Mar 25, 2015

Interesting Psak: freezing and selling mufletot

For years I have wondered how Sefardim manage to put away all their dishes and pots after Pesach and organize so quickly and bake chametz for their Mimouna celebration.

I was told once that they are not like us Americans. We have separate sets of dishes for Pesach, so everything needs to be put away, switched, chametz stuff taken out, etc. It seems many of the Sefardim use their dishes from all year round on pesach as well. They kasher pots and whatever they can, for Pesach, and at the end of Pesach they don't need to put these thigns away. They just use them to cook chametz. They put away what they have deciated for Pesach, but their pots are ok as is, and all they have to do is pull out their flour.

The following psak talks about another solution - they prepare the muflatot, and other delicacies, in advance, before Pesach, freeze it and include it in their sale of chametz. Then after Pesach they take it out of the freezer and freshen it up!

The questioner asks about whether freezing the prepared foods and including them in the sale is acceptable or not.

Rav Shabtai Yagel, a rav in Ranana, answered that this should not be done (that would mean the original solution I wrote about is preferred).

Rav Yagel gives three reasons to avoid this method:
   1. the solution of selling chametz was not instituted in order to buy things before Pesach in order to save them for after Pesach, and definitely not for an individual. Sellign chametz was instituted for commercial purposes - for people stuck with merchandise that they would otherwise take a large loss on and therefore might not bother disposing of it. For private people, we don't want people relying on the sale for real chametz, but people should plan in advance to use up their chametz by the time Pesach comes around. And definitely do not buy or prepare chametz right before pesach for the express purpose of selling it to be used right after.
   2. It is possible that in this scenario, the sale might not even work. There is no intention to actually sell it and transfer ownership - it is really deceit. With normal chametz, people would usually be ok if the gentile decided to come get his chametz and pay in full, but n this scenario, the value is not really of interest to the seller, as she wants he food prepared for her Mimouna holiday, and would not want the gentile to come collect it during the holiday.
   3. because she wants her mufletot, if the gentile would come, she might not even agree to him taking it, even while paying full value. That creates another problem (besides for putting the transfer of ownership into question) - her desire for the continued existence of the chametz.
source: Srugim

So, don't freeze your prep-prepared mufletot. Find a way to make them fresh right after pesach.

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  1. How does the first solution work? At least in Israel, flour (AFAIK) is moistened for 3-9 hours during manufacture. Presumably, it should be as much of a problem to sell it as it is mufletot.

    1. a. his issue with not selling chametz gamur, is not accepted by everyone. on that issue alone, one could sell both mufletot and flour
      b. he did not say to not sell chametz, but he seems to be against buying or making chametz specifically with the intent to sell it. if you had chametz in your house already, he does not say not to sell it. on his logic, maybe you also cannot buy flour in advance with the plan to sell it, but any flour you already have you can sell.
      c. the rabbanut only called it a safek chametz because of the moistening of the wheat. maybe that safek gives it enough leniency to allow to be sold, even lechatchila


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