Ask the Rabbi

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Cleaning, Checking & Burning Chametz

Pesach and "home-bound"


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Adar 27, 5780
Shalom. I have been submitting questions through the years. I live in Israel, and I visit my parents in the USA when I can. Sometimes the trips are shorter, sometimes they are much longer. I am currently “bound” to my parents and their apartment due to the recent pandemic R”L. I have several questions at the moment as I will spending Pesach with my parents in the apartment while being “home-bound.” Under ordinary circumstances, my parents are very nervous and panicky people. They are also more elderly now and have remained secular. They have since moved from their house to an apartment building. First, may my father at the outset search for leaven by flashlight in order not to cause another “panic”? Also, may my father make a brocho on a search by flashlight? Second, we plan to place in the apartment ten ready-made pieces of hard bread sealed in plastic. Making a fire is obviously out of the question. We cannot flush them down the toilet either because they are sealed in plastic. Casting them into the wind would anger and frighten my parents because of littering, neighbors in the building, etc. Would placing them down the refuse chute on the apartment floor satisfy the mitzva? Finally, I rent an apartment in Tsfat where I live. I have not been in the apartment in Tsfat for 6 weeks now, and I do not know when I will be returning due to the pandemic. Am I required to sell leaven that I might have left in the apartment before I left for the USA? Thank you for providing us chizuk and may G-d bless you and all of us for a happy, healthy, and kosher Pesach.
ב"ה Shalom, In your situation, you mitzvoth are now compounded with reward. For every mitzvah you do now, you now have the addition of honoring your parents . !. Flashlight- You may do the bedikat Chametz with a flashlight and make the bracha, it fulfills the requirement of the candle by the fact that you can do you bedika even in the smallest places. (שו"ת באר משה חלק ו, קונטרס אלקטריק סי' ס"ג.) 2. Bi'ur Chametz- If you wish , you can take the Chametz to a neighborhood garbage pail or dump, or if you are close to a river it may be placed there. If that is not possible, you may pour on it something like bleach or the like which will render the Chametz inedible even for a dog. (You will have to open the sealed plastic, which can be done by placing all the once sealed bags into another big bag and then toss it down the chute. 3. You are required to sell you Chametz in Tsfat, although you are not there since the Chametz is owned by you, it is considered in your possession. It is best to sell your "Israeli" chametz by somebody in Israel, for so the sale takes place according to Israel times. (הליכות שלמה עמ' קלד) but if don't manage to do it in Israel you should do it where you are and your Chametz is not forbidden after Pessach. (כי בא מועד עמ' ס) May Hashem bless you and you parents with a happy, healthy, and kosher Pesach. All the Best
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