Thursday, March 22, 2007

Shabbat Hagadol

The Shabbat before Pesach is called Shabbat Hagadol. The reason why it’s called Shabbat Hagadol, Mipenei Nes Hagadol She-Karah Bo, because of the great miracle that took place on that day during the year of Yetziat Mitzrayim. It was the 10th day of Nissan, which that year happened to fall out on a Shabbat, and G-d told the Jewish people to take a Se (sheep), and tie it to their bedpost. You have to keep in mind that the sheep was the Avodah Zarah of the Egyptians, and when the Egyptians saw us taking the sheep they asked what are you doing with that animal, and we answered them, that we’re taking it and we are going to sacrifice it to our G-d, and we’re going to eat from it. So the Egyptians logically should have rose against the Jewish people to kill them, as it was blasphemy against their religion. But miraculously G-d brought a disease to the Egyptians where they were all forced to relieve themselves in the bathroom. They weren’t able to attack, because they were too busy worrying about their problems, and the Jews were saved. Now different questions were asked on this Halacha: Why do we commemorate it on the Shabbat before Pesach? Seemingly we should commemorate it on the day it happened. The miracle was on the 10th of Nissan, so therefore shouldn’t we commemorate on the 10th of Nissan every year whether it comes out on a Tuesday or Thursday or whatever day it is, and that should be the day we commemorate? So why do we commemorate on the Shabbat before Pesach? So someone explained that it was the fact that it was Shabbat, that they believed us, that we were really going to slaughter the animal, and just because it’s Shabbat and they the Jews don’t slaughter, then they’re not doing it yet, but once already Sunday and Monday came, they said its a bluff and they are not slaughtering it. Therefore it was on Shabbat they truly believed that we were going to do it, and therefore the miracle was because of Shabbat. Once Sunday came along, they said if you were going to do it you would have done it already, now you’re just bluffing, and you’re not really gong to do it, and the miracle wore off. So since the miracle was because of Shabbat, so therefore we commemorate it on Shabbat.

Passover- Kashrut Questions and Answers Regarding Baby Formula, Sugar, Rice, and Food for Live Fish

Passover- Kashrut Questions and Answers Regarding Baby Formula, Sugar, Rice, and Food for Live Fish

Lets discuss some questions on kosher products that people like to know if they can be used for Pesach. We’re talking about this year, Pesach 5763 (2003). These things obviously change from year to year. The 1st question we got this week was regarding food for live fish. Of course one is not allowed to derive pleasure from Hametz. Of course, we’re not talking about human consumption of fish food; we’re talking about feeding fish, from which we get Hannaha, (enjoyment.) So the question is which fish food could be considered permissible for Passover use. Rabbi Blumenkrantz writes in “The Laws of Pesach, A Digest 5763 (2003)”; for fresh water fish use Dry Tubular worms, freeze-dried worms, or Krill. For salt-water fish use Frozen Brine Shrimp, or frozen Krill. For tropical fish, use frozen worms or dead insects on Shabbat and Yom Tov, and on Chol Hamoed you can use dead insects. This is a deterrent if anybody is thinking about getting fish. This definitely can change your mind. The simplest idea is Matzah Meal. You take a little Matzah and you crush it a little, and you put it into the fish tank, and the fish can then sustain themselves, at least the gold fish can. That’s one way you can solve that problem.

Regarding BABY FORMULA, which is a question which ones are kosher for Passover, and which ones need Heksher for Passover. Rabbi Blumenkrantz writes the following are kosher; Advance, Allimentum, Enfamil, Enfamil Next Step, Next Step Soy, Gerber and Gerber Soy, Good Start, Isomil, Isocal, I-Soyolac Lacto-Free, Lofenlac, Nutramigen, Osterped Powder, Pregestimil, Prosoybee, Polycase, Similac, Similac Cholov Yisrael, Soyalac, Enfalac, and Polycose. Those are all the different brands.
Regarding SUGAR- All sugars are kosher for Passover. Sugar does not need an Hechsher. Therefore you can buy regular Domino sugar at $2.00 for a 5 Lb bag. You don’t have to buy the other brands. All they are doing is taking the same sugar, and they are putting it into a different wrapping, and they’re putting a different name on it and charging you 3 times the price.

