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Parashat Shabbat Hol Hamoed


Why did Pharaoh chase after Benei Yisrael? We know the answer: because he thought they were lost. And he had sound indications to this effect: they traveled day and night like fugitives (Rashbam), and they did an about-face, like they were lost. The three days that the Al-mighty designated for them had already passed. His Providence, presumably, left them. He pursued them and discovered that he had erred. They were encircled by the clouds of glory, the pillar of fire lit the way, the pillar of cloud stood to protect them from Pharaoh's army. So, what should he do? Does he have the power to wage war against the Creator of the universe? Had he not already tried and failed? The memory of the ten plagues still stung his mind. So, what should he say? I figured, I tried, it turned out that I was wrong, so I will go back.

But, of course, this is not what happened. He continued his pursuit and shot arrows into the cloud.

What did he think? Perhaps he thought that the sea would block their path. He reached the shore and stopped in shock: twelve paths were paved in the middle of the sea, wide pathways fenced on either side with grand walls of water, as Benei Yisrael proudly marched on. And he issued the order: "After them!"

Right into the trap. He sent his troops to destruction, with open eyes.

How could this be? He had not the strength to confess that he had erred, that the direction he chose turn out to be wrong, that he should stop, turn back, retreat, and save himself.

Who, in our times, will open the eyes of so many of our brethren, to see that they should stop, turn back and return!


On Yom Tov morning, the first day of Pesah, we triumphantly left Egypt with the Egyptians themselves urging us on to leave as soon as possible, and Pharaoh escorted us in order to once and for all rid himself of us.

That day we traveled from Ramses to Sukkot, where the clouds of glory came and formed a protective shield over us (Ba'al Haturim, Bemidbar 33:5).

On the second day, we left Sukkot and encamped in Etam, situated at the edge of the desert (Rashi, Shemot 13:20), "and Hashem walked before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead their way, and by night in a pillar of fire to provide light for them, so that they may travel both day and night" (ibid., 21).

On the third day, which fell on Shabbat, as it does this year, we were commanded to turn around and proceed in the direction of Egypt (Rashi, Shemot 14:2). About this move it is written in Parashat Mas'ei, "They traveled from Etam, and turned about towards Pi Hahirot, and they encamped before Migdol" (Bemidbar 33:7). Rabbenu Yaakov Ba'al Haturim zs"l noted the plural form used in this pasuk in the words, "vayis'u" ("they traveled") and "vayahanu" ("they encamped"), in contrast to the singular form of the word "vayashov" ("they turned about"). He explains that the singular "vayashov" indicates that they had but one heart - to follow Moshe's command to turn around.

Pharaoh saw them retreating and concluded that "they are lost in the land; the wilderness has closed in on them." He enlisted his soldiers and chased after Benei Yisrael to bring them back. "Benei Yisrael lifted their eyes, and behold, Egypt was traveling after them. They were very frightened, and Benei Yisrael cried out to Hashem. They said to Moshe: 'Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you took us to die in the wilderness? What is this that you did to us, by taking us from Egypt? Is this not what we told you in Egypt: let us be, and we will serve Egypt - for it is better to serve Egypt than die in the wilderness!" What defeatism - though we cannot blame them: a person is not held accountable for his response to distress. Hazal drew an analogy to a dove who fled from the vulture and tried hiding in the crevice of a rock, when suddenly a snake jumped out of the crevice. The dove fluttered between the two - just as Benei Yisrael faced Egypt from behind and the sea blocking the way in front, with the desert on either side (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 2:30). We can only imagine the terror. The Mechilta relates that four factions formed among Benei Yisrael as they stood at the sea. One suggested jumping into the sea and committing suicide. The second thought they should surrender to Egypt and return to slavery. The third group decided that they should take up arms and fight the Egyptians. A final faction suggested shouting out against the Egyptians in an attempt to drive them away. This so closely resembles a period with which we are all so familiar...

We know the end: the entire night of the seventh day of Yom Tov Benei Yisrael fled, and close to daybreak they arrived at the shore. Nahshon ben Aminadav was the first to jump, Moshe Rabbenu outstretched his arm, and the sea split into twelve paths. Benei Yisrael crossed through the sea on dry land and the Egyptians chased after them, only to be buried by the walls of water that came crashing down upon them. Their bodies washed up ashore, and Benei Yisrael sang the jubilant "Shirat Hayam."

