web analytics
September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Daf Yomi

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Shoemaker’s Children
‘If One Can Eat, One Can Sell’
(Pesachim 21a)

Several procedures are followed during the days preceding Pesach in order to clear our property of chametz. In addition to actually destroying our chametz, we nullify it and then sell it to a gentile, generally using the rav or gabbai of the shul as our agent.

When performing bitul, we declare our chametz to be ownerless and worthless, like the dust of the ground. But don’t our actions contradict our words? How can we claim that our chametz is worthless and then immediately afterward ask a rabbi to sell it on our behalf? If we’re selling our chametz for money in a formal contract, we obviously do not deem it ownerless or worthless.

Why Both Procedures?

In order to resolve this dilemma, we must first address a fundamental question. Why must we both nullify and sell our chametz? What is gained by doing both? According to halacha, nullifying our chametz and then leaving it at home, without destroying or selling it, is sufficient.

The Sages, however, do not rely on bitul alone for several reasons. First, a person might come across chametz in his house during Pesach and accidentally eat it. Second, since bitul depends upon the earnest resolution of one’s heart, the Sages feared that a person may nullify his chametz with less than complete sincerity and thus unintentionally violate the Torah prohibition of keeping chametz in one’s possession over Pesach (Mishnah Berurah 431:2). They thus required getting rid of one’s chametz in addition to nullifying it.

Selling one’s chametz seems to have begun in Europe where many Jews worked in the liquor business (since they couldn’t own land). Destroying their entire stock of liquor each year before Pesach would’ve been extremely detrimental to business. They therefore sold it to a gentile before Pesach and bought it back afterward (see Shaarei Teshuvah 448:3). After selling their chametz, Jews would nullify their chametz on the 14th of Nissan on the few crumbs that may have been overlooked during the bedikah.

In contemporary times, we follow the opposite order. We nullify our chametz on the night of the 14th, and then again in the morning, and only afterwards does the rabbi sell our chametz. We therefore return to our original question: How can we claim to make our chametz “worthless and ownerless” and then proceed to sell it?

This question was addressed by many of the most prominent poskim of recent generations. The sefer Mikra’ei Kodesh (p. 207) answers this question by explaining that when we appoint a rabbi to sell our chametz, we haven’t nullified it yet. At that point, our chametz is still “valuable and owned.” Therefore, it is appropriate to discuss terms of sale. And after we do nullify our chametz, it is the rabbi who tends to the sale; we’re removed from the picture. We do not show any personal interest in the “worthless and ownerless” chametz that the rabbi sells.

The Rabbi’s Chametz

This solution works very nicely for our chametz. What about the rabbi’s chametz, though? How can he sell his own chametz after nullifying it? He seems to fall into the category of the proverbial “shoemaker’s children who go barefoot.” To avoid this problem, some rabbis have the custom to nullify their chametz on the morning of the 14th, after they have sold the chametz (see Minchas Yitzchak VIII 41).

About the Author: RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.


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 “Daf Yomi”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks to the UNGA, Sept. 29, 2014.
State Dept Press Corps Shapes US Response to Netanyahu’s UN Speech
Latest Judaism Stories

On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah. Following Nebuchadnetzar’s destruction of the First Temple and exile of most of the Jews, the Babylonians appointed Gedaliah ben Achikaam as governor of Judea. Under Gedaliah’s leadership, Judea and the survivors began to recover. On […]

On the beach

As we enter the Days of Awe, we must recognize that it is a joy to honor and serve true royalty.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls

PTI-092614-Shofar

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? What do I want to be remembered for? If, as a purely hypothetical exercise, I were to imagine reading my own obituary, what would I want it to say? These are the questions Rosh Hashanah urges us to ask ourselves. As we pray […]

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

Once we recognize that our separation from God is our fault, how do we repair it?

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

To choose life, you must examine your actions in the period preceding the Days of Awe as an unbiased stranger, and render your decision.

Rabbi Dayan took a challah and some cooked eggs. He then called over his 15-year-old son, Aharon. “Could you please ask your friend Chaim from next door to come over and help me with the eruv tavshilin?”

This world has its purpose; it has been ideally fashioned to allow man to grow.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Daf-Yomi-logo

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

Daf-Yomi-logo

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

A Blast At A Funeral?
“R. Hamnuna Came To Daramutha…”
(Moed Kattan 27b)

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Discretion
‘Vendors Of Fruits And Clothing…May Sell In Private’
(Mo’ed Katan 13b)

An Outcast
‘He Shall Dwell Outside His Tent’
(Moed Katan 7b)

Pondering A Kapandria
“It Should Not Be Used As A Shortcut”
(Megillah 29a)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-85/2013/07/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: