Where to do the Bedika-Must one check cleaned areas?

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In what areas is one obligated to perform the Bedika inspection at night?

All the areas that are obligated to be cleaned, as explained in chapter 3 Halacha 3[1] are required to be checked for Chametz at night with the use of a candle [or flashlight and the like].[2] This applies even if one has completely cleaned and checked that area by day.[3] [Accordingly, all the areas that were already cleaned for Pesach must be rechecked at night with a Bedika using candlelight [or flashlight].[4] However, some Poskim[5] rule that once the area has been properly cleaned, even during the day, it no longer needs to be checked at all, and so is the custom of many. Other Poskim[6] rule that all pre-cleaned moveable items merely require a swift glance at night, and not a thorough checking. Practically, it is best to be stringent like the former approach which requires a Bedika at night to even cleaned areas, and so was the directive of the Rebbe Rashab.[7] This Bedika is valid on any night, even prior to the 14th.[8] Accordingly, the following advice should be used to lessen the burden of rechecking everything on the night of the 14th:[9] After cleaning an individual item, such as a drawer, shelf, cabinet, fridge, room, and the like, one is to check the item that night using a flash light or room light, and intend to perform the Bedika on it at this time. For example, if one cleaned the fridge on the 10th of Nissan, he should check it that night with a flashlight/room light, and only then line it. A blessing is not recited on this Bedika.[10] In all cases, for the Bedika to remain valid, one is to make sure that Chametz is guarded from that area from here and onwards.[11] Likewise, one is to leave at least one area unchecked, which he will check with a blessing on the night of the 14th.[12]]

 

 

Summary:

All areas that require cleaning for Chametz, likewise require a Bedika inspection to be performed with candle light [or flash light] at night to verify their cleanliness. In order to lessen the burden of requiring a rechecking of the entire home and its belongings on the night of the 14th, one can intend to check the room/item the same night that it was cleaned, even several days before the night of the 14th, and thus fulfill his Mitzvah of Bedika without needing to recheck it later on. Nonetheless, many are lenient to not recheck at night any area or furniture that was thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned from Chametz.

 

Q&A

Does one need to perform Bedikas Chametz towards Chametz vessels?

Some Poskim[13] rule that all Chametz vessels require a Bedika inspection. Practically, the custom is not to perform a Bedika on vessels and to suffice with washing the utensils.[14] One is however to check with a candle the inside of an oven and microwave.[15]

 

Does one have to do Bedikas Chametz to Chametz areas that will be sold to the gentile?[16]

Some Poskim[17] rule one is required to perform a Bedika to all areas on the night of the 14th, even if one plans to sell that area to the gentile on the day of the 14th, prior to the 6th hour.[18] Other Poskim[19] rule it is not necessary to perform a Bedika to any area that one plans to sell to a gentile the next day.[20] Practically, the custom is to be lenient in this matter and there is thus no obligation to check the rooms that one will sell/rent to the gentile.[21] One is however to emphasize in the sale document to the gentile that the sale includes all the Chametz in the room/house, including Chametz found in the cracks and crevices.[22] Some Poskim[23] conclude that despite the custom, it is nevertheless proper to suspect for the stringent opinion and sell the Chametz on the 13th, as explained next.

Selling the Chametz on the 13th: Those who desire to be stringent and suspect for the former opinion who requires a Bedika to even sold areas, are to sign on a Mechiras Chametz contract that sells the Chametz on the 13th of Nissan, hence exempting them from a Bedika on the night of the 14th according to all.[24] Today, due to this, some Batei Dinim perform the sale on the 13th. Some Poskim[25] however protest against this custom.[26] Practically, the Chabad custom is to be lenient in this matter, following the ruling of the Tzemach Tzedek, and hence we do not perform a sale on the 13th. This is likewise the custom of many Gedolei Yisrael.[27] Nonetheless, some[28] conclude that it is best to at least sign on the Shtar Harsha on the 13th.

