Sale of Chometz

Chametz is “leaven” — any food that’s made of grain and water that have been allowed to ferment and “rise.” Bread, cereal, cake, cookies, pizza, pasta, and beer are blatant examples of chametz; but any food that contains grain or grain derivatives can be, and often is, chametz. Practically speaking, any processed food that is not certified “Kosher for Passover” may potentially include chametz ingredients.

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Full article: What Is Chametz?

Chametz is the antithesis of matzah, the unleavened bread we eat on Passover to recall the haste in which we left Egypt, and the humble faith by which we merited redemption. Matzah is the symbol of the Exodus, a central component of the Seder rituals, and the heart of the “Festival of Matzot” (as Passover is called in the Torah). And the flip-side of eating matzah is getting rid of chametz — and the egotism and spiritual coarseness it represents.

From the morning of Passover eve until the conclusion of the festival — for approximately eight days and eight hours — we avoid eating chametz or anything containing the slightest vestige thereof. It is also forbidden to own chametz, to derive benefit from chametz in any way, or to have chametz physically present in our domain, during this time.

Because chametz forms such a pervasive part of our lives during the rest of the year (try imagining a human habitat without a single cookie crumb!), getting rid of it for Passover is no easy task. Preparations to make the home “kosher for Passover” begin days, even weeks, before the festival. But for those who make the investment, the reward is an especially meaningful Festival of Freedom.

Attaining a chametz-free Passover includes six basic steps: cleaning the home, setting up the Passover kitchen, and selling, searching for, burning, and nullifying chametz.

Is there some way of avoiding the ownership of chametz on Passover without getting rid of your chametz forever?

There is. Since the commandment to rid one’s domain of chametz is binding only on a Jew, you can sell your chametz to a non-Jew, and then buy it back from him after Passover. The area where the chametz is held is leased to the non-Jew for the duration of the festival. This sale is not symbolic but a 100% legally binding transaction, and must therefore be conducted by a competent rabbi.

Designate the areas where you’ll be placing the chametz you’re selling. These can be cupboards, closets, rooms, or an entire house. Remember that you will not be able to use or enter these areas for the duration of the festival. Rabbi Pink can transact the sale for you, after obtaining power-of-attorney from you to sell your chametz.