בדיקת וביטול חמץ
דין בדיקת חמץ
לארבעה עשר בניסן שיחול השנה (תשע"ט) ביום חמישי בלילה, בודקין את החמץ לאור
הנר. וצריך שיהיה הנר של שעוה, (או משמן פרפין מוקשה כפי שמצוי בזמנינו), כתקנת
חז"ל. ואם אין לו נר, אבל יש לו פנס קטן שיכול להכניסו למקומות שצריך לבדוק
בהן כהוגן, מותר לבדוק עם פנס כזה בשעת הצורך. וחובה לבדוק בכל חדרי הבית אם יש שם
חמץ, ואף אם ברור שלא אכלו חמץ מעולם באותו החדר חובה לבדוק בו, והוא הדין לגבי
מרפסות, גינות, מכונית, וכל כיוצא בזה.
מכובסים, שהוכנסו לאחר הכביסה לארון הבגדים, אין חיוב לבדוק בכיסיהם אם יש שם חמץ,
ואפילו אם הם בגדים של ילדים קטנים, הואיל ובודאי נפגם אותו החמץ מחמת חומרי
הכביסה, וחמץ פגום אינו נחשב חמץ לענין האיסור בחג הפסח, וכמו שביארנו כבר.
הבדיקה הוא כעשרים דקות לאחר שקיעת החמה, (ואם נאנס ואיחר זמן זה יכול לבדוק בברכה
אף אחר זמן זה). ואסור לאכול סעודה של פת (לחם) או עוגה יותר משיעור כביצה
(כחמישים וששה גרמים), קודם בדיקת חמץ, החל מחצי שעה קודם זמן הבדיקה, אבל פחות
מכביצה מותר לאכול. ופירות וירקות וכן תבשיל אורז וכיוצא בזה מותר לאכלם אף יותר משיעור
נוהגים להסתיר בבית עשרה פתיתים (חתיכות קטנות של לחם וכדומה) עטופים היטב, כדי
שבזמן הבדיקה ימצאם הבודק את החמץ. ומי שנוהג כן יזהר לרשום את מקומן של פתיתי
החמץ, כדי שאם לא ימצא אחד מהם, יוכלו אחר כך למוצאו על ידי הרשימה.
בדיקת חמץ, צריך לבטל את החמץ בפיו, שיאמר "כל חמירא דאיכא ברשותי דלא חזיתיה
ודלא ביערתיה ליבטיל ולהוי כעפרא דארעא", (ובלשון הקודש: "כל חמץ ושאור
שישנו ברשותי שלא ראיתיו ושלא ביערתיו יתבטל ויהיה כעפר הארץ"). וצריך שיאמר
את נוסח הביטול בשפה המובנת לו, שאם לא כן לא יצא ידי חובת הביטול. ונוהגים לומר
את נוסח הביטול שלוש פעמים לחיזוק העניין (וטוב להוסיף לפחות באחד מהם
"ליבטיל ולהוי הפקר כעפרא דארעא")
Searching for and Renouncing Chametz
The Laws of Searching for
On the eve of the Fourteenth of Nissan, which will fall out this year (5779) on
this coming Thursday night, one must search for Chametz by candlelight. The
candle must be made of wax (or congealed paraffin oil, common nowadays) as per
the enactment of our Sages. If one does not have a candle but he does have a
small enough flashlight that he will be able to stick into places where he must
check properly, he may use such a flashlight if necessary. One is obligated to
search in every room in the house where Chametz is found; even if one is
certain that Chametz has never been eaten in this room, one must still check
it. The same applies regarding balconies, gardens, cars, and the like.
Regarding washed clothes that were placed in drawers and closets after being
washed, one is not obligated to check the pockets of these clothes for Chametz,
even if these clothes belong to young children, since the Chametz has surely
become inedible due to the various laundry detergents and inedible Chametz is
not considered Chametz prohibited on Pesach, as we have already established.
