Halacha: no chametz or sell chametz?

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  • #619426
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Come Pesach-time, may I…

    1. Have NO chametz in my possession and property whatsoever, and thus none to sell to a nonJew before the chag?

    Or must I, according to halacha…

    2. Have chametz in my possession just so I can pack it away and sell it to a non Jew before the chag?

    Backstory:

    I prefer to be done with chametz before Pesach and that frees me of having to deal with any selling of chametz.

    Yet I don’t know if the owning of chametz pre-Pesach is a must and one must sell it because maybe that is a separate mitzvah and chiyuv (even if it is owning and then selling a cracker).

    Thank you 🙂

    #1225828
    apushatayid
    Participant

    You have a Rav?

    #1225829
    Joseph
    Participant

    Have a chametz eating contest the week before Pesach.

    #1225830
    golfer
    Participant

    Your question reminds me of a story, Lightb.

    There was once a community of frum, upstanding Jews who davened together in a proper shul but had no Rav. They all directed their Halachic queries to two brilliant poskim who lived a great distance away. While the poskim gave answers, they felt it advisable that the kehilla get their own “in-house” Rav. They conspired to no longer respond to shaylos originating in that community. The kehilla got their own Rav.

    The End

    #1225831
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Yes I do… so this is a purely LOR question?

    #1225832
    Meno
    Participant

    so this is a purely LOR question?

    Yes, as are many questions asked in the coffee room

    #1225833
    Joseph
    Participant

    Anything wrong with having a halachic discussion in the CR about an issue that needs to be asked as a shaila IRL?

    I think not.

    #1225834
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Do you know the answer?

    So I should ask my LOR if I have to buy chametz just so I can sell it?

    Though I should be honest with him and say that owning chametz in itself is very tempting for me even if I know that it isn’t mine and it’s hidden and sealed in a remote remote place.

    …So maybe that is another reason why I need to ask my LOR and not the CR since only my LOR will know those details and pasken appropriately based on the array of factors and take into account where I am now. Which means that if/when I do ask B”H, it is best not to tell you about it.

    Thank you

    #1225835
    feivel
    Participant

    i think youre also selling chametz thats adhering to or absorbed into your dishes, pots, etc.

    #1225836
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    To those asking why this specific question is a LOR question: Why?

    Has anyone heard of a requirement to possess chametz before Pesach so that it can be sold to a non Jew? I would think that if it were possible to be 100% rid of chametz before Pesach (thus not needing to sell anything), that would be fine, or even ideal, and it doesn’t require a rav to say that there’s no need to go out and buy chametz before Pesach just to have some to sell.

    Based on previous posts, I feel that lightbrite has a LOR, and these OPs are more for discussion than psak. If that’s not the case, then AYLOR away.

    #1225837

    There is no mitzvah to sell chometz. There is a mitzvah to destroy chometz, and an issur to own chometz.

    So, having no chometz around is not an issue as far as not selling it, but you do lose the mitzvah of destroying it.

    #1225838
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    DaasYochid,

    So, having no chometz around is not an issue as far as not selling it, but you do lose the mitzvah of destroying it.

    Thank you for pointing that out. We separate pieces of chametz out specifically to be burned, so I wasn’t even thinking about that aspect – just the stuff that we put away and sell.

    #1225839
    Geordie613
    Participant

    I think the answer to the original question is simply; if you have chametz that you don’t want to destroy, you may sell it.

    Secondary question then; Why would you not want to destroy it? Perhaps it is expensive or difficult to replace, e.g. Whiskey, soup powder, marmite.

    #1225840
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The reason we sell the Chametz is not because of a box of cheerios, but rather a bottle of Johnny Walker blue. People will throw out the bottle of Cheerios, but people did not spill out the bottle of Johnny Walker blue so they had to do something to prevent people from being over a “lav since they would not spill out the Johnny Walker Blue

    #1225841
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    People usually also sell their dishes.

    #1225842
    golfer
    Participant

    To AvramMD,

    This particular question is not an LOR question. You are correct there.

    However, and it’s a big “however”, I think the concept of LOR (as opposed to ask your 2nd cousin, ask your neighbor, ask your grocer, or worst of all- ask anonymous possibly human entities on the internet) is a concept that needs reinforcement in this instance.

    #1225843
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    golfer,

    Understood, thanks!

    #1225844
    golfer
    Participant

    Gerdie, I’m going to hazard a guess that marmite is even less popular among the (possibly human) denizens of the CR than tomatillos.

