Bittul Chametz-Nullifying the Chametz

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Bittul Chametz-Nullifying the Chametz:[1]

It is an institution of the sages to nullify all the Chametz which one has in his property which he did not find during the search.[2] The Bittul is to be recited immediately after completing the Bedika. There is a second Bittul that is recited also the next day, after Biur Chametz, as will be explained.[3]

How does one nullify the Chametz:[4] The main aspect of nullification is [done] in ones heart, that one place in his heart that all the Chametz in his property is like non-existent, and is insignificant, and is like dust, and like a matter which has no use of at all. By one concluding the above in his heart he has removed his mind from all the Chametz that is in his property, and it becomes completely disowned, and he no longer transgresses Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh.[5] Although the main aspect of nullification is in one’s mind and heart, nevertheless, the Sages instituted for it to be verbalized. One should explicitly say that his Chametz is disowned. It is customary to recite the following Aramaic[6] dialect:[7] “Kol Chamirah Vechamia[8] Deika Berishusi Dilo ChaMiseiy Udilo Biarteiy Udilo Yadana Lei, Livatel Ulihavei Hefker[9] Kiafra Diara[10]/All Chametz and yeast that I posses which I did not find or destroy is nullified and is free like the dust of the earth”

Understanding the Bittul:[11] One must verbally disown the Chametz in a language that he understands.[12] If he said it in a language that he does not understand, then if he does not at all understand the meaning of what he is saying, then the nullification is invalid.[13] Thus, those who do not understand Aramaic are to say the Bittul/Kol Chamira in their language. [They can first say it in Aramaic, and then repeat it in their language.]

Repeating the nullification the next day:[14] It is proper[15] that before the 6th hour on Erev Pesach, one repeat the bittul and nullify once again all the Chametz which he has in his possession.[16] This Bittul is to be said only after performing Biur Chametz to all the Chametz, [and at the very least after burning at least a Kezayis of Chametz[17]].[18] For this reason, the Biur is to be done some time prior to the 6th hour of the day, as the Bittul can no longer be performed once the 6th hour has arrived.[19] The following is the wording of the second nullification:[20]Kol Chamirah Vechamia Deikah Berishusi Dichaziseiy[21] Udilo Chaziseiy Dechamisei Udelo Chamisei Diviartei[22] Udilo Biarteiy Livatel Ulihavei Hefker Kiafra Diara/All the Chametz [and yeast] which I have in my property which I saw or did not see, which I destroyed and which I did not destroy etc….”

Appointing others to nullify the Chametz on one’s behalf:[23] It is disputed if one may appoint another person to nullify one’s Chametz on his behalf. Some Poskim[24] rule one cannot appoint an emissary to nullify the Chametz for him, and rather he must nullify it himself.[25] Other Poskim[26], however, rule that the nullification may be done through an emissary.[27] [The appointee should say “All the Chametz that so-in-so has, is nullified like the…”[28]] Practically, the main Halachic opinion follows the lenient approach, however it is proper Lechatchilah to suspect for the former opinion, [and thus do the nullification oneself, even if one had appointed an emissary to do so for him]. Accordingly, when one is traveling away for Pesach and is leaving family members at home, he may then to do the search and nullify the Chametz when the time comes, and he too should nullify his Chametz when the time of nullification arrives.[29] Furthermore, if one left his household members in his house and forgot to command them to nullify the Chametz after their search, they are nevertheless to do so.[30]

Who is responsible to nullify the Chametz of orphans?[31] The caretaker of orphans is obligated to nullify the Chametz of the orphans just as he is obligated to do for them all the other Biblical and Rabbinical commands.

 

Summary:

Immediately after completing the Bedika, one is to nullify all the Chametz which one has in his property which he did not find during the search. One is to verbalize that he disowns the Chametz, and it is like the dust of the earth. One must verbally disown the Chametz in a language that he understands.

