PASSOVER 2014/5774 – Cleaning out the Chametz

By Rabbi Mark Melamut

Cleaning the house before Pesach is an ancient tradition.

Cleaning the house before Pesach is an ancient tradition. Need some help? Sell your chametz to Rabbi Mark and make it a mitzvah.

A crumb here, a crumb there, chametz seems to be everywhere. We recall that not only do we eat matzah on Pesach, as we read in Exodus 12:20, “you shall eat matzah,” but we are also advised to “eat nothing leavened (chametz).” And, the wisdom of Jewish tradition teaches us that the best way to avoid eating something, is to simply not have it around. Thus, we learn, “No leaven (chametz) shall be found in your houses.” (Exodus 12:19)   One of our spiritual tasks is then to try to remove all chametz from our homes. What is chametz? It is any food made of grain and water that has been allowed to ferment and rise. When we remove chametz, we are also said to be ridding ourselves of pride, materialism, and envy – those things that unnecessarily “puff” us up.  Since it can be a physical and financial hardship to completely rid our homes of chametz, Jewish law permits food to be stored away. It is to remain tucked away in a specific place, unseen and unused. This is the Jewish version of “out of sight, out of mind.” The ownership of chametz can then be “transferred” to a non-Jewish person by the rabbi through the authorization of another document.

At B’nai Emunah, we are continuing a tradition begun several years ago. We re-introduced this ancient custom with a new twist – making this a mitzvah by asking you to “sell” your chametz by completing this form and returning it to our office, along with a suggested donation of at least $18.  The money we collect will then be split between Mazon, a Jewish organization that feeds the hungry, and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, to which we donate in memory of our dear friend, Rabbi Cyndie Culpeper. Please help us again this year to perpetuate this tradition by completing the form below and sending it in to the office, or by emailing your authorization at (subject: selling chametz).  If you email it, please send your check to the office and note “email chametz authorization” on the memo.

Thank you and Happy Passover!


I hereby authorize Rabbi Mark Melamut to sell my chametz. Name_______________________________ Address_____________________________ ___________________________________ Signature____________________________

Please return this form no later than Friday, April 11, 2014 to:

Congregation B’nai Emunah
3595 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA 94116


About Gabriele Lange

Multi Media Consultant in SF Bay Area WebDesign at City College 2008-2011 Professional Photographer since 1998 Lived in Berlin, Germany between 1987-1994
This entry was posted in Congregation News, Jewish Holidays, Jewish Learning, Pesach/ Passover and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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