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Author: mastiffmama Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 22625  
Subject: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/7/2008 2:43 PM
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Hi Fools,
DH has been talking to a Jewish friend at work. Since the friend has a small home, he has offered to host the seder meal at our house. The friend hasn't observed Passover in about 10 years, since he moved away from his parents' part of the country.

We are Christian (non-denominational). What kinds of things do we need to do to prepare? Are the requirements different because of our faith?

Any good sources of info are appreciated. I'm only familiar w/ the passover requirements in the bible, but would like to learn more about other customs/ traditions.

Thanks,
mm
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Author: MsPepper Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16828 of 22625
Subject: Re: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/7/2008 3:28 PM
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It seems strange that you would host. It's hard enough to host a seder even if you've been going to them all your life.

I suggest:

1. getting or looking at a seder plate with English words on it to get a feel for what should be on it.

2. buying at least one haggadah (can look up on Amazon.com or elsewhere). Those are the books/guides to how to run the service at home.

Sounds like it will be a casual affair - more for fun than anything.

No pork or shellfish. No bread or cake.

Best of luck.

MsPepper

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Author: mastiffmama Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16829 of 22625
Subject: Re: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/7/2008 3:57 PM
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It seems strange that you would host. It's hard enough to host a seder even if you've been going to them all your life.

I don't think we'll be hosting so much as providing a dining room (is there a difference?). But you're right, I think it will be pretty casual and just to help us appreciate the roots of our faith, and for our friend to get back to something he hasn't done in years.
mm

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Author: elann Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16830 of 22625
Subject: Re: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/7/2008 4:03 PM
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Hi Fools,
DH has been talking to a Jewish friend at work. Since the friend has a small home, he has offered to host the seder meal at our house. The friend hasn't observed Passover in about 10 years, since he moved away from his parents' part of the country.

We are Christian (non-denominational). What kinds of things do we need to do to prepare? Are the requirements different because of our faith?

Any good sources of info are appreciated. I'm only familiar w/ the passover requirements in the bible, but would like to learn more about other customs/ traditions.


I don't think there's any difference between what you would do in a Jewish or non-Jewish home. However, the strictest rules would probably be impossible for you to meet. They would require you to clean the house thoroughly to be sure that it is clear of any "Chametz" - bread or any other baked products that are not specifically Kosher for passover. Also, separate cooking and eating utensils are used, or the usual utensils have to be boiled to make them Kosher for Passover.

But I suggest that you let your Jewish friend be your guide. He will tell you how strictly he wants to follow the rules. Or perhaps, given that he hasn't celebrated in 10 years, you should research together and figure out what to do.

The absolute essentials for a Seder are the Hagada - the book from which the story of Passover is read. At a minimum one person will have it and read it aloud to everyone. At our Seder everyone has a copy and we take turns reading passages. Then you need to buy a box of matza - the unleavened bread (they look like huge crackers). And preferably you'll have a bottle or more of wine that is Kosher for Passover. There are some terrible wines from Manischewitz and such. But these days there is also a wide selection of good wines at some stores.

Elan

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Author: Silencer2480 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16831 of 22625
Subject: Re: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/7/2008 5:14 PM
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There are some terrible wines from Manischewitz and such.

what?!??!?!?

silencer, loves the mani.

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16834 of 22625
Subject: Re: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/8/2008 8:23 AM
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However, the strictest rules would probably be impossible for you to meet. They would require you to clean the house thoroughly to be sure that it is clear of any "Chametz" - bread or any other baked products that are not specifically Kosher for passover.

Not really. A gentile -- even one hosting Jewish guests -- has zero obligation regarding chometz. For that matter, a gentile can bring his own chometz into a Jewish home, though as a practical matter, most Jews I know wouldn't be comfortable with the idea. But I actually know of a case where a Jewish business owner asked his rav about his gentile employees bringing in their lunch during pesach, and the rav said there's no problem, because the Jew won't own, posess, or derive benefit from that chametz.

Every year there are resort hotels and cruise ships that host seders, under strict rabbinical supervision, and they aren't required to divest themselves of chametz (unless they are Jewish-owned).

Also, separate cooking and eating utensils are used, or the usual utensils have to be boiled to make them Kosher for Passover.
Only metal utensils can be kashered. Not those made of wood or plastic. And anyway, they later said they're just providing a space. So if they're not providing the food… no problem.

