Sell Your Chametz for Passover

Sell Your Chametz for Passover

Passover is all about eating matzah and staying away from chametz. Chametz refers to anything that is made from grain without first being made into matzah, such as bread, cereal, cookies, vinegar, and vodka – all of which are prohibited during Passover, unless made through a special process and labeled “Kosher for Passover.”

There are four main mitzvot regarding chametz during Passover: [1] not to eat it (Ex. 13:3), [2] not to see it (Ex. 13:7), [3] not to own it (Ex. 12:19), and [4] to destroy it (Ex. 12:15). You can fulfill these four mitzvot by taking a few simple steps…

Step 1 – Cleaning Your Home
Thoroughly clean out your home (especially your kitchen) and even your office and car in order to remove all traces of chametz. Set aside any chametz you wish to keep for after the holiday. You may even consider donating any new and unopened chametz to a local food pantry. This needs to be done by the evening before the first seder.

Step 2 – Selling Your Chametz (Mekhirat Chametz)
Since we are not supposed to own chametz on Passover and don’t want to waste food by having to throw it out, the rabbis developed a ritual of selling chametz to someone who is not Jewish for the duration of the holiday. Even though you sell your chametz, it is still important to store any chametz you wish to keep in a sealed-off and clearly-labeled location where you won’t accidentally see or eat it during Passover. Even if you will be away from your home for the duration of the holiday, you should still sell your chametz. This step must be completed by 8:30am PST on Wendesday, April 8th.

Step 3 – Searching for (Bedikah), Burning (Bi’ur), and Nullifying (Bitul) Your Chametz
It is customary to search your house the night before Passover for any remaining traces of chametz that you may have missed in your cleaning. Gather anything you find into a paper bag or piece of foil. Then, in the morning, take this remaining hametz outside and burn it before reciting a blessing to nullify any other traces you might have missed. This year, the search for chametz should be conducted on the evening of Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 and the burning and nullifying of chametz must be done by 11:30am PST on Wednesday, April 8th.

Please visit templealiyah.org/passover for more information on how to prepare for Passover, including grocery shopping tips, instructions for cleaning your home, as well as blessings and procedures for the searching, burning, and nullifying of chametz.

Mekhirat Chametz – Selling Your Chametz
In order to fulfill the mitzvah of not owning any chametz during Passover, it has become the custom to sell all chametz prior to Passover. This symbolic sale is carried out by a rabbi, whom you authorize through a Shtar Harsha'ah (document of permission). The rabbi then sells your chametz by writing a Shtar Mekhirah (document of sale).

If you wish to fulfill this mitzvah, please complete the form below. You may also click here to print and email/fax/hand deliver it to Lisa Leib in the office at lleib@templealiyah.org no later than 8:30am on Wednesday, April 8th.

I, _______________________, hereby designate Rabbi Stewart Vogel as my agent to sell all kinds of chametz, including but not limited to any leavened food, as well as dishes, pots, pans, and utensils affected by chametz, which may be in my possession. I understand that the sale will go into effect at 11:30am PST on Wednesday, April 8th 2020.
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    It is a mitzvah to help those less fortunate observe the holiday of Pesach. This is called Maot Chittim. Rabbi Stewart Vogel will distribute a donation on your behalf to SOVA.
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