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Sell Chometz
Pesach Eve

For the whole month of Nissan there is no tachanun, no fasting, and no visiting the cemetery. 

During this month we say a blessing over the blossoming fruit tree.

Passover (Pesach in Hebrew)is also known as the "holiday of freedom," because it commemorates the Jewish Exodus from Egypt following 210 years of slavery. Passover is regarded as the official "birth" of the Jewish nation, and its lessons of struggle and identity continue to form the basis of Jewish consciousness 3,300 years after the event.

The Exodus was essentially an account of Moses' prodding Pharaoh to "let my people go -- in order that we may serve the Almighty." It took a lot of convincing -- Ten Plagues in all -- but eventually the Jews walked out of Egypt in broad daylight. Seven days later, the Red Sea split, drowning the Egyptian army. Then, 50 days after the Exodus, the entire Jewish nation stood at Mount Sinai to experience divine revelation and receive the Torah.

Passover is an eight-day holiday (in Israel, seven days). It is marked by the eating of matzah, unleavened bread, and by the celebration of an elaborate Seder on the first two nights (in Israel, on the first night only).

The Seder is designed to give each Jew the experience of "going from slavery unto freedom." The seder includes telling the Exodus story as recorded in the Haggadah, eating of "slavery symbols" like bitter herbs (Marror), recounting the Ten Plagues, and drinking four cups of wine -- which correspond to the four stages of redemption as recorded in the Biblical book of Exodus. The Seder is highlighted by eating matzah as part of a festive meal.

The name "Passover" derives from the fact that during the final plague, God passed through the land and smote every firstborn Egyptian -- but made sure to "pass over" the Jewish houses.

All about Matzah

During the entire week of Passover, Jews are forbidden to eat or possess any chametz -- leavened grain. For this reason, we dispose of (or sell) all our bread, cookies, pasta, beer, etc. -- and purchase only products that are labeled "kosher for Passover." To avoid any problems of residual chametz, Jews also have special sets of dishes and pots for Passover.

Matzah is the main staple of the Passover week. The Bible gives two reasons for eating matzah. The most commonly-known is that on the morning of the Exodus, the Jews were so rushed in getting out of Egypt that the bread didn’t have time to rise -- hence they ate it unleavened.

In addition, the Bible (Exodus 12:8) states that the Jews also ate matzah the night before the Exodus -- at that first Passover Seder. That is because chametz is puffed up and represents arrogance; matzah is simple and humble. To come close to the Almighty, which is the ultimate pleasure in life, one must remove his own personal arrogance. Thus we remove chametz from our homes, and likewise work on the character trait of humility.

On the evening before Passover, there is a careful search of the home for chametz. It is done by candle light and is a memorable experience for the whole family. Any remaining chametz is either burned the next morning (in a ceremony called Be'ur Chometz), or is sold to a non-Jew for the week of Passover. The sale must be serious and legally-binding, and therefore should be done only through the assistance of a qualified rabbi. Any food that is sold must be put in a closed cabinet and taped shut.


The following foods are traditionally not eaten on Pesach: rice, millet, beans (green beans are allowed), lentils, peas, corn, buckwheat, chickpeas, cumin, fennel, mustard, peanuts, tofu, seeds and more. These foods can be kept in the house – just don’t eat them. These foods can be used by small children, sick people or pets.

Important dates and times for Pesach 5778 / 2018 for Chicago


Purification of Vessels for Pesach

Telshe Yeshiva 3535 W. Foster 773/727-5241
Sunday, 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Monday, 7:30 - 9:00 pm
April 14
April 15

Bedikas Chometz

(the search of Chometz)
Thursday April 18

Fast of the First Born

Friday April 19

Burning of Chometz

Friday morning 8:00-11:00 am

Joan Dachs Bais Yakov Girls School, 3200 W Peterson Ave or Yeshiva Ohr Boruch, 2828 W. Pratt

Buffalo Grove:
Fire Department, 109 Deerfield Parkway (10:30am)

April 19

Eating of Chometz

Must stop by Friday morning, 10:11 am April 19

Destruction & Nullification of Chometz

Friday morning before 11:31 am

April 19

Yom Tov and Shabbos Candles

(with brocha "Shehecheyanu")
Friday evening, 7:15 pm April 19

First Seder

Friday evening April 19

Yom Tov Candles Second Night

(with brocha "Shehehiyanu")
Saturday evening, 8:37 pm April 20

Second Seder

Saturday evening April 20

1st night of Counting of the Omer

Saturday evening April 20

Yom Tov Candles 7th day

(no brocha "Shehecheyanu")
Thursday evening, 7:22 pm April 25

Yom Tov Candles 8th day

(no brocha "Shehecheyanu")
Friday evening, 8:43 pm April 26


Shabbos morning 10:30 am April 27


Friday, April 19, Erev Pesach

Shabbos and Yom tov candlelighting with "Shehecheyanu" 7:15 PM
Mincha 7:00 PM 
Maariv - First Day of Pesach 7:35 PM
First Seder 8:35 PM

Shabbos, April 20, First Pesach day

Shacharis 9:00 AM
Mincha 7:05 PM
Shiur/class 7:35 PM
Maariv - Second Day of Pesach 8:05 PM
Candlelighting with Shehecheyanu 8:37 PM

Sunday, April 21, Second Pesach day

Shacharis 9:00 AM
Mincha 7:15 PM 
Shiur/class 7:35 PM 
Maariv 8:25 PM
Yom Tov over 8:38 PM

Monday, April 22 - Thursday, April 25, Chol Hamoed

Thursday evening, April 25 Seventh Day of Pesach

Candlelighting, NO SHEHECHEYANU 7:22 PM
Mincha 7:20 PM 
Shiur 7:35 PM
Maariv - Seventh Day of Pesach 7:50 PM 

Friday, April 26, Seventh Day of Pesach

Shacharis 9:00 AM
Mincha 7:20 PM 
Shiur/class 7:35 PM
Maariv 8:30 PM
Candlelighting, NO SHEHECHEYANU 8:43 PM

Shabbos, April 27, Eights Day of Pesach

Shacharis 9:00 AM
Shir HaShirim - Song of Songs 10:00 AM
Yizkor 11:15 AM
Mincha 7:25 PM 
Neilas haChag -bring your leftover food 7:40 PM
Maariv 8:15 PM
Yom tov is over 8:23 PM


Regardless how well you clean and search you house, everyone should sell their remaining chometz by filling out THIS FORM. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU SIGN THE FORM  and bring it to rabbi Dimarsky. If you cannot bring the form in person, mail it to Heritage, 2941 W. Touhy Ave. Chicago IL 60645 or fax it to 1-866-211-8480. We need to receive your mail or fax no later then 11:00 PM of Thursday night, March 29, 2018. Forms received later that time will not be processed. 

If one finds chometz on Yom Tov, one should cover the chometz (because it is muktza) and burn it after Yom Tov.

This halacha only applies if one did not sell his chometz to a gentile. However, if one sells chometz to a gentile, this sale includes all chometz, wherever it may be found. Therefore, if one discovers pretzels in a drawer or bagel chips in a coat pocket on Pesach, one may not burn this chometz as it belongs to the gentile to whom the Rabbi sold the chometz! Rather, one should store the item with the “locked up” chometz sold to the gentile. On Yom Tov, one should cover it and lock it up on Chol Hamoed. It may be eaten after Pesach when the chometz is purchased back.

Chometz which was accidentally bought or acquired on Pesach should be destroyed immediately.

If one receives chometz in the mail or with the newspaper on Erev Pesach (after the 5th halachic hour) or on Pesach, one should not assume ownership of the item but rather leave the chometz outside. If mail is delivered through a mail slot into one’s home, have intent not to acquire the chometz (i.e. do not take legal possession) and kick it or push it outside with a stick to avoid handling it. If it is still around after Pesach, one may assume ownership at that time, and use it, provided that the sender is a gentile.

