The Rov forgot (or missed zman) to sell the chometz on erev pessach

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    The Rov had an emergency on erev Pessach just before selling the chometz (medical episode e.g stroke/heart attack, life-threatening injury in a car accident, sudden death in the family or congregant etc).

    This could easily happen!

    During the crisis, he was disabled or too preoccupied with the emergency that it resulted in the chometz was never sold to the goy during the limited zman available to make the sale!

    What is the status of all the chometz that was never sold?

    What is the liability of Rov for failing in his shlichus? (In dinei Torah and/or l’havdil, civil damages)

    Does he need to refund the money given to him (as a gift/tip while signing up for mechiras chometz)?

    Does the Rov need to pay for all the chometz that became ossur (or can he say “haray shelcha l’fanecha)?

    Such a situation must have happened somewhere throughout the generations!

    Is this situation a concern?

    Should a G-d Fearing Jew be machmir to make a secondary Rov as a shliach to sell my chometz – just in case? (Like appointing a back-up Kohen Gadol for Yom Kippur, in case the first becomes disqualified).



    Is he a Shomer Chinom or a Shomer Sachor?

    Or not a Shomer at all.


    He is a shliach – an agent.

    He is given a mission, authorization.

    He does not have any possessions of another, just the authority to sell it.

    I think people need to have a “back up” Rov, in case the first messes up.



    It makes more sense for the Rov himself to have a backup. If you’re really concerned, ask your Rov if he has a backup. If not then choose a different Rov.



    Chometz she’ovar olov hapesach is a kenas, so in circumstances where a person did what he was supposed to do Chazal did not punish him.

    The Noda Biyhuda says if someone’s chometz was stolen before Pesach and then it was recovered after Pesach, he can use it because he did nothing to be punished for. He says when the thief says “harei sheloch lefonecho” it means “go ahead and use it”.


    Milhouse, you are so smart! But let’s think deeper. Do I have a chiyuv to worry that maybe the rov will mess up on the mechira. Similar to a Kohen Gadol that we prepare a back up for his avoda on Yom Kippur?

    That makes it different than a ganov, which was outside my control. Here I appointed a rov, and should have realized that “life” happens, and maybe I am required to appoint a second rov, just in case?!


    Meno – the achrayus is on ME, not the rov. he is a shaliach. I must make sure the mission is successful.


    Milhouse, the N.B. speaks of an oynes (theft), not a p’shi’ah. Is making only one rov a shliach to sell chometz, a p’shi’ah?


    The sugya at play: “shema mes” vs “shema yamus” (maybe he dies vs maybe he will die).


    Does the rov need to at least return the $18? It was given in conjunction to him actually selling the chometz!


    Reb Eliezer

    I asked my LOR and just as I thought there is always a backup.


    laskern – can the LOR simply make another shliach?! If you davka want HIM to be the shaliach because HE is a possek and knows choshen mishpat hilchos kinyonim for a goy (on metaltelin and karka : places rented )?! True shliach ossay shaliach – but not always. Not by “millei” (words – as here) and not when the appointment is specific (as here sometimes). So what gives the LOR the “right” to appoint a backup?! Moreso, what authority does the back up have if he was never appointed as the agent to sell?

    I am makpid to appoint a second rov – isn’t that far better?!



    The shtar that I signed gave the Rov explicit permission to appoint another shaliach.

    Try selling your car to someone after already selling it to someone else, just in case the first person backs out. Let me know how that works out.


    The shtar says “whatever chometz is in my possession” – if it was already sold, then there is none, what’s the problem with that?! It isn’t a mechira on a specifically described chometz!


    Meno – that assumes the rov is capable to appoint another. He might not be capable if he has stroke, heart attack, dies, in a crisis…



    So make sure your Rov has a backup.

    Many Rabbonim ask you to give an estimate of how much chometz you have and specify where it is located (in addition to any other chometz you have)



    Meno, why’d you need to sign a shtar? Appointing the Rov as your shliach to sell your chometz requires nothing more than making a simple kinyan (i.e. picking up an object.)



    My Rov doesn’t trust me


    Joseph, there is no need at all to make a kinyan when you appoint a shaliach! What are you being koneh?!



    I don’t either. But your kinyan still has halachic validity.



    “What is the status of all the chometz that was never sold?”

    Remains muttar, as this is an onus gamar.

    ” Do I have a chiyuv to worry that maybe the rov will mess up on the mechira. Similar to a Kohen Gadol that we prepare a back up for his avoda on Yom Kippur?”




    He wouldn’t agree to be my shaliach unless I signed a shtar, because he doesn’t trust me


    Joseph, the appointment of rov can be done by phone or email, no need for a kinyan at all!


    Onus gamur?! It is a peshiya not to take realistic precautions!

    Chazel say: “shema yomus – chayshinon” (we are concerned and consider the possibility that he may die), so if one does not take precautions, he is a po’shay’ah.



    The standard shtar for mechiras chometz establishes the Rav as your shlyach to sell chometz. If the Rav was simply an unpaid shliyach, then Rav would not be liable for the chometz. However, most Rabbonim in the US are paid a salary and part of their contract includes the responsibility to sell the shul’s chometz every year. In that case, the Rav would be a “paid shliyach” and would be liable for the cost of any unsold chometz.


    The rov is likely an onus gamur, but the seller who appointed him is a poshaya for not planning a back up, just in case.

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