Thursday, April 7, 2011

SPECIAL EDITION II: New link for List of Non-Chametz Products For Pesach

Today is the 3rd day of Nisan, 5771

Understanding Chametz possession

What makes so exceptional the prohibition of Chametz is that, unlike any other forbidden food, it includes the ban of its 'possession'. There are three Mitzvot in the Torah related to this prohibition: bal year'e and bal ymatze (Chametz, 'shall not be seen', and 'shall not be found'), and tashbitu (disown, dispossess your Chametz before Pesach begins). Strictly speaking, these three Mitzvot are fulfilled at once by a process called 'bitul'. A formula by which we declare that we renounce to the ownership of any Chametz that belong to us, regardless of where that chametz is located.

But the Rabbis saw that there were some 'practical' issues with just declaring our Chametz owner-less. First, we may 'say' that we do not own anymore our Chametz, but, if we posses something valuable, are we really meaning that we renounce to its possession? Second, Chametz is the most common food, so even if we declare it owner-less and thus we fulfill those 3 Mitzvot, keeping any edible Chametz at home, might cause us to eating it accidentally...

There are four steps we should take to fulfill the 3 Biblical commandments and the rabbinical instruction: First, we should clean our houses, cars, offices and other properties before Pesach to identify and remove all chametz in our properties. Second, we should run a final search all our properties to make sure that we have removed everything Chametz from them (Bedikat Chametz). Third, we have to physically dispose or get rid of any Chametz found in our properties before and during the Bedika (Biur Chametz) and finally, we have to perform a verbal legal declaration or statement that whatever Chametz we may still own anywhere, which was not detected and eliminated by us, does not belong to us anymore and from now on it is considered ownerless (hefker) as the dust of the earth (Bitul Chametz).

We will explain each one of these steps in the coming HOTD.

Click here to download the List of Non-Chametz products for Pesach

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