Monday, March 22, 2010

Halocho #539 - Selling Chametz to a non-Jew

Since most of us don't want to start selling Chametz on Erev Pessach, one can go to most local Rabbis and appoint them as a messenger to sell our Chametz.

The Rabbi will make a legal sale of the Chametz including a legal document and a deposit. Realize that this is a bona fide sale, and that the non-Jew is entitled to come to our homes and request we hand over our Chametz, as has occasionally happened.

After Pessach the Rabbi goes to the non-Jew and asks to be paid the remainder of the debt and offers to buy back the Chametz from the non-Jew at a higher price. Since the non-Jew usually prefers to make a quick profit rather than paying for hundreds of items scattered throughout the city, he will sell the Chametz to the Rabbi.

One should only sell Chametz and not the containers it's in - especially not containers that require Tevila, like metal and glass, otherwise one would need to Toivel them in a Mikva after Pessach, since they belonged to a non-Jew during Pessach.

Chametz that has been sold (via the Rabbi) must be locked away so that one doesn't accidentally use it, which would be a double problem: Chametz on Pessach and stealing from the non-Jew.

Even if one has no intention of keeping Chametz in ones home, one should still go to a Rabbi to appoint him to sell ones Chametz. Why?

A lot of products may be Chametz contrary to popular belief - depending on the latest production methods - like medications, creams, soaps or even food which one discovers later wasn't really Kosher for Pessach.

During Pessach one may discover Chametz that one wasn't aware of, or forgot to get rid of in the last-minute pre-Pessach rush.

If one sold all ones Chametz then one didn't own any during Pessach.

Chametz that belonged to a Jew during Pessach may not be used after Pessach. This is a Rabbinical decree; a punishment for owning the Chametz.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 114

- Danny
Monday, 7 Nissan 5770

Please daven for a Refua Shelema for 3 years old Tania Mazal Tov bat Naomi

1 comment:

  1. If I might add - selling chametz online (in a b'dieved case where you don't have physical access to a rav) is also acceptable. This is because you can appoint somebody as an agent even without them knowing .so internet, which is a commonly accepted mode of communication and not that much different than appointing somebody without his knowledge, should work as well.