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Apr 28, 2011

Why Did The Goy Return the Chametz?

And the "gift of chametz to the goy" saga continues... first the story was publicized of the community who gave away their chametz and belongings to a non-Jew in order to improve upon the mechiras chametz that is normally done. The goy came and took all the stuff they gave him. Then the news reported that the goy called up at the end of Pesach and said he would be returning the stuff. Now the news has another story, that contradicts this, and, if true, really makes the whole thing into a sham.

The news is now reporting that at the end of Pesach the rav of the community called the goy and told him that the people never really expected him to take the stuff, and that the gift had only included the actual chametz and not containers or other items that might be holding the chametz. he said that the fact that he was taking it so seriously surprised them.

He did not tell him explicitly that they want it back, as that would create a halachic problem, but he let the non-Jew know with a very clear hint that they wanted their stuff back. He also did not grill the guy as to why he had taken it, so as not to insult him.

Ynet says that the goy realized how upset the community was and said he would bring the stuff back. Some he already returned and he said he would make sure the rest gets returned quickly. He did not want the community to be upset at him because the community knows him well. Perhaps they do business with him in other manners and issues as well. He did not want to burn his bridges, so he gave the stuff back.

With the news stories being so contradictory of each other, there is no way we can know what really happened. That being said, if this new story is at all accurate as to why the goy returned it, I don't see how this gift can have been valid, let alone more mehudar than the way we normally do the sale of chametz.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. There is theoretical basis for accepting such a "gift" על מנת להחזיר as valid.

    That said, I think this is one chumra that won't be re-visited next year...

  3. I think the whole story was made up for hashkafic purposes and to "prove" that mechirat chametz is a real sale. (Sort of like the stories about the gedolim that portray them as angels rather than mortals.)

    However, someone else has gotten ahold of the story and has fabricated new rumors to burst the bubble of this "beautiful" story and to sully the pro-mechira camp.

    And no, I'm not involved.


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