The Proper Time for the Search
The proper time for searching for Chametz is approximately twenty minutes after
sunset (if one was unable to search at this time he may still search and recite
a blessing even later on during the night). One may not partake of bread or
cake more than a Kebeitza (approximately 54 grams) before searching for Chametz
starting from a half-hour before the proper time of the search. Nevertheless,
less than a Kebeitza of bread or cake or even more than a Kebeitza of fruits,
vegetables, rice, and the like, may in fact be eaten before performing the search.
The Customary Ten Pieces of Bread
Some have the custom to hide ten pieces of well-wrapped bread throughout the
house, so that they may be found by the person searching for Chametz. Those who
follow this custom should be exceedingly careful to write down the locations of
the ten pieces of Chametz, so that in the event that one (or more) piece(s)
is/are not found, they will be able to be located using this list.
After completing the search for Chametz, one must verbally nullify the Chametz
by reciting: "Kol Chamira De'Ika Birshuti De'La Chazitei U'dla Bi'artei
Livtil Velehevei Ke'Afra De'Ar'ah." (English Translation: "Any
Chametz (leaven) which is in my possession, which I have not seen and I have
not destroyed, should be nullified and be considered like the dust of the
earth.") One must recite this verbal nullification in a language that he
understands, for if not, one does not fulfill his obligation of renouncing
Chametz. It is customary to repeat the text of the nullification three times in
order to strengthen the matter (it is preferable to add during one of the three
recitations: "Livtil Velehevei Hefker Ke'Afra De'Ar'ah," English
Translation: "Should be nullified and become ownerless like the dust of
Shabbat Mincha with Keriat Hatorah
Passover- Eruv Tavshilin
When Yom Tov falls on
Friday, Halacha forbids cooking or making any preparations on that day for
Shabbat, unless one follows the procedure known as "Eruv Tavshilin."
The Eruv Tavshilin is made on Erev Yom Tov; thus, if Yom Tov falls on Thursday
and Friday, one would make the Eruv Tavshilin on Wednesday, before the onset of
Yom Tov. One takes a Ke'zayit (the volume of an olive) of bread – or, on
Pesach, Matza – together with a cooked food – our practice is to use an egg –
and sets them aside. He then makes the formal declaration stating that through
this Eruv it will be permitted to cook, bake and make any preparations
necessary on Yom Tov for Shabbat. Without making an Eruv Tavshilin, one may not
prepare on Yom Tov for Shabbat.
Chacham Ovadia Yosef writes that even if one did make an
Eruv Tavshilin, he should preferably not cook and prepare for Shabbat late in
the day on Yom Tov, shortly before the onset of Shabbat. He should endeavor to
prepare the food early enough in the day that it could potentially be served to
guests who arrive while it is still Yom Tov, before Shabbat. This is an
additional measure of stringency; if one cooked food late in the day on Yom
Tov, the food is nevertheless permissible for consumption on Shabbat.
Preferably, however, one should prepare food earlier in the day.
Summary: When Yom Tov falls on Shabbat, one must make an
Eruv Tavshilin on Erev Yom Tov to allow preparing on Yom Tov for Shabbat. Even
if one did make an Eruv Tavshilin, he should preferably not prepare food for Shabbat
late in the day on Friday
What Is The Latest Time On Erev Yom Tov,
One Can Make Eruv Tavshilin?
When Yom Tov falls on Friday, one must prepare an
Eruv Tavshilin before sunset on Erev Yom Tov to allow cooking on Yom Tov for
Shabbat. The question was raised as to whether or not somebody who forgot to
prepare an Eruv Tavshilin before sundown on Erev Yom Tov has the opportunity to
do so after sunset.
Chacham Ovadia Yosef addresses this question in his work Yechaveh Da'at (6:31),
and he concludes that in such a case one may, in fact, prepare his Eruv
Tavshilin during the thirteen-minute period after sunset called Bein
Ha'shemashot. He adds that one may even recite the Beracha when preparing the
Eruv Tavshilin during this period.
