The Rambam says, "Anyone who eats an olive's volume of leavened bread on Passover beginning on the night of the 15th until the end of the 21st of Nissan intentionally is obligated to [a punishment of] kareit/cutting off."

why does one specifically get kareit for eating an olive's volume of leavened bread on Passover?

  • 1
    What precisely is your question? Are you asking what the Rambam's source was? Are you asking why the Torah set this punishment? Why do you specifically have this question by chametz as opposed to anything else for which the punishment is kareit?
    – Alex
    Apr 5, 2018 at 18:50
  • The rishonim actually do address this question, so I think it is legitimate. Of course Hashem can give karet for whatever He wishes to, but we do have a tradition of trying to reverse engineer the values expressed in the punishments specified for different transgressions.
    – Ester Lin
    Apr 5, 2018 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


Because God said so.

Exodus 12:15

שִׁבְעַת יָמִים מַצּוֹת תֹּאכֵלוּ אַךְ בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן תַּשְׁבִּיתוּ שְּׂאֹר מִבָּתֵּיכֶם: כִּי כָּל אֹכֵל חָמֵץ וְנִכְרְתָה הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַהִוא מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל מִיּוֹם הָרִאשֹׁן עַד יוֹם הַשְּׁבִעִי

Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; howbeit the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses; for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. (Mechon Mamre translation)

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    This one also deserves a bounty lol... Apr 5, 2018 at 18:58
  • 1
    How about an English translation with less Old English ? :-) Apr 5, 2018 at 21:15

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