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Pesach 2020

This Pesach will likely be very different than those of the past, and many of you were forced to alter your original plans.  Many of us are used to large and noisy sedarim, and this year’s may be quiet and lonely.  I truly wish that I could invite each of you to join my family’s seder, and it is heartbreaking to know that many of you can’t be with your families this Yom Tov.  We will still try to make it a meaningful and joyous Pesach, and, most importantly, we will prioritize everyone’s health and safety so that we can enjoy many more Pesachs together for years to come!


Below is some information that you may find helpful in preparing, and as always, I am available by phone, text, or email for any further questions!


Safety measures over Pesach
Please see this letter written on behalf of the Rabbanim of Chicago and accompanying flyer regarding safety measures for the coming weeks.  These measures must be followed as they are most effective only with everyone’s participation. 


Sale of chametz
This year, the sale of chametz is all being done electronically through the cRc Beit Din.  Please click this link to fill out the form.  After doing so, send me an email so that you can confirm that I got it.  If you would like help in filling out the form, contact me - I’m happy to do it with you over the phone.


CRC Pesach guide

Please see the 2020 cRc Pesach guide.  It is very useful and will answer many of your questions.  If you would like a hard copy, let me know and we’ll arrange a way for you to get it with proper social distancing.  Also, see the special edition “cRc First Time Making Pesach Cheat Sheet,” which is also very helpful.


Keilim mikvah

Often people purchase new dishes for Pesach and need to tovel them in the mikva.  The Glenbrook keilim mikva has closed for the time being due to the coronavirus risk, but the cRc has arranged an alternative method just for this year.  It requires calling into the cRc Beit Din during a prearranged time to mafkir (make ownerless) these new dishes.  Participants will be called upon, individually, to recite the following script:  "Hello.  My name is [     ].  I hereby declare that all of the food-related utensils that I own that require tevila but have not been toveled yet are hereby hefker, declared ownerless to everyone."  The Beit Din panel will respond:  "Your utensils are now hefker."  This will allow for the use of any utensil currently in one’s possession. After performing this procedure, the person should have in mind that if she or he uses these utensils from now through Pesach, he or she is using hefker utensils and not his or her own utensils.  When there is, with G-d's help, an opportunity to tovel the utensils in the future, she or he must tovel the utensils at that time (upon re-acquisition thereof).  If you are interested in utilizing this option, please contact me, and I’ll let you know when the next conference call is taking place.  


Virtual learning

Please continue to follow the DNG Torah WhatsApp for updates of opportunities to learn and daven together!  If you haven’t yet joined, please join by clicking here, or contacting me.


Pesach shopping

The Geifman kids would like to do Pesach shopping for you!  They will pick up what you need, properly sanitize all the packages, and drop them at your house.  Please contact Isaac at 224.545.4200 to let them know what would be most helpful for you.  Others have offered to help as well, so we have no shortage of people who would like to help.  Also, please join the DNG Chesed WhatsApp group by clicking here, or contacting me to find more opportunities to help and/or be helped.  


Fast of the firstborn

Wednesday, April 8 is a fast day for firstborn men.  Traditionally, firstborns participate in a siyum, which exempts them from fasting.  This year, we are being lenient to include virtual siyumim.  If you are interested in joining Rabbi Karsh for a virtual siyum, please call or text him at 773.450.0708.


Burning chametz

On Wednesday, April 8 chametz may not be eaten after 10:42 am and may not be owned after 11:48 am.  Since we cannot join together for biur chametz (burning the chametz) in shul this year, we are advising  to save minimal chametz to be destroyed, crush it into tiny pieces, and flush it down the sink or toilet.


Shortened seder for one who is ill

I hope that no one will need this, but if one is not able to complete the entire seder because he is ill or caring for someone who is dangerously ill, then please see these guidelines for a shortened seder, taken from Guide to Traditional Jewish Observance in a Hospital, by Rabbi Jason Weiner.  Again, this is only to be used in a true case of need.


Divrei Torah for the seder

See the Divrei Torah on the Haggadah 5779 for some divrei Torah that I wrote last year.  I will, bli neder, send an updated one with some new ones before Pesach next week, but for now I’m sharing these again to review.


Let’s continue to daven and beseech Hashem that this illness should be eradicated, all those who need are healed, and we will be blessed to return to our regular lives and routines very soon.  Please continue adding Tehillim 142 after shacharit each morning and Tehillim 130 after maariv each night.  And feel free to reach out to me with any questions or needs! 


May we merit to experience the full redemption, and celebrate Pesach together in Yerushalayim!


Thinking of all of you,


Rabbi Daniel Fox

Fri, June 5 2020 13 Sivan 5780