For someone who is machpid not to sell chometz gamur, but either burns, gives away, eats or throws it in the trash, etc, before Pesach, would he also be machpid not to buy and consume chometz gamur that was sold by a Jew with a reputable sale?

For example, Reuven eats most of his bread, pasta and pastries before erev Pesach and burns the rest. Shimon sells his bread to a non- Jew and locks it away over the Chag. After Pesach, Shimon invites Reuven to come for a sandwich made in this bread. Would Reuven eat such a sandwich, or would he hold stringently that this chametz gamur should have been destroyed or eaten before Pesach, and thus he would decline Shimon's offer?


1 Answer 1


It doesn't necessarily follow that someone who doesn't sell Chametz won't eat the Chametz of others that was sold. Here are three options why someone might be strict on the former but lenient on the latter.

  1. The prohibition of owning Chametz on Pesach is biblical, whereas the prohibition of eating (after Pesach) Chametz that was owned by a Jew on Pesach is rabbinic. Accordingly, if one is unsure about the efficacy of the sale, he may be strict on the former and lenient on the latter.

  2. One might believe the sale is complete effective but still choose not to sell his own Chametz because doing so is a Ha'arama (a trick) to avoid following the law of destroying one's Chametz. Accordingly, he wouldn't sell his own Chametz but he would consume Chametz sold by someone else since the sale did in fact work.

  3. The whole idea of a Jew owning Chametz on Pesach is a bit of a misnomer since Chametz, like any other object from which it is forbidden to derive benefit from, has no [current] value and can't formally be owned. The Talmud (Pesachim 6b) tells us that for Chametz on Pesach the Chametz is not really in your possession but the Torah made it "as if" it was in your possession. Some argue (see Magen Avraham and Mishna Berura to OC 448:3) that if you genuinely attempted to remove the Chametz from your possession, even if the attempt unknowingly failed, the Torah doesn't put it into your possession against your will. Accordingly, one couldn't sell his own Chametz, but the Chametz of others who genuinely tried to sell it would be fine.


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