The Torah forbids a Jew to own, eat or get benefit from chometz during Pesach. The Torah also requires us to physically destroy our chometz.

We clean for Pesach to get rid of chometz, since we are not allowed to own it. Another reason is that we might find and accidentally eat it. As a double precaution we declare that the rest of the chometz which we didn’t find should be void. This way even if we find our chometz during Pesach it is technically not ours and we are not violating Torah law.

We clean only those places where we might accidentally come across and eat chometz. These places have to be cleaned even from the crumbs. Following this logic, we don’t need to clean behind or under heavy appliances or furniture, or in places where chometz is never brought in.

Cleaning for Pesach includes:

Our home, our work place, car, garage.
Toys which will be used during Pesach have to be cleaned.
Clothes which will be worn during Pesach have to be cleaned from crumbs
Dining room and kitchen tables have to be thoroughly cleaned and covered.
Chairs have to be cleaned.
Year round bentchers (prayer after meal books) shouldn’t be used.
Carpeted floors are sufficient to vacuum. Other types of floors need to be swept and washed.
Bookshelves – just light cleaning. Books don’t have to be removed or opened.

Not edible chometz has to be removed only if it is a size of kezais-olive (size of a standard slice of bread)


Preparing the kitchen

There are 3 main ways to kasher utensils: by cleaning, by hagalah and by libun.

Cleaning means cleaning with detergent
Hagalah means using hot boiling water. If cleaning the surface, like kitchen counter, the hot water is poured onto the counter. In the case of cleaning utensils, they have to be completely clean, not used for hot for 24 hours and then immersed into the boiling water. The pot, used to boil water doesn't have to be kosher for Pesach (but of course it has to be kosher and clean).
Libun means making the object hot (sometimes glowing) by heating it with the direct fire.

Pots, pot covers – hagalah
Spits, frying pans – libun
Spoons, forks – hagalah. If have plastic or wooden handles – can’t be kashered
Knives – if have plastic or wooden handles, buy new ones.
Silver Kiddush cup, small cups and saucer – hagalah
China, earthenware, porcelain – cannot be kashered
Drinking glasses, pitchers – soak 72 hours in soapy water, changing water every 24 hours.
Corningware, Correle, Pyrex, Duralex – should’t be kahsered.
Hand towels, tablecloths can be washed.
Smooth wooded cutting board can be kashered by hagala or by sending.
Plastic tablecloths cannot be kashered.
Wooden tables and benches should be cleaned and covered.
Formaica counter should be washed and covered.
Baby Bottle Since they have come in contact with chometz (e.g. washed with dishes, boiled in chometz pot), new ones should be purchased.
Baby High Chair Thoroughly clean.  Preferable to cover the tray with contact paper. Kitchen drawers, cabinet shelves should be cleaned and covered.

Refrigerator, freezer should be just cleaned.
Can Opener Manual or Electric – Clean thoroughly.
Candlesticks/Tray Clean thoroughly.
Bite Plates, Braces Clean thoroughly after finishing to eat chometz.
Washing cup used in kitchen: Metal – Hagola. Plastic: Put away with chometz dishes
One should buy kosher for Pesach dish soap.

Kitchen sink:

- Porcelain or enamel sinks should be covered with contact paper or aluminum foil.
- Steel sinks should be cleaned, not be used with hot water for 24 h. and then kashered by hagalah.

Faucets, spouts and it’s strainers should be cleaned well before hagalah.
Dishwasher – shouldn’t be kashered for Pesach
Hot water urn – better to buy a new one. In case of a need, the old one can be cleaned and filled till the top with water and boiled. Spout should be cleaned.
Coffee maker – buy a new one.
Graters, grinders should not be kashered for Pesach.
Mixers, food processors, blenders – if were used for making dough or cake– cannot be kashered. If were used for fruits, vegetables, meat, fish etc. have to be cleaned, bowl and blades need hagalah or need to be replaced.
Toaster should be cleaned and put away.
All paper ware and plastic silverware can be used for Pesach

Gas stove:

Clean burners, grates, the pans under the grates and the stove surface. Turn the burners on. Put on the grates pots with water for 15 minutes. Cover the stove surface with the aluminum foil, cutting out the holes for the burners. (Some people cover the grates, pan under the grates and stove handles with foil too.) Alternative method do kasher grates is to clean them and put inside of the oven. While kashering oven, grates will be kashered too.

Electric or glass stoves:

Clean all the parts and the stove surface. Turn the electric burners to high for 10 minutes. Cover the stove surface with foil, cutting out the holes for the burners.

Metal blech used during the year should be replaced with the new one.


Don’t use for 24 hours. Clean thoroughly the oven, racks and the inside of the door with Eazy-off. Set to the highest degree for 1 hour. (some people also put inside the oven a foil pan with water and keep the oven on for another ½ hour). It is very hard to clean rack well, therefore it might be better to buy new racks or to cover the old ones with foil.

Broiler part of the oven should not be koshered but should be cleaned, closed up and not used.

Self-cleaning ovens don’t need to be cleaned and can be used within 24 hours. Inside of the doors of these ovens still have to be cleaned. Set it on self-cleaning cycle and you are done. You can put the burners or other metal parts inside the oven to kasher them during the self-cleaning cycle.

Filters above the range hood should be cleaned by soaking them in the water/ammonia solution for 20 minutes.

Microwave should not be koshered for Pesach

Preparing the bathroom:

Clean everything, replace toothbrushes and toothpaste with new ones.

May not be used during Pesach: any products containing alcohol (cologne, hair spray, after shave, mouthwash, spray deodorant – anything that one theoretically can drink) should be thrown away or locked up and sold.

May be used during Pesach: nail polish, polish remover, hand lotion, creams, shampoos, shoe polish, ink, paint, air freshener, powders, stick deodorant, eye shadow, liner, mascara, blush, soap (can’t drink those). The custom is to buy kosher for Pesach toothpaste, mouthwash and lipstick.


Passover Medicines and Cosmetics Guide click HERE

Bitter, tasteless medicine, eye drops and other drops may be used for Pesach. Medicine that has to be chewed and has pleasant taste needs to be kosher for Pesach. Always consult your doctor and rabbi about specific medicine. Vitamins need to be kosher for Pesach.

As a general rule, whenever possible it is better to buy all the food before Pesach. Because before Pesach even if there is some chometz, it is annulled in the rest of the product. All milk products should be purchased before Pesach.

Another general rule: all food (except for fresh fruit and vegetables) require Kosher for Pesach supervision. They include but not limited to: juices, soda, canned food, dried food, ketchup, mayonnaise, sugar, spices, coffee, tea, milk, butter, cheese, baby food.


The following foods are traditionally not eaten on Pesach: rice, millet, beans (green beans are allowed), lentils, peas, corn, buckwheat, chickpeas, cumin, fennel, mustard, peanuts, tofu, seeds and more. These foods can be kept in the house – just don’t eat them. These foods can be used by small children, sick people or pets.



A first born male must fast on erev (eve of) pesach. If a first born is too young too fast, then his father must fast in his place.


As many preparations as possible for the seder that can be done before the holiday should be done at that time. This includes:

- Cutting plastic tablecloths and garbage bags from a roll.
- Opening cases and individual bottles of wine.
- Roasting the z’roah (shank bone for the seder plate).
- Roasting the egg for the seder plate. Note: The roasted egg may be eaten at the Seder.  The prohibition is only on roasted meat.
- The Charoses, since grating and grinding must be done with a ‘shinui’(change), on Yom Tov. Mixing in wine can be done on holiday night, but only to make enough for one seder.

- Salt water for dipping at the seder.

- If using romaine lettuce for marror, checking should be done before the holiday.

