web analytics
April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Chametz Cookies


Business-Halacha-logo

“Tonight is Bernie’s birthday,” Jeremy said to his friend, Adam. “We’re planning a surprise birthday party for him. Would you like to join?”

“Of course; what’s the question?” said Adam. “Where will it be?”

“It’s going to be at my house,” said Jeremy. “Bernie’s supposed to come at 8:30 PM, so be here no later than 8:15.”

“I’m really looking forward,” said Adam. “Bernie’s a great guy. What can I bring?”

“A pack of chocolate-chip cookies would be great,” said Jeremy. “You can never go wrong with mouthwatering chocolate-chip cookies!”

Since it was shortly after Pesach, Adam was concerned about chametz she’avar alav ha’Pesach. If a Jew owned chametz on Pesach and did not sell it to a non-Jew, the chametz remains prohibited to eat – and one is even prohibited from deriving any benefit from (O.C. 448:3). He bought the cookies at a corner grocery whose owner did not seem to be Jewish and brought the cookies with him to the party.

“Where did you buy the cookies?” asked Jeremy.

“I bought it at the grocery on the corner,” said Adam. “I’m almost positive the owner is not Jewish.”

“Sorry, but I was told by a reliable kashrus authority that the store is owned by a Jew,” said Jeremy. “He did not sell his chametz, so the cookies are prohibited.”

Jeremy took the pack of cookies, tore it open and dumped the contents into the garbage. Adam looked at him agape. “Why did you do that?” he asked angrily.

“What do you mean?” said Jeremy. “The cookies are chametz she’avar alav haPesach and completely prohibited. What is there to do with them?”

“I could have returned them to the store and gotten my money back,” said Adam.

“The cookies have no monetary value,” replied Jeremy. “The sale was a non-sale, and he owes you the money, anyway.”

“But he won’t refund the money if I don’t return the cookies,” argued Adam. “You’ve made me lose the money, and owe me what I paid for them.”

“How could I have to pay for something that has no monetary value?” asked Jeremy. “It doesn’t make any sense!”

“Whether it has value or not, I need the package of cookies to get my money refunded,” replied Adam. “Bottom line, you’ve caused me a loss!”

“Let’s not argue now,” said Jeremy. “The party’s about to begin. We’ll ask Rabbi Dayan afterward.”

After the party, the Adam and Jeremy went to Rabbi Dayan and asked: “Is Jeremy liable for the cookies?”

“This case is known in halacha as davar hagorem l’mamon, something that has monetary ramifications but no inherent monetary value,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “Jeremy is not liable for the cookies according to most authorities.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that term,” said Adam. “Can you elaborate?”

“The Gemara [B.K. 98b] discusses the case of a person who stole chametz before Pesach and held it for the duration of Pesach,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “The chametz is now prohibited as chametz she’avar alav haPesach and monetarily worthless. Nonetheless, if the thief returns the stolen chametz intact, he is exempt from additional payment.” (C.M. 363:1)

“Wow, that’s surprising!” said Adam.

“Now, suppose that you destroyed the chametz after Pesach before the thief had a chance to return it,” continued Rabbi Dayan. “The chametz has no intrinsic monetary value, but has ramifications for the thief. If he returns the chametz, he is exempt; if not, he will have to pay what the chametz was worth when he stole it. Do you have to pay the thief for the damage that you caused him?”

“Good question,” said Jeremy. “I don’t know.”

This is a dispute between R. Shimon and the other sages,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “R. Shimon maintains that since the chametz has monetary ramifications for the thief, it is considered something of value to him, so that you have to pay. The sages maintain, however, that since the chametz you destroyed has no inherent monetary value, you are not liable.”

“This seems parallel to our case,” noted Adam.

“Correct, the package of cookies has no intrinsic value, but has ramifications for Adam to get a refund,” said Rabbi Dayan. “We rule like the sages, so that Jeremy is not liable. The Shach [C.M. 386:1,11] cites the opinion of the Ramban that even according to the sages there is an obligation of garmi, but sides against this. Furthermore, in truth, the store owner owes you the refund even if you don’t return the cookies, since he sold you a worthless item. Thus, Jeremy does not have to pay for the cookies, even if the store owner refuses to give a refund without returning the cookies.” (See Pischei Choshen, Nezikin, 3:57; 10:20 regarding grama.)

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Chametz Cookies”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
"Killing Jews is worship that draws us closer to Allah." That's his Jihad. What's yours? - An ad campaign sponsored by  the American Freedom Defense Initiative.
MTA Hopes to Change Rule, Ban ‘Killing Jews’ Anti-Jihad Ad
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

In her diary, Anne Frank wrote words that provided hope for a humanity faced with suffering.

Leff-042415

The Arizal taught this same approach, making the point that the Torah would never mention wicked people and their sins if there was not great depth involved from which we are to learn from.

Staum-042415

Humility is not achieved when all is well and life is peachy but rather when times are trying and challenging.

In order to be free of the negative consequences of violating a shvu’ah or a neder, the shvu’ah or neder themselves must be annulled.

“I accept the ruling,” said Mr. Broyer, “but would like to understand the reasoning.”

He feared the people would have a change of heart and support Rechavam.

Ramifications Of A Printers Error
‘The Note Holder’s Burden of Proof’
(Kesubos 83b)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

In this case one could reason that by applying halach achar harov we could permit the forbidden bird as well.

“What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon,” my husband remarked. “Well, baruch Hashem we are safe, there was no accident, and I’m sure there is a good reason for everything that happened to us,” I mused.

The answer to this question is based on one of the greatest shortcomings of man – self-limiting beliefs.

Myth that niddah=dirty stopped many women from accepting laws of family purity and must be shattered

In every generation is the challenge to purge the culture of our exile from our minds and our hearts

Rabbi Fohrman connects the metzora purification process with the korban pesach.

The day after Israel was declared a State, everyone recited Hallel and people danced in the streets.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“I accept the ruling,” said Mr. Broyer, “but would like to understand the reasoning.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“The problem is that the sum total is listed is $17,000. However, when you add the sums mentioned, it is clear that the total of $17,000 is an error. Thus, Mr. Broyer owes me $18,000, not $17,000.”

“The guiding principle regarding work terms is: hakol keminhag hamidina – everything in accordance with the common practice,” replied Rabbi Dayan.

“No, I can’t take more than $65,” protested Mrs. Fleisher. “You may not owe me more than that.”

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

“Do we have to donate again?” some people asked. “Is it fair that we should have to pay twice?”

“This sounds like a question for Rabbi Dayan,” said Mr. Cohen. He took out his cell phone and called Rabbi Dayan.

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/chametz-cookies/2013/04/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: