Small children eating Chametz for medicinal purposes-Baby formula

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Small children eating Chametz for medicinal purposes:[1]

A slightly ill baby may eat or drink Chametz for medical reasons.[2] This applies even if his illness does not pose a danger to his life.[3] [Accordingly, children who are accustomed to eaten certain Chametz based formulas and changing their menu over Pesach can lead them to falling ill, must be fed Chametz on Pesach.[4] Several days before Pesach, one should begin experimenting with Kosher for Pesach formula’s, and see how the baby reacts. If the baby cannot handle these formula’s, one is to speak to their pediatrician to inquire for an alternative. If the only available alternative is a Chametz formula, one may have it fed to their child over Pesach, as explained next.]

How to store the Chametz and feed the child: Unless it is a possible life-threatening situation, one may not own Chametz for the purpose of feeding a slightly ill child.[5] If possible, one is to arrange for the child to be brought to the home of a gentile, who will then feed the child the Chametz free of charge, as he needs daily. If this is not possible, then one should try to arrange for a gentile to come to his home daily as needed and feed the child Chametz free of charge, making sure that no Chametz is left to remain in the house.[6] If this too is not possible, then one may request from a gentile to give the child Chametz free of charge, and this Chametz will be acquired by the child and kept in one’s home behind a Mechitza of ten Tefach. If one is unable to find someone to give the child Chametz free of charge, then one may ask a gentile to give the child the Chametz on credit, and he will pay him for it after the child acquires the Chametz. In all cases, one may not touch the Chametz until the child acquires it for himself.[7] Furthermore, even after the child acquires the Chametz, one is not to personally touch or deal with the Chametz, and is rather to arrange for a gentile, or other child to prepare it for the baby and feed him. If neither of these options are available. Then one may personally feed the child Chametz. [Practically, in reliance of today’s Mechiras Chametz sale, one can purchase Chametz for the child prior to Pesach and include it in the sale to the gentile. Then, on Pesach, one may have the gentiles Chametz taken and fed to the child as necessary, with intent to repay the gentile later on. This is not considered stealing, and many contracts explicitly give one permission to do so.[8] Alternatively, one can acquire the Chametz to the child before Pesach.[9] To achieve this regarding baby formulas, one must begin experimenting with Kosher for Pesach formula’s before Pesach begins to see if one will need to buy Chametz formula before Pesach, and have it included in the sale to the gentile. If one did not do so, and needs to buy the formula on Pesach itself, then it may only be purchased in one of the above-mentioned ways.]

In a life-threatening situation:[10] The above only applies in a case that is not life threatening, however, in all life-threatening situations, it is permitted to own and feed Chametz on behalf any person who is dangerously ill. One may even purchase Chametz on Pesach for this purpose.


[1] Admur 450:24-26; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 450:5

[2] Admur 450:24

[3] Admur 450:26

[4] See Chazon Ish 59:4; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[5] Admur 450:24

[6] Admur 450:25

[7] Admur 450:24

[8] Heard from Rav Eli Landau Shlita and Rav Yaakov Yosef Z”l; See Chapter 5 Halacha 7!

[9] See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[10] Admur 450:26

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