May one sell the Chametz of another Jew without his knowledge?

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May one sell the Chametz of another Jew without his knowledge?[1]

One who is storing the Chametz of another Jew in his home is to contact him prior to the start of the 6th hour on Erev Pesach and verify that he sold his Chametz. If one is unable to verify if the Jew sold his Chametz to a gentile, then he is obligated to sell the Chametz for him, prior to the 6th hour on Erev Pesach. [Accordingly, the Poskim[2] rule one can sell the Chametz of any Jew he can think of, and add his name and address to the Shtar Harsha, if he is unsure if he will be selling his Chametz.[3] Furthermore, some Poskim[4] go as far as saying that one can sell the Chametz of all the Jewish people in this manner, even one who is not observant. Accordingly, some Shtarei Mechira explicitly sells the Chametz of all the Jewish people. Some Poskim[5] however negate the above ruling, and state the sale is only valid if the Jew gave permission for his Chametz to be sold. Practically, while it does not hurt to include all Jews in the sale, and on the contrary, one only gains by doing so, nevertheless, one is to try to get explicit permission from whoever he can. If one has a relative who is not in a functional state, such as a parent who is in a coma r”l or has Alzheimer’s, he may sell the Chametz on his behalf, although it is best to receive power of attorney through a Beis Din prior to doing so.[6]]


[1] Admur 443:6 “It is a mitzvah of “Hashavas Aveida” for one to sell the Chametz prior to the 6th hour, [in order to prevent his friend of a financial loss].” Michaber 443:2

[2] Implication of Admur ibid; M”A 436:11; See Tzemach Tzedek 46; Panim Meiros 2:52; Chasam Sofer E.H. 11; Divrei Chaim 2:46; Beir Yitzchak 2; Poskim in Sdei Chemed Chametz Umatzah 9:2; Chazon Ish E.H. 45-11; Piskeiy Teshuvos 448:21; See article of Rav Mordechai Farkash, printed in Hearos Ubiurim Yud Alef Nissan 5770

[3] The reason: As Zachin Leadam Shelo Befanav. [Poskim ibid]

[4] Sdei Chemed ibid; See Doveiv Meisharim 1:30

[5] See Avnei Nezer 347; Divrei Malkiel 4:18; Ketzos Hachoshen C.M. 243:8 who explains one can only acquire for the person, and not from the person, or do a transaction on his behalf; See Kinyan Torah 4:43 that the address must be written even Bedieved;

[6] Heard from Harav Yaakov Yosef, in order to suspect for the opinion of the Ketzos Hachoshen

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