 

Wrapping up the Bedika kit:[32]

The custom is to perform the Bedika using a bird’s feather, wooden spoon and bees wax candle. The Chametz that is found is placed into a paper bag. At the end of the Bedika one places the feather, leftovers of the candles, if applicable, and the wooden spoon together in the paper bag. The feather and leftover candle is to be placed inside the spoon, and then wrapped in a paper bag. The handle of the spoon is to remain uncovered, and extend above the paper bag. One ties the top of the bag around the handle of the spoon using a string. The bag is thrown in the fire the next day by Biur Chametz.

 

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[1] Admur 434:6

[2] The reason: The reason for this institution is because we suspect that one may find a significant piece of Chametz on Pesach and delay destroying it and thus transgress a Biblical prohibition of Baal Yiraeh. The explanation is as follows: The reason the sages instituted that one nullify his Chametz, is because they suspected that perhaps a significant piece of Chametz [i.e. any piece that has a Kezayis-434:11, or even if less than a Kezayis, but is significant such as dough-442:29, 460:5] was missed during the search, and since a significant piece is not considered automatically disowned, therefore one is to disown it before Pesach. Now, although even if a significant piece was missed one does not transgress even a Rabbinical Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh on this Chametz, being that he did a proper Bedika and is thus considered Anus [beyond his ability] regarding this Chametz, as explained in 433:12, nevertheless, the sages suspected that perhaps this Chametz will be found on Pesach and one will then transgress on it Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh. Now, although as soon as one finds the piece, [if] he destroys it immediately from the world [then he has not transgressed anything, nevertheless] the sages suspected that perhaps he will delay a little to begin the destruction of the Chametz, and on this delay one will transgress Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh. [Thus, the sages instituted] one to nullify all the [significant] Chametz which was not found by the search, as then even if he finds a significant piece of Chametz on Pesach and he delays destroying it immediately, then he will not transgress the Biblical prohibition of Baal Yiraeh, but rather only the Rabbinical one. [Admur ibid] [Vetzaruch Iyun as to why one must nullify even less than a kezayis of a significant piece of Chametz if in any event its ownership is only Rabbinical. Perhaps, however, this is required so one does not transgress a Rabbinical owning prohibition of Bal Yiraeh if he delays destroying it.]

Must one nullify crumbs? Crumbs of Chametz which are insignificant [i.e. bread less than a kezayis which is not significant-See Admur 434:11; 460:5] that were not found during the search and have thus remained in the cracks and holes and corners, are automatically nullified and thus there is no need for one to nullify and disown them as they are disowned on their own. The reason for this is because they are completely insignificant in the eyes of people, as even if he were to find them during the search he would not have taken them and eaten them but would have thrown them to a public area or burn them [with the rest of the Chametz]. [Admur ibid]

Chametz which one is aware of: The above bittul which is done on the night of the 14th immediately after the Bedika includes only the Chametz which is unknown to oneself, which was not found during the search. However, Chametz which one knows about, which one has intention to eat from it at night and the next day until the 5th hour, even if he nullifies it, it is not nullified. The reason for this is because the main aspect of bittul is in one’s heart that one removes his mind completely from the Chametz. Thus, this Chametz which he has left for his food, since his mind and heart have in mind to eat from it, it is not considered disowned to him. [Admur 434:10]

Must/can one nullify if he performs Mechiras Chametz: Included in the sale to the gentile is all known and unknown Chametz of a person, and Admur in the Seder Mechira states any Chametz which one plans to sell and buy back is not included in the Bittul. Accordingly, Tzaruch Iyun as to a) Why we do the Bittul, and what use it has? B) What use is the sale of unknown Chametz if Bittul was already done? See Chasam Sofer 62; 113; 119 who for this reason writes that the sale should be done before the Bittul; Perhaps, however, one can explain as follows: We do Bittul, as the Sages instituted, as perhaps for some reason the sale will not go through. In addition, the sale still includes the unknown nullified Chametz, as the gentile has acquired it Agav Karka. Just as he acquires disowned Chametz that is left in his property. See Minchas Yitzchak 8:41; Piskeiy Teshuvos 448:7 for a lengthy discussion on this matter

