How Much for Mechiras Chametz

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  • #1718136

    ftresi
    Participant

    I’ve been wondering this for years and thought I’d ask here.

    When appointing your Rav as an agent to sell your chametz what is the “proper” amount to pay him?

    #1718152

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Chazal bring down that the “payment’ to the Rav for negotiation and execution of the transactional documents to effectuate mechiras chometz with a goy should be consistent with what one would pay to any other professional for the services provided. Most good contract and transactional lawyer charge at least $500-$700 hour so that should be a good starting point. There is also a school of thought that the charge should be a fixed percentage of the value of the chometz being sold (sort of like the real estate broker’s commission on a property sale).

    #1718199

    Joseph
    Participant

    The typical mechiras chometz transaction between the Rov and mispallel takes about three minutes. You pick up an object to make a kinyan and you then write down your name and address on the Rov’s piece of paper.

    Based on the aforementioned, Hadorah’s presumed rate should equal to $25-$35.

    #1718223

    Uncle Ben
    Participant

    $20 for the average Yankel, $50 & up for Mizrach vant Yidden.

    #1718227

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @gadolhadorah
    ” Most good contract and transactional lawyer charge at least $500-$700 hour so that should be a good starting point.”
    No they don’t. That would be very good or exceptional transactional lawyers.
    The type of contract for a simple sale and then buyback would be spit out of software by a paralegal or legal secretary billed at $200 per hour or less.

    The Rav is not negotiating for you when he comes to pre-Pesach terms with the non-Jew. He is negotiating for himself and all others whose chometz will be included in the sale.
    Many rabbeim don’t actually do any of this, but simply act as a sub-agent for another who makes the sale.

    That said, in our shul the amount given to the Rav varies between $18 and $180. This is a holdover from the days when shul rabbis had to supplement their meager salaries with this kind of income (also matzo sales, lulav/esrog, Bar Mitzvah lessons). Today, we pay respectable salaries (100K plus in our area plus house, car and perks) and don’t nickel and dime the congregants.

    #1718228

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    JosephParticipant

    The typical mechiras chometz transaction between the Rov and mispallel takes about three minutes. You pick up an object to make a kinyan and you then write down your name and address on the Rov’s piece of paper.

    Based on the aforementioned, Hadorah’s presumed rate should equal to $25-$35.
    Usually when someone has an hourly rate, it means the minimum is for an hour. The rest can either be a full second hour etc or a partial hour. So i think your math is off , assuming mechiras chometz should be done by a hourly contract price.

    #1718233

    My RAv accepts whatever he is given.

    #1718253

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    T2T

    Lawyers charge in 6 minute increments. I believe that lawyers cannot charge at hour minimums. Certainly not when each individual is really a part of a larger transaction.

    #1718336

    ftresi
    Participant

    Thanks. I got what I was looking for. My rav also takes what he’s given doesn’t even look at what he’s given. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t giving him less than standard and it seems to be right in the range.

    #1718296

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @nishdayngesheft
    “Lawyers charge in 6 minute increments. I believe that lawyers cannot charge at hour minimums.”

    NO, some lawyers may charge in 6 minute increments.
    We (Law Offices of CTL) bill in quarter hour increments. 68 minutes is billed as 1.25 hours, 67 minutes is billed as 1.0 hour. Lawyers are free to set minimums, but it must be spelled out in the letter of engagement that every client signs.

    These rules may vary by jurisdiction, but hold in the 4 states where I am licensed.

    I would not bear the expense of taking in a new client: initial interview, determination that there is no conflict of interest with the firm and/or clients, signing a representation/retainer agreement, printing and filing the paperwork, invoice and payment handling for less than an hour’s billing. However, if an existing client called and said I’m renting property X to a new tenant, please issue a lease for signature with the following information on it….I’d have a paralegal do it on existing templates at a charge of 1/4 hour.

    #1718704

    What would you charge the Rov if he “forgot” to sell your chometz?!

    Think about THAT!

    Imagine he says, here is your $18 back, I simply couldn’t get the mechira done for you this year.

    The achrayus!

    While you are busy on erev pessach stuffing the last morsels of chometz in your mouth, the rov is busy selling the chometz with a goy.

    What is the legal liability of the rov if he slept in and missed mechiras chometz??? Does he owe more than a refund???

    #1718729

    While you are busy on erev pessach stuffing the last morsels of chometz in your mouth, the rov is busy selling the chometz with a goy. I dont know about you but the only chametz I eat on erev Pesach is the cake served at the siyum bechorim which is long before sof zeman ACHILA not SOF ZEMAN BIUR which is when it has to be sold by. If it is not sold then Bittul should help (if done properly). Famous story with the Chazon Ish that he had a dream that made him check with the rov who instead of selling the blios in the pots sold the pots and then went and toiveled all his pots. I have never heard of a rav who did not do the mechira but last year I am pretty sure that a store in EY destroyed all their chametz because the partners did not make the mechira.

