Pesach 5783-2023

Schedule; Some Laws and Customs

By Rabbi Levi Y. Jacobson For the Jewish Russian Community Centre West Thornhill



Shaimos drop off to be announced.

$10 per shopping bag, $25 per garbage bag.

There will be extra garbage disposal at the Garnet Williams Community Centre.

dates to be posted.

Remember to sell your chometz by Tuesday, April 4.

Tuesday, April 4
In the evening, search for Chametz.
Bedikat Chametz (Search for Chametz) 8:17 PM

Remember to sell your chometz by Tuesday evening, April 4.

Wednesday, April 5
Erev Pesach ('Eve of Passover') - First Seder tonight
Fast of the first born. Join the morning services, 7:00 am, to partake in a small breakfast, celebrating a siyum (conclusion of a tractate of Talmud), especially important for firstborn men, who would otherwise need to fast.

Finish Eating Chametz before: 11:09 am
Sell & Burn Chametz by 12:15 pm

Matzo should not be eaten the entire day. It is also customary not to eat any of the ingredients of the Maror and Charoset until after Korech of the second seder.

Candle Lighting: 7:31 pm
When lighting Shabbat candles, light a 72 hr candle to use for lighting the next two nights.


Thursday, April 6
Passover - 1st Day (2nd Seder tonight)

Candle lighting is after 8:34 PM From an existing fire.

Mincha will be at 7:20 p.m. followed by Mariv.


The Amidah L'Sholosh Regolim (the 3 Holidays) is said (pg. 251). After the Amidah we recite the complete Hallel (pg. 241), along with its Brachot, followed by Oleinu.

Many, including Chabad, have a custom to place the items of the seder plate directly on the matzos (with a separation), as opposed to putting it on a separate plate. A cloth separation is also placed between each matzo.

Chabad custom is not to wear a kittel at the Seder.

Kadesh The minimum size of each of the four cups of wine is 3.5 oz. All the minimum amounts of food and drink that pertain to the Mitzvot of the Seder apply equally for men and women.

The Kiddush should be performed in the following order:

1. Borei P'ri Hagofen,

2. Birkat Kiddush,

3. Shehechiyanu

The wine is drunk while reclining on the left side.

It is preferable to drink the entire cup of wine. This applies to all four cups. If this is difficult, one should drink at least more than half the cup. However, the fourth cup must be drunk entirely in order to recite the Al Hagefen.

Preferably, one should use wine for all four cups. If this is difficult one may dilute the wine with grape juice. If this is also difficult, one may use grape juice.

Urchatz We wash our hands (as for bread); however do not recite the Bracha of Netilat Yadayim.

Karpas The custom in Chabad is to use onion or potato, although there are varying customs. It should be less than a K’zayit (1 oz.). We say the Bracha "… Borei P'ri Ho-Adamah," having in mind also the Maror and the Maror of the Korech. We dip the Karpas in salt water prior to the Bracha. Chabad custom is not to recline while eating the Karpas.

Yachatz We break the middle matzo. The larger piece is broken into 5 pieces and put away to be used as the Afikoman. It is our custom that children do not steal the afikoman, there are different values that we want to share with them.

Maggid The Hagada is recited, followed by the second cup of wine. While reciting the 10 plagues we pour off 10 drops of wine from the cup. Chabad practice is not to dip one's finger into the wine. Once the pouring is completed, the cup should then be refilled for the remainder of Maggid.

Women are also obligated to recite at least the basic parts of the Hagada, especially from "Rabban Gamliel..." until after the second cup. The Hagada must also be understood; thus, at least the important parts must be translated for those who do not understand Hebrew.

Maggid is concluded with the drinking of the second cup while reclining.

Rachtza The hands are washed in preparation for eating the matzo. Recite the Bracha "… Al N’tilat Yadayim".

Motzi-Matzo We pick up the 2 and 1/2 matzos, recite Hamotzi, put down the bottom matzo, and say the Bracha "… Al Achilat Matzo." We then take a K’zayit from the top matzo and a K’zayit from the second matzo, eating them together within a 4-9 minute period (preferably 4 minutes, but not more than 7) while reclining.

The amount of the K’zayit of matzo is 1 oz. (about half of a hand-made Shmura matzo or three-quarters of a machine-made matzo).

Both men and women are obligated to eat at least one K’zayit of matzo. Being that the matzos that are on the seder plate will not suffice for more than one person, additional matzos from the package should be distributed to each participant.

Although there should be salt on the table, we do not dip matzo in it.

Maror Either horseradish or Romaine lettuce (Chabad custom is to use both) should be used. One must eat a K’zayit of Maror (about three-quarters of an ounce). We dip the Maror into the Charoset, shake it off and recite the Bracha "… Al Achilat Maror" (have in mind the Maror of Korech as well). We do not recline while eating the Maror. One should not eat the Charoset when eating the maror

Korech Taking a K’zayit from the bottom matzo and a K’zayit of Maror, we dip it into Charoset, recite Kein Osoh Hillel.... and eat while reclining. Many who are extremely careful of Gebruks do not dip the Maror of Korech into Charoset, rather, they put dry Charoset on the Maror and shake it off.

Shulchan Orech it is customary to begin the meal by eating the hard-boiled egg dipped into salt water. It is permitted to drink wine during the meal.

The Chabad custom is to be very careful about not getting matzo wet. Even when washing Mayim Acharonim we do not wet our lips with the water.

Chabad custom is not to recline during the meal.

Tzafun we eat the Afikoman. At least one K’zayit of matzo (preferably two K'zeisim - 2 oz.) is eaten while we recline.

After the Afikoman we are careful not to eat or drink anything except for the last two cups of wine. The Afikoman should be eaten before 1:19 a.m. (especially the first night).

