A person works in a small office that comprises a staff of Jews and non-Jews. Each month, payroll deducts an amount from people's paycheck to go to a fund to buy chametz breakfast items such as cookies, snacks, coffee, etc. most of them chametz. These items are for use by anyone who contributed to the fund, so, it seems that they are "jointly owned" by Jews and non-Jews.

Must a Jew stop payment to this fund for the food that will exist during Pesach? Some conditions:

  • Does it matter if the deduction itself occurs during Pesach, or the actual delivery of the food items occurs during Pesach?
  • Is there any problem with both the deduction and delivery occurring before Pesach, but the chametz is around during Pesach itself? It is jontly owned and bought so how would the Jew evaluate his "portion" of the food to be able to sell it?
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    is the fund specifically going towards chametz or is it for the purpose of them buying breakfast and with that money they might buy chometz? – Laser123 Apr 10 '17 at 15:22
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    @Laser123 I'm not sure why that distinction matters. But, it's not as if the Jew says, "I want you to buy chametz". They buy breakfast items like bagels, etc. most of the items they buy IS chametz. – DanF Apr 10 '17 at 15:28
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    the distinction would be important regarding your Jewish workers as you wouldn't want to be giving chametz to them. See my answer below regarding non Jewish workers – Laser123 Apr 10 '17 at 15:38
  • Is it possible to withdraw from the find? Even if you can't stop the deduction (or can you?), you could go to HR and file a statement renouncing your share of the fund. – Robert Columbia Apr 10 '17 at 20:33
  • @RobertColumbia For thi squestion, assume that you can stop and restart the deductions at any time, as it is optional. – DanF Apr 13 '17 at 3:53

kitzur shulchan aruch chapter 117 halacha 11

"Even after it is forbidden to benefit from chametz, one may give one's gentile servant money and tell him to buy food with it, although he knows that he will purchase chametz. In an extreme situation, it is also permissible to tell him, "Go and eat at another gentile's house and I will pay him." Similarly, one may tell a gentile, "Feed my servant and I will pay you." One may not, however, pay a gentile in advance for what he will give him."

Regarding Jewish workers it may be more of a problem to be giving them money for food knowing they will buy chametz with it

  • Interesting answer. You did bring up an interesting angle, embedded in here, that I hadn't considered, namely, what happens with the non-observant Jews in that mix? That may warrant a different question, or, I may edit this one, eventually. In this scenario, the money is given to a Gentile who is doing the buying. The non-observant Jew is also contributing, so, it may not be your problem, anyway by your contribution. – DanF Apr 10 '17 at 17:23

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