Chacham Bentzion Abba Shaul (Jerusalem, 1924-1998), in Or Le'tziyon (22:8),
adopts this position, as well. He adds, however, that once a person recites
Arvit on the night of Yom Tov, or even responds to "Barechu" at the
beginning of Arvit, he has effectively begun his observance of Yom Tov and
therefore can no longer prepare an Eruv Tavshilin. Even if one responds to
"Barechu" within thirteen minutes after sundown, he may no longer
prepare the Eruv Tavshilin.
Summary: One who forgot to prepare an Eruv Tavshilin before sundown on Erev Yom
Tov may still do so – with a Beracha – within thirteen minutes after sundown,
unless he recites Arvit or responds to "Barechu" during Arvit, in
which case he may no longer prepare the Eruv Tavshilin.
Which Foods are Suitable for the Erub
An Erub Tabshilin is prepared before Yom Tob in
situations where Yom Tob is immediately followed by Shabbat, in order to allow
cooking on Yom Tob for Shabbat. The Erub Tabshilin must consist of two foods –
one baked, and one cooked. The baked food is traditionally a piece of bread, or
a piece of Masa on Pesah. As for the cooked food, it was for many years
customary to use a hardboiled egg for this purpose. The reason is that the food
must be able to remain fresh until Shabbat, and before refrigeration, there
weren’t many foods that could remain fresh for this long. An egg was therefore
used because it could be stored and eaten for a number of days.
Nowadays, however, Hacham Ovadia Yosef ruled, it is preferable to use a more
“Hashub” (significant) food for the Erub Tabshilin. Since food can now be
refrigerated and kept fresh, one should try to use a food such as a piece of
fish or meat for the Erub Tabshilin, rather than an egg. Certainly, if one uses
an egg, it suffices to allow cooking on Yom Tob for Shabbat, on condition that
it was not peeled. The Gemara in Masechet Nidda (17) teaches that eating an egg
that has been left unpeeled overnight can be injurious to one’s health. Since
the food of the Erub Tabshilin must be edible, an egg that is left overnight
without a peel is not suitable. Thus, although it is preferable to use a more
significant food, one may use an egg, as long as it is not peeled before it is
eaten on Shabbat.
In general, any food that is boiled, roasted, poached, etc. is suitable for the
Erub Tabshilin. In fact, it once happened that a person had only tomato sauce,
and he used it as the cooked food for the Erub Tabshilin, as it is made from
cooked tomatoes. Pickled foods are suitable, as well, and thus one may
designate a jar of pickles for the Erub Tabshilin together with the bread or
Masa. The exception to this rule is food that is not ordinarily eaten at a meal
with bread, such as farina and the like. Such foods, according to Hacham Ovadia
Yosef, should not be used for the Erub Tabshilin.
There is a debate among the Halachic authorities as to the status of milk with
regard to Erub Tabshilin. Hacham Ben Sion Abba Shaul (Israel, 1923-1998), in
his Or Le’sion (vol. 3, p. 215), ruled that pasteurization qualifies as
“cooking,” and thus milk and dairy products purchased in stores today are
considered “cooked” foods. Thus, for example, if a person drinks milk at the
Se’uda Mafseket (final meal) before Tisha B’Ab, when only a single cooked food
is allowed, he may not eat another cooked food. By the same token, milk and
dairy products may be used as the cooked food for the Erub Tabshilin. Hacham
Ovadia Yosef, however, disputes this ruling, and claims that pasteurization
differs from cooking. Boiling has the effect of eliminating bacteria in the
milk, but does not cause a fundamental change in its nature. “Cooking” for the
purposes of Halacha requires transforming the food in some way, and thus
pasteurization would not qualify. Accordingly, Hacham Ovadia rules that one may
drink milk and partake of another cooked food at the Se’uda Mafseket. It stands
to reason that he would also disqualify milk for the Erub Tabshilin, since it
is not considered Halachically “cooked.”
Summary: The Erub Tabshilin must consist of one baked food – customarily a
piece of bread or Masa – and one cooked food. It is best to use a significant
food, such as a piece of fish or meat, though strictly speaking, one may use
any food that has been cooked, roasted, poached or pickled. An egg may be used
as long as it is not peeled before it is eaten. Pasteurized milk does not
qualify as a cooked food. Regardless, as mentioned, it is preferable to use a
significant food such as fish or meat
Must a Guest Prepare an Erub Tabshilin?
