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Mar 17, 2020

Interesting Psak: buying chametz and selling it for Pesach

Some people avoid selling chametz before Pesach and prefer to dispose of it all. Some people do sell chametz but not real chametz.

Somebody asked Rav Elyakim Levanon, who himself is in quarantine right now after having come into some sort of contact with someone infected with Covid-19, CoronaVirus, if even people who do not normally sell chametz gamur, real chametz, for Pesach could do so this year. The reason for considering changing policy this year is a concern that there might be a food shortage after Pesach with a shortage of chametz products, specifically - because of the CoronaVirus.

Further, could one purchase chamet produts in advance of Pesach, specifically with the intent to sell them for Pesach and have them available after the holiday? Normally, even people who sell chametz, sell what is remaining but do not stock up before Pesach, and rabbonim normally discourage such things. But would it be ok this year?

Rav Levanon responded that the custom of those who follow the customs of the Gra, the Vilna Gaon, is to not sell real chametz. The question is if that is like a vow, such as any times someone does a good thing consistently, three times, it becomes considered like a vow to continue doing. If so, to start sellign chametz now would require hatarat nedarim - annulment of vows.

Rav Levanon says our current situation is different. This is not an actual minhag to do something, but a minhag to not do something. In such a case, it does not become like a vow. A person who wants to change such a minhag could do so without hatarat nedarim.

And,  anyone concerned with a possible shortage of food after Pesach could purchase food before Pesach and then sell it.
source: Kipa

Note: stockpiling and hoarding food now is not necessary, according to government officials, and is irresponsible and creates panic.

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  1. If the concern is having food for after Pesach, I would think that would easily be satisfied by stocking up on rice, kitniyos, corn and other non-chametz staples, all of which, of course, may be owned and need not be sold for Pesach.

  2. Is there an issur of eating KLP food after Pesach?

  3. people who panic shop probably also think there wont be enough food for pesach. they probably also think there wont be enough for tomorrow. They are panic shopping, so they walk into the store and buy everything possible just in case there wont be enough later.


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