- Grating of horseradish. 

BEDIKAS CHOMETZ - searching for chometz

Bedikas Chometz-the search for chometz- is usually done on the night of the 14th of Nissan, and the be’ur- burning of chometz-on the morning of the 14th. If someone forgot to do the search in the evening, he should do it on the next day as soon as he remembers. One can still purchase Chometz after the night searching, but no more than necessary.

- The custom is to daven Maariv before performing the bedikah, when possible.
- Those who work late do not have to have their wives check for them; rather the bedikah can be performed when they return home.
- It is not permitted to partake of a meal before the bedikah is made. A small snack, however, is permitted.
- Once the bracha is recited, one is not permitted to speak needlessly until after the recitation of the Kol Chamira declaration of the Kol Chamira declaration at he conclusion of the bedikah.  
- Our custom is to make the bracha and begin the bedikah with a candle, since it is mentioned explicity in the Gemorah (Talmud).  Afterwards, though, one is permitted to continue with a flashlight since it is less dangerous and provides better light.
- Closing the light in the room that you are checking depends on each individual’s preference.
- Since the thorough cleaning was done before this night, at this final checking we are lenient and we only make a superficial bedikah looking primarily in those places that may have been overlooked.
- Since most times chometz is not found during the bedikah, the custom is to place ten pieces around the house so that the brocha on the bedikah will not be wasted.
- The ten pieces of bread should equal, at least, a kezayis to be able to make the bracha.  However, no single piece should equal or be large than a kezayis because if such a large piece were to be lost, the entire house would have to be checked until it was found.  If the piece is less that a kezayis, then the law of bitul (voiding) will work and the piece can be ignored.
- Cars and other vehicles do not have to be checked at this time provided they were cleaned thoroughly beforehand.  The same applies to pockets of clothing that have been cleaned.
- If you own an office or store that you will be using on Chol Hamoed (the intermediate days of the holiday), it must be cleaned as if it were your home. Ideally this bedikah should begin after nightfall with the bracha and then continue at one’s home. When this is not possible, the bedikah for the store or place of employment can be done during the day (no bracha is made).
- If the store or place of employment will not be used at all on the holiday, it can be locked up and all chometz inside must be sold.
- If you are leaving home for Pesach, you should check your home the night before you leave.
- If you are staying in a hotel for Pesach, you must make a bedikah the night before Pesach in your room.
- Every Jew must sell their chometz before Pesach. If one knows that he will be eating by relatives after Pesach who do not sell their chometz, one is permitted to sell their chometz without their permission or knowledge.  You are abel to do this because of the rule that one is permitted to perform beneficial acts for other even without their awareness.  After Pesach it will be permitted to eat in their home.
- Most animal food contains chometz and one must check before Pesach to be certain that they are not feeding their pet(s) chometz on Pesach.
- Anything that is soled to a non-Jew for Pesach does not have to be cleaned.

Chometz Checklist

Before we are ready for Bedikas Chometz we must have finished the major part of our house cleaning.
Below is an alphabetical list on which you can check off the items that were already cleaned

Aquarium (most fish food is chometz)
Arts and Crafts projects containing painted noodles, macaroni or other chometz
Automobile (floors, glove compartment, trunk,
under seats, etc.)
Baking oven and the hood
Bar (most alcoholic beverages are chometz)
Basement (if not planning to use - close and sell)
Benchers (Grace after meal booklets)
Bird cages
Bread boxes (clean and store)
Books (just those which are usually brought to the table)
Car seats
Carpet sweepers
Clothes (pockets and cuffs).
Cookie jars, candy dishes (clean and store)
Desk and draws
Fish tank (most fish food is chometz)
Floors and carpets
Garage and workshops
Garbage cans and pails
(get new broom)
High chair
Jewelry and cosmetic boxes
Lunch boxes (clean and store)
Medicine chest (consult an Orthodox Rabbi if you intend to use medications or vitamins on Pesach)
Office, store or factory
Pet house (most animal food is chometz)
Picnic box (clean and store)
School lockers
Shelves and bookcases
Shopping carts
Storage room
Toaster (clean and store)
Toothbrush (get a new one)
Toys, toy chest, toy house
Travel bags
Under radiators
Vacuum cleaner and bags
Window sills

Required Amounts of Foods and Beverages for Pesach Seder 

(click HERE to download the sizes template)


1. For the Arbah Kosos(Four Cups) and for Kiddush (except on Friday night) and for Havdalah the cup must be at least 3.3 fluid ounces in size.
2. When the Seder is on Friday evening, the Kiddush Cup should be at least 4.42 fluid ounces in size. This also applies to the Kiddush Cup used every Friday evening, throughout the year.

Note: If one recites the Kiddush on behalf of the assembled when the Seder occurs on Friday night, then the cup of the one reciting tht Kiddush must be at least 4.42 fluid ounces, while the cups of the assembled (who must each drink his or her cup to fulfill the mitzvah of the First of the Four Cups) can be 3.3 fluid ounces in size.


1. Full strength wine (without diluting) is required for the Arbah Kosos(Four Cups).
2. Only, if one's health does not permit this, then one may dilute the wine with the least amount of grape juice possible. 3. If, for health reasons, one cannot use wine at all, one may substitute grape juice.
4. If one must dilute grape juice with water, the ration should not exceed 2/3 cup water to 1/3 cup arave 4 nice.
5. If one does not have enough wine to perform the Mitzvah (Kiddush, Havdalah, etc.) water may be added but not in excess of 2/15 cup) wine to 3/5 cup water.
Note: The "Brocha" upon all these mixtures is "Borei Pri haHagofen."


Each person must eat the minimum amount of Matzoh the following three times during the Seder: 1) after the Brocha Al Achilas Matzoh 2) For Korech 3) for the Afikomen.
After the Brocha, Al Achilas Matzoh and for the Afikomen, - a piece equivalent in size to 7 inches by 6 1/4 inches.
For Korech - a piece equivalent in size to 7 inches by 4 inches.
If for health reasons, one cannot eat Matzoh, then Matzoh Shmurah Meal (upon which one is permitted to recite the Hamotzee) may be substituted as follows:
After reciting the Brocha, Al Achilas Matzo and for Afikomen - an amount of meal that can be compacted into a vessel measuring 1.5 fluid ounces.
For Korech - an amount of meal that can be compacted into a vessel holding 1.1 fluid ounces.

(bitter herbs)

Each person must eat a minimum amount of Moror during the Seder. Once after the Brocha, Al Achilas Moror, and once, for Korech If using pure, grated horseradish, use the following amounts:
1. After reciting the Brocha, Al Achilas Moror - an amount that can be compacted into a vessel measuring 1.1 fluid ounces. 2. For Korech - an amount that can be compacted into a vessel measuring .7 fluid ounces. If using Romaine Lettuce whole leaves, use the following amounts:
After reciting the Brocha, Al Achilas Morror and for Korech, enough leaves to cover an area of 8 x 10 inches. If using Romaine Lettuce Stalks only, use the following amounts:
After reciting the Brocha, Al Achilas Morror and for Korech, enough stalks to cover an area of 3 x 5 inches.
It is advisable to measure, before the beginning of the Holiday, the size of the cup to find out how many fluid ounces it holds. Then at the Seder, one can pack enough of the Matzo Meal and grated horseradish to reach the required amount.

NOTE: These minimum requirements of Kosos, Matzoh, and Moror must be complied with by women as well as men.


There are several customs as to how the seder plate should be arranged. The general custom is that of the Arizal (i.e. the round seder plate, shown in the picture found in most haggados). Those following the custom of the Arizal place their matzah underneath the seder plate.


All men must recline on their left side while drinking all four kosos (cups) and while eating motzei matzah, korech (sandwich of matzah and marror) and the afikomen. A left handed person is also required to lean on his left side. A left handed person who erroneously reclined on his right side has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation. Preferably, one should recline on pillows or cushions.

