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Lakewood NJ has a lot of kosher restaurants, from high class meat restaurants to dairy and sushi restaurants. So no matter if you live in Lakewood or just traveling to the area, you are sure to find a place to eat.
So you’ve decided to spend Passover 2013 away from home. You may be traveling to family, following the time-honored tradition for relatives to gather for the Passover seders, you might be embracing the recent trend of spending Passover in a hotel or resort, or perhaps business concerns are the reason for this trip. Either way, the following tips and halachic guidelines will help you be at home with Passover even while you are on foreign turf.
Get Your Jewish Bearings
It’s wise to have the contact information of the local Chabad center Whether or not you’ll be staying in an environment with a Jewish/religious infrastructure – such as a hotel resort complete with seders and prayer services, or religious Uncle Benny’s house – it would be wise to have the contact information of the local Chabad center (click here for our global centers directory). Depending on your needs, you might want to join them at a communal seder (click here for an international communal seder listing), find out prayer service times, or simply have the number at hand in case a Jewish need arrives (“I just must have a kosher for Passover chocolate bar—where can I get one?” “Where’s the local mikvah?”).
Do Your Research
It is vital to ensure that the foods you will be eating during the course of Passover are 100% kosher for Passover, certified so by a reliable rabbinical agency.
If you are staying at family or friends, speak to them in advance and be clear about your standards—a classic case of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you will be spending the holiday in a hotel, find out which rabbi or kosher supervision agency is providing kosher certification. If you are uncertain whether the rabbi or agency is reliable, have your local rabbi make inquiries for you.
Your host or caterer will probably provide Passover matzah. The optimal way, however, to fulfill the mitzvah at the seders is with special handmade shmurah matzah. If they won’t be serving this matzah at your seder, bring some along from home. Click here to order handmade shmurah matzah on-line.
The location of the chametz’s owner determines when the prohibition begins and ends when traveling, the sale of chametz ontract should include your chametzback at home as well as any chametzyou might have with you at your Passover destination. If you’re traveling within your local time zone — and not going too far east or west within that zone — the sale of chametz presents no issue whatsoever. You can arrange the sale with your local rabbi, or with a rabbi at your destination, or on-line.
If, however, your travels will take you out of your local time zone, selling yourchametz though your local rabbi presents a problem: The prohibition to own chametz begins with the onset of the fifth “seasonal hour” on the day before Passover, and lasts until nightfall of the last day of Passover. In this regard, the physical location of the chametz is irrelevant—it is the location of the owner that determines when the prohibition begins and ends.
As such, if your local rabbi sells your chametz, he will either sell it too late (if you are traveling eastward), or buy it back to early (if you are going westward). The solution is to sell your chametz through a rabbi located where you will be on Passover (or you can do it on-line, where we arrange for rabbis in different locations around the globe to sell the chametz for their time zones).
If there is no rabbi at your destination, consult with your local rabbi. He may be able to make special arrangements for you.
On a similar note, halachic times vary by location. Visit our halachic times page for local halachic times for wherever your Passover plans land you.
Search for Chametz
If you are a paying guest at your destination, e.g. you are staying in a hotel, then you are required to perform the traditional search for chametz in the room(s) that you lease. If you are a non-paying guest, then you are covered by the homeowner’s search. If you wish, however, you can “lease” the room where you will stay, by giving the owner a symbolic dollar or two, and as its owner, you can now do the search in that room. This leasing must be done before sunset of the night of the search.
With regards to the chametz back at your home:
A paying guest is required to search for chametz in the room(s) that he leasesIf you will be returning to your home before Passover’s end, then you must clean your home and make itchametz-free, and do the search forchametz the night before you leave your home. If this is before the conventional time for the search – the night before Passover, or, if the first day of Passover falls on Sunday, the Thursday night beforehand – the search is conducted without reciting the blessing.
