Selling of Hametz – 5779
As we approach the spring we naturally begin to focus on Passover (Pesah in Hebrew). People start planning their Seder; who will be coming, which night will they have at their house or at someone else’s, Hametz, not explicitly defined in the Torah, is described in rabbinic literature as being these five species of grain: wheat, spelt, oats, barley, and rye. Although matzah must be made from one of these, we are forbidden by halakhah (Jewish law) to eat, own, see, or benefit from any other form of these grains on Pesah. (Please note: rice, legumes, quinoa, corn, etc. are not hametz. See pg. 18 of the March Mishpachtenu for more details.)
Prior to Pesah, we work as diligently as possible to rid our homes of all hametz. In the Torah we are instructed that “no leaven shall be seen or found in your possession during Passover.” Some people work towards eating up all of their hametz before Passover and give away or dispose of any that is left over. This is hard to do and for many it is not feasible.
Knowing of this hardship, the rabbis introduced a way for us not to own any hametz. Before Passover we sell the hametz to a non-Jew for Passover. After Passover, the goods all revert back into our ownership. If you want to know more about the intricacies of this custom, please feel free to ask Rabbi Adelson for details. Please take the opportunity to fill out the form below and return it to the synagogue by 11:00 am on Friday, April 19 in order to have your hametz included in the sale.
It is customary to include a donation to support the vulnerable in our community. These funds will be contributed to Rabbi Adelson’s Discretionary Fund which is used to provide scholarships, offer assistance to those in need and to promote Jewish cultural, educational and religious activities.
Hag kasher vesameah (A Happy and Kosher Pesah)!
Rabbi Seth Adelson