Women are not required to recline while eating or drinking. The custom among Sefardim is for women to recline. One should not recline while reciting the haggadah or hallel, as one is supposed to recite them b’eima uv’yirah  (with fear).

Although one should recline while eating korech (the sandwich), one should not recline while eating maror (bitter herbs).


Our Rabbis require one to drink four kosos of wine at the seder. These four kosos correspond to the four terminologies of redemption used to describe the final salvation from Mitzrayim (Egypt). One must use a kos that contains at least a re'veis of wine in order to make a bracha on it. Although one is only required to drink the majority of the kos, an effort should be made to drink the entire kos (see “Sizes” tab).

One should preferably use red wine for the 4 kosos. One who enjoys the taste of white wine more than red wine, may use white wine for the do/ed kosos. Preferably, the wine that is used should not be mevushol (cooked).

One should drink the required amount of wine within the shiur (amount of time), which means that one must drink the wine in two swallows with a minimal pause between them. One who is unable to drink the wine in this manner should drink it within three to four minutes. (Obviously, the faster one drinks the wine, the better it is).

One who has difficulty drinking intoxicating beverages due to a medical condition, should preferably take a smaller kos with the minimum shiur of a re'veis (3 ounces), and drink the minimum amount required. (which is little more than half the kos (1.6 ounces), rather than using grape juice. Although such a person will wind up drinking only 6.4 ounces for all four kosos, he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation. One who can't drink even this small amount of wine, may dilute it with grape juice or water. If even this is not possible, he may drink grape juice, or at the very least raisin wine or any other chamar medina (beverage of the land -i.e. soda).

A father is obligated to train his child to drink the four kosos. The age of training begins at approximately 5-6 years old. If a child understands the concept of the passage of the haggadah that accompanies each kos, he should be trained to drink that kos.

It is preferred that the master of the house not pour his own kos since he should be treated as a king and someone else should pour the kos for him.

A paper or plastic kos should not be used.


One is required to wash their hands without a bracha prior to dipping the karpas into saltwater. This halacha (law) is often only practiced on Pesach during the seder and is neglected all year round. However, this halacha does not apply solely on Pesach, and one must wash his hands with a kos (in the same manner that is done prior to eating bread) prior to dipping anything into liquid (e.g. cookies and cake into milk) all year round.

Women and children are also required to wash their hands. One should keep in mind the severity of being neglectful and not washing their hands when it is required.

The bracha of borei pri ha'adamah should be said following the dipping, so that there should be no interruption. One should have in mind that this bracha should also be for the maror, which will be eaten later on.

For karpas, a vegetable (e.g. celery or parsleyetc.) is dipped into the saltwater. Some poskim (authorities on Jewish law) hold that potatoes should not be used because it is a cooked vegetable. They explain that perhaps the reason why potatoes were traditionally used in Russia was because no other vegetable was available. One should not use a veg- etable that is acceptable to be used for maror. Many poskim say that one should recline while eating karpas. One should eat less than a kezayis of the karpas in order not to be faced with the problem of whether or not he should recite a bracha achrona (bracha recited after eating) since this is a dispute among the Rishonim (earliest Halacha authorities). One who mistakenly ate a kezayis of karpas should not recite a bracha achrona.


It is more important to spend time understanding the simple translation of what is being said in the haggadah, than to spend time saying many divrei Torah. While saying the passages of Pesach, Matzah and Moror, one should make certain that the women and children are present at the table. It is not sufficient to recite these words with a simple translation, since this is the answer to the mah nishtana. The children must be present and the leader of the seder must explain to them on their level of understanding how this answers their questions. One who does not explain this to their children may not have fulfilled his obligation of sipur yetzias mitzrayim (telling over the story of the going out of Egypt). Many have a custom to point at the maror and matzah while reciting these passages. One should lift the matzah and maror while reciting their respective passages. One should not pick up the zeroah while reciting its passage.


Min HaTorah (Biblically) everyone, including women, is required to eat a kezayis of matzoh on the night of the seder. Chazal require us to eat the matzoh within 3-4 minutes after the bracha of al achilas matzoh is said (The faster the matzoh is eaten the better). Everyone at the table should receive two kezaysim of matzoh to eat. Machine matzah may be used to fulfill the mitzvah of matzah, but many people prefer to use hand-made shmurah matzah at the seder. Both kezaysim should be eaten simultaneously.

Although sick people may eat egg matzos during Pesach, one does not fulfill the obligation of eating matzah with them. One who cannot eat regular matzah may fulfill his obligation by eating crushed matzah. If it is impossible for such a person to eat crushed matzah, he should dip the matzah into water. This is true even if one does not normally eat gebrochts, since the mitzvah De'oraisa (commandment from the Torah) takes precedence over the minhag (custom) of not eating gebrochts. The matzah should be eaten without any other food or condiment, so that the flavor of the matzah should not mix with any other flavor. One should not talk from after reciting the bracha of al achilas matzah until after korech


All participants of the seder must eat a kezayis from an unbroken matzoh and a kezayis from the broken matzoh for a total of two kezaysim. While eating the two kezaysim during the motzei matzoh and the two kezaysim of afikoman, one may use one-quarter of an average size matzoh for the required amount of one kezayis. During korech, where one is only required to eat one kezayis, the shiur of the kezayis is measured more stringently, and one should use one-third of an average matzah. In many instances, the amount of matzah on the seder plate is not adequate to give each person sitting at the table his or her proper shiur. Therefore, some people have the custom to give each group of participants at the seder three matzos to fulfill their obligation of motzei matzah. Two matzos should be shlaimim (whole) while the third is a prusah (a matzah broken in half). This custom also enables the participants to eat the required amount of matzah within the required 3-4 minutes from when the ba'al habayis (leader of the seder) says the bracha. Likewise, one may add matzah as is needed to complete the shiur for korech and afikoman.


Chazal require one to eat maror to remind us of the bitter galus (exile).
One may fulfill this obligation by eating any of the following vegetables: (Listed in order of preference):

Romaine lettuce,
French endives,

Although Romaine lettuce is not bitter, the Yerushalmi explains that just as Romaine lettuce is sweet at first and becomes bitter afterwards (i.e. if left in the ground for a long period of time, it will become bitter) similarly, at the beginning our forefathers in Mitzrayim were treated as royalty and only afterwards were forced to do hard labor. One must be very careful to check the lettuce for insect infestation, as there may be small insects in the lettuce that are camouflaged in the folds of the leaves. While eating maror is required Miderabbanon (Rabbinically), consuming an insect is an issur Deoraisah (forbidden Biblically), and one must therefore be careful to check for infestation before using it. One who is unable to check the lettuce for insect infestation should use one of the other types of maror. One should use leaves that are fresh and moist and not dried out, for dried out leaves usually have lost their taste. Stalks that are dried out may still be used, since they retain their flavor due to their thickness. The maror may be uncovered for a while before the seder in order to lessen its bitterness. When dipping the maror into the charoses, one should be careful not to completely cover the maror with a lot of charoses thereby eliminating the maror's bitter taste, but one should shake off the charoses prior to eating the maror.


One should eat two kezaysim of matzah for the afikoman. One kezayis corresponds to the korbon Pesach (Pesach sacrifice), and the other kezayis corresponds to the matzah eaten with the korban Pesach. After one designates and eats the two kezaysim of matzah for the afikoman, one many not eat or drink any intoxicating beverages other than the two remaining kosos. One who eats after the afikoman, must redesignate and reeat the afikoman. The afikoman should be eaten while reclining. One who did not recline and did not yet bentch (say grace after meals), should eat the afikoman again, if it is not too difficult to do so. One should hide the afikoman. It has become customary for children to ask for presents prior to returning the afikoman. If the afikoman gets lost, other matzah may be substituted in its place. The afikoman should be eaten before chatzos (halachic midnight), since it corresponds to the korbon Pesach, which could be eaten until midnight. It is preferably to recite the portion of hallel that is said after the meal prior to chatzos (midnight). One who was unable to eat the afikoman before midnight may still eat it after midnight, since some hold that the korban Pesach was allowed to be eaten past midnight. A person should also try to drink the fourth kos before chatzos.