Regarding RICE- Rice is kosher for Passover. When I say rice, it’s the Carolina Rice that we’ve’ been using for 50 years. It’s still kosher for Passover. Nothing has changed. However, one should be sure to check the rice 3 times. The lady of the house should check 3 times to make sure there’s no wheat. Not like some people who want to say that today we don’t have to check the rice. To the contrary. I spoke to people who check rice and they said clearly they found wheat in the rice. So this is a fact, even today there are other bi-products in the rice. So, therefore, one must check it minimally 3 times and then you can use it for Pesach.

Passover- A] Working and Forbidden Melachot on Erev Pesach B] The Proper Times for

Passover- A] Working and Forbidden Melachot on Erev Pesach B] The Proper Times for Beur Hamtez

Regarding some Laws that apply on Erev Pesach. Specifically, this year 5763 (2003), which Erev Pesach is on a Wednesday. Let’s discuss some times that are applicable. It is forbidden to eat Hametz after 10:08 AM. 10:08 is the cut off time. Therefore Halacha says one should see to it to brush his teeth thoroughly before that time, just in case there is some Hametz in his teeth. One needs to be sure to brush vigorously and to make certain the Hametz does not remain and become dislodged on the night of Pesach. Like the story of the Ben Ish Hai that says, ‘Someone ate on the night of the Seder, and they came to him in a dream, and they said you ate Matzah and Hametz together.’ It seems that when he ate the Matzah that it dislodged some Hametz that was in his teeth. It could be that he didn’t clean well enough before the holiday, and he ended up eating Hametz with the Matzah. Therefore one should see to it that he brush his teeth extra carefully before 10:08 in the morning.

The time of Beur Hametz is in the morning up until 11:31 AM. That’s the cut off time for the burning of the Hametz. It should be reminded, that of course, besides the Hametz that we are burning and getting rid of, that there is Hametz found in vacuum cleaner bags. People neglect that. They forget to clean the vacuum cleaner. There is live Hametz in there. So, therefore, before 11:31, one should see to it that they clean out the vacuum cleaner bags, and throw them in the garbage. Or if you want to burn them with the Hametz, then that’s fine. The custom is to use the Lulav and the Aravot from last Sucot that we saved, in order to start the fire or use it to fuel the fire of Beur Hamez. Some use the wicks from Nerot Chanukah, or other types of Mitzvot. Instead of discarding them, they wait in order to recycle them for another Mitzvah.

Now, there is also a Halacha that says, after Chatzot on Erev Pesach it is forbidden to do Melacha. There is a Minhag even before Chatzot not to do Melacha, but that depends on where you are. A place that has a Minhag not to do work, doesn’t. A place does have the Minhag, does work. Our Minhag over here is, before Chatzot we do Melacha, but after Chatzot one is to refrain from Melachot. What does it mean Melachot? It means sewing, mending clothes, doing laundry, washing, and things like this. And therefore one should be careful on Erev Pesach, specifically regarding taking a hair cut. If you are going to a Jewish barber, if that’s your normal barber, then you should take a hair cut prior to Wednesday Chatzot (mid-day). Wednesday mid-day is at about 12:30, but that is not exact. Therefore, one should be careful to take a hair cut from a Jew before that time. If you want a hair cut from a non-Jew, then you could do it after that time, but only from a non-Jew. For that matter it would be permissible to shave on Erev Pesach after Chatzot. Halacha says giving yourself a haircut is permissible all day, and therefore shaving would be permissible before the Holiday.

