I'm trying to understand how the holiness codes in Leviticus and Deuteronomy apply to people versus places. It is written, "all shall keep your laws" and "all shall post the laws at their gates", so presumably every Jewish family must celebrate Passover, but does that mean every family must do so at least once at their own individual dwelling every year? It doesn't seem sensible that every family must celebrate Pesach in their own homes since that's why people attend synagogue seders. If a family attends seder other than their own house, must they clean their house as if they are celebrating Passover there anyway?


A Jew is prohibited from owning Hamez over the seven days of Pesah. If a Jew didn't nullify (or destroy or sell) his or her Hamez before Pesah and returns home to see his or her own Hamez, s/he has transgressed at least one Torah prohibition.

Therefore, one must nullify one's Hamez before Pesah irrespective of if s/he may not be at home at all during the holiday of Pesah since, in the event one does enter one's home during Pesah, s/he will transgress a Torah prohibition.

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  • Please check that my edit matches your intent. – msh210 May 26 '16 at 16:43
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    "and returns home to see his or her own Hamez", "in the event one does enter one's home during Pesah": isn't there a divinely-imposed prohibition even if it's not seen? – msh210 May 26 '16 at 16:43
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    Also, you may wish to clarify what you mean by "nullify". I doubt it's clear to people not already familiar with it in this context. – msh210 May 26 '16 at 16:44
  • @msh210 Destroying it would certainly fulfill all obligations (Biblical and Rabbinic); but, "nullifying" in one's heart fulfills one's Biblical obligation. HaZa"L decreed that one also destroy it to prevent one from negating the nullification in one's heart (e.g. if one sees a really tasty piece of cake), which would then revert one to transgressing a Biblical (vs. "only" a Rabbinic) prohibition. That's why I left it vague as it's an interesting question if nullification in one's heart would suffice for one who won't return home during the entire holiday (maybe a case of Sefeq Sefe'iqa?). – Lee May 26 '16 at 16:49
  • @msh210 I wrote this answer hurriedly. In truth, addressing Biblical and Rabbinic obligations and including sources for everything is in order. – Lee May 26 '16 at 16:52

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