Erev Pesach

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Davening

  1. The Ashkenazi minhag is not to say Mizmor LeTodah on Erev Pesach.[1] However, the Sephardic minhag is to say it even on Erev Pesach.[2]
  2. There is no Tachanun on Erev Pesach just like the rest of the month of Nissan. [3]

Latest time to eat Chametz

  1. From the beginning of the fifth hour (halachic hours) Chametz is forbidden to eat.[4]

Latest time to remove one's Chametz

  1. From the beginning of the sixth hour, one may not derive benefit from Chametz. [5]

Eating Matzah before Pesach

  1. One shouldn’t eat Matzah on Erev Pesach [6] including the nighttime. [7]
  2. One should be strict not to have baked goods which include matzah meal such as Pesach cakes. [8] It is permissible to eat matzah in a cooked dish such as a matzah ball on Erev Pesach, however, the minhag is to refrain. [9]
  3. Some have the minhag not to eat Matzah from 30 days before Pesach [10], some have the minhag not to eat Matzah from the beginning of the month [11]and some have the minhag to eat it until Erev Pesach. [12]
  4. One shouldn’t eat Matzah before Pesach which was made without intent for the mitzvah of eating Matzah. [13]
  5. Sephardim allow eating egg matzah on Erev Pesach, while some Ashkenazim forbid.[14]

Forbidden Work on Erev Pesach

After Midday

  1. It is forbidden to do melacha gemura (more intense forms of work) or to work for profit[15] on erev pesach after mid-day (Chatzot). [16]
  2. It is permitted to ask a non-Jew to do work for you after midday.[17]
  3. It is also forbidden to get a haircut or a shave unless by a non-Jew [18], to sew new clothing [19], and to do laundry except by a non-jew after mid-day. [20] Preferably one should cut his nails [21] and polish his shoes before mid-day. [22] All of the leniencies that apply to chol hamoed in these cases apply to erev pesach also. [23]
  4. It is permissible to iron clothes,[24] sew buttons, or perform minor mending even in a skilled manner. [25]

Before Midday

  1. If the custom in the community is not to work before chatzot, then one should follow that custom. If the custom is to work, then one is permitted to work. [26] Nowadays, the minhag is to work before chatzot. [27]

Traveling from One Place to Another

  1. If one travels to another community in which the minhag is different, he should always keep the more stringent standard. If he is visiting a place whose standards are more lenient, he should not be seen doing nothing. [28]

