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Pesach Primer Appendix

 

  1. Prayer before Seder Without guests: This is a unique scenario for us as a community and individuals. We composed this prayer following the model of those in who had to eat Chametz while prisoners under the Nazi control.

    Below is an image of a crisply handwritten “Chametz on Passover Prayer” from Bergen Belsen Passover 1944 was on display at the Ghetto Fighters Museum in Tel-Aviv.

    It was written or at least dictated by Rabbi Aharon Bernard Davids, leader of the Dutch community of Rotterdam in Holland, and perhaps also by Rabbi Simon Dasberg of Gronigen Holland, for their communities who had been interned first in the Westerbork Holland transit camp and then sent to Bergen Belsen concentration camp.

 

Translation

It translates to something like this:

Before eating Chametz say the following with intent & devotion:

Our Father in Heaven! It is known to You that we desire to fulfill Your will and observe the Passover holiday by eating Matzah and safeguarding against Chametz. But our hearts are pained at the captivity which prevents us, and we find ourselves in danger of our lives. We are hereby ready to fulfill Your commandments “And you shall live by them (the commandments)” and not die by them, and to observe the caution of “guard yourself and watch your soul/life very much.” Therefore our prayer to You is that You keep us alive, and sustain us, and redeem us speedily, so that we may observe Your laws and fulfill Your will and serve You with a full heart. Amen!

And then these Jews gathered around Rabbi Davids in Bergen-Belsen and ate their meager ration of bread on the night of Passover.

 

My suggested adaptation :

 

אבינו שבשמים! הרי ידוע לך שאנו משתוקקים לעשות רצונך ולקיים את מצוות חג הפסח על ידי עריכת סדר פסח ובאירוח כל דיכפין הרעבים לבוא ולהשתתף איתנו.  אך דאב לבינו לרגל מגפת הוירוס הנוכחית שפרצה עלינו ומונעת מאיתנו מלהזמין אורחים, ואנו נאלצים לבודד את עצמינו ונמנעים ממגע עם אורחינו על מנת להציל את נפשותינו. אנו מוכנים ומזומנים למלאות את מצותך ״וחי בהם״ על מנת שלא נמות ונקיים את אזהרותך ״השמר לך ושמור את נפשך מאד״.  לכן , בעל הרחמים, תפילתינו ועתירתינו לך (אל חי וקיים) שתשמרנו לחיים טובים ולגאולה במהרה. על כן נוכל להתמיד ולשמור חקיך ומצוותך ונעבדך בלבב שלם. אמן!

 

 

Our Father in Heaven! It is known to You that we desire to fulfill Your will and observe the Passover holiday by holding a seder and and inviting all who are hungry to come and eat and to share the Seder table with us. But our hearts are pained at the outbreak of this virus which prevents us from inviting guests, and we find the need to isolate ourselves and forgo the company of others to save our lives. We are hereby ready to fulfill Your commandments “And you shall live by them (the commandments)” and not die by them, and to observe the caution of “guard yourself and watch your soul/life very much.” Therefore our prayer to You is that You keep us alive, and sustain us, and redeem us speedily, so that we may observe Your laws and fulfill Your will and serve You with a full heart. Amen! 

 

  1. Substitute for Tevilat Kelim according to Rabbi Shechter

A reasonable effort should be made to find a natural body of

water (ocean, pond, river etc) where utensils can be immersed. Please note that when using a natural body of water, care must be taken to immerse the item in its entirety below the water. If it would be overly strenuous to travel and immerse the utensils in such a body of water, one should try and use disposable utensils whenever possible relying on the opinion of Rav Moshe Feinstein that disposable aluminum utensils do not require tevilas keilim.

If these options are not available, the Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 120:16 permits one to transfer ownership of the vessels to a non-Jew in order to relieve the obligation of tevilas keilim and the prohibition of using the utensils prior to immersion.

 

However, this is not necessarily a reasonable option at this time when people are committed to maintaining standards of social distancing.

 

Therefore, since we are facing a unique situation of great need and limited options, it is permitted to use utensils that

have not been immersed after renouncing ownership of the utensils.

 

When declaring the utensils as ownerless one must:

 

• Have full intent that they are truly declaring the items as truly ownerless and that if someone were to take theitem before the original owner were to reclaim them they would be willing to let the item go.

• The declaration must be to 3 people who live in your neighborhood, so that one of them has the ability to potentially acquire the item and two people could be witnesses to say that the other person did not steal the item. 2 of the people should be valid Halachic witnesses.

• This doesn’t have to be done in front of 3 people. It can be declared over email or social media to 3 people.

After declaring that the items are ownerless you should move the items out of your physical house or apartment and let them remain outside for a few minutes where someone could potentially come and take them.

Because the above approach is due to the difficult and pressing circumstances that we are currently facing, once a Mivkah, or an opportunity for immersing the utensils, becomes available the individual must take the items to be immersed without a blessing before using them again.

 

 

  1. Yizkor 

 

 

 

Appendix IV Text of Kaddish D’ Yachid 

 

 

 

Wed, 27 May 2020 4 Sivan 5780