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Pesach from the horse’s mouth – from the Beth Din




Every year Jewish Report brings readers and users from far and wide the SA Beth Din and kashrut department’s information of the what’s, why’s, how’s, who’s and when’s of how to keep and practise Pesach.

Pesach Guide 5777 home

RIGHT: The official PnP/UOS handbook contains a number of errata – see story below

Pesach this year (2017, or 5777 in the Hebrew calendar), starts with a seder on the evening of Monday April 10. The cost of Jewish compliance with the whole megillah that is Pesach, as anyone who complies even partially will know, probably adds a small tick in world’s gross domestic product for a month every year. 

According to the Union of Orthodox Synagogues (UOS), the umbrella association under which the Beth Din, kashrut department and all things Orthodox fall, roughly 1,6-million products are being produced in South Africa carrying the Pesachdik hechsher this year – and at least the same number that are imported.

Jewish Report Online – – publishes the official SA Beth Din guides in a handy PDF format. This allows users to download them, print them or even forward them on to family and friends.

The Three documents are:

Another service that JR Online provides, is that throughout Pesach, even when the newspaper is not being published for two weeks, the website continues to publish fresh news daily (except on Shabbos and chagim) and we publish any updates from the Beth Din as soon as we receive them.

Jarred Abelson, head of finance and group services at the UOS, says: “the Pesach Guide is created quite some time before Pesach, we therefore try our best to include the most up-to-date information.” However, adds Jarred: “Changes may occur as Pesach draws near, so please make sure to refer to each individual product’s packaging for a ‘Kosher for Pesach’ hechsher.”


So you thought you knew it all?

Of course, users can also keep checking back with JR Online where they will find all the latest information.

There is a disclaimer this year, says Jarred, and the community should “please be aware that all new Pesach Guides have a sticker on page 38. From that sticker, until ‘THE SEDER AND ITS REQUIREMENTS’ on page 39, should be omitted.”

The actual downloadable documents can be found on our website as well as any updates – kashrut updates that the Beth Din may issue from time to time – will be found in our “Religion” section.

The COMPLETE PESACH GUIDE is a comprehensive 48-page page guide to everything about Pesach 57777, (as has been set out in our first paragraph).

The PESACH MEDICATIONS GUIDE covers an extensive range of the most commonly prescribed and used medications and, where required, alternatives for use over Pesach.

“The sheer number of different medications available makes it impossible to list each and every alternative,” say the eth Din, but as a general rule, “creams and non-chewable pills may be used during Pesach for someone who is medically ill (even if it is not life-threatening) even if these pills contain chometz.” The reason, says the Beth Din, is because “the chometz is not being eaten in its regular way, as well as appearing in an inedible form”. 

However, the Beth Din adds: “We customarily try to avoid pills that contain chometz if an alternative chometz-free pill is available. If this is not possible, it is recommended that the pill should be swallowed, wrapped in a piece of lettuce or single-ply tissue. If a liquid medication (syrup) or chewable pill that contains chometz is required (if it is not life-threatening), it is necessary to replace it with a non-chewable alternative (even if this non-chewable pill may contain chometz).” The Beth Din also says that “medicines which contain Kitniyot are permitted on Pesach”.

In all cases, says the Beth Din: “DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES to any of your normal, prescribed medication (whether pills or liquids) without first consulting both your doctor and your rabbi.”

The PESACH SALE OF CHOMETZ FORM is a downloadable document users can fill in and drop off with their rabbonim – or, even easier, if one prefers, go to where you can actually do the transaction online.


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