One should preferably hold the kos for the entire hallel, since there is a principle to recite song over wine. If there are three people sitting at the seder, regardless of age or gender, those parts of hallel which are recited responsively in shul should be recited responsively at the seder as well.


One is not required to say the complete order of krias shema prior to going to sleep on the two seder nights, since Hakadosh Baruch Hu (The Holy One Blessed Be He) extends an extra measure of protection on these nights. Nevertheless, one should say hamapil and the first section of krias shema.


Full Text
Summary in Russian
Rav Zilber in Russian

Noach was a righteous man, even though the rest of his generation was evil. Hashem saw the sad state of the world and decided to destroy the entire populace, with the exception of Noach and his family, by bringing a flood. He informed Noach of His decision and instructed Noach to construct a three-story ark, in which Noach and his family would dwell during the flood. Noach did as Hashem instructed, and when the ark was completed, Noach, his wife, their three sons (Shem, Cham, and Yafes) and their respective wives entered the ark.

They took with them seven pairs of every kosher animal and bird and one pair of every other living creature. They also took into the ark all types of foods that would sustain the inhabitants during their stay in the ark. On the seventeenth day of the second month, rain began to pour onto the earth, and large quantities of water erupted from the earth's interior. This continued for forty days and forty nights and almost all living beings located outside the ark drowned. The flood was so great that almost six months elapsed before the waters subsided sufficiently for the ark to come to rest on the mountain - top of Ararat.

After almost three additional months, Noach released a raven from the ark to ascertain whether dry land had reappeared. The raven merely flew to and fro, waiting for the water on the surface of the earth to dissipate. Seven days later, Noach sent out a dove, only to have the dove quickly return to the ark for it could find no resting place. After waiting another seven days, Noach again sent out the dove. This time the dove returned with an olive leaf in its beak indicating that the waters were receding. Finally, on its third assignment seven days later, the dove did not return at all, and Noach knew that the land had at last begun to dry up. Noach was then able to remove the covering of the ark. It was only then that Hashem told Noach to leave the ark. Noach left the ark after his stay of one year and eleven days, or one solar year. He offered sacrifices of gratitude to Hashem for his survival. Hashem was pleased with Noach's sacrifices and He promised Noach that He would never destroy all of mankind by means of a flood. Hashem placed a rainbow in the sky and told Noach that the rainbow will always be the symbol of this promise.

Through the Noach's three sons, the earth became repopulated and the founders of numerous nations appeared. Yet, at this time, all of mankind spoke only one language, Loshon Hakodesh, the holy language. Unfortunately, mankind didn't learn from the experiences of the flood and returned to evil ways.

The different nations met and proposed to build a city with a tower reaching heaven. Our rabbis explain that these wicked people were not satisfied with the earth alone for their dwelling place. Thoughts such as "Why should Hashem have the heaven all for Himself?" passed through their minds. They decided to build a gigantic tower, climb up the tower, and conquer the heavens. Hashem frustrated this challenge by confusing the speech of the builders, so that one could not understand the other. The city was consequently called Babel, meaning mixing, for it was there that Hashem mixed the languages of the people of the earth.

There were ten generations from Noach till Avrom. Avrom lived in Uhr Kasdim and it was there that he realized the oneness of Hashem, and it was there that he risked his life to follow Him and not to worship idols.

1st Alliya
2nd Aliya
3rd Alilya
4th Aliya
5th Aliya
6th Aliya
7th Aliya

Noah and his Times

These are the chronicles of Noah: Noah was a righteous man, faultless in his generation. Noah walked with God. Noah fathered three sons: Shem, Ham and Yefeth. The world was corrupt before God, and the land was filled with crime. God saw the world, and it was corrupted. All flesh had perverted its way on the earth.

The Great Flood

God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me. The world is filled with [man's] crime. I will therefore destroy them with the earth.
"Make yourself an ark of cypress wood. Divide the ark into compartments. Caulk the inside and outside with pitch. This is how you shall construct it: The ark's length shall be 300 cubits, its width 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a skylight for the ark. Make it slanted, so that it is one cubit [wide] on top. Place the ark's door on its side. Make a first, second and third [deck].

"I Myself am bringing the flood. Water shall be on the earth to destroy from under the heavens all flesh having in it a breath of life. All that is on land will die. But I will keep My pledge that you will come into the ark. You will be together with your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives.
“From all life, all flesh, bring two of each kind into the ark to live with you. They shall be male and female. From each separate species of bird, from each separate species of livestock, and from each separate species of land animals, bring to yourself two of each kind to live. Take with you all the food that will be eaten, and keep it in storage. It shall be food for you and [the animals].”

Noah did all that God had commanded him. He did it [exactly].

God said to Noah, 'Come into the ark, you and your family. I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. Take seven pairs of every clean animal, each consisting of a male and its mate. Of every animal that is not clean, take two, a male and its mate. Of the birds of the heaven also take seven pairs, each consisting of a male and its mate. Let them keep seed alive on the face of all the earth, because in another seven days, I will bring rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights. I will obliterate every organism that I have made from the face of the earth."

Noah did all that God had commanded. Noah was 600 years old when the flood occurred; water was on the earth. Noah, along with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives, came into the ark ahead of the waters of the flood. The clean animals, the animals which were not clean, the birds, and all that walked the earth came two by two to Noah, to the ark. They were male and female, as God had commanded Noah.

Seven days passed, and the flood waters were on the earth. It was in the 600th year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the 17th of the month. On that day all the wellsprings of the great deep burst forth and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. It would continue to rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights.

On that very day, Noah boarded the ark along with his  sons, Shem, Ham and Yefeth. Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons were with them. They [came] along with every separate kind of beast, every separate kind of livestock, every separate kind of land animal, and every separate kind of flying creature-every bird [and] every winged animal. Of all flesh that has in it a breath of life, they came to Noah, to the ark, two by two. Those who came were male and female. Of all flesh they came, as God had commanded [Noah]. God then sealed him inside.


There was a flood on the earth for forty days. The waters increased, lifting the ark, and it rose from on the ground. The waters surged  and increased very much, and the ark began to drift on the surface of the water . The waters on the earth surged [upward] very, very much, and all the high mountains under the heavens were covered. The waters had surged upward fifteen cubits  and all the mountains were covered.

All flesh that walked the earth perished: birds, livestock, wild beasts, and every lower animal that swarmed on the land, as well as every human being. Everything on dry land whose life was sustained by breathing  died. [The flood] thus obliterated every organism that had been on the face of the land : humanity, livestock, land animals, and birds of the heaven. They were obliterated from the earth. Only Noah and those with him in the ark survived.

The waters surged on the earth for 150 days. God gave special thought  to Noah, and to all the beasts and livestock with him in the ark. God made a wind blow on the earth, and the waters began to subside. The wellsprings of the deep and the floodgates of heaven were sealed. The downpour from the heavens thus stopped. The waters receded from the earth. They continued to recede, and at the end of 150 days, the water had [visibly] diminished.

In the seventh month, on the 17th day of the month,  the ark came to rest on the Ararat Mountains. The waters continued to diminish [visibly] until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first of the month,  the mountain peaks became visible.

After forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the ark. He sent out the raven, and it departed. It went back and forth until the water had dried up from the land's surface.

