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If someone doesn't place 10 pieces of chametz for bedikah as the custom is to do, and says the bracha "al biur chametz" and then does bedikat chametz, but for some reason (maybe he cleaned his house really well before Pesach, or other cases), he does not find any chametz, would the bracha he made be a bracha levatala? This question is on Rishonim including the Rosh (look here) who explain that the main bracha of al biur chametz done before bedikah is actually on the bedika and we only say "al biur chametz" because its the start of the process.

Please explain why it is or isn't and bring sources, thanks.

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    I'll leave others to bring the sources, but it should not be a bracha levatalah at all. Our sages said to search out and get rid of all chametz, and the person has done that. Until he searches there might have been some there. He has done the verification that his premises are chametz-free.
    – MichoelR
    Commented Apr 21 at 17:00
  • To phrase it another way: does checking for chametz prior to the night of the 14th fulfill ones requirement thus obviating the need to check again and rendering it a bracha lvatalah
    – Nahum
    Commented Apr 21 at 17:15

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Yalkut Yosef (432:1) specifically paskens that normally we do not say a beracha when we are in doubt whether or not we are about to actually perform a mitzva, but in this case we do recite the beracha on the search even if we do not know if we will find chametz.

Note, he also says that we do not say the beracha specifically about the act of searching, because it is only a step leading to the goal of getting rid of the chametz.

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  • If you go according to the Rosh though one can argue that it's a bracha levatala... Commented Apr 21 at 19:05
  • @AvishaiTebeka why?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Apr 21 at 19:11
  • Because the Rosh holds that the bracha of "al biur chametz" is going on the actual bedika and not getting rid of the chametz, therefore if one doesn't find anything it could be a bracha levatala Commented Apr 22 at 15:48
  • @AvishaiTebeka I think your argument is missing a step. If it is going on the bedika, then what's it got to do with finding chametz?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Apr 22 at 15:50

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