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Before Pesach, it is common to attempt to get rid of whatever chametzdik food one is able to. Taking this and the issur (prohibition) of bal tashchit into account, is it actually permissible to throw out and/or burn chametz that is still edible, rather than selling it?

CYLOR

  • If one holds that one should not sell chametz gamur then they should make a chesbon to try to finish all their chmatez beforehand, – sam Apr 3 '15 at 1:33
  • Chametz on Pesach is value-less. You aren't destroying anything of value. – Double AA Apr 3 '15 at 3:10
  • @DoubleAA Technically, when you destroy it, it has value. But I agree with your comment anyway. Case in point: Rav... Shteinman I think?... someone, anyway, was asked about a baal t'shuva's stealing his parent's chametz before Pesach (in a manner that would effect a change in ownership) so as to prevent his parent from owning it on Pesach, and then selling it to a non-Jew, and replied that, as the chametz would become worthless if not stolen, the theft was effectively meshiv aveda (returning a lost object, i.e., here, saving an object from being lost). – msh210 Apr 3 '15 at 8:37
  • related answer judaism.stackexchange.com/a/16323/1362 – rosends Apr 3 '15 at 11:50
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עשה דוחה לא תעשה - The biblical commandment to destroy all the leaven in one's possession overrides the general prohibition of bal tashchit. According to Rabbi Yehuda - which I believe is how Rashi rules - the mitzva of biur chametz is by burning. In fact, the general custom is to burn the last remains of chametz.

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    I would imagine that this would not fall under bal tashchit in the first place, since bal tashchit is likely defined as destruction for no purpose, whereas here the destruction is for the purpose of fulfilling a mitzvah; thus there would be no necessity to invoke עשה דוחה לא תעשה – wfb Apr 14 '15 at 21:17
  • fair enough.... – Loewian Apr 15 '15 at 1:35

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