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.

8 Halachot Most Popular

Thermometers on Shabbat

Question: Is it permissible to use a thermometer on Shabbat? Answer: Clearly, there is no room to take one’s temperature with an electronic/digital thermometer. Our discussion will revolve around using a thermometer that is not electronic and contains mercury which expands and rises as it h......

Read Halacha

Widows and Orphans

The Torah states (Shemot 22): “You shall not oppress any widow or orphan. If you oppress them and they call out to me, I shall surely hear their cry. My anger shall flare and I shall kill you with the sword; your wives shall then be widows and your children orphans.” The Torah explains t......

Read Halacha

Sleeping on Shabbat is Enjoyable- An Incident Regarding Maran zt”l During His Visit to the United States

Question: Is there a Mitzvah to sleep on Shabbat in order to fulfill the edict of “Sleeping on Shabbat is enjoyable” or is it preferable to delve in the holy Torah all day long? Answer: We find that the Rishonim already mention that there is a Mitzvah to sleep on Shabbat, for “s......

Read Halacha

An Orphaned Student and a Divorced Woman

Question: I am a teacher and I have an orphaned girl in my class. How must I act when she misbehaves? Similarly, a colleague of mine is a divorced woman. Is there any special prohibition to cause them pain? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have explained that Hashem has commanded us not to oppr......

Read Halacha


A Driver’s License-“Lashon Hara”

Question: If an individual wishes to obtain a driver’s license and I am aware of a medical problem that will impair him from driving, may I relay this information to the Department of Motor Vehicles? Answer: The Rambam (Chapter 1 of Hilchot Rotze’ach) writes: “Anyone who has the......

Read Halacha

Various Dangers- A Car on the Road

In the previous Halachot, we have discussed the positive Torah commandment for one to make a railing around one’s roof so that no one falls from there. After explaining this Mitzvah, the Rambam (Chapter 11 of Hilchot Rotze’ach U’Shmirat Nesfesh) adds: “Similarly, it is a M......

Read Halacha

The Order for Lighting Shabbat and Chanukah Candles

There is a disagreement among the Rishonim as to the order of lighting Shabbat and Chanukah candles on Erev Shabbat Chanukah. The Ba’al Halachot Gedolot (commonly referred to as “Behag”) is of the opinion that Chanukah candles must be lit before Shabbat candles because women cu......

Read Halacha

A Woman Scholarly in Torah

In the previous Halachot we have discussed the laws of rising for an elderly man or woman as well as the obligation to rise before a Torah scholar and the wife of a Torah scholar. In the previous Halacha we have explained that Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that a female student mu......

Read Halacha