Selling Chametz – Who, Why, When?

Hello dear readers,

With pesach just around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to go over an important part of the pre-pesach cleaning process: the selling of the chametz. It may not be as labor-intensive as scouring the oven or scrubbing the floors, but it’s still essential to cleaning your house in advance of the seders. So whether you’re going away on a kosher pesach vacation or making your seders in the comfort of your own home, here are some important points to keep in mind leading up to the sale of your chametz:

  • On the holiday of pesach, you are not allowed to eat, own, see, or derive any benefit whatsoever from chametz. Therefore, you should try to get rid of as much chametz as you can before pesach. However, you are allowed to sell your chametz if throwing it all away would cause a severe financial loss.
  • Since you cannot sell your chametz to another Jew, you must sell your chametz to a non-Jew. The chametz must be placed in a designated location, and upon sale it will belong to the non-Jewish purchaser. The chametz must be placed in a covered location, where you wouldn’t ordinarily go to get food (like the garage or in hard-to-reach cabinets).
  • A lot of communities appoint an agent (such as the local rabbi) to handle the logistics of selling everyone’s chametz for them. This makes it much easier! We of course appoint Rabbi Stein to handle our chametz for us, but check with your local shul for more information.
  • The chametz must be sold by mid-morning of erev seder (again, check with your local authorities or online for the exact last moment that you may own chametz). After this time, you make a declaration that all other (unsold) chametz is ownerless, so any forgotten or unsold chametz discovered after this point will have to be destroyed!
  • The chametz can be bought back when pesach is over. We of course wait for the all-clear from Rabbi Stein before we start unpacking the chametz that is (once again) ours.
  • One last point, about kitniyot: If your minhag is not to eat kitniyot on pesach, then you should of course not eat any kitniyot on pesach. However! The prohibition on kitniyot is only on consuming it, and as such kitniyot do not need to be sold at all.

More soon,



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