Cleaning for Pesach 3



Checking ones clothing for Chametz:[1]

Every person must be careful to check his clothing and shake his gloves and pockets of his clothing, and of his children’s, as at times one enters Chametz into them.[2] However this only applies for one who is accustomed to at times place Chametz into the pockets of the clothing, however one who never does so, does not need to check the pockets at all, not on the night of the 14th or by the time of Biur Chametz. Nevertheless one who is stringent [to check them] is blessed.[3]

When are they to be checked?[4] However they do not need to be checked on the night of the 14th being that anyways the next day when one eats Chametz it is possible that one will place Chametz in them, and thus what use was the bedikah. Thus rather one should check and shake them the next day at the time of the destruction of Chametz.

Even if one wants to be stringent[5] upon himself and check them on the night of the 14th, he nevertheless needs to recheck them the next day by the time of the destruction of Chametz, as perhaps one has reentered Chametz which he ate after the bedikah into the pockets.



One who enters Chametz into his pockets is obligated to check his pockets for Chametz on Erev Pesach before the 6th hour, by the time of the Biur.



Do laundered clothing have to be checked?



Does one have to check the cuffs of his pants?[6]

Being that cuffs usually pick up a lot of dirt, including Chametz, one is to make sure to check them as well.


Does one need to search his backyard for Chametz?[7]

A. The floor:[8]

One does not need to search the floor of his outside property for Chametz as there are usually ravens and other birds found there which eat all the Chametz which fall. [However closed items that are outside, such as boxes and ones barbecue do have to be checked, as since they are closed there is no way for the birds to get to them.]

Knows for certain there is Chametz outside: Even if one knows that one certainly has Chametz outside, he does not need to remove it on the night of the 14th, and he may even Lechatchilah throw Chametz onto his outside property before the 6th hour.[9] However when the 6th hour arrives he must go to his outside property to check if the Chametz is still there, and if it is there, not having been eaten by the birds/ravens, then as soon as he sees the chametz he is obligated to immediately destroy it completely from the world. Despite this obligation we nevertheless allow one to place his Chametz there before the 6th hour as even if one forgets to check his outside property by the 6th hour, nevertheless he has not transgressed anything, being that we are certain that before the 6th hour the ravens have taken the Chametz and brought it to wherever they came from [and there is thus no more Chametz remaining outside].

Now, although we explained above that if there is only a doubt if the Chametz was removed then it does not uproot the status of the Chametz in a case that the we know for certain that there is Chametz there [see case of chickens above], nevertheless here it does uproot the status of Chametz, being that although there is doubt as to whether the birds ate the Chametz, as perhaps they were not hungry at that time, nevertheless it is certain that they have taken the Chametz to wherever they came from. Nevertheless, lechatchilah one should not rely on this when the time of destroying the Chametz arrives, at the 6th hour, as since one is able to go check if there is any Chametz still remaining outside, then let him go and see.

The reason why we do not also exempt the entire house from being checked being that there are mice, rodents and the like found in one’s home which also eat Chametz, and although their eating is a doubt and thus cannot remove the certainty of Chametz, as explained above, nevertheless they certainly do take the Chametz to wherever they came from, as do the birds, and thus we should also exempt the entire house as we exempt the outside. The difference however is that birds are usually not domestic animals which live in ones property, and thus when they come from the outside and take the Chametz they certainly are removing it to the place that they came from, while rodents and mice live in one’s home, and thus even if they remove the Chametz we are stringent regarding a case of when there is Chametz for certain, that they dragged it to their hiding place within the house or courtyard of which one transgresses Baal Yimatzei.


B. The holes in the walls:[10]

The holes in the walls of the outside property need to be checked if they are not too low or high, if it is usual for one to use the holes, as the ravens are not commonly found by the holes. [When there are children in the house then even low holes must be checked.]



One does not need to search at night the open areas of his outside property for Chametz as they have usually been all eaten by birds. However closed items that are outside, such as boxes and ones barbecue do have to be checked, as since they are closed there is no way for the birds to get to them. As well if one knows for certain that there was Chametz outside then he needs Lechatchilah to go outside at the 6th hour to check if there is any Chametz remaining.

[1] 433/42-43

[2] 433/42

[3] 433/43

Q. If there is no suspicion of Chametz, then why do they need to be checked at all? What kind of stringency is this?

A. Perhaps we suspect that one absent mindedly enterd his hands into his pocket while eating Chametz, and some of the Chametz then entererd into his pocket. Vetzaruch Iyun why we do not suspect for this from the letter of the law, just as we suspect for rooms that one may enter during meals, that he had entered with some Chametz and the cha,meitz was left there.

[4] 433/42

[5] Q. What stringency is applicable here if the sages did not require it to be checked then, as well as that the check is worthless being that it will need to be rechecked latter? Perhaps the stringency is that the person suspects that he may forget to check the next day, just like we say regarding why one does bittul right after the bedikah and not only the next day.

[6] Piskeiy Teshuvah 433 and Rav Blumenkrantz

[7] 433/28-29

[8] 433/28

[9] However others hold that when one knows for certain that there is Chametz outside, then he may not rely on the birds and must gather it on the night of the 14th.

[10] 433/29

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