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Ask the rabbi Shabbat and Holidays Chametz and Pesach Products

Keeping non-definite chametz and staying in a dorm

Question
I heard that it is permitted to keep at home during Passover items that are not definitely chametz (apple juice, cheese, tomato juice....) in a separate area of the house. Is that true? I have a second question: I am an university student and most of the week I live, together with a non-Jewish friend, in a dorm. I keep my food, pots and cutlery mostly in separate cupboards or closets. During Passover I will be staying at home. Should I clean for Passover or not? What kind of food should I remove? On the other hand I cannot force my roommate not to eat bread...
Answer
Shalom Ralph, Yes, you can keep chametz-free food at home or in your dorm room during Pesach, even if they don’t have Kosher for Passover supervision, just keep them in a clearly separate place so that you won’t eat them by accident. Regarding your dorm room, even if you won’t be there for Passover, you must clean from all of your chametz (your non-Jewish friend’s chametz is no problem for you). You also should do bedikat chametz (checking with a flashlight or candle) in your dorm room on the last night before you leave without a bracha (blessing), unless it is the night before Pesach (only then should you make a bracha). Have a Happy and Kosher Passover! Rav Ari Shvat (Chwat)
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