Get cleaning tips for Passover by logging on to the Internet

As you find yourself scouring, mopping and vacuuming, the important thing to remember is that you are not alone, especially if you have a computer nearby.

Today: cleaning for Passover on the World Wide Web. But first a reminder. There are many excellent articles explaining the whys and hows of Passover cleaning, but for the final word, you should always consult a trusted rabbi.

If the cleaning ritual is new to you, here's a Web site with a not-so-intimidating title: "An Absolutely Very Short Guide to Keeping Kosher for Pesach." Go to

But if you are looking for more details, then check out "Clean for Pesach and Enjoy the Seder" edited by Rabbi Moshe Finkelstein.

Before he gets into the nitty-gritty, Finkelstein explains why modern Passover causes such high levels of cleaning angst. In the past, wealthy people who lived in large homes often had many servants to do their cleaning. Poor people who could not afford servants lived in small homes with one or two rooms.

"Today, we seem to be caught in a trap." Our homes are larger. Furniture, utensils and clothing are more plentiful. But we don't have the servants to do the cleaning. So the weeks before the holiday become filled with cleaning. Visit runs one of the most comprehensive preparation sites for the holiday. There are articles explaining the methods of kashering utensils for Passover use, how to survive Passover eve and an article curiously titled "But What Could Be the Problem With…"

It explains why some products that seem to be fresh, pure, natural or additive-free may still need special certification for use on Passover. (Frozen vegetables require reliable kosher for Passover certification since pasta blends are produced on the same equipment.) Go to

Since traditions and customs often vary between Ashkenazim and Sephardim, the site presents "Koshering for Passover the Sephardic Way." Visit

In "The Joys of Passover Cleaning," Emuna Braverman utters some very controversial words, "I'm beginning to feel like an endangered species, because I like Passover. It's actually my favorite holiday."

This fact dawned on her after she attended one of those Passover getaways where everything but everything is done for you. "And I learned an important lesson. Studying the ideas underlying Passover was not the true preparation," she writes. "It was the physical effort that led to the emotional and intellectual preparation. I felt less prepared when I didn't take out my special dishes, when I didn't clean my children's bedrooms… And I felt more alone. That crucial link to other Jewish women was not being forged… So, much as I would like a vacation, as tempting as some events sound, I've returned to what I enjoy. I can't wait to start cleaning."

Read the article at$)_of_Passover_Cleaning.asp

When Marc Stengel of Owings Mills, Md., cleans out his pantry, he takes the opportunity to do another mitzvah at the same time. Instead of simply throwing out non-Passover food, Stengel organized a food drive to help a local food bank.

His Web page has suggestions for taking a similar Passover project to other communities. See it at

Cleaning a house may not be simple, but it doesn't compare to the challenges Israel faces as it prepares for Passover.

Even the Israel Defense Force goes on alert for the holiday. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site, "The IDF takes no chances, embargoing all packages from home just before and during Passover week in case they contain chametz goodies, thus ensuring that bases will be kept strictly kosher so both religious and non-religious soldiers can serve shoulder-to-shoulder during the festival period." Read more at

And according to the Philadelphia Enquirer, even Jerusalem's water supply comes under scrutiny before Passover. Rather than draw on water from the Sea of Galilee, which may be contaminated by chametz, city officials tap into secure wells. Check out

And if you think you've got cleaning problems, be thankful you don't run the Jerusalem zoo. Caretakers have to deal with hungry elephants that don't get their usual bread.

According to the Brandman Research Institute, 43 million man-hours are spent in Israel during the cleaning for the Passover. Curious use of the term man-hours since the study found that 29 million cleaning hours are done by women and 11 million hours by men. Persons paid to clean account for the remaining 3 million hours. See