Pesach, is about making yourself free. It is the time of year when we were freed from being slaves in Egypt, it is also the time when we got engaged to G-d, we became the chosen nation. There are three main commandments that are central to the theme of Pesach.
They are ridding ourselves of Chametz, eating of matzoah and marror, as well as the recounting of the story of Pesach.
Let us start with the idea of ridding ourselves of Chametz- again we have this idea of becoming more spiritual through a physical idea, here are we are ridding ourselves of chametz, is really getting rid of our materialistic and unclean physical side, throwing the yetzer hara out.
Chametz is defined as products or derivatives of the five kinds of grain -wheat, barley, oats, spelt, and rye that have been in contact with water for more then 18 minutes. Some examples are pasta, bread, crackers, whiskey, oatmeal. For the duration of Pesach holiday it is forbidden to eat, drink or derive monetary or other benefit from chametz. Pesach in Israel is celebrated for seven days, everywhere outside of Israel is 8 days.
Bedikat Chametz, is performed the night before the holiday starts, where you go through your house and check for any last bits of chametz that you where supposed to have cleaned and sold before hand. You search through your house with candle, sweeps them up with a feather into a wooden spoon, then you put everything into a paper bag and you burn it in the morning.
Mechiras Chametz- if there is a major loss of money involved one is allowed to sell there chametz to a non-Jew.
Matzah- matzah is an unleavned bread that is made out of flour and water and baked for 18 minutes or less. Shemurah matzah is a matzah where the grain was supervised from the time it was cut in the fields until it was made into matzah. Machine matzah is also okay.
There is a custom of not to eat “gebrokts” which means any matzah products that where combined with liquid
Before trying to kasher anything it should not have been used 24 hours before
One should have a separate set of dishes , pots and pans for Pesach..
In order to kasher your kitchen, even if your counters are not able to be kashered they must be covered. You must pour boiling hot water over the clean counters over the entire surface.
Any item that was used on a fire without any liqued can be kashered through the heating of the vessel until its burning, and cannot be touched.
Anything that was used for hot liquids must be kashered through being fully immersed into boiling hot water.
Stove grates, should be heated up until they are red then cooled down and covered with foil.
Ovens should be cleaned thoroughly get all crumbs out, then leave unused for 24 hours and then turn on the highest setting and burned for about 2 hours.
Taken from Halachic highlights by Rabbi Avraham Goldstein
A quick d’var torah. The Jewish people were on the 49th level of impurity when they were brought out of Egypt if they had reached the 50th level they would not have been redeemed. How did we merit redemption, we were suffering so much, yet the Egyptians could not be punished for listening to there King who threatened to kill them, yet when the Egyptians decided on there own to kill Jewish babies by stuffing them in between the bricks to be used as cement, they where able to be punished with those babies cries which is how Hash-m redeemed us before our time was up. G-d came down to Egypt to personally escort us out, the seder that we have in our times instead of the korban pesach is how we show him our hakoras hatov by going through the story of the Exdous as if we were there living it and relating it to ourselves and our lives today with feeling. When the seders are rushed through, and not told over properly G-d does not want to be married to us, and we have not properly fulfilled the commandments of showing thanksgiving, and seder.
As heard from Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein on Torahanytime.com