Selling Chametz: The Real Deal

Question

I thought we’re not supposed to use tricks to get around laws in Judaism. So could you explain to me how selling chametz on paper, and then getting it back after Pesach, is okay? Isn’t it just a trick since we know that the buyer is never going to take the chametz? Thanks.

4 months

Answers

  1. Selling your chametz before Pesach is not a trick, but a legally binding sale. When you sell your chametz it belongs to the buyer, who has every right to use it.

    In a certain community, all the chametz — including the kosher pizza shop — was sold to a police officer. During Pesach, a burglar broke in to the pizza shop. The policeman, who happened to be on duty at the time, entered the pizza shop, arrested the robber, and exclaimed, “You’re robbing MY business!”

    And it’s told of a whiskey producer in Europe who sold his entire business for Pesach since whiskey is chametz. After Pesach the buyer decided he wanted to own the business permanently, and so he refused to sell it back.

    But you’re right. Both the buyer and the seller should take the sale seriously and realize that it’s not a ‘trick.’ I know of a Rabbi who in order to show his congregants that the sale is no joke told the buyer to enter a home during Pesach and ask for his chametz!

    Wishing you a Happy and chametz-free Pesach!

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team