He then sent out the dove to see if the water had subsided from the land's surface. The dove could not find any place to rest its feet, and it returned to him, to the ark. There was still water over all the earth's surface. [Noah] stretched out his hand, and brought it to him in the ark.

He waited another seven days, and once again sent the dove out from the ark. The dove returned to him toward evening, and there was a freshly- plucked olive leaf in its beak. Noah then knew that the water had subsided from the earth. He waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove [again]. This time it did not return to him any more.

In the 601st year [of Noah's life], in the first [month], on the first of the month,  the land was drained off and Noah removed the ark's hatch. He saw that the land's surface was beginning to dry. By the second month, on the 27th day of the month,  the land was completely dry.


Aftermath of the Flood

God spoke to Noah saying, "Leave the ark-you, along with your wife, your sons, and your son's wives. Take out with you every living creature from all flesh: birds, livestock, and all land animals that walk the earth. Let them swarm on the land. They shall breed  and multiply on the earth."
Noah left the ark along with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives.

Every beast, every land animal, and every bird-all that walk the land-left the ark by families.

Noah built an altar to God. He took a few of all the clean livestock and all the clean birds, and he sacrificed completely-burned offerings  on the altar. God smelled the appeasing fragrance,  and God said to Himself, "Never again will I curse the soil because of man, for the inclination of man's heart is evil from his youth. I will never again strike down all life as I have just done. As long as the earth lasts, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night, shall never again cease [to exist]."

God blessed Noah and his children. He said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. There shall be a fear and dread of you instilled in all the wild beasts of the earth, and all the birds of the sky, in all that will walk the land, and in all the fish of the sea. I have placed them in your hands.
'Every moving thing that lives shall be to you as food. Like plant vegetation, I have [now] given you everything. But nevertheless, you may not eat flesh of a creature that is still alive.

"Only of the blood of your own lives will I demand an account.  I will demand [such] an account from the hand of every wild beast. From the hand of man-[even] from the hand of a man's own brother-I will demand an account of [every] human life. He who spills human blood shall have his own blood spilled by man, for God made man with His own image.  'Now be fruitful and multiply, swarm allover the earth and become populous on it."

The Rainbow

God said to Noah and his sons with him, "I Myself am making a covenant with you and with your offspring after you. [It will also include] every living creature that is with you among the birds, the livestock, and all the beasts of the earth with you-all who left the ark, including every animal on earth. I will make My covenant with you, and all life will never be cut short by the waters of a flood. There will never again be a flood to destroy the earth."

God said, "This is the sign that I am providing for the covenant between Me, you, and every living creature that is with you, for everlasting generations: I have placed M y rainbow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, the rainbow will be seen among the clouds. I will then recall the covenant that exists between Me, you and every living soul in all flesh. The rainbow will be in the clouds, and I will see it to recall the eternal covenant between God and every living soul in all flesh that is on the earth."
God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant that I have made between Me and all flesh on the earth."

Canaan is Cursed

The sons of Noah who emerged from the ark were Shem, Ham and Yefeth. Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were Noah's sons, and from them, the whole world was repopulated.

Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. He drank some of the wine, making himself drunk, and uncovered himself in the tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked, and he told it to his two brothers outside. Shem and Yefeth took a cloak and placed it on both their shoulders. Walking backwards, they then covered their father's nakedness. They faced away from him and did not see their father naked.
Noah awoke from his wine-induced sleep, and he realized what his youngest son had done to him. He said, "Cursed is Canaan! He shall be a slave's slave to his brothers !"

He then said, "Blessed be God, the Lord of Shem ! Canaan shall be his slave! May God expand Yefeth, but may He dwell in the tents of Shem. Let Canaan be their slave!"

Noah lived 350 years after the flood. All of Noah's days were 950 years, and he died.

Descendants of Yefeth and Ham

These are the chronicles of Noah's sons, Shem, Ham and Yefeth. chil- dren were born to them after the flood.
The sons of Yefeth  were Gomer Magog, Madai, Yavan, Tuval, Meshekh, and Tiras.
The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
The sons of Yavan were Elishah,. Tarshish,. Kit tim,. and Dodanim..
From these the isolated nations. branched out into their lands. Each had its own language for its families in its nations.
The sons of Ham were Cush,. Mitzraim,. Put, and Canaan.
The sons of Cush were S'bha,  Havilah,  Sabhta,  Raamah  and Sabht'ka.
The sons of Raamah were Sheba  and Dedan.

Cush was the father of Nimrod,  who was the first to amass power in the world. He was a mighty trapper before God. There is thus a saying, "Like Nimrod, a mighty trapper before God ," The beginning ofhis kingdom was Babylon,  along with Erekh,  Akkad  and Calneh,  in the land of Shinar.  Asshur  left that land, and he built Nineveh,  Rechovoth Ir  and Calach, as well as Resen,  between Nineveh and Calach. [Nineveh] is a great city. Mitzraim fathered the Ludim,  the Anamim,  the Lehabhim,  the Naftuchim,  the Pathrusim  and the Casluchim  (from whom the Philistines" descended) and the Caphtorim.

Descendants of Canaan

Canaan fathered Sidon  (his firstborn) and Heth, as well as the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Tzemarites, and the Chamathites. Later the families of the Canaanites became scattered.
The Canaanite borders extended from Sidon toward Geraro until Gaza, and toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Tzevoyim, until Lasha.
These are the descendants of Ham, according to their families and lan- guages, by their lands and nations.

Descendants of Shem

Sons were also born to Shem. He was the ancestor of the Hebrews, [and] the brother of Yefeth, the eldest.

The sons of Shem were Elam,  Asshur ,  Arpachshad,  Lud,  and Aram.  The sons of Aram were Vtz,  Chul,  Gether,  and Mash.
Arpachshad had a son Shelach. Shelach had a son Eber.

Eber had two sons. The name of the first was Peleg, because the world became divided in his days.  His brother's name was Yoktan.
Yoktan was the father of Almodad,  Shelef,  Chatzarmaveth,  Yerach,  Hadoram,  Vzal,  Diklah,  Obhal,  Abhimael,  Sh'bha,  29 Ophir,  Havilah, and Yovav. All these were the sons of Yoktan. Their settlements. extended from Meshah. toward Sepher, the eastern mountain. These are the descendants of Shem, according to their families and languages, by their lands and nations.

Such were the families of Noah's sons, according to their chronicles in their nations. From these, the nations spread over the earth after the flood.

The Tower of Babel

The entire earth had one language with uniform words. When [the people] migrated from the east, they found a valley in the land of Shinar , and they settled there. They said to one another, "Come, let us mold bricks and fire them." They then had bricks to use as stone, and asphalt for mortar. They said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top shall reach the sky. Let us make ourselves a name, so that we will not be scattered all over the face of the earth."

God descended  to see the city and the tower that the sons of man had built. God said, "They are a single people, all having one language, and this is the first thing they do! Now nothing they plan to do will be unattainable for them! Come, let us  descend and confuse their speech, so that one person will not understand another's speech."

From that place, God scattered them allover the face of the earth, and they stopped building the city. He named it Babel,  because this was the place where God confused  the world's language. It was from there that God dispersed [humanity] over all the face of earth.

The Eleventh Generation

These are the chronicles of Shem: Shem was 100 years old when he had a son Arpachshad,  two years after the flood. Shem lived 500 years after he had Arpachshad, and he had sons and daughters.

The Twelfth Generation

Arpachshad was 35 years old when he had a son Shelach. Arpachshad lived 403 years after he had Shelach, and he had sons and daughters.

The Thirteenth Generation

Shelach was 30 years old when he had a son Eber. Shelach lived 403 years after he had Eber, and he had sons and daughters.

The Fourteenth Generation

Eber was 34 years old when he had a son Peleg. Eber lived 430 years after he had Peleg, and he had sons and daughters.

