Preparing For Pesach


Jewish tradition suggests that preparation for Passover starts 30 days before the holiday starts. In other words, right after Purim.

For many families, that means cleaning their homes of chametz. Bringing the Pesach dishes out of storage. Shopping for kosher-for-Passover supplies.

For some people, it means studying the laws and customs of Pesach.

For Judaica stores, it means putting their holiday goods on display.

At West Side Judaica, the Passover season began a few days after Purim. Most of the store’s customers, says salesperson Shlomo Seltzer, don’t show up, their Pesach shopping lists in hand, until about 10 days before the first seder.

A big seller this year is chocolate-covered matzah, Seltzer says.

A popular Haggadah this year is Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ 2006 Haggadah, the instant classic by the former Chief Rabbi of England. Customers like his essays’ outlook, Seltzer says, which he described as “worldwide.”

The store will be open until 2 p.m. on Monday, the eve of the first seder.

One customer who bought supplies for his seders will be holding them on a houseboat, Seltzer says. “Somewhere on the Hudson. I don’t know where.”

The customer bought the usual range of holiday supplies. With one proviso, Seltzer says. “He wanted unbreakable things.”