Eating/Buying Chametz after Pesach

Eating/Buying Chametz that was owned by a Jew over Pesach:[1]

The Chametz of a Jew which was owned on Pesach is forbidden in benefit for all Jews.[2] This applies whether it was owned throughout the entire Pesach, or was only owned through part of Pesach [such as he acquired it from a gentile on Pesach], and applies even if it was only owned for the last part of the last day of Pesach in the Diaspora. This applies even if the owner of the Chametz was forced into owning it, being that he was not able to destroy it, or did not know that this Chametz was in existence until after Pesach.[3]

Taaruvos Chametz: [4] Even Taaruvos Chametz is forbidden to be benefited after Pesach if it was owned over Pesach. However if one redeems the Chametz value of that food then the food is permitted in benefit. This is done by assessing the worth of the Chametz ingredient [i.e. 10 cents] and throwing the money in an area that it will be lost from mankind. Nevertheless even after redeeming the Chametz value the Chametz remains forbidden to be eaten, being that the taste of the Chametz is still found in the food. [Vetzaruch Iyun in a case that there is 60x the Chametz in the food, if redeeming the Chametz permits the food to even be eaten[5]]

 

Chametz found in one’s home after Pesach:

In the event that one did not sell his Chametz to a gentile over Pesach and he found Chametz in his home immediately after Pesach then the Chametz is prohibited [even in] benefit. This applies even if one properly searched and nullified his Chametz before Pesach.[6] If however the Chametz was only found some time after the conclusion of Pesach, with enough time for the Chametz to have fallen there after Pesach, then it is disputed as to whether one may benefit from this questionable Chametz.[7] Practically one is to be stringent not to eat the Chametz, unless it’s a case of great loss [and the Chametz cannot be sold]. One may however benefit [i.e. sell] the Chametz according to all opinions.[8]

 

Buying Chametz from a store that did not sell their Chametz:

When buying Chametz from a Jewish owned store one must verify that they have performed Mechiras Chametz before Pesach. The above requirement however only applies when buying Chametz that was manufactured before Pesach, however Chametz that was manufactured after Pesach may be purchased from any store. [This can be verified through looking for the manufacture date that is on the product.] If one does not know when the Chametz was manufactured, and it is possible that it was manufactured before Pesach, then it is disputed as to whether one may eat this questionable Chametz.[9] Practically one is to be stringent not to eat the Chametz, unless it’s a case of great loss. One may however benefit [i.e. sell] the Chametz according to all opinions.[10]

A gentile owned store: It is permitted to purchase any Chametz from a gentile owned store, anytime after Pesach.

 

 

Q&A

May one buy non-Kosher for Pesach foods from a Jewish store that does not have a sign of Mechiras Chametz?

All foods that do not list any Chametz in their ingredients[11], and are not suspected to contain Chametz, may be purchased from any store even if they are not Kosher for Pesach and were owned by the Jewish owned store from before Pesach.[12] If however one suspects the food may contain Chametz, then it requires further analysis as to whether it may be eaten, even if Chametz is not listed in the label ingredients.[13]

 

May one eat Chametz that he is offered by a non-observant Jew?

If one knows for certain that the Jew owned the Chametz before Pesach then it is forbidden to eat it. If one is unsure as to when it was owned, then this matter is subject to dispute and one should be stringent as stated above.


 


[1] 448/1

[2] The reason it is forbidden for all Jews: As the sages fined the owner of the Chametz due to that he transgressed Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzei, and the sages did not want to differentiate in their decree between the owner and others [and thus it is forbidden for any Jew to eat]. [ibid]

[3] The reason: They forbade it in benefit even in such a case in order to prevent people from leaving over their Chametz until after Pesach and then claim that they were unable to destroy it. [ibid]

[4] 442/3 and 6

[5] See 442/6

[6] 448/29

The reason: When a Jew does Bedikas Chametz before Pesach as the sages enacted and then does bittul to any Chametz that he did not find, then even if after Pesach he finds Chametz in his home, he has not transgressed an even Rabbinical prohibition of Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh. Nevertheless, if the Chametz is found immediately after Pesach then the Chametz is prohibited [even in] benefit, even if he has witnesses that he nullified all his Chametz or made it legally ownerless by saying that it is actually Hefker, before Pesach. The reason for this is because if we allow one to benefit from such Chametz then there is suspicion that every person will intentionally not destroy his Chametz and then after Pesach will claim that he made it hefker before Pesach in order that he be allowed to benefit from it.