    And I have to admit I had no idea it’s chametz. I wonder if it’s actually edible, or if it even falls into the category of ra’ui le’achilas kelev.

    I hope I haven’t offended anyone an ocean away from me…

    #1225845
    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    Adaraba, There are those who are machmir and don’t sell chometz (they get rid of it all) and don’t eat any chometz that was sold by others after Pesach.

    there are those who only sell items that would be a big loss to throw away.

    There are those who sell closed packages only.

    There are those who won’t sell actual chometz, but will sell not-kosher-for-Pesach things that don’t have actual chometz in them.

    There are so many different approaches, which is why that now that you have a basic understanding of what the issue is, you can ask your LOR.

    #1225846
    Geordie613
    Participant

    Golfer, Marmite gave birth to the saying in English culture ‘It’s Marmite. You either love it or hate it’. I do think it doesn’t have many fans in the CR, but for those who may have tasted it, they likely made the cardinal error of spreading it thick. Marmite, as a byproduct of the process of producing beer is real bona fide chometz.

    Anyway, for many years in England, marmite made locally was not kosher and had to be imported from South Africa. That’s why one would have sold it, rather than burn it with the rest of the chometz.

    Winnie, you’re absolutely right and thank you for clarifying the shaaloh. It should also be pointed out that some people sell any chometz, even a loaf of bread. Many people sell cosmetics which may contain chometz, as their status is doubtful.

    LB, I hope we have clarified this subject which, as you can see, absolutely must be presented to a Rav who knows you.

    #1225847

    I like Marmite.

    #1225848
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Never had Marmite:

    AIM: Thank you. Yes for discussion. If something is alarmingly confusing and LOR-worthy, then I take it from there to my LOR (like the question about the bracha and spitting out food).

    Also, when I first started posting, I did not have a LOR.

    Baruch Hashem now I have a LOR (and LORebbetzin for personal questions) so super yay and thankfully I have been getting official psaks in that department.

    … I did not know that some people sell their dishes. Last year I put mine away and used disposables (silverware too).

    Thankfully I don’t have that much food at home and it’s all pretty much whole foods (fruits, veggies, kosher for Pesach fish, eggs) but my biggest chametz love is oats (of which I will happily consume before the Yom Tov). Blah blah blah sorry so boring.


    So does Marmite have gluten?

    #1225849
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “… I did not know that some people sell their dishes. Last year I put mine away and used disposables (silverware too).”

    My understanding was always that they sell the chometz on the dishes and not the dishes themselves. I don’t think you have to do this, but that is a question either for your LOR or the Rabbi who is selling your chometz for you.

    Either way though, you still can’t use your chometz dishes on Pesach and you have to put them away for Pesach.

    So it sounds like you did the right thing last year.

    #1225850
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    You should ask your LOR all your questions, but I will just point out a couple of things regarding selling chometz. These may have already been mentioned (I didn’t read this thread that carefully), and if so, I apologize.

    You don’t have to have chometz to sell. In fact some people say it’s better to get rid of all your chometz before-hand and NOT to sell it. Some people will even throw all their chometz out or burn it rather than sell it (because they hold it’s better NOT to sell chometz). Others will give it away to people who do sell chometz. There is nothing wrong (to the best of knowledge) with not having chometz to sell.

    However, I think you might have to do a “mechiras chometz” (selling chometz) anyhow, even if you don’t have any real chometz to sell, just in case you do have chometz around.

    You should check with your LOR about that, and also ask him when you can come to him to sell your chometz. Most Rabbis have set times before Pesach when they are available for selling chometz, but it’s basically men who come, so as a single girl, you have to find out when it would be a good time for you to come. (I have a lot of experience with that. In one place where I used to live, they let me come the same time as everyone else and they let me go ahead of everyone else – that was cool)

    Before you sell your chametz, if possible, you should know what cabinets,etc, will have things in them that you are selling, and you should know what specific items you are selling (the Rabbi will ask you to list the places, and he might ask you what items you are selling).

    Aside from food, there are many products that may be chometz. There are also different opinions regarding which products have to be kosher l’pesach. By products, I am referring to things such as shampoo, conditioner, make-up, other hair products, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.

    There are books available that list the kosher l’Pesach products. But you should also ask your LOR about this since there are opinions that some of these items don’t have to be kosher l’Pesach.

    #1225851
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Thank you LU 🙂

    Public Service Announcement to CR and people:

    Do NOT get rid of dry oats in the garbage disposal!!!