[3] The reason for why one should also say the nullification at night after the search, despite that he will anyways nullify the Chametz the next day: One may not rely on the second nullification done by day, and thus not nullify at night immediately after the Bedika, as the nullification done after the Bedika is an institution of the Talmudic sages which enacted that it be done immediately after the Bedika in order so there be a set time for the nullification to be done. If there were not a set time enacted for the nullification to be done, then people, being that they are naturally forgetful, would forget to do it at all. The reason for why the sages did not want to enact the set time of the nullification to be at the time that one destroys the Chametz, [and thus only one nullification would need to be done, and there would also be a set time for the nullification], is because the time that one needs to destroy the Chametz is from the letter of the law at the beginning of the 6th hour, as will be explained in chapter 445, and at that time one may no longer nullify his Chametz. The reason for why the sages did not want to enact the set time for the nullification to be on the day of the 14th before the time of destroying the Chametz [before the 6th hour, when one is still able to nullify] is because since one is not busy at that point with burning the Chametz or with searching for it, we therefore suspect that one may come to forget [about the set time of the sages and will thus forget] to do it, as he is not doing anything to remind him [about the Chametz prohibition]. However, at night, since one is dealing with the Bedika he is able to also remember to nullify the Chametz. Now although today in the latter generations the custom is to be stringent and destroy the Chametz at the end of the 5th hour and then nullify it at the time of destruction, nevertheless [since from the letter of the law one need not destroy the Chametz before the 6th hour] there is still suspicion that if one were to not nullify the Chametz immediately after the Bedika that perhaps he would forget to destroy the Chametz prior to the 6th hour [being that it is not required from the letter of the law] and by then he can no longer nullify the Chametz. Thus, the custom to be stringent and destroy and nullify the Chametz before the 6th hour was not coming to diminish from the institution of the sages [that one need not nullify at night], but to add to it [that one should also nullify during the day]. [Admur 434:13]

[4] Admur 434:7

[5] The reason one is not required to make it legally Hefker: The reason why this form of disowning is valid even though that in general the law states that one who desires to disown his property, and does so by saying that “my property is like dirt” has done nothing, nevertheless, here this suffices being that Chametz [after the 6th hour] at the time that one transgresses Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh, is not considered his at all, and one has no part or rights over it being that it is forbidden in benefit for him. One only transgresses Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh [when he has not disowned it] because the Torah considered the Chametz like it is his, in order for him to be associated with it so he transgress the above prohibition. Therefore [since anyways he really does not maintain legal ownership over the Chametz once it becomes prohibited] one does not need to disown it in the classical way by stating explicitly that it is disowned, and rather removing one’s mind from this Chametz and nullifying it in one’s heart and thought having it considered like dust, suffices to remove himself from having his name associated with it, and he will thus not transgress anything. [Admur ibid]

[6] The reason: The reason for why the sages enacted that the Bittul be said in Aramaic [and not Hebrew] is because [that was the language spoken back then] and there were [uneducated] people of the lands who did not understand Hebrew but rather Aramaic. [Admur 434:8]

[7] Some Poskim write that that the Bittul should be repeated three times. [Ben Ish Chaiy; Kaf Hachaim 434] This is not the Chabad custom.

[8] Admur 434:9; Siddur Admur [with some words added, as brought above]

The reason we mention yeast: When one says the nullification in Hebrew and other languages other than Aramaic, one needs to mention explicitly that he is nullifying both Chametz and yeast, as one transgresses Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh on both Chametz and yeast if one did not nullify them, as the verse says “Do not see for yourself Chametz” and  “Do not see for yourself yeast”. Thus, one needs to say in the statement of bittul that “All the Chametz and yeast which I have in my possession….” However, when one says the nullification in Aramaic, he does not need to mention both Chametz and yeast, as the word Chamirah includes both Chametz and yeast, as at times Chametz is called Chamirah. Nevertheless, it is proper for anyone meticulous in his actions to not rely on this and rather to mention both Chametz and yeast explicitly even when nullifying in Aramaic. Thus, one is to say “Kol chamirah Vechamia deika….” [Admur ibid]