Links

Sources

  1. Rama 429:2, Nitei Gavriel (Pesach v. 2, p. 222)
  2. Yalkut Yosef 468:14
  3. Shulchan Aruch 429:1, Nitei Gavriel (Pesach v. 2, p. 222)
  4. S”A 443:1
  5. S”A 443:1
  6. Rama 471:2
  7. Magen Avraham 471:6. The Chok Yaakov 471:7 quotes the Shiyarei Knesset Hagedola that some have the custom to refrain from eating matza from rosh chodesh nissan.
  8. Sh”t Shevet HaLevi 8:117, Piskei Teshuvot 471:3. See Halichot Shlomo 8:4 who writes that it’s permissible if in the kneading the dough lost its form as bread.
  9. Nitai Gavriel (Pesach v. 2, 44:10)
  10. Mishna Brurah 471:12, Sh”t Igrot Moshe 1:155
  11. Sh”t Igrot Moshe 1:155 says that such is the minhag of individuals
  12. Orchot Chaim Safinka 471:5
  13. Halichot Shlomo 8:3, Rabbi Mansour on dailyhalacha.com
  14. Nitai Gavriel (Pesach v. 2, 44:7). See Rama 462:4
  15. Shulchan Aruch 468:2. Mishna Brurah 468:6-7 explains that it is even prohibited to perform melacha that is not considered gemurah for the sake of profit. Additionally, it is prohibited to perform melacha gemurah even if it is for the purposes of the upcoming Yom Tov.
  16. Mishna Pesachim 50a, Shulchan Aruch 468:1.
    • The nature of this prohibition is subject to a debate amongst the rishonim. Rashi (Pesachim 50a s.v. shelo la’asos) and the Meiri (Pesachim 50a) believe that this issur melacha will ensure that people prepare properly for the Pesach seder and dispense of chametz appropriately. It is clear that this prohibition is rabbinic in origin according to these rishonim.
    • Others however, such as Tosafos (50a s.v. makom), cite the reasoning of the Yerushalmi (Pesachim 4:1). This is the opinion cited in M"B and Biur Halacha 468:1. The Yerushalmi explains that it is improper for one to perform work while his korbon is being brought. Hence, the obligation of korbon Pesach which begins at midday facilitates an issur melacha. While Tosafos claim that this would be a deoraysa prohibition, others such as the Ramban (Pesachim 16b in the dapei HaRif) claim that this is still a rabbinic prohibition.
    • Many commentators wonder what the nature of this prohibition is today, considering the fact that we lack the opportunity to bring the korbon Pesach. The Ba’al Ha’maor (Pesachim 16b in the dapei HaRif) contends that the prohibition is solely based on minhag and the mitzvah of “sha’al avicha veyageidcha” (Devarim 32:7). Others, such as the Ramban (ibid), contend that the prohibition still applies because it was established by the rabanan and was not uprooted with the loss of the Beis Hamikdash.
    • A close analysis of the Rambam indicates a different understanding of this prohibition. Initially, one may be confused as to whether the Rambam thinks this prohibition is due to the korban Pesach or more general Yom Tov concerns. On one hand, the Rambam places this prohibition in Hilchos Yom Tov (8:17-18) and not in Hilchos Korbon Pesach. He places the issur alongside the issur to perform melacha (from zman mincha and on) by other Yomim Tovim. Additionally, the Rambam compares this issur to that of Chol HaMoed and refers to both prohibitions as midivrei sofrim. On the other hand, however, the Rambam explains that the prohibition on erev pesach is more pronounced because of the shechitas hapesach and chagiga. This seems to be highlighting the prohibition’s connection to the korbon Pesach. To answer this question, we may be able to suggest that the Rambam thinks that the hakrava of the korbon Pesach generates a quasi-yom tov with its own unique issur melacha. The practical impossibility of bringing the korbon Pesach does not cause the “Yom Tov” of korbon Pesach to cease to exist. (See the Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Orach Chayim 468:1) for a variation of this approach. The Ba’al HaTanya claims that the general prohibition to perform melacha on the day that one brings a korbon is rabbinic in nature. The issur melacha on erev pesach is an extension of this general principle. Hence, erev Pesach is a rabbinic yom tov that was placed on all of am Yisroel.)
    • Pnei Yehoshua there explains that it is because the rabbis gave erev pesach the status of chol hamoed.
    • Beiur Halacha "mechatzot u'limala" says that according to Tosafot's reason if Pesach falls out on erev shabbat, melacha is not prohibited until mincha. But he adds that for Rashi the prohibition would still apply even when Pesach falls out on erev shabbat it would still be forbidden after mid-day, but concludes that most poskim hold like tosafot so one doesn't need to be machmir.
  17. Shulchan Aruch 468:1 quotes two opinions as to whether this is permitted. The Rama writes that the minhag is to be lenient. Yalkut Yosef 468:1 is also lenient.
  18. Mishna Brurah 468:5. There is a discussion in the poskim as to whether it is prohibited for a Jew to give himself a haircut. The implication of the Rama in Yoreh Deah 399:3 is that it is permitted for one to give himself a haircut. However, later poskim dispute the issue. For example, see Shulchan Aruch HaRav 468:4 who rules that this is prohibited. Yalkut Yosef 468:7 permits a Jew to cut his own hair after chatzot if he forgot to cut it in the morning or beforehand.
  19. Rama 468:2
  20. Mishna Brurah 468:7. Piskei Teshuvot 468:6 says that even for a Jew to use a washing machine is forbidden but says it is permitted to turn on the machine before mid-day even if it will do the washing afterwards.
  21. Mishna Brurah 468:5. Orchot Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 56 says this can be done without restrictions. Sha’ar HaTzion 468:7 writes that it is permitted to cut one’s nails after chatzos if he forgot to do so beforehand.
  22. Yabia Omer 1:32, Shearim HaMitzuyanim BiHalacha 133:6, Shemirat Shabbat Kihilchita 42 note 173, Piskei Teshuvos 468:4. Piskei Teshuvot 468:18 says polishing shoes is not allowed after chatzot, as does the Kitzur HaShl"a quoted in Teshuvot Vihanhagot 1:301.
  23. Mishna Brurah 468:7. Rambam Hilchot Yom Tov 8:18 says that on erev pesach after chatzot it is asur to do melacha midirabanan like chol hamoed and it is more lenient than chol hamoed.
  24. Orchot Rabbeinu vol. 2 page 56, Yalkut Yosef 468:10. Yalkut Yosef 468:13 writes that one may start a washing machine before midday although it will certainly continue to run after midday Shemirat Shabbat Kihilchita 42 note 139 says ironing is also allowed on chol hamoed.
  25. Rama 468:2. Mishna Brurah 468:8 writes that you can also do these things for others without pay.
  26. Shulchan Aruch 468:3, Mishna Brurah 468:12.
  27. Chayei Adam 129:4, Aruch Hashulchan 468:5. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Halichot Shlomo, Pesach, 8:5) also paskens that in Yerushalayim the issur melacha only begins from midday
  28. S.A. 468:4