[7] 448/30

Some Poskim rule that the above prohibition on the Chametz only applies by Chametz found immediately after Pesach, being that it was definitely around by Pesach, however if it was found after Pesach with enough time for the Chametz to have fallen there after Pesach, and thus we do not even know for certain that it was around on Pesach, then one may be lenient and even permit the Chametz to be eaten, as by every Rabbinical prohibition, when there is doubt we are allowed to be lenient. However other opinions rule that any Chametz which has even mere doubt as to if it was around on Pesach is forbidden. [ibid]

[8] Admur ibid

[9] 448/30

Some Poskim rule that the above prohibition on the Chametz only applies by Chametz found immediately after Pesach, being that it was definitely around by Pesach, however if it was found after Pesach with enough time for the Chametz to have fallen there after Pesach, and thus we do not even know for certain that it was around on Pesach, then one may be lenient and even permit the Chametz to be eaten, as by every Rabbinical prohibition, when there is doubt we are allowed to be lenient. However other opinions rule that any Chametz which has even mere doubt as to if it was around on Pesach is forbidden. [ibid]

[10] Admur ibid

[11] A note on food labels: According to the FDA regulations it is possible to include Chametz as an ingredient without the consumer knowing of this. This can be done either due to the ability to list certain ingredients as a general term, such as “natural flavors”, or if the Chametz is a trace ingredient, which means a sub ingredient of the food that is “present at an incidental level and has no functional or technical effect in the finished product”.  Thus it is possible for foods to contain actual Chametz and not be listed. The ratio of this Chametz is not regulated by the FDA and hence there may even be more than 1.66% of Chametz [not nullified in 60%] within the product. Furthermore, regarding Chametz we rule that if it was purposely placed in the food as a normal ingredient it is never nullified even in a 1000x, even if done before Pesach. [442/6] Hence all standard Chametz ingredients placed in a food would make the food forbidden to be eaten after Pesach if owned by a Jew, irrelevant of the ratio of the Chametz. [See 442/6. Now although there it says that one can redeem the Chametz value of the food, nevertheless in 442/3 it is explained that this only helps to allow benefiting from the food [such as selling it] however the food itself remains forbidden to be eaten. Vetzaruch Iyun in a case that there is 60x the Chametz in the food, if redeeming the Chametz permits the food to even be eaten. See 442/6] Thus in conclusion it does not suffice to simply rely on food labels and one must also not have suspicion that it contains Chametz.

[12] As there is no reason to suspect that it contains Chametz.

[13] As even by definite Chametz that was questionably owned before Pesach there are opinions that rule one may eat it, , and hence perhaps if there is doubt as to if there is even Chametz in the ingredient one can be lenient, and so writes Nitei Gavriel 60/11 based on Admur 467/8. However Tzaruch Iyun as in 467/8 Admur permits the Chametz after Pesach only due to a Sfek Sfeka, and in this case there is only one Safek, whether it contains Chametz or not, and hence perhaps in this case one would need to be stringent, just as one is required to be stringent in the dispute of definite Chametz that was questionably owned over Pesach. [Whether or not there is 60x versus the Chametz is not considered another Safek, as when Chametz is placed as a common ingredient of that food it is never nullified even in 100x, even if done before Pesach. See 442/6.

Redeeming the possible Chametz: Redeeming the value of the possible Chametz does not help to allow it to be eaten, as this matter only suffices to permit benefit such as sales and not the benefit of eating. [See 442/3] Vetzaruch Iyun in a case that there is 60x the Chametz in the food, if redeeming the Chametz permits the food to even be eaten. See 442/6

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?