If you will be away from your home for all of the Passover holiday, you presumably won’t want to do Passover cleaning – in all probability, avoiding that chore is one of the reasons why you are leaving in the first place… – instead, you will sell all your chametz through your rabbi, and do not need to conduct the chametzsearch in your home. You will suffice with the search you will conduct in your Passover accommodations.
The Israel/Diaspora Divide
In the Land of Israel, Passover is observed as biblically prescribed: one day of holiday, followed by five days of Chol Hamoed (semi-festive “intermediate” days), followed by one last day of holiday. In the Diaspora, we observe twodays of holiday, followed by four days of Chol Hamoed, followed by another two days of holiday. (See Why are holidays celebrated an extra day in the Diaspora?)
The question is, what is the rule for an Israeli visiting the Diaspora for a holiday, or vice versa. This is a complex question, with variables involved, as well as different opinions amongst halachic authorities. Consult with your rabbi if you are planning such a trip.
Crossing the International Date Line
It is advisable not to cross the International Date Line between the second day of Passover and the holiday of Shavuot seven weeks later, as this can have an impact on the traveler’s counting of the omer and the date when he or she celebrates Shavuot. It is always possible to travel to the same destination using a longer route—for example, if traveling from the U.S. to Australia, this means taking an eastward route instead of the standard westerly one.
It is advisable not to cross the International Date Line between Passover and ShavuotIf crossing the date line is absolutely necessary, or if you have already done so, consult with your rabbi as to the steps you should take.
The reason, in brief: The Torah does not ascribe a specific date to the holiday of Shavuot. Instead, each individual is required to count 49 days from the second day of Passover, and the fiftieth day is Shavuot. Or, even if one has been negligent in counting, Shavuot is observed when 49 days have elapsed since the second day of Passover vacation. One who crosses the date line gains or loses a day. Gains, if traveling eastward; loses, if traveling westward. This causes the traveler’s omer count to differ from the local one, and consequently leads to Shavuot being a day earlier or later than locally observed.
A quick overview of the Seder’s steps; click on the print button and it becomes a quick reference during the Seder. This will also help you plan you passover menu
In Our Forefathers’ Footsteps
At the Seder, every person should see himself as if he were going out of Egypt. Beginning with our Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we recount the Jewish people’s descent into Egypt and recall their suffering and persecution. We are with them as G‑d sends the Ten Plagues to punish Pharaoh and his nation, and follow along as they leave Egypt and cross the Sea of Reeds. We witness the miraculous hand of G‑d as the waters part to allow the Israelites to pass, then return to inundate the Egyptian legions.
The Seder service begins with the recitation of kiddush, proclaiming the holiness of the holiday. This is done over a cup of wine, the first of the four cups we will drink (while reclining) at the Seder.
The Four Cups of Wine
Why four cups? The Torah uses four expressions of freedom or deliverance in connection with our liberation from Egypt (see Exodus 6:6–7). Also, the Children of Israel had four great merits even while in exile: (1) They did not change their Hebrew names; (2) they continued to speak their own language, Hebrew; (3) they remained highly moral; (4) they remained loyal to one another.
Wine is used because it is a symbol of joy and happiness.
Why We Recline
When drinking the four cups and eating the matzah, we lean on our left side to accentuate the fact that we are free people. In ancient times only free people had the luxury of reclining while eating.
We wash our hands in the usual, ritually prescribed manner as is done before a meal, but without the customary blessing.
The next step in the Seder, Karpas, requires dipping food into water, which in turn mandates, according to Jewish law, that either the food be eaten with a utensil or that one’s hands be purified by washing. On the Seder eve we choose the less common observance to arouse the child’s curiosity.
A small piece of onion or boiled potato is dipped into saltwater and eaten (after reciting the blessing over vegetables).
Dipping the karpas in saltwater is an act of pleasure and freedom, which further arouses the child’s curiosity.
