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Monday, April 18, 2016

Pre-Passover Rant

Let's start with the basic and true that I'm an awful housekeeper, always was and I guess I'll always be one.
my kitchen in Passover mode

this is chametz
A lot of what's accepted as "cleaning for Passover" has absolutely nothing to do with ridding the house of the forbidden Chametz.
Chametz is any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt that has come into contact with water and been allowed to ferment and "rise.”
In practice, just about anything made from these grains—other than Passover matzah, which is carefully controlled to avoid leavening—is to be considered chametz. This includes flour (even before it is mixed with water1), cake, cookies, pasta, breads and items that have chametz as an ingredient, like malt. (Chabad)
And a lot of products that proudly and sometimes more expensively display "Kosher for Passover" labels and certification have absolutely nothing to do with chametz at all, no matter how and where it's produced. I'm happy to have found this list, NON-FOOD ITEMS – 2016, OU Kosher Staff:
The consensus of the OU’s poskim (rabbinic authorities) is that the following may be used on Passover without certification:
Aluminum foil
Aluminum foil baking pans
Baby ointments
Bags (paper or plastic)
Body wash
Bowl and tub cleaners
Carpet cleaners
Copper and metal cleaners  
Cosmetics (except possibly lipsticks, see below)
Cupcake holders
Cups (paper, plastic or styrofoam)
Dishwashing Detergents
Drain openers
Fabric protectors
Furniture polish
Glass cleaners
Hair gels, sprays and mousse 
Hair removers and treatments
Isopropyl alcohol
Jewelry polish
Laundry detergents
Napkins (paper)
Oven cleaners 
Paper towels
Plastic containers
Plates (paper, plastic or styrofoam)
Scouring pads and powders
Shaving cream and gel
Shaving lotion 
Silver polish 
Skin cream  
Suntan lotion
Talcum powder (100% talc)
Toilet bowl cleaner
Water filters
And to tell the truth, since I've never allowed eating in bedrooms, meaning no breakfast in bed, and my kids (and their friends) even at the youngest ages did not wander the house eating cookies, crackers, etc. there never is any actual chametz in the bedrooms. I clean what I can, but my real focus is on the kitchen. And as I wrote on my blog, A Jewish Grandmother,  Tolerance, Acceptance, Pesach Can Be Complicated.

I pray for good health and good humor. Let's not go crazy and make ourselves sick and forget that Passover is a holiday which shouldn't be tortuous.

Chag Pesach Kasher v'Sameach!
Have a Happy and Kosher Passover!


Neshama said...

I agree the kitchen is the most difficult. I think my counter top is less than yours. I use the kitchen table, a bookcase, one small over cabinet, and a rolling cart to hold foods and all the things I pull out from a dedicated Pesach Closet on the porch: small oven, pots, pans, plastic containers, processor, blender, 2 burner elec., and the glass dishes are in part of a bookcase. BUT once it is all out and finds a place I begin to cook and then start to really feel Pesach. Already made some apple sauce, and the gefilte fish is next. A woman's work is NEVER done.

Batya Medad said...

Sounds like you're doing great. I plan on starting to cook Thursday and doing the kitchen flip/change tomorrow, Wednesday. Today is the rest of the house.
Gd willing in good health.

Garnel Ironheart said...

The problem is that it has become a badge of pride to make getting ready for Pesach as miserable an experience as possible. At the same time there's a mitzvah d'Oraysa to celebrate the holiday but who's in the mood by the time it hits?