Passover

The information below is only applicable for Passover 2021

Make Pesach in Five Days

OU Kosher Staff

Yes, It CAN Be Done!

Make Pesach in 5 Days. NCSY’s Meira Spivak’s New Book Tells Us How.

For many of us preparing for Pesach involves a lot of work and worry. This book is intended to take away the worry and simplify the work.

Some start worrying about Pesach months in advance: nightmares, cold sweats, endless to-do lists. All this amounts to worrying about worrying. While it’s true the work can be a bit frenzied at times, with this book you can create a serene, joyful Pesach in just five days—without making everyone crazy.

Honestly, my Pesach prep wasn’t always stress-free—in fact, it used to be just plain overwhelming. One year, an NCSY Shabbaton landed very close to Pesach. Since a caterer is not always available in our small Jewish community, we often cook for the entire Shabbaton ourselves. This meant that not only would I need to clean my home for Pesach, but in the middle of it all, I’d have to cook five meals for eighty of my closest friends.

Since there were about four weeks till Pesach, I had a choice: Would I spend the entire time cleaning and stressing out over Pesach, and in the midst of the chaos, spend two weeks working on the Shabbaton? Or would I concentrate on the Shabbaton for the first two weeks and risk first preparing for Pesach closer to the holiday? I chose the latter, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. You see, in previous years I would clean a room two weeks before Pesach, only to turn around and find Cheerios strewn all over the floor. It’s frustrating to think you have finished a job, only to find that you need to do it again. And again. And again. But no more. I will not clean in advance only to have it destroyed!

Here are some of the finer points from the book:

Spray Cleaners
Don’t even think about cleaning until you have bought a ton of cleaning products and paper towels. Keep an all-purpose cleaner on hand.

Remember, we are not aiming to remove every crumb of chametz—that is nearly impossible, and nobody’s got time for that! However, a whole entity of chametz, no matter how small, cannot remain in our possession, so Cheerios are a major threat. You are bound to come in contact with chametz that is hard to remove, and by spraying it with a poisonous cleaning solution and rendering it unfit to be eaten, even by a dog, you have nullified the chametz from your possession.

Bring your bottle with you as you go from room to room, and as you encounter hard-to-reach pieces of chametz, spray them until they are inedible, and then move on.

The Toys
As you approach the toys, make a quick decision. Discard them, lock them up, or clean them. I’d suggest locking up most of them and including them in your mechirat chametz. If you decide to
clean them, here are some options:

  • Lay them on the floor, spray with your handy all-purpose cleaner, and wipe down.
  • Put them in a bathtub with soapy water, rinse, and air dry.
  • If the toy is machine washable, place it in a pillowcase tied with a knot and wash it on the gentle cycle and air dry it.

If you are not sure what to discard, use the following axiom—when in doubt, throw it out!
It works wonders.

Furniture
Move all moveable furniture and sweep behind. You need not clean underneath any furniture or appliance that cannot be moved out of its place (such as a breakfront, refrigerator, or built-in appliance). Inaccessible chametz is automatically batel.

The Couch
I will never forget the day we sold our couches. Picture the scene: two men walk in to examine and buy the couches. They pay for them and proceed to lift up one couch, but as they approach the door, they need to turn the couch upside down and angle it out. Well, you can imagine their surprise (and ours) when basically our entire lives fell out of the couch. My missing keys, spare change, important papers, kids’ yarmulkes, you name it. To this day I remember this scene when cleaning the couch for Pesach. Cleaning the couch is extremely difficult—plus it cannot be included in the mechirat chametz if you plan on using it. I even tried suggesting that we buy a new couch each year, l’kavod yom tov of course, but my husband didn’t go for it. As you clean, turn the couch upside down and watch the treasures fall out. Check every crack, sticking your hand down as far as it will go. Don’t forget the spray cleaner and gloves…

There’s also the cabinets, the garage, koshering, shopping, cooking and more … it’s all there and can be done in the recommended five days.

To order your copy of How to Make Pesach in Five Days, visit: This Link

OU Kosher Staff

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