    I did that last year because I had already thrown out my last garbage bag of chametz trash and then realized that I still had some oats. I figured that I can save myself one more garbage bag (though I could have just taped the package up and thrown it in the dumpster as is) and a trip to the dumpster by getting rid of it in the garbage disposal before kashering my sink.

    (Lazy yes I know but I was already worn out from cleaning and making trips)

    Needless to say, last year I got a brand new garbage disposal for Pesach.

    Sounds good but what that really means is that the sink’s drain pipe was clogged, and it was filled with irky still water.

    Then, lucky me, I got to suck up the water with a turkey baster, as I waited another day or so for the plumber to install a new garbage disposal.

    The plumber said that his wife once did the same thing with dry rice.

    which brings us to….

    Public Service Announcement #2:

    Do NOT get rid of dry rice in the garbage disposal. (See the reference about the plumber’s wife)

    Thank you 🙂

    #1225852
    Geordie613
    Participant

    LB I’m confused. What do you mean by ‘garbage disposal’?

    Randomex, Well done. Do you get it in the US?

    #1225853
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Omgosh Geordie613. Just Googled “garbage disposal england” and it seems like they are not so common in England.

    Under the drain hole in my sink is this vicious bladed creature (appliance/machine) that grinds up food waste before it drains into the pipes.

    So if I have scraps of food from my plates, or pieces of cooked broccoli that would stink up my kitchen trash if I tossed them in the trashcan, all of those bits get shredded up.

    I don’t have to use that strain in my sink to catch the food if I do not want to because I can just turn on my garbage disposal switch and run some water to flush the food waste down the drain.

    I have an InSinkErator

    #1225854
    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    One more point- I don’t think people actually sell their pots and pans to the goy- only the chometz on them- if they did, they would have to toivel all the pots and pans after they buy them back, no?

    I know we do it, but I never really understood it. Assuming the pots are clean, no real chometz on them, and cabinets were washed down from crumbs. All that would be left would be a taam of chometz on the pots themselves, but would that count to be sold? Anyway we do biur chometz, and nullify anything left. So what exactly are we selling to the goy when we sell our pots/pans/kitchen cabinets?

    #1225855
    Geordie613
    Participant

    LB, thank you for enlightening me about this appliance which I have honestly never heard of. For us, disposal of food waste takes place as follows. We have 4 wheelie bins outside. The brown one gets collected every 2 weeks. That is for compostable waste, i.e. food and garden waste, things that would decay in time. So you have a small food bin in your kitchen, with a compostable liner. All food waste goes into there, and every day or two, that goes outside into the brown bin. The other 3 bins get collected every three weeks in turn. Blue is for glass, plastic and tins. Green is for paper and card. Grey is for all other waste.

    It may be different in other towns but our local authority has this system. It sounds terribly complicated, but you get used to it eventually.

    Apologies for going so off topic, but to bring it back, the Council arranges a pre pesach collection to atone for their terrible practices during the rest of the year.

    #1225856
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    WTP – my understanding of the practice has always been that they are selling the chametz on the pots and NOT the pots themselves, since selling the pots would required tevila as you pointed out.

    My understanding is that it’s a chumra since there is (hopefully) not a kezayis of chometz in your pots. M’ikar hadin, while one is not allowed to eat any amount of chametz on Pesach, you are allowed to have chametz in your possessions if it’s less than a certain amount. I used to think that amount was a k’zayis but most people I know seem to say that it has to be less than the size of a cheerio, so I think I was mistaken about the kezayis. In any case, you would not have chametz in the amount of acheerio on your pots either.

    However, there are people who are makpid not to have ANY amount of chametz in their possessions on Pesach. (either because they are being machmir or because they are going by another opinion). Presumably, these are the people who are selling the chametz on their pots.

    I don’t think it’s the b’liah they are selling – I think it’s any grease that may be left on their pots if they didn’t clean them super well.

    But again, everyone should check with their LOR.

    Personally, in my home we never sold the chometz on the keilim, but now that I sell my own chametz, I think I remember that it’s automatically included on the form, so I think I do end up doing it anyhow, but I’m not sure.

    #1225857
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    btw, LB, while you should speak to your LOR about your questions, you may want to get ahold of Rav Sheinberg’s halachos for Pesach. I would imagine you could find it online, and I think it would be a good thing for you to read. It is very helpful for people who have a tendency to get too nervous about Pesach cleaning. I know a therapist who works with OCD patients and he makes sure to give it out to his patients before Pesach.

