Wednesday, Sep 21, 2022

Yevamos 53: Inadvertent Chometz

On this daf, we find some cases of shogeig.

In the hectic days before Pesach, one must be extra vigilant. Besides cleaning every speck of chometz, we need to be alert to ensure that we do not transgress this prohibition.

One young man was horrified when he found a roll in a cupboard of his small apartment on Erev Pesach. “How can that possibly be? Last night, when I checked the entire house, I distinctly remember that all the cupboards were empty.”

After some careful questioning, his four-year-old admitted to have secreted the roll there from the final meal just before the biur. He explained, “Everyone told me that there would be no bread, so I was afraid that I would get hungry and have nothing to eat…”

Once, someone received a gift of vodka, which he assumed was not chometz. After Pesach, he learned, to his dismay, that it had some wheat in it. He called his rov and told him the situation. He finished off his story with a query: “I have two questions. Does my bitul help since I had meant to nullify any chometz? Second, it is not a majority of chometz, so can I just put the value of the chometz in the Dead Sea and then drink it?”

“You definitely can’t rely on the bitul,” replied the rov. “In terms of whether you can toss the value of the chometz into the Dead Sea, it depends. If the wheat is necessary for the fermentation, it is a dovor hama’amid, a necessary and felt ingredient that cannot be redeemed even though it is after Pesach and the chometz was not the majority or even if there was sixty times the dovor hama’amid. If the vodka would have fermented without the chometz, it can be redeemed by casting the value of the chometz into the Dead Sea, since it is not the sole ma’amid of the beverage and the majority is not chometz.

“But either way,” concluded the rov, “you can’t actually drink it, since even redeeming the chometz only permits one to sell it and have benefit from it, not to actually drink it and enjoy it” (Haggadah Shel Pesach Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach).

 

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