Setting the Table

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Setting the Table

  1. One should set his table before Yom Tov so that one can eat the Seudah right after Tzet HaChochavim. [1] One doesn’t actually have to start the Seder right after Tzet but the table should be set so it’s possible to start right away. [2]
  2. One should set the table with nice utensils according to what one can afford. [3]
  3. One should set the chairs so that it is possible to lean properly while eating and drinking. [4]
  4. One should distribute candies to the children so that they ask about the differences on the night of peasch. [5]

Preparing the food

  1. If Yom Tov falls out on Shabbat, one should do the Melacha of Borer to prepare food before the Seder because the meal isn't immediately connected to the beginning of the Seder. [6]
  2. On Shabbat, it is considered Borer to take the small bugs attached to the Maror leaves, however it is permissible if one take a bit of the leaf with the bug. Nonetheless, it isn't considered Borer to remove a large worm that stands independent of the leaf. [7]

Seder Plate

  1. Not everyone at the Seder needs to have their own three Matzahs and it’s enough that the one running the Seder has three Matzahs, however, in order that there be enough for everyone to receive a Kezayit from a broken matzah and a Kezayit from a whole matzah the one running the Seder should have the required amount of whole and broken matzahs. [8]

References

  1. Tur and S”A 472:1. Aruch HaShulchan 472:2 writes that another reason why we should have the table set before Yom Tov is to have the table set for many hours beofre a meal like the tables of kings.
  2. Mishna Brurah 472:1 explains that it’s not precise when S”A writes that the table should be set so that one can start right after it gets dark rather it means that it should be possible to start then. Chazon Ovadyah (Pesach part 2, pg 5) concurs. However, Or Samech (Hilchot Chametz UMatzeh 7:3) suggests that since Matzah is compared to Pesach, just like Pesach is supposed to be eaten right after Tzet so too the Matzah is supposed to be eaten right after Tzet.
  3. Tur and S”A 672:2. Mishna Brurah 472:5 adds that one should nice utensils even though during the rest of the year one should refrain from using the best utensils because of Zecher LeChurban (to commemorate the destruction of the temple; http://halachipedia.com/index.php?title=Zecher_LeChurban).
  4. Tur and S”A 472:2
  5. S"A 472:16 based on Peschim 108
  6. Halichot Shlomo (Pesach, pg 215-6) writes that since Borer is only permitted when done immediately before a meal, concerning the Seder it is forbidden because the meal comes so long after the preparations, and it wouldn't be considered as doing Borer for eating immediately.
  7. Semirat Shabbat KeHilchata (3 note 102)
  8. Rav Schachter on OU Pre-Pesach Webcast 5771 between minutes 90 and 91