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Chometz Form

 

AUTHORISATION FOR THE SELLING OF CHOMETZ

Please Note:

  1. Irrespective of one’s degree of religious observance, it is important to sell one’s chometz.
  2. Each householder must sign his/her own authorisation.
  1. Businesses, Holiday homes or flats must be included.
 

In order to facilitate your easy compliance with the laws of selling Chometz, please complete the form below no later than Thursday 18 April 4:00pm. Forms received later than this time are not guaranteed to be processed with the Beth Din.



“WHY SHOULD I SELL MY CHOMETZ?”

Q: “It’s mine. I bought it and paid my hard-earned money for it. Why should I sell it to some stranger I’ve never even met? And besides, this whole silly chometz routine is a hypocritical loophole, nothing more than a sham!”

A: An angry questioner, but a fair question. Pesach, however, is not only the season of questions, it is also a time for answers, so let’s try.

On Pesach, a Jew is forbidden by Torah Law to own any leaven, or chometz. Furthermore, chometz which has been in Jewish possession over Pesach may not be eaten or benefited from, even after Pesach. Now, for us average householders, it’s not overly demanding to expect us to finish our last loaf of bread, bag of beigels, or box of breakfast cereal before Pesach.

For a Jewish shopkeeper, though, who might have shelves, or even a storeroom, full of chometz this prohibition may be very demanding indeed. In fact, it might bankrupt him completely if he were forced to disown all his stock. Even average householders today might be lucky enough to own a full case of Black Label Whisky (bone fide chometz) – rather difficult to consume before Pesach and, surely, a monumental sin to give away!

So, a few hundred years ago, wise Rabbis in their compassion for Jewish citizens facing this predicament, devised a perfectly legal system for observing Pesach laws while remaining financially solvent.

The chometz is sold to a non-Jew before Pesach in a perfectly valid, binding sale. The non-Jew pays a fee (or deposit) on the chometz goods in all the Jewish homes and businesses listed in the Rabbi’s contract and when Pesach arrives, it becomes his. The Jew keeps his chometz in a sealed cupboard over Yom Tov and does not even look at it over this period. After Yom Tov, the transaction is reversed, again quite legally, permitting the use of this chometz after Pesach.

Thus, the sale is not a sham at all. Indeed, were the non-Jewish purchaser interested in making our lives difficult, he could very well insist on keeping to the terms of the sale and claiming what is rightfully his. Fortunately, there are safeguards in place, but the point is that the sale is real, the transaction effective.

So, to our questioner: Relax. Simply see your Rabbi before Erev Pesach and sign on the dotted line. Regardless of how religiously observant you may or may not be, this is a very easy way to avoid a serious transgression. And it’s free! (Traditionally, people do make a donation to the Rav but there is no charge.) Even if you are not “changing over for Pesach” (G-d forbid), it is still recommended that you sell your chometz. Incidentally, the Rabbi is not buying your chometz. He is merely acting as your agent to attend to the sale of the chometz on your behalf. Have a wonderful chometz-free Yom Tov!

Rabbi Yossy Goldman                                           Rabbi Yehuda Stern
Thu, 20 June 2019 17 Sivan 5779