 

 

Maaseh Rav

The Bedika of the Rebbe Rashab on an already cleaned area:[29]


Rav Yaakov Landau related the following incident that occurred to him in the home of the Rebbe Rashab, regarding Bedikas Chametz to precleaned areas: One time the Rebbetzin Shterna Sarah z”l, told me that we need to do a Bedika to the room that was cleaned for use for the Pesach products. This was on the night of Rosh Chodesh Nissan. That room was fully cleaned and “Kashered” and many of the Pesach products were already stored inside it, such as the wine and other items. It was discovered that the walls were not properly cleaned and therefore the Rebbe Rashab instructed that everything be removed and the walls re-cleaned. After this repeated cleaning, the Rebbetzin said that the room needs to have a Bedika done to it. I entered the room of the Rebbe Rashab to receive clarification regarding the necessity for this Bedika after the room was clearly cleaned of all Chametz. The Rebbe Rashab replied: “In general, when people clean a room for Chametz, in majority of cases they forget completely to do a Bedika afterwards. Even if they do check it, it is a very swift check, which is most certainly invalid, as all the items are already in the room. Therefore, the room should have a Bedika performed in it without a blessing the same night that it is cleaned for Pesach.”

 

The Bedika of the Alter Rebbe:[30]

The Alter Rebbe went to Mezritch for the first time in the year 1764 and remained there until a few days before Pesach of 1765. Upon returning home, on the 13th of Nissan, he did not eat due to his preoccupation with the preparations for Bedikas Chametz, assuring that all the Divine intents that he learned in Mezritch regarding the Bedika would be translated into action. The actual Bedika continued throughout the entire night despite the fact that he only had one room in his possession.

 

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[1] See there that all areas which one remembers entering Chametz into, even once, or that it is common to enter while eating, require checking.

[2] Admur 431:5 that the Takana for Bedika is on the night of the 14th; 433:7 that one can check it any night without a blessing, even prior to the 14th; 433:5-6 that the Bedika is invalid during the day and is only valid at night; 433:38 that all areas that require Bedika are to be swept clean before the Bedika; Accordingly, after taking into account all the above rulings we conclude that all cleaned areas must be checked for Chametz at night with a candle.

[3] Admur 433:39 that sweeping does not suffice and 433:6 that checking by day does not suffice; Michaber 433:11; Rama 433:11 that all areas must be cleaned before the Bedika; M”A 433:20 “Some are accustomed after the cleaning to only do a Bedika to some of the rooms, this is improper”; M”B 433:45 [however in Shaar Hatziyon 432:12 he rules differently]; Directive of Rebbe Rashab to Rav Yaakov Landau; Sefer Hakashrus 6:10 footnote 38; Nitei Gavriel p. 135; 136; 161, brought also in Piskeiy Teshuvos 433:8

[4] Directive of Rebbe Rashab to Rav Yaakov Landau; Hiskashrus Pesach; Sefer Hakashrus 6:10 footnote 38; Nitei Gavriel p. 135; 136; 161, brought also in Piskeiy Teshuvos 433:8

[5] Piskeiy Teshuvah 432:2 in name of Eimek Halacha 143, brought in Shaar Hatziyon 432:12 that today that we thoroughly clean all the areas before the night of the 14th they are exempt from Bedika; Shaareiy Teshuvah end of 433 “Today the masses are lenient to not to properly check the home within every area, as it was already properly cleaned beforehand; Chochmas Shlomo 433:11 “If one cleaned the area at least three days before the night of the 14th, he is not required to do a Bedika at night to the area as it has a Chazaka that it is free of Chametz, and is no different than an area in which one never entered Chametz into to begin with”; Nitei Gavriel Pesach 1:76