We reviewed all this to show that the first week of redemption was not calm and tranquil by any means. To the contrary, this was a week of untold tension and fear - the dread of death. Small wonder that these days were not observed as a Yom Tov that year; only the first day was celebrated. Only from the following year on were we commanded to observe a full week and eat massah (see Pesahim 97a).

But in light of all this, let's take a closer look at this festival. We celebrate the interim days as "Hol Hamo'ed," adding ya'aleh ve'yavo," hallel and mussaf to our prayer service, we eat massah and rejoice, commemorating those days of redemption - while during this period our forefathers faced the threat of death and annihilation!

So, what's the answer? Indeed, this is all true, but what a vast difference there is between us now and our ancestors back then. They were lost and tormented because they remembered their bitter past and lived the difficult present facing an uncertain future. But we know what happened, and we know that they marched this week towards absolute and final freedom, that they were on their way to eternal liberty. The Egyptians who pursued them galloped towards destruction. We therefore celebrate these days, which, in effect, constituted stages of the process of redemption.

This message must guide us like a pillar of fire that lights our path in the dark of night. We were promised, "Like in the days when you left Egypt I will show them miracles" (Michah 7:15); the future redemption will follow the model of the redemption from Egypt. We have no doubt that we are currently in the process of paving the road for that final redemption. Just as the path appears paved, we suddenly confront difficulties and setbacks. There is confusion, wonder, disappointment, and almost despair. But this is all because our perspective is limited and the future shrouded in mystery. When the time comes -- and it is not too far off in the future -- when we go from darkness to brilliant light - only then will we see how it was all but a preparation for the complete redemption; then our mouths will fill with laughter, and our tongues will fill with praise.


"He hurled Pharaoh and his army in the Yam Suf"

Rabbi Rahamim Hai Havitah Hakohen zs"l of Djerba asked, if the Egyptians deserved to die, then why did Hashem not kill them in Egypt? And if they did not deserve to die, why did He drown them at sea? He answers with a beautiful analogy: There was once a merchant who would purchase his merchandise on credit, sell it at a profit, pay off the money he owed, and then repeat the process. Once, a fire broke out in his store and destroyed all his merchandise. He was left with a huge debt to pay the suppliers, and he had not a penny to his name. He assembled his creditors and said, "Look, I know I promised to pay on time, and I agreed that if I didn't I would pay an extra charge, but I have become suddenly poverty-stricken. I do not intend to avoid payment, but I will ask you to forego on the interest." They agreed; at least they would get the principal back. Indeed, he was an honest man. He worked hard and bit by bit he paid all his debts until he told them all, "One more payment, and I will be finished!"

They all blessed him except for one merchant who surprised him: "Everything you paid me until know was all for the interest; the debt still stands in full!"

"But you all agreed to forego on the interest," the man insisted.

"They all agreed, but not I," he arrogantly responded. "I have the contract in my hand, and I am forcing you to pay." The man was dismayed. For naught he worked so hard thinking that he will be saved from total ruin and could begin rebuilding his business. Now it appeared that he still had so much work to do to pay his debts. Troubled and distraught, he consulted with the governor. He told him how hard he had worked to pay the principal as his creditors all agreed to forego on the interest. Then suddenly his primary creditor denies his promise and takes unfair advantage of the man's innocence. He now waves his contract and demands the entire debt in full, claiming that everything he received until now was only for the interest.

The governor agreed that the supplier was heartless and cruel, but what could he do? He had the contract and the law was on his side. If he had any compassion, he would appreciate the borrower's hard work and exhibit some good will. But one cannot force people to act compassionately and forego.

The man's heart sank upon hearing the disappointing response, not realizing that the governor hadn't finished speaking. He continued, "Allow me to offer you some advice. Make your final payment and tell him that according to your calculations, your debt has been fully paid. Inform him that your conscience is clear and that you are now moving far away, across the desert."

"How will that help?" the man asked. "He will chase me wherever I go."

"You got my point," the governor said, smiling. "You should know that the desert is full of thieves and murderers waiting in ambush. I will arrange for a battalion of soldiers to escort you and protect you, and you will cross the desert in peace. Your supplier will chase after you to bring you to court in your new location - and he will fall prey to the thieves.

Indeed, this is exactly what happened. The man crossed the desert safely with an armed escort. The creditor hurried after him and fell prey to the attackers waiting in ambush. His lust for money and cruelty brought about his tragic end.