    #1225858
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “Anyway we do biur chometz, and nullify anything left”

    That’s only after you have done everything in your power to get rid of all chometz. L’maaseh, if you c”v find chametz on Pesach, you still have to burn it, even though it was nullified.

    #1225859
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    I don’t think garbage disposals are all that common in the US either, at least not amongst the people I know. While I remember having one as a child, I haven’t seen one in many years. I also wasn’t sure at first what you meant, LB, but then I figured it out.

    #1225860
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    About garbage disposals: AFAIK in the US, most homes I thought have one, except little cottages and country homes and some studio rentals.

    Now I want to ask more people to see if it’s as really as common as I think it is to have one in the kitchen.

    Geordie613: What?! There is a composting pickup? That is the most amazing thing that I have heard in a long time.

    I feel something. What is it? Like awe, admiration, and slight envy for your system… with a desire to have something like that here too.

    Where does the composting go? Wow. So nice.

    This feeling reminds me of when I learned that in (France right?), university is free and so are babysitters/childcare. A parent can literally have someone come to his/her house to help with washing laundry, and it’s all covered by the govt. health insurance.

    Even when taxes are higher, that is still amazing and very thoughtful and advanced and good overall (imho looking from the USA).

    #1225861
    iacisrmma
    Participant

    LU: Bliyos is not grease residue on the pots. It is what is absorbed in the “walls” of the pot. Since it comes out when you reheat the pot it is considered chametz and this is what is sold.

    #1225862
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    iacisrmma – I know bliyos is not grease. I thought it was the grease they were selling and not the bliyos, but I guess I was wrong. That was just my assumption and I wasn’t sure about it (I think I made that clear; I hope so).

    Thank you for the correction. I hadn’t thought that you could sell blius since it’s not a real thing. How can the goy take the blius from the pot? Or does it mean that he has permission to use the pot and thereby take the blius that is reabsorbed into the food being cooked? How can we let a goy use our pots?

    #1225863
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    LB – I guess it depends who you know. Most people whose homes I’ve stayed at in the US didn’t have one. Or maybe they had them and never used them.

    I’m pretty sure that I haven’t seen one used in years.

    #1225864
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Hashgacha Pratis!!!

    So tonight I went to the grocery store and in the other line I saw what I thought was a LFJ (local frum Jew) buying a lot of Purim party stuff (Kedem grape juices and disposable plates in extra large quantities).

    So I was thinking “Should I ask? Maybe I should ask? Naw I don’t want to bother him. No I should ask. No he is about to leave.”

    Finally —He is paying and I couldn’t take it anymore so I say, “Excuse me, but do people sell their dishes??? [pause then I realize that I should add] for Pesach.”

    <So out of nowhere for all he knew, I got that in retrospect>

    Turns out that he is a LOR and actually one of them from my LOS; I just did not meet him yet.

    Guess what CR:::

    According to my LOR, you sell your ENTIRE house. Yes that’s right. Even after cleaning, the house no longer belongs to you during Pesach. You sell it to a nonJew and then get it back after Pesach.

    That’s because there is still lingering chametz he said (there is no way to get rid of it all, so we sell any traces).

    Yepp yepp —Moral of the story: Doesn’t matter if I don’t have chametz foods and my house is clean, my house (including dishes of course and everything else) must be sold for Pesach.

    He said to just got to my LOS and fill out a form and the rabbi will do it for me.

    Yays 🙂

    #1225865
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Just check what items in your house you are allowed to use if everything is being sold. I always thought that if you sell your house for Pesach you can’t enter it on Pesach, but I guess your Rav holds differently (or I’m wrong)

    #1225866
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    I’ll ask LU. Maybe it’s like I am renting the space but nothing belongs to me?

    Will let you know when I find out.

    #1225867
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    It sounds like maybe the whole house belongs to you and you are just selling the chometz in the house, so I guess that’s why you can be there.

    But I always thought that when people sell their sefarim (technically the chometz in the sefarim), they are supposed to try to avoid using the Sefarim or something (although I never really understood what that meant – either they should be allowed to or not allowed to.) Basically, these halachos are confusing and I never really understood how any of this works, and there are probably lots of opinions and lots of different situations, so just ask your LOR and do what he says.

    I’m very happy you asked him the main questions meanwhile and got the answers.

    #1225868
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    I thought of the CR and posters telling me to ask my LOR.

    I assumed that I would just do research and hear what someone else does. Super mazal from Hashem that he was a LOR from my LOS.