[9] There is no need to explicitly mention that one disowns the Chametz. Nevertheless, anyone which is meticulous in his actions is to explicitly mention [within] the nullification said in Aramaic that he is disowning the Chametz. Thus, he should say “Lihaveiy hefker Kiafra diara”. [Admur ibid; However, the Yaavetz and others write that one should not say the term “Hefker” as anyways one’s house reacquires him the Chametz. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 434]

[10] Admur ibid; Nussach in Siddur

The reason for mentioning dust: The reason why we mention “dust of the earth” is because gold is also called dust “Afar”, we thus need to mention that we consider it the dust of the earth [in order so it be understood that we are nullifying it, and not considering it significant]. [Admur ibid]

[11] Admur 434:8

[12] The reason: The reason for why the sages enacted that the Bittul be said in Aramaic [and not Hebrew] is because [that was the language spoken back then] and there were [uneducated] people of the lands who did not understand Hebrew but rather Aramaic. For this reason, in these lands where the [uneducated] people do not understand Aramaic, they need to be taught and warned to say the bittul in a language which they understand, as the main aspect of the bittul is in ones heart, therefore one must understand in the heart what he is verbalizing with his lips. [Admur ibid]

[13] The reason: If one transgressed and said the bittul in a language which he does not understand at all, then if he understands the purpose behind the bittul, which is that he intends to nullify the Chametz and disown it, then even though he does not understand the meaning of the words which he has said with his lips, he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation [of nullification]. However, those uneducated people, and women who do not at all know the meaning behind the bittul and its purpose, and they think that they are saying some sort of supplication and request, then even if they say it in Aramaic or Hebrew they have not fulfilled their obligation. The reason for this is because the main aspect of the nullification and disowning is in ones heart, and if one does not disown it in his heart, even if he verbalizes that he disowns it, it is meaningless, as every act of disowning requires ones intention and verbalization to be in tuned with each other. [Admur ibid]

[14] Admur 434:11

[15] Admur ibid; However, see 434:12 and 444:14 Admur writes that he “needs” to nullify the Chametz. To also not that the Rama 434 uses the term “Tov” while Admur changes and uses the word “Nachon”.

Is the second nullification said by day required from the letter of law or is it a mere stringency? From the letter of the law one fulfils his obligation with the 1st nullification said at night, and he does not need to repeat the nullification again the next day. The reason for this is because from the letter of the law we do not suspect that perhaps a kezayis of the Chametz which was set aside to be eaten [and was not included in the previous nights nullification] has rolled away [somewhere inside the house], as the Chametz which one sets aside to eat is hidden in a guarded area, and one is careful that none of it role off [into the house] The reason for why the nullification is repeated despite not being required is because in the later generations the custom became to be stringent [and suspect for that some Chametz has rolled off] and thus nullify the Chametz again. [Admur 434:13]

[16] The reason: The reason for why one should say a second nullification is because [the Chametz which one intended to eat at the time of the previous Bittul was not included in it, as explained above and] there is thus suspicion that perhaps a Kezayis of this Chametz which he ate from until the 5th hour has rolled and fell in one of the holes or corners. Now, when Pesach arrives, one may find it and delay destroying it and will then transgress a Biblical Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh, as a kezayis of Chametz is significant and is thus not nullified on its own. However, Chametz crumbs less than a Kezayis are insignificant and thus are anyways nullified. [Admur ibid]

[17] M”B 445:10 in name of Beis Meir, Chayeh Adam, Chemed Moshe; See Halacha 5E that the Biblical owning prohibition only applies to a Kezayis; See Kaf Hachaim 445:18; However see Admur 434:14 [brought in next footnote] “It is proper to be careful to only nullify the Chametz the second time, during the day, after one has destroyed from ones property all the Chametz which is known to him.”