Similarly, so long as Benei Yisrael were under the decree of slavery, the Egyptians enjoyed their labor and service, until the Al-mighty had compassion on them and redeemed them. If the Egyptians had said, "Enough," they would have been saved. But once they refused to let them go, they were punished. Benei Yisrael triumphantly departed Egypt and the Egyptians started claiming, "They were to have been slaves for four hundred years; why did they leave after only two hundred and ten?" They paid no attention to the fact that the hardship of the slavery rendered the shorter term equivalent to four hundred years of bondage. They themselves were guilty for our having deteriorated to the forty-nine "gates of impurity" such that we could not remain there any longer. They held the contract in their hands, the requirement of four hundred years of slavery. They now claimed its full payment. The Al-mighty thus took us from Egypt and they chased after us. He split the sea for us and we went in. But for them, the Al-mighty did not dry the sea or freeze the walls of water. It thus turned out that their obstinacy and lust for money brought them to destruction.


Rabbi Ezra Hamoui zs"l

Rabbi Avraham Patal zs"l told that once on Mossa'ei Shabbat, Rabbi Ezra Hamoui zs"l of Aram Soba came to his home. His wife asked him what he would like to eat for the fourth meal ["melaveh malka"].

Rabbi Ezra, a man of truth, said, "What do I want? I would like a 'majedra' [a dish of rice and lentils] with butter and cream."

"Where do I have majedra to give you?" she wondered.

He replied, "Heaven forbid - I never requested it. I will eat whatever you have. But you asked what I wanted, so I answered."

Suddenly, they heard knocking at the door. The wife opened the door, and there stood and cried the handmaid of the wealthy man who lived next door.

The rabbi's wife saw the woman crying and worriedly asked, "What happened? Why are you crying?"

The maidservant told her that her master asked her to cook majedra, and in her haste to prepare the dish she cooked it in a meat utensil and added butter and cream. Claiming that she has rendered his dishes unfit for use, her master threatened to fire her. She was a widow with small children dependent on her for a livelihood!

The rabbi heard the story and inquired, "When was the meat utensil last used?"

It turned out that the utensil hadn't been used in quite some time. It was also discovered that she had poured the majedra into a milk utensil, and only then did she add the butter and cream.

"If so," the rabbi said, "tell your master in my name that there is no concern; the majedra may be eaten and the pot is perfectly kosher."

The maidservant wiped her tears and left. After a short while she returned and said, "My master does not believe me - unless the rabbi himself will eat the dish!"

The rabbi gladly agreed. He recited the berachah and ate the portion served to him. He turned to the rabbi's wife and said, "You see - I wanted majedra, and the Creator sent it to me!"

We, too, must look around us and appreciate all that the Al-mighty sends us!

A Treasury of Halachot and Customs of the Festivals of Yisrael, Based on the Rulings of Rav Ovadia Yossef shlit"a

The Misvah of Sefirat Ha'omer

The Torah writes (Vayikra 23:15-16), "You shall count from the day following the Shabbat, from the day you bring the waving omer, seven complete weeks they shall be; until the day following the seventh week you shall count fifty days." Similarly, the Torah writes later (Devarim 16:9), "You shall count seven weeks, when the sickle begins with the grain you shall begin to count seven weeks." Hazal (Masechet Menahot 65b) have a tradition that "the day following the Shabbat" refers to the day following the first day of Pesah, which is called a "shabbaton" (day of rest, similar to Shabbat). Therefore, there is a "misvat aseh" to count "sefirat ha'omer," starting from the night of the sixteenth of Nissan through the next seven weeks. The view of most rishonim, and that of the Shulhan Aruch, is that in the absence of the Bet Hamikdash, when the misvah of bringing the offering of the first harvest does not apply, the misvah of sefirat ha'omer applies only on the level of "derabanan" (rabbinic ordinance), in commemoration of that which was done in the time of Bet Hamikdash. Therefore, it is proper to omit from the "Leshem yihud" introduction to sefirat ha'omer the sentence, "We now come to fulfill the positive commandment of counting the omer, as it says in the Torah, 'You shall count...'" One should rather say, 'We now come to fulfill the misvah of sefirat ha'omer, to bring 'nahat ru'ah' to our Creator." (All the more so on the final night of counting it is inappropriate to make reference to the pasuk, "Seven complete weeks they shall be," because this may already be considered the counting for that night. Nevertheless, if one did say this even on the last night, he may still proceed to count with a berachah.)

