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I am committed to a life provoking the invasion of The Coming Kingdom through: human service, ecstatic prayer, halakhic observation, community building, nurturing hope, and drawing down abiding faith...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nisan-Halakah of the month (Part 1)

Chodesh Tov everyone!

I want to start by just offering my translation of a Mishnah. This will be the text basis for our halakha of the month. I'll do an initial post of comments later, but feel free to chime in on it from the get-go!

M Pesachim 1.1-2

[From the] advent of the fourteenth [of Nissan we] examine for chametz by the light of a candle. All places where [there is] no storage of chametz there is no need to search. And why do we say [to search] two rows of vessels in the cellar? This is a place where chametz is stored. Beit Shammai say, “two rows of vessels in all of the cellar.” Beit Hillel say, “[only] two outer rows of vessels that are in the highest places.” They don’t worry [if] perhaps a weasel drags [chametz] from house to house and from place to place, because if so [they would worry about the weasel dragging] from yard to yard and city to city; [there would be] no end to the matter.


  1. Chodesh tov. This Nisan, I'm thankful that our mesorah obviates the need to account for the chametz-purloining actions of weasels.!

  2. Yahnatan,

    Hey, man...don't underestimate them weasels :-)

    Truly, though you bring a good point. What is interesting is that the Mishnah decides to not go down that road. As much as the rabbis do care about making sure chametz is cleared out, they are also aware of the fact that extenuating circumstances can impact one's ability to keep it out! Their solution: don't worry about it. After all, this is the purpose of bitul hachametz. This does not mean that someone can leave a loaf of challah on their table, say bitul hachametz, and be all set. One is still required to clean out. This is one of the nice things about the selection of Mishnah; it balances the need for precsion in cleaning with a relaxed attitude toward situations beyond our control. I'm going to get into that in my first post of commentary on this selection.

    Anu other thoughts?

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