When Yom Tob falls on Friday, one must prepare an
Erub Tabshilin on Thursday afternoon, before the onset of Yom Tob, in order to
allow cooking on Yom Tob in preparation for Shabbat. The question arises as to
whether a person who spends Yom Tob in a hotel must prepare an Erub Tabshilin.
After all, hotel guests do not cook food for Shabbat, as their food is provided
by the hotel catering staff, which prepares an Erub Tabshilin before Yom Tob to
allow them to cook food for Shabbat on Yom Tob. Seemingly, as the guests will
not be cooking at all in preparation for Shabbat, there is no need for them to
make an Erub Tabshilin before Yom Tob. This question also applies in the case
of a young couple spending Yom Tob with parents, who do all the food
preparations. In this case, too, the couple is not planning on cooking food for
Shabbat, seemingly obviating the need to prepare an Erub Tabshilin.
In truth, this issue is subject to a debate among the Rishonim (Medieval
Halachic scholars). Essentially, the question boils down to whether or not an
Erub Tabshilin is required to allow lighting Shabbat candles on Friday
afternoon when Friday is Yom Tob. Tosafot (Talmud commentaries by Medieval
French and German scholars), in Masechet Besa, as well as the Rosh (Rabbenu
Asher Ben Yehiel, Germany-Spain, 1250-1327), maintained that one who did not
prepare an Erub Tabshilin before Yom Tob on Thursday afternoon may not light
Shabbat candles on Friday afternoon. In their view, just as the Erub Tabshilin
is necessary to allow cooking food on Yom Tob for Shabbat, it is also needed to
allow lighting candles on Yom Tob for Shabbat. Indeed, some versions of the
Erub Tabshilin text make explicit reference to candle lighting as one of the
purposes of the Erub (“U’l’adlukeh Sheraga Mi’Yom Tob Le’Shabbat”). According
to this view, then, guests are required to prepare an Erub Tabshilin, despite
the fact that they have no need to cook for Shabbat, since they do need to
light candles for Shabbat.
The Rambam (Rabbi Moshe Maimonides, Spain-Egypt, 1135-1204), however, in his
discussion of Erub Tabshilin in Hilchot Yom Tob, makes no mention at all of
candle lighting being dependant upon the Erub. And Maran, in the Shulhan Aruch
(Orah Haim 527:19), writes explicitly that one may light Shabbat candles on
Friday even without having prepared an Erub Tabshilin before Yom Tob.
Therefore, Halacha does not require guests to prepare an Erub Tabshilin before
the onset of Yom Tob on Thursday, since they are not cooking and candle
lighting is permitted even without the Erub. Nevertheless, Hacham Ovadia Yosef
ruled that it is preferable for guests – whether at a hotel or at parents, or
in similar situations – to prepare an Erub without a Beracha in order to
satisfy all views. This means that they should take the Masa and cooked food
and recite the “Be’haden Eruba” text, without the introductory Beracha. This
ruling appears in Yalkut Yosef – Sefirat Ha’omer, p. 246 (listen to audio
recording for precise citation).
Summary: In a situation where Erub Tabshilin is required, guests who will not
be cooking on Yom Tob for Shabbat do not have to prepare an Erub Tabshilin.
Nevertheless, it is preferable for them to do so, but without reciting the
Does an Erub Tabshilin Allow Cooking on
the First Day of Yom Tob for Shabbat?
An Erub Tabshilin is required when Yom Tob occurs
immediately before Shabbat, in order to allow one to cook on Yom Tob in
preparation for Shabbat. Thus, when Yom Tob falls on Friday and Shabbat, we prepare an Erub Tabshilin on Thursday,
before Yom Tob, allowing us to cook on Friday in preparation for Shabbat.
