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  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Chametz and Pesach Products

Selling Hametz on Passover


Rabbi David Sperling

Adar 11, 5777
Can the following 2 products be kept in your home for Pesach and be sold with the chametz, or must they be used up or thrown out ? Crisco and teriyaki sauce. Thank you.
Shalom, Thank you for your question. As you are probably aware, all chametz products must be removed from the ownership of a Jew before Pesach. The traditional way to achieve this is to try to eat up and finish all the chametz food we have before the festival – and what remains we throw out, or burn on the morning before Seder Night. However, the Rabbis explain, that in certain cases a Jew may want to sell any chametz products they own to a non-Jew, even with the intent to buy them back after the festival. Originally the chametz sold to the non-Jew was removed to the non-Jew's house – but nowadays it is closed off in a cupboard etc, and the non-Jew takes over certain legal rights to both the chametz (which becomes his) and the cupboard. This sale of chametz (which is very widespread) is designed for actual chametz. For example, a Jewishly owned supermarket will not be able to practically remove and destroy all their chametz – so they seal up the chametz and sell it to a non-Jew, buying it back after the end of Pesach. Many people use this sale in their houses for their whiskey etc. With this in mind, it is certainly permissible to sell actual chametz (even bread!) to a non-Jew before Pesach (through your local Rabbi), and close it off in a cupboard or pantry for the duration of the festival. So, to answer your question, every product, even those made of chametz, may be sold with your chametz. One could ask (humorously) "why is this chametz [Crisco and teriyaki sauce] different from all other chametz [that you are selling] ?" It could be however, that you follow the practice – which is advised by many Rabbis – to try and not rely on the sale of chametz for actual chametz, but rather use it for products that are doubtful. Although it is clear that shops and businesses have a real financial need to sell their chametz, many individuals and families try to limit the reliance on the sale of chamtez. They use it for things that do not contain real chametz, but do not have a kosher for Passover certification (hechsher), or were open in a non Pesach kitchen (such as the sugar jar, or the salt and pepper used all year). If this is your custom, then you probably want to know if these products contain actual chametz or not. Unfortunately, we at this website do not have information about the kashrut or makeup of individual items. May I suggest you contact the organization that provides the kashrut certification - be it the O-U or O-K etc. But, let me repeat that from the letter of the law, all chametz may be sold in the pre-Pesach sale of chametz, which is organized by your local Rabbi. Blessings.
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