Furthermore, one should be aware of the reasons why we don’t work on Erev Pesach after Chaztot. In the olden days, it was a day of Korban. Everybody was part of a group to bring Korban Pesach. The Gemarah says that on the day that somebody would bring a Korban, it was considered a holiday for him, and therefore they wouldn’t work. And even though today, we don’t have Korban Pesach, but that enactment of not working on Erev Pesach is still in tact. And therefore we commemorate the fact there was a Korban brought on that day, so it is Yom Tov, and therefore there’s no work.

Regarding business. Business is not considered work. Which means, buying and selling, phone calls, wholesale, retail- that’s not the type of Melacha that they were referring to over here. Another reason given of why not to work Erev Pesach after Chatzot, is in order to keep busy with the Mitzvot, making the Matzot, getting prepared for the holiday in making Hagalah on the Kelim, and other different things. If a person is going to get busy doing work, then he might neglect some of his Holiday preparations. Therefore, the Halacha is that one should try to get all these things out of the way before Chatzot on Erev Pesach.

It is permissible to cut one’s nails. Even after Chatzot on Erev Pesach it is permissible. To shine one’s shoes is permissible on Erev Pesach after Chatzot as well.

Passover- The Laws of Bedikat Hametz

Passover- The Laws of Bedikat Hametz

Regarding some laws that apply to Bedikat Hametz, which is done the night before Pesach. The Mishna says in Pesachim; ‘Or L’arba Asar Bodkin Et Ha-Hametz Leor Haner’. Halacha says that one should start the Bedikah immediately when the stars come out. Since Bedikat Hametz is from Derabanan (Rabbinical) so we are able to be lenient on the early time of Tset Hakochavim, so therefore one can start his Bedikah 20 minutes after sunset, that’s already the most opportune time to do Bedikah. Its important to know the time because Halacha says from a half hour before the Bedikah, which would be about 7:30, one is forbidden to engage in different activities.

Activity #1 is eating. Eating means one should not eat more than a Kabetzah, which would be 2 ounces or 56 grams of bread, or lets say Mezonot items. For example, one should not sit down a half hour before bedikah to have dinner, which is a normal time to have dinner and wash and have a couple slices of bread- that’s a problem. Within a half hour of Bedikah, 2 ounces of Mezonot or 2 ounces of bread is forbidden. A person can have a drink if he wants, or fruit or rice- that’s OK. Specifically Mezonot, and Hamotzee items, and specifically 2 ounces or more. Less than that would be permissible.

Also, when the time of Bedikah comes, from a half hour before, one should not sit down to learn, because it’s possible that you might get caught up in learning, as the Gemarah puts a person into a different world and you get caught up, and therefore you might be lax and miss the Bedikah. Also a person should not start different Melachot (work). Its not a time when you go start; fixing your car, or doing things around the house. One should be prepared already to make the Bedikah.

Some different equipment that you need for Bedikat Hametz. According to the Halacha, of the opinion from Chacham Ovadia and based on Shulchan Aruch, you need a candle to make the Bedikah. Now, today that our homes are more flammable, and Chas Veshalom a fire develops, so there is room to be lenient to use a flashlight to make Bedikat Hametz. Some of the Rabbis advise that one should start with a candle and then after you do a couple of spot searches with a candle, you can let the candle go out, and then continue with a flashlight in order to get the best of both worlds. To follow the strict Halacha of a candle, but to benefit from the advantages of the flashlight that you would be able to go through the house more thoroughly.

The custom of closing the lights before Bedikat Hametz, is not necessary. Chacham Ovadia writes clearly that if you’re looking for something, then you don’t shut the lights. On the contrary, you open the lights. The flashlights and candle benefit is for under the tables, in the closets, in the corners, where the light does not shine brightly. So therefore, one can keep the lights open before and when he does the Bedikah, and that would be advisable.

The Ben Ish Hai (Rav Yoseif Chaim ben Eliyahu 1835-1909) writes that it’s the custom also to walk around with a bowl, and to put salt in the bowl. It seems, he says, the salt wards off Ayin Harah and the Satan and different bad spirits, and also it’s a symbol of endurity, a symbol of life as salt preserves things, and it’s a Beracha. And therefore, one should sprinkle some salt into the bowl.