The Hebrew word karpas, when read backwards, alludes to the backbreaking labor performed by the 600,000 Jews in Egypt. [Samech has the numerical equivalent of 60 (representing 60 times 10,000), while the last three Hebrew letters spell perech, hard work.]
The saltwater represents the tears of our ancestors in Egypt.
Yachatz—Breaking the Matzah
The middle matzah on the Seder plate is broken in two. The larger part is put aside for later use as the afikoman. This unusual action not only attracts the child’s attention once again, but also recalls G‑d’s splitting of the Sea of Reeds to allow the Children of Israel to cross on dry land. The smaller part of the middle matzah is returned to the Seder plate. This broken middle matzah symbolizes humility, and will be eaten later as the “bread of poverty.”
At this point, the poor are invited to join the Seder. The Seder tray is moved aside, a second cup of wine is poured, and the child, who by now is bursting with curiosity, asks the time-honored question: “Mah nishtanah ha-lailah hazeh mikol ha-leilot? Why is this night different from all other nights?” Why only matzah? Why the dipping? Why the bitter herbs? Why are we relaxing and leaning on cushions as if we were kings?
The child’s questioning triggers one of the most significant mitzvot of Passover, which is the highlight of the Seder ceremony: the haggadah, telling the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The answer includes a brief review of history, a description of the suffering imposed upon the Israelites, a listing of the plagues visited on the Egyptians, and an enumeration of the miracles performed by the Almighty for the redemption of His people.
Rochtzah—Washing Before the Meal
After concluding the first part of the haggadah by drinking the second cup of wine (while reclining), the hands are washed again, this time with the customary blessings, as is usually done before eating bread.
Motzi Matzah—We Eat the Matzah
Taking hold of the three matzot (with the broken one between the two whole ones), recite the customary blessing before bread. Then, letting the bottom matzah drop back onto the plate, and holding the top whole matzah with the broken middle one, recite the special blessing “al achilat matzah.” Then break at least one ounce from each matzah and eat the two pieces together, while reclining.
Maror—the Bitter Herbs
Take at least one ounce of the bitter herbs. Dip it in the charoset, then shake the latter off and make the blessing “al achilat maror.” Eat without reclining.
In keeping with the custom instituted by Hillel, the great Talmudic sage, a sandwich of matzah and maror is eaten. Break off two pieces of the bottom matzah, which together should be at least one ounce. Again, take at least one ounce of bitter herbs and dip them in the charoset. Place this between the two pieces of matzah, say “kein asah Hillel . . .” and eat the sandwich while reclining.
Shulchan Orech—the Feast
The holiday meal is now served. We begin the meal with a hard-boiled egg dipped into saltwater.
A rabbi was once asked why Jews eat eggs on Passover. “Because eggs symbolize the Jew,” the rabbi answered. “The more an egg is burned or boiled, the harder it gets.”
After the meal, the half-matzah which had been “hidden,” set aside for theafikoman (“dessert”), is taken out and eaten. It symbolizes the Paschal lamb, which was eaten at the end of the meal.
Everyone should eat at least 1½ ounces of matzah, reclining, before midnight. After eating the afikoman, we do not eat or drink anything except for the two remaining cups of wine.
Berach—Blessings After the Meal
A third cup of wine is filled and Grace is recited. After the Grace we recite the blessing over wine and drink the third cup while reclining.
Now we fill the cup of Elijah and our own cups with wine. We open the door and recite the passage which is an invitation to the Prophet Elijah, the harbinger of the coming of Moshiach, our righteous Messiah.
Hallel—Songs of Praise
At this point, having recognized the Almighty and His unique guidance of the Jewish people, we go still further and sing His praises as L‑rd of the entire universe.
After reciting the Hallel, we again recite the blessing over wine and drink the fourth cup, reclining.
Having carried out the Seder service properly, we are sure that it has been well received by the Almighty. We then say “Leshanah haba’ah bee-rushalayim—Next year in Jerusalem.”