Cleaning the House for Passover

Getting rid of chametzMany people start eating down their stashes of chametz (leavened things you don’t eat during Passover) a few months in advance.

Extra bagels in the fridge? Here, kids, eat these! Cereals, cookies, crackers, pasta . . .  It’s easier to focus on finishing and not buying new when we get into February.

But people take very different approaches to how they clean their houses for Passover.

Passover 2017 – Sunset, Monday, April 10 through nightfall, Tuesday, April 18

You can go whole hog (if you’ll excuse the expression) and clean the entire house, getting rid of every crumb, in every room. For people who follow this tradition, what a wonderful way to do a thorough spring cleaning!


Bedikat Chametz

If you want to be more symbolic, you can perform the ritual of bedikat chametz, which is so much fun with the kids.

Hide 10 bits of food in various rooms. Then go hunting for it the night before Passover, using a candle and a feather.

Sell your chametz

There is even a tradition of selling your chametz (alternatively pronounced, “chometz” – the Yiddish version) to the Rabbi via a contract for the duration of the holiday. And now, you can sell it online! Check out Rabbi Jason’s blog post, “Selling Chametz Online.”

In our home, we often either move the cerealy/bready/crackery stuff to the garage or just use brown paper (cut from grocery bags) to tape off the pantry shelves containing the chametz. That serves as a reminder that it’s Passover, too.

I enjoyed this perspective – part practical, part spiritual –  from Rabbi Laura Novak Winer in Chametz – It’s Always In Our Lives. She says “Some in my family think it is silly to move all the food around. Why go through the hassle of schlepping it out and then back in a week later?” Read the rest of the article about what she does now – and why.


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