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I live alone and need to do bedikat chametz. Should I hide 10 pieces of chametz myself? Doesn't that defeat the purpose?

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I don't know much about the minhag since my family doesn't have it, but if you could explain the rationale behind the minhag, your question of whether that would defeat the purpose would be clearer. –  YDK Apr 4 '12 at 22:42
    
I might be wrong, but I think the point of the minhag is so that you don't make a brachah levatela if you don't find any chametz. I'm not sure why 10 though...maybe something from the kabbalah? –  Sean Apr 4 '12 at 23:06
    
Well, don't you have the bracha covered when you burn the pieces even if you really didn't need a bedika to find them? And as far as the mitzva of bedika, you are doing that on top of the pieces. –  YDK Apr 4 '12 at 23:11
    
related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/6589/759 –  Double AA Apr 5 '12 at 0:00
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

There is the kabbalistic reasoning, but putting that aside: you're doing the mitzva by searching, regardless of whether you find something. So if you don't feel like putting out the pieces of bread, then don't!

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There are those that hold that since we make a bracha on bedikat chometz it can be a brach levatalah if we dont find anything, so even if you dont put out 10 pieces at least put one piece.

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You actually do not make a beracha on bedikat chametz, you make a beracha on biur chametz, so as long as you destroy chametz the next day the beracha shouldn't be levatalah at all. –  Baal Shemot Tovot Apr 5 '12 at 5:53
    
Why if you don't find anything, did you not "search"? –  Double AA Apr 5 '12 at 13:09
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Hello Calvin, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thank you for this answer! Perhaps you should consider adding a source for the halachic opinion that you must find something during the bedikah. I hope to see you around the site! –  HodofHod Apr 6 '12 at 2:34
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My Pardes teacher Zvi Wolf warned us to be very careful when spreading around chametz just to "find" it. Specifically, be careful to not leave any chametz in your nice clean rooms. Eg crumbs from bread, etc.

If you do it, don't overdo it. And think about the crumbs in advance. Eg one slice of bread in a bag--find the bag with chametz in it, not the chametz sitting on a shelf somewhere.

He said he knew of people who, during Pesach, had found the chametz they had "hidden" before the chag. (Oops!)

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