May one touch Chametz on Pesach?

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May one touch Chametz on Pesach?[1]

It is forbidden to touch Chametz with one’s hands throughout the entire Pesach, beginning from Erev Pesach past the 6th hour of the day[2], with exception to when one is in the process of destroying it, as will be explained.[3] This applies whether the Chametz is disowned [i.e. Hefker, on the street] or is owned by a gentile.

If found in one’s property:[4] The above prohibition against touching Chametz applies even if one has a gentile’s Chametz in one’s home, and he wants to return it to the gentile, or throw it outside. In the event that one finds the Chametz of a gentile in his home [as is the case today with anyone who performed Mechiras Chametz and found Chametz in his home] he is to use a stick [i.e. broom] to move it outside his home, or into the area sold to the gentile, as explained in 9A.[5] However, if one found Chametz of a Jew [whether this Chametz belonged to him or to another Jew] in his property [and that Jew did not perform Mechiras Chametz and thus the Chametz is required to be destroyed] then it is permitted for him to touch the Chametz for the purpose of destroying it, as required by law.[6]



Throughout the entire Pesach, beginning from the 6th hour of the day on Erev Pesach and onwards, it is forbidden to touch Chametz with one’s hands, unless one is doing so for the purpose of destroying it.



May one move Chametz with other parts of his body, such as his foot and the like?

Seemingly, it is permitted for one to move Chametz using body parts other than his hand, such as his foot.[7] However, some Poskim[8] rule that one may not come into any body contact with Chametz, and even to kick it with one’s foot is forbidden.


If one sees Chametz on the street during Pesach should/may he move it to a clean area?[9]

It is forbidden to lift the Chametz with one’s hands.[10] Some Poskim[11], however, rule that one may kick it with one’s feet, as stated above. Other Poskim[12] however rule that doing so is forbidden, and hence it is to remain on the street without being moved.[13]


If one picked up Chametz on Pesach, is it considered as if he acquired it?[14]

One who picks up unowned Chametz on Pesach is considered to have acquired it and transgresses the Biblical prohibition of Baal Yiraeh and Baal Yimatzeh. This possibly applies even if he has no intent to acquire the Chametz, such as he is picking it up for the sake of throwing it out, nevertheless, some Poskim[15] rule that he possibly acquires it. Accordingly, one who picked up unowned [i.e. Hefker] Chametz on Pesach, must immediately burn it, or destroy it in one of the other valid methods.



[1] Admur 440:16; 444:13; 446:7; 450:24-25; Rivash 401; Biur Halacha 446 “Biveiso”

[2] Admur 444:13

[3] The reason: As if one touches the Chametz he may forget and come to eat it. [Admur 446:7]

[4] Admur 446:7; 440:16 in parentheses adds that even if giving the Chametz back to the gentile owner avoids one from transgressing the owning prohibition, such as if one accepted liability of the Chametz, and it was in one’s property, nevertheless, one may not return it with his hands to the gentile owner.

[5] The reason: The use of a stick serves as a reminder, so he not come to forget and eat from the Chametz while in the process of returning it. [Admur ibid]

[6] The reason: We do not suspect that one will come to forget and eat it in such a case as since his entire dealing with the Chametz is in order to destroy it from the world, how can he then forget [about the prohibition] and come to eat it. [Admur ibid]

[7] Admur 444:13 and 446:7 emphasized the word “with one’s hand,” thus implying that he may use other body parts to do so, and so rules Mili Deavos E.H. 5:1-3, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 446:3; On the other hand, Tzaruch Iyun why Admur then goes on to only mention the option of moving it with a stick and does not mention the option to push it with ones foot.

[8] Lehoros Nasan 5:30 that so is implied from Setimas Haposkim; Piskeiy Teshuvos 446:3

[9] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 446:3

[10] Rivash 401; Biur Halacha 446 “Biveiso”; Kinyan Torah 5:43; Lehoros Nasan 5:30

The reason: As by doing so one acquires it [as explained next], as well as due to the worry that he may come to eat it. [Rivash ibid]

[11] Mili Deavos E.H. 5:1-3

[12] Lehoros Nasan 5:30

[13] The reason it does not transgress Bizuiy Ochlin: As Chametz on Pesach is not considered food for a Jew, and thus does not have the status of “Kavod Ochlim.” [Lehoros Nasan ibid]

[14] Rivash 401; Biur Halacha 446 “Biveiso”

[15] Rivash ibid clearly states that he does not acquire it if he does not have intent to do so, however see Machaneh Efraim Hilchos Kinyan Meshicha 4 that Biblically one can acquire an item by picking it up even if he does not want it. See Kinyan Torah 5:43; See Admur 448:3 regarding Kinyan Chatzer that it does not work against one’s will

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