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Author: mastiffmama Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16840 of 22625
Subject: Re: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/8/2008 9:20 AM
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Thanks for the feedback everyone! I leave the details to our friend, just wanted to make sure I didn't need to do a major cleaning or anything else.

mm

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Author: elann Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16847 of 22625
Subject: Re: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/8/2008 12:11 PM
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Not really. A gentile -- even one hosting Jewish guests -- has zero obligation regarding chometz. For that matter, a gentile can bring his own chometz into a Jewish home, though as a practical matter, most Jews I know wouldn't be comfortable with the idea. But I actually know of a case where a Jewish business owner asked his rav about his gentile employees bringing in their lunch during pesach, and the rav said there's no problem, because the Jew won't own, posess, or derive benefit from that chametz.

Every year there are resort hotels and cruise ships that host seders, under strict rabbinical supervision, and they aren't required to divest themselves of chametz (unless they are Jewish-owned).


Interesting. But what if a non-Jew brings chametz into your home and then leaves crumbs on your floor or leftovers on your table. They in effect become yours. Doesn't that contradict the whole idea of bi'ur chametz, or do you regard that as just a ceremony?

So if they're not providing the food… no problem.

I presumed that the dinner would be eaten on the host's plates using her silverware. Wouldn't that be a problem?

Elan

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16849 of 22625
Subject: Re: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/8/2008 12:21 PM
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But what if a non-Jew brings chametz into your home and then leaves crumbs on your floor or leftovers on your table. They in effect become yours.

How so? If he left his jacket at your house, would that also become yours?

Of course not. It's just someone else's stuff in your house. There are a few practical reasons why it's not a good idea, and I wouldn't recommend it.

I presumed that the dinner would be eaten on the host's plates using her silverware.

I think the idea that any kosher meal can be eaten on the plates and silverware of a gentile is pretty ridiculous. If I find myself having to dine at a gentile's home, I bring my own food, and disposable plates and flatware.

In any event, this is all highly theoretical. The Jew in question hasn't attended a Seder in 10 years, and probably doesn't know or care about these details.

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Author: elann Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16857 of 22625
Subject: Re: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/8/2008 1:45 PM
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But what if a non-Jew brings chametz into your home and then leaves crumbs on your floor or leftovers on your table. They in effect become yours.

How so? If he left his jacket at your house, would that also become yours?

Of course not. It's just someone else's stuff in your house. There are a few practical reasons why it's not a good idea, and I wouldn't recommend it.


That's a bad example. If you returned someone's jacket he would thank you. If you returned his crumbs to him he would be insulted. The crumbs and leftovers in you house are yours to dispose of. It's your problem if they stay there and you touch them or they get inadvertently mixed with your food.

But perhaps I'm interpreting it all differently from you. It's all for show anyway, isn't it? If you can have Chametz in your cupboard and pretend that you've sold it all to a goy, what could be wrong with a few crumbs on your table? And I don't mean it sarcastically. It's just that I'm coming to understand that the essence of bi'ur chametz and the selling of your chametz is about the symbolism of eliminating the chametz and not about its physical removal.

Elan

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16860 of 22625
Subject: Re: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/8/2008 2:10 PM
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That's a bad example. If you returned someone's jacket he would thank you. If you returned his crumbs to him he would be insulted.

I don't pasken halacha according to how some gentile might interpret my actions. The crumbs are his. If there was some reason he needed to eat at my house, I'd ask him to eat outside, weather permitting. Otherwise, I'd spread newspapers or a disposable tablecloth out, and offer to throw his crumbs away when he's done.


But perhaps I'm interpreting it all differently from you. It's all for show anyway, isn't it?

No, it's not.

If you can have Chametz in your cupboard and pretend that you've sold it all to a goy

No pretending is involved. It's a legally binding sale, and furthermore, I also rent the cabinets to that goy, so it's his chometz in his cabinets.

According to Rav Vikipedia:
Some rabbis will encourage the non-Jew to visit the Jewish homes where his chametz is stored during the holiday, and make use of some of it, to make clear to the sellers that the chametz has genuinely been sold to the non-Jew.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chametz

I'm curious why you, Elan, who make such a big deal out of your lack of interest in halacha consider yourself such an expert on mechirat chometz? So much so that you bring it up time and again. Have you studied any of the relevant writings?

This article explains, in detail, why mechirat chometz is permissible:
http://www.yutorah.org/_shiurim/Mechirat%20Chametz.html

You may find it helpful.

But for someone who rejects the validity of halacha to tell Orthodox Jews we're doing it wrong makes about as much sense as an atheist telling Christians they don't know how to celebrate x-mas.

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Author: elann Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16864 of 22625
Subject: Re: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/8/2008 2:31 PM
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I'm curious why you, Elan, who make such a big deal out of your lack of interest in halacha consider yourself such an expert on mechirat chometz? So much so that you bring it up time and again. Have you studied any of the relevant writings?

