I understand that for some tasks or jobs (particularly those relating to kashrut), Judaism ritually requires more than the criteria of matrilineal descent to qualify as a Jew. E.g., as I understand it, strict observance of shabat for the ones raising the dairy is required for some levels of chlov yisroel.

Given that, what constitutes a gentile for the purpose of selling chametz?

Is it allowed to sell the chametz to a cousin who is known to be of Jewish descent but does not observe halakhically at all, and will not even attend a Seder?

  • Basically, in a pluralistic society how can we deal with this in a way that is respectful to all sides? Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 9:21
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    Note that as the sale of chametz gets around a severe Torah prohibition through a transaction that is technically valid but effectively temporary and physically immaterial (generally), it is really important to make sure that it really is technically valid. Therefore, people generally appoint their rabbi to effect the sale and ensure its validity. I would strongly recommend following this practice rather than setting up one's own arrangement.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 14:10
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    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 14:30

2 Answers 2


The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in 114:7 states:

אָסוּר לִמְכּוֹר אֶת הֶחָמֵץ לְמוּמָר אוֹ לְמוּמֶרֶת; וְלֹא לְבֶן מוּמֶרֶת, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיְלָדַתּוּ מֵאֵינוֹ יְהוּדִי לְאַחַר שֶׁהֵמִירָה, כִּי לְעִנְיָן זֶה דִּינָם כְּמוֹ יִשְֹרָאֵל, וַהֲוֵי לֵהּ חֲמֵצוֹ שֶׁל יִשְֹרָאֵל שֶׁעָבַר עָלָיו הַפֶּסַח דְּאָסוּר בַּהֲנָאָה

One may not sell one's Chametz to a Jew who has decided to leave the fold (a Mumar) nor to the son of a woman who is a Mumar, even though her husband (the father of the child) is not Jewish. The reason being that they are still considered Jewish, and the Chametz sold to them would be in the possession of a Jew during Pesach and therefore forbidden.

Point being, that as long as somebody is Halachically Jewish genealogically, one may not sell one's Chametz to them.

  • Note that somone who converted and then became irreligious you would also not be able to sell to. So I'd add after genealogically "or at one point converted".
    – Orion
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 15:56

only someone whos born jewish or went through a **

  • VALID conversion is Jewish, everyone else is a gentile, no matter what, so theres your answer


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