[18] Admur 434:14

The reason: It is proper to be careful to only nullify the Chametz the second time, during the day, after one has destroyed from ones property all the Chametz which is known to him. The reason for why one should only nullify after destroying, is in order for one to be able to fulfill the mitzvah of destroying Chametz, with his own Chametz, as once the second bittul has been done the Chametz is no longer his, being that he has already nullified and disowned it. [Admur ibid]

[19] Admur 434:12; See Chapter 2 Halacha 8

[20] Admur 434:12

[21] The reason for why by the day nullification we include in the bittul all the Chametz that we own “that we see…”, is because we intend to nullify all Chametz and leave no Chametz over for ourselves, as opposed to the nights bittul in which one only intends to nullify the Chametz which he has not seen and found during the search, therefore [by the night bittul] he only mentions the Chametz “which I have not found and not destroyed” in his nullification. [Admur 434:12]

[22] This is said as perhaps there is some Chametz which he threw in the fire which is not completely burned, and thus needs nullification. Alternatively, this refers to Chametz which one plans to sell, and he thus is saying that if the sale does not work out, then the Chametz is nullified. [Daas Torah 434, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 434; To note however from Admur in Siddur, that bittul does not include any Chametz that one plans to sell. Vetzaruch Iyun]

[23] Admur 434:15

[24] 1st opinion in Admur ibid; M”A 434:9 in name of Ritva and Bach

[25] The reason: The reason for their opinion is because the law states that one who tells his friend do go and disown my property, the disowning is invalid until the owner himself disowns it. [Admur ibid]

[26] 2nd opinion in Admur ibid; Michaber 434:4; Baal Haittur

[27] The reason: As the nullification does not need to be identical to the laws of hefker/disowning regarding this aspect. The reason for this is because [after the 6th hour] the Chametz that one transgresses Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh, is anyways not considered his at all, and one thus only transgresses Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh [when he has not disowned it] because the Torah considered the Chametz like it is his, in order for him to be associated with it so he transgress the above prohibition. Therefore, even a mere revelation of one’s opinion, that he reveals even through a messenger that he has no desire at all for the Chametz, suffices to remove himself from having his name associated with it, and he will thus not transgress anything. [Admur ibid]

[28] Michaber ibid

[29] Admur 446:2; Admur in gloss ibid “As well as explained in 434 it is proper for him in whichever place he is to also nullify his Chametz when the time of nullification arrives” [However, one may not Lechatchilah rely on his own nullification and thus not appoint his emissary to do so, as since one will not be doing a Bedika he may come to forget to do a nullification, as explained in 434 regarding the reason for why the nullification was instituted to be done after the Bedika and not the next day.]

[30] Admur 436:4 “After the household members search for Chametz it is proper for them to also nullify the Chametz, and they should be warned to do so, despite the fact that their nullification does not help much being that the Chametz is not theirs and the owner never commanded them to nullify it, and did not make them emissaries [to nullify it or] to check for it.”; Kuntrus Acharon 436:4; Michaber 434:4; This is unlike Magen Avraham in 434:10 who rules their nullification is worthless

The reason: The reason why their nullification does not help much even though one can assume that the owner desires that those remaining in his home nullify the Chametz for him, is because [in order for an emissary to be able to nullify] the owner must explicitly reveal that he wants it to be done, and if not then the nullification of the emissary is meaningless, as explained in chapter 434. The reason for why they should nullify it despite the fact that their nullification does not help much  is because we suspect that perhaps the owner will forget to nullify the Chametz in the place that he is in, as since he is not dealing with searching for Chametz and destroying it, it is probable that he will come to forget to do so, and then the Chametz will not be nullified at all. It is thus better for the household members to nullify the Chametz then it not being nullified at all. It is therefore proper to warn them to nullify it in order to remove oneself from doubt. [Admur 436:4]

[31] Admur 434:16

[32] Likkutei Taamim Uminhagim of Rebbe on Haggadah

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