Daf HaKashrus 21:5 Pesach

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I was given permission to post this new edition of OU Kosher’s Daf HaKashrus.

link (PDF)

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

9 comments

  1. After searching for Chometz, we make a formal declaration nullifying any Chometz that was missed, forgotten, overlooked etc. After burning the Chometz the following morning, (erev Paisech) we again make a formal declaration nullifying any Chometz missed, etc., so that according to Halacha even any bypassed Chometz still in our possession no longer exists.
    In view of the above, what is the Halachic explanation for the requirement to sell your Chometz to a Gentile through the agency of (usually) your Rav? Furthermore, the Congregational Rabbi, for example,may “sell” the Congregation’s Chometz worth $100,000.00 to a non-Jew for perhaps $10.00! What kind of “sale” is that?
    The Rav usually accepts a cash donation for “selling” and later “re-purchasing” Chometz on behalf of his Congregants.
    If I wanted to be cynical,I could speculate that the purpose of “selling” Chometz is basically a way to line the Rav’s pocket.

  2. In view of the above, what is the Halachic explanation for the requirement to sell your Chometz to a Gentile through the agency of (usually) your Rav?

    There is no requirement to sell but you must remove chametz from your property. It is a rabbinic obligation discussed on the first daf of Pesachim: הבודק צריך שיבטל

    Congregational Rabbi, for example,may “sell” the Congregation’s Chometz worth $100,000.00 to a non-Jew for perhaps $10.00!

    Usually there is only a minimal amount of money upfront with an agreement to determine the full price at a later date.

    If I wanted to be cynical,I could speculate that the purpose of “selling” Chometz is basically a way to line the Rav’s pocket

    It’s so people will be able to eat chametz almost immediately after Pesach without having to go shopping.

  3. Hirhurim:
    So what is accomplished by the Declarations made after searching the home for Chometz and after burning the Chometz?
    Do we still possess Chometz HALACHICLY or not? If we do, the Declarations are meaningless; if we don’t then why must Chometz be removed from the home. And how does selling Chometz effect the removal of Chometz from the home? We may no longer be the Halachic owners of the Chometz, but it remains in our possession.

  4. So what is accomplished by the Declarations made after searching the home for Chometz and after burning the Chometz?

    The declaration is a rabbinic requirement, in case you missed some chametz in your checking/burning which you then find on Pesach.

    And how does selling Chometz effect the removal of Chometz from the home? We may no longer be the Halachic owners of the Chometz, but it remains in our possession

    You are allowed to keep a gentile’s chametz in your home if it is properly closed off. The biblical prohibition has two conditions, you must own it and it must be on your property.

  5. Thank you.

  6. Ye’yasher kochakhem to our Rosh Yeshiva R. Student and R’ Mair Zvi. Since this discussion (to its praisworthy credit) possesses all the elements of a marvelous Shabbat ha-Gadol derashah, I would like to add some thoughts, ke-talmid ha-yoshev ba-karka ve-dan lifnei Rabbotav.

    1. Mi-de-Oraita, either bedikah or bitul suffices. The Sages required both because (a) if one only performed bedikah and not bitul, perhaps one would miss an item only to discover it on Pesach itself, at which time if one hesitates even for a moment about destroying it, one violates bal yera’eh u-val yimatzé at that moment; and (b) if one only performed bitul and not bedikah, perhaps the bitul will be insincere, and also perhaps one may come to accidentally eat chametz on Pesach. [I.e. if my house is full of hamentashen from Purim, I may have been mevatel the hamentashen (which works perfectly for solving the bal yer’eh u-val yimatzé problem), but I may still reflexively reach for one and start munching on it over Pesach.] (Mishnah Berurah OC 431, se’if katan 2; Mishnah Berurah doesn’t explicitly mention the idea about hesitating for a moment, but that’s what he presumably means, since he is invoking the gemara in Pesachim 6b.)
    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=49627&st=&pgnum=5&hilite=

    2. R. Moshe Sternbuch (Mo’adim u-Zemanim II, no. 181, footnote) suggests that the custom of paying the rabbi (and not merely allowing him to serve as a mekhirat chametz agent for free) is based on the problem that we cannot rely on “chazakah shali’ach oseh shelichuto” for purposes of leniency, unless we pay the shali’ach. Interestingly, this insight is incorporated by Artscroll in its “The Festivals in Halachah” (translation from R. Zevin). [R. Zevin himself, of course, published the original Hebrew book before R. Sternbuch published his.]
    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=19963&st=&pgnum=370

    3. As R’ Mair Zvi correctly indicates, some have suggested expanding the frontiers of mekhirat chametz by selling the chametz through as many different rabbis as possible, so as to give the rabbinate some much-needed revenue. I’m personally opposed to this practice and I presented my objection to R. Aharon Yehudah ha-Levi Grossman. Nevertheless, in his response to me in Shu”t Ve-Darashta ve-Chakarta V, Choshen Mishpat 13 , R. Grossman dismisses my objection.
    See here:
    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=51367&st=&pgnum=319

    4. If a Jew accepts responsibility for someone else’s chametz (-“kabil aleih acharayut” as per Pesachim 5b), there are cases where the Jew will violate bal yera’eh u-val yimatzeh even if the chametz is not on the Jew’s property.

    Chag kasher ve-same’ach…

  7. R’ Shalom Spira: Regarding the Mishna Brura’s mention of hesitating before destroying chametz found during Chag HaMatzot, see Orach Chaim Siman 434, Mishna Brura s’if katan 6, where he does mention it.

  8. MiMedinat HaYam

    the last page of this pdf has a session for “bein hazmanim” yeshiva students.

    q: why is this being held in lakewood (where they do not follow the OU on kashrut, even though, truth be told, their own kashrut is based on what their rabbonim were taught when they worked for the OU.)

    regarding selling chametz, see nachlat shiva (it will take a few weeks to properly read this excellent sefer.)

  9. Thank you, R’ Shmuel. I stand corrected. Bravo!

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