The Beracha before Bedikat Hametz is, “Asher Kidishanu Bemitzvotav Vetzivanu Al Beur Hametz”, as the purpose is to burn the Hametz that you find. Bedikah is only an intermediary to get to the main Mitzvah of burning whatever you find. It should be pointed it’s not a Mitzvah to find anything. In most cases, Baruch Hashem, we have done the Pesach cleaning from before, and have seen to it that by Erev Pesach that there’s not going to be any Hametz in the house. So you shouldn’t be shocked if you didn’t find anything. But we always say that if you have a house with children, then anything is possible. Therefore, a house that has children, then every area of the house becomes a place that you have to check for Hametz. That includes the coat closet for sure, that includes the pockets of the coats, that includes obviously the kitchen, the basement, and includes all the low places where the kids are able to get in. One has to be very careful to check all those spots. Its clear you don’t have to check the spot where your Hametz is being stored if you’re selling it. If you designated a certain area in the house and you locked it off and you sealed it, and you put all your Hametz there, and that’s the area you’re selling, so its obvious you don’t have to check there, because you know it has Hametz there. It’s quarantined off. We’re talking about the rest of the house. This includes the porch, this includes the backyard, this includes the automobiles, and therefore Bedikat Hametz is not a 5-minute ritual in order to work up an appetite so you can go out to dinner for the last Hametz meal. Bedikat Hametz is supposed to be a rigorous event and it should take some time to check the house properly.

Now, Arizal brings down that the custom is to take 10 pieces of bread, and put them into small pieces less than a Kezayit, tiny little pieces of bread, and wrap them up in paper, tape it so there are no crumbs, and place them around the house. You then go around, and besides looking for other types of Hametz, you are also look for those 10 pieces. Again, you shouldn’t lose sight of the Minhag. The Minhag is not to put 10 pieces and then start playing Hot & Cold games with your children, and just find the 10 pieces and then go out to eat again. The 10 pieces are a separate Minhag. You are looking for the 10 plus everything else, and therefore one should keep the custom of Klal Yisrael, to put small pieces in a piece of paper so you don’t get the house dirty with crumbs, and place them where you know they are. In the even you found 9 out of 10, then Halacha says its OK, and that you don’t have to turn the house upside down, for the pieces are less than a Kezayit, and you can rely on the Bitul, the nullification which you are going to do after. Again, you start off the Bedikah with the bowl and the salt, with a light, and a candle, and you say a Beracha, and then you start to go around and find the pieces that you put and the bread that is there.

During the Bedikah, one should not become involved in talking. It would be a good idea to close cell phones, regular phones and all that, because it is a Mitzvah from the beginning to the end and one should not interrupt. If a person interrupts on something that’s related to the Bedikah, for example, ‘Bring me another battery for the flashlight, or bring me another candle,’ things like this is permissible. As it has something to do with the Bedikah. If you interrupt for things not for the purpose of the Bedikah, so long as you started the Bedikah, then your interruption will not invalidate it. However, if you spoke immediately after the Beracha before you even started the check, then already you have to make another Beracha, because you interrupted from the Beracha to the actual starting.

After you make the Bedikah, you take the bread that you found, put it in a secure place, and make the Kal Hamirah, which is written in the Machzorim. The custom is to make the Kal Hamirah 3 times following the text in the Machzorim. What you’re doing is, saying that all the Hametz that you didn’t find, let it be nullified, let it be Hefker, let it be ownerless, ‘I want to have nothing to do with it’. You’re nullifying the chametz you didn’t find. That which you did find, you are not nullifying it yet, because you want to burn it the next day. You want to burn your own Hametz, not Hametz that’s ownerless. So therefore, at night you make the Kal Hamirah on the bread that you did not see. On the following morning you make the Beur Hametz.

