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Mar 31, 2020

Interesting Psak: messenger to burn chametz

While hagala seems to be out of the question this year before Pesach, except for things you can do yourself at home, burning of the chametz, for some reason, has been particularly worrying for many people.

There really are easy solutions for getting rid of chametz, without burning it and having a conflict with the ban on gatherings, or even just going outside. One can crumble it up and flush it down the toilet, one can eat it, one can pour bleach on it in the garbage, one can burn it on his personal property, and there are probably a few other solutions.

Yet people are still worried - what about burning the chametz? How will we be able to burn the chametz?

And I am pretty confident that on Erev Pesach we will still see images of large groups of people burning their chametz out in public, the police trying to break them up, handing out fines, arresting some...

Rav Chaim Kanievsky has come up with an innovative solution in a psak he issued today on this matter.

According to Behadrei, Rav Kanievsky said that because of the overcrowding and population density in the Haredi neighborhoods, burning the chametz as is normally done will be a significant pikuach nefesh situation. Rav Chaim said that arrangements should be made to burn chametz using a shliach, an appointed messenger, to burn everyone's chametz together and it will be done without gatherings of people. And God Forbid anybody should breach this protocol. Community representatives should make arrangements for this to be done so that no danger to life will be caused.

I don't know if it is connected to this psak or not, but I saw a notice on a Whatsapp group I am on that city leadership is working on a plan now to deliver bags to every home in the city for people to put their chametz in. The chametz will be picked up and collected by designated people and will then be burned on behalf of everyone together. We'll see if it happens or not, but even if not, there are enough alternate solutions available that every person should be able to figure out a way to rid his home of chametz.

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