The rishonim are in dispute whether the misvah of sefirat ha'omer is one misvah that stretches over the course of forty-nine days, and this is the meaning of the phrase "seven COMPLETE weeks," or if sefirat ha'omer includes forty-nine separate, independent misvot, each night's counting constituting its own misvah. This dispute has many practical ramifications, such as a case where one forgot to count one night and remembered on the following night. If all forty-nine days fall under a single misvah, then he already lost the element of "complete" and can therefore no longer count the omer with a berachah. If, however, we view each night's counting as an independent misvah, then an individual in such a case may continue counting with a berachah. The halachah follows the more stringent view, and thus one who forgot one night may not count with a berachah for the rest of the sefirah period that year. He rather counts without reciting a berachah.

The rishonim also argue as to how one counts sefirat ha'omer: from the seventh day on, must one mention each day not only the number of days but also the number of weeks? Another issue arises within the view that one must count weeks, how precisely to go about this counting. As for the final halachah, one should count both the days and weeks every day throughout the period of the omer.

The pasuk states, "Us'fartem lachem," which literally means, "You shall count for you." From the plural form of "lachem" ("for you") Hazal derive that every individual must count the omer. Nevertheless, if one heard sefirat ha'omer from the hazzan, who was himself obligated in the misvah, and both the listener and the hazzan had in mind that the hazzan's berachah should apply to the listener, as well, then the listener has fulfilled his misvah of sefirat ha'omer. Not to mention the fact that if one heard the berachah from the hazzan, and both parties intended for the berachah to apply to the listener but the listener himself recited the actual counting, then he has certainly fulfilled his obligation.


The Giant Squid

On the identification card of the giant squid it is listed that its height is about that of a three-story building and that it moves with amazing flexibility. It is equipped with a tongue littered with sharp teeth, fangs than can tear apart even a whale, and frightening clasping arms. Around seventy years ago, a Norwegian tanker weighing 15 thousand tons was attacked by giant arms that grabbed hold of it. The giant squid breaks several records in the natural world. First and foremost, it is the largest non-vertebrate creature, and the largest creature of prey. It also boasts the largest eye among all animals, as its eye's diameter measures between 25 and 45 cm. The biggest rival of the giant squid is the sperm whale. Among the various testimonies of the combats between squids and whales we read of an incident that occurred approximately thirty years ago. Russian whale hunters witnessed a battle between a sperm whale and a giant squid which ended with the death of both of them. The whale died with the squid's arms grabbing hold of it, and the squid's head was found in its stomach.

A war between a giant squid and a whale is scary indeed, and the results are brutally harsh. But one cannot overlook the fact that this battle does not begin by choice, but rather by instinct, the instinct that the Al-mighty placed within animals to defend themselves or, alternatively, to attack a potential victim in order to live, simply put. Every battle of this sort results from a natural drive towards self preservation or a desire to win food; it certainly does not involve personal spite or animosity. How distressing it is that the human being, the crown jewel of creation, is often engaged in fights and battles that he chooses willingly and unnecessarily. So much pain, anguish and loss are caused as a result of fights such as these, battles and conflicts that could have been avoided. The Jew, too, is familiar with the drive to be victorious in battle, but he also knows where to fight - among the pages of Gemara, cracking difficult problems, battling one's study partner by citing proofs; there the battle brings positive and constructive results, and this type of fight is accepted loving by the Al-mighty.


Three Pieces of Advice (4)

Flashback: A store owner owed heavy debts to his landlord and his daughters had reached marriageable age. He therefore left to work wherever he could find a job to save money to pay his debts and marry off his daughters. He saved ninety rubles, and along his return home he stopped in Berditchev to receive a blessing from the great sadik, Rav Levi Yis’hak. The sadik offered him three pieces of advice in exchange for thirty rubles apiece, money that he needed desperately for the ransoming of Jewish captives. The man agreed and paid all his savings for three pieces of advice. Having spent all his money, he had to head home by foot. He walked along the path in the forest, when suddenly a chariot came and stopped right next to him.

The driver pulled the reins forcefully, and the man was petrified upon discovering that the chariot was filled with soldiers and army personnel. The rider called to the man: "Quick, Jew, tell me, did you see the thieves running away? Do you see the direction where they fled? Hurry, Jew, we must capture him!" He waved his baton in the air.