    #1718748

    lowerourtuition11210 – You think the mechira takes 10 minutes at SOF ZMAN BIUR?! No! Your fallacy is caused because you never attended a mechira! It is a process.

    The process of the mechira, from greeting the goy, going through niceties and small talk, introducing others in attendance, explaining the mechira (even if the same goy was used last year – a refresher), doing the kinyonim (several), passing the shtoros etc. …all this can easily take around an hour.

    #1718739

    I asked the question of the lawyer CTLAWYER, both in contract law and lehavdil in din Torah, what liability rests on the rov if he neglects to sell the chometz?

    Does he give a refund to the yid that appointed him?

    Does he simply tell the yid, “haray shelcha l’fanecha” (you have your chometz – I am not concerned that it is now ossor)?

    Can the rov be sued for damages?

    Braech of contract?

    I would think that the value of the service is reflected by the price paid.

    #1718852

    rg: And your fallacy since you dont know me is that after the siyum bechorim I dont eat any chametz. Your other assumption that I dont know what happens at the mechira is also off the mark. So maybe its time to come off your pedestal and stop making glaringly insulting comments to others.

    #1718933

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @Rebitzen
    You may think you asked me a question, but you did not.
    Your post was not addressed to me
    I chose to ignore your hypothetical narishkeit

    #1719014

    Avi K
    Participant

    Rebbetzin, regarding the halacha, the Business Halacha Institute wrote:
    “Shomrim / Guardians #12
    Q: What are the responsibilities of a guardian for chametz on Pesach?

    A: The owner of the chametz violates the prohibition of possessing chametz, even if it is entrusted to another. In addition, the guardian also violates the prohibition of possessing chametz if he accepted responsibility for it, even if it belongs to a gentile (O.C. 440:1; Mishnah Berurah 443:14).

    If neither the owner nor the guardian sold the chametz, it becomes prohibited and has to be destroyed. Therefore, if the owner hasn’t sold the chametz, the guardian should sell it in time, both to avoid the prohibition and to prevent the loss (C.M. 292:17-18; O.C. 443:2).

    There is a dispute whether the guardian carries legal liability if he neglected to sell the chametz. Some say that the guardian is considered negligent, so even a shomer chinam is liable; some say that only a shomer sachar is liable, since he has a greater responsibility to protect the item. Many maintain that the guardian is not liable, because he accepted responsibility only to guard the chametz, not to sell it. [It is questionable whether this logic would apply nowadays, when it is customary to sell the chametz before Pesach and buy it back afterwards.]

    (See Mishnah Berurah 443:12; Pischei Choshen, Pikadon 2:[103].)”

    On the other hand, Dinonline wrote:
    “שאלה זו כבר נידונה בפוסקים. ראה במגן אברהם ובחק יעקב (סי’ רמג) שדנו בשומר שקיבל חמץ לשמור, ופשע ולא מכר את המחץ בזמן. וכתבו לחלק שאם שרפו את החמץ כדין חמץ בפסח, א”כ לאחר הפסח כבר אין חמץ שהשומר יוכל להחזיר לבעל הבית בטענה “הרי שלך לפניך” א”כ השומר חייב לשלם כדין שומר שהיה לו אפשרות לקדם ברועים ובמקלות כדי הבריח את הזאבים מהעדר, ולא עשה כן שהוא חייב, כך גם השומר שיכל למכור את החמץ ולא מכר, הוא חייב לשלם. אולם אם החמץ עדיין קיים, כתבו הפוסקים הנ”ל שהוא יכול לומר לבעל הבית “הרי שלך לפניך.

    אולם הנצי”ב בשו”ת משיב דבר (ח”ג סי’ יח) חולק עליהם (הנידון שעליו נשאל הוא בענין אתרוגים שהשומר לא הקפיד למכור אותם לצרכנים לפני סוכות, וממילא נוצר הפסד גדול). ודעתו שבכל מקרה השומר פטור לשלם, משום שהראשונים חולקים האם שומר חייב לשלם על היזק שאינו ניכר. וכיון שההיזק במקרה זה אינו ניכר, לדעת הרבה ראשונים בכל מקרה השומר פטור. אולם גם אם נאמר ששומר חייב בהיזק שאינו ניכר, זה רק אם הוא היה מקבל על עצמו לשמור את ממונו של הבעלים. אבל כאן הוא קיבל על עצמו רק שמירה של חמץ, וההיזק על החמץ נעשה ע”י הוראת התורה ולא ע”י השומר, ולכן בכל מקרה יש לפטור את השמור מאחריות.”

