Friday, April 18, 2008

Burning Our Chametz - Right Outside My Bedroom Window!

When Pesach falls on Saturday night as it does this year, there are some complications regarding the search for and burning of chametz (anything with leaven). This morning (Friday) we burned all the chametz we found in our search last night - and when I awoke to the smell of fire, I realized that YES INDEED, the main chametz-burning station in my Jerusalem neighborhood (Nachlaot) is RIGHT OUTSIDE MY BEDROOM WINDOW... a.k.a., "The Dumpster."
Everyone knows "The Dumpster." It is famous for being ground central for recycling stuff as well as the home of at least a hundred feral cats and the dumping area for almost everything (including trash). Well, now I know that it's also chametz burning headquarters in this part of town. These pictures were taken from my back balcony.
Controversy - whether or not to recite the bracha annulling all possession of chametz? At least seven Ashkenazi rabbis have walked by and admonished the crowds NOT to recite the bracha until tomorrow after Kiddush (before 11:30am) as we still "need" bread (pita or something with chametz in it) to make Motzi AFTER Shul but BEFORE the halachic hour when all chametz must be burned and annulled.
However the Timini (Yeminite) Orthodox are saying VERY long recitations of something from their Siddur which sounds fantastically Kabbalistic when they are burning their chametz. The Ashkenazi Haredeem are shaking their heads "no" but the Timini are doing it anyway. As far as the regular run-of-the-mill Sephardi, some of them seem to be reading something from their siddurs but not all of them. And the poor people like me who became observant as adults and were not raised FFB - "Frum From Birth" - are just trying to figure out WHAT TO DO WHEN.

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