Tuesday, April 12, 2011

PESACH: Mekhirat Chametz (seeling your Chametz)

Today is the 8th day of Nisan, 5771

In some communities, mainly Ashkenazi, it is customary to sell the Chametz, through the local rabbinate, to a non-Jew . In Sephardic communities it was not customary to sell the Chametz, unless it was an exceptional case, like when someone owned a food store. Traditionally, Sephardic Jews got rid of all their Chametz, and if some Chametz had not being detected, the bitul --by renouncing to our ownership of Chametz-- would take care of it.

Nowadays, however, many community members might keep too many valuable Chametz products like whiskey or liquors like vodka made from grain alcohol. When this is the case, in order to avoid transgressing the prohibition of owning Chametz during Pesach, the UMJCA Religious Council organizes a Chametz selling. Community members fill out a special authorization empowering the rabbi to act on their behalf, and before Pesach begins, the rabbi sells the Chametz to a non-Jew. The buyer gives a down payment for the Chametz, and commits to pay the balance up to a few minutes after Pesach is over. During Pesach, then, the buyer is the legal owner of the Chametz, even if the Chametz remains in the property of the Jewish seller. If the buyer fails to pay the balance, after Pesach the Chametz belongs back to the seller.

Click here to download the Selling of the Chametz form


Again, whenever possible, the best and the traditional Sephardic way to proceed is to physically get rid of the liquors, whiskey, etc, along with all the other Chametz products before Pesach.

Click here to read: "Israelis to send Chametz to Japan":


Printable Sephardic Guide for Pesach 2011

Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024