web analytics
January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ari Ne'eman, founder of Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, recipient of the Ruderman Award for Inclusion, 2015.
Founder of Autism Self-Advocacy Org. Wins Ruderman Prize in Inclusion
Latest Judaism Stories
Tissot_The_Waters_Are_Divided

Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

Parshat Bo

Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
(Yevamos 114a-b)

How is it possible that the clothing was more valuable to them than gold or silver?

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)

“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.

Property ownership is an extremely important and fundamental right and principle according to the Torah.

The tenderest description of the husband/wife relationship is “re’im v’ahuvim/loving, kind friends”

And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).

Suddenly, she turns to me and says, “B’emet, I need to thank you, you made me excited to come back to Israel.”

Pesach is called “zikaron,” a Biblical term used describing an object eliciting a certain memory

Recouping $ and assets from Germans and Swiss for their Holocaust actions is rooted in the Exodus

Pharaoh perverted symbols of life (the Nile and midwives) into agents of death.

I think that we have to follow the approach of the Tannaim and Amoraim. They followed the latest scientific developments of their time.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.

Business-Halacha-logo

“The issue is not just logistical,” replied Mr. Kahn. “I thought that halacha requires that the beginning of the adjudication and acceptance of testimony be during daytime.” (C.M. 5:2; 28:24)

A few days, Mrs. Feldman called back. “I would prefer a nice cake rather than the chocolate.”

He sent out a memo to the tenants: “In light of the recent burglaries, we’ve decided to implement additional security measures, including hiring a doorman for the weekends.”

“I’m still not sure we have a right to damage his property,” said Mrs. Schloss. “Can you ask someone?”

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

“I do not owe anything,” Mr. Feder replied. “However, if I must come – I will.”

Mr. Weiss refused to listen and sued Mr. Cohen in civil court.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: