Blessing over the Bedika

This Halacha is an excerpt from our Sefer


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The blessing:[1]

Before one begins to check for the Chametz one says a blessing just as a blessing is said prior to fulfilling all Rabbinical commands. The blessing is: “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam Asher Kidishanu Bemitzvosav Vetzivanu Al Biur Chametz.”[2] The blessing of Shehechiyanu is not recited.[3]

What does one do if he forgot to say the blessing over the Bedika?[4] If one forgot to say a blessing prior to beginning the search, then if he remembers prior to completing the search, and there remains at least one area[5] to check in which there is suspicion that a Kezayis[6] of Chametz may have remained, then one is to say the blessing prior to finishing the search. However, if he already concluded the Bedika, then a blessing may no longer be said.[7] However, the next day, at the time he burns the Chametz, he is to say the blessing without Hashem’s name.[8]

Does an emissary say a blessing: See Halacha 14!

Washing hands prior to doing the Bedika:[9] There are those[10] who are meticulous to wash hands prior to doing the Bedika.[11] [This is not known to be the Chabad custom.]

Q&A

If one does not own a home that needs checking, does he say a blessing upon checking his belongings, such as his suitcase or car and the like?[12]

Ø  Example: One is traveling to relatives for Pesach and will be selling his home to a gentile?  A Bochur is traveling home for Pesach? On the night of the 14th, is he to check his belongings with a blessing?

One who does not have a house to check for Chametz is nevertheless obligated to check his belongings, including his car, for Chametz. However, he does not recite a blessing prior to this search, as the main Bedika was only instituted regarding one’s home.

 

When checking two separate buildings, such as two different homes, or a home and an office or store, does one say a separate blessing upon checking in the second building?

No. A separate blessing is not recited as explained in Halacha 11.

 

Are Yeshiva or seminary students to recite a blessing upon searching their dorm rooms on the night of the 14th?

Some Poskim[13] rule a blessing may not be recited.[14] Other Poskim[15] rule a blessing may be recited.[16] Practically, the student may recite a blessing upon searching on the night of the 14th.[17]

 

Are two roommates to both say the blessing upon checking for Chametz in their particular areas?[18]

Seemingly, it is permitted for each roommate to check his area with a blessing even if they live in the same room, and it is not necessary for them to be Yotzei with a single blessing.

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[1] Admur 432:1

[2] The reason for saying “destroying the Chametz”: Although one does not destroy the Chametz at the time of the blessing, nevertheless, since after the search for the Chametz one immediately nullifies and disowns any Chametz that has remained in his house which was not found during the search, therefore “destroying” is mentioned. As this nullification is Halachically considered to be destroying any Chametz that he does not know about, which he did not find during the search. In addition, the Chametz that he does know about, is hidden away for the next day, until the 5th hour and is then destroyed from the world. [Now being that], on [these two forms of destroying Chametz which are] the nullification done on the night of the 14th and the destroying done on the day of the 14th we do not say any blessing upon doing them, as they are included in the blessing said over the checking of the Chametz, which is the beginning stage of the destruction of the Chametz, therefore [when we check for the Chametz] we say the blessing of “On destroying the Chametz.” [Admur ibid]

The reason why we do not [also] say “Al Bedikas Chametz”: A blessing is not said over the Bedika itself, as the Bedika is not the purpose of the mitzvah, as [regarding Chametz which he has found] one who has searched for his Chametz but did not destroy the Chametz that he found during the Bedika, has not done anything [of the mitzvah]. So too, if one did not nullify his Chametz after the Bedika he still has not [Rabbinically] completed the mitzvah of destroying the Chametz. [Admur 432:2]

Interchanged an “AL” for an “L”: See Admur 432:4

[3] Admur 432:3

The reason: The reason for why we do not say the blessing of Shehechiyanu before the search, even though that the Bedika is a Mitzvah that is dependent on a specific time [meaning is renewed every year and thus should have a Shehechiyanu said over it], is because this Mitzvah [of searching] is done [as a preparation] for the holiday, as one cleans his home [from Chametz] and destroys the Chametz from it for the need of the holiday. Therefore, it is exempted with the blessing of Shehechiyanu said on the night Kiddush of the holiday. [Admur ibid]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the blessing of Shehechiyanu is to be said at the time of the Bedika. [Raavad; Baal Haitur] Some Poskim conclude that due to this opinion, one should have with him a new fruit when doing the Bedika, in order for him to say the blessing of Shehechiyanu according to all. [Abudarham; Kaf Hachaim 432; Piskeiy Teshuvos 432]

[4] Admur 432:5

[5] Whether a full room, corner or even hole. [Admur ibid]

[6] Admur ibid in parentheses; See Admur 446:3; Kuntrus Acharon 446:1

[7] The reason: However if he remembers only after the Bedika was completely finished, then he may not say the blessing, as all blessings must be said prior to doing the mitzvah that they are going on, as once the mitzvah has already been done how can one say a blessing of “That you commanded us to do the following command”, if he will not be doing the command, being that he already did it. [Admur ibid]

[8] The reason and other opinions in Admur:: There is an opinion who says that one is to say the blessing the next day at the end of the 5th hour, upon burning the Chametz which he found during the search, as this burning is the main aspect of destroying the Chametz, and ideally is fit to have a blessing said over it, and we only do not say the blessing because we have already exempted it with the blessing of Al Biur Chametz that was said by the Bedika. Thus, in a case that no blessing was said by the Bedika, he needs to say a blessing by the time of the burning of the Chametz. Practically, one should suspect for the above opinion [brought in previous footnote] to say the blessing [at the time of the burning] but without mentioning G-d’s name. [Admur ibid]

[9] Admur 432:12 in name of Maharshal

[10]

[11] The reason it is allowed: Now although one who washes his hands for a mitzvah of which the sages did not institute that one’s hands are to be washed is considered to be of haughty spirit, nevertheless since the search for Chametz is coming for purification of the Holiday, as explained above [regarding why we do not say Shehechiyanu by the Bedika] it is therefore considered important enough of a Mitzvah to have one cleanse himself prior to doing it. [Admur ibid]

[12] Piskeiy Teshuvos 433:7

[13] Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:287; Moadim Uzmanim 3:287; Chovas Hadar end of Sefer; Piskeiy Teshuvos 437:3

[14] The reason: As the students do not own their dorm rooms at all, not even as a form of rental, being the directorship have the right to move students from one room to another, and it is hence not a true rental. Accordingly, the checking obligation falls upon the institution and not the individual students who are merely considered like members of the household of the institution. Thus, only one blessing may be recited upon checking the entire dorm, and not one blessing per student or per room. [Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:287; Moadim Uzmanim 3:287; Chovas Hadar end of Sefer]

[15] Piskeiy Teshuvos 437:3 in name of Chazon Ish; Implication of Admur 436:20 that a guest who eats his own Chametz is considered to have his own individual obligation to check for Chametz, and is not viewed as a household member or dependent [brought in 432:8] who does not own the Chametz and does not have an individual obligation. Now, Yeshiva students pay tuition and hence have in truth purchased their meals. Accordingly, there is no reason to not consider the Chametz as theirs, and therefore they may choose to recite a blessing upon making the search.

[16] The reason: As the rooms are considered owned by the students, being they pay tuition for room and board. [ibid]

[17] As so is implied from Admur ibid

[18] Implication of Admur 436:20 that a guest who eats his own Chametz is considered to have his own individual obligation to check for Chametz, and is not viewed as a household member or dependent [brought in 432:8] who does not own the Chametz and does not have an individual obligation. Accordingly, there is no reason to require one blessing to be said on behalf of them both, and they may both choose to recite a blessing upon making the search.

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