    Being that it is a machloket the rav would not have to pay in law although a bet din might require him to at least make a partial payment in equity.

    #1719056

    CTLaw – “your hypothetical narishkeit”

    Is there really no reasonable prospect of the Rov having a medical emergency on Erev Pessach (himself or is family)? Is there no risk of the Rov getting into an accident? Is it improbable that the Rov will need to deal with a crisis in his community (even a death)?

    Why do you think it is a narishkeit that the Rov will be unable to sell the chometz before the zman?

    In fact, on the balance of probability, I wouldn’t be surprised if, over the many generations of our history, such circumstance actually did occur!

    Which is why I personally appoint more than one Rov to sell my chometz – just in case.

    #1719089

    Aviation k – since when is the rov a “Shomer” on the chometz? He is a “Shaliach” (an “agent”)! A shomer has possession of property. A shaliach that has no possession of the property is not a shomer. Therefore, the whole discussion you quoted is irrelevant.

    #1719121

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @Rebitzen
    “Which is why I personally appoint more than one Rov to sell my chometz – just in case.”

    #1 why isn’t your husband the Rabbi selling the family chometz?
    #2 Why would you put multiple rabbis in the position of committing fraud????????????????
    Once the first rabbi sells your chometz, the other rabbis are selling something for which their agency is not valid, because the chometz has already been bought by a goy. They could go to jail if the 2nd, 3rd , =4th Goy, etc. demanded delivery of the chometz already sold by Rabbi #1 to Goy #1

    What has happened over the generation is not germane today. In this internet world the local rabbi appoints agents to bundle and sell all the chometz entrusted to him by a set time and date. Often it is a Vaad or other rabbinical agency that has a number of people who can complete the sale, even if ione person is not ablke to do so.

    My BIL, was a shul Rav. 25 years ago this Pesach he had an unscheduled kidney transplant. He had contracted with the Vaad Ha Ir to sell all chometz for which he was an agent. The Vaad bundled his contracts with all the other shul Rabbis’ contracts in the city and made the sale. If the head Rabbi was ill, one of the others would have completed the transaction.

    This is no difference than if I have to make a motions appearance in court on Monday, but I am on trial, one of the other attorneys in my office attends the motions calendar hearing in my stead, the client doesn’t go unrepresented

    #1719180

    CTLaw, you are assuming that in halacha we simply allow for שליח עושה שליח, in ALL circumstances, but that is not quite accurate.

    Firstly, when one specifically appoints HIS rov, he expects his rov to be the selling agent.

    Secondly, the agency is words and words cannot be transferred from one agent to another (therefore a shliach to make kiddushin cannot appoint another shaliach).

    Regarding the “fraud”, the sale of chometz is not on SPRCIFIC chometz, but rather it is for “whatever chometz at location xyz belonging to abc” – if abc does not have any hometz,because it was already sold, then the goy isn’t buying anything. That isn’t a fraudulent transaction.

    #1719239

    Milhouse
    Participant

    when one specifically appoints HIS rov, he expects his rov to be the selling agent.

    Since when? Who is this “one” who has such an unreasonable and unrealistic expectation? It so happens that my local rov does do his own sale, both for his own people and for other rabbonim, but most don’t.

    #1719270

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Thank you Millhouse…………
    The supposed Rebbetzin has no clue how things work in the real world,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    Rabbis bundle orders to sell chometz and have done so for many years

    SHE????????????????? avoided answering why her husband doesn’t handle selling the family’s chometz. The wife woulkd not be doing this in most frum families. WHY?????????????
    The Rebbitzen is a troll, a fake and most likely a man

    I have decided that I shall no longer waste time reading or responding to her/his posts

    #1719335

    Milhouse, many many many people davka use a learned baal halacha rov that know choshem=n mishpat well, that HE should do the mechiras chometz because of the complexities of a goy making a kinyan on metaltalin and karka (renting places of chometz). They davka go to a posek and dayan. They expect HIM to be at the mechira and not delegate the mechira to some clerk.

    Indeed, the “pulpit rabbis” that give great drashos but know little of choshen mishpat, they NEED to get help from real rabbonim to make a proper mechira – and therefore delegate the real rabbonim such as those on Vaad or sitting on Bais Din.

    I personally take care of the gashmiyus of my household, including the appointment of rov to sell the chometz. I choose a rov that I know is bokee in hilchos kinyanim especially for goyim.

    How it works in “the real world” depends on which world – the world of aam haaratzim or the torah world that knows the issues. In the world of aam haaratzim, they appoint their “rabbi” who will later appoint a real rov. In the torah world, we go and appoint a proper rov and want HIM davka to do the mechira.

    Is this really such a chiddush?

    .

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