The Fifteenth Generation

Peleg was go years old when he had a son Reu. Peleg lived 209 years after he had Reu, and he had sons and daughters.

The Sixteenth Generation

Reu was 32 years old when he had a son Serug. Reu lived 207 years after he had Serug, and he had sons and daughters.
The Seventeenth Generation
Serug was go years old when he had a son Nachor. Serug lived 200 years after he had Nachor, and he had sons and daughters.

The Eighteenth Generation

Nachor was 29 years old when he had a son Terach. Nachor lived 119 years after he had Terach, and he had sons and daughters.


Terach was 70 years old when he fathered Abram, Nachor and Haran. These are the chronicles of Terach: Terach fathered Abram, Nachor and Haran. Haran had a son Lot. Haran died during the lifetime of his father Terach, in the land of his birth, Ur Casdim.

Abram and Nachor married. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai. The name of Nachor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran (who was the father of Milcah and Yiscah). Sarai was sterile; she had no children.

Terach took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran's son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai (Abram's wife). With them, he left Ur Casdim, heading toward the land of Canaan. They came as far as Charan and settled there. All of Terach's days were 205 years, and Terach died in Charan.

Прошло десять поколений от создания первого человека - Адама. Потомки Адама осквернили мир злодеяниями, идолопоклонством и грабежом , так что Б-г решил наслать на землю потоп, который уничтожит на ней все живое, за исключением единственного праведника того поколения - Ноаxа, его семьи, а также животныx, необходимых, чтобы заселить землю вновь.

Б-г поручил Ноаxу построить ковчег, в котором он мог бы спастись от потопа. После сорока дней и ночей потопа вода покрыла всю землю, даже вершины самыx высокиx гор. Через 150 дней вода начала убывать. На 17-ый день 7-го месяца ковчег остановился на горе Арарат.
Чтобы убедиться в том, что воды на земле стало меньше, Ноаx послал ворона, а затем - голубя, но обе птицы вернулись. Неделю спустя Ноаx вновь послал голубя, и в тот же вечер он вернулся оливковой ветвью в клюве. Еще через семь дней Ноаx снова послал голубя, который на этот раз не вернулся.

Наконец Б-г повелел Ноаxу и его семье покинуть ковчег. Ноаx принес Б-гу жертву всесожжения из животныx, которыx он сохранял в ковчеге. Б-г же заключил с Ноахом и его потомками завет, пообещав никогда больше не наводить потоп на всю землю, и в знак этого завета явил на небе радугу. Кроме того, Ноаxу и его потомкам, в отличие от Адама, стало разрешено есть мясо. Б-г дает семь заповедей для всего человечества - так называемые 'Заповеди потомков Ноаха': запрет идолопоклонства, определение категорий запрещенныx сексуальныx связей, запрет на убийство, запрет есть мясо еще живого животного, а также учреждение законодательной системы.

Ноаx посадил виноградник и опьянел от его плодов. Хам, один из сыновей Ноаxа, позлорадствовал, увидев своего отца пьяным и неприкритым. Но двое других сыновей, Шем и Йефет, пятясь задом и не глядя на наготу отца, укрыли его. За этот проступок Хам заслужил проклятие и его сыну Кнаану будет суждено стать презренным рабом.

Тора перечисляет потомков треx сыновей Ноаxа, от которыx произошли семьдесят народов мира, а затем описывает строительство Вавилонской Башни, в результате которого Б-г разделил человечество на множество языков и рассеял его по всему миру. Заканчивается недельный раздел генеалогией потомков Ноаxа, доходящей до Авраама.

В недельной главе “Ноах” рассказывается о потопе, погубившем все живое на земле.

За что человечество постигло такое наказание? И как изменилась жизнь на земле после потопа?

“И извратилась земля перед Б-гом, и наполнилась земля грабительством” (6:11). А выше сказано: “И было, когда люди начали умножаться на земле, и дочери родились у них. И увидели сыны судей дочерей человеческих, что красивы они, и брали себе жен, каких выбирали” (6:1-2). О чем говорит последовательность этих стихов? Сыновья высокопоставленных чиновников, пользуясь положением своих родителей в обществе, силой брали себе в жены помолвленных девушек и чужих жен — таким образом, слово “извратилась” в первой цитате указывает на распутство. Согласно толкованиям наших мудрецов, здесь идет речь также об идолопоклонстве.

В Талмуде (Санhедрин, 108а) сказано: “Поколение потопа возгордилось из-за того, что слишком хорошо им жилось”. Сказано также: “Дома их безопасны от страха, и наказания Б-жьего нет на них... Поют под [звуки] бубна и струн... Проводят свой век в блаженстве” (Иов, 21).
Эти люди жили не зная, что такое голод, тяжелый труд, мучительные болезни, лагеря, тюрьмы... Плодородная земля была щедра к ним, и они, что называется, стали “с жиру беситься”. Им было прекрасно известно, что Б-гу противно скотоложество, гомосексуализм, совращение замужних женщин. Но они рассуждали так: чем Он нас накажет? Не даст дождей? Так на нашу долю рек да родников хватит. И пустились в “эксперименты”, спариваясь со всякими животными.

“И сказал Б-г Ноаху: Конец всякой плоти настал предо Мною, ибо наполнилась земля грабительством... и Я истребляю их с земли” (6:13).
Б-г велел Ноаху строить ковчег, и Ноах строил его 120 лет. Это продолжительное строительство было предупреждением человечеству. Ноаха спрашивают: Что это ты строишь? — И он объясняет: Люди испортились, грабят и распутничают. Если положение не улучшится, Б-г наведет потоп и все погибнут. — В ответ раздается смех: Ну да, еще чего! Мы уже сотни лет так живем, и никто нас не трогал. Но если и вправду начнется потоп, то мы разнесем твой ковчег вдребезги.

Мидраш Раба говорит, что Б-г щадил людей, пока они не легализовали гомосексуализм. Но когда люди стали поговаривать, что смешно, мол, молчать о том, что делается повсеместно, и легализовали извращение, — Б-г навел на них потоп. В Талмуде (Санhедрин, 108а) приводится и другая причина. Говорит р. Йоханан: “Посмотри, как велико [наказание за] грабеж, ибо поколение, жившее во время потопа, нарушило все [человеческие заповеди], но приговор был подписан, лишь когда они стали [усиленно] грабить: “И сказал Б-г ...ибо наполнилась земля грабительством... и Я истребляю их с земли”.

Случается, что утрата самой ничтожной суммы подвергает опасности человеческую жизнь. Отец достал путевку в туберкулезный санаторий для больного ребенка, но в день отъезда у него обманом отняли небольшую сумму денег, и ему не хватило на билет, чтобы доехать до санатория!

Тора, сообщающая нам о потопе, дана в 2448 году от сотворения мира, спустя 792 года после него. Представьте себе, что нам сегодня сообщают о потопе, будто бы случившемся 800 лет назад. Вот бы шум поднялся! Опровержения так бы и посыпались...

Содержание Торы ни для кого из народов, существовавших во время ее дарования, не было тайной. И никто из них - ни египтяне, ни ассирийцы, ни вавилоняне и др. - не оспаривали достоверность этого события...

“И было: поклонялся он (Санхерив, царь Ашшура. — И.З.) в капище Нисроха божеству своему, и Адрамелех и Сарэцер, сыновья его, убили его мечом, а сами убежали в землю Арарат. И воцарился Эсар-Хадон, сын его, вместо него” (Йешаяhу, 37:38).

Какое отношение к нашей теме имеет этот эпизод? Талмуд (Санhедрин, 96а) рассказывает, что знаменитый ассирийский завоеватель Санхерив поклонялся бревну, отломанному от ковчега Ноаха. Его идол так и назывался — “Нисрох”, от слова “несер” — “бревно”.
Есть и другие интересные факты, связанные с кораблем Ноаха.

