Selling Chametz
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Selling Chametz

by Rabbi Shraga Simmons; Apr 1, 2012 at 04:06:08 AM

With Passover just around the corner, this is a good opportunity to revisit one of the most common – yet misunderstood – facets of Jewish life: the selling of chametz.

Many of us have a lot of chametz around the house and would like some way of disposing of it, without having to destroy it all (think Johnny Walker Blue Label). Hence the institution of selling chametz to a non-Jew prior to the holiday.

This is not a charade; the sale must be legally valid. If not done properly, the chametz will remain in your possession throughout Passover. That’s why we have a knowledgeable rabbi arrange the sale.

Remember: Even chametz “sold” to a non-Jew must be labeled as such and put away.

The sale contract is worded in a way so that the non-Jew actually has the option of purchasing all the chametz. Inevitably, however, the non-Jew winds up making a small profit from the entire transaction by transferring back the chametz right after the holiday.

This year, Rabbi Jonathan Gross of Omaha, Nebraska sold some chametz to the billionaire investor Warren Buffet. Buffet joked that next year he would bargain down the price.

Just hope that the non-Jew who buys your chametz doesn't decide to undergo conversion during the week of Passover. That would really complicate things!

You can sell your chametz online by clicking here.

Published: April 1, 2012


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