Halacha for Sunday 2 Nissan 5779 April 7 2019

One Who Will be Away from Home on Pesach

Question: We are traveling to the United States for Pesach where we will be staying with my brother and we will be renting a car. Is it permissible to rely on the sale of Chametz for all of the Chametz we have at home in Israel?

Answer: Let us first explain the question. If one leaves one’s home on the of the days prior to Pesach with the intention of not returning home until after Pesach, one must perform the search for Chametz on the night before one leaves. This search should be performed without reciting a blessing but with a candle, as one usually would (Kaf Ha’Chaim Chapter 436, Subsection 6).

The above situation involves a family leaving home for the entire duration of Pesach but they are not cleaning and ridding the house of its Chametz contents; rather, they are leaving Chametz in the pantries, closets, and such while relying on the sale of Chametz and that all of the Chametz items in the house will be sold to a non-Jew. In such a case, there is no need to search for Chametz since there is no doubt that the entire house is full of Chametz, however, this Chametz will not belong to them as it will be sold to the non-Jew through the customary sale of Chametz.

There are nevertheless two issues which must be discussed. The first issue is that one who leaves one’s home for the entire duration of Pesach is forfeiting the Mitzvah of searching for and burning Chametz and the Gemara (Menachot 41a) states that there are times when one is punished for absolving one’s self from a positive Torah commandment.

Another issue is that the customary sale of Chametz is usually executed on the morning of the 14th of Nissan, Erev Pesach. Thus, the night before which is when the Mitzvah of searching for Chametz takes effect, the Chametz has not yet been sold. There is therefore room to claim that one must nevertheless perform the search for Chametz on that night since the Chametz will belong to this individual until the next morning. Indeed, the Chayei Adam (Chapter 119) and others rule likewise that one must nevertheless search for Chametz in one’s possession on the night of the 14th of the Nissan although one intends to have it sold the next morning.

Halachically speaking, Hagaon Harav Ben Zion Abba Shaul zt”l (quoted in Ohr Le’Zion Volume 3, Chapter 7, Section 19) rules that it is preferable for one not to include all the rooms of the house in the sale; rather, one should search one room (on the last night one is home or immediately preceding one’s departure) and perform the Mitzvah in this manner. The great Rishon Le’Zion, Hagaon Rabbeinu Yitzchak Yosef Shlit”a writes (in his Yalkut Yosef-Pesach, Chapter 436) that if one has not searched for Chametz, it is preferable for one to see to it that one’s Chametz is already sold on the 13th of Nissan so that one does not enter a possible obligation to search for Chametz.

If one will have a car where one will be for Pesach, one must search the car for Chametz on the night of the 14th of Nissan, as one would any other year. One should not recite a blessing upon searching for Chametz in one’s car (Shalmei Mo’ed, page 313).

Summary: If one travels away from home several days before Pesach, it is preferable that one perform the search for Chametz in one of the rooms of one’s home and clean this room of all Chametz while including all the rest of the Chametz in the home in the sale of Chametz. If one will have a car in the place one will be for Pesach, one should check one’s car for Chametz on the night of the 14th of Nissan. However, no blessing is recited upon searching one’s car for Chametz.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Praying Shacharit Early

By Popular Demand: When is it permissible to begin praying Shacharit? Many individuals must arrive at their places of work at a very early hour in the morning and would like to know when the earliest possible time to pray Shacharit is. Answer: Preferably, the time to pray Shacharit is from sunris......

Read Halacha

Praying for Spiritual Matters- Rabbeinu Moshe Alshich zt”l

We have quoted in the past Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l’s words regarding one of the “Harachaman” texts customarily recited in Birkat Hamazon, “May the Merciful One sustain us in permissible ways as opposed to forbidden ones,” that although our Sages teach us ......

Read Halacha

The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

The Torah states (Vayikra 21, 15): “And you shall count for yourselves, from the day following the Shabbat, from the day the waved Omer offering is brought, seven complete weeks shall they be.” Our Sages (Menachot 65b) have a tradition that the “day following the Shabbat” ref......

Read Halacha

Personal Requests During the Amida Prayer- Maran zt”l’s Behavior

Question: May one add one’s own personal requests into the Amida prayer? What is the correct custom regarding this matter? Answer: Our Sages (Berachot 34a) discuss whether or not one may add personal requests into one’s Amida prayer and said, as follows: “One may never ask for o......

Read Halacha


Inserting Personal Requests in the Amida Prayer on a Constant Basis

Question: You have written in the Halacha Yomit that one may insert personal requests into the blessings of the Amida. Is this permitted even on a constant basis, i.e. adding personal requests in one’s Amida prayer every day? Answer: Indeed, it is permissible to add personal requests into t......

Read Halacha

Using Sifrei Kodesh (Holy Books) For an Alternate Purpose

Question: May one place one Sefer on top of or lean it against another Sefer so that it is easier to read from the Sefer? Answer: Some have the custom to take one Sefer, such as a book of Mishnayot, and lean it on an angle against another Sefer, such as a Siddur, so that it easier to read from th......

Read Halacha

The Way to Have One’s Prayers Accepted

Question: What does it mean that one should “not make one’s prayer established”-our prayer services are established three times daily? Also, is there any special advice for how one can have one’s prayers accepted? Answer: Regarding the first question, let us quote the Mish......

Read Halacha

Searching for and Renouncing Chametz

The Laws of Searching for Chametz On the eve of the Fourteenth of Nissan, which will fall out this year (5779) tonight, Thursday night, one must search for Chametz by candlelight. The candle must be made of wax (or congealed paraffin oil, common nowadays) as per the enactment of our Sages. If one ......

Read Halacha