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Pesach Greetings

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 12/5/2020

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Fascinating Insights—The Sefer (in English)

Pesach Greetings

Before Purim, we wish others “Freilichin Purim” and prior to Pesach we tell others to have a Kosher Pesach. R’ Dovid Cohen (born in 1932) related that in Ukraine, where his parents were from, they would say “Have a Kosher Purim” since many get drunk. Wishing a Freilichin Purim wasn’t necessary since it will be Freilich as everyone is in good spirits on Purim. On the other hand, when it comes to Pesach, the way people work to prepare for it, they don’t have to worry about it being Kosher. However, they need to make sure that it will also be Freilich. Consequently, they would wish each other a Kosher Purim and a Freilichin Pesach. In the greeting Chag Kosher V’Sameach,[1] many need to emphasize the Sameach part, as preparing for Pesach can be more stressful than usual due to the quest of cleaning for Chametz.

Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

[1] The traditional good wishes before and on a Yom Tov is Chag Sameach. But Pesach we wish each other, Chag Kosher V'Sameach. Why do we add the word Kosher in the Pesach wishes? Throughout the year there are certain foods which we are permitted to eat (Kosher foods) and those which we are prohibited to consume (non-Kosher). Food which is Kosher is always Kosher and those which aren’t Kosher are not to be eaten anytime. As a result, it is easy to be careful with the observance of Kashrus. But Pesach is different than other Yomim Tovim since foods which are Kosher all year, like bread and cake, are prohibited on Pesach. In fact, the prohibition of eating Chametz on Pesach is much stricter than the prohibition of eating pork! In addition to eating, possession of Chametz is prohibited on Pesach. Because these items are Kosher all year long, yet prohibited during Pesach, we need to be extra careful and make a special effort to make sure we don’t come in contact with it during Pesach. Therefore, we add to the regular wish of “Chag Sameach” the word “Kosher”—wishing each other that the holidays should pass in a most Kosher way. 

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