[6] Daas Torah 433

[7] Rebbe Rashab ibid; Nitei Gavriel p. 135; 136; 161 writes that if possible one should search all areas at night with a candle, even those areas which already have been cleaned, and they thus are to be checked before they are covered with paper and the like. Thus, it seems that he learned that one should suspect for the view that the Takana to check at night applies to all items, even those previously cleaned. [However, earlier on page 78 he contradicts himself and rules that if one has already cleaned all areas before Bedika then he must from the letter of the law place out the ten pieces of bread. Vetzaruch Iyun] Piskeiy Teshuvos 433:8 records this opinion; Sefer Hakashrus ibid writes that when cleaning the kitchen closets, one must remember to check it with a candle, and that it is unfathomable that the area which most has Chametz will not be checked as is required; So I received from several Rabbanei Anash, that even cleaned areas must be checked.

[8] Admur 433:7

[9] Directive of Rebbe Rashab to Rav Yaakov Landau, in story ibid; So I received from several Rabbanei Anash, that they themselves are accustomed to do so in order to lessen the burden of needing to recheck everything on the night of the 14th. [Heard from Rav S.Z. Labkowski as well as many other Rabbanim that so they do in their own home.]

[10] Admur 433:7

[11] Admur ibid

[12] Admur ibid

[13] Chayeh Adam 119:10; Kitzur SHU”A 111:3

[14] Nitei Gavriel 18:8 footnote 14 and in Volume 3 Teshuvah 1

[15] Nitei Gavriel ibid

[16] See correspondence between the Tzemach Tzedek O.C. 47 and Divrei Nechemia 35 [printed in Hosafos Shulchan Aruch Admur Page 1372-1376]; M”B 436:32; Kaf Hachaim 436:53; Nitei Gavriel Vol. 1 27:1 [p. 146]; Piskeiy Teshuvos 436:3

The correspondence of the Tzemach Tzedek with the Divrei Nechemiah: The Divrei Nechemiah addressed the above question to the Tzemach Tzedek. In his letter he brings the opinions of the Chayeh Adam and other Acharonim who rule that it has to be checked, and thus asks why Admur writes in the Siddur that the sale should be done on the 14th, as then one becomes obligated to check, and rather the sale should be done on the 13th. He states various reasons to explain why even if sold on 14th no checking is required the night before, as since he plans to sell the room on the 14th, it’s as if he will destroy all the Chametz on the 14th and thus no checking is required. There is no worry of him forgetting to do the sale, as he certainly will not come to forget to sell the known Chametz, and this will remind him to also sell the unknown Chametz that is in the room. However, he gives counterarguments, and ends indecisively, not wanting to be lenient against the great Acharonim. The Tzemach Tzedek in his response writes that he agrees with the logic of the Divrei Nechemiah, against the Chayeh Adam, as well he adds that the Torah only obligates one to destroy Chametz in his property and thus since he will not be owning the area after the 6th hour, why should there be an obligation to check it the night before, if even Biblically he is not obligated to destroy the Chametz from it. The Takana of checking for Chametz only applies to those areas that one may not own Chametz in when Pesach enters, and thus property that will be sold does not need to be checked. [To note that seemingly there is a clear proof for the ruling and reasoning of the Tzemach Tzedek from 436:21 where Admur rules that when selling one’s home to a gentile, if the gentile will acquire the Chametz before the 6th hour of Erev Pesach, then he does not need to check for it, even though that it will belong to him by the time of Bedika.] The Divrei Nechemiah responded to the Tzemach Tzedeks reply with a list of questions and rebuttals on the reasons the Tzemach Tzedek used to defend not needing to check these rooms on the night of the 13th.

[17] Implication of P”M 436 M”Z 7 “The house that he lived in on the night of the 14th seemingly must be checked [even though he will be returning it to the gentile the next morning]”, Chayeh Adam 119:8; Makor Chaim 436:4; Divrei Nechemiah 35 in his question to the Tzemach Tzedek leans to be stringent [brought in Hosafos Shulchan Aruch Admur Page 1372-1376]; Kitzur SHU”A 111:6; Halef Lecha Shlomo 392; Avnei Tzedek 53; Devar Moshe Tinyana 98:22; Techeiles Mordechai 121

If one will be leaving his home before the night of the 14th: Nitei Gavriel 27:4 writes that if one will be leaving his house before the 14th, then according to all there is no need to check the house before leaving if he plans to sell it to a gentile. Vetzaruch Iyun why all agree in this case, as according to the Makor Chaim, there is still suspicion that one may not find a gentile to sell it to, and thus it makes no difference when the person leaves the house.

