Pesach Questions: Home and Away from Home

Dear Rabbi, 


I am going home for Pesach and will be with my family. They keep Pesach i.e. only buy Pesach products but don't kasher the kitchen and they don't keep it as strictly as I do. Now bearing this in mind:


Q: May I put canned, bottled or closed/wrapped products on on the floor, non-kashered kitchen counter, or in the fridge that may have other food which is not 100% kosher le Pesach?

A: When sealed – yes you may. Once they are opened, it is best to keep your Pesach foods separate, if possible.


Q: The tap and sink will by all means be non-pesachdik (and boiling pasta water and similar products have had steam come into the sink previously) – can I still draw cold water from the nozzle of the tap or is it best that I drink only bottled water during Pesach?

A: Cold water is okay, as long as the nozzle is clean, even if it has not been kashered.


Q: Regarding cleaning, to what extent do I have to dry-clean suits and ties or put away ties / suits that have not been dry-cleaned? Same goes for other clothes that are not regularly cleaned e.g. shoes.

A: You should check the pockets of any garments which may contain hametz. Obviously an apron, for example, should be laundered, if it has been used for kitchen activities. Other garments do not require special treatment. Best to avoid starching tablecloths.


Q: Is it okay to buy fruit and vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, mango etc from general grocers? If so, do I have to wash them, peel them or anything?

A: This is fine. Wash them well. Some have the minhag to eat only produce which can be peeled, however if this is not your custom, there should be no Pesach problems with fresh produce.


 Q: Going on a picnic, can I put a hot tin foil holding braai meat on the floor or a towel on the floor?

A: It is best to use a towel if the container is hot. Also, be sure to use a new (eg, disposable) braai, or you must kasher thoroughly the one you have.


Q: My roommate will be staying at our flat over Pesach. I am sure he is strict in terms of locking non-Pesach food away, but he might be using normal cutlery, pots etc. I cannot stop him because it is his stuff. When Pesach is over, I will have to use the same equipment again. Is this okay?

A: You may use the crockery and cutlery after Pesach. But if your roommate is committed to kosher standards he should really kasher those items for use during Pesach, for his own needs. But his failure to do so does not render them unkosher for your use after Pesach.


Q: I just moved flats this week which raises some questions.

My old place is owned by my roommate. I told the maid to clean out the shelves and give a brisk clean of the areas I used. By this week I would have removed everything I need from the old flat. To what extent do I have to clean further for Pesach?

A: You’re done. Just be sure to include it (mentally) when you renounce your hametz on erev Pesach. No need to include it in your Sale of Hametz, but it does not hurt to do so.


Q: For my new place, I will be abroad for the whole of Pesach. I simply plan to put my food in my room and lock the room and leave. However, my flatmate will be in the apartment during Pesach. The place is kosher but I doubt he will clean up before Pesach and I can’t force him. Also to clarify, we both pay rent to a Jewish landlord although 95% of the contents of the flat are his property (e.g. pots, couch etc.) and he has lived in the flat for year(s) now – I just moved in. Considering my flatmate will be in the apartment during Pesach and that I can’t force him to clean-up, to what extent do I have to clean the rest of the common areas of the flat (hopefully not at all)?

A: Your plan is okay. If you can localise your hametz in a particular cabinet, for example, and “search”, even perfunctorily, the rest of your room the night before you leave (without a berachah) that is best.