After bedikas chometz on the 14th of Nissan by night and again on the 14th of Nissan by day we are "m'vatel" (nullify) all of the chometz in our reshus (property.)

Can a person say already any time before the 14th of Nissan that on the 14th of Nissan all of his chometz should be buttel. We don't see this "eitzah" (solution) spoken about in the poskim and seems clear that we do it on the 14th. However why is one not able to be m'vatel the chometz already from before the time by making this declaration?

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    I imagine it wouldn't work on Chametz you have yet to acquire. – Double AA Mar 6 '13 at 13:57
  • @Dan Early bedika is discussed in the Talmud. The question relates to the process of bittul which is a biblical issue, unlike bedika which is rabbinic. – Double AA Mar 6 '13 at 18:06
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    Ever wonder why we do hatarat nedarim every erev Rosh Hashanah when we say at the end of the nusach "any future nedarim i shall make should be included.." I think because we may have forgotten or situations have changed we therefore need to repeat the whole Hatara. Same here if you do it early and then get some expensive scotch it's possible that the bittul would not cover it since your daat was only on what you thought you would have in the house on the 14th i.e whatever was leftover or not set aside to be sold (assumes that you forgot to sell the scotch) and not the expensive scotch. – eramm Mar 6 '13 at 18:48
  • @eramm See judaism.stackexchange.com/q/20295/759 I find your logic rather speculative. – Double AA Mar 7 '13 at 0:00
  • By doing bittul he cant really make the b'dika afterwards. That is why it is not done before. – user2800 Jun 26 '13 at 9:32

A person can certainly declare his chametz to be owner-less before the 14th of Nissan, just as a person has the ability be mafkir any piece of property at any time.

However, there is a special mitzvah on the 14th of Nissan called Tashbitu it comes from the Exodus 12:15

אַךְ בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן, תַּשְׁבִּיתוּ שְּׂאֹר מִבָּתֵּיכֶם On "Yom Rishon" you shall remove any leaven from your homes

The Talmud in Pesachim (4b-5a) explains that "Yom Rishon" refers to the 14th of Nissan.

While there is a dispute among the commentators as to how one fulfills this mitzvah, Rashi (Pesachim 4b) and others (Rambam Chametz U'Matzah 2:2 and Unkelus) hold that we accomplish it by annulling our Chametz on the morning of the 14th. Therefore one who does this nullification before the 14th would not accomplish this mitzvah.

As well, any chametz that comes into his or her possession after that point would not be nullified.


The Ramban (Chiddushim to Pesachim 4b s.v. ענין ביטול חמץ paragraph אלא כך אני אומר) seems to understand that the bittul is not an act of hefker. Rather it is "acquiescing" or lining yourself up with the Torah's act of removing the chometz from your ownership (which happens on its own when it becomes assur). This isn't like a kinyan which can be done now and take effect later. It has to be in the time frame of when it is relevant.

  • Where is the Ramban exactly? – Yehoshua Jan 22 '14 at 12:28
  • @Yehoshua edited to include source. – Y     e     z Jan 22 '14 at 18:54
  • Great, thanks! I'll go look for it now on Hebrew Books and post a link if I find one – Yehoshua Jan 22 '14 at 19:58
  • @Yehoshua It's on daf daled of the machon maarava (green) Ramban, if that helps. I'm not so good at finding texts online. – Y     e     z Jan 22 '14 at 20:04

I asked my Shul rabbi this question this evening.

After expressing surprise that someone would want to do this, he said he believed it would be effective, but it would not fulfill the Takanah DeRabbanan of checking the night before.

  • Why wouldn't it fulfill the Takanah?? – andrewmh20 Mar 7 '13 at 1:40
  • What takana is this that isn't being fulfilled? – Double AA Mar 7 '13 at 16:38
  • @double aa Pesahim 4b. – Seth J Jun 25 '13 at 21:52

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