For example, if one lives in Brooklyn but will be spending Pesach in LA, should the chometz be sold to a non jew who lives in Brooklyn, since selling it to someone who resides in LA would look more like a 'haramah', a trick, and not a valid mechirah since it wouldn't be practical or make economic sense for him to fly to Brooklyn just to get the small amount of chomezt that was sold.

edit - maybe I should have gave an example with NY and Toronto where there is no time zone difference.

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    Not only that but it is easier to arrange when in the same time zone. However, this is a matter of practicality rather than halacha. – sabbahillel Mar 13 '18 at 2:30
  • Re edit: your example was good enough. You stressed that you are looking to know if it's better to sell in the place that you're at for pesach, or at the place you live at. My side note was just that: a side note. Btw if this is a practical question for you, and you're wondering where to sell, you should still ask your Rabbi. – aBochur Mar 15 '18 at 5:33

The chametz sale must be done in a way that the non-Jew now fully owns the chametz.

So to see if it's a valid sale, we must look at the situation. If he happens to visit Brooklyn from LA does he have the right to go in and get the chometz? If yes, then the sale was a good one, and there's no reason to sell it to someone in Brooklyn.

Especially nowadays, where travel and shipping is very simple, it wouldn't be hard for him to get ahold of his belongings.

On a side note, if you travel from LA to NY, (opposite of your case) and you're selling your chametz through a Rabbi, you should definitely sell it to a Rabbi in NY as selling it through a Rabbi in LA, would mean that it's sold after the prohibition starts for you, and you will be oiver for having chametz in your possession.

  • I have heard of several cases where a NYC based pizza store owner sold his store to his Israeli brother before Pesach. The Israeli brother sells the chametz to his rav in Israel. Then, he comes to NY for Pesach. Well, the Israeli only has 7 days of Pesach. So, on the 8th day, he goes into what is his store, and he starts baking pizzas so that they are ready for M. Pesach, immediately. To me, this sounds "doughy", but, it seems that the local Va'ad allowed this. I don't get it. – DanF Mar 13 '18 at 14:26
  • @DanF The only problem of doing the sale in Israel would be, that after the chametz is sold, the pizza store will still be open in NY, because of the time difference, and then whoever is using it on 14th in the morning, is technically stealing from the goy who now owns it. This would not be a problem if it's not used at that time // as for this trick of having an Israeli run the store at this time, that's indeed strange, and I'm wondering how many rabbonim actually allow this. It could be a problem of maaris ayin and probably many other. – aBochur Mar 13 '18 at 15:41

In my humble opinion, Yes, if you sell away the ownership completely to a non jew. this page may help. http://www.chabad.org/937303

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