Cleaning for Pesach 2

Does one have to destroy Chametz that is found on a high surface such as on top of a closet or bookcase?[1]

One is obligated to destroy a Kezayis of Chametz even if it is found on a very high surface.[2] [Furthermore even less than a Kezayis should be destroyed.[3]] The above obligation applies even if one already nullified his Chametz. Thus one is obligated to bring a ladder on the night of the 14th [or prior to it] and take the Chametz down from on top of his closets, dressers, book cases and the like.


Chametz that is found in a pit?[4]

If Chametz fell inside a pit or was placed there to remove before Pesach, then if it is not common to descend into the pit throughout the year it is not required to remove the Chametz from there and rather mere nullification suffices.[5] 

Forbidden to intentionally place Chametz into the pit:[6] The above is only discussing a case of Chametz that fell into the pit or was placed in there with intent to remove before Pesach. It is however forbidden to intentionally place Chametz in the pit for it to stay there until after Pesach, even if one plans to nullify it. If one [transgressed] and placed Chametz in the pit with intent to remove after Pesach then he must remove it and destroy it on the 14th, even if he hid it there prior to thirty days before Pesach.



Must one search for Chametz under furniture or appliances?

The furniture has not been moved within thirty days before Pesach: Pieces of furniture or appliances which are not commonly moved[7], such as closets, book cases, and items of the like do not have to be moved and have their Chametz cleaned even if one sees Chametz under them.[8] If however the Chametz is reachable with one’s hands, one must destroy all the Chametz that can be reached. If the furniture is commonly moved then seemingly one is required to move the items and clean under them even if they have a height of 24 cm.[9] If however one plans to not move the item throughout the entire Pesach, then seemingly there is no requirement to clean under it if it reaches a height of 24 cm.[10]

If one had moved the furniture within thirty days before Pesach: Any furniture which had been moved within thirty days before Pesach


Does one have to use toothpicks and the like to remove Chametz from areas that he cannot manage to remove with his hands?

No.[11] However by ones fridge and other items used with food, one is required[12] to do so in order so Chametz does not Chas Veshalom come to fall into one’s food. In any event Yisrael Kedoshim Heim and it is thus proper to pour a damaging agent, such as bleach onto the Chametz in all cases that one is able to do so.


Must one remove his car seats in order to remove the Chametz that is stuck under them?

All Chametz under the car seat that is reachable by hand must be removed. All Chametz that cannot be reached by hand is not required to be removed even if one is able to see it, and hence there is no obligation to remove the car seats. One is likewise not required to vacuum out such Chametz.[13] Nevertheless practically experience dictates that it is very difficult to remove even the reachable Chametz [due to abundance of crumbs] without either using a vacuum or removing the car seats. Chametz that remains visible and unreachable under the car seat one is to pour bleach or other spoiling agent over it.[14]


Must one undo his chair if he sees Chametz in-between the crevices of the cushion and the chair?

This follows the same ruling as the previous Q&A. Thus all the Chametz that is reachable by hand must be removed. All Chametz that cannot be reached by hand is not required to be removed even if one is able to see it and thus one is not required to undo the chair seat. Nevertheless Chametz that remains visible and unreachable under the cushion it is proper, if doing so will not damage the cushion, to destroy by pouring bleach or other spoiling agent over it.


Must one undo the keyboard of his computer to remove the Chametz stuck under the keys?

No, as the Chametz is not reachable by hand. Nevertheless Yisrael Kedoshim Heim and thus those that desire to do so are not to be protested.[15]


[1] 438/11

[2] The reason for this is because it is possible for the Chametz to fall and one may then forget and come to eat it. It is thus not similar to Chametz found in cracks and crevices that are unreachable by hand as there is no worry that such Chametz will become reachable over Pesach.

[3] Although in 438/11 Admur writes “a kezayis” is to be destroyed from a high surface [and not less-as rules the Elya Raba 438/7 and Olas Shabbos 438/2] nevertheless in the Kuntrus Achron he questions this ruling and seemingly leans to be stringent.

[4] 438/11

[5] We do not trouble him to have to bring a ladder to bring up the Chametz from there, and rather the nullification alone suffices as we do not suspect that perhaps someone will go into the pit on Pesach and come to eat the Chametz. [ibid]

[6] 438/12

[7] See Kuntrus Achron 4

[8] As they have the same law as Chametz under a floor panel which does not have to be undone to get to the Chametz. As just like in that case we do not suspect one will come to undo the tile, and a dog cannot reach the Chametz, similarly here we do not suspect one will move the furniture or appliances and a dog will not be able to remove it. As with regards to a Mapoles less than three Tefachim of which we suspect it may become removed

[9] As by a Mapoles the Chametz is not required to be destroyed once Bittul has been done [according to the stringent opinion there] because it will not be able to be revealed by a dog and one himself will not come to do so. If however one will come to do so himself then the Rabbinical suspicions once again apply

[10] As in such a case it is exactly similar to a mound. [so rules also Rav Blumenkrantz in 3-42] Vetzaruch Iyun.

If however its height does not reach 24 cm. then we suspect it may become revealed by a dog just as we suspect by a mound less than 24 cm. This is not similar to Chameizt which is stuck between cracks, as a dog is unable to undo the wood to be able to reach the Chametz, as opposed to when a small furniture is simply sitting on top of it.

[11] Seemingly from the fact that above Admur does not require one to use other means other than his hands to remove the Chametz, and if his hands cannot remove it he says that nullification alone suffices, shows that one does not need to use toothpick and the like to remove Chametz from cracks, if they are not reachable with ones hands.

[12] As since the moving of the fridge door can cause Chametz to fall out from the area that it is stuck in, it is similar to Chametz which is on a high surface which one must remove.

[13] As explained in the above Halacha from 433/19-20

[14] Although this is not required from the letter of the law as explained above, nevertheless  “Yisrael Kedoshim Heim” and are thus accustomed to destroy all Chametz, even Chametz that is allowed to remain throughout Pesach. Hence if one is unable to remove the car seats, or doing so entails much difficulty one can spoil the Chametz through pouring bleach on it.

[15] See Michaber 442/6

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