It should be pointed that for those who go away for Pesach, who are not going to be home the night before the holiday, which is the proper time to make the Bedikah, do not have Bedika before they leave. So long as they are selling their Hametz and are not planning on returning on the holiday, and are planning to make bedika wherever they are going to be, whether in a hotel room or an apartment. It should be pointed out, the person that’s going away still has to make Bitul Hametz wherever he is in the world to nullify the Hamertz before Pesach, so that whatever you didn’t find should be Keafra Dearrah and become ownerless.

Passover- The First Born, If A Son, Fasts on Erev Pesach

Passover- The First Born, If A Son, Fasts on Erev Pesach

On the subject of Ta’anit Bechorot, which is the fast day that the custom is for the 1st born to fast on Erev Pesach. This year 5763 (2003), that day falls out on a Wednesday.

The custom is brought down in Shulcan Aruch, that a 1st born, whether he is from the father or from the mother, specifically the males, according to our custom, must and should fast on Erev Pesach, to commemorate the fact the 1st born Jewish people were saved from Macat Bechorot. So in order to commemorate that, we fast. Now, since this is not from the strict fasts, that it’s only a Minhag, (we’re not saying that to belittle it, Has Veshalom,) and because the day is on Erev Persach, which is a hectic day, when there’s a lot of preparations for the holiday, Chachamim were lenient that if one attends a Seudat Mitzvah, that he can break the fast as such.

For example, if there was a Brit Milah on that day, and he went to the Milah, and he ate from the Seudah, so that is considered he is permissible to eat, and he can continue eating for the rest of the day. Or if he went to a Pidyon Haben, or if he went to a Seudat Bar Mitzvah on the day that the boy became fully Bar Mitzvah. Or for that matter our Minhag is, if he went to a Siyum Masechet. This means he came to synagogue, and someone in the synagogue was finishing a Masechet of Gemarah that he prepared, that he studied (not that he read), that he studied, and he is going to say the end piece. And we are talking about where you were there for it, and you heard the last piece. It is not proper just to walk in at the end, and eat, what they call in the community, the ‘magic cake’. This ‘magic cake’ has no source in Halacha. If someone brings you home a cake from the Siyum and you are a first born, it does not work. You have to be there at the Siyum, and the one that is finishing has to know what he is reading, and the one that is listening, should at least understand the last line of the Gemarah that the Misayem is saying. Only then is it permissible to eat. If a person was not able to finish a Masechet, but was able to finish one the 6 Sedarim of Mishnayot, according to the explanation of the Mabartenura, this would also count as a valid Siyum. It should be pointed out that if a person can not find a Siyum that day, and he is a first born, then he has to fast. The fast starts this year at 10 minutes to 5:00 in the morning, and ends at the Seder at about 8:15 PM. So therefore, a person should make it his business, if he wants to able to eat on that day, to find a Siyum Masechet, or Brit Milah as we said. Of course, if a person is sick or not feeling well, or is weak, then he does not have to fast on Ta’anit Bechorot.

I saw a nice explanation from the Shaare Orah that says; ‘Why should the 1st borns have to fast? To the contrary, they should make a party on Erev Pesach! After all they were saved! How do we celebrate the redemption, by fasting? It should be a happy day for the 1st born.’ So he said, that we know there is a law, “Chayav Adam Lir-ot Et Atzmo, Keilu Hu Yatza Memitzrayim”, that we have an obligation to feel and relive as if we actually came out of Egypt ourselves. So he says a theory that the Jewish 1st borns were saved, but really they didn’t have the Zechut to be saved, because we know just as the Egyptians were worshipping idols, the Jews in that generation were also worshipping Avodah Azara. Therefore, when the Gezarah came from Moshe that the 1st borns were going to die, certainly the 1st borns from the Jews were petrified that they were going to die also. So he said they probably fasted in order to atone for their sins so that G-d wouldn’t kill them. So since we have an obligation to relive Yetziat Mitzrayim, so therefore if you are 1st born then you must fast, because that’s what they did in Mitzrayim. So we are commemorating something that was done thousands of years ago by the 1st borns themselves, in order to save themselves. So to commemorate that we fast also.

