Ten pieces of bread

This Halacha is an excerpt from our Sefer


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The ten pieces of bread:[1]

It is customary to place [ten[2]] pieces of Chametz throughout the house before doing the Bedika.[3] This custom is to be abided and is considered part of Torah.[4] [Furthermore, some Poskim[5] rule that in today’s times putting out the pieces of bread is required from the letter of the law, in order to be allowed to recite a blessing over the Bedika.[6]]

What type of Chametz should be placed: One should beware to place hard Chametz which does not crumble.[7]

Wrapping the pieces in paper:[8] It is customary in the Rebbe’s household to place ten pieces of hard bread in various places, each wrapped in paper. [One can use masking tape to wrap the Chametz inside.]

Guarded from rats/children: One must be careful to guard the pieces of Chametz found during the search so they are not taken by children or rodents.

 

Q&A

Who should put out the pieces of bread, the person doing the checking or someone else?[9]

Initially, the pieces should not be spread out in the home by the person doing the checking.[10]

 

Should the pieces placed out be less than a kezayis?

Some Poskim[11] rule that the pieces of Chametz should be less than a kezayis.[12]

 

What does one do if he placed out 10 pieces of Chametz and could not find them all?[13]

If the entire home was checked for Chametz and it still could not be found, it suffices to nullify it.

 

If one is doing the Bedika prior to the 14th [i.e. traveling] should the ten pieces be put out?

Some Poskim[14] rule it should not be spread out.[15] However, other Poskim[16] rule they should be placed.

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[1] Admur 432:11; Siddur Admur; Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar Hamatzos chapter 4

[2] Siddur Admur, based on Kabalah; The Rebbe notes that it’s source is in Mishnas Chassidim and Siddur Haarizal.

[3] The reason: This is done in order for the searcher to find it when he does the Bedika. [Siddur Admur] As perhaps one will not find any Chametz by his search, and thus we place Chametz out in order to guarantee that at least some Chametz will be found. [Admur ibid; 1st opinion in Rama 432:2] Doing so, however, is not at all required from the letter of the law, being that even if one were to not find any Chametz during his search, nevertheless, his blessing is not considered to have been said in vain. The reason for this is because the mitzvah is [not to find Chametz, but to] check for the Chametz and to search for it as perhaps one will find some of it [however] if one were not to find any Chametz, it does not make a difference, and he has already fulfilled the Mitzvah properly. [Rama 432:2 brings a dispute on this matter. Thus, we see that Admur rules like the lenient opinion] Alternatively, the reason is because the blessing is going also on all the known Chametz that he will certainly destroy tomorrow, thus even if he does not find Chametz now it is not a blessing in vain. [Taz 432:2] Alternatively, the reason is 1) In order so one be able to say “dechamiseiy” in the next day’s Bittul; 2) In order so one not forget the command of burning the Chametz. 3) In order so one not be obligated to destroy the spoon used for the search. [Likkutei Taamim Uminhagim of Rebbe on Haggadah]

[4] Admur ibid “Nevertheless, being that this is the custom [it should be done, as] a custom of the Jewish people is itself considered to be part of Torah.”

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that being that this is not necessary for the blessing, therefore one should not put them out, as we suspect that perhaps the searcher will not find it. [Taz 432:4]

[5] Piskeiy Teshuvah 432:2 in name of Eimek Halacha 143, brought in Shaar Hatziyon 432:12; Nitei Gavriel Pesach 1:78

[6] The reason: As it is customary today to already clean all the places of the home prior to the 14th, and it is hence similar to the ruling brought in 3B, that if one cleaned and checked his entire home before the 14th, he does not say a blessing upon rechecking.

[7] The reason: As [otherwise] perhaps some of it will crumble off [after it is found] and will remain in one’s house during Pesach. [Admur ibid]

[8] Haggadah Shel Pesach of Rebbe; Sefer Haminhagim

[9] Chok Yaakov 432:14; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 432:4 for other opinions on this subject

[10] The reason: As by doing so, the pieces are not considered to be included in the required search being that he knows their location.

[11] Shaareiy Teshuvah 432:3

[12] The reason: In order so that if he does not find one of the pieces, he will not be required to go back and check. [ibid] Vetzaruch Iyun as Admur rules that one needs to search for even less than a kezayis of Chametz and in 434 and 439 regarding Chametz getting lost in one’s home, no differentiation is made if the Chametz is a kezayis or less than a kezayis. As well being that one checked his entire home, he should not be required to search for it again even if the Chametz is more than a kezayis, as we rule in 439:6-7.

[13] See Admur 439:6 and previous footnote.

[14] Minchas Yitzchak 8:35

[15] The reason: As anyways there is no suspicion of a blessing in vain, and one may come to forget to find the pieces. [ibid]

[16] Kinyan Torah 2:82

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