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Important Information About Purchasing Chometz After Pesach

The following memo provides important information about הפסח עליו שעבר חמץ at various establishments. In general, it is difficult to make definitive statements about the acceptability of purchasing chametz from specific stores after Pesach because of practical and halachic ambiguities.

First, it is not easy to establish Jewish or non-Jewish ownership. Nonetheless, in this paper we have assumed that publicly traded companies may be treated as non-Jewish entities since the majority of potential stockholders are not Jewish.

Secondly, even if a product is sold in a non-Jewish store, it may be הפסח עליו שעבר חמץ ifthe distributor is Jewish. Determining the identity of the distributor is a formidable task because this information is proprietary and is not readily available. A recent added complication is that a large Jewish-owned distributor is in the process of exiting the business of supplying supermarkets, which raises questions about prior assumptions especially regarding the status of Target stores. We recommend that each Rav visit their local Target store and speak with their grocery merchandising manager to determine
the distributor used by each department (e.g., produce, dairy, frozen, shelf stable items).

Thirdly, while chametz that is delivered after Pesach to a Jewish establishment is not הפסח עליו שעבר חמץ, it is difficult to determine the arrival date of any given product, as the turnaround time is generally unknown. Nonetheless, some Poskim maintain that if there is a safek when product was delivered, the principle of לקולא דרבנן ספק applies, while others hold that לקולא דרבנן ספק is not applicable in this situation for various reasons.

Finally, some Jewish companies participate in a mechiras chametz, but there are divergent opinions among Poskim about the validity of a sale of a company that is operating on Pesach. Furthermore, the sale will not be effective for chametz acquired on Pesach because one cannot sell a לעולם בא שלא דבר. To address these concerns, some Poskim recommend selling the entire company rather than the chametz, but this too is a matter of dispute if this is acceptable.

Our goal is not to recommend buying or not buying chametz from any particular establishment. Additionally, it is beyond the scope of our mission to investigate the suitability of any given mechirah. Rather, each kashrus organization or Rav must formulate their own set of standards and guidelines for the purchase of chametz. Once that is done, this memo will provide information that will be helpful in determining which stores fall into the categories of acceptable or not acceptable sources for the purchase of chametz after Pesach.

Lastly, in our fast-paced evolving economy, consumers should remember to pause automatic subscriptions through Amazon (Subscribe & Save), Instacart (Auto Order) etc of chametz products.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

One Response

  1. At least read what you are writing. How many times can you write the same mistake? It should read,
    חמץ שעבר עליו הפסח

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