One should keep Minhag Yisrael, and therefore see to it in the community, to attend from the many different Minyanim that are posted, to make Siyum Bechorot.

If a person has a child that’s a boy that’s 1st born, it’s a Mitzvah to bring him to Shul if he’s of age, in order to hear the Siyum Masechet. Of course, if his age is less than of Bar Mitvah, and its hard for him to come to Shul, we can then be lenient on the Katan from fasting. But Lechatchila, the father should go for the son and listen to the Siyum if the child cannot come.

Passover- Is It Permissible To Eat Egg Matzah

Passover- Is It Permissible To Eat Egg Matzah

Just one Halacha in Hilchot Pesach regarding the Minhag with Matzah Ashira, which they call Egg Matzah. Regarding this, Gemara Pesachim writes that when one kneads flour with fruit juices it does not become Chametz.

However, there is a Machloket amongst the Rishonim on what that exactly means. Some opinions hold like Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki 1040-1105) that it’s not Chametz as per the Torah, however it can become Chametz Nukshe, which is considered Chametz according to the Rabanan. But, most Rishonim including the Tosafot (basic commentary of many scholars throughout the 12th and 13th centuries),argue on Rashi and say, that when you knead flour with fruit juice it can not become Chametz at all. It’s not like kneading water with flour which has the ability to become Chametz if it is left without kneading it. With juice it is not like that. It does not have the ability to make the flour into Chametz.

The opinion of Maran (Rabbi Joseph ben Ephraim Caro 1488-1575) in Shulchan Aruch is like those Rishonim that say that it does not become Chametz when kneading dough with fruit juices. But such is true only as one is careful during the kneading process not to allow any water whatsoever to get mixed in. If water does get in, it is then worse because when water is mixed in, it then becomes Chametz immediately. So there’s a very fine line here. Maran says so long as there is no mixture of water, and it’s clear that there is monitoring and a valid Hashgacha, and everything is done carefully, it is then permissible to eat Egg Matzah (Matzah Ashira) on Pesach.

That’s also the opinion of the Peri Chadash, and Rav Chida (Rav Chaim Yoseif David Azulai, 1724-1806) writes from his grandfather Rabbi Avraham Azulai that such was the Minhag in Sefarad. Therefore the Halacha for Sephardim that wants to eat these cakes or these cookies or Matzah Ashira on the holiday, is that they certainly have what to rely on based on all these Poskim.

Ashkenazim on the other hand are more Machmir (stringent). It’s because of the opinion of Rashi that fruit juice can be a problem, and because there is concern that maybe a drop of water can get mixed in makes the risk dangerous. So they are only lenient for old people or for sick people like the Rama brings down.

Pesach in general is a holiday on which we are Machmir on our intake of food, and everyone who is Machmir when it comes to these things, will come upon him blessings. For example, if a person only wants to eat Matzah Shemura during the whole holiday, upon him will come blessings. Or if one eats just regular Matzah the whole holiday, upon him will come blessings. So if one doesn’t want to get involved in the whole controversy of Egg Matzah he doesn’t have to. It’s not a Mitzvah to eat Egg Matzah.

But regarding the Halacha of whether or not it is permissible is that those that want to have Egg Matza on Pesach, the halacha for Sephardim is they definitely have Maran to rely on, so long as the Hashgacha on the Matzah Ashira is legitimate, and it’s a proper Mashgiach that we know that was making sure that it was done the proper way.

The Halacha is Egg Matzah (Matzah Ashira) for Sephardim is permissible.

