Pesach Questions

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Dear Rabbi, 

Q: A reminder for those travelling over Pesach (not for me; we’re staying put): does one have to clean the home etc if one is travelling before Yom Tov and not returning until after the Chag? Also, what happens to bedikat chametz?

A: One who will be away for all of Pesach should adopt either of two approaches:

  1. Arrange to sell your hametz in the usual fashion. In order to fulfil the requirement to search your home for hametz (since you will be there within 30 days of Pesach), it is sufficient to designate a limited space, eg bedroom, and check for hametz the night before your departure. No berachah is necessary.
  2. Arrange to sell your hametz on the 13th of Nissan so that when the zeman hiyuv bedikah arrives the hametz is no longer yours.

Each option has its merits. Either way, one should perform bedikat hametz at one’s destination before Pesach.


Q: Where do you stand on quinoa for Pesach?  

A: I am in favour of it. I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, however we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.

Questions & Answers
this week

Questions and Answers

Ask the Rabbi: Easy as א-ב-ג?
Dear Rabbi Simon,
I hope you fasted well yesterday.
Thank you for the insights into the Kinnot, making them easier to understand.
In the afternoon, I was listening to a shiur on Eichah on Torahanytime.  As an aside, the speaker mentioned that the 1st perek of Eichah is the source for the order of the alef bet as we know it.  Other chapters also follow the alef bet chronology but with ayin en peh interchanged.
He quoted Rabbi Shimon Schwab as his source.
Although he did not elaborate on this, surely Sefer Tehillim predates Megillat Eichah by centuries.  Several psalms are written in the alef bet order (e.g.
psalm 119).
Can you please clarify?
Thank you & best wishes.
PhilippeHi Philippe
TY for your sophisticated Q.
I have also heard that the question of the sequence of samekh and 'ayin is subject to dispute. It seems that there are indications that in Paleo-Hebrew the order is reversed from what we know. It is alleged that chapters 2, 3 and 4 of Eichah (chapter 5 is not alphabetical) reflect the original order. Of course, as you say, ch 1 conforms to the order with which we are family.
You are right that Tehillim predates Eichah, however a critic can claim that the order was redacted to bring it in line with the accepted/preferred sequence. This is particularly true for ch. 119, where each of the 8 vv per letter are their own group, and each set of 8 vv. can easily be repositioned. The question is in Ps. 34 or 145, if the internal logic of the passage sheds light on the correct sequence. In Ps. 34, some claim that the v. starting with the letter peh makes more sense to follow the verse starting with samekh (due to the common appearance of the word ra'). I am not convinced that this argument is compelling.
I will stick with the mesorah, that 'ayin belongs before peh. Best to look before speaking.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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