Халдейский астроном и историк Берусус (родился в 350-340 гг. до н.э.), известный своей точностью, рассказывает: “Говорят, что часть корабля Ноаха еще находится в Армении, и некоторые берут кусочки от него как амулеты”.

У подножия Арарата стоит армянская деревушка Бейзит. Из поколения в поколение в деревне передаются рассказы о людях, видевших остов ковчега.

В 1892 году д-р Нури сообщил, что лично видел обломки ковчега, и об этом же рассказал русский летчик Руковицкий в 1916 году. Пролетая над Араратом, он ясно видел остов корабля. Очевидно, раз в несколько лет, во время оттепели, когда лед тает, его можно заметить. Снимки, сделанные летчиком, пропали во время революции. Более подробную информацию об этих и подобных им случаях желающие смогут найти в книге немецкого археолога-популяризатора Вернера Келлера “Танах как история”.

В 1952 году французский ученый Фернанд Наварра поднялся на высоту 4200 метров и наткнулся на корабль длиной в 150 метров, находящийся подо льдом. (По Торе длина ковчега составляет 300 локтей, а локоть равен приблизительно полуметру.)

В 1969 году группа американских ученых, среди них — сотрудники Американского института исследований Арктики, в составе 25 человек отправилась на гору Арарат. Из экспедиции ученые вернулись с образцами древесины от найденных на горе бревен, которые и исследовали, чтобы установить их возраст. Они же беседовали с одним из старожилов тех мест, Геворгом Гагофяном, который рассказал, что, живя у подножия горы, видел в 1904 году выступающий из-подо льда корабль и даже пытался подняться к нему.

В 1972-73 годах это место посетил исследователь Джон Д. Моррис и выпустил книгу “Ковчег на горе Арарат”. Проф. Клиффорд Бордик, советник по геологии горы Арарат от США и Турции, говорит, что вода поднималась выше горной вершины и тому есть доказательства.

Все эти сведения взяты из книги Авраhама Курмана “Творение и потоп”.

Интересно отметить, что сюжет о потопе широко распространен в мировой культуре. У всех народов, даже у примитивных племен Америки, Австралии и Африки, не имевших связи с цивилизацией Азии и Европы, есть легенды о потопе. Очевидно, это предание получено ими от ушедших поколений.

Историк д-р А. Смит, специалист по изучению потопа, собрал библиотеку о потопе — 80 000 книг на 72 языках, и в 70 тысячах из них говорится об остатках ковчега Ноаха!

Ноах был праведником “в своем поколении”. Несмотря на то, что все над ним смеялись, он шел своей дорогой. Мидраш Раба приводит предания о том, с какой любовью Ноах и его дети, особенно Шем, кормили животных, находившихся в Ковчеге. У них почти не оставалось времени для сна: ведь звери едят в разные часы, кто — днем, а кто — ночью. Для какой-то птички пришлось искать живых червячков среди запаса веток. Так благодаря Ноаху спаслись человечество (ибо все народы — потомки его сыновей) и животный мир.

“И благословил Б-г Ноаха и сынов его, и сказал им: Плодитесь и размножайтесь и наполняйте землю. И страх и трепет перед вами будет на всяком животном земном и на всякой птице небесной, от всего ползающего по земле и до всех рыб морских, — в ваши руки они отданы. Все движущееся, что живо, вам будет в пищу; как зелень травяную даю вам все” (9:1-3).

До потопа люди не ели мяса. Б-г сказал Адаму и Хаве, что они должны питаться растительной пищей (см. 1:29). Теперь, после потопа, когда Ноах спас в ковчеге все живое, человеку было разрешено есть мясо.

“Только плоть при ее душе (пока в ней жизнь. — И.З.), кровь ее (что течет в теле. — И.З.) не ешьте” (9:4). Что это значит? Запрещено есть от живого — “эвер мин а-хай” (то, что отрезано от животного при жизни).

И далее сказано: “Но за вашу кровь с вашей души взыщу; со всякого животного взыщу за это. И от руки человека, от руки [пролившего кровь] брата взыщу за душу человека. Кто прольет кровь человеческую, [пусть] человеком пролита кровь его будет, ибо по образу Б-жию создал [Б-г] человека. А вы плодитесь и размножайтесь, распространяйтесь по земле и умножайтесь на ней” (9:5-7).

В человеке есть Б-жественная душа, искра от Б-га, поэтому пресечь его жизнь — смертный грех. Человек — не хозяин своей жизни. Только тот, кто дал душу, имеет право ее отнять. Как бы жутко и плохо ни жилось человеку, ему нельзя покончить с собой. “Пусть не заверяет тебя твой искуситель, что могила станет твоим убежищем, — ибо не по твоей воле ты был создан и не по твоей воле ты рожден, и не по твоей воле ты живешь, и не по твоей воле ты умираешь, и не по твоей воле тебе предстоит дать отчет перед Царем над царями, Святым, благословен Он” (Пиркей Авот, 4:29).

“За вашу кровь с вашей души взыщу”! Здесь четко сказано, что существует посмертное наказание, т.е. существует новое состояние человека, наступающее после физической смерти. Иначе говоря, есть мир душ, и в нем человек получает наказание и награду за свои поступки на этом свете. Если ты себя убил, Б-г с тебя взыщет, ты не уйдешь от наказания! “Со всякого животного взыщу” — с того, кто убил не своей рукой, а натравил собак, бросил на съедение львам. “Кто прольет кровь человеческую, [пусть] человеком пролита кровь его будет” — за сознательное, преднамеренное убийство надо карать только смертью.

“И не берите выкупа за душу убийцы, на котором вина смертная; ибо смерти должен быть предан... И не делайте грешной землю, на которой вы, ибо кровь делает грешной землю, а земле не будет искупления за кровь, пролитую на нее, разве только кровью пролившего ее. И не оскверняйте землю, на которой живете, среди которой Я пребываю; ибо Я, Г-сподь, пребываю среди сынов Израиля” (Бемидбар, 35:31, 33, 34).

Этими словами Б-г говорит евреям, что, войдя в страну, они должны особенно упорно бороться с кровопролитием и ни за какой выкуп на свете не заменять сознательному убийце смертный приговор, допустим, пожизненным заключением. Предание гласит, что первому человеку (Адаму) были даны шесть заповедей (пять запретов и одно предписание): запреты служить идолам, проклинать имя Всевышнего, проливать кровь человека (убивать), развратничать (сожительствовать с матерью, мачехой, чужой женой, сестрой от одной матери, с мужчиной, со скотом), воровать и грабить — и предписание организовать суды, которые будут за все это судить. Ноаху, поскольку ему было разрешено есть мясо, добавлена седьмая заповедь: не есть части от живого. Заповедь не проливать кровь подразумевает также — не проливать кровь человеческого зародыша, т.е. не делать абортов.

Это общечеловеческие обязанности, за нарушение которых Б-г в свое время покарал людей потопом и в разные времена — другими катастрофами. Семь заповедей Ноаха обязательны для всего человечества, но у еврейского народа — и об этом мы не раз будем еще говорить — заповедей много больше. У потомков Авраhама, Ицхака и Яакова, которых Б-г вывел из Египта и которые у горы Синай поклялись выполнить все, что Б-г скажет, вся жизнь идет по законам Торы, от утреннего пробуждения и до вечернего сна: тфилин, молитва, святость еды (кашерная пища), святость времени (суббота и праздники), святость семейных отношений, святость отношений между людьми (не сплетничать, не сквернословить, не оскорблять) и многое-многое еще. “А вы будете у Меня царством священников и народом святым” (Шмот, 19:6).

Rav Yitzchak Zilber (in Russian) Rabbi Dovid Grossman (in English)