Passover- The Laws Regarding Eating RICE

Passover- The Laws Regarding Eating RICE

Regarding the law of eating rice on Pesach. Certainly from the Halacha there is no problem to eat rice on Pesach. The Gemara Pesachim tells us that one of the items on the night of Pesach that we used to eat, for the two cooked foods that you are supposed to eat which are Zecher LiKorban Pesach and LiKorban Chagiga, was rice. You see clearly from the times of the Gemara they used to eat rice on Pesach. The Gemara even discusses whether or not you can use rice flour in order to make Matzot. The Gemara answers no to this, but you see that it was a question. They answered that it was not because of Chametz, but because it was not one of the grains. The bottom line is that you see that rice was not a problem.

Only in modern history did the issue arise. It was about 200 – 300 years ago when the rice fields used to be next to the wheat fields, and they used to use the same bags. They used the same sacks for wheat as they used to package the rice. So it was very common that you would have some wheat that would fall in the rice because the bags were not fully cleaned out after each use. Hence, it was possible to find wheat and rice together, and it became possible on Pesach to have a problem and find wheat mixed in with rice.

There is a story about the Peri Chadash who was Sephardic, who followed the Minhag to eat rice, which was unlike the Ashkenazim. He resided in a country where they would never have such a problem of wheat becoming mixed up with rice. What happened? On one of the nights of Pesach, he saw a big fat wheat kernel that opened up right on top of his rice. So he accepted upon himself from that day on that he would not eat rice on Pesach. So you see that it can happen even in our lands.

The Halacha for the Ashkenazim is that they must follow their Minhag and it’s forbidden for them to eat rice on Pesach in all situations. It’s still a Minhag to follow even though the Gaon Ya’abetz wrotethat if he had the power hw would lift the ban. He wrote that, because there are limited foods that are permitted on Pesach. How many potatoes can one eat? Rice is a basic staple food. But the Ashkenazim rule to follow the Minhag and not to break it.

However, Sephardim do not follow this Minhag. At least our community does not accept this Minhag. It is permissible to eat rice on Pesach so long as you check it 3 times before you eat it, and remove any wheat kernels that are found. It is still possible today to find some wheat mixed in. People that check rice will tell you that it is possible to find some kernels of wheat mixed in. How and why this happens is a good question. The bottom line is that it is there. Therefore it’s proper to take the rice and put it on a white cloth, and sift through it, in order that the dark pieces of wheat will become visible. It’s preferable not to check three times in a row, because you get tired by the third time, and you might not do a good checking. It is not proper to have minors check as you can not trust them when it comes to this issue. For that matter you also can’t trust the maids to check the rice. You must have girls that are over 12 years old or boys over 13 that are responsible that know what they are looking for and check the rice three times.

Regarding a Sephardic man that is married to an Ashkenaz woman. In this case, the lady follows the husband. Since the husband eats rice on Pesach, even though all her life she didn’t eat rice, once she marries it is considered she moved to a place where the Minhag is to eat. The Halacha is to take on the Minhagim of the place where you are. Therefore again, an Ashkenazi lady that marries a Sephardic man who eats rice on Pesach, she is then permitted to eat rice on Pesach.

Now for the opposite case. Let’s say you have an Ashkenaz man that marries a Sephardic lady. The Sephardic lady all her life ate rice and now she married an Ashkenazi. So certainly in her husband’s house it is forbidden for her to cook rice on Pesach, because she must now follow the Minhagim of her husband. However, Chacham Ovadia says that when she goes to her parent’s house, she can eat rice. He said this inconsistency specifically applies in Israel, because since Maran is considered the foremost authority of Halacha in Israel, and according to Maran it is permissible to eat rice, so therefore she is in a quandary. So, since her husband is Ashkenazi, it is thus forbidden for her to cook rice in her house. However, since Israel is following Maran, so when she goes to her parent’s house she can eat the rice. Of course the husband can eat from the pots that rice was cooked in. The pot is not considered Chametz.

Regarding Carolina Rice and all these other rices. Carolina Rice is Kosher for Pesach just like it was Kosher last year and the year before. So you don’t have to buy special rice. Regular rice that you eat all year around that is kosher, it is also kosher for Pesach.