Chametz vessels-Cleaning and storing

This Halacha is an excerpt from our Sefer


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Chametz vessels-Cleaning and storing:[1]

Cleaning: All Chametz vessels which one does not desire to Kasher for Pesach, or are unable to be Kashered, are to be cleaned from Chametz. One is to scrub them and slightly rinse them down from any recognizable Chametz.[2]  

Selling to a gentile: All vessels that are difficult to clean from Chametz, such as vessels used with dough and flour throughout the year, are to be sold to a gentile, or given to him as a present, and stored away as written next.[3] [However, initially one is to clean the pots to the best of his ability, even if he plans to sell them to a gentile.[4]] This, however, only applies to vessels that contain actual Chametz stuck to them. However, clean Chametz vessels are not required to be sold even though they contain Chametz absorbed within their walls.[5] [In the sale contract of the Alter Rebbe, recorded in his Shulchan Aruch, all Chametz vessels that contain actual Chametz on them are sold.[6] Chametz vessels that are sold to a gentile and remain in one’s home do not require Tevila after Pesach.[7]]

Putting them away: One is to hide the vessels in an area where he will not be accustomed to enter into throughout all the days of Pesach.[8] Furthermore, it is proper to place the vessels in a room [or closet] which will be locked, and then hide the keys, in order to prevent any possibility of entering there during Pesach. Those who are accustomed to place the vessels in a very high area which is visible, have upon what to rely[9], although one who is stringent to hide them away from sight will be blessed.[10]

If one did not clean his pots from Chametz?[11] If one remembered on Pesach, or afterwards, that he did not clean his pots from Chametz, then [if he did not sell his Chametz to a gentile] he must clean the utensils from any recognizable Chametz[12] as soon as he remembers.[13] If, however, he remembered on Shabbos or Yom Tov, he is to delay washing them until after Shabbos/Yom Tov.[14] [He is then to wash them immediately after Shabbos or Yom Tov.]  Even after Pesach, if one remembered that he did not clean his vessel from Chametz, he must then clean them from all visible Chametz [immediately] upon remembering.[15] [If one sold his Chametz to a gentile, as is commonly done today through the Rav of the community, there is no need to clean the pots on Pesach, or after Pesach, upon remembering. However, before Pesach, seemingly one is to clean the pots to the best of his ability, even if he plans to sell them.[16]]

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[1] Admur 451:1; 447:3 regarding if Chametz was cooked in the pot on Pesach

[2] Although in 442:28 Admur rules that Chametz which is less than a Kezayis in total that is stuck to a vessel does not need to be cleaned off before Pesach. Perhaps here it refers to the custom mentioned there in 442:30 that Yisrael Kedoshim Heim and are accustomed to clean off all Chametz. Vetzaruch Iyun from the wording here of “need” which implies it is a requirement from the letter of the law. Perhaps then in truth the reason is because we suspect one may come to cook in such vessels either on Pesach or after Pesach [see 451:3].

[3] Admur 442:31; See Admur 442:28 [brought in Halacha 4] that from the letter of the law it must only be sold if it contains a Kezayis.

[4] As perhaps the reason one is required to clean the pots is so one not come to cook in them [see coming footnotes], and hence selling them to a gentile and leaving them in one’s house, would not remove this worry. See Shaar Hakolel on Seder Mechira 17

[5] Admur 447:3

The reason: The Chametz taste that is absorbed in the pots [is not prohibited in ownership] being that it is not considered “found/matzuiy”, and thus one does not transgress Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh upon owning it. Thus, one is allowed to own them throughout Pesach, as the sages were not worried that if one were to be allowed to own it then he may forget and come to cook in it on Pesach. However, they did decree against owning Chametz foods [that were nullified] due to worry that one may come to eat it. [Admur ibid]

[6] See Shaar Hakolel on Seder Mechira 17; Rebbe in Likkutei Sichos, printed in Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 2:194

[7] Rebbe in Likkutei Sichos, printed in Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 2:194; See Chapter 5 Halacha 2 in Q&A for the full details of this matter!

[8] Admur 451:1; 447:3

The reason: This is done in order so one not forget and come to cook in such vessels on Pesach. Now, although regarding Treif vessels we do not require them to be hidden during the year, as we do not suspect one will come to forget and use it, nevertheless, regarding Chametz we are stringent, as people are accustomed to eat it throughout the year. [Admur 451:1] This matter is not a decree from the times of the Talmud, but a stringency from the Sages of the later generations. [Admur 451:4]

[9] Admur 451:4

The reason: Although in general we rule that placing an item in a high visible area does not make it more lenient, nevertheless, since this requirement to hide the vessels is a stringency of the later generations, one may be lenient to do so. Furthermore, most of all the Chametz vessels put away are no longer Ben Yoman. [Admur ibid]

[10] Admur 451:4

[11] Admur 451:3

[12] See Halacha 4 regarding less than a Kezayis of Chametz.

[13] The reason: We do not suspect one may come to eat the Chametz in the process of cleaning the vessels, as how would one forget the prohibition of eating Chametz when he is in the midst of doing an action which destroys it. [Admur ibid]

[14] The reason: As on Shabbos and Yom Tov it is forbidden to touch the Chametz, as one may not destroy Chametz until after Shabbos Yom Tov, as explained in 446:5

[15] The reason: This is required as [we suspect one may come to cook in these vessels prior to cleaning them, and] Chametz which has been owned over Pesach is forbidden in benefit. [ibid] Vetzaruch Iyun why such Chametz is forbidden in benefit if it contains less than a Kezayis in total, and was stuck to the pot. Perhaps then in truth this Halacha is only referring to a Kezayis of Chametz which is stuck, although this is not the simple implication. Vetzaruch Iyun.

[16] As perhaps the reason one is required to clean the pots is so one not come to cook in them [see previous footnotes], and hence selling them to a gentile and leaving them in one’s house, would not remove this worry. See Shaar Hakolel on Seder Mechira 17

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