The terrified man lifted his eyes and saw a fork in the road ahead of him. He then remembered the sadik's first piece of advice, a citation from Hazal: "All turns that you turn - should be only to the right." He immediately pointed to the right. The driver whipped the horses and the chariot disappeared from sight.

The man reached the intersection and, as the sadik suggested, he, too, turned right. He hadn't gone too far when the chariot came to greet him, on its way back from the chase. The soldiers were ecstatic, holding with them the thieves bound in chains and the restored goods. The chariot once again stopped near the Jew and the soldiers jubilantly thanked him. They threw a large bag towards him and it landed hard and heavy on the ground. The chariot then left.

The man leaned down to the ground and lifted the heavy bag. He opened it and found it full of glistening coins. He counted sixty rubles.

The sadik's first piece of advice, for which he was so distressed to pay so much money, turned out to be worth his while, earning double the amount in just an hour or so.

Who knows, he thought. Perhaps the other pieces of advice, too, will prove themselves just as worthwhile. In any event, two-thirds of what was his savings have already returned.

He continued along the way and saw the sun on the western sky. The late afternoon wind shook the leaves in the forest, and the man was suddenly frightened. Will he have to spend the night in the dark forest with wild animals of prey roaming about, creatures that arise from their crouched positions with nightfall? His ears rang with the pesukim from Tehillim: "You bring darkness, and it is night, when all the creatures of the forest roam." He accelerated his footsteps until he was almost running. Much to his joy, he heard the sound of dogs' barking in the distance. A little further, lights from a village met his eyes. The first raindrops began falling just as he knocked on the door of the village motel. Much to his dismay, his request was denied. There was no room in the inn; it was filled with guests. A well respected wealthy man recently married a young girl and he was traveling with a large entourage on a wedding trail. "He rented the entire inn," the innkeeper said apologetically. "If you want my opinion, this way he will lose all his savings rather quickly."

To be continued

In Those Days, In Our Times

Dear Brothers,

In Those Days, In Our Times

Something peculiar is happening to us. Something peculiar happened to our ancestors 3,314 years ago. For generations they lived lives with a set pattern and regular routine. Exhausting labor on the one hand, free fish, fruits and vegetables on the other. The same schedule and activities repeated themselves over and over again. Then, suddenly, it was as if a spirit of madness had overcome their entire existence - warnings and plagues, consent and refusal, hope and despair, anticipation and disappointment. Until the korban pesah and the Exodus, the chase and the splitting of the sea, Refidim and Marah, the battle of Amalek and the giving of the Torah...

This is so reminiscent of our period. For so many generations our lives proceeded routinely. We lived for hundreds of years in Morocco and Algeria, in Libya and Tunisia, in Yemen and India, in Aleppo and Baghdad, in Buchara and Persia - routine lives, spiritually inspiring, physically oppressive. Suddenly, a drastic transition took place. Exiles were uprooted, and they came to the Holy Land, to our beloved, ancestral homeland. And here events pursue one another, there is not a single "routine," ordinary day, there are no days of rest, tranquillity. What's happening here? What does all this mean?

I am reminded of a story told to me by a certain elderly Jew from Russia. During his childhood, his village was hooked up to electricity. The village had a movie theater, but movies were shown manually. The one who activated the show sat in his box and slowly turned the handle. One day, he said, the villagers gathered in the local culture center. They took their seats, the room was darkened, and the film began. Everything proceeded as usual, until suddenly the picture froze on the screen. It turned out that the one activating the film had fallen asleep.

They waited a minute or two, and then they began protesting and shouting - but for naught. The man was closed off in his box, sleeping soundly and undisturbed. They had no choice but to wait for the man to wake up. They had nothing else better to do, so they sat and gazed at the frozen picture on the screen.

The film was to have lasted two hours. For the first fifteen minutes they watched the show as usual, and for an hour and half they stared at the frozen picture. The man in charge finally woke up an hour and a half later. He frantically looked at his watch and realized that the film, which had barely gotten underway, ends in another fifteen minutes. He did not even consider staying for an extra minute, so he began turning the handle as fast as he could. And so, after an hour and a half of staring at a frozen screen, everything began moving at dizzying speed, everyone ran about like in a frenzy, the pictures ran after one another and the audience left dumbfounded.