Because I think it's a demonstration of extreme hypocrisy. When a buyer has no intention of taking possession, and clearly has an intention of selling the item back, it's a sham. Everyone winks an eye and everyone's happy, pretending that the god you believe in doesn't realize it's a sham.

Elan

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16867 of 22625
Subject: Re: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/8/2008 3:51 PM
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When a buyer has no intention of taking possession, and clearly has an intention of selling the item back, it's a sham.

If you'd read the article to which I linked, you'd see that's not so. There is an element of risk for both parties. The Jew expects to be able to buy it back, but the gentile is not obligated to sell. The gentile expects to sell it back, but the Jew is not obligated to buy.

Just for you, I found an "Ask the Rabbi" web page with this question: With this question: Q SELLING chametz to a non-Jew before Pesach seems a sham as no real sale takes place. Why did the rabbis bring in such a rule?
Click here for the answer: http://www.jewishtelegraph.com/askrabbi.html

Note that it makes a point I'd forgotten earlier: Even if a Jew rids his house of all chametz, he is still obligated to sell (just in case he forgot about some).

When you're ready, you can sell it online here: https://www.kipa.co.il/passover/sell.asp
(Well, I think that's what that website is for, but it's entirely in Hebrew, so my understanding may not be correct.)

I found another web page explaining it:
Are you kidding? You know the non Jew is not going to consume your Chametz. He is not really paying you for it and neither is he taking possession of it. He does not even know where it is. Even if he did, how is he going to gain access to your house on Pesach? And what happens if, after Pesach, he refuses to sell it back to you?

If properly done, the sale of Chametz is indeed an effective sale. Such a sale should cause as little skepticism on our part as other every day, legal structures, such as, for example, the sale and lease back of machinery where the equipment never leaves the premises of the purchaser and little money initially changes hands. The fact that the non Jew chooses not to exercise his right of ownership does not mean that he does not have this right. Neither does it render the sale fictitious. In fact, if the non-Jew refuses to transfer ownership of the Chametz back to the Jew after Pesach, there is no way, under Jewish law that one can compel him to do so. The sale is irrevocable, unless the Non Jew chooses to rescind it after Pesach.

Source: http://judaism101.org/torah/dafyomi/default.htm

Finally, this page: http://chaptzem.blogspot.com/2005_05_01_archive.html
Includes a well-documented story of City Councilman James F. Gennaro, of Queens, who said, " I'm under no obligation to sell it back. Theoretically I could come claim it and use it." One year he, "[W]ent to someone's house… knocked on the door, and I said, 'O.K., I'm here for the chametz.' I selected a bottle of single-malt Scotch." (emphasis mine)

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16869 of 22625
Subject: Re: Seder meal, Christian home Date: 4/8/2008 4:22 PM
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<< If you can have Chametz in your cupboard and pretend that you've sold it all to a goy>>

No pretending is involved. It's a legally binding sale, and furthermore, I also rent the cabinets to that goy, so it's his chometz in his cabinets.


It certainly is not pretending, and I have a real-life anecdote that happened to me and my family about 25 or 30 years ago. At the time we lived in Staten Island, NY, and were members of a small synagogue a few streets away. The Rabbi would arrange the sale of the chametz to a very nice neighbor of ours, Mr. Lista. He was a character, living in the oldest house on the street (a really nice house with beautiful woodwork inside), he even made small batches of wine at home from grapes and various berries that he grew on his property. Every year on the night that Pesach ended, he would go back to the Rabbi and sell him the Chametz that he purchased 8 days earlier. Sometimes he would even joke around about requiring a higher price, etc.

One year, in the late 70's or early 80's, this did not occur. Unfortunately Mrs. Lista passed away on the last day of Pesach and one of their children took Mr. Lista to their house that afternoon. Immediately after Chag, the Rabbi called us and some others, and asked us to call a bunch of people to inform them that we cannot use our chametz stuff until further notice from him. Mr. Lista, being the delightful gentleman that he always was, called the Rabbi shortly after nightfall, and told him that he was worrying about the resale of the chametz. Of all things for him to "worry about" on that day, that was one of the things he was thinking about, I always found that to be amazing. Finally at about 10:30 that night, he arrived home and completed the transaction with the Rabbi, after which a second set of phone calls were made to tell everyone that they now owned their chametz and could use it as they see fit.

Till today, every member of that small synagogue remembers the yahrzeit of Mrs. Lista. In my family, we mention it every year.

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