The question arises as to how far this Halacha extends in situations where Yom
Tob is observed on Thursday and Friday. In such a case, of course, we prepare
an Erub Tabshilin before Yom Tob on Wednesday so we may prepare food on Yom Tob
for Shabbat. The question is, does the Erub Tabshilin allow us to cook for
Shabbat only on Friday, or may one cook already on Thursday – the first of the
two days of Yom Tob – in preparation for Shabbat?
The consensus among the Rishonim (Medieval Halachic scholars) is that the Erub
Tabshilin allows cooking for Shabbat only on the second day of Yom Tob, Friday.
The Rosh (Rabbenu Asher Ben Yehiel, 1250-1327) explains that the observance of
the second day of Yom Tob in the Diaspora applies only “Mi’de’rabbanan” (by
force of Rabbinic enactment), and not by force of Torah law, and therefore the
Sages permitted cooking on the second day for Shabbat through an Erub
Tabshilin. This does not apply on the first day, when cooking is forbidden by
the Torah. Others explain, quite simply, that cooking for Shabbat is only
permitted on Friday, the day immediately preceding Shabbat.
This is, indeed, the ruling of Hacham Ovadia Yosef in his responsa (Yehaveh Da’at
6:32; listen to audio recording for precise citation). He emphasizes that this
ruling applies even if somebody is unable to cook for Shabbat on Friday due to
circumstances beyond his control. Even in such a case, the Erub Tabshilin does
not permit cooking on Thursday for Shabbat. However, he adds, if somebody
violated this Halacha and cooked on Thursday for Shabbat, the food is
permissible for consumption.
Summary: If Yom Tob falls on Thursday and Friday, we prepare an Erub Tabshilin
to allow cooking on Friday for Shabbat. One may not cook on Thursday for
Shabbat, even though he prepared an Erub Tabshilin
If a Person Realizes Upon Arriving in
the Synagogue That He Had Not Prepared an Erub Tabshilin
An Erub Tabshilin must be prepared before Yom Tob in
situations where Yom Tob immediately precedes Shabbat, in order to allow one to
cook on Yom Tob in preparation for Shabbat. The question arises concerning the
case of a person who arrives in the synagogue for Minha on Ereb Yom Tob and
realizes just then that he had forgotten to prepare an Erub Tabshilin. What
options are available for such a person if he does not have time to return home
and prepare the Erub Tabshilin before Yom Tob?
Some authorities rule that a person can prepare an Erub Tabshilin even in the
synagogue by designating food products in the home as the Erub. For example, if
he knows that there is a hardboiled egg in the refrigerator and a piece of
bread in a certain place in the kitchen, he can stand in the synagogue and make
the Erub declaration, stating that through such-and-such food items in
such-and-such place it would be permissible to cook and make preparations on
Yom Tob for Shabbat. Others, however, dispute this position, and claim that one
cannot recite the Erub Tabshilin declaration, which begins with the words
“Be’haden Eruba” (“With this Erub”), if the Erub is not present in front of
In light of this debate, Hacham Ovadia Yosef rules that a person in this
situation should, if possible, call his wife and have her prepare the Erub
Tabshilin. If a person has no one at home to prepare the Erub, then he may rely
on the lenient position and prepare the Erub in the synagogue, as discussed.
However, in order to satisfy all opinions, he should stipulate that if this
preparation of the Erub is ineffective, then he relies on the Erub Tabshilin
prepared by the local Rabbi. The “Gadol Ha’ir” (leader of the community) has
the entire community in mind when he prepares his Erub Tabshilin, and thus one
may rely upon the Rabbi’s Erub Tabshilin when the need arises. As such, if a
person remembers upon arriving in the synagogue that he had not prepared an
Erub Tabshilin, he should designate the Erub in the synagogue but stipulate
that if this is ineffective then he relies on the Rabbi’s Erub.
Summary: In a situation where an Erub Tabshilin is required, one who remembers
upon arriving in the synagogue that he had not prepared an Erub Tabshilin
should designate the Erub in the synagogue, having in mind food products in his
home that he designates as the Erub. He should then stipulate that if Halacha
follows the view that this method is ineffective, then he relies on the Rabbi’s
Erub. He may then cook on Yom Tov in preparation for Shabbat according to all
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