When Pesach Starts on Saturday Night – A Law Review by Rabbi Stewart Weiss

When Erev Pesach (14 Nisan) occurs on Shabbat, there are numerous Halachot that differ from other years. This overview is meant as a guide to those Halachot. For specific questions, consult your Rav. Chag Kasher V’Sameach!

  1. The Fast of the First-Born, normally held on Erev Pesach, is instead held on Thursday (12 Nisan) for those fasting. Of course, it is customary to attend a Siyum B’Chorim on that day in order to be exempted from fasting.
  1. Bedikat (the search for) Chametz is done immediately after dark (6:35 pm Ra’anana time) on Thursday night, with the appropriate Bracha. After Bedika, the Bitul (nullification) is said, in both Aramaic and whatever language one understands. It can be found in Machzorim & most siddurim.
  1. Biur (the burning of) Chametz takes place on Friday morning, preferably by 11:32 am (one who forgot may technically burn the Chametz all day). No bitul declaration is made after burning as in other years. This declaration will be made on Shabbat morning by 11:32 am.
  1. Mechirat (the sale of) Chametz should be completed by Thursday, although the sale contract permits use of the Chametz until the prohibition of eating Chametz begins on Shabbat morning.
  1. One may bake Challa on Friday, but must be sure to Mafrish (separate and burn) the Challa dough before Shabbat. (Of course, if the house is made kosher l’Pesach by Friday – as we strongly advise – then this would not apply!)
  1. Those who do not refrain from eating Matza from Rosh Chodesh Nisan may eat Matza on Friday, but regular Matza may not be eaten on Shabbat.

Note: While kitniyot products may be eaten on Shabbat, Erev Pesach, it is our custom (at least for adults) not to do so.

  1. In order to eat the prescribed 3 meals on Shabbat, some have the custom to rise early for Tefila on Shabbat; wash and eat Challa (
This entry was posted in Community, Events, Holidays, Learning, Pesach, Torah. Bookmark the permalink.