Thursday, April 17, 2008

Halocho #98 – Should one use a candle for Bedikas Chometz?

Tonight- Thursday night - one may not do any work, nor eat anything, until one has checked the house for Chometz. (Firstborns who fasted may break their fast if needed, but may not eat a meal.) The entire house needs to be cleaned, and the Chometz that one plans to use until mid-morning on Shabbos needs to be put in a secure place, before one starts searching the house for Chometz. First one says the Brocho “… Al Bi’ur Chometz” – “… to destroy Chometz”, since the point of the search is to rid the house of Chometz. After the search is complete one says “Kol Chamiro” declaring that all Chometz one isn’t aware of to be “ownerless and worthless like dust”. This declaration constitutes a Halachic “destroying Chometz”, which is why one shouldn’t interrupt between the Brocho, the searching and the Kol Chamiro with anything not related to the search. One may appoint other members of the household to help with the search, as long as they are over Bar/Bat Mitzva. The search is done using a single candle which provides the optimal light for searching. A torch (like a Havdolo candle) is not allowed – as it’s a fire hazard and it gives a flickering light – and if it was used one needs to redo the search. Search under all furniture, inside all closets, pockets of all clothes worn in the past year, schoolbags, purses, cars and anywhere else where Chometz could have been placed accidentally or purposely by adults, children or toddlers. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 111:1-10 There is no need to turn off the electric lights while searching with a candle, since with more light it’s easier to find Chometz. After searching with a candle in those places where it’s safe and convenient to do so, one should continue with a flashlight, so that one can safely and calmly search without fear of burning down the house. Source: Rabbi Shimon Eider zt”l, Halachos of Pessach, Vol. 1, page 86 Wishing everybody a meaningful and enjoyable Pessach - Danny 12 Nissan 5768 P.S. The next Halocho a Day will be sent out soon after Pessach

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