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Community Seder 2019

We'd love to welcome you to Ner Tamid for our annual
Community Seder!

This experiential seder might feel a little different from what you grew up with! We strive for a meaningful, interactive seder experience appropriate for all ages, so bring the whole family!

Cost - Adults: $20    Children (5-13): $10   Please RSVP here.

You must RSVP ahead of time so we have enough food & wine (although you are welcome to bring your own wine! This will be a kosher-for-Passover vegetarian meal. If you have any special dietary concerns, please contact us, so we can provide further detail about the planned meal. 

Passover Prep & Learning

Keeping Kosher for Passover means abstaining from hametz, the fermented products of five principal grains: wheat, rye, spelt, barley and oats. Though matzah, the unleavened bread eaten on Passover, is made from grain, it is produced under highly controlled conditions to ensure that it does not ferment.

Ashkenazi Jews who keep kosher for Passover have also traditionally avoided eating kitniyot, a category of foods that includes corn, rice, beans and lentils, though the Conservative movement’s rabbinic authorities overturned the kitniyot prohibition in 2015. Sephardi Jews do not abstain from kitniyot . A minority of Jews add an additional stringency by avoiding “gebrochts” — unleavened matzah products that become wet, such as matzah balls or matzah meal.

Among observant Jews, it is common practice to avoid most processed food that is not explicitly labeled kosher for Passover. This is true even for products like cheese or juice that do not contain any hametz , but may have been processed in a plant alongside products containing hametz. Some products that are kosher year-round are modified slightly to be kosher for Passover — most famously Coca-Cola, which substitutes cane sugar for corn syrup in some regions during the holiday and is marked by a distinctive yellow cap.

A guide to kosher for Passover foods is published each year by the Orthodox Union, which also maintains a searchable database of Passover foods on its website. The OU also has information on food products that can be used without explicit Passover certification.

There are a range of additional practices common to Jews who keep kosher for Passover. Chief among them is ridding the home of any hametz products. This is typically done through rigorous cleaning in the days leading up to Passover when homes, clothing, cars, etc are cleaned of all hametz. For hametz products that are too valuable or difficult to discard, it is also possible to sell the hametz to a non-Jew. Generally, a rabbi performs this service on behalf of his congregants and then repurchases the hametz for them when the holiday concludes. In these cases, the seller rarely delivers the food to the purchaser, but instead packs it away.

Making a kitchen kosher for Passover is an elaborate process. Countertop surfaces and sinks are either kasher ed (made kosher) with boiling water or covered for the duration of the holiday, depending on the material. Metal pots and utensils can usually be kashered with boiling water, and various appliances have their own requirements. The OU has a guide to kitchen preparation.

Given the difficulties involved, many observant Jews maintain separate Passover cookware, dishes and utensils that are used only during the holiday.

Many Jews who do not follow all these restrictions nonetheless make some dietary changes in honor of the holiday. Some people avoid eating hametz but do not thoroughly purge their kitchens of it, while others cut out bread and pasta, yet continue to eat some traditionally forbidden items.


Other Rituals of Preparation – Feel free to explore any or all of these practices as you wish, in order to deepen the experience of the holiday.

Bedikat Chametz (Search for Chametz) Thursday, April 18 after dark, at home

The search is usually performed the night before Pesach. It is customarily done with a candle, feather and wooden spoon and the recitation of the blessing “Baruch atah...asher biur chametz.” Chametz which is found (except that which may be specifically set aside for use before Pesach), is put aside until the morning for burning. The formula for nullification is recited after the search. (See the beginning of the Haggadah for both the blessing and the formula).

Friday, April 19, 10:00am - Burning of the Chametz

A second, slightly modified form for the nullification of chametz is recited in the vernacular, after the chametz is burned. (See Haggadah for the appropriate formula.) Chametz may be burned in an oven turned on high until the chametz turns black….or in a barbecue grill or other safe location.

Mechirat Chametz (The selling of the Chametz)

Any chametz not consumed, burned or otherwise disposed of prior to Passover must be sold to a non-Jew who will own it during Pesach. In order to ensure compliance with the details of the law, Cantor Bromberg will act as our agent for the sale. If you would like Cantor Bromberg to serve as your agent, you must add your name to the “Sale of Chametz” Googledocs.

Tzedakah: Maot Chittin. The Hebrew means “wheat money” – it is customary to give tzedakah at Passover to provide matzah and other holiday food to those who cannot afford it. Many people give the tzedakah in connection with their request to have their chametz sold. Your contribution can be in the form of a check, or….

Ta’anit Bekhorim (Fast of the Firstborn), Siyum Bekhorim & Morning Minyan

Friday, April 19

The fast applies to the firstborn child of a mother or a father and is usually held on Erev Pesach. It is customary, after Shacharit, to have a siyum, completion of study of a tractate of rabbinic literature, following which there is a seudat mitzvah, a meal accompanying the performance of a mitzvah. All firstborn in attendance are then permitted to eat. After the completion of study and before the meal, the prayers for a siyum are recited, concluding with the expanded Kaddish d’Rabbanan.

Ner Tamid will not be holding a Fast of the Firstborn minyan on Friday morning April 19. Morning minyans at Congregations Beth El in La Jolla, Beth Am in Carmel Valley and Tifereth Israel in Del Cerro are all at 7:30 a.m. that morning if you wish to attend.

First Seder – Candlelighting time is 7:03 p.m. Enjoy your Seders at home! There will not be a Friday night service at Ner Tamid this evening.


Advance Preparation of a Flame for Yom Tov

Kindling a new fire is not permitted on Yom Tov; however, the use of an existing fire for cooking or other purposes is permitted. To light candles for the second day of Yom Tov (Saturday night), ensure that you have a fire burning before candlelighting time on the first day (Friday) that will continue to burn until after dark on Saturday. For example:

· A burning candle that lasts for more than 25 hours, such as a yahrtzeit candle.

· A pilot light on a gas range (not a gas range with an electronic starter)

Likewise, a flame must be prepared in advance of Yom Tov on the eve of the 7th day of Passover, Thursday night, April 25, for use in food preparation and for lighting candles on the eve of the 8th day of Passover, Friday night,


Want to know even more? Check out these resources:




Wed, April 24 2019 19 Nisan 5779