 28:19 – 28:25
Maftir: Numbers 28:19-25 (7 p’sukim)
Haftarah: Isaiah 10:32 – 12:6

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