[18] The reason: Being that the sale will only take place the next day, it ends up that on the night of Bedikas Chametz the rooms still belong to the Jew. Therefore, one is obligated to check the rooms that will be sold the next day to make sure that there is no Chametz in them. [Makor Chaim ibid; Chayeh Adam ibid; See Divrei Nechemia ibid] Alternatively, the reason why we require it to be checked is because we suspect that perhaps one will not find a gentile to sell it to. [Makor Chaim ibid]

[19] Tzemach Tzedek 47; Chasam Sofer O.C. 131; Binyan Olam 20; Ashel Avraham Butchach 433 and in Mahadurah Tinyana; Shaareiy Tzedek 75; Zecher Yehosef 143; Divrei Chen 45; Beir Yaakov 436:19; Orchos Rabbeinu 2:69 that so directed the Chazon Ish

[20] The reason: As the obligation of Bedika was only established towards one’s property, and anything that one will not be owned by Pesach is not considered one’s property on the night of the 14th. [Tzemach Tzedek ibid] As since one will not transgress Baal Yiraeh on the Chametz sold, therefore he does not need to check for it. [Chasam Sofer] Alternatively, the sale itself fulfills the Mitzvah of Tashbisu. This is no different than the Chametz one may save to eat and burn on the day of the 14th. [Binyan Olam ibid, brought in M”B and Kaf Hachaim ibid] We do not suspect that the Jew will forget to sell it is because the gentile who will benefit from the deal will remind him, as well as that every time the person sees the room, it reminds him that he must sell it. [Tzemach Tzedek ibid]

[21] Tzemach Tzedek ibid “So is the widespread custom”; Divrei Nechemia ibid that custom is to be lenient; Misgeres Hashulchan on Kitzur SHU”A 111:6 “People are not careful in this”; Ashel Avraham of Butchach ibid; Daas Kedoshim 433:3; Sdei Chemed Mareches Chametz Umatzah 5:4; Or Yisrael 436:3; Madanei Shmuel 111:13; Kinyan Torah 3:53; 6:26; Nitei Gavriel 27:1 footnote 4; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[22] M”B ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid; This wording is included in the Shtar of the Alter Rebbe in his Shulchan Aruch “And included in all the above is the sale of the pieces of Chametz that are found in all these areas.” So was also included even more specifically in the Shtar Mechira of the Rebbe to the Rav.

[23] M”B ibid “Although one is not to protest against those who are lenient, nevertheless, one who sells on the 13th is doing the better act”; Kaf Hachaim ibid “It is best…”; Nitei Gavriel ibid

[24] M”B ibid “Although one is not to protest against those who are lenient, nevertheless, one who sells on the 13th is doing the better act”; Kaf Hachaim ibid “It is best…”; Nitei Gavriel ibid

[25] Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:220; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 20

[26] The reason: As by doing such a sale one enters his entire Bedika into question, as if his entire home and all Chametz is already sold to the gentile on the 13th, how can he check for Chametz with a blessing on the 14th, and seemingly his blessing is in vain. [ibid]

[27] Kinyan Torah ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[28] Divrei Nechemia ibid; Kinyan Torah ibid; See also Tzemach Tzedek ibid “And in addition majority of the people sell their Chametz through the power of attorney do so on the 13th, and certainly he is not suspected to forget to sell it to the gentile.”

[29] Yagdil Torah N.Y. 52 p. 150

[30] Haggadah of Rebbe; Sefer Hasichos 1938 Chag Hapesach

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