Beirach We fill the third cup of wine and Elijah’s cup before Bentching (Grace After Meals). During Bentching we insert Ya'aleh V'yavo After Bentching we drink the third cup, while reclining.

Hallel-Nirtza After Bentching, we fill the fourth cup. Being that it is Shabbos, we do not carry the candle to the door to greet Eliyahu. One of the participants opens all doors leading from the Seder room to and including the front door. We recite Sh'foch Chamoscho, close the door and then conclude the Hagada followed by the fourth cup of wine. The whole cup must be drunk in order to say Al Hagefen (the after-blessing). It is customary to pour the contents of the Kos Shel Eliyahu back into the bottle while singing the Niggun "Keili Atoh".

The Torah refers to the first night of Pesach as "Leil Shimurim" (a night endowed with G‑d's protection). Because of this special protection, before retiring to bed we recite only the first paragraph of Kriyat Sh'ma (Sh'ma and V’ahavta). Some have a custom of leaving the front door unlocked.

First Day of Pesach

Nissan 15, April 6

Yom Tov prayers / Services will begin at 10:00 a.m. During Musaf we stop saying Mashiv Haruach, which is recited in the winter and begin reciting Moreed HaTol. During the repetition of the Amidah the Chazzan recites the special prayer "Tal (pg. 265) See page 51 in the siddur for the laws of what to do if you forget to say Moreed HaTol).

If you did not daven Shacharit yet, but heard the Gabbai announce Moreed HaTol, if you are not davening with another Minyan, then begin saying Moreed HaTol during Shacharit.

Mincha will be at 7:35 pm followed by Mariv

Second Night of Pesach

Shabbos Evening

Nissan 15, April 6

One may  prepare for the seder only AFTER 8:34 p.m.

Candle lighting is after 8:48 p.m., only from a pre-existing flame. Recite both blessings like the first night. 

Maariv begins with Shir Hamaalos (pg. 134). Hallel is recited after Maariv (pg. 241).

Sefirat Ha-Omer (pg. 341) At the end of Maariv on the second night, we begin counting the Omer. One should know which night s/he is counting before reciting the Bracha.

Please see pages 340 & 341 for the rules about what to do if you forgot to count one night.

The second Seder has the same laws and customs as the first.

The Kriyat Shema before going to sleep is the same as every Shabbat and Yom Tov.

Second Day of Pesach


Nissan 16, April 7

Yom Tov prayers / Services will begin at 10:00 a.m.

It is customary to do something at the day meal of the second day of Pesach to remember the feast of Esther that took place on this day.

Mincha will be at 7:45 followed by Mariv.

Light Shabbat candles at 7:33 pm

Intermediate days of Pesach

Beginning on Shabbat, April 8– Tuesday afternoon, April 11

Mariv begins on page 106, the regular weekday Mariv.

We say Ya'aleh V'yavoh in the Amidah throughout Chol Hamoed, which begins this year on Tuesday evening. If you forget to say it, if you remember before Modim, say it there. If you remember after Modim, but still during the Amidah, return to R'tzeh. If you remember after completing the Amidah, it must be repeated (see pg. 57 for more info.). We also begin reciting “V’sain Bracha” in the Amidah (see siddur pg. 54 for more info.).

Chabad custom is not to wear Tefillin on Chol Hamoed.

Tuesday Evening

Nissan 20 / April 11

Before lighting Yom Tov/Shabbat candles:

2.Make sure to light a candle that will burn for at least 24 (better yet, 48) hours, for the lighting of the Yom Tov candles the next day.

Candle lighting is at 7:38 p.m. The Bracha is L'Hadlik Ner Yom Tov.  Do not recite Shehechiyanu when lighting the candles or at Kiddush on the last days of Pesach.

Mincha will be at 7:50 p.m.

Maariv begins at Mizmor Letoda. The Amida is on page 251.

Kiddush is on page 250.

Many observe the custom of staying awake and studying Torah throughout the night of Shvi'i Shel (7th day of) Pesach commemorating the crossing of the Red Sea. We will gather at our shul at 12:30 a.m. for studying and discussion.

Wednesday, seventh day of Pessach

Nissan 21 / April 12

Shacharit will be at the usual time, 10:00 a.m.

Mincha at 7:35 p.m.

Candle lighting after 8:42 p.m. from a pre-existing flame. The Bracha for candle lighting is L'Hadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov.

Chabad custom is to make a point of eating wet Matzah on the final day of Pesach

Final Day of Pesach


Nissan 22- April 13

Shacharit at 10:00 a.m.

Yizkor is recited after the Torah reading, approximately at 12:00 p.m.

Mincha at 7:45 p.m.

Seudat Moshiach!

The redemption of Pesach in general, and the last day of Pesach specifically, are closely associated with the Geula of Moshiach. The Baal Shem Tov would eat a third Yom Tov meal, known as Seudat Moshiach, during the afternoon of Acharon Shel Pesach. The Rebbe Rashab introduced the custom of drinking four cups of wine at this Seuda. The Rebbe emphasized many times that participating in this Seuda is an important element in preparing for the imminent Geula of Moshiach. Ya'aleh V'yavoh is inserted in the Bentching, provided that the Seuda began before sunset.

We will have the feast of Moshiach at 7:00 p.m. Men and women are welcome to join.

Yom Tov ends Thursday night, April 13 at 8:43 p.m. Recite Havdala on a cup of wine, do not use the candle or spices.

Allow an hour after the conclusion of Yom Tov for the Rabbi to re-purchase the Chometz, before using any Chometz which was sold before Pesach .

A Kosher & Freilichen, Happy, Pesach to all!

May we celebrate THIS year in Jerusalem!