    Yea I will find out. The selling the whole house is news to me, but so is a lot of stuff.

    Tbc 🙂

    #1225869
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Really cool! Such hashgacha! so happy for you!

    #1225870
    yehudayona
    Participant

    I’ve never heard of selling your whole house unless you’re going away for all of Pesach. How could you use your house if everything in it belongs to some goy?

    The NYC Department of Sanitation has begun compostable garbage pickups in (non-frum) parts of Queens (and maybe elsewhere). They give out cute brown bins, which is interesting because they never gave out special bins for other recyclables.

    #1225871
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    I do know someone who sold her house but somehow I was still allowed to stay there during Pesach. I asked her Rav who had sold her chametz for her and he said I was allowed to. It seemed odd to me, but he’s a very well-known Rav.

    #1225872
    Geordie613
    Participant

    LuL, LB and anyone else here who may be interested. It is imperative to take instruction from a competent Rav in pesach matters. Some of the things said here are not accepted by everyone. I’ll give a few examples.

    Finding chametz on pesach – It is not simple just to burn it. You are thereby showing ownership over it. If it is sold, it is no longer yours. You would have to ask your Rav if you can destroy it. It will depend how much it is, how edible it is and some other things.

    Selling your house – Actually selling? Or just renting to the goy? Selling implies a deed of sale and lawyers and everything. Selling chometz is not a joke, it has to be a legal sale. If you look on YouTube for “gateshead rav chametz”, you can watch Rav Zimmerman conduct the sale before and purchase after pesach of the chometz from a real Geordie (as opposed to a Geordie613). He even mentions his dislike of Marmite.

    Chometz of a certain size – Keeping chometz of a certain size should not be allowed. It may be technically permitted, but we don’t because it may come to be eaten.

    Cosmetics – Some are very particular to go through their whole cosmetics stock checking each item. Others hold, that they are no longer edible for a dog, and therefore not considered chometz.

    Kitniyos – a huge subject, and dependent very much on family and local custom.

    This is just a small example of questions that come up, and you will find many conflicting opinions. Your LOR in your LOS or LOBH will probably be giving a series of shiurim in the run up to Pesach about all these questions and lots lots more. As learned and experienced as some of us in the CR may be, we are at the end of the day anonymous people with laptops, PCs or smartphones. Nothing can or should replace your reliable competent and caring Rav.

    #1225873
    Geordie613
    Participant

    LB, regarding the recycling policies of our local authorities or councils, it is part of this politically correct idea of saving resources and the planet. They have to do it by law, even if it is more expensive than just disposing the whole lot into landfill. I have no idea what they do with it, but they tell us it is recycled back into the environment.

    #1225874
    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    We, and the people I know, don’t sell the whole house. We sell certain cabinets, closets etc. These are listed in the sale contract and we label each cabinet “chometz, sold.” Everything else belongs to us and we use. And many people I know do not sell anything at all, instead they carefully get rid of every bit of chometz. As far as I know, it would be very problematic to live in the house and use your clothing, Pesach dishes/pots, etc, if you sold it. Please speak to the real Rav of your shul- who you will use to sell your chometz – and clarify this point with him.

    By the way, LB, I think going up to a stranger in the supermarket to ask halachic shaalos is even worse than asking CR people- at least here you can form some opinion of how the person thinks, what he/she believes based on how he/she posts. How do you know that he really was who he says he was, and that he was giving you a serious answer?

    Personally, if some stranger came up to me and blurted out what seemed to be a random question 2 days before Purim, I would think he was joking and maybe would respond in kind.

    #1225875
    iacisrmma
    Participant

    You may want to view the Star-K’s website for information regarding Pesach. They have a pro-forma “contract of sale of chametz” as well as what is actual chametz. There are items that an individual might think is chametz but is not (at least according to the Star-K).

    http://www.star-k.org/passover

    #1225876
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    WTP: I have talked to strangers in grocery stores before about halacha. Not often. Maybe this was the second time in 4 years.

    Another time I asked a frum woman if my sponge had to be kosher. She said no and then connected me with her LOR and soon after I attended a challah bake. Where I live people direct me to the LOR.

    This guy from last night told me to go to my local Chabad and he was a rabbi there.

    Once he started talking, the lady in my line’s checkout (right in front of me), turned around and spoke in Hebrew, saying “I thought I heard your voice” to the rabbi and then chatted for a few moments before he told me to go to Chabad and they will give me a form to sell my house.

    Then he asked me about Purim and told me to come to my LOS to hear the Megillah.

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