There is no escape from the thought that this is what happened then and this is what is happening now. For generations the picture was frozen, the world was quiet, and we sat quietly. Suddenly, as the redemption drew near, everything must occur quickly and frantically, everything has to be completed soon - there is no time, the Mashi'ah is waiting to arrive! If so, and in light of this, what about us? Are we ready? I am not talking about the nation at large; I am not worthy of this. But what about the individual? Let each one conduct his own introspection. When Mashi'ah comes, will he be ready to greet him? The spiritual quality of the home, the kashrut of one's kitchen, family purity, proper speech and thought, Torah classes, Torah education, teshuvah and improvement... are we ready?

As much as we know that he is on his way, he will still surprise us. "And suddenly he will come into his palace, the master whom you seek" (Malachi 3:1) - as we began the haftarah on Shabbat Hagadol!

Shabbat Shalom

Aryeh Deri

A Summary of the Shiur Delivered on Mossa'ei Shabbat by Rav Ovadia Yossef shlit"a

Halachot of Pesah

In the section in Parashat Sav dealing with the sin offering (Vayikra 6:21), the Torah indicates that if the kohanim cooked the meat of the korban, the pot absorbs the taste of the meat and thus has the same laws as the meat itself. Namely, just as the meat may be eaten for only a day and a night (until midnight), the pot may not be used for cooking passed that point; the taste absorbed in its walls is extracted into the food being cooked and renders it forbidden. It must therefore undergo the process of "hag'alah" (immersion in boiling water). This applies to metal utensils; earthenware utensils, however, cannot be "koshered," as taste absorbed into its walls can never be completely expunged. The laws concerning "koshering" appear again in Parashat Matot.

We learn from here that a utensil that absorbed hamess must be properly "koshered" so that the absorbed hamess is extracted, and then the utensil may be used for Pesah. The method of "koshering" for a given utensil depends on the way it is used, as we will explain.

In Masechet Avodah Zarah (75b-76a), the Gemara discusses the method for "koshering" spits and grills. The Gemara distinguishes between cases when the taste to be expunged was initially absorbed as permissible matter, or when it was absorbed as forbidden matter. Meaning, when sacrificial meat was roasted during the time when it is permitted for consumption, to "kosher" the spit or grill one need only to perform "hag'alah." However, to "kosher" a spit or grill used by a non-Jew for non-kosher foods, it requires "libbun" - direct exposure to fire. Based on this Gemara, Rabbenu Tam concluded that our spits and grills may be "koshered" for use on Pesah with "hag'alah," since the hamess was initially absorbed when it was permitted for consumption. Although many other Rishonim concur, the Rif and the Rosh maintain that spits and grills require "libbun." The Ramban explains that hamess retains its formal status as such throughout the year, since Pesah is bound to arrive; the prohibition will thus certainly apply, as it takes effect annually, not as a result of a particular circumstance. This is the ruling of the Shulhan Aruch, whose rulings we have accepted. However, since most authorities rule leniently and require only "hag'alah," if "hag'alah" was performed on spits or grills before Pesah, food roasted on/with them may nevertheless be eaten on Pesah.

Baking ovens should be thoroughly cleaned before Pesah to ensure that no actual substance of hamess remains. The oven should then be turned on for an hour, and it is then considered "koshered." One should avoid using the oven with hamess for twenty-four hours before the "koshering." The trays, however, should be exposed to fire until sparks are scattered from them, or replaced by new trays for Pesah.

Metal utensils in which hamess products were cooked with liquid on the fire should be "koshered" through "hag'alah." This is done with a large pot in which water is boiled to the point where bubbles form. The utensil requiring "koshering" is then placed in the pot while it still stands on the fire. Wooden and stone utensils follow the same rules governing metal utensils. Earthenware utensils used with hamess, however, cannot be "koshered" for Pesah use. This applies to porcelain dishes and pots; they must be put away before Pesah. Similarly, all utensils that one chooses not to "kosher" for Pesah, or that cannot be "koshered," must be put away somewhere safe so as to ensure that one will not mistakenly use it on Pesah. Glass utensils do not absorb, and thus do not require "koshering" for Pesah. Even glass utensils in which beer was stored for long periods of time may be used after being thoroughly washed and rinsed three times. This applies as well to pyrex utensils that are used on the fire with hamess; they may be thoroughly washed and then used on Pesah.

However, the custom among the Ashkenazim is to treat glass utensils like earthenware utensils, and they thus do not permit "koshering" glass. As this custom was accepted among the Ashkenazim, they must adhere to this practice.

Yosef Ben Geraz and Yis'hak Shaul Ben Leah

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