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After Pesach, may I eat Chametz which was in the possession of a Jew during the holiday?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Holidays » Passover » Chametz | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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The sages prohibited eating or benefiting from any Chametz which was in the possession of a Jew during Pesach. They instituted this ban lest people "forget" to destroy their chametz, and after Pesach they "just happen" to find the chametz, and eat it.

Obviously, this ban does not apply to chametz which was properly sold to a non-Jew before Pesach. This prohibition only applies to real chametz, not to Kitniyot, and not to clean flatware, pots or pans which were used for chametz.

Consequently, after Pesach it is forbidden to buy chametz items from a Jewish-owned store, unless the owner of the store sold his chametz to a non-Jew through a competent rabbi. (It usually takes around thirty days before the store is completely restocked with new merchandise which arrived after Pesach).1

Footnotes

  • 1. Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 448:3

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Chametz
Any leavened product which is produced from wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oats. This includes bread, cake, cereals, crackers, biscuits, yeast, pasta and whisky. It is forbidden for a Jew to possess or consume Chametz throughout Passover.
Kitniyot
Various legumes and grain-like substances. The medieval sages banned eating kitniyot during the holiday of Passover because it resembles Chametz (leavened grain products) which is Biblically forbidden during this holiday.
Pesach
Passover. A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.