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Rambam in Sefer HaMitzvos Lo Saaseh 115 writes

שבעת שחיטת הפסח והוא בין הערבים לא יהיה חמץ ברשותו לא אצל הזורק ולא אצל השוחט ולא אצל המקטיר ולא אצל אחד מבני החבורה, וכל מי מהם שיהיה חמץ אצלו בעת ההיא לוקה.

At the time of the slaughtering of the Pesach, meaning the afternoon, a person shouldn't have chametz in their possession. This applies to the one who slaughters it, throws its blood, burns its limbs, and all those who are part of this pesach's assigned group. If any of them own chametz at that time they get lashes.

There's a rule that's accepted as halacha that לאו שאין בו מעשה אין לוקין עליו, a person doesn't receive lashes when they do a prohibition without an action. In this case, those involved with the temple service of the pesach are doing an action, so I understand why they get lashes. But the בני החבורה aren't doing anything, and the Rambam says they get lashes. Why is that?

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It's not that possession of Chametz makes its owner gets lashes. It's that if any of the members of the group possess Chametz then the person who did the action (slaughter, sprinkle, etc.) gets lashes, even if the one doing the action didn't himself own any Chametz. See Hilkhot KP 1:5 for the Rambam's later formulation:

אחד השוחט, ואחד הזורק את הדם, ואחד המקטיר את האימורין--אם היה ברשות אחד מהן, או ברשות אחד מבני חבורה שאוכלין פסח זה, כזית חמץ בשעת הקרבתו--הרי זה לוקה...‏
Whether the one who slaughters or who throws the blood or burns the fats -- if there was a kezayit of chametz in one of their possessions or the possession of one of the members of the group -- he is lashed...

Note he doesn't open with ואחד בני החבורה.

  • So what does וכל מי מהם שיהיה חמץ אצלו בעת ההיא לוקה. mean? מהם isn't all the above? You're saying the Rambam retracted from this statement? – robev Jul 14 '17 at 14:00
  • @robev First of all, that's a translation of the Arabic, so it may be missing some nuance. But anyway you can't see how it could mean "if any of these have chametz at that time, he [who, as in the title of the prohibition, slaughters it] gets lashed" even if that's not the absolute clearest way to phrase it? – Double AA Jul 14 '17 at 14:05
  • R Kappach in his translation has a footnote on לוקה where he says "only if you did one of the actions" as if that's the obvious understanding. Again perhaps not the clearest formulation on the Rambam's part, but way more reasonable than positing the Rambam held a bizarre opinion and then later recanted. – Double AA Jul 14 '17 at 14:12
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    I think Rav Kappach's footnote would add to your answer – robev Jul 14 '17 at 17:16
  • As translated, it's hard to read that way. Sounds like either the Arabic text itself was corrupted